Immigration. I have been very concerned about recent immigration debates because no matter what people say, they sound like they contain subtle racism undertones. And some not so subtle. But before I begin, I want to say that I really am not that political of a person – I mean, when Clinton was president and politics included facials, stained dresses and plump interns, politics held my interest. Now, not so much.
First, I think the issues concerning immigration are being muddled. When I think of immigration issues, I think about the number of people the US admits legally from each country. But when people talk about the “immigration issue,” I have a feeling they are talking about “undocumented workers.”
I should pause and explain why I use the term “undocumented workers.” I have heard the term “illegal aliens”or “illegals”, “undocumented workers” and “migrant workers” used interchangeably, but those terms are not really interchangeable. Perhaps reporters and political pendants like to vary their words, perhaps they are using terms to bolster their hidden agendas, or perhaps they don’t know the difference. I don’t know. Some people argue that people cannot be labeled as illegal – and I sort of get that. Their actions may break laws; but it does not change them otherwise. Okay, it may change their status in this country. Do people that speed consider themselves lawbreakers? Most probably don't. I have heard people say that speeding laws are stupid; perhaps people who cross into this country illegally feel the same way. Again, I am talking over my head here.
I have known two people who, technically, were in this country illegally. Neither one of them was Hispanic. One was from Ireland – actually he was from Scotland, but I always said he was from Ireland because it drove him nuts. I used to say he was from Wales, but that didn't seem to bother him as much. There must be some history between Ireland and Scotland. I must have been asleep when it was discussed in Social Studies.
I have heard many people say that they wouldn't mind giving citizenship to undocumented workers if (1) they paid taxes, and (2) they learned English. Now I know some people who I think would be far less of a problem if I could not communicate with them. So if I were queen, the pain-in-the-butt people would not have to learn English. Furthermore, pain-in-the-butt English speakers would have to forget English. I recommend electric shock therapy for this. Heck, I would launch a career to accomplish this myself. Think about the job satisfaction you could get by being able to shock the crap out of annoying people. I am thinking recruitment would not be a problem. Sorry, everything turns out to be a joke for me.
Does it matter if undocumented workers paid taxes and learned English? I mean, we are selecting someone that purposefully broke the law for, and I know this is a generalization, economic gains. Seems to me that we are selecting people for citizenship who have no problem breaking the law for money. Well, I guess the founding fathers were rule- and law-breakers as well. Maybe we want the same now.
You know, I keep typing and typing and not making much sense. Sort of like this debate. Seems to me that when we talk about undocumented workers, most people think about Hispanic people picking strawberries in California. Or harvesting fruit and vegetables across the US – maybe putting up houses in your neighborhood. I know, Americans won't take these jobs. But then I see this Oprah show a week or so ago that shows people on minimum wage working two and three jobs. No health insurance, seems like a lower standard of living. Do these Americans not want these types of jobs? Oh, they already have them.
I have gotten to the end and don't know what I have said. Again, looks like a political debate to me. I do see racism in the words people use – how "those people" are harming the US. Or how "they have to learn English." Or how they should not learn English. Both seem to subtlety say either (1) I don't like people different than me, or (2) these people are too stupid to learn English. Oh, well. It would be a lot easier if we were talking about President Bush receiving blow jobs in the White House. I mean, from someone other than Laura Bush. See, Laura looks like a lady that likes to swallow.