Tarry for the Nonce

April 12, 2006

Sorting the Alphabet Soup

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 3:46 pm

I am distressed by the illegal immigration debate. And rather confused too. I haven’t researched it much, but these are my initial impressions:

Why can’t the immigrants work through the INS? I realize that entry into the United States isn’t as easy as one could hope – and probably the visa restrictions and caps should be modified – but why not at least try to use the proper channels? If immigrants are truly coming here in order to work, why not find an employer to sponsor them appropriately? And why can’t the United States offer visas for people without advanced education?

More distressingly – if I understand the rhetoric correctly – some politicians seem to be encouraging – actually advocating – the creation of an underclass of people who “serve” the rest of us by cleaning up our table scraps and watering our lawns!! I thought such concepts died with feudalism.

Am I completely missing the proverbial boat? Why is no one outraged?



  1. In fairness, the INS (now BCIS) is easily one of the most incompetent, inefficient, and just plain bad organizations in the United States, public or private. It still operates with processes and technology that would have been archaic in 1965, and is unable to properly perform its most basic functions.

    And of course employers hiring legal aliens benefit because they can work “under the radar,” evading taxes, minimum wage laws, and even the most basic worker protections. Who are the Mexicans going to complain to?

    The point about creating a permanent underclass is quite valid. We’ve seen how well that has worked out for France.

    Comment by Toly — April 12, 2006 @ 5:50 pm

  2. As for the Republicans’ “initiatives” — nothing but a bunch of hot air and dumb politics.

    Until the US-Mexico border is properly secured, all the other measures are meaningless, and will only serve to aggravate people.

    Of course, even before that happens, we’d need to decide: what do we, as a country, really want to do about poor people who cross into our territory without permission? Naturalize them, exploit them, or boot them out? So far, exploitation seems to be the clear favorite, but of course we are far too “proper” to say that out loud, resulting in the schitzophrenic policies we have today.

    Comment by Toly — April 12, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

  3. “…some politicians seem to be encouraging – actually advocating – the creation of an underclass of people who “serve” the rest of us…”

    Yes Laura, that’s EXACTLY what it is, save for one fact: there is no need to promote the creation of what currently exists. I agree that the whole immigration debate is silly, actually rather obnoxious, when one considers that illegal aliens (ha! sorry, that’s ‘undocumented workers’) are protesting that they are not allowed to come and work in this country, well, illeagally. Now, as for solutions, this isn’t really my cup of tea. We can’t send back 12 million illegal immigrants – don’t get me wrong, it’s feasible – but that will never happen, and really, the majority of us, in a sick and dark way, don’t want it to.

    Consider: we complain about the rising price of a gallon of gas. We complain that we don’t earn enough money, that health insurance costs too much, that we get ripped off here or there, etc. What about food, just as a case point? I’d wager that it’s illegal immigrants working as migrant workers who are picking the majority of our food. And they don’t get a fair, living wage – certainly nothing that any of us would consider livable. Now, we can damn the liberals and Democrats in Congress on a whole wide range of issues, but, as bad as it sounds, I agree with the argument that illegal immigrants do the jobs that either most of us have no desire to do, OR would have to be paid a real, living wage, which in turn, enormously drives up the cost of various goods that we take for granted.

    It’s a crap system, albeit, it’s our system and it works. A lot of folks don’t have to worry about illegal immigrants, the vast majority of whom come from Mexico. As for the restaurant I work at, I haven’t a clue, as far as I know, the paperwork checks out, for whatever that’s worth. However, it’s a fact that the majority of people in restaurants, at the very least in major metropolitan areas, who are busing tables and cooking the food, are Hispanic, probably Mexican. And their legal status? Probably questionable.

    The point of all of this is that there is no easy solution, and this issue should have been dealt with much more forcefully years ago so that we wouldn’t have to deal with the fiasco we have today. We’re dealing with real people, not some sort of virus that we can innoculate against. The overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants are not coming to the United States to blow up buildings, to commit crimes (apart from their illegal status), or screw over the average American worker. Most of them are just like you and I, just trying to make ends meet, take each day as it comes, and trying to pursue a few dreams along the way.

    Comment by Mueller — April 12, 2006 @ 9:32 pm

  4. Not to make a long-winded, soap-boxian diatribe, but I think that we should enforce immigration laws. And we should shore up our borders. If we need to let more people through the system, fine. Just do it legally.

    Am I completely missing the proverbial boat? Why is no one outraged?
    I believe the guy who burned the Mexican Flag and later was arrested was/is outraged.

    I thought such concepts died with feudalism.
    HAHAHA….what do you think slavery was?! It helped some folks gain in power and wealth by using the backs of others. This is why the South fought so hard…too much of its economy was based on slave labor.

    They may not be overt, and they may be outrageous, but as long as there’s people willing to put up with it (and willing to participate in it), some form of servilitude will exist.

    Actually, if you look at our current system, unless your one of the extremely wealthy individuals out there, we are really in a new type of slave debt system. Freedom is hampered by restrictions. You can’t drive a car w/o insurance, you can’t own land w/o paying taxes, you can’t die without giving away your estate to the gov’ment. Its all a big shim-sham. They’ve just replaced the carrot with something a little more appealing. :o) I just wanted to use the term shim-sham in a sentence…. back to the daily grind.

    Comment by Andrew P. — April 13, 2006 @ 11:41 am

  5. From my perspective, the primary beneficiaries of illegal labor are corporations that choose to skirt the law. Illegal immigrants would have nowhere to go if the laws were properly enforced, but government turns a blind eye so that employers may illegally inflate their profit margins.

    In fact, I think I might go so far as to blame a significant chunk of the deficit/debt on this level of corporate corruption.

    Why don’t any politicians say that? Heck, I’d even support them on this point, from whichever side of the aisle they hailed!

    Comment by laura — April 14, 2006 @ 8:51 am

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