Can we talk???
SO, OK I have been quieter the last few days, but I have a good excuse, I was busy hiding my own Easter eggs............OK, an Alzheimer’s joke which probably is not in good taste, but I COULD hide my own these days, I seem to be hiding a lot of things!! Either that or the ghosts of my mom and dad are having an awful lot of fun moving and hiding things at my expense.
But I want to talk.........about several things, but since it is going for 11PM, I will just pick one for now.
The immigration law just signed in Arizona. I have been chewing on this one for the last several days because I needed to cool down before I commented. I have to some extent, but I am still angry. However, before I go any further, I have to give props to the Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona, Clarence Dupnik. I listened to him on Hardball tonight and liked what he had to say. He thinks that this whole thing will eventually be thrown out, but before it does there will be a lot of upset voters, hurt feelings and a tremendous amount of confusion.
I confess - proudly - to being somewhat of a liberal, maybe not a total bleeding heart liberal as I have been called lately, but I think I have a pretty good sense of what is right and what is wrong and I think this new law in Arizona is wrong, wrong, wrong. I also confess I have not read it, I have read the newspaper reports, listened to many different commentators about it and nothing has changed my mind.
What I do not understand, what I have never understood and what I probably never will understand is WHY we feel the need to go after the illegals? I don’t blame them for trying to make a better life for themselves. They are - and I believe this to be true - doing the jobs we don’t want or won’t do. However, what I cannot wrap my head around is the fact there are so many so willing to go after these people and deport them, break up families perhaps and not one, not a single one that I have heard, has ever said we should be going after the PEOPLE WHO EMPLOY THEM.........most especially the big corporations. I must be stupid cause I think if we went after them and made it HURT if they are hiring illegals, then the problem would go away........or wouldn’t it? Could it be it is political suicide to go after the people who are lining your campaign pockets with money??
So, c’mon, let’s talk!!
This new law in Arizona is a travesty and needs to be overturned ASAP. In the meantime, Arizona needs to be treated as a pariah and avoided by decent, civilized human beings.
I would also very much like to see an end to the term “illegals.” It is an intentionally demeaning term used to rob humanity from people. It is also a political word used for a specific purpose—no “good” person would tolerate anything “illegal.” The word has, unfortunately, been used so pervasively that it has become the norm in our lexicon. Let’s stop affording normalcy to that word.
The most effective way to stop undocumented immigration is to cut off all possible means of employment. Since the immigration authorities in this country have not seen fit to do so, then I have doubts whether they are serious about stopping the flow across the border. Holding the CEOs, of these hiring outfits, accountable (with stiff penalties and prison time) would dry the stampede right up. However, hiring undocumented workers Is part of what makes our economy turn and should the meatpackers and farm labor contractors and food processing facilities have to pay a living wage (over the table) with benefits to the good tax-paying citizens of the surrounding locale, the outrage over the new Really High prices of our food would cause an enormous dust-up of its own. Not to mention the outrage the meatpackers and farm labor contractors and food processing facilities would experience with their new and horridly unfavorable hiring contract terms. Not that I think human beings shouldn’t be paid a living wage with benefits, but, you know. There are consequences to every action. Pays to think them through from time to time. And I suspect most public officials with any sway over immigration policies have thought about this quite long and hard as well.
In any case, I don’t think anyone is seriously interested in stopping anything. But I do believe there are a lot of people who are very serious in making certain segments of our population believe that they are serious about stopping undocumented immigration. And that particular segment of the population, I have a feeling, already has a robust dislike for “otherness” in people. They will enjoy the illusion (feel that Patriotic rush) of doing something along with the satifsyingly constant harassment of “others.”
Incidentally, I doubt whether these employers who hire undocumented workers would object in the least if a nice US citizen wanted to work for the same terms. I am absolutely certain that they’d be hired....if they were down with being exploited like their undocumented brown-skinned brethren. They are, evidently, not lining up at the doors.
I would reckon that the current use and exploitation of undocumented workers is akin to the old plantation economy of slave labor. It will probably end at some point, but the upheaval it causes may be most interesting.
Apart from the undocumented issue, exploitation of poor and powerless workers is something American industry does well. In many countries. It’s all part of a pattern of globalization and I’d argue that no one is more guilty of (and adept at) stealing jobs away from American workers than American industry—with our government’s blessings.
I’ve been yapping about this at Facebook, mostly, but my initial discussion was at my blog.
I lived in Tucson for several years long ago, and in Phoenix for a summer (I know, I know. “What on earth were you thinking?"). Back then Arizona was a much smaller state, population-wise. It had a growing snowbird population, and I think part of what’s happened is that all those white Midwestern snowbirds ended up retired in Sun City and all those other suburbs outside Phoenix, and they brought their attitudes towards “The Other” with them. They didn’t stop to think they were in fact outsiders; Arizona’s Native American and Hispanic populations have been on that land a lot longer than Joe and Myrtle from suburban Chicago or wherever. But they came in such numbers that they overwhelmed the more moderate citizens.
I’m getting that in part from my cousin, who lives in Phoenix now.
This just isn’t going to end without a lot of pain, is it?
I think you are on to something with the snowbird infiltration. For the last hundred years or so, everyone more or less tolerated each other in the southwest. At least far better than they have lately. It’s terrifying to think that American citizens whose families have lived there for more than a hundred years are now going to be unsafe unless they carry “papers” and even then maybe not so safe. If this kind of discrimination and hate can be codified in 2010, then no one is safe from these lunatics.
First of all, I hate the term ‘illegals’ too Kate and like your words much better. Don’t like aliens either--that conjures up visions of little green men with bald heads and big ears...come to think about it, I might know a few of those!! ;) But it seems the proper description today becomes the insult tomorrow in so many places now.
I think Linkmeister is quite probably correct--it makes sense....think about the inner cities and what has happened when the ‘rich folk’ decide an area that might be more ethicnally populated looks like an ideal area for them........and it happens every day. Same thing, the people who have come and gone for years and years mostly minding their own business have become undesirable. A native New Orleans lady gave be a brief history of some of that one day while we were riding on the cable cars (and what a wonderful way that was to meet “real” people--we loved it and had LOTS of great conversations). But she was talking about Trump building these $1 million and up condos and how now all the people living there are up in arms about the people who live right behind them--no matter they have been there for many, many years. The end of her conversation was, “and you watch, they will be gone, it is just a matter of time...” Granted these people might be citizens of the USA but the situations are similar.