31 January 2008

Illegal Immigration or Xenophobia?

My wife is a Canadian. Years ago, her cousin had a permit to drive a load into the U.S. Given that work was slow in Canada, he over-stayed this work permit, running loads around California. Until one day, he was pulled over by Immigration. As the agents began to open doors and search for hidden compartments and hidden contraband and people, one of the agents walked up to Dennis, who was sweating in his cab.

"We're sorry about this," said the agent, looking directly at blonde haired, blue-eyed Dennis. "But we get so many illegal aliens around here."

"I understand," Dennis said. About fifteen minutes later, Dennis was on his way.

I'd say that the biggest lie about illegal immigration is that it is about illegal immigration. It seems to me that it's about xenophobia, about fear of other cultures. The real point, it seems to me, is to work towards some kind of imagined cultural purity.


Life Hiker said...

If you listen to Michael Savage, who has a large audience, you hear the straight message of cultural and ethnic purity. It's brownshirt talk, and the listeners call in with adulation for Michael and his views.

The media's response to Savage has been to ignore him, apparently believing that ostracism from his counterparts makes enough of a statement of disapproval. Cowards!

In my view, the networks and NPR are guilty of aiding and abetting Savage. They should take him on in public, in detail, make the case that he is un-American in every respect, and name his supporters as a lynch mob in waiting.

Xenophobia is a mental disease, and it should not be allowed to spread unchecked by the vaccination of truth.

Ron Davison said...

I listened to Savage once - for about 30 minutes. I don't know why anyone would subject themselves to that. You have no choice but to feel hatred - either along with him or at him.

LSD said...

Ah well, I identify with Dennis because I also have a secret; I was born in Berkeley. I have looked everywhere and find no evidence of naturalization papers. I fear deportation.

I am also bothered by the tenor of the public discussion. I am glad, however, that the issue is finally forcing itself upon Washington, although not too hopeful that it will be handled well. In my opinion, this trend has not been good for Mexico either, in that the desperate man's ultimate act is to leave, rather than to demand better governance. It has been a pressure-release valve that has allowed the powerful to ignore the poorest of Mexico's populace. Mexico has a wealth of natural resources and a powerful work force. I rubs me wrong to hear Mexican officals pose as advocates of the poor migrant worker abroad, making demands of U.S. politicos.

Just the same, our politicians ought to go after the employers and stop the vacuum. Too bad it is more expedient to go after the desperados.

Ron Davison said...

Well put, forcing me to look at things from another perspective. (That dancer is NOT moving counter clockwise!) I hadn't really thought about how these migrants are a pressure relief valve for Mexican politicians.

Dave said...

I think you have to add economic fear into the mix to understand our current fixation on immigration. We've been absorbing immigrants for a couple of centuries now. During each influx, "we" (the people who got here earlier) treat the newcomers badly and then as they assimilate economically, accept them: Irish, Germans, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, We aren't as accomodating lately to those that do not rise up in the economic ranks: Mexican rather than Cuban or South American hispanics; or, are they and we still in the initial poor treatment mode, exacerbated by the changing world economy?

Ron Davison said...

major ommission corrected. You are so right. Thanks.