Monday, April 03, 2006

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor...

Our current war in Iraq and our fear of terrorism has made that once hopeful inscription on the Statue of Liberty resemble something more like a tombstone for a dearly departed dream. I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher last night (great show by the way) and the hot topic yesterday, as you might have already guessed, was immigration. The imminent passage of a bill affecting US immigration laws has focused the public's attention on immigrants on this country, specifically Mexicans.

I haven’t quite chosen a position on all of this but I’ve been highly influenced by arguments such as those made by Maddox, the insulting pirate. Back to Bill Maher, though. He posed a question on his show that I’d like to pose to you all. If fifty-six percent of illegal immigrants in this country were from Europe as opposed to Mexico, would things be different? I’d also like to hear what people think of the issue in general. Get at me folks!

7 comments:

Brother Lightness said...

If 56% of illegal immigrants in this country were from Europe they would be called settlers -- better yet, colonists. Oops.

Brother Lightness said...

..And their descendants would be called our "founding fathers".

Damn, immigrating from Europe has it's privileges.

Brother Whiteness said...

Brother Lightness, you are spot on in your remarks. Instead of wasting time and energy trying to stop immigrants from coming to this country in search of a better life (read: better jobs, schools, etc, just as most of our ancestors did, we should all be striving to improve. The United States did not become the super power it is by being content with the status quo and trying to hold on. If an immigrant from Mexico wants to come to the U.S. and work for minimum wage (or less) at WalMart, let them come. We owe it to ourselves and our ancestors to welcome that 'competition' and commit to ourselves to being better. In turn, I'd hope those immigrants would do the same making room for the next generation of immigrants to take the entry-level jobs while they have moved up ladder.
This topic lends itself to another topic relating to employment and jobs in the U.S. -- outsourcing. The debate in the most recent years has been regarding mostly customer service and IT types of jobs where large U.S. and multinational corporations have closed down call centers and technology support divisions in the U.S and reopened them India and other parts of Southeast Asia. I see these two debates in a very similar light and will spare you all from repeating my argument, but am curious to hear people's thoughts on this related issue as well as on the original topic.

qwerty said...

Europeans, eh? Let's say that 56% was Ukrainian and they chose to retain their culture and speak their language, created their own communities to such an extent that all communications from the governmnent and local business had to be in two different languages, elementary schools were taught in their language and this was spread out across 4 or 5 states... ya damn straight this would also happen!

If they do pass the bill I hope they head on up to Buffalo, NY and Detroit, Michigan! Somethin' just ain't right up that if you know what I mean.

This article mentions a scuffle between black and Hispanic students which is my interest in this issue. I have often wondered how the black population feels ever since the census proclaimed Hispanics/Latinos the largest minorities and Mexico's President said "[Illegal mexicans] do the jobs that even blacks won't do." I wonder how many blacks back this bill. I'd like to know the overall black perspective on this.

bwapoi said...

It makes white Americans nervous to see that the population of blacks and browns is ever growing. As whites are not replacing them selves as fruitfully as we are, they are trying to make up for it by controlling who gets into our country. For fear of no longer being the majority they make it near impossible for black or brown immigrants to enter America. If you will take notice to the color of the terrorists of "911", how hard was it for them come in?

RAK said...

"Brother whiteness"? What's going on with that name? I (fellow white person. I'm going to assume you're white) find it quite odd, honestly.

Also, we've oversimplified the white immigration issue. Though white ethnics have created a cult of ethnic identification within whiteness to create a false new American identity (see: Ethnic Options by Mary Waters), they were not necessarily "founding fathers".

Doug Massey had an interesting NY Times op-ed on why immigration is now a popular subject. I say it is a popular subject because the republicans needed to find something, ANYTHING, to change the topic.

The US has a history of reactionary and racist laws surrounding immigration, from the quotas of the 1920s that lasted till 1965 to the gentlemen's agreement at the turn of the century. This currently debate, is sadly, not very new to the US. And if there is anything to learn from earlier immigrations, it is that restrictive laws are idiotic, dangerous, and just plain bad.

Vasco said...

yea...most definitely.

But I'm not sold on the idea that if most of them are latino, everything is ok...

My full thoughts here:
http://www.diseducation.com/newsletter/?p=103