Immigration: Solomon asked for “an understanding heart”

Perhaps America, like Solomon, needs to raise its hands to heaven and ask for the same – for Wisdom. And we’d better ask soon.

Why? How about for Wisdom for the Nation on the issue of Immigration (or, as a pal emailed me, “migration…”)

This seems like a situation in which partisanship should be put aside in favor of a genuine, workable and realistic solution that will recognise both the dignity of the human beings we’re dealing with, our duties to our nation and to our core values, and our duty to God, as well.

People are gassing away on both sides – some are sure they have the answer, and the answer is “Ship them all back to Mexico, every one of them.” (That means go up to Boston and out to Montauk Point and ship the illegal Irish immigrants back to Eire, too, right? Illegal is illegal!) There are others saying, “let ‘em all in!” There are suggestions of walls rivaling the Great Wall of China (with 40-foot footings sunk into the ground to prevent tunnels?) There are suggestions of amnesty, suggestions of felony.

Let’s get real. There are millions of illegal immigrants here, and some of them have been here for decades. If you’re telling me that the solution is to “arrest and ship out every one of them,” I have to disagree with you. While the “ideal,” of course, is that illegal immigrants don’t immigrate illegally, the fact is, our government, our “leaders” have ignored this issue and refused to enforce existing law for 30 years – hence, genies out of bottles don’t get put back in. Some of these people have made lives here, respectable lives, wherein they have worked and paid taxes, contributed to church and community and raised families – are we going to round them up and “ship them back?” How, exactly? How do you prevent them from coming back, when NOTHING is in place to prevent them? When it is unlikely that our feckless, dispassionate and distracted political “leaders” cannot see this situation as anything but political fodder – ammunition for the season – and are lacking in both ideas and courage.

More importantly – for the soul of America – Are we going to put together massive trains and – at gunpoint – load these people and head them south? Is this what we want America to be?

We have to think long and hard about what it means – and what it will FEEL like – to gather people together at gunpoint and put them on trains to send them to a place they do not want to go. Our intentions could be the purest and most noble in the world…that scenario still still smacks of history we don’t want associated with us. It sets a precedent we dare not embrace. I don’t want to see such pictures in our history books. That is not America. That cannot be America, if she is to survive.

Gerard Vanderleun is suggesting that the only way to halt the illegals, and to stop the street party which seems to be a warm-up for a long, hot summer, is to arrest those who hire the illegals. That’s one solution. Dry up the money flow. I think it can work in a limited way, but there are simply too many – too many – small businesses or greedy employers or crooked town commissioners…people who will slip a little money to someone who will look the other way while the law is circumvented. All we’ll really be accomplishing creating a “little Mexico” of local/state corruption which will rival that of Tijuana, or Baja, or Mexico City.

It’s an idea. It’s a start. Unfortunately, it is limited. And Vanderleun doesn’t think anyone in government will even embrace the idea until people start dying. Which we really don’t want to see.

Maybe the solution is a combination of many different ideas. Maybe arresting and prosecuting employers, combined with “grandfathering-in” those illegals who have been here for a certain amount of time and have demonstrated stability – give them citizenship and increase the tax-base, allow them to compete for jobs which offer health care, to take the burden off of our hospitals and clinics which are currently treating too many for free and breaking the backs of the insured in order to make up the difference. Maybe along with those ideas, we should create a registry of some sort, plus ship back those illegals who are not managing to create a stable life, or who have not been here long. Heh. As if we’d find them all. As if they wouldn’t be back here within weeks, because – again, and most importantly – nothing is in place to prevent their return.

I think this problem is simply too large to be effectively solved with “one” solution. Moreover, I don’t think the politicians who have allowed this problem to fester and become the massive running sore it now is can be trusted to bring serious solutions to the table. Possibly, though, a coalition of businessmen, lawyers, community leaders and church leaders could sit down and put together a plan. If you give them a few years, they might come up with a realistic and workable program.

We don’t have years, of course.

A friend emailed me that he was feeling very hopeless, that if we could not “ship ‘em out” we – as a nation – are doomed.

I think if we do “ship ‘em out” without concern for their humanity, for their dignity (and for our humanity and dignity – and for our souls) we may well be doomed. We cannot stop seeing these people as people. We must protect the borders, absolutely, but there is currently no effective program to do that, and none on the horizon that won’t be laid up in courts for a decade. And we cannot undertake a mass-eviction process without protecting ourselves against what we might become. We must protect the very generosity of spirit which has made us great.

I wrote elsewhere that God is never outdone in generosity – and America (naysayers aside) is a massively generous nation – both economically and spiritually. It is one of the reasons she is great. She cannot become insular, isolationist, cold and distant without freezing her own heart.

And so, let us pray. Let us stop running on emotions and fomenting rage and focusing on where the flag is on the flagpole. (Of course I am offended by those pictures, but they are – in the end – a distraction, a misdirection – a way to get us feeeeeeling and not thinking. Take them with a grain of salt and keep your guts steady.)

I think God has a way of turning things topsy-turvey when He wants to. We know the Holy Spirit has a habit of using what is before us to His advantage, confounding us in every age, turning profound negatives into something else. Wouldn’t it be funny if all of these Catholic, Our Lady of Guadalupe-loving Mexicans (remember, she is patron saint of the Americas ) came into the country and, unexpectedly, over time – completed the domination of the conservatism over progressivism?

It could happen, but not if they get mired in victimology. Wheels are turning, everywhere – it’s like a cosmic gear and pulley are being put into place. Tipping points everywhere.

“Doom, doom, doom”
writes my pal. “America is (dying) and I don’t see her coming back.”

Well…that’s no way to be. The fact is, if the America of 40 years ago is not the America of today, well…we who are here, who love her, have a duty to look at the world as it is, the reality of things as they are, and do our best to re-create (or re-instill, re-establish, re-emphasize) all that is/was the best of America – her values, her industry, her heart – in order to keep the nation alive.

John Paul II used to say that. In encouraging Solidarity, in evangelizing, he would say, “you have to deal with the world as it is, not as you would ideally like it to be.” He was right. And the world right now – as it is – is in flux, due to a systemic lack of interest in addressing this problem for decades. Point the finger at the government – every part of it. Point the finger at ourselves, too, for tuning this problem out for too long.

Speaking of JPII, remember – he made an abrupt trip to Mexico City in 1999. He decided to insert it into his schedule -his advisors and handlers said, “can’t do it – there’s no time in the schedule; you’re too weak.” He said, “make it happen.”

Perhaps he made that abrupt and insistant trip to for a reason. I think he knew what he was doing when he consecrated OLGuadalupe to the Americas – and when he named her feast day. He was grim, serious and purposeful while in Mexico. And it’s worth noting that the first celebration of Guadalupe’s feastday was also the day the Great Election Debacle of 2000 ended. December 12, 2000. Maybe America needs Our Lady of Guadalupe and her devotees more than we realize.

I am coming to the conclusion that all of the noise and handwringing and the certainties that all will be well if “only the right POLICIES are put into place” is horse manure. Focusing on public policy is helpful, but I don’t expect the government to suddenly, magically be able to solve an unweildly problem it has steadfastly ignored since the 1970′s. The government is not going to get us out of this anytime soon. If I look to them, I see insincerity, confusion and political opportunism, on both sides.

The solution is going to have to come from inside of us, the can-do, pragmatic, realistic, problem-solving American people. And I hope our better natures manage to overcome our baser ones.

I don’t like being in the middle of all of this, to be honest – I’d rather be in Brooklyn, circa 1942 – but…this game is afoot – these gears and pulleys are moving, and we do not understand it, and we cannot fathom all that God brings to it. How many times has something happened in your life that seemed awful, but ended up being providential?

We cannot comprehend and know what “negatives” of today will become “positives” tomorrow. All we can do is ask for wisdom and direction, come to this problem as honest brokers seeking real, lasting, humane solutions, and then understand that nothing will happen overnight.

Keep your eyes on the sacrifice we’re watching unfold. And have faith!

Meanwhile, George Will has a very sensible and good article on this issue. He too wonders if we oughtn’t worry about some of the things we “can” do. David Brooks has an excellent piece up, as well, addressing the social conservatives, but it’s behind the stupid NY Times wall.

Related: John Hawkins has a useful FAQ on Illegal Immigration in America
Peggy Noonan finds Immigration and Patriotism must be compatible if we are to survive
Gerald is has sensible thoughts on all of this, and isn’t carrying a bat, today! :-)
Alexandra is talking the economics of it all
Common Sense from Kobayashi Maru
Flannery O’ Connor (Yes, her!) on that Holy Spirit, part.
The Absurdity by Polipundit
Watchman thinks the debate is being shifted
Publius Pundit says there is perhaps a shakeup inside of Mexico
Q&O says First control the boarders
A good piece by Lowell Ponte on Hillary’s Illusory Immigration stance

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • joeh

    While you are correct that this issue is complex, in reality it is ony complex because we have let it fester, not for 30 years but for almost 50 years. The politicians do not have the will to solve the problem. My guess is that we will have a WMD cross the border and hit a major city and that will give the politicians cover to solve the problem. 9/11 should have been the motivation, but Bush and congress did nothing in this area. Let your imagination run to the day after 500,000 people are dead in one of our cities and we find out that the weapon came across the Mexican border. It might even be brought into the country by a Mexican. Can you imagine the windfall this would have for those who hate America. Can you say “war between Mexico and America?” The Mexican government, not the US government, is the answer and we need leadership to go down to Mexico and tell them to get their act together. Is there any form of government in Mexico that is not corrupt? We have a cancer to our south and we are suffering because of it. It is not the people, but the government of Mexico. Maybe when we get done with Iraq, we should look south of our border and see if we need to take out their government and allow it to form a new country.

  • joeh

    While you are correct that this issue is complex, in reality it is ony complex because we have let it fester, not for 30 years but for almost 50 years. The politicians do not have the will to solve the problem. My guess is that we will have a WMD cross the border and hit a major city and that will give the politicians cover to solve the problem. 9/11 should have been the motivation, but Bush and congress did nothing in this area. Let your imagination run to the day after 500,000 people are dead in one of our cities and we find out that the weapon came across the Mexican border. It might even be brought into the country by a Mexican. Can you imagine the windfall this would have for those who hate America. Can you say “war between Mexico and America?” The Mexican government, not the US government, is the answer and we need leadership to go down to Mexico and tell them to get their act together. Is there any form of government in Mexico that is not corrupt? We have a cancer to our south and we are suffering because of it. It is not the people, but the government of Mexico. Maybe when we get done with Iraq, we should look south of our border and see if we need to take out their government and allow it to form a new country.

  • smmtheory

    I believe it would be economic disaster to attempt to ship all the illegals back, not to mention what it would cost to try to keep them from coming back. I think that God will oversee the situation with regard to terrorists. Even if we were able to keep out every illegal alien, a truly persistant terrorist would find a way in. We as a country really ought to trust God more. The current limitations on who gets a visa for permanent residence and who doesn’t is so restrictive that it is impossible for any but skilled workers to be granted a visa. That, is the crux of the problem in my opinion. The vast majority of the people who do come here illegally would have gone through the proper channels and be here legally now if it were not impossible for them to get a work visa. Gainful employment or lack thereof would appear to be a deciding factor in whether or not an illegal alien would remain or return. If there are so many that are not returning home, that speaks volumes about the opportunities available. And with the unemployment rate in the US at such a low why should they return? Are there some bad apples in the mix? Of course, but nobody can say there aren’t a few bad apples in the legal and natural born population either. The people that are griping about the situation probably wouldn’t bat an eye at breaking a law to save a life, and for many of the illegal aliens it is almost literally a life or death situation, if not for them, then some member of their family most likely. They tend to send a lot of money back home to family. That kind of money can transform Mexico’s economy sooner or later. People want to solve the illegal immigration problem? They need to look at making it easier to get work visas, and they need to look at transforming Mexico’s economy to the point that staying at home is as viable as coming here.

  • smmtheory

    I believe it would be economic disaster to attempt to ship all the illegals back, not to mention what it would cost to try to keep them from coming back. I think that God will oversee the situation with regard to terrorists. Even if we were able to keep out every illegal alien, a truly persistant terrorist would find a way in. We as a country really ought to trust God more. The current limitations on who gets a visa for permanent residence and who doesn’t is so restrictive that it is impossible for any but skilled workers to be granted a visa. That, is the crux of the problem in my opinion. The vast majority of the people who do come here illegally would have gone through the proper channels and be here legally now if it were not impossible for them to get a work visa. Gainful employment or lack thereof would appear to be a deciding factor in whether or not an illegal alien would remain or return. If there are so many that are not returning home, that speaks volumes about the opportunities available. And with the unemployment rate in the US at such a low why should they return? Are there some bad apples in the mix? Of course, but nobody can say there aren’t a few bad apples in the legal and natural born population either. The people that are griping about the situation probably wouldn’t bat an eye at breaking a law to save a life, and for many of the illegal aliens it is almost literally a life or death situation, if not for them, then some member of their family most likely. They tend to send a lot of money back home to family. That kind of money can transform Mexico’s economy sooner or later. People want to solve the illegal immigration problem? They need to look at making it easier to get work visas, and they need to look at transforming Mexico’s economy to the point that staying at home is as viable as coming here.

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  • Joseph

    There is absolutely nothing that is “un-American” about permitting massive immigration into this country. There is also nothing that is “un-American” about shutting such immigration down. In the first three decades of the last century we did both.

    What is actually going on is the gradual return of both the same conditions for the poor as were present on the Lower East Side of New York between 1900-1930 and the same conditions for the rich that were present on the Upper East Side during the same decades.

    What is required for this is a massive surplus labor pool making the labor market solely a buyer’s market and allowing wages to be hammered down to the lowest level possible, even if it is truly impossible to live solely on those wages alone.

    Whether this is done through “illegal immigration” or “guest workers” is really of no importance.

    The only important question to be asked is cui bono?

    Guess who.

  • Joseph

    There is absolutely nothing that is “un-American” about permitting massive immigration into this country. There is also nothing that is “un-American” about shutting such immigration down. In the first three decades of the last century we did both.

    What is actually going on is the gradual return of both the same conditions for the poor as were present on the Lower East Side of New York between 1900-1930 and the same conditions for the rich that were present on the Upper East Side during the same decades.

    What is required for this is a massive surplus labor pool making the labor market solely a buyer’s market and allowing wages to be hammered down to the lowest level possible, even if it is truly impossible to live solely on those wages alone.

    Whether this is done through “illegal immigration” or “guest workers” is really of no importance.

    The only important question to be asked is cui bono?

    Guess who.

  • maria horvath

    PROSPECTIVE IMMIGRANTS PLEASE NOTE

    Either you will
    go through this door
    or you will not go through.

    If you go through
    there is always the risk
    of remembering your name.

    Things look at you doubly
    and you must look back
    and let them happen.

    If you do not go through
    it is possible
    to live worthily

    to maintain your attitudes
    to hold your position
    to die bravely

    but much will blind you,
    much will evade you,
    at what cost who knows?

    The door itself
    makes no promises.
    It is only a door.

    ~ Adrienne Rich

  • maria horvath

    PROSPECTIVE IMMIGRANTS PLEASE NOTE

    Either you will
    go through this door
    or you will not go through.

    If you go through
    there is always the risk
    of remembering your name.

    Things look at you doubly
    and you must look back
    and let them happen.

    If you do not go through
    it is possible
    to live worthily

    to maintain your attitudes
    to hold your position
    to die bravely

    but much will blind you,
    much will evade you,
    at what cost who knows?

    The door itself
    makes no promises.
    It is only a door.

    ~ Adrienne Rich

  • Sal

    I wrote a rant, but then thought better of it, still…

    Before we get all misty about “America, land of immigrants” consider this: in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, if you took the trouble to come to America, (or you got brought here) you stayed. You did not traipse back and forth across the ocean to Western Europe, Russia, China or Africa. And in order to survive, you -or your kids- learned the language and got with the program of making it in America, as Americans.

    Now consider the illegal immigrant: he doesn’t need to learn English – the road crew manager or shop foreman or yard guy knows enough Spanish to tell him what to do. He can watch “Telemundo” and read “El Diario” and listen to about eleventy hundred Spanish language radio stations. All the pertinent signs in public are in Spanish, even at the polling booth. His kids, if he has any, don’t have to speak English in school, they’re in bi-lingual classes. He’s only a couple of hours away on a bus from his country of origin – why break the ties? The sales tax he pays doesn’t begin to cover it, but he’s still able to get health care in the emergency room, which aliens use as their neighborhood clinic.

    He can live in America and not be American at all. Haven’t we learned anything from Europe about large masses of unassimilated aliens? And sure, the two groups, Mexican illegals and middle-Eastern Muslims are different – but having a large and alien group in your midst who don’t have your best interests at heart is not a good idea, irregardless.

    So your Irish great-great-great grandpa is apples and the guy holding the flag for the road crew might be oranges. Times and circumstances have changed since Emma Lazarus.

  • Sal

    I wrote a rant, but then thought better of it, still…

    Before we get all misty about “America, land of immigrants” consider this: in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, if you took the trouble to come to America, (or you got brought here) you stayed. You did not traipse back and forth across the ocean to Western Europe, Russia, China or Africa. And in order to survive, you -or your kids- learned the language and got with the program of making it in America, as Americans.

    Now consider the illegal immigrant: he doesn’t need to learn English – the road crew manager or shop foreman or yard guy knows enough Spanish to tell him what to do. He can watch “Telemundo” and read “El Diario” and listen to about eleventy hundred Spanish language radio stations. All the pertinent signs in public are in Spanish, even at the polling booth. His kids, if he has any, don’t have to speak English in school, they’re in bi-lingual classes. He’s only a couple of hours away on a bus from his country of origin – why break the ties? The sales tax he pays doesn’t begin to cover it, but he’s still able to get health care in the emergency room, which aliens use as their neighborhood clinic.

    He can live in America and not be American at all. Haven’t we learned anything from Europe about large masses of unassimilated aliens? And sure, the two groups, Mexican illegals and middle-Eastern Muslims are different – but having a large and alien group in your midst who don’t have your best interests at heart is not a good idea, irregardless.

    So your Irish great-great-great grandpa is apples and the guy holding the flag for the road crew might be oranges. Times and circumstances have changed since Emma Lazarus.

  • Owen

    This post may well be the closest thing to sane that I have recently seen written by and American Catholic. You have a large readership. By God, I hope people are really reading. I am not an American so I cannot comment on all the specific aspects of this post but I do agree it is high time the America got off its high horse and onto its collective knees to seek wisdom and O Canada? well, we’re just going to get our legs knocked out from under us and then we’ll be on our knees like it or not.

  • Owen

    This post may well be the closest thing to sane that I have recently seen written by and American Catholic. You have a large readership. By God, I hope people are really reading. I am not an American so I cannot comment on all the specific aspects of this post but I do agree it is high time the America got off its high horse and onto its collective knees to seek wisdom and O Canada? well, we’re just going to get our legs knocked out from under us and then we’ll be on our knees like it or not.

  • newton

    It’s an idea. It’s a start. Unfortunately, it is limited. And Vanderleun doesn’t think anyone in government will even embrace the idea until people start dying.

    My dear Anchoress: it is already happening, unfortunately.

    Check here.

    Think about the many, many illegals who die in the desert while trying to cross the dessert or the Rio Grande, and those who die of a heat stroke in mid summer in the middle of the fields of Kenedy County.

    Not to mention those who are killed by narco-terrorists and gangs once they’re brought back South by Border Patrol.

    There is a lot more to this issue than meets the eye. Lots more.

    There is the government of Mexico that stands to gain the most out of El Norte‘s golden goose. Lots of the revenue the Mexican government accumulates come from the money that is wire-transferred to families over there by relatives who work over here.

    Not to mention that the Mexican government has proving itself incapable of securing the prosperity and the safety of their own people. Too much corruption among their officials. Even Vicente Fox has not been able to weed out all the bad apples. And his term expires this summer.

    Kidnappings for ransom in Mexico happen daily. So do senseless murders for money or other reasons. The crazies are running the asylum. No wonder so many people want to leave it!

    And let’s not think that the problem is only happening on the southern border. In Puerto Rico, where I was born and grew up, the Coast Guard is always picking up boatloads of illegals crossing the Mona Passage from the Dominican Republic and Haiti into Puerto Rico. Not to mention the tons and tons of drugs that seep into the coast of the island, which the Coast Guard, Customs and even the FBI confiscate.

    The narco (drug) trade and illegal immigration have both made a real mess out of PR as well. As a result, too many of my own people pack their bags and move to the mainland (US). They can do it easily because PR is US territory and we are US citizens.

    The fact that PR is US jurisdiction is also used by illegals and narcos as well. Once in the island, it is very easy to take the next plane to Miami or NY. Too easy.

    I guess Hawai’i is the only state with no problem of that magnitude.

    Well, those are some of my thoughts. There’s mover over there where I’ma at.

  • newton

    It’s an idea. It’s a start. Unfortunately, it is limited. And Vanderleun doesn’t think anyone in government will even embrace the idea until people start dying.

    My dear Anchoress: it is already happening, unfortunately.

    Check here.

    Think about the many, many illegals who die in the desert while trying to cross the dessert or the Rio Grande, and those who die of a heat stroke in mid summer in the middle of the fields of Kenedy County.

    Not to mention those who are killed by narco-terrorists and gangs once they’re brought back South by Border Patrol.

    There is a lot more to this issue than meets the eye. Lots more.

    There is the government of Mexico that stands to gain the most out of El Norte‘s golden goose. Lots of the revenue the Mexican government accumulates come from the money that is wire-transferred to families over there by relatives who work over here.

    Not to mention that the Mexican government has proving itself incapable of securing the prosperity and the safety of their own people. Too much corruption among their officials. Even Vicente Fox has not been able to weed out all the bad apples. And his term expires this summer.

    Kidnappings for ransom in Mexico happen daily. So do senseless murders for money or other reasons. The crazies are running the asylum. No wonder so many people want to leave it!

    And let’s not think that the problem is only happening on the southern border. In Puerto Rico, where I was born and grew up, the Coast Guard is always picking up boatloads of illegals crossing the Mona Passage from the Dominican Republic and Haiti into Puerto Rico. Not to mention the tons and tons of drugs that seep into the coast of the island, which the Coast Guard, Customs and even the FBI confiscate.

    The narco (drug) trade and illegal immigration have both made a real mess out of PR as well. As a result, too many of my own people pack their bags and move to the mainland (US). They can do it easily because PR is US territory and we are US citizens.

    The fact that PR is US jurisdiction is also used by illegals and narcos as well. Once in the island, it is very easy to take the next plane to Miami or NY. Too easy.

    I guess Hawai’i is the only state with no problem of that magnitude.

    Well, those are some of my thoughts. There’s mover over there where I’ma at.

  • http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com/ benning

    As long as these people refuse to assimilate, as long as they demand to have everything done for them in Spanish, as long as they are using tax-payer-supported services – for which they do not pay taxes, and as long as they continue to show allegiance to a third world nation rather than to this nation, I must temper my compassion.

    When they yell support for La Raz, I demand they be shipped out. Should I stand in the street screaming, “White Power,” I would be charged with a hate crime and prosecuted. These idiots should be charged as well. I have no interest in their Raz. All we need here is more racial BS. La Raz, my A**. This is a part of the movement to take over the Southwest for the future Racial Nation of Aztlan. And isn’t that special?

    Anchoress, if Mexicans want to be here, because the USA offers opportunities that Mexico doesn’t, and may never offer, then, by damn, they’d best quit trying to create Mexico Norte. If that culture cannot create a viable culture south of the border, why transplant it north?

    Instead, let’s see these terribly concerned Mexicans, and their American supporters take care of what’s wrong in Mexico! That might be far more helpful.

    Publius Pundit has some interesting info on unrest down south. The Socialist Paradise of Mexico is not all ambrosia and sweet peasants.

  • http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com/ benning

    As long as these people refuse to assimilate, as long as they demand to have everything done for them in Spanish, as long as they are using tax-payer-supported services – for which they do not pay taxes, and as long as they continue to show allegiance to a third world nation rather than to this nation, I must temper my compassion.

    When they yell support for La Raz, I demand they be shipped out. Should I stand in the street screaming, “White Power,” I would be charged with a hate crime and prosecuted. These idiots should be charged as well. I have no interest in their Raz. All we need here is more racial BS. La Raz, my A**. This is a part of the movement to take over the Southwest for the future Racial Nation of Aztlan. And isn’t that special?

    Anchoress, if Mexicans want to be here, because the USA offers opportunities that Mexico doesn’t, and may never offer, then, by damn, they’d best quit trying to create Mexico Norte. If that culture cannot create a viable culture south of the border, why transplant it north?

    Instead, let’s see these terribly concerned Mexicans, and their American supporters take care of what’s wrong in Mexico! That might be far more helpful.

    Publius Pundit has some interesting info on unrest down south. The Socialist Paradise of Mexico is not all ambrosia and sweet peasants.

  • TheAnchoress

    It was never my intention to imply that all is sweetness and light. But not every Mexican immigrant is supporting La Raz, either. Where I live, we have a lot of illegals and they’re taking ESL classes and buying bikes to get themselves to work and going to church on Sunday. Let’s not caricature an entire group of people by the actions of some.

  • TheAnchoress

    It was never my intention to imply that all is sweetness and light. But not every Mexican immigrant is supporting La Raz, either. Where I live, we have a lot of illegals and they’re taking ESL classes and buying bikes to get themselves to work and going to church on Sunday. Let’s not caricature an entire group of people by the actions of some.

  • http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com/ benning

    You’re right, Ma’am. But that’s not what we’re seeing and hearing. As usual. And the noisy, obnoxious ones are the ones that get my dander up, and anger so many of us.

    The MSM, as usual, is screwing the pooch.

  • http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com/ benning

    You’re right, Ma’am. But that’s not what we’re seeing and hearing. As usual. And the noisy, obnoxious ones are the ones that get my dander up, and anger so many of us.

    The MSM, as usual, is screwing the pooch.

  • newton

    It’s actually La Raza, guys.

  • newton

    It’s actually La Raza, guys.

  • http://closedcafeteria.blogspot.com GeraldBoSox

    Nice to see I am not the only one supporting the bishops’ and the president’s position, Anchoress :)

  • http://closedcafeteria.blogspot.com GeraldBoSox

    Nice to see I am not the only one supporting the bishops’ and the president’s position, Anchoress :)

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  • TheAnchoress

    Gerald, we’re a distinct minority! Keep the slugger handy! :-)

  • TheAnchoress

    Gerald, we’re a distinct minority! Keep the slugger handy! :-)

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    Part of the problem lies deep within Mexico. As long as her government see the US as a safety valve for their discontented masses AND as a source of dollars (over $16 billion worth, second only to Mexican oil exports), then there is no reason for the Mexican government to fix what is broken in their society.
    .
    There are illegal immigrants from other countries as well, but the volume and the gateway for many, including those from Central and South America, is Mexico. As an article I read this morning pointed out, the US is the only First World country that shares a 2000 mile border with a Third World country–giving us special challenges, political and moral.

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    Part of the problem lies deep within Mexico. As long as her government see the US as a safety valve for their discontented masses AND as a source of dollars (over $16 billion worth, second only to Mexican oil exports), then there is no reason for the Mexican government to fix what is broken in their society.
    .
    There are illegal immigrants from other countries as well, but the volume and the gateway for many, including those from Central and South America, is Mexico. As an article I read this morning pointed out, the US is the only First World country that shares a 2000 mile border with a Third World country–giving us special challenges, political and moral.

  • joeh

    What ever happened to the good neighbor policy? Right now we do not have a good neighbor south of our border. We have one that is dumping their problems on our lawn and then reaping the reward of the cash sent home. My solution would be to make sure Mexico did not stand to profit in any way from the problems they are causing us at this time. Ever heard of Mexican jails? I seem to have heard they are not a very nice place to be. They are not hindered by the ACLU in dealing with people who break the law. If our government made this problem Mexico’s by making sure we arranged our policies toward that country in trade and anything else we can do until this problem is resolved, how long do you think it would take them to shut off the border? They know who the people are that are in business to smuggle people over the border and could put them in jail for long terms as an example. Those caught trying to cross the border could go to long terms in Mexican jails. Bush is down in Mexico playing nice with Fox and that idiot has the nerve to say the problem is now in the hands of the US congress. We will spend more money trying to seal the border than Mexico would ever dream of spending. Stop this illegal traffic and we can then have a conversation about being a good neighbor. If my neighbor was dumping hundreds of kids on my porch, I would not turn around and try to raise and care for them, I would be talking to my neighbor.
    I would also fine employers about 100,000 per incident that hire illegals and give a 10,000 reward to anyone that reports them. As to deporting those here, I would say that anyone caught in a criminal act in our country would face 25 years in a jail built by that sheriff down in Arizona in tents. Then we could rent them out to pick grapes for their upkeep. We would not need to deport them, they would disappear in droves. Now we would be in position to have a legal policy that makes sense.

  • joeh

    What ever happened to the good neighbor policy? Right now we do not have a good neighbor south of our border. We have one that is dumping their problems on our lawn and then reaping the reward of the cash sent home. My solution would be to make sure Mexico did not stand to profit in any way from the problems they are causing us at this time. Ever heard of Mexican jails? I seem to have heard they are not a very nice place to be. They are not hindered by the ACLU in dealing with people who break the law. If our government made this problem Mexico’s by making sure we arranged our policies toward that country in trade and anything else we can do until this problem is resolved, how long do you think it would take them to shut off the border? They know who the people are that are in business to smuggle people over the border and could put them in jail for long terms as an example. Those caught trying to cross the border could go to long terms in Mexican jails. Bush is down in Mexico playing nice with Fox and that idiot has the nerve to say the problem is now in the hands of the US congress. We will spend more money trying to seal the border than Mexico would ever dream of spending. Stop this illegal traffic and we can then have a conversation about being a good neighbor. If my neighbor was dumping hundreds of kids on my porch, I would not turn around and try to raise and care for them, I would be talking to my neighbor.
    I would also fine employers about 100,000 per incident that hire illegals and give a 10,000 reward to anyone that reports them. As to deporting those here, I would say that anyone caught in a criminal act in our country would face 25 years in a jail built by that sheriff down in Arizona in tents. Then we could rent them out to pick grapes for their upkeep. We would not need to deport them, they would disappear in droves. Now we would be in position to have a legal policy that makes sense.

  • gs

    Anchoress, excuse me if the following is a strawman for your position:

    1. The problem has arisen through decades of inaction, so let’s let it be.

    2. Maybe the illegal immigration is part of God’s plan for America.

    3. Since the workings of Providence are inscrutable, the situation may transform in a beneficial way.

    My reaction:

    1. Let’s not.

    2. Maybe it’s not.

    3. Let’s not count on that.
    ******************
    Off the top of my head:

    The first priority is to stop the problem from getting worse. Possible steps are a wall, deadly force at the borders, criminal penalties for illegals caught entering. Ship them to a really unpleasant country that will take them for a nominal fee.

    Second priority is to clean up the current system for legal immigration, which I gather is a bureaucratic nightmare. It’s disgraceful that it’s easier to enter the country illegally than legally.

    Third priority is the people who are already here illegally. I’m willing to talk about addressing their illegal status only after confidence in the rule of law has been restored. Compassion and mercy are admirable, but in our society they are invoked to disguise irresolution, fear and squeamishness. To feel these emotions is one thing; to tell oneself they are virtues is quite another.

  • gs

    Anchoress, excuse me if the following is a strawman for your position:

    1. The problem has arisen through decades of inaction, so let’s let it be.

    2. Maybe the illegal immigration is part of God’s plan for America.

    3. Since the workings of Providence are inscrutable, the situation may transform in a beneficial way.

    My reaction:

    1. Let’s not.

    2. Maybe it’s not.

    3. Let’s not count on that.
    ******************
    Off the top of my head:

    The first priority is to stop the problem from getting worse. Possible steps are a wall, deadly force at the borders, criminal penalties for illegals caught entering. Ship them to a really unpleasant country that will take them for a nominal fee.

    Second priority is to clean up the current system for legal immigration, which I gather is a bureaucratic nightmare. It’s disgraceful that it’s easier to enter the country illegally than legally.

    Third priority is the people who are already here illegally. I’m willing to talk about addressing their illegal status only after confidence in the rule of law has been restored. Compassion and mercy are admirable, but in our society they are invoked to disguise irresolution, fear and squeamishness. To feel these emotions is one thing; to tell oneself they are virtues is quite another.

  • pendell

    Dear Anchoress,

    First of all, I agree with your prayer for “an understanding heart”…

    … and also that the people whose responsibility this is would act in accordance with that wisdom, and not with an eye to short-term advantage.

    The second, I suspect, is harder than the first.

    Now, a question for you:

    If the immigrants we were speaking of were not Catholic, but were instead fundamentalist Islamic, would the tenor of this piece be any different?

    I am a Protestant, of course. But I note that pre-Reformation Europe did not lack for wars between Catholic Monarchs, and Rome was even sacked by a Catholic army … ironically, an army that was most concerned with fighting adherents of the Reformation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Rome_%281527%29

    While I agree with your thoughts on compassion, I wonder to what extent they are misplaced … I fear it is likely we are creating a breeding ground for a nationalist insurgency which will not be put down easily.

    The solution of course, is either 1) convince these people that America is a better alternative or 2) a massive pogrom. IIRC the Egyptians tried #2 with the Isrealites. It didn’t work, and it earned God’s disfavor.

    Since #2 is therefore no real option, it means that the schoolteachers and so forth are going to have to get busy and start reminding them … and each other … that America is a good place and worth preserving.

    America will stand as long as we believe in it and can convince others to do so. I think it likely that the reason so many new immigrants don’t believe in this country is because we don’t, either, and that despair is contagious.

    But if despair is contagious, so is hope.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.

  • pendell

    Dear Anchoress,

    First of all, I agree with your prayer for “an understanding heart”…

    … and also that the people whose responsibility this is would act in accordance with that wisdom, and not with an eye to short-term advantage.

    The second, I suspect, is harder than the first.

    Now, a question for you:

    If the immigrants we were speaking of were not Catholic, but were instead fundamentalist Islamic, would the tenor of this piece be any different?

    I am a Protestant, of course. But I note that pre-Reformation Europe did not lack for wars between Catholic Monarchs, and Rome was even sacked by a Catholic army … ironically, an army that was most concerned with fighting adherents of the Reformation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Rome_%281527%29

    While I agree with your thoughts on compassion, I wonder to what extent they are misplaced … I fear it is likely we are creating a breeding ground for a nationalist insurgency which will not be put down easily.

    The solution of course, is either 1) convince these people that America is a better alternative or 2) a massive pogrom. IIRC the Egyptians tried #2 with the Isrealites. It didn’t work, and it earned God’s disfavor.

    Since #2 is therefore no real option, it means that the schoolteachers and so forth are going to have to get busy and start reminding them … and each other … that America is a good place and worth preserving.

    America will stand as long as we believe in it and can convince others to do so. I think it likely that the reason so many new immigrants don’t believe in this country is because we don’t, either, and that despair is contagious.

    But if despair is contagious, so is hope.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.

  • Pingback: Immolation By Illegal Immigration? « Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

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