Monday, May 01, 2006

Immigrants

I'm not sure what I think should be done about the millions of illegal immigrants already in the US, but I am sure about one thing. People who say this is about 'national security' or the economy are lying.

The whole debate rather reminds me of the way bigots pounced on AIDS when it first appeared. HERE was a whole new reason to justify their hatred of gays. People were using AIDS to justify keeping gays out of the military, discriminate against them in jobs and housing, you name it. Made me nuts. I was like: "Come on. You're not kidding anyone. If AIDS didn't exist, you'd still want to keep them out of the military, jobs, schools, and houses. AIDS is just something you think you can use to make your irrational hatred of gays appear rational."

Similarly, many people seem to have grabbed hold of the 'but they're breaking the law just being here' argument as cover for the fact that they are afraid of Hispanics.

If illegals spoke perfect English, blended seamlessly into the society and did not congregate in neighborhoods visibly different from White Suburbia, who would care? It's all about White Fright for some people.

If this were about the economy, why are people getting so hysterical about a Spanish language version of the national anthem? If this is about national security, why aren't the 'minutemen' (*gag*) at the ports inspecting cargo containers?

2 Comments:

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Ace said...

[mount soapbox]

Since I can't tell if a person is a citizen or a legal resident or an illegal immigrant just by looking at them or talking to them, I try to avoid making those kinds of judgments. But if I had to make decisions on what to do with individuals who are in the country in contravention of our laws, I would look closely at a couple of things:


If the indvidual has been here illegally for the last 5 or 8 o0r 10 years and has had no anti-social behaviors on his/her record, I'd be hard pressed to "send him/her packing".

Conversely, if the individual in question has a dozen arrests and a bunch of other less than fully constructive behaviors that are evidcent, I would escort him/her onto the plane.


If you don't use empirical evidence to make individual decisions, then the decisions you do make will devolvbe to the level of "arbitrary and capricioius" pretty quickly.

Nevertheless, I do think the key word in all of this is "illegal" as a modifier to "immigrant". If these folks are here illegally, then we either need to modify the laws that exist or stop pretending that we are a nation of laws and that we seek to enforce the laws with any degree of balance.

[/climb down from soapbox]

 
At 12:41 AM, Blogger jj mollo said...

The homophobia is just mental illness, intense in some, but not all that widespread. The social trends are often driven by the most extreme, unfortunately.

Americans, in my experience, don't hate or even dislike Mexican immigrants. I don't even think there is much of a hard core of haters. People are pretty insecure about change though. When we see foreign things like Spanish, or Volkswagons or bagels creeping into our lives, we get the feeling that someone else is taking over and we're going to be overwhelmed by strange customs. Maybe we'll be the ones in the minority, and we won't be able to protect ourselves. Sometimes we get used to these things, sometimes we rebel. It depends on how big the change seems to be and how fast it is happening.

Competition for jobs is also a big source of resentment. People willing to work harder for less -- that can get on your nerves. New Orleans, in particular, has a lot of that about now.

The reason the Minutemen choose the border rather than the ports is for the same reason that the immigrants prefer to come on foot rather than in cargo containers. They can get away with it.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home