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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Immigration Fight

There's an immigration reform bill moving through the U.S. Senate right now. Incredibly, Teddy Kennedy and Geo W. Bush are united in fighting to get it passed, which ought to raise suspicions right there.

The provisions of this bill are hard to understand as a whole, and it contains 373 pages that the Senators were reluctant to have read to them. But if I understand correctly, the sponsors want to give legal status to the millions of so-called "illegal" immigrants who are already here, while throwing up barriers against other millions who are waiting to improve their lots by coming to the U.S., temporarily or permanently.

In a nation packed with the children of immigrants from many lands dating back 500 years, it is hard for me to understand what makes immigrants suddenly illegal. And I see nothing wrong with the Mexicans taking back by peaceful osmosis the lands that they lost by force of arms a couple of centuries ago. I see no great loss in Texas, Arizona, and Southern California being rejoined by Mexico. In fact, in the case of the former two states I see nothing but gain, and it would be good if Oklahoma could join them.

I know that animals are universally territorial, but we pride ourselves on being civilized, and I would think that that would involve treating the whole earth as one gigantic commons that is to be treated with the greatest respect.

I call the current fight over the immigration bill part of the "Pull Up the Ladder" syndrome. Having found success on a particular plot of land , former inmigrants -- after having driven out the former inhabitants by murder, theft, and bad faith, and after having lured other immigrants there to help set things up -- then turn around and fight to keep out still more immigrants, especially if the new aspirants are of what they regard as a different and less illustrious human species. This was clearly seen in Oregon, for instance, not so long ago, when they tried to discourage Californians from resettling there.

I may be incredibly offbase here, but I think that people ought to be able to relocate wherever they want, though generally, through the ages, it has been a far better idea to stay home, through thick and thin.


Blogger Steve Bates said...

"I see no great loss in Texas, ..." - Carl

Thanks, Carl; it's nice to know we're appreciated! :-) Thanks to a lot of interstate migration and a fair number of sensible people born here, Texas is hardly as monolithic as some people assume. There are many people here you would in fact miss if they were summarily assigned to Mexico. Some cities, such as Houston, are even (please forgive the usage; I hate it, but it is standard) "majority-minority" in their population. Houston proper (not including the eight-county area surrounding it) often votes for the Democratic presidential candidate, for what that's worth.

I don't know what to think of this bill. On the one hand, I agree with you that people should be allowed to move and settle pretty much anywhere they want. And I recognize that in the case of Mexico, many families are split across the border; two of my neighbors who are U.S. citizens regularly drive to Mexico City to visit relatives. Moreover, I don't think Americans realize how overwhelmingly costly their food will become if farm workers are prevented from crossing the border.

That said, these people must be protected from the abuse dealt them by less savory employers on this side of the border for a century or so. Unfortunately, I do not trust Bush to propose or support a bill that does that, and while I generally trust Kennedy, I doubt he can make that happen, either. For the GOP, it is not a social issue; it's a political issue... how much fear of Scary Brown People can they stir up by November 2008. I assume you would prefer they not stir up that particular fear!

2:12 AM  

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