Both sides of the political spectrum are mired in rigid stereotypes about immigration. Stereotypes impede clear thinking. They undermine reason. I have messages for Right and Left on immigration. Pay attention; you might feel better and you won’t act or react stupidly.
First, some disclosures:
1 I am an immigrant married to an immigrant (a so-called “woman of color” in the stupid parlance of political correctness). We are both American patriots. We believe in “American exceptionalism” although we are both well educated. (If you don’t believe it, check out my vita – linked to this blog – and die a little inside. Also, ask to view my wife’s paintings. They cry out” cultured person.”) We are both political conservatives, leaning strongly libertarian (small “l”).
2 I believe that recruiting immigrants de facto on the basis of their willingness to violate our laws, first thing, is a stupid policy. Immigration policy discussions have not even begun, not under this Democratic President with his Democratic majorities in both houses. They did not take place under a Republican President either. This absence suggests to me that illegal immigration is not high on this country’s political agenda, at least, not sustainably high. And I agree with this assessment.
3 As I write, crossing the US border illegally is a misdemeanor from a Federal standpoint. It’s like a traffic violation, or possession of a joint in most states. This tells me that there is no national political will to act resolutely on immigration, illegal or legal.
Conservative dufuses (dufi?): Immigrants do not come to the US to use welfare nor to rape and kill those you love. Those who cross the border illegally come here to work, to mow your lawns and clean your dishes. They want to improve their lives and especially those of their children. That’s the American way. The fact that they break the law to pursue the American dream does not make it any the less the American dream.
This may be hard to believe but the last time I looked, immigrants in general were slightly less likely than the native-born to use welfare or to be in jail for serious offenses. I don’t know of much credible info about illegal immigrants specifically. I am open-minded. Show me good data, collected and analyzed according to scientific methods and I will turn on a dime. I will do it publicly and loudly, on this blog, in my radio program ( “Fact Matter,” on KSCO 1080 AM Santa Cruz, Sundays 11am-1pm), and in the coffee shop. The fact that I have issued this challenge before and that the data keep not coming makes me suspicious that they don’t exist.
Stop paying attention to La Raza‘s insane harangues. (“La Raza”= “The Race.”) It’s an extremist, racist organization that represents no one. If its membership had blue eyes, they would be called a dangerous armed “militia.” Instead, if you know someone who knows Spanish, have him help you ask Luis why he is here. (Luis is the quiet, polite guy who buses tables at your local restaurant.)
If you want to know more, read my co-authored article linked to this blog: If Mexicans and Americans Could Cross the Border Freely
Lefty mush-heads, here is for you: Stop thinking immigrants are “exploited.” First, the word has no objective meaning: I felt “exploited” when I was teaching university. Yet, you would scream in anguished envy if you knew how much I was earning per hour.
What kind of exploitation is it that large numbers of people seek at great risk to their safety and at great expenses, both monetary and emotional? Once more, your leaders are using words to confuse you
Immigrants, legal and illegal, come to this country because it’s a better country in some important respects than where they come from. For many, it’s just the opportunity to earn more money. This immigrant thinks, speculates, that the underlying reason why immigrants from everywhere come here goes like this: Until now, this is the country where a person’s success depends most on his efforts, his talents, his balls (women too, of course). This may soon change and the flow of immigrants will decrease.
Get used to it: There are scores of shitty countries in the world and only a handful that are better than this one, usually in some fairly narrow respect. (Yes, it’s true, French trains are faster!) Millions do come here from those shitty countries and many would like to come from the good countries. There has to be a reason.
As for American racism, again, don’t be absurd; face the facts instead. There is always discrimination from some quarter or other against those who appear different. It often takes unexpected forms. Excuse the recourse to personal experience: I had a neighbor who hated me first time she heard me, because of my French accent. It turned out she had known another, one, French immigrant who was an unpleasant person. Many, many more, all liberals, envy me because of the same accent. Envy makes them hostile. (You would not believe the numbers of upper-middle class liberals who hate themselves for not being French! But, I digress, as usual.) Below is a fact you have to deal with if you want to say anything about the relationship between immigration and American racism.
Only about half of the people living in the US who have any African blood also have a slave ancestor. All the others are immigrants and children of immigrants. (Tech note: I don’t have the reference at hand so, feel free to believe it’s 20% rather than 50%; it does not affect my point much.) Think about the implication: A country that had almost two hundred years of African slavery; a country where racial segregation was enforced in may parts until forty years ago, such a country attracts immigrants of African appearance by the millions. As is true for other immigrants, their move is costly in every way possible. How much vestigial racism can they possibly confront if they keep coming? Think! Force yourself to answer this simple question.
Yes, people vote with their feet whenever they can.
Ruben, Mike, any Hispanic who is reading this: Pay attention. I am speaking to you.
Yes, as I said recently, the new Arizona law will lead to racial profiling. It’s not motivated by racism though. It turns out, apparent manifestations of racism increases in periods of high unemployment and they wane with full employment. Do you really believe that Americans are “racist” one day and not racist one year later?
The liberal media’s accusations of racism against the state of Arizona are both disgusting and pathetic. They are are the death-cry of institutions that realize they are losing their ability to manipulate the befuddled and the compliant. Of course, no surprise, many immigrants are befuddled and compliant.
Here is my prediction: The new Arizona law will be destroyed by court action or it will be enforced only for a brief period and in desultory manner. I am glad it exists though. It’s a warning to the Federal Government to get its act together on illegal immigration. I am glad it’s there for this reason alone.
And yes, what little enforcement will take place will irritate and inconvenience some people. Those will include Hispanics in Arizona for 300 years, Navajos there for 5,000, and even a few “Indians” from Mumbai because not every cop has a doctorate in Anthropology! Their prospective suffering does not move me all that much. Thousands want to murder my daughter, and their daughters, because they sometimes show their belly-button, and a determined group is taking apart the economic foundations of this great country. “Suck it up,” I say.
Next: Why immigrants are superior.