Immigration is one of the most vexing problems in the ever-increasing list of vexing problems in America. It has festered for almost as long as we’ve been a nation and attempts at reform are as successful as Middle East peace talks. It is the albatross around every president’s neck and the cue for every Congress to go on vacation.
Polls suggest large swaths of the country get their news from faux newsers Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Well, except the far righties who get their news from the faux newsers on Faux News, but that’s a whole other post.
It’s no wonder, Stewart is less biased than most real anchorbots and he’s a master at repeatedly demonstrating that technologically-challenged politicians still don’t get the concept that video never goes away.
Damn that infernal TV contraption!
Colbert – who isn’t a Republican, but plays one on TV – refers to the “truthiness” of his news, which is an unfair assessment. His news is usually far more truth(FULL) than the “real” stuff.
That might be the reason Colbert is scheduled to testify before the House Immigration Subcommittee on Friday.
He’ll appear in character to testify about his experiences after interviewing United Farm Workers President, Arturo Rodriguez, on his show. Rodriguez invited the President of the Cobert Nation to participate in the UFWs Take Our Jobs Initiative – a program that asks regular American softies to apply for jobs as farm workers. The UFW provides training to erstwhile farm workers so they can replace immigrants in the fields. It’s meant as a not-so-subtle bit of hyperbole to answer claims that farm workers are stealing American jobs.
“Somehow, undocumented workers are getting as much blame for our economic troubles as Wall Street, but missing from the immigration debate is an honest recognition that the food we all eat at home, in restaurants and work-place cafeterias, including those in the Capitol, comes to us from the labor of undocumented workers,” Rodriguez said. “According to the federal government, more than 50 percent of the workers laboring are undocumented.”
I once knew a man who traveled all over the world after his retirement as an air traffic controller to play amateur migrant farm worker. He picked oranges in California, avacados in Australia, and tomatoes in Wisconsin. He even had the business cards to prove it. But, that’s a whole other post too.
I’m sure Colbert’s testimony will be just as hilarious as say, Alberto Gonzales’ “I’m sorry, but I can’t recall that particular felony Senator” deny-a-thon during the Bush the Lesser™ administration. However, it’s still a sad state of affairs that Americans have so monumentally wigged out over issues like immigration that we’re better off depending on a comedian to tell us the truth – at least a different “truth” than Jan Brewer can muster.
What’s next the cartoon version of the Constitution?
Arizona passed a law to crack down on illegal immigrants. Sure, it’s stupid, unenforceable, and mean-spirited. It’s criticized as racist with at least some justification and it promotes profiling. Backers say they did it because the Federal government has fallen down on the job and has been unable to “seal” the border and say it’s not racist, prohibits profiling, and will dramatically cut illegal immigration.
Few could legitimately argue that the Feds have done a splendid job enforcing immigration laws – not just during this administration, but going back through several Democan and Republicrat administrations. Equal opportunity ineptitude if you will.
Are Ya Fer Us or Agin Us?
There’s a plethora of arguments for and against:
- What are we going to do with the illegals already here?
- How are we going to “seal” the border anyway? The French already tried something similar to keep the Germans out, can you say Maginot Line?
- Who’s going to do all the work Americans don’t want to do?
- Employing illegals is just another way of exporting American jobs – presumably the ones Americans do want, but that don’t seem to fit the profile of your average illegal immigrant farm worker?
- People from Canada aren’t beating the doors down to get in, what’s up with the Latinos.
- It’s the responsibility of business to stop hiring them.
- It’s the responsibility of the state to stop them and turn them over to the Dept. of Homeland Insecurity who will deport them just in time to catch the next Coyote limo out of Mexicali for the late shift at the avocado grove.
- It’s the Feds responsibility to act like a small government and arrest them. Although it is a little confusing to be a small government and run around picking up people were minding their own business.
- It’s up to militias to take the law into their own hands, because, well, it just KICK’S ASS!
Sure, some of those positions are a load of crap, but others have value. But the thing is, the nation is split yet again over something that means absolutely bupkis and is no closer to solving the problem than we’ve ever been.
Here’s the thing. It’s not exactly clear exactly what the law does that’s much different than it’s ever been. Police always could stop people and ask for ID if there was probable cause – probable cause being anything from doing 36 in a 35 zone to wearing an AK47 as you try to board the Southwest flight to Amarillo.
Opponents of the law say it promotes profiling. True, despite the Hokie Mom’s claims that it specifically prohibits profiling. Right, “you betcha.”
But profiling has gone on since the first cop stalked the first criminal and as much as we are loathe to admit it, it actually serves some useful purposes. The trick is restricting it appropriately so that we don’t roll up every Tom, Dick, and Harry because they have brown skin, white skin, or a sort of mauve one – anything other than white, because everyone knows whites are genetically incapable of committing any crimes other than the white collar sort.
Opponents say it’s racist, and it sure looks that way, but it’s no more racist than the current laws. Cracker sheriffs always could arrest someone for breathing while being a minority. It’s not right, but it happens and the new law doesn’t change that one bit. Net gain to net loss – zero.
Man Up Racists, Embrace You Gooberness
And some advice to the law’s backers – don’t act so damned put out when you do something that you know – without a shadow of a doubt – will cause you to be labeled a racist if you don’t like to be called a racist. That’s just dumb. If you really think what you’re doing is right and you truly believe it’s the way of the world that Mexicans can only be pool boys, man up and own the word. Because after all, it’s a word – nothing more, nothing less.
So here we are with a new law that codifies something already practiced. Some police will enforce it as a Godsend from the scourge of dangerous foreign lettuce pickers. Others will refuse to enforce it because, well, it’s stupid. Lawsuits will fly. Federal, state, and local government will spend untold dollars and huge amounts of time on a law designed to reinforce the status quo while the Gulf of Mexico turns the consistency of grease in a McDonalds deep fat fryer and we’re bailing out companies that are simultaneously too big, too small, and just right to fail.
And the illegals?
They’ll keep coming and going like they always have.
- Clarence B. Jones: Charges of Racism for Criticism of Illegal Immigration Is No Substitute for Effective Border Enforcement (huffingtonpost.com)
- America’s Part in Cinco De Mayo History (pamil-visions.net)
- Mexico Is A Dangerous Place…Third In An Occasional Series (minx.cc)
- Even crazy Mexican-hater Tancredo thinks AZ immigration law goes too far (trueslant.com)
- Some Hispanic Americans hope law deters illegal immigration (cnn.com)
- Both sides in Arizona’s immigration debate use crime argument (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Congressman urges feds to fight Arizona’s Gestapo immigration law (capitolhillblue.com)
- Arizona law sparks calls for action on immigration (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Poll: Majority Backs Arizona Immigration Bill (cbsnews.com)
- Bart Motes: Arizona’s Immigration Law is Racist (I Hope) (huffingtonpost.com)