Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tough and Stupid

As this editorial in the NYT points out, the much touted immigration reform has given way to terrorizing and bullying illegal immigrants (not a surprise, given that this is the tenor of life in the Bush era). “We are tough, and we are going to be even tougher,” said a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.
Yeah, we are all so scared. You like to keep the citizenry trembling. That much is clear.
You know what? Throw them all out. Separate families, inflict hardship and cruelty on hardworking people, why don't you. I'm just going to sit back, margarita in hand, and watch the chaos unfold.
The new law requires businesses, who could not possibly thrive the way they do without their trusted illegal workers, to reconcile the Social Security information of their employees with official records. If a worker has a fake number, they need to be fired. To be replaced by whom, exactly? That's one of the many questions raised by this incredibly nearsighted approach, which in the end is simply fanned by nothing but racism. I don't believe for a second the holier than thou argument that it's the illegality that irks people. What irks people is that the immigrants are brown and poor and different.
People are afraid of the brown wave. It's that simple. If instead of Mexicans and Central Americans you had Irish or Germans or Scandinavians doing all the work, I bet we wouldn't be hearing the same song. There would be no song. Period.
I agree that illegal immigration needs to stop. As I've said countless times, that requires a concerted effort between countries. Mexico needs to offer a better standard of living to its own people, more education and real opportunities for progress. Now that it has the world's richest man, perhaps he could think of something. Like every other wealthy Mexican, he has made his millions in no small part thanks to paying low wages. Mexico needs to narrow the abyss between the rich and the poor.
The US needs to find a way to curb the entrance of more people. They want to build a wall, please, by all means. But those who have lived here peacefully, paid taxes, worked hard and contributed to the economy, those who the Army has no qualms in ignoring the illegality of their status in order to recruit them for Iraq, they should not be punished and humiliated as if they were common criminals. The immigration madness is nothing but pure hypocrisy. It shows the meanspiritedness that still lurks in the heart of America. There is something really nasty about going after people who for the most part not only do no harm, but actually help. Hopefully, and you won't hear me saying this too often, business will prevail. Certain sectors are not going to be happy to comply with the manhunt. It hurts business.
We should be grateful to these people not only their hard work and their quiet endurance, but I would build them monuments just for making it possible to have better Mexican food in this country. Because of them you now know the glories of corn on the cob with chili and lime (or cream and white cheese, or mayo and chili powder, of mangoes with chili, of micheladas and of antojitos. If nothing else, that should be cause for your undying gratitude.

No comments:

Post a Comment