Tuesday, April 11, 2006
So, I've been more or less trying to avoid the illegal immigrant thingie. I have a real hard time caring about the plight of the people who broke the law to get here and now find their life slightly more inconvenient than their life would've been had they followed the law. I feel a certain annoyance that these folks who broke the law to get here because their home country sucked so much would show pride in their home country. I feel another kind of annoyance that these folks who broke the law to get here now want political power to control the way the law impacts others, considering how little concern they had for it themselves. I feel a huge amount of annoyance at those who continually try to hide the issue by conflating legal and illegal immigrants, talking about "hard work," and so on.
I also feel annoyance at the way newspapers treat these protests. Those demanding California be returned to the country that these folks broke the law to escape somehow manage to avoid media mention. So do those calling for the expulsion of white people.
This story, for instance, is headlined "Hundreds Demonstrate for Human Rights." That seems like a pretty severe judgement call, and probably doesn't belong in a headline. After all, folks involved in this protest do, among other things, call for the expulsion of a race from America, call for the expulsion of Jews from Israel, and, in some cases, claim murder is an appropriate way to achieve political goals. I think a comment like "human rights" belongs in quotes.
One caption reads:
Rally participants marched around Berkeley on Monday afternoon in support of global civil rights, waving flags from Mexico, Palestine and the U.S. in a show of solidarity.
According to the Patriot folks, there was only one flag from the U.S. (Actually, it was probably from China or somewhere else in Asia)
"You might be confused by the two demonstrations going on today, but both movements are protesting the dehumanization of people across the world," said lecturer Hatem Bazian, who cancelled his class Monday to speak at the protest. "There is a Palestine in every city."
Disciplinary hearings for Bazian for refusing to teach the class he was paid to teach promptly followed. Oh, wait, nevermind.
The Daily Cal is still unhappy about the timing. Nothing satisfies them.
It was also two weeks overdue.
Of course, the blame doesn't lie entirely with the groups that planned the event-one of those weeks was spring break, after all.
Rene Flores has more complaints.
In order for them to gain political rights (i.e. apply for citizenship), they would have to keep a clean record for 11 years, have a stable job and knowledge of English and civics. Thus, the long delay in obtaining full rights would legalize the state of vulnerability and political disempowerment that undocumented communities find themselves in.
Wow! A long process to become a citizen! How unfair for illegal immigrants. So, just as a reminder, how long is this process if you're a legal immigrant?
When this voice was expressed (in the historical demonstrations in Los Angeles), like it would be in a democratic system, it provoked the anger of many of those involved in the official debate, controlled by xenophobic militant groups (such as the border vigilantes), a timid liberal establishment, a sensationalist media that profits from shock and fear (led by Lou Dobbs), agribusinesses and hotel owners bent on maintaining access to a vast pool of low-wage, exploitable workers, and its Washington allies.
Xenophobic militant groups, such as the "Return to Mexico" types. Or... uh... well, we'd better not mention them. Let's also not mention that the anger provoked also occurs "like it would be in a democratic system."
Who does it benefit to keep entire communities of tax-paying, hard-working individuals disenfranchised from politics, in a state of permanent vulnerability?
Apparently everyone, because otherwise, folks wouldn't keep on coming. The letter has a bunch of complaints about how bad illegals have it, and how their voice doesn't matter or some such, but frankly, they keep coming, so they apparently don't care.
Ironically, undocumented immigrants not only subsidize a system where they have no political representation but one that vilifies them and creates entire government agencies designed to prosecute them (such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service). This goes beyond taxation without representation; it is taxation for one's own criminalization.
Yet it's still better than their alternative. By the way, the INS does a lot more than prosecute illegal immigrants. Or did. Does it still exist? I thought we blew it up or something.
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