Friday, May 28, 2010

Arizona = Baghdad with Better Tacos

The amount of illegal immigrants in our country is a problem. That I do not disagree with. I'm always wary of supporting the government's ability to monitor citizens, but illegal immigrants work in an essentially black economy, which is a bad thing. They do not pay taxes, but they are able to use various government services (although these would probably be free to them anyway through welfare).

However, the solution to the economic issue is precluded by animosity and xenophobia that underlies most of the economic arguments that people make. Immigration reform was never successful in Congress because it turns out many people (mostly conservative white guys) don't actually want the Mexicans to be here at all. If illegals were offered permanent and temporary worker programs, and perhaps a path to citizenship, there would be no reason to be illegal.

The common arguments seem to be that illegals "don't pay taxes", although the person making that claim often doesn't actually want illegals to pay taxes. The argument then becomes that illegals are "stealing our jobs" or coming here to commit crimes or, my personal favorite, coming here to "take advantage of our generous welfare state".

Except our welfare state is not really that generous, especially for the very poor. And it turns out that illegal immigrants don't cause crime to increase, either. It actually turns out that El Paso, presumably one of the most illegal-filled cities in the country, is also one of the safest in the country. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and her supporters seems to think that Arizona is some sort of war zone, but violent crime has actually been decreasing steadily there for years. Apparently the mere presence of Mexicans can turn a whole region into a chaos resembling Baghdad.

So the only arguments that you're really left with is pointless traditionalism, such as making people speak English, or the argument that they should have to pay taxes because they and their families go to our schools, our hospitals, etc.

And this is true. They should be legalized as either temporary or permanent workers, and then they can pay taxes and move out of the black economy, but this is never going to happen with laws like Arizona's. That law entrenches the black economy by making people even less likely to attempt to gain legal status after being here illegally.

There is absolutely no fucking logic to the immigration debate in our country and it's about time that people stop humoring what is fairly evidently racism. Why else would the Governor of Arizona refer to "illegal immigrant terrorist attacks" when her state is undergoing a steady decline in violent crime?

There is no excuse, and the media needs to call out this bullshit.

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