The topic of immigration in the United States is interesting considering this is a country of immigrants. Look around you, unless you live in a city neighborhood that has a majority of Native Americans as its inhabitants, or on a Res (reservation), than everyone you see is related to a person who was an immigrant to this land.
For some, this simple concept is hard because we were born here. I don't know the Ukraine, I know the United States. (I do know Wales a bit though, my other half =))So I feel that this is my home and the only home I know like most born here.
Immigration and immigrants sits at the heart of what has formed this country.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
"The New Colossus,” by the nineteenth-century American poet Emma Lazarus
This quote sits at the base of lady liberty, you know the statue that our "enemies" the French gave us when they successfully cutt off the British supply lines causing us to win the revolutionary war a lot sooner.
This quote no longer rings true today, but it tells us where we have come from. We started off with this huge chunk of land. The natural inhabitants were seen to be in the way and were slaughtered in a genocide that this countries leaders still refuses to acknowledge. (Just go to the Smithsonian museums to see examples of that) The only way to flood the gates with Europeans was to open its doors to the poor, the tired, the ones that were the undesirables in their mother countries.
With all this understood, I have to agree that this country is different from where it has come from. Computers, the telephone, plane travel, cable tv, the internet, automatic "hand held" guns, fertilizer at your local store (a big ingredient in making a type of home bomb.
Today we live in a different world where one can mail a bomb to your house without it getting detected. IT is a very scary time that most of us can conveniently not pay attention to because American Idol doesn't talk about it, or the new show with a member of the "friends" cast didn;t make a joke about it.
IN my opinion, we need to stop fighting a war that cannot be won. (the Iraqis I believe will go into all out civil war but this is inevitable unless we install a dictator similar to Saddam) Its our fault that this will happen. The British drew up the political lines of Iraq putting 3 different ethnicities together that hated each other. Saddam held the glue together with brutality, but now the US has taken away the fragile backbone of the country. Yes he was brutal, gave money to suicide bombers who would kill Israelis, and even approved of an attempt to assassinate Bush sr. But quickly, don't forget, the US supplied him with his weapons of mass destruction and technology in the first place, Israel bombed his country, and the US pushed him out of Kuwait in the name of liberating another country only to reinstall their dictator, create a US base, and insure that the oil stayed under US corporate dominance in the middle east.
By bringing our largest military resources back home we can focus on stabilizing this country. Lets keep our bases, the world is too unstable not to. But we need to close our borders.
This is not a permanent close. But we need to find out who is here. We need to develop a new system of immigration and travel.
We are spending so much money away from this country when everyday this country is falling apart. Around 1/4 of this countries citizens have a passport. A passport is a legal form of identification, but did any of you know that in the State of California it is illegal to accept a passport only as a legal form of identification. Why? because barely any Americans have them. Sorry foreigners, a lot of bars don;t follow this rule, but don;t come to the bars where I live unless you have a California ID or license. We can thank organizations like MADD for that one.
To most, this country is doing just fine. Yea there are some problems, but hey nothing is perfect.
But can you imagine if we focused our resources on education and the improvement of our country as well as the lives of its citizens. Can you imagine a United States such as this.
Imagine when we send soldiers into battle (most usually being among the lower classes of society) and each soldier knows 3 or more languages, knows how to critically think, and can bust out equations statistical or other that can help them determine if the wind, type of year, and past history of an area is right for an attack.
Imagine our new immigration policies. Like my father stated in his blog, when he came to this country, he went through this elongated procedure that he had to pay for himself. He didn;t have a lot of money if one considers he was living off Pinks hot dogs which were around 10 cents a dog back then. (I'm sure the line was a lot shorter too) Today, its easier and a lot more beneficial for a immigrant to come here without going through the process because not enough resources are directed into the right areas. Imagine the border crossing if the majority of the resources were not going just to drug trafficking.
The US needs to make the deterrence enough to thwart the influx of illegal immigrants. On top of that they need to make it more beneficial for immigrants that come here legally. (but the process needs to be extensive.
By not punishing employers of illegals, the US is turning a blind eye at the heart of the problem. If there was no work, why would illegals come here. Many could get fake identification from the streets, but with more money and resources, that business could be seriously hit hard.
(To all you omnivores, ever wondered who cuts your meat. All illegals)
There are so many issues tied up with this one.
Well illegal immigrants, usually those south of our border create a cheap labor force that helps keep food at lower costs. This is true, but it doesn't have to stay this way. Once these jobs were performed by everyone, legal and illegal. Illegals have taken over this industry because their employers can be greedy and not legally have to pay them very much, and American culture has evolved to no longer want to get their hands dirty. No wonder we are getting fatter and fatter. (besides all the fast food) Humans are animals, and we are meant to work hard. We are evolving out of this to the fat, and lazy culture we are today.
I believe that these food jobs can be taken by US Americans. Whether you just got your citizen approval or were born here, it can be considered a good paying job if we want them to be. The price doesn't have to jump up if we allow more entrapanuers to farm instead of only some, with the bulk coming from huge corporations. Corporations set the price, but they also ensure that less regular people can make a profit because they can always produce more at a lower cost. But if we turned the tables and gave the tax breaks to the people and not the entity that our courts have determined is a person (the corporation). Last time I checked, a corporation is not a person, it is an entity made up if several people thus putting it in its own category. The supreme court says the opposite (corporate personhood).
I lived in Mexico for 2 1/2 months last summer with a Mexican family and went to a Mexican University. While there I really developed a good sense of what it means to be a US American from the perspective south of the border. In Mexico, the minimum wage is 4 dollars a day for about a 8-10 hour work day.
While there I became close friends with a teacher of mine whom legally taught at my University in the US for a year and then went back to Oaxaca Mexico. This is one of her stories:
She was born in Mexico City in a somewhat middle class family. Since, her brother, sister, and mother have all legally immigrated to the US. Some of her cousins are there illegally. Instead of going illegally, she decided that she wanted to do this diplomatically. She wanted to be respected as a US citizen. But after applying numerous times and going through the process, she has been denied repeatedly. This woman is in her late 30's, has taught in Canada, the US, Japan, and a few other European countries. She has her masters degree, and is a well respected member of her community. In a country that is dying for teachers (especially ones that will work for nothing wages) she doesn't get acceptance. A country that has accepted her mother, sister and brother will not accept her. Her words to me " why am I doing this the legal way? I know numerous people who could connect me with a way to get there illegally. I'm trying to do this the legal way, but the US policy makes me feel that the only way I can become a US citizen is to go there illegally." (to put this into more context, this was around the time congress was playing with the idea to make all illegals in the country legal and then start a new policy from there.
The people marching in the streets are very passionate, and their passion should not be overlooked. They are doing our work, and then getting thrown to the sharks. They have every right to be angry. They can get a job here, do our work, pay taxes for all the products they buy in the markets and stores (which is a lot), and yet they are not respected, and are told get out.
Get out? , well then stop hiring them!!!
We shouldn't look at these people as being ignorant and without a right. We should be looking towards ourselves and asking; why are they so passionate? is there something I'm missing that they understand which helps fuel their fire? How do they view this situation from their perspective? Their perspective is key. Most of us including myself tend to forget that people view things from different perspectives.
One last thing I feel I should say is that we are alienating US Americans. Whether all you white people like it or not, this country is turning into a Spanish speaking country. It may not happen this lifetime or the next, but you can be sure it will. Numbers say it all. Look at the amount of Spanish speaking people in this country, and then look at the growth rates. Its inevitable. But what happens when a type of subculture in the US is constantly bombarded and ridiculed for not speaking English, being different ect. That subculture never develops a love for their new country. That subculture wont care about their new country because they feel it doesn't care about them. This could lead to a very unstable future United States and maybe even a new civil war. Its worse case scenario, but I believe the cards are on the table.
For some of you that don't know early California history, California's first constitution declared it a bi-lingual state (Spanish and English). White people later amended the constitution to no longer state this. But remember, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Parts of Colorado, Florida, and Texas (Texas became independent from Mexico before they were incorporated into the US union) were all under Spanish control, then Mexican control before the US military marched all the way to Mexico City and said its ours now. (of course there is more to the story, but I just wanted to put more context into the argument) A large portion of the land of this country, once contained inhabitants that spoke only Spanish or a type of Latin.
I have taken my first step in evolving instead of fighting to hold onto the past. I decided to learn Spanish. It hasn't even taken me that long but I have the ability to communicate in the 2 dominant languages of this country. I am not learning to become Mexican, Costa Rican, Chilean or even Nicaraguan. I am learning to be able to speak to my fellow Americans. I know I use this word loosely like all US Americans do, but in this sense, I am speaking to US Americans as well as all Americans. South, Central, and North.
A different note:
The enemy of your enemy is your friend. If we keep alienating Americans and non-Americans who speak a different language, guess who will be planting the nuke in our country. It wont be bin laden, nor the taliban. It will be Pedro who mows your lawn. Jose who cuts your meat. Pricilla who serves you coffee. Roberto who files your taxes. Miguel who picks your fruit. Francisco who patrols your streets in a police car. And even Soccorro who takes care of your children in day care.
Think about it white people, we are all immigrants and human beings. Lets change our policies, restructure immigration, re-focus our resources and educate our youth better. But most importantly, lets stop alienating our future.