WADING INTO THE PRESENT IMMIGRATION DEBATE
There has been a raging debate over immigration reform which has been taking place for too many years now. I have kept relatively silent for many solid reasons. One of which is the fact that I am foreign born. I didn’t want the silly people who troll these blogs to accuse me of some built-in bias.
Despite the fact that I do try to look at issues objectively for the most part, there are those trolls who just post crap in the threads for whatever reason their strange minds perceive. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised when V.J. Machiavelli told me to my face, that I am relatively open minded about most issues (or something to that effect); since VJ is one of those blog trollers I observe and study. He is very lucid when you meet him in person. He is nowhere near the silly and strange poster he sometimes projects. I found him to be quite engaging: pleasantly so.
Coming back to the immigration debate: let me openly say that too many Hispanics are being emotional about this issue and not being cerebral; which has caused this important piece of legislation to be stalled just as much as the maneuverings of the repugnicans in Congress.
In a post “nine-eleven” world, the moral imperative of any sovereign state is to protect, control, regulate and defend its borders and seaports. That is an obvious as my handsome face, shaven head, keen intellect and pregnant stomach/LOL. It is nothing short of suicidal to allow a porous border along the Canadian and/or Mexican entry points. It is also inane and unsophisticated relative to contemporary international relations. One of these days these United States will be punished for its folly here. Wait!
Whenever you raise the issue of immigration reform it seems that over-sensitive Hispanics tend to assume it is all about anti-Hispanic hysteria: but that’s really not the case. It’s not about demographic changes which are now inevitable; it’s about fixing something that is broken. The controversial Arizona legislation -recently signed into law by the female governor- has unconstitutional aspects which the Supreme Court will strike down once challenged; I have no doubt as to this, therefore I will not get real deep there. However I will ask this: why does it nearly always seem that unless drastic measures are revealed, most Caucasians tend to be rather indifferent to the concerns of minorities in the United States?
All of a sudden there is a big fuss about the unconstitutionality of certain provisions built into this horrible piece of supposed immigration-reform legislation; like the random stops, frivolous identification challenges, frisk, search and seizure actions, etcetera, and etcetera: ridiculous provisions that law enforcement officials have been handed on a platter; provisions sure to create a phalanx of racial profiling and discrimination lawsuits against the state (leading to more fiscal woes). But haven’t blacks, Latinos, Asians and other minorities -for decades now- been complaining about this everyday reality for them - at the hands of local law enforcement personnel (usually white males) all over the country?
In New York for example, the “true” number of stop and frisks by NYPD officials are over 2 million annually. Yes; the official numbers reported are bogus (and those are around one and three quarter million). The lies told by cops have been proven over and again: who really trusts their figures anymore?
More than sixty percent of those subjected to this unconstitutional treatment are black (overwhelmingly male). Less than one percent of these civil-rights violations end up in a violation, conviction or penalty of some sort. And yet both the last two mayors of New York City -and along with their respective police commissioners- see no problem with this supposed law-enforcement technique. What these mayors and commissioners all have in common is their race: Caucasian.
Ostensibly, it is okay to routinely violate the civil rights of minorities (blacks especially) all over this country, even in the year 2010. What a shame!
One of the problems I see is this: too many people cry wolf too often. And then, whenever something real affects a group, there has been so much “wolf-crying” beforehand that other racial, ethnic, religious, nationalistic or whatever groups tend to be inured; that’s why too many real issues aren’t tackled fully and honestly via legislation or public policy formation.
Look; blacks, Jews, white males, Hispanics, Asians, gays, too many females, and near all other classifications are guilty of playing the victim card to often; and way too often: unnecessarily; thus when it’s time for real actions to address real victimization, oppression and/or unfair prosecution and such: suspicions from other groups abound. This is where (and when) compassion and sensitivity is thrown out the window of opportunity for change or needed reform.
If one was to constructively critique any group in today’s “politically correct” atmosphere, you can expect to be called names like racist, homophobic, chauvinistic, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hispanic, and so on, and so on. Too often the counter attacks are counter-productive, and meant only to stymie efforts at real debate. The chilling effect has frozen us up too often.
It is time to debate immigration-reform. What we need is real debate. We don’t need people to be demagogic and illogical; we need honesty and sincerity of purpose. We don’t need partisanship; we need to find solutions that are in the national interest.
We need to offer those undocumented immigrants some type of legal pathway to citizenship. It is the compassionate thing to do. And once done, we need to close all the loopholes that lead to exploitation of undocumented(s) by unscrupulous citizens -who are supposedly upright and law abiding. We need to be punitive with those businessmen and women who routinely break the immigration laws and suborn lawbreaking by those who are out of status. It is a two way street here.
We need to raise the numbers as it relates to granting temporary workers legal status. We need to raise the numbers as it relates to true refugees fleeing victimization, civil rights abuses, racial oppression, religious prosecution, political despotism, human rights violations, genocide and the like. We also need to clear up the unhealthy backlog that has been facing the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for decades now.
We need to do these and many other valid reforms like last year, so you see the urgency. Instead, we have the continuous petty squabbling that has made Congress the biggest joke since Sarah Palin’s last Saturday Night Live (NBC) appearance.
Look, we must be sensitive to Hispanics on this issue, but they in turn must be willing to offer constructive proposals to address the real fears and concerns of most Americans today. No reform will be meaningful without solidifying the borders of this country. And no reform will make sense if we have to go down this road again in another quarter century: remember, we did this in 1986. The provisions on the law books that will minimize these problems are there to be enforced; it’s time to be serious about enforcing them.
Stay tuned-in folks.
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