May 2, 2006

A Missed Opportunity to Round Up Millions of Law Breakers

Apparently Only El Presidente can Break the Law!
May Day was different this year, because the people are taking back this day from the...Bolsheviks, and because there were huge rallies across the US in support of the “undocumented immigrants.” The House Republicans passed a bill that would make anyone illegally present in the country a felon! I guess they didn’t have enough buses lined up one behind the other from Florida to Alaska to deport these people, otherwise what better opportunity than those rallies for the INS to round up millions of illegal immigrants! The intended impact on the economy is hard to measure, as one-day boycotts don’t work; people shop a little more before or after that day. Despite the million (or more) people at the rallies, most immigrants worked that day as many couldn’t afford (for a variety of reasons) to take the day off. I wonder how the 12% of Americans who are not native born—the highest percentage since 1920—feel about the current immigration policy.

At any rate, the failed immigration system has to be reformed. A broken law doesn’t reflect reality. I’m not going to rehash a
recent post of mine, but I’m tired of hearing that “people who broke the law should be punished and sent back.” It’s not practical, it’s not fair to take advantage of people when they contribute but turn our backs to them when they ask for basic rights, it’s not good for our economy, and it wouldn’t look good to tell millions of Americans to stay in...Canada and never return! All those people are breaking the law many times over by buying drugs from our neighbor because they can’t get or afford them here. I think they should stay here and try to change the law.

I am worried about the backlash these rallies may have. Several polls indicate that the majority of Americans believe there’s going to be a backlash. Politicians depend on people who vote, especially those ill-informed Americans who often have an emotional reaction to an issue. The President says that he looks into the heart, the eyes, and every other body organ except the brain. He feels the truth, doesn’t necessarily knows the truth. He and his party will undoubtedly seek to take advantage of the immigration issue. Carl Rove had said long time ago that immigration was one to be used as a wedge and a hot-button issue.

Mucho ruido y pocas nueces
Watch and learn how politics is played when appealed to the lowest common denominator and when the target is the...gut not the mind. Did you hear about the
Nuestro Himno, our national anthem rendition in Spanish? Bush pompously declared that our national anthem should be sung in English only. I guess he forgot that candidate Bush “when visiting cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, or Philadelphia, in pivotal states, he would drop in at Hispanic festivals and parties, sometimes joining in singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in Spanish, sometimes partying with a ‘Viva Bush’ mariachi band flown in from Texas.” [From Kevin Phillips’s book, American Dynasty, p. 142]

Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced legislation that the national anthem be sung in English. Of course, I understand that Americans feel patriotic and that a common language & national symbols are very important, but making laws to enforce national identity isn’t the smart way to change the hearts and minds of people. But, having failed at everything important, this President and Republican Congress need an emotional issue to try to stay afloat. I wonder if they’ll bring back a special edition for the election the
color-coded threat alert system… Or, the need to beat up several straw men, like the homosexual agenda promoted by the godless hedonists, who also happen to be feminists and liberals… Watch out for God’s wrath, as the Evangelical leaders would tell us.

I am in the minority, and the word “liberal” isn’t very popular these days in America, unless it’s used in situations like, “she used her credit card liberally,” and, “he did drink quite liberally!” I also content that this country is rather conservative, more so than many of us in the so-called Blue States realize. If the Republican party could attract over 10% of the blacks and more than 40% of the Hispanics—both groups tend to be socially conservative—then we would see a massive political re-alignment for several generations. But, the Republican party isn’t interested in representing the masses of socially conservative people but rather the economic interests of the elite. Part of its Southern strategy has been to play the race card. Blacks want hand-outs, their demands & rising political aspirations are a threat to the idyllic way of the civilized way of life in the South… Do these arguments sound familiar? A bigot knows no bigotry, as Strum Thurmond used to say. Immigrants can be the newest scapegoats.

Hispanics are about 6% of the voters and although the undocumented workers can’t vote the Hispanic community is turbo-charged about voter registration right now. Naturalizations are increasing as many green-card holders become citizens. According to the DHS, about 8 million of immigrants qualify but haven’t applied for citizenship, half are from Latin America, one third from Mexico. In the last election Bush got some 40% of Latino votes, but anti-immigrant policies (state and federal) may change how the votes will break in the near future.

It’s a curious phenomenon that in a country built by the immigrants’ blood, sweat and tears, we don’t have a rational immigration policy. Except for those who came to America from England & Ireland, all others didn’t speak English. Most of them proud to be from wherever they came from, adopted this country despite being mistreated, segregated, and discriminated. They struggled to survive and fit in. Their children progressed by leaps & bounds. Today we want the immigrants for their labor but there’s a reaction to giving them rights. Practically, we’ve given amnesty to the businesses and Americans who’ve benefited from this hard-working & underpaid labor pool. Those illegals suppress wages, we hear. But, in the same instance we don’t want to raise the minimum wage so, at the very least, there would be competition for work. Hard to find Americans to work in the 130-degree sun, bent over for 10 hours, picking lettuce for $4/hour. [the going rate in some farms in central/southern New Jersey] At least I would want a living wage—something not available in most places around the country—to do hard manual labor.

The question is, who’s an American?. It’s a rather personal choice. Some of the Founding Fathers, many more who fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War, and others who’ve been fighting & dying in Iraq today, were not born in the US. Obviously a person who makes a commitment to this country is an American, more so than the likes of Tim McVeigh and others who were born here but betrayed our country. Not everyone wants to be an American nor everyone who wants can be one, but those who are already here, have a life here, have been part of the American fabric for many years, should not remain in the legal wilderness.

There are many ways to reduce illegal immigration, but the approach has to be rational and comprehensive. When we raise fences along our borders we should raise the minimum wage to reflect a living standard. When we go after the illegal workers we should go after their employers. When there is indeed a need for foreign labor, then we give the appropriate work visas (not in a stupendous & arduous way like today) and afford legal rights and dignity to these workers.

In which language did he sing America The Beautiful in the White House? [Here's the answer]

The immigrant workers and their friends made an important point during the recent huge rallies, that is, “we’re part of America.” Perhaps there’s a social movement being born, one that will change the politics in the US though increased active participation—something this free country hasn’t taken all that seriously. Sometimes reality bites hard. Are we up to the task of facing it?


Kelly said...

Americans are schizophrenic. We complain about high gas prices but we still buy SUVs and haven't reduced our consumption of oil.

Likewise, we complain about the immigrants (for all sorts of ills) but we like cheap produce and other goods and services

Geeshus said...

Amen, brother. Well said, but I'm afraid the backlash may help the Republicans this year.

Now take cover because God will stike down en mass on those libs like you.

Samantha said...

Can someone tell those God-fearing anti-immigrant Republicans that God like immigrants. His book, The Bible, in Levitikus:

Do not molest a stranger among you for once you were a stranger in Egypt yourself...

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that the Bible-thumbers are choice: they pick & choose what to accept as the word of God....

jinx said...

I think Congress should add another $100 to the hot gas rebate the Republicans want to give us. The money should come from the $8-9 billion a year illegal workers contribute to the Social Security treasury.

btk said...

I think if the hottie in the picture was the spokesperson of this movement many white males now opposed to any accommodation may change their mind... You know, like you said, appeal to their heads, not their minds!

NSA agent said...

Excellent points! Also, nice sarcasm regarding El Presidente's illegal activities. This Do-Nothing Congress won't act even when Bush says he breaks the law because it's a ..necessity.

This is an interesting article that shows Bush challenging and breaking some 750 laws since he took office.

S. Colbert said...

Reality has a well-known liberal bias

Andros said...

I'm asking those who appear to be for the rule of law why aren't they universal about obeying the law and condemning the law breakers? Of course, there are degrees of law breaking and not all trespasses are equally egregious, but... a person who breaks the law because he needs to work and support his family compares rather favorably to those who violate their oath to "faithfully execute the Constitution"...

As for the effect of their violation, which is worse, working illegally or lying and committing the nation to a costly & uncessary war?

Is the president above the law?

Have they (the people who want to send back the lawbreakers) never cheated on taxes, broke any law, including paying their state tax when they order goods from out of state? etc. etc...

How about those who betray the public trust while in office? Like exposing a covert CIA agent????!! They should be deported and any benefits that receive from our public treasury must stop immediately.

Now, how can we deal with all those senior citizens who obviously love Canada more than America????!!!

Anonymous said...

I think that immigrants should learn English and learn about our history and know the words to our national anthem (in English)!

drew said...

And, how about the American-born? Are they less Americanized if they don't know their history, not even the words in our national anthem?

Andros said...

The reference to the Bolsheviks was meant as a jab at those who had highjacked the May Day and tried to make it a Communist holiday.
The May Day was supposed to commemorate the struggle of workers for better conditions and basic rights. In 1886 American workers clashed with the police in Chicago; many died, jailed, and a few were tried and executed for their participation in the riots.

At any rate, this event and the day itself was promoted by the Communist Party as the workers' day. The theory being the the communists were the extension of the workers. We know how this turned out....

Anonymous said...

I came to this country 10 years ago. I had many different jobs, most of them really bad. ie. I scrubbed toilets of people who now want to send me back! I even paid taxes sometimes... when I didn't my employers also did not pay whatever fees/taxes every other employer pays when he employees workers on the books! It goes both ways you see.
Iam an American, no less no more than those who were born here. I would say that sometimes I know more about American history and world events than my American born friends.

Why should I have any demands? Because as much as I got advantage of the opportunities available in America, America took advantage of me too. Every human being should have basic rights, every worker should not be exploited. I broke the law out of necessity, but what are you doing about those who break the law out of greed, dishonesty, and malice.

I'm improving my English because I know it's good for me, and my children will be absolutely fluent in English because that's how they'll have more opportunities.

Thank you.

PS>I had help writing this, but someone who doesn't have a great use of the language doesn't mean he should not be heard.