Wednesday, May 03, 2006

what if we'd addressed immigration differently?

Immagration of people from Latin American countries in not new, and I really feel that it's basically a republican smokescreen as a current issue. It's just like gay marriage in that it's suddenly a big deal to try and take some of the scrutiny away from the real problems with our current president and his administration and party.

For years we've had people running back and forth across our border. For years people have been dying in our deserts, willing to take the chance on a chance. These aren't people that have anything waiting for them. They often don't likely know what they will do when they do finally get somewhere.

I can't really say what it's like to feel the need to leave my own country on foot and fight all sorts of dangers just to work a job. I don't know what it's like to have so little, to be so poor, that the most extreme path is finally reasonable. I say that having done some fairly fucked up things in my life.

In my opinion, the problem we face is not one of Mexicans sneaking across the border. The problem isn't something any barrier will ever fix. The problem isn't that we have illegal aliens, nor is the problem what those people do, whether it be job or tax or medical in nature. These are all the symptoms, and we are looking for ways to fight the symptoms, a fight that never solves the problem or cures the disease. For that you have to go to the source of the problem.

What is the source of the problem, and what do we do (or should we have done) to fix this problem?

I won't even get into the mistakes we've made throughout Latin America. It's not an area that I know that much about, though I do know that we and our government haven't always been the best kind of neighbors. Add to that the factories of American companies that have moved south of the border for the cheap labor and lax laws, and they certainly aren't helping our reputation as people.

We need to face that Latin America is our neighbor, and the things that affect them are going to affect us. Their economic problems are our immigration problems. Borders and walls aren't going to make life any easier in Latin America, and they won't make the freedom and opportunity in our own country less desirable.

I believe that our borders should be more open, that we should work for a good relationship between ourselves and Latin America. I think that we could be a good influence on our southern neighbors to bring the standard of living up to what we expect. I think that we would all be stronger if the immigration wasn't all one way. What if people were able to move because they wanted to work or live somewhere as opposed to having to go where the work was?

We share this amazing land mass in common with everyone from one pole to the other, Eskimos to Inca. Our world is constantly getting smaller, and as it does, we really need to address how we are faring in our own neighborhood. It really does us no good to have and horde so much, to pretend we care when we really just want to build a wall and keep the world at the end of a gun.


Kixque said...

Just had a discussion regarding this with my MIL. She is actively involved with many immigrants, mostly political refugees. I think our final realization is that it comes down to the root of what is so "wrong" with their homeland that forces them to be SO eager to leave. If we pinpoint it and fix it a lot of the debate and so called "problems" with immigrants would improve.

contemplator said...

Nice thoughts, Samuel. Americans are too cushy. We think we need too much space, too much food, too many clothes and too much stuff. We're so self absorbed and myopic, that as a people, we'll have a pretty hard time getting really interested in doing good deeds in a different country. I think a general overhaul of attitude at home will have to take place before we really start acting nicer to other people. Even each other.