Monday, May 01, 2006

Undocumented Racism Clouds Issues

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.

9 comments:

TrappedInColorado said...

Leesa! This was well said. I agree with your thoughts on this subject except for Laura Bush swallowing. I doubt very much if she even touches that scoundral anymore. It's rumored she uses a strap on so no part of her body comes in direct contact with his. Will this pop up on the CIA computer scanning database? Wanna share a lawyer? :)

Peace

ken said...

naughty last statement..smiling...it is a problem, among MANY inthis country...i remember living in houston mid 70s. shocked at the masses who could not speak english...even more so now 30 years alter...

the real crux is US, the consumer...I HATE WAL-MART, a company that has shut down scores of small businesses with their cheap imported goods...they would not succeed if we didnt buy...

we outsource goods to thrid world countries, including mexico, we hire "cash" workers for cheap, we think the object is to pay as little as we can for what we purchase...as our economy slowly crumbles..

i am not prejudiced except against molesters and abusers...

we are fickle, we are double standard, we are ignorant of much of how the rest of the world lives.

i love this country! immigration should be legal..period...if a person enters illegally, has a child while here, that child is now a u.s. citizen with rights. that is WRONG.

government will never solve or porblems or be dependable....it is WE who create our own world...

Leesa said...

trapped: I will plea insanity. Not sure you want to do the same thing.

ken: sometimes these "cheap" workers are actually more expensive when you consider other costs - healthcare if they do not have insurance, other infrastructure that has to be paid, etc.

Leesa said...

trapped: I will plea insanity. Not sure you want to do the same thing.

ken: sometimes these "cheap" workers are actually more expensive when you consider other costs - healthcare if they do not have insurance, other infrastructure that has to be paid, etc.

Puffin said...

This debate has many interesting points in both directions. There is always more to every issue than most people think of...For example. " The illegals immigrants" are taking American Jobs. Recently the argument has been that Americans don't want those jobs. Then i think of all the high school kids who are sittin gat home behind a computer posting crap up on MYSPACE. My first job was minimum wage, and I wasn't working at McDonalds. Those high school kids aren't gettig the opportunity to learn a trade just as carpentry or farming, They can't get the jobs at the burger King or McDonalds either...Those jobs are all taken.

You're point about them costing healthcare is an excellent one too.

I only think of my grandparents and how hard it was for them...The price they paid was worth their freedom.

Leesa said...

puffin: I think some Americans want the jobs. Take construction - a lot of young men would love to do this!

Pyrhonik said...

Bugging the Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or English by confusing them is a lot of fun. I work with guys from each and the daily banter is sometimes the highlight!

On a planet with several billion people I believe that there will always be pockets of absolutely everything. Certainly makes for an interesting world at times. Politics, intolerance, ignorance, and violence otherwise.

Pyrhonik said...
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