22 December 2010

dream a little dream

in the midst of a very productive lame duck session of congress (d.a.d.t. repealed, START ratified, another giant stimulus package passed), and president obama knocking some heads, a most unfortunate dream slipped through the cracks of congress.

okay, so immigration in america is a subject most don't even want to touch. sooooo many morons out there... despite the fact that we are a nation of immigrants, little seems to fire up the masses more than "mexicans stealing our jobs," "building a fence along the border," "terror babies," or whatever other racially inflammatory bout of idiocy our media and the right wing are able to stir up.

funny thing is, that our immigration policy hurts the american economy much more than it hurts anyone or anything else, save perhaps the tens of thousands of kids who grew up in america thinking their whole lives that they were american citizens, only to discover at college app time or military entry time that they're here illegally (we'll get to this in just a sec).

american immigration policy puts a cap on the number of foreigners who can legally migrate here in any given year. a lot of the folks who want to be here came here legally, attended our universities, and possess knowledge, skills, and an entrepreneurial spirit that might be a boost to our economy. if only we'd let them stay. but we don't. and off they go, back to the whence from which they came, to take their education, skills, and job-creating entrepreneurial spirit to boost an economy in another corner of the world.

as for the "mexican problem," again complete and utter nonsense. yes, there is drug-related violence on the borders, and yes, the obama administration's uptick in border patrol has resulted in reduced violence, more arrests, and fewer illegal border crossings. but the folks crossing the border illegally are also creating a bit of an economic boom themselves. they move into neighborhoods, which means they are buying housing, groceries, clothing, and other necessary life items that the job force has to create and distribute. and they are, frankly, taking jobs you and i don't want for a paycheck you and i don't want. further, they are paying taxes into social security, medicare, and state and federal coffers for services most will never use. check the stats. all true.

but americans think with their feelings, not their heads, with their fear and not their hope. otherwise, the dream act would also have passed through this lame duck session of congress.

the dream act offers a 6-year road to citizenship for kids who grew up in america, albeit illegally (often without even knowing it), so long as they finish college or complete two years of military service. these are americans, people who contribute to our society and our economy, who are being punished for the sins of their parents. it's a no-brainer bill, with bipartisan backing. but the senate still can't muster a filibuster proof 60-vote majority, primarily because republicans are unduly slapping contentious labels like "amnesty" onto a bill meant to do the right thing for thousands of innocent children who had no say in whether they entered this country legally or otherwise.

but like so much else in this country right now, it's not about right or wrong, but about the cries of the ignorant malcontents who, in this particular case, can't see beyond the words "illegal immigrant"...