The Case for Amnesty


For a few new readers I should reiterate the reasons for some kind of “amnesty” of undocumented or illegal immigrants. Perhaps a more politically palatable word is “regularization.”

This does not mean that the US should move to open borders or open its doors to millions of new immigrants. It simply means that those that are already here should be regularized. And this article has nothing to do with the situation in Europe, which has its own dynamics.

First up: A majority of illegal immigrants in the US entered in the 1990s after the peso crisis and NAFTA dumping of US agricultural products in Mexico.

Back then, being undocumented was an un-enforced misdemeanor. Moreover, all segments of society encouraged it. The migrants were given bank accounts, drivers’ licenses, home mortgages and so on. America society depended on cheap labor for jobs most American citizens no longer accept.

So, millions of migrants, especially Mexicans, were given a nudge, nudge, wink, wink. This makes the current crackdown dishonorable.

Second, illegal immigrants only “cost” American society money along the border and in some metropolitan areas, especially Los Angeles.

Across the rest of the country, undocumented migrants are working very long hours, at very tough jobs, and many pay into Social Security and pay other taxes, because they are using the numbers of others.

Simultaneously, these migrants represent a large portion of consumer spending. They shop at Wal-Mart, load up on gas, etc…

Regarding the young Dreamers who were dragged across the border as children, it might be pointed out that the US is a signatory to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

This means, implicitly, that the US is expected to issue citizenship to people with certain vulnerabilities: minors with no paperwork or documentation from their countries of origin, with no ties to their countries of origin (sometimes no ties to the parents that brought them here), and often no language or cultural ties to their country of origin.

This brings me to the third reason for regularization or amnesty of some kind: Enforcing deportation on a large scale requires a police state.

Already, we have seen ICE’s Gestapo tactics were employed against a young woman, Daniela Vargas, who brought here when she was 7 years old. It cannot be a coincidence that she was arrested after speaking publicly on the issue. She now faces deportation without a hearing.

Meantime, the alt-right media is all aboard this statist crackdown on immigrants. This even true for Infowars, which spent decades warning of a police state.

First, they came for the illegals…

There is also a problem with the “conservatism” on this issue. True, “liberalism” is guilty of being a nanny state philosophy – of the mommyfication of society. So my trashing of conservatism does not mean I am a liberal. I follow “complexity theory.”

Conservatism easily slides into authoritarianism, and endorses a belief in the infallibility of people or courts. Hence: the conservative backing of the death penalty, for example, even though judges and juries can never know the complete truth. Here, conservatives really infantilize themselves: Father Knows Best.

On immigration, conservatives are like: “but they broke the law.”

Here, there is no complexity, no context, no backstory – no division of the “law” from “ethics.” This is the kind of slave thinking to be expected from Bible thumpers.

So that is my opinion on illegal immigration. On every other domestic issue under the sun (the economy, wars, whatever) I readily acknowledge that many Americans know more that I do.

Not about this issue. Not only did I live in central Mexico for 7 years, and right on the border for another 4 years, but I also married a Mexican woman who had been illegal (later divorced, but with two Mexican-American children).

When in the US, I often stay in the homes of undocumented people – my network of extended family in Houston and Los Angeles. I speak Spanish fluently. Maybe someday I will meet an Anglo-American who knows as much about this issue as I do. Have not yet.

Just saying.

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