Since when did the most important issue in the entire country suddenly become stopping illegal aliens? Did I fall asleep for a few decades and miss something? Last time I checked these people had been coming here for years, and contrary to what you hear on Clearchannel owned radio stations for the most part all they do is work (a lot harder than white people who have the same jobs do I might add, and I know that from personal experience.) Fact is all of this anti-illegal alien hubbub comes out of hate mongering racists groups, of which the right wing takes advantage of for their own ends. It's been that way for years, and this current debate over the latest immigration bill is no different.
Some people out there would take issue with that last statement, but I beg to differ. If you listen to the ring wing pundits or visit websites like Save our State you'll see the same arguments that come right out of the Klu Klux Klan, with less offensive language of course. Let's take a look at some of the arguments the Minutemen crowd uses to promote wacky ideas like building a 700 mile fence or putting land mines on the border:
1) Illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans
2) Illegals end up costing us money through using our social programs (health care, education, etc.)
3) Illegals spread crime and gang violence
4) Open borders allow "Other Than Mexicans" in enter, which could include terrorists
5) The current wave of illegals is part of a "Reconquista" conspiracy to take back lands lost in the Mexican-American war (not making this up.)
1) Illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans: Bullshit. First off any economist will tell you that the job market for an area will expand as the population for an area increases. More people means more demand for goods and services, thus more jobs. That's how capitalism works. You lose jobs when the corporation that owns the local factory packs up and decides to move to South America or China, i.e. when a lot of jobs are lost at once. Situations like that lead to entire areas folding up shop and turning into ghost towns. But no community in the country has ever been "decimated" by an influx of immigrants, if anything the local economy only benefits.
Let's also be realistic about what kind of jobs we're talking about here - We aren't talking about an illegal alien sneaking over the border and taking an $80,000 a year vice president position away from you. The jobs these people do are crap jobs. Picking strawberries. Doing laundry. Washing dishes. Cleaning toilets. Washing cars. Day labor. Jobs that are done for minimum wage, lower in some instances. Jobs that Americans do not want, and if you don't think so just look at Colorado.
What these racist bastards forget to tell you is that our economy needs this pool of cheap labor to function. You can't pay someone who picks vegetables $17 bucks an hour with benefits, else your cabbages are gonna cost $50 a head. Why do you think they're even bothering to write an immigration bill in the first place? Because the thieves in Washington know we need these people. Do you really think the senate or the president gives a shit about illegal aliens? Hell no. But they know we need the cheap labor, and they know Americans won't do these jobs.
2) Illegals end up costing us money through using our social programs (health care, education, etc.): Bullshit. We have no social programs anymore. Thanks to that dumbass president you assholes elected and his cadre of oligarchs there is no "safety net" in this country worth a fuck. Good job shitheads.
Or maybe you're talking about "public schools" as a social program, (since when did that happen?) True, we will have to pay more for the extra population. However, since these people will be legal, then that means we will legally have added tax revenue, thus any increased public expenditures will be offset. According to the John and Ken show (who are two L.A. radio personalities who won't shut the hell up about illegal aliens, day in and day out. Talk about staying on message,) even those two assholes had to admit on the air that we'll see a net gain of $8 billion dollars to our economy over the next decade. So there.
3) Illegals spread crime and gang violence: You're kidding, right? I find that people who say baloney like this usually tend to live in areas where there is not a significant Latino minority population, Orange County for instance. Truth is crime levels are on the decline in most parts of the country, have been for years. Search FBI.gov if you don't believe me. The public perception of such crimes however has increased. Thanks to the damn media you'd think our country was being overrun by drug dealers, kidnappings, and car jackings, but it's just not true.
Even here in Los Angeles, which is on the front line of the immigration "problem," violent crime has remained at about the same level as it's always been. True there are parts of the city I wouldn't walk around in at night, but it's always been that way. I can tell you that it's a lot better than it was fifteen years ago - you don't see the same kind of gang activity in the inner city that you did in the early 90s. Oh the gangs are still there, but they're not wasting their time mugging people and knocking over liquor stores (for the most part.) They're doing stuff that makes them real money, like selling drugs. And when they do kill people it tends to be each other, which is fine by me.
Which brings me to the "cross border gangs" angle. Hmmm... well this is a problem. There are gangs sheltered in border towns that regularly smuggle drugs and people back and forth. However, I submit that such gangs really could give a shit about whether or not they have a green card. In fact I would say that this particular problem has nothing to do with an immigration bill. If you want to stop the drug smuggling, then get the cops to go after the drug smugglers. Infiltrate the gangs. Shoot down those cocaine smuggling planes on sight. Find those cross border tunnels and seal that shit up. But don't waste time raiding your local Mexican restaurant looking for drug mules, because you won't find them.
4) Open borders allow "Other Than Mexicans" in enter, which could include terrorists: First off, who said anything about opening the borders? The border is patrolled by an army of cops and immigration officers, too many people want them there, and since this is a democracy then fine, we have to allow it. I won't even complain about that ridiculous 700 mile fence idea (even though I know it won't work.) If you right wingers want to delude yourselves into thinking that'll stop these people and make the country safer then who am I to interfere. But I submit to you that all of the hijackers responsible for the 9-11 attacks were all here on legal visas, none of them snuck over the border disguised as a day laborer.
Is that kind of thing happening now? Is there really an army of Al Queda operatives swimming over the Rio Grande? I don't know. The only sources I can find for such "terrorist activity" come from ultra-right wing websites which I tend to hold as unreliable. Usually when a site like Save our State or the minutemen claims something like this it turns out to be bullshit. But one would think that this would be a reason to support immigration legislation even more, precisely for the reason that it allows us to screen those coming over legally. Then if we actually catch someone crawling through the sewers, we can process them way more efficiently. Just seems to make sense to me.
5) The current wave of illegals is part of a "Reconquista" conspiracy to take back lands lost in the Mexican-American war: This is a joke, right? Why do fucking people believe shit like this? I just cannot take this shit seriously. I know you've heard some racist fuck utter this inane bullshit before: The "conspiracy" is that all of the Latinos are coming over here in order to one day "breed us out," so that eventually they'll have a majority in our country and will vote the western half of the United States back into Mexico. They call it the "Aztlan" theory, based off of the writings of one insignificant Mexican revolutionary group in the 60's. Sorry, but that's the biggest steaming load of horsehit I've ever heard. It's like saying all black people want to overthrow the government because of the Black Panthers or something. Total fucking crap, and anyone who believes it is a moron.
Thing is you hear this same kind of "out-breed them" crap all over the place, about nearly every minority group. Christian preachers are saying this about Muslims, that they're going to overtake us in America by their high birth rates and turn America into a Islamic Fascist country. Five years ago they were saying the same thing was going on in Europe. A hundred years ago they were saying this about the Chinese - that they'll breed like flies and take over the country, that they live off an egg and a bowl of rice a day and there's no way an honest white man can compete with them. It's all racist bullshit that came straight out of the Klan, and it's only there to divide people. It's what happens when white people get scared.
There is an immigration problem, and some of the questions these people raise may be valid. Illegals in the country right now are exploited on a daily basis and should have the same protections everyone else has. Drug smugglers and organized crime perforate though our border with their little packages like it was swiss cheese. I'll even give them that there is a possibility that very bad people may be sneaking over the southern border, planning to do dastardly things involving large explosions and loss of life. But don't try to tell me Paco the busboy is responsible for this. All he wants to do is better his life, you know, that thing that people come to America for. Or did you forget that?