Wednesday, May 03, 2006

In which I expose the extreme profundity of my bleeding heartedness

1. What would the US look like if we gave all the illegal immigrants amnesty?

2. In what way would things change if the US national anthem were sung in more than one language?

Frankly, I'm shocked that even my gay brethren are "offended" by the translation of the anthem. Honestly, it's the same argument people are giving to prevent gay marriage - that adding a new version to the existing one somehow sullies the original. I don't get it. How does the translation of the song, and the subsequent singing of it affect you? Why are people choosing to be outraged? Utterly pointless, in my opinion.

And my heart was with every one of those protesters on Monday. Having lived my own illegal immigration story, I can definitely put myself in their shoes. And what a specious argument that the fact that they entered "illegally" renders them undeserving of any special consideration. Come on now, there really was no other legal avenue for them to enter. Do you think the US is just handing out immigration papers to people who are simply qualified for basic manual labor? If you do, you better go do some homework. The only hope for the poor and unskilled is the immigration lottery. Sorry, but the immigration lottery doesn't have enough spots to satisfy the labor demands in the US. Specious. (We need them here but we're not going to acknowledge that, we're going to vilify them for being here)

Those of us who were lucky enough to be born on US soil should be thanking these people, not threatening to fire them for not showing up to work on Monday. We've had it way easier than these people, and it only takes the weest bit of open mindedness/compassion to realize it.

Compassion people, say it with me.

(Just to make you love me more: English is one of many languages that have been spoken within US borders since the country's birth. What would the US look like if English and Spanish were the two official languages? Wouldn't that be an enriching experience for everybody? I just don't get the knee-jerk hostile and negative reactions. It must be fear based.)

13 comments:

t said...

Yes, I'd imagine that hostility from having two official languages would be fear-based. And I don't even know how much things would really change. Maybe not much, or maybe much more than I realize.
I know if the national anthem were sung in more than one language, we'd never get a baseball game started. We'd probably have to include lots of languages!

Snooze said...

I can understand people getting upset over the whole 'illegal' part, but I'm amazed to hear the fury that some are expressing. Like you said, there is a need for manual labour that the US can't fill. What do people expect?

Christie said...

I know one thing. The immigration answer is NOT to make these people felons! You got here by making a decision to leave your homeland and family for a place unknown. You take "under the table" jobs such as maids and daily laborors. You live together in squalor with a many others in a nation that doesn't respect you. All for what? Peace? Opportunity? "The American Dream"? Is it really worth it? You bet it is!

And if America was just as strict with their immigration laws a couple generations ago, most of us wouldn't be here today.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you 100%. It is sad to repeatedly see how the ultra conservative platform seems to run hand in hand with fear and hate mongering. Nothing in life is so black and white as that. Those attitudes are what have caused so many of our world problems. The very people who claim to make war in the name of peace, are the ones perpetuating fear and hate. Hope you slept:)Devo

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

I so am in sync with you on this issue. This idiotic fundamentalism extends to treating a song as though it's holy writ. By the way, a good definition of fundamentalism: It's no fun, and it's all mental.
DEL

Rebekah said...

Lots of conversation about this in good old California. Here's the deal. Until the big businesses and the rich folk who can't live without maids get dinged and dinged big time for hiring people "under the table," NOTHING will change.

I have so much more to say on this subject. It's not all or nothing. There are two sides to this, and our immigration policies are seriously f--ed up.

If the real criminals, the ones that pay less than living wage, that continue to hire and fire illegal immigrants at their whim, were not allowed to do so, the problem would be immediately minimized.

I'm not talking about the people who are already here. That's something else that must be addressed.

Again, it's not simple, and I don't think a solution exists that would satisfy anyone.

GayProf said...

Since greedy Americans forcibly made it part of the U.S. in 1848, New Mexico has always operated with two official languages: Spanish and English. All government documents and services, according to state law, must be available in both. The state song (Yes, there is one) is written and performed in both languages. The state seems to have done just fine. Plus, we get to feel smug towards our other xenophobic citizens.

epicurist said...

I can see this was stemmed from a blogger we both read regularly. I am in agreement with you. Don't have time to comment more, but will.

Em said...

Hey, it's another great wedge issue! Don't cloud this discussion with fact, we need 6 more years of republicans in office so we won't have anything left in the country to fight over.

Perplexio said...

It's not a fear issue, it's a lack of respect issue-- I'll explain in a moment. But I want to preface my comments by saying I honestly understand both sides of this issue and am rather torn by it myself.

Think of all the people in the United States who are Legal Resident Aliens, my wife is actually such a person, my in-laws are such people, and the wife of one of my best friends also falls into this category. They came here legally. They're doing things "by the book." They're paying money into the system, they have social security numbers, they pay taxes-- the full monty.

Getting US citizenship legally is NOT an easy thing. What kind of messagge does it send all of the people who are legal resident aliens, documented law-abiding people if our country is willing to grant amnesty to the millions of people who came here illegally?

Whether it's intended or not, the message is "we're going to punish all of the people who did it the right and legal way-- it's still going to be just as difficult for them to become citizens, but we're going to reward all of these millions of people who broke the law to get here with amnesty."

Can you see why certain people are getting riled up? The people most upset about this it seems are those who most recently became citizens or are legal resident aliens who would like to become citizens. They've busted their ass to do it the right way, and now the powers that be in Washington (and this is a bipartisan effort-- there are plenty of both Democrats and Republicans who support amnesty for the illegals-- even Bush supports amnesty for the illegals, so I don't get where some of this Republican hate is coming from on this issue, on other issues, I certainly get it, but not this one) want to just give these millions who chose to circumvent the law amnesty. That's kind of a slap in the face...

Does that make sense?-

Donna said...

the lords of the restaurant company I work for sent out two emails in spanish that said essentially "if you don't show up on Monday we will assume your papers are fraudulant and investigate further". Makes you real proud to work here! I spent much time behind the scenes telling "the guys" that nothing would really happen, that was just an idle threat. (almost EVERYONE is illegal, that would deplete our work force) Then we got a new email from the Calif Rest. Assoc that said be careful how you discipline your workers about Monday's absense, don't be harsher than usual or they can sue you.........after that the powers that be decided to ask who did not care to work and things got a lot more civilized!? Sheeeeeesh!
p.s can we talk about the price of gas next?

Em said...

From what I hear, a lot of the employers are quietly backing the boycotts because the proposed law would hurt them too.

Perplexio, I mean no disrespect to your people. I also have close people who are busting their asses to get in. But I'm pretty sure the US economy would take a tremendous hit if all the people picking crops (to choose one industry) suddenly weren't here. For me, that is the huge elephant in the living room that no one is discussing. It isn't fair that some people have to work their asses off to get here, but some people can't get in at all (Hi, Torn's spouse) and others don't have a snowball's chance in hell. I think that if I was lucky enough to have a legal way into a country I would take that way. And I might not care what someone else did because I didn't want to take those risks. But the US economy lures those illegal people in, and then the politicians demonize the people instead of working to change the reason they can come. That seems dishonest to say the least.

Perplexio said...

em: My wife's objections to amnesty are much stronger than my own. I still have quite a strong ambivalence on this issue. I understand and respect her arguments but I also understand and respect the illegals arguments. It's a testy issue and because it's been handled so poorly in the past, our politicians have reached a point where they're looking for the "right solution" where there isn't a "right" solution any longer. There's just a series of different solutions which will positively impact some portions of the population and negatively impact other portions... We've gotten to this point now due to inaction in the past.