Tuesday, May 02, 2006

But what about the children?

With all this talk of deporting illegal immigrants (read Hispanics) going round and round, hardly anyone is talking about the children who are left in the middle of all this. Women leave Central and South America in search of a better life and more money to send home to their kids and whoever is taking care of them.

There are news stories and book out that inform us that the children aren't necessarily staying behind, patiently waiting to see if their mom's will ever return.

The journey is hard for the Mexicans but harder still for Enrique and the others from Central America. They must make an illegal and dangerous trek up the length of Mexico. Counselors and immigration lawyers say only half of them get help from smugglers. The rest travel alone. They are cold, hungry and helpless. They are hunted like animals by corrupt police, bandits and gang members deported from the United States. A University of Houston study found that most are robbed, beaten or raped, usually several times. Some are killed.

I don't believe deportation solves much in cases where families have been law-abiding citizens for the past 15 years. The murderers, gang lords, rapists and so forth are the exception of course but deporting them back to "wherever they came from" only works to inflict the same social ills on their home country as they were doing here where in many cases, punishment is not forthcoming or even in existence wherever that may be.

Now about this argument that illegal immigrants are stealing our jobs. Huh? If the opportunity didn't exist in such a society as ours, we wouldn't be able to use that line of bullshit. The bigger problem is not the people who will work for cheap and tax-free, regardless from which country they hail, but the societal economy that provides such opportunities. Can we say Capitalism? Nothing in our country is ever as easy as finger pointing at individuals or groups of people, especially where the economy is concerned.

My answer is if you don't want illegal immigrants to "steal" jobs, start requiring (demanding even) all American businesses to pay a living wage. And while we're at it, how about increasing the national minimum wage, too?

I say let our government start deporting illegal immigrants and then they'll see just how integral they are to our way of life and national economy. Like a caller said on The Russ Parr Morning Show this morning, if it weren't for "illegal’s", New Orleans would still be a standing mountain of rubble and water damaged buildings. Hell, the very meat that you buy in your local grocery store is probably cut up and packaged by illegal immigrants, yes?

For those of you who don't seem to notice the eerie parallels between this movement and the Civil Rights Movement back in the 60's, go back and brush up on your history. (Yes, I know it had been happening for hundreds of years before this, but I'm specifically referring to the intense movement that completely shook up the U.S. when Dr. King and many others organized individuals into one large singularly impactful movement.)

How about this:
"We remind the gringos that they are a country of immigrants. The work that gringos don't like to do is being done by Mexicans," said marcher Felipe Gomez, 50.
He's right. The United States of America is made entirely of people who were once immigrants themselves. Those immigrants, our Founding Fathers, made sure they almost completely eradicated the Native's who lived here before they did. Our beloved Thomas Jefferson was known to practice "miscegenation" and believed white men having sex (or raping as was usually the case) with black women slaves would dilute the African race, eventually wiping out their skin color completely. So is it any surprise to see history repeating itself once again? The gringo's in the White House don't seem to be getting the message.

They are just as much a part of this country as I am and they did something very American yesterday: they exercised their right to free speech and a peaceful protest.

Where are all the children in this debate?