Wednesday, June 02, 2010

soldiering on the edge

What is it with this immigration stuff?

I am beginning to think almost everyone has completely lost their senses about the issue.

Not that American politics is running over with logic these days.  No matter the issue, people have positions.  Interests.  If you are looking for logic, you might ask to borrow Diogenes's lamp -- and a quart of oil.

For two decades, the federal government has allowed its immigration laws to lie fallow -- especially as they apply to Mexico.

Arizona's attempt to grasp the nettles in that unplowed field has caused a bit of commotion.  For the moment, as Forrest Gump would say: That is all I have to say about that.

The latest bit of immigration performance art involves the military.  The National Guards to be specific.

For several months, there have been rumors that President Obama was going to commit American troops in some form to assist the Mexican government's war on the drug cartels.  Almost as if President Wilson was sending the Army after Pancho Villa.

Fortunately, the rumors were wrong.

But the actual plan is not much better.

1,200 National Guard troops are about to join colleagues now serving on the border with Mexico.  In California, New Mexico, Texas, and -- of course -- Arizona.

The purported purpose is to help close the border to unauthorized immigration.

It is hard not see see the move for what it is.  Politics.  And both political parties are upping the ante -- with little possibility of any real solution in the near future.

John McCain -- in his own tough primary fight -- claims 6,000 troops are necessary.

Just wait.  Someone will call the bluff and suggest sending troops across the border.

But the politics this week will suffice.

You would think a major deployment of troops to the border would be announced from the White House.  Not so.

The honor of a public announcement went to Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.  Her district is on the border.

That is interesting enough.  But there is something more interesting about Representative Giffords.  She is involved in a very tough re-election race.  And the White House would like her to be re-elected.  So, she brings home the military bacon.

This has been advertised as the opening gambit of negotiations on immigration reform.  Republicans will not talk about a revised guest worker program until the borders are secure.  The president has offered the National Guard troops as a first step.

The problem is that 1,200 troops will do little to cut off the flow of illegal immigrants.  And, as long as the flow continues, there will be no reform.

It took 20 years and a century or two of history to get the United States in its current problem with immigration policy.  A few troops accompanied by congressional histrionics will not solve it.

I just wish we could start talking logically with one another -- and get on with it.

Of course, logic in election years is a commodity as rare as -- well, logic in election years.


Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

When it comes to immigration, peopl e respond more out of anger and fear and do not hav eth abilty to think or talk rationally. Not all people and not all the time- but these converstations get very escalated and heated.

I have had many conversation about this issue (espacially during my exodus from the USA) it is a very important issue that needs real solutions- but people seem to want to excersice their moral authority more then solve a very tragic- very serious issue--- for both sides.

This is more of a Mexican problem then a USA problem in my opinion. We need to get our citizens to the point where they do not feel that leaving thier homes is the best choice.

Tancho said...

Political move?.....Naah....
It would be interesting to see how Mexico would handle 20 million undocumented visitors...

el jubilado said...

They can send the National Guard to the Gulf for oil clean up - first things first

American Mommy in Mexico said...

I like the comment from el jubilado!

This topic makes me crazy. I also agree that people seem to be a bit nuts on this one.

Why do we not hear about the USA employers of the "20 million undocumented vistors"? Schooling and medical care seems a reasonable price for the low wages and tax avoidance many employers exploit. Start paying market wages and employment taxes/social security/etc then we can start a logical conversation.

Steve Cotton said...

Rosas Clan -- I agree the solution to immigration resides in Mexico. There is no reason why the 13th largest economy in the world cannot offer opportunities within its own borders. There will always be people who want to go north, and there should be a program for them. Growing the Mexican economy is the best solution, though.

Tancho -- I suspect I know the answer. The way that the Central American immigrants are treated by the Mexican police.

el jubilado -- Good idea. There are certainly more votes to be won there.

AMM -- Good to see you back online.