March 31, 2009

Immigration! Quotas! Immigration Quotas!

Danz, that sorry bastard who never updates from Get Him A Mask, has written a wonderful essay on immigration. He, being Floridian and having a girlfriend/wife/owner from another country and all, is way more into immigration issues than I am. It's not that I'm not at all, he just...knows things I don't. He wrote about the DREAM Act some time ago and now he's written a scholarship essay. I've got permissions to post a tiny excerpt here. The penes sing!

Before I go on to its excellentness though, strangely enough something happened today to just randomly coincide with this. In my African American Hist class, which is slowly beginning to disappoint (I'm making it better though), we're talking about causes of the Great Depression and the New Deal. Joy.

So one of the causes we listed was the US's open policy on immigration--you know, where we basically said "y'all come on". Well about the 20s or 30s we placed that wonderful immigration quota down where X amount of folks can come from Y country. I believe there was also the gentleman's agreement with Japan during that time, or it may have come later (I fail at teh researchings, trying!).

Anyway, I think it's important to note that the US has actually imposed a few immigration quotas, basically whenever some nativist group decides we have enough ______s in the country, they're taking up jobs, fucking up wages, etc. Hm. Is that valid? I suppose. The thing is, my teacher mentioned that she agreed with immigration quotas and that disturbed me a bit and I can't quite point why.

Supposedly we don't have immigration quotas anymore, except for them Mexicans crossin' the border, taking up jobs, fucking up wages, etc. I don't agree with quotas because, like all theories that need to remain just that, it doesn't take long to fuck them up. You say we need to limit the number of people coming into the country, fine, but who do we limit? We ultimately end up limiting "undesirables" or people that don't look like us or aren't us. It happened with southern & eastern Europeans, Asians, Africans, Irish and groups I'm probably not even thinking of. I'm not even sure if I can get behind the idea of a quota because honestly it kinda boggles me. That doesn't mean it's not a good idea, but...well I already said that.

So on to the extra special excerpt. If this doesn't get any college money please join me in burning down some houses.

The American government’s efforts during the time of the Great Depression under Hoover’s command focused on the prevailing public viewpoint that immigrants were to be blamed for the loss of jobs and downfall of the economy, and so led to the Repatriation efforts. The efforts consisted of the coercion to voluntarily repatriate and/or forcible removal and deportation of not only 500,000 people of Mexican origin, only 20% of whom were in the country illegally, but several million people of European origin as well. These anti-immigrant sentiments have never left. Bearing in mind that there has always been a bias against “outsiders,” which has led to the aforementioned atrocities, amongst others, making an arguable case in the favor of curbing immigration or having harsher legislation to deal with illegal immigration inevitably will lead to accusations of racism, xenophobia, and nativism, which, though sometimes unfairly abused as attacks on people who may have legitimately well-thought out reasons, is also not entirely untrue.


To say that there is any one solution to these issues would be a disservice to the obvious complexity that such an issue presents and a disrespect for the lives that depend on there to be responsible, considerate thought to be put into creating an appropriate immigration policy. And, yes, the United States needs a reformed set of immigration laws. Ones that do not exploit the workers that are invited by the opportunity and promise of the “American Dream,” but also do not ignore the sovereignty of the United States. ...We already live in an essentially borderless world, and to say otherwise is to ignore the obvious economic connections and changes that have taken place over the past decade.

That's my brother!

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