Saturday, July 22, 2006

Response to Anonymous

Dear Anonymous. Thanks for your comment. I always feel so warm and toasty when actually posts a comment on my blog, thereby proving that someone does indeed read my posts. For the rest of my far-flung readership, here is the comment on my July 10 post ("Immigration: It's not as simple as you think") in its entirety.

I’ve read your article with interest and I disagree with your basic premise. I feel it is as simple as I think it is. There is legal and there is illegal. I have no problem with immigration but there are legal ways of coming here. I know the legal way is long, difficult and expensive. However, we are a nation of laws and there are ways of changing the laws if you feel a change is needed. To me it is not a matter of economics or unemployment numbers or available jobs or housing. It is simply against the law. The fact that your first act upon coming to this country is to break the law shows me your contempt for this country and it’s laws.

(Anonymous, you don't seriously think that people risk their lives in the desert to come here illegally out of contempt, do you?)

We do agree on one thing. It IS illegal. Now, what do you propose to do about it? Shall we build an iron curtain? Shall we throw all the illegal employers in jail?

Since it's illegal, I hope you plan to avoid eating in any restaurant where an illegal alien might be employed. (Be sure and check the kitchen.) Please don't buy any produce, because it's all picked by illegals. Don't get your roof replaced, because the roofers are all Latinos, and you can bet they're not all legal. You'll have to do a lot of research to find out if that frozen chicken you bought was packed by illegals.

Is your grandmother in a nursing home? Make sure there are no illegals changing her sheets or helping her get dressed. In fact, you’d better just take care of her yourself, since there are very few nursing homes that don’t employ illegals, and they're probably out of your reach financially.

I'm not trying to make fun of you. It would actually be almost impossible to avoid using the services of an illegal, unless you have the time and money to do a lot of research and pay premium prices for the resulting services.

Of course, we could actually enforce the law against HIRING illegals--not real likely, since the administration has reduced the number of people enforcing that particular law so that the number of illegal employers being prosecuted has dropped from several hundred a year to last year's total of four.

Besides, the business interests that find it economically convenient to hire illegals are the same ones that fund the campaigns of our politicians—including the president. It makes it very awkward when the people demand that the politicians do something that goes against the wishes of their best donors. What usually happens is a lot of self-righteous speech about the sanctity of citizenship and then--nothing.

Since the government seems unlikely to enforce the law against hiring illegals, let's talk solutions that we the people can achieve.

First, tell your representatives to stop giving taxpayer money to the agricultural industry. These are not mom-and-pop farmers that need a government handout. Thanks to NAFTA and our price supports, these mega-farmers can sell their produce to Mexico at a price so low that Mexican farmers go out of business and are forced to look elsewhere for a job, legal or otherwise, so they can feed their children.

Instead of buying shrink-wrapped produce from the supermarket, shop at your local sustainable organic farm. These farmers are less likely to hire illegals and they are a benefit to your community. Plus the food tastes better. Better yet, grow your own.

Here's best solution of all: Let's pay for our own politicians with “Clean Money” voluntary publicly funded election campaigns. Unfortunately, asking Congress to enact such a law is a little like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. But before you vote in the fall, you could insist that the candidates make a public statement in support of Clean Money campaign finance in order to get your vote. In California, we're working for Clean Money with Proposition 89.

I'd be interested in your comments, Anonymous. You simplified the problem; now can you simplify the solution?


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