Monday, August 06, 2012

Borders



This image appears on the Facebook wall of one Tamie Mcculley. You can find the original here.


I'm ambivalent about this. I think the reason that illegals are seemingly coddled is because it's a concession to practicality. They're already there in ridiculously large numbers and god knows the authorities can't catch and deport them all. Besides, a good number of them want to be upstanding, tax-paying citizens, and actually turn out that way.  My cousin is a prime example.  


But it feels unfair when they make good and while everyone else is seemingly in the hole. Like they've been rewarded with your money for committing a crime. Worse, they're hired at rock-bottom rates because they cost less for employers to, well, employ (Never mind that the jobs they take are generally jobs naturals dislike: mostly manual labor). I get it. 

One can't escape the fact, though, that the 'States were founded by immigrants. More than the rabid brand of White Evangelical Christianity that beats its chest proclaiming dominion over everyone and everything, the country's defining trait is that it at least pays lip service to the idea that "If you have a dream, if you want it and work hard and honestly enough for it, you'll see it come true." I see this trait in immigrants (legal or not) who want to better their lives with their own hands and be part of what's still good about America. 


A concession I will make to the people who feel threatened by the perennial influx of warm non-white bodies  into their respective States is this: something still has to be done about keeping the borders secure. America isn't primarily a charity, and any country that remains porous can find itself overwhelmed by the large numbers of people that it must sort through, to keep out those who cannot contribute to the growth and economy of its citizens. Controls must be in place to make sure that the immigrants you get are all legal.

I can't pretend to have a solution that would readily satisfy Ms Mcculley and people like her-- likely regular people in an economic pinch, who are worried about jobs for their children and the dilution of their culture.
Nevertheless, I wish her country well.  


No comments: