Our country’s illegal immigration policies, or lack thereof, are little more than a bad joke. Our borders are sieves and our ability to track non-permanent foreign nationals is minimal. Is this what Americans want?
What you believe – or perhaps it is more aptly stated as “what you feel” – about this issue depends largely on who and what you think you are. Skin color, class, income, place of birth, and even your name play a role in how you view the issue. But should it?
I’m a white middle-class male who was born in the U.S – that I’m against illegal immigration goes without saying, doesn’t it? I am, in fact, against it. But is that all there is for me to say? Hardly.
For me, discretion may be the better part of valor on this issue. In truth I’ve avoided it for a long time because I married into a Hispanic family. Anything I say is bound to offend some or all of my in-laws. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. This conclusion was validated by my mother-in-law a couple of weeks back when she happened to bring the issue up with me. Happily, her views were lucid, rational, and essentially gave me permission to write this piece.
To begin with, the incredibly popular and incredibly stupid notion that must be addressed is this: white people, because they constitute the bulk of the oppressing class, have no right to comment on or demand resolution of issues and problems related to race and ethnicity.
First of all, despite our relatively lower birth rates, we honkies make up around 2/3 of this country’s population. Does this mean that we should check our beliefs at the door and deny ourselves a voice in the debate because of our skin color?
No. It’s fuzzy, feel-good thinking that leads to that conclusion. Our obligation is the same as that of minority citizens: to propose and support logical, far-sighted plan(s) that will yield the best possible long-term outcomes for U.S. citizens.
Note the deliberate re-use of the word “citizen” in the preceding paragraph. Non-citizens should not have a voice in this or any other debate that takes place on the political stage.
Why? Because non-citizens are, at the moment at least, best categorized as being “other” than us, by which I mean all Americans. Foreign nationals have foreign ties and loyalties and have not fully cast their lot in with America; therefore, their rights are inherently fewer than ours in the political arena. Does that seem right? I think it does.
Unfortunately, illegal immigrants do, in fact, have a substantial voice in the illegal immigration debate.
How this possible given that they cannot vote is the topic of another post.
For now, consider: Is this the way you want things to be? We have an election coming up in 5 weeks – act accordingly.