On immigration and fear

To my good friends–

Last evening I saw something new here: an unprotected border means that the criminal element can make use of that, too. But then, we have ways of catching criminals here, and a fence and an orderly immigration policy won’t prevent them from doing us harm. They could always waft anthrax in on the winds. The truth then becomes that we want to protect ourselves not from “terrorists” (however we might choose to define or not define that term), but from the hordes of poor Mexicans. What then do we fear? That they will overrun us and we will have to learn Spanish? That we will not have enough jobs for ourselves? That they will corrupt (meaning change) our ever-changing culture?

There is a fear of people coming here “illegally.” What does that mean? It means simply that we have set up a way for people to enter the country and these people have circumvented it. Now that raises the question, Why? Why have they circumvented it, and Why do we think this is bad? The issue is on both sides. Perhaps the rules are more restrictive than they ought to be. Perhaps whatever rules we have they will ignore. Perhaps we have something here that is more important to them than breaking a few rules. Perhaps they have no in-bred respect for rules. Perhaps our quotas for their country are too low. Perhaps we fear them. Perhaps we could do something to make it better in their country so they would not want to come here. Perhaps we have a moral duty to do so. I do not know the answer and neither does anyone involved. Only together can we hope to find the better questions, and some ways to live together in this world.

For that is the object isn’t it, to live together? What would we do if there were a million Mexicans dying? Would we not send aid and food and medicines? What if that catastrophe threatened the lives of people in this country? Would we not send troops because a weapon of mass destruction threatened us? So if we must live together, if we do not want to see people dying on the other side of the fence because we would not open our hands, then ought we not be about the business of meeting person to person?

I don’t think I want people to blend in. I want to be challenged; actually I need to be challenged.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on May 16th, 2006 | No Comments »

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