Immigration reform sucks and not just because it reminds of "reform schools" that we know didn't work. Now, Jim Messina writes on behalf of Barack Obama and the newly formed Organizing for Action, seeking citizen support for a plan to:
- Continue to strengthen and secure our borders;because,
- Crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers;
- Establish a legal path to earned citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are already here -- including children who were brought here through no fault of their own;
- And streamline legal immigration for those who are already playing by the rules.
Solving this problem is not only essential to a strong economy and a thriving middle class, it's also the right thing to do.The whole plan sucks and I'll tell you why.
The time to act is now.
Perambulation is a natural function for mobile organisms with legs. Therefor, migrating is what mobile creatures do. Whether they migrate in or out, here or there, to set up impediments is contrary to their nature and, in the case of humans, a violation of their rights. Of course, the U.S. has always been segregationist and exclusive. Doing it on a national scale is just grander than before. Why would Barack Obama curry the segregationist impulse? He doesn't know any better. People let in are rarely aware that it's at the expense of others shut out.
Making laws about who comes here and under what conditions they stay is an example of extraordinary hubris because it is an effort to extend the country's jurisdiction over people who aren't even here yet. Moreover, it's targeted at poor people, since people who fly in on jets and stay at fancy hotels can stay as long as they can pay.
Yes, lots of other countries have adopted exclusive and segregationist policies. But all that tells us is the impulse arises in all sorts of human breasts. Perhaps it goes with being greedy.
But, to get to the particulars:
Continue to strengthen and secure our borders;
--In other words, set up a prison for everyone. Borders are an artifice of man, a manifestation of his antagonism towards his own kind. After all, other creatures aren't going to be kept out by fences and guard towers.
Crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers;
--Since we do not require work permits of citizens, the requirement that people have documents is either un-constitutionally discriminatory or will justify everyone having to carry papers. You see how easily the mania to keep records gets transformed into an authoritarian system. You can call it "Real ID" and embed the information in plastic, but it's still "papers please." Franklin was wrong about people choosing security over liberty. When liberty is to be stripped, it's rarely a matter of choice. (The use of the word "crack" in this context is no better than with drugs -- substances aimed to render organisms insensitive).
Establish a legal path to earned citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are already here -- including children who were brought here through no fault of their own;
--Citizenship is a bundle of obligations, not some sort of boon or reward. People who live in country for many years or even a generation without taking part in our civic affairs are free-loaders, whose contributions we are probably better off doing without. What is immoral, though obviously not illegal, is the habit of designating normal human behaviors, which inflict no injury on any other person, as criminal. Criminalizing behaviors we don't like is immoral and erodes the validity of the law. The law is supposed to promote justice by punishing inequity; not make inequity and dominion legal. But, to be fair, the rule of law in the U.S. has been doing the latter for a long time -- ever since the Constitution made slavery legal. Segregation is just a lesser, included offense. Although, shutting people out instead of keeping them confined is potentially more lethal since it restricts their access to resources they need to survive.
And streamline legal immigration for those who are already playing by the rules;
--Saying it over and over doesn't make it so. Migration, in or out, is not a proper subject of legislation. Indeed, mobility and migration are the essence of liberty. We can argue and persuade ourselves that humans only wander to escape hardship and famine and, if we feed them like cattle, they'll stay where we want them, but that doesn't change the fact that imprisoning our own kind, except as a punishment for injury, is a violation of their natural rights. Of course, the presumption that all men are created evil and it is the function of the state to render them obedient and compliant, provides the authoritarians with a plausible excuse. Presuming that everyone is bad makes them available to be abused at leisure.
If life were a game, "playing by the rules" would be justified. It's not and this invocation of rules is simply abusive.
Solving this problem is not only essential to a strong economy and a thriving middle class, it's also the right thing to do;
--Indeed, it would be right to abandon the segregationist impulse, instead of trying to extend it to the continental edge. Moreover, separating people into classes on the basis of material assets, whose acquisition is increasingly restricted by the imposition of private property designations -- i.e. legislated privilege and preference -- has no more validity than segregating humans on the basis of personal characteristics. Arbitrary exclusion, that's not related to the behavior of the individual, is wrong in a social species. Arguing that humans aren't social is possible, but contrary to fact. Using money to segregate is doubly immoral, because the true intent is disguised. It's possible, but it sure ain't right.
The time to act is now;
-- Indeed, but the action that's required is to get rid of legal segregation. I won't say "once and for all," because that's apparently unrealistic. Antagonism towards their own kind surfaces in some human breasts and, when it does, exclusion looks like a kinder, gentler alternative -- especially to the cowards, whose aggressions are only kept in check by the possibility of getting hurt. But, the solution to the problem of aggressive humans is not human husbandry. It's the wolves that have to be restrained, not the pacific herd.
The good shepherd leads us to clear water, not to slaughter.
It may be worth noting that people who plan to fail can propose all sorts of outrageous programs because they can presume they won't work. In the political realm, that's the pattern which accounts for outrages being accomplished by people, who should know better, coming around and showing the "failures" how it's done. That's how it happened that Clinton/Gore put mothers to work and farmed out their children under the rubric of "welfare reform."