Freedom Folks

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Illegal Immigration Fisking Made Easy

Who would have thought that a professor of law and Asian-American studies at the University of California at Davis would make such an easy fisking target? Source article is here. My comments, as always, are in red. I'm almost embarassed to hurt the man like this, but...

If anti-immigrant forces in Congress had their way, illegal immigration would be a crime punishable by death. Being against ILLEGAL immigration does not make one "anti-immigrant," professor. As the Senate prepares to return from its holiday break, one of the first items on the agenda is dealing with immigration enforcement legislation that was passed by the House just before Christmas. Sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the law would increase enforcement against employers who hire undocumented workers please, sir, may I have some more? and promote enforcement cooperation between federal and local officials now that's what I call teamwork. A central part of the legislation calls for the building a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. The problem is that the fence idea has been tried; it won't work, and countless more unnecessary deaths will result. AND???

Beginning in 1994, the Clinton administration implemented Operation Gatekeeper, a strategy of "control through deterrence" that involved constructing fences and militarizing the parts of the southern border that were the most easily traversed. Instead of deterring migrants, their entry choices this offensive phrase -- "entry choices" -- implies that "making the choice" to enter our country illegally is a valid choice were shifted to treacherous terrain--the deserts and mountains. The number of entries and apprehensions were not at all decreased, and the number of deaths due to dehydration and sunstroke in the summer or freezing in the winter dramatically surged. In 1994, fewer than 30 migrants died along the border; by 1998, the number was 147; in 2001, 387 deaths were counted; and in the last fiscal year, 451 died. I repeat: AND???

Given the risks, why do migrants continue the harrowing trek? Because they are willing to break our laws to illegally steal a portion of our economy from America workers. The attraction of the United States is obvious. The strong economy pays Mexican workers, for example, eight to nine times more than what they can earn in Mexico. For many, it's a matter of economic desperation, and some observers think that migrants would continue to come even if we mined the border. In a sense, they do not have a choice. Oh, they have a choice. That's the whole point of this fisking, as a matter of fact. Besides, jobs are plentiful here because a variety of industries rely on low-wage migrant workers. Allow me to finish that sentence for you, professor. A variety of industries rely on low-wage migrant workers SO THEY CAN MAKE EVEN MORE PROFIT WITHOUT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HIRING AMERICAN WORKERS, WHO COMMAND BENEFITS AND COMMITMENT, AT A LIVING WAGE. They may know the risks but figure the benefits of crossing outweigh the risks.

Motivations for continued migration I want to go to America -- and greedy American business want me to come call into question the likely effectiveness of the expansion of Operation Gatekeeper if the goal is to discourage border-crossers. Beyond the economic situation in Mexico, a socio-economic phenomenon is at play. The phenomenon is the long, historical travel patterns read: flood of illegal immigration between Mexico and the U.S., coupled with the interdependency of the two regions we (Mexico) will give you cheap labor -- screw Americans, and we (America) will take your cheap labor -- screw Americans. Migration from Mexico is the manifestation of these economic problems and social phenomena. The militarization of the border does nothing to address these phenomena. Sure it does. Instead of saying "we're going to pretend we don't see you flooding our nation illegally" it says "trying to enter our country illegally is your choice; trying to keep you out without deadly, loaded weapons is ours."

Instead, it is killing individuals who are caught up in the phenomena. Give me a freakin' break. Would you say that someone who purposefully smashes your window to gain access to your home and proceeds to steal anything he can get his hands on is caught up in the phenomena of robbery?

Understanding the economic and social situations in Mexico and the United States and the nature of their relationship enables us to formulate better approaches to border crossings and migrations. A real solution would address push-pull factors and the economic needs of both countries. We need to do both. But you wouldn't start trying to clean up your flooded house BEFORE you stop the flow of water, would you? For almost two years, President Bush has proposed a temporary worker Get-Out-of-Jail-Free plan that, with modifications, makes more sense than Sensenbrenner's enforcement-only legislation. Disagree, disagree, disagree. Rewarding those who have already invaded the country illegally doesn't seem like much of a deterrent to me. As a nation, the United States ought to do the right thing, especially when it comes to Mexican migrants given our historical ties with Mexico. How about doing the right thing especially when it comes to American citizens and those immigrants who are patiently doing things by the book? We have demonized the undocumented, rather than see them for what they are: human beings seeking a better life who have been manipulated by globalization, regional economies and social structures that have operated for decades. You talk about doing the right thing -- since when is entering a country illegally, staying there illegally, and working there illegally doing the right thing? The right thing to do is to develop a system to facilitate the flow to the U.S. of Mexican migrants who are seeking employment opportunities. The right thing is to stop the flow of illegals entering the country, then fix our immigration problems and system from within. Given the economic imbalance between the two nations, we know that the flow will continue--legally or otherwise. Just because you can predict that something illegal will continue to happen does not mean it should no longer be illegal. Pedophiles will continue to sodomize children -- does that mean we should just throw our hands up and say it OK because he's just trying to have a better life? (Please don't answer that if you are a member of the ACLU -- I don't feel like puking right now.)

By regularizing the ILLEGAL flow through a large guest-worker program, we ease ILLEGAL pressures at the border (thus freeing up personnel to concentrate on the serious challenge of looking for terrorists and drug smugglers), address the labor needs DESIRES of GREEDY employers, bring the undocumented ILLEGAL out of the shadows OF BREAKING THE LAW, and end unnecessary, immoral SELF-IMPOSED border deaths that have resulted from current enforcement strategies UPHOLDING OUR OWN LAWS. But we have to do this in a manner that provides the workers with respect from other Americans and hope for inclusion in society. I have plenty of respect for those who immigrate to America legally (like my father). I have zero respect for those who come ILLEGALLY and zero interest in including them in our society. GO HOME AND DON'T COME BACK.

Thus, a path toward earning permanent residency reward for those who break the law after a period of time and paying a financial penalty slap on the wrist for entering illegally, as proposed by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), becomes a critical ingredient of any guest-worker Get-Out-of-Jail-Free program.

Our nation has a choice between the Sensenbrenner death trap You're making my head hurt, here, professor. Do or do not the bulk of those who enter this country ILLEGALLY do so of their own volition? or a path to enfranchisement for people we have depended on at the detriment of our own citizens for generations. Our economic, social and security interests demand that we pursue the moral choice. Moral means right. Breaking the law is not right. It's gotta stop. I'm not shutting up until it does. And I'm far from alone.

Got anything else, professor?

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