Thursday, April 29, 2010

Immigration, Summed Up

"We have to get real about the 12 million undocumented here," the mayor said. "We're not going to deport them. Give them permanent status. Don't make them citizens unless they can qualify, but give them permanent status and let's get on with this."

- Mayor Bloomberg

1. 12 Million: This is the commonly held number, at least it was in 2005.
2. Undocumented: Never understood that word. It is another word for estimate to me.
3. Deport: We've done it a few times in our history (on a large scale). Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s and Operation Wetback in 1954. Both were done at a very high cost but both were weighed by a cost v benefit structure to help the US economy. Should we do it again or not isn't even in the conversation. We can't do it. Too expensive now and it is an unachievable goal were it to happen.
4. Permanent Status: A tricky thing. The US has pretty friendly laws (globally speaking) on this topic. As well we should. This is America. The issue isn't with those who seek Permanent Status. It's there for those that want it. It's with those who do not that seem to be seeking it... that is what is hanging us up.

I guess the question to the Mayor would be "what if folks do not qualify?" He is sort of talking out of both sides of his mouth. It's a challenging topic. I understand our leaders not talking about or tackling the real problem, but for that sentiment to trickle down to law makes things very confusing. Not only confusing just to make comment on the topic but for those looking to become Americans and for those enforcing the law. The way it is now is almost akin to someone coming into the country and having diplomatic immunity.

I have two examples here: first: in NC a (Mexican) co-worker getting in a car accident with an "undocumented". In this case the officers on the scene didn't charge anyone in the wreck and sent both parties on there way. The "undocumented" had no insurance and my co-worker was left with the repairs, higher rate, and a nasty back ache. second: a co-worker was burglarized by an undocumented persons. The burglar was held for a night but then sent back to their last residence (which was in Texas) the next day. I'm not a lawyer, but both cases where handled the same as if the undocumented were a kind of diplomat. Right or wrong, no parties involved really knew what to do. The co-workers didn't know how to go about things, the police didn't know either.

No one, from our leaders to our law enforcement to a farmer hiring extra hands, is really sure what is actually legal and we are hurting from any formalized process.

I see that Arizona is trying to remedy the situation by creating law that is simpler to understand in regards to how to handle illegal aliens. It is a bold move. But again! Right or wrong, at least it is clearer then mud.

It's not enough to be reactionary and say "THAT'S JUST WRONG MAN!" It provides no more clarity on the situation to be reactionary and feelings don't remedy a problem.

Say, for example: if the company you work for were to not have a scheduled lunch time. You, being the busy body, can't seem to get lunch at the same time every day. Now one day your boss get mad at you for taking a lunch at 2pm. You get pissed. Nobody said lunch was at a specific time (you think to yourself). The next day you take it at 11am. You get reprimanded again. You wonder what for, no rule was in place. You're frustrated and the boss is frustrated. Now... the very next day there is a posted rule: LUNCH IS AT 12PM TO 1230PM. What happens? A reaction of "THAT'S JUST WRONG MAN!"

I don't know... really simplistic bad example but our immigration challenges seem to be sort of like that.

2 comments:

matt wood said...

i wouldn't agree that the Arizona law is very clear. perhaps its a clear indication of the way many people view illegal immigrants — as criminals. its a dangerous precedent that quickly leads to rampant racial profiling which leads to police corruption and in extreme cases, a police state. imagine checkpoints throughout city streets. imagine curfews for anyone who "looks" hispanic.
certainly, your diplomatic immunity examples are valid. we can't have that. that's a free pass.
but, these people, in most cases, are coming here because life in Mexico is hard. in some cases it's down right sad. my hope is that we can put more energy into developing our foreign relations with the Mexican government to help them grow along side the U.S.
but, of course, our America Rulez! attitudes make that difficult.

billysasquatch said...

the precedent set is a very scary road to go down. i do believe that many view illegal immigration as an illegal act, hence the criminal badge. but unfortunately, like you said, we are attaching the criminal badge to immigrants from central and south america trying to escape poverty, not local law. i like looking for diplomatic solutions. politically we seem to have so little, especially with mexico, contact- while in the private sector we have so many. there is a large disconnect that is creating a gap. i think therein we are like a dog let loose tearing up mexico's yard and expecting them to be a passive neighbor. a similar thing is happening in china and india... on a macro level that's the american policy is hurting us. not the america rulez attitude that comes from a dummy like me.