I've largely avoided getting too wordy about this issue, since I, like so many others, know innumerable Latino aliens who are good, honest people. Knowing them and interacting with them makes it easy to somehow overlook the fact that they are (to use my sister's words) flouting the laws of this country.
She asks these questions with pointed looks towards her two older brothers, both of whom just happen to be members of the 101st Fighting KeyBees. With that challenge, I herewith present my Male Answer Syndrome-induced rejoinders:
First of all, what is it about the current legal procedure for immigration that makes it so difficult? Money? Resistance from their home governments? Takes too long? Is the process somehow otherwise really really difficult? Money doesn't make sense, because it seems many stories of illegal immigration involve giving your life savings - thousands of dollars - over to some creepy person who will smuggle you into the country if they don't kill you first. Government resistance would suggest that those government should then shut up about the way we're treating any immigrants. Or ask for them back. Or something. Does anybody know the process well enough to explain it to me?
'Fraid not. I don't really understand it all that well myself. I do know that the "process" (whatever that may be) is lengthy, tiresome, expensive, and requires some level of cooperation between governments. For that reason alone many choose to cross the borders without all the legal hassles.
Part Two of your question requires a little stroking of semantics. Don't confuse "government" with the politicians that administer them. In the case of Mexico, the "official" government position is to be tough on immigration. On a personal, political level, however, Vicente Fox is just fine with the idea that 12 million of his people are here illegally. There's a very practical reason for this: Mexico is the direct beneficiary of billions of US dollars annually. Many of those dollars come not from NAFTA or other commerce opportunities; they come from a significant portion of 12 million latinos who work here and send large portions of their income "home." I'm not saying that these people are in any way dishonorable. I'm just saying we ("we," he says) are sending Mexico a LOT of dollars. And the US dollar has always had way more clout than the peso, especially in Mexico.
Next question: Please tell me that there aren't really truly 1.1 million people who think they're entitled to free Status Change after having flouted the law (even if only just one) for however long they've been here. Is that really what they're rallying for? A total free ride? Or am I missing something? I really hope (and trust) I'm missing something.
Um... I believe the number is closer to the 12 million I mentioned above. And, yes, if they're in this country now - legally or otherwise - they believe they are "entitled" to citizenship. Read on:
How does making them all felons solve anything? Do we even have the resources to track down every illegal immigrant, round 'em up, imprison them and deport them? And is that really what this legislation is proposing? It seems nonsensical. Wouldn't it be cheaper - even just a little - to provide a second chance at going through the proper channels for citizenship? Again, I feel I'm missing something. Something huge. Stronger borders? How will that even work?
Was I really supposed to feel crushed by not having access to Mexican food for one day?
Heh. I know I didn't miss anything yesterday. If anything, I was enjoying "holiday light" conditions on the 22 freeway. On the other hand:
The "criminalizing" of these aliens (a redundancy, no?) will not solve anything. Let's assume, for example, that by some miracle this legislation gets pushed through. Suddenly we've officially labelled 12 million people as felons, subject to immediate deportation (or worse). There's just one catch. How on earth do you suddenly deport 12 million people? You don't. In fact, trusting that it will be business as usual, all of the agencies (including our own dear Deputy Dan) who deal with such things will continue to be overworked, and will only deport people that they catch in the commission of an actual crime (I mean, besides the crime of not being an American in America). In other words, changing their status from "illegal" to "felon" will effectively change nothing.
The only proviso that I would make in clearing a path for citizenship for these folks is that, now that they're here and want "citizenship," they must abide by ALL conditions of citizenship. This means becoming and defending the right to be "Americans." If they don't want to become Americans, they really shouldn't be sponging off of us.
As for stronger borders, I count myself as a strong proponent of them. The only problem is, we've only ever had lip service from our Washington bleaters who want to sound tough without torquing off their Latino voter base. It's a sad dance, and one that probably means that once we grant citizenship to this current batch of 12 million, another 24 million will push for their own chances to come north and make this country el Estado de Mexico Norte.
And the Lefties will be right there, egging them on; because, you know, we deserve it and all.
And then I guess the last of my questions (that I can think of right now, anyway) is this: How is it that it's the LEFT who are such major supporters of all these demonstrations? Aren't these the same people who think America's not worth fighting for? That we're such a crappy nation that we deserve to be attacked? Now they're telling all the world "we're so great you should come here and grab your measure of The American Dream. Free for the taking!" Or is it that they're hoping to grant voting privileges to the very grateful millions? Yeah, that makes sense, come to think of it.
Correct on both counts. It's actually not so much that they feel America is a crappy nation (don't you dare question their patriotism!) as that they propound the complete oppression of everyone but the rich by the Republican-empowered government. It's a complete load of hogwash, of course, (how many poor Democrat politicians do you know?) but they need a meme or their very existence is suspect. Does oppression of people occur in this country? Certainly. Is it the Republicans' fault? Just try to prove it. In fact, the more liberal factions of our country are nearly completely to blame for our societal self-destructive tendencies by preaching an irresponsible narcissism to increasingly gullible generations of young Americans. So, their tactic is to tear down the more character-building aspects of our society, preach oppression to impressionable voters and potential voters, then seal the deal by eliminating our constitutional form of government in favor of a "one world order." If they can accomplish that, then democracy and, more significantly, our republican (not "Republican") form of government is dead.
My bottom line: we should never allow anyone but legitimate voting citizens of this country to tell us how to govern our affairs.