Friday, April 30, 2010

Immigration Reform, or Poorly Veiled Racism?

Immigration reform is supposedly up for debate soon, and tomorrow there will be a rally in Charlotte as well as other cities (I'm thinking about going). On my facebook, there was a pretty benign status update that spawned a long discussion that I wanted to jump into, but one of the parties seemed semi-not-sane so I stayed out of it. The possibly-crazy person shared this link, which is the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform. At first it seems cool and all, with a quote by Lincoln and then a passage seeming to call on businesses, not immigrants, to be held accountable for employing illegal workers. But then it devolves into blaming immigrants for everything, and keeps quoting as "research" an organization that only took me two clicks to find out are bigots and racists.

Immigration does have a lot of complex issues, but how hard is it to understand this concept: Punish the employers, not the workers. Fine the shit out of them. It's the greedy asshole business owners who shit Americans out of their jobs when they know the person they are employing is not a citizen, because that person has to settle for less. Why would you blame the illegal worker? They're doing what they need to do, and they're not getting paid a fair wage for it. The anger needs to be directed straight at the top of the food chain, and the people who make the decisions and directly benefit from all this mess.

Downward-spiraling wages are a problem, one that's mostly caused when people who have no other choices are forced to accept less than what they deserve so they can support their families: illegal immigrants and ex-convicts, specifically. I've seen it myself---businesses exploit these people, and that in turn fucks you and me. But we're all being fucked, so don't blame the Mexican guy. Blame your boss. This is why we need reform, and not start rounding people up to kick out. For example, RIFA suggests letting non-citizens still work in the US but register and pay taxes.

Of course, considering that our ancestors, as immigrants, slaughtered the Native Americans, enslaved blacks and other minorites, and spent a good chunk of our history profiting from oppressing others, it's all sadly ironic.

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