Friday, June 15, 2007

Immigration

I am so confused. It's one of those times when the true motives of the decision-makers in government are out of my realm of thinking. Here's the way I'm thinking about illegal immigration from Mexico and it doesn't fit with what I hear on CNN:

Lots of people are coming to this country from Mexico. Some of them are drug runners, but that's another story. Most of them, though, are just poor people trying to get away from a hopeless situation. Here they get lousy pay, backbreaking work and live in substandard housing. But it's so much better than Mexico that they're willing to risk their lives and even their children's lives to come here.

For a long time now, businesses - large and small - have hired them because they work so cheap which increases the businesses' profits. It seems to me that's why people say they need these workers to take jobs Americans won't take. Well, of course we won't. None of us would want to live the way these folks have to live because we have other choices. We might very well do the jobs if they paid a living wage.

Now there's this big outcry about illegal immigration, and I can't really follow what the complaint is. Yes, it's illegal, but so are a lot of other things that no one cares about because they benefit people with power. Ostensibly it's because we might be letting terrorists in over the border but really.... I haven't heard one thing about Mexicans being terrorists. No one believes that.

Or it's because they aren't paying income taxes and their children are coming to school and using other services, etc. etc. Oh come on, there are thousands of wealthy people who aren't paying taxes, but if they were, our government could probably get out of debt. If all the illegals from Mexico paid taxes it would be a drop in the bucket against the national debt.

So, I don't get it. If we don't want these folks why don't we just help Mexico develop an economy that would employ them and give them the same substandard (by our standards) lives they could build here? Then they wouldn't come, right? It worries me that maybe all this hoo hah about illegal immigration is just so that we'll think something is being done and businesses can continue to hire them and maximize their profits.

4 comments:

Lizerd said...

AMEN!

Adam said...

There may not be terrorists coming from Mexico, but there are known criminals. Is securing the border going to prevent another September 11th? It might not, but it could still prevent someone's death.

Letting illegal immigrants gain legal status would not only be unfair to current citizens (yes, because of tax reasons), but it would be unfair to people who have been *legally* waiting to gain citizenship. No one likes people who cut in line.

Even if there are thousands of wealthy people out there not paying taxes, I don't think it makes it any more acceptable for illegal immigrants to not be. The money from their taxes might be a drop in the bucket compared to national debt, but that doesn't make it acceptable for them to not pay taxes, either. If a wealthy person isn't paying taxes, that's a problem. However, it's a different problem than illegal immigration, and illegal immigration happens to be a problem that the government seems to be focusing on right now. If tax fraud among the wealthy was the issue at hand, I'd express my opinion on that just like I'm expressing my opinion about this.

You ask why we don't help Mexico build an economy. I know I'm young and foolish, but isn't that one of those "easier said than done" type of things? Don't they have a really corrupt government or something? If they do, wouldn't we end up doing something similar to what we're doing in Iraq? That just doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun to me. If it can be done, well then I think that's great!

I still think we should keep on building the fence, and I still think that the illegal immigrants living here shouldn't be granted legal citizenship.

Sure, I feel sorry for them that they are unlucky enough to be born into such a difficult life. I am grateful that I have been born into such great circumstances. Still, I don't that sympathy is an excuse to let them sneak into our country, potentially bringing their problems with them.

That's just my two cents and my hoo hah.

Mary Ann Duncan said...

practice

Mary Ann Duncan said...

Hey Adam!

Lovely to have a dialogue with you. I replied to your comment last week but it didn't post for some reason so I'm trying again. Thanks again for your comment.

So -
I don't think I was very clear about the point I was trying to make which was - I don't trust that what they're proposing will really work. I don't think they think it will either. It's just a way to keep the status quo while looking like they're doing something.

I don't disagree with most of what you said. Securing the border would be a good thing, but building a fence - hah! There are already huge tunnels and I can hear them digging now in anticipation of a fence. I think as long as businesses will hire illegals and Mexico is a hellish place to live, people will find a way over the border.

Fixing Mexico would be a big deal all right, but I wasn't thinking we should take over the government by force like Iraq. I was thinking more along the lines of investing in sustainable agriculture and manufacturing.

I think there should be some way of making it fair for people who are waiting and for the illegals. I have no really good ideas about how to do that. I wonder if one of the problems is the children in families that were born here and so can't be deported and then there's the problem of trying to find all the illegals in order to deport them.

I think taxes should be fair too. I just don't think the reason there's all this hoo hah about illegal immigration really has to do with their not paying taxes. If they did, it wouldn't be that much in the grander scheme of things, but it just sounds good. Again, those folks making all the noise just want the rest of us to think they're really doing something. I'm old and cynical and I just don't believe it!

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