Leave Santa Alone

Illegal immigration has long been a hot topic in this country & we all know that it will be in the spotlight for the next presidential election. (Yay! Election season! All soundbites & rhetoric, that time of year when facts & intelligent dialogue just fall by the wayside.)

Being of Native American descent, I follow the arguments with both interest & a hint of amusement. I can't help but see the parallels. That said, there's an important point in this debate that nobody seems to want to face. Illegal immigration as a whole is not a real problem in the US. What is a huge problem is illegal immigration of Mexican citizens.

Let's face it, most foreign-born citizens that want to come to the US have to follow a process. There are only two places geographically positioned in such a way as to allow people to sneak into the US illegally & you'll never convince me that large numbers of Canadians are fleeing here.

Since the rest of the world has to abide by our regulations & established process to gain citizenship, why would Mexicans be exempted? It seems really unfair to the rest of the world to let Mexicans just walk right in when that won't fly for anyone else.

It's ridiculous to characterize the problem as illegal immigration when in fact it's not about immigration at all. The real issue is that citizens of one particular nation consider themselves to be above our laws. They want special preferential treatment above & beyond what is afforded to everyone else.

If you have no respect for the laws of a nation, no faith in that nation's due process & no compassion for others (people such as foreigners from countries other than your own, who seek citizenship through proper channels), then why do you want to come here in the first place? Logically, this place isn't for you. You hate it's laws, you hate the people it welcomes, you hate the people who already live there or you'd pay all the same taxes they pay . . .

You're probably wondering what brought this on. I recently came across an article about an anti-Hazleton, PA website which accuses the town of banning Santa Claus because he's not a US citizen. I visited the site & frankly it's pretty stupid.

For starters, Santa is not a good example. He visits everyone once a year for a few minutes, which does not qualify as illegal immigration. Also, I truly believe that Santa not only pays taxes but also that the elves earn a living wage & have excellent benefits.

More importantly, it's a really bad idea to promote, encourage & champion illegal immigration. It does a terrible disservice to potential immigrants from every other nation, for one thing. They may hear stupid messages such as this & think that they aren't welcome here because they're not the preferred race or ethnicity. In some parts of the US, public & social services which exist to help newcomers are overburdened by illegals & not accessible to our legal immigrants.

Just look around the next time you go shopping or visit a doctor. Everything is in Spanish today. Imagine how confusing & frustrating that must be for the hundreds of thousands of people from non-Spanish speaking countries that come here & struggle with language every day. In essence, by embracing the current "movement" put forth on behalf of illegal Mexican immigrants, we're telling people from all over the world that we don't care about them at all. We're telling them that we're only extending ourselves to the squatters & scofflaws.

The solution is simple: don't support this movement. It harms many & benefits only a selfish few. By being illegal, these people are often put in a position where it is difficult or even impossible to assimilate. By accomodating them, we ostracize everyone else. That isn't welcoming to new citizens. It unfairly burdens the law-abiding taxpayers who have to foot all the bills -- many of whom are legal immigrants themselves; What a slap in the face! It does nothing to help the illegals become legal, yet it condones that way of life & encourages the cycle to continue.

It's a lose-lose situation for everyone. And the root of the problem here is the lack of focus in the debate. Obscuring the real issue prevents critical thinking on the subject. No useful or relevant solutions can ever be put forth when all subject matter is completely out of context. We can only help that this issue will be discussed in context as the debate continues.


At 12/21/2006 10:20 PM, Blogger Oscar said...

Live and let live. Your ancestors were immigrants and they were probably illegal. And why Mexicans? Why not bash Canadians, Asians, or Immigrants in general? Is it because they are darker. What are you going to do without Mexicans? You won't be able to feel superior next to them anymore. You won't be able to project your fears, insecurities, and hate to them anymore. But I am sure you will find black or Asians or another group to blame. Immanuel Kant said that if the Anti-Semite didn't have any Jews to torture and hate--they will create them. Im sure you will create or find a new group to hate once all the Mexicans are gone. Instead of looking at them in disgust when you see them on the street try saying como estas and I gaurantee a smile and you will feel much better.

At 12/23/2006 9:03 AM, Blogger Steph said...

Did you even READ this post before starting your little rant? It doesn't seem like it, because your hateful little diatribe is riddled with innaccuracies.

You want to characterize meaningful dialogue as "picking" on Mexicans yet you can't deny that they're the ONLY group demanding special treatment above & beyond what is afforded to the rest of the world. Canadians, Asians & other immigrants aren't demanding that we toss the rules aside & let them make their own.

How is treating Mexicans EQUALLY racist or hateful? Please explain. Allowing them to disregard our laws when everyone else has to follow them, now THAT would be racism (against everyone in the world who isn't from Mexico).

It's actually pretty simple & I'm sorry you're struggling so with these basic points.

It's also funny that you say "live & let live", which usually conveys the notion that everyone is treated equally -- which is exactly what I am promoting, EQUALITY.

Instead of making unfounded accusations, whining & playing the race card, grow up, check your facts before ranting & learn to frame your dialogue in an intelligent manner.

Ridiculous statements such as yours cloud the debate with rhetoric, moving us all that much further from a mutually acceptable solution.

Any real point you might have have brought to this discussion are obscured by your ignorance & knee-jerk reaction. If you want to help any cause, the best thing you can do for it is not speak on anyone's behalf.

At 12/24/2006 9:40 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Hmm, well being Canadian I have a somewhat outsider perspective on the whole thing. First of all, this has nothing to do with your post, but American media is TERRIBLE for only portraying one side of an issue. Ours is bad too, but I can't believe some of the stories I read on CNN.

Anyways, maybe, rather than just saying, "Obey our laws or get the f out," the American government should look at the real problem - why do Mexicans want to leave Mexico so badly? They wouldn't be hopping the border if it were paradise in their own country. Maybe there is something that can be done about that. Maybe the US government can help out the Mexican government by sponsoring job creation programs, literacy training, computer training, crime prevention, etc. Give these people the tools to succeed in their own country.

Of course, maybe the US can set up some sort of program, whereby it's EASIER and CHEAPER for people, including Mexicans, who are in desperate need of aid, to get the assistance they need to immigrate legally and succeed in YOUR country.

I'm not saying there aren't people out there who abuse the system just because they can, but I think in the vast majority of cases, people are inherently good and want to live a legal life. If, for whatever reason, they CAN'T, then that's a failing on the part of the US, not on the citizens who choose to go there.

Food for thought.

At 12/24/2006 10:30 AM, Blogger Steph said...

Good points, Heather. I think our media has a lot to do with how issues are framed in public opinion, usually to our detriment as a society. A good starting place would be to split US assistance between assisting legal immigration & helping Mexico to improve the dire standard of living in that country -- of course, we don't hear a lot about that from our leaders or journalists.

But I still believe it would be totally unfair to change the immigration laws ONLY for our geographic neighbors. People from all over the world who have valid reasons for coming to the US. By showing preference to Mexican immigrants, we will be discriminating against the entire world.

That would be completely un-American & contrary to all of the principles on which this nation was founded.

At 12/25/2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Steph said...

This is my blog. I welcome all comments. I will not, however, tolerate personal attacks from racists. Any such comments will continue to be deleted.

At 1/16/2007 11:54 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Ah yes, I see what you're saying now about not showing preference just because they're your neighbours. Makes sense, although being your neighbour to the north I'm going to be a big hypocrite and say that I'd expect some, haha.

And also, I'd like to add that I think it's hilarious that people just automatically take everything to be an insult and completely racist/sexist/whatever group they belong to-ist.

At 1/18/2007 1:39 PM, Blogger Steph said...

Thanks, Heather.

There were a couple of VERY nasty comments I had to delete.

I'd just like to ask these folks if they hurt themselves landing . . . when they jumped to their lame conclusions.

GROAN . . . I know, even I'll admit this one was horrible!


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