Apr 23, 2010

All they need is a foothold.

Does anybody else see a similarity between the proposed Arizona immigration law and the measures taken by the Germans in the 1930’s to identify Jews? The proposal would make it a REQUIREMENT for local Arizona law enforcement to determine an individual's immigration status if an officer SUSPECTS that person is in the country illegally. They can look at you and decide that you need to produce papers saying you are legally here in the US.

Those who think that somehow the Germans were intrinsically evil and that nothing like that could happen again should read the book “Stones from the River” by Ursula Hegi.  The Nazis didn’t march into Germany one day and take over as the Third Reich. It was a slow and gradual process that started with measures like those being proposed in Arizona. Things that were easy for people to shake their head at in disagreement and go on about their business. Next thing you know people are wearing stars on their clothes. Then another year or two later and they are being hauled off in the middle of the night to be murdered. Meanwhile everybody else is either brainwashed or living in fear of the crazies now running the country.

These border fanatics are employing the same tactics in Arizona. Their message – “Everything wrong with your life is THEIR fault. If we can just get control (get rid of) THEM things will be better for everybody.” I’ve had statistics quoted to me about the number of illegal aliens in prison, in gangs, in HUD housing, on welfare….. The people quoting these statistics don’t seem to understand that poverty is the common denominator for these issues, not alien status or their not-so-veiled implication that it’s based on somebody’s nationality.

Immigration needs reform. Nobody can argue that point. My opinion is we do two things. First, punish the people who employ illegal aliens. They are the ones promoting illegal immigration into this country. Easy explanation for why we don’t. They are the business owners who make contributions to political campaigns. So instead we demonize the illegals who are, for the most part, coming here to make a better life for themselves. Isn’t that where most of us came from somewhere down the line?

For the better part of my twenty years in HR I have collected I-9s to make sure our employees are able to work legally in the US. I have never once had my records inspected by INS. I’ve never talked to another HR person who has. Employers know that the government doesn’t have the resources to enforce the law. They are too busy building fences and adding guards at the border. Let’s enforce our immigration laws at the source of the income. Enforce existing laws against HIRING illegal aliens and punish those who ignore them.

Second, issue working visas that would make it easier for immigrants to work here on a temporary basis. This benefits everybody. We could start collecting taxes off of these wages. It would also raise the overall wage rate in the US which right now is being held down because of under the table wages paid to illegal immigrants. With a legal method to come here and work the people left trying to illegally cross the borders would be criminals trying to avoid the scrutiny of the INS.

I am probably a little more sensitive these days to the immigration issue. My new son-in-law is Mexican. So, when I hear people paint all Mexicans as (fill in the blank), it makes me very angry. These days it seems to be OK to spew hatred and venom on Latinos so long as you replace the word Mexican with “Illegal Immigrants”. You think that means you’re not a racist? Bullshit.


  1. i am one of those people who don't see the connection to nazi germany tactics (and before everyone jumps on me, i just want to say that i am foreign born, have a foreign name, so EVERY time i fly i am flagged to have all my bags searched and a female officer does a pat down. no kidding - EVERY time)

    i don't agree with blaming every problem arizona (or our country) has to illegal immigration, because it's just not true and anyone with a brain knows that.
    however, i do believe in the right of a sovereignty to enforce their borders and to deport those who are in a country illegally.

    i know people say racial profiling, but if there was an amber alert saying a child abductor was driving an suv, the police would not be stopping motorcycles or sedans.
    the fact is the vast majority of people entering arizona illegally are latinos.

    it's a touchy subject. my humanitarian side empathizes with anyone who wants to better the lives of themselves and their families, but my analytical side believes rules should be obeyed and enforced.

    ok - i'm ready for everyone to flame me! haha.

    hope you still like me :)

  2. You, my friend, ROCK!!!! :) And I couldn't agree with you more.

    I have a hard time even understanding the concept of not letting some people in to our country. Isn't that how most of our ancestors got here in the first place, because they were allowed to come in and work?

    I like your plan, though. It makes a lot of sense. So when are you running for President? :) :)

  3. mi - I didn't put a post like this up with the expectation that everyone agreed with me. I knew some people wouldn't Healthy debate, though frowned on these days, is essential to a strong democracy. I am not trying to say that this law in Arizona will lead to death camps but I am trying to make the point that targeting the person instead of the issue will lead to nowhere good.

    Are illegal aliens criminals? Yes. Do we need to control our borders? Yes. Will enacting a law that will lead to target people walking down the street because of the color of their skin change anything? In my opinion it won't.

    Feel free to disagree with me any time you want. I don't have all the answers, just my own opinions. :)

    MHP - That's the same thing that gets me going. My German and Irish ancestors came to this country for the same reasons people are still coming. Yet they get looked upon as pioneers. Make no mistake that race plays a large part in how emotinoally people feel about this issue today. If the immigrants looked more like "us" these hard core reformers wouldn't be so incensed by their presence.

  4. so i take it, since you have german and irish ancestors, the profile pic on your blog is not of you?

    i do agree with you that politicians lose focus of the real issues and the real, tangible ways to deal with them. i think that's the problem with "committee thinking". instead of making a plan that makes sense to them as an individual (like you did in your post), they make a plan that has bits and pieces of a ton of individual opinions.

  5. It's a formula right out of the Nazi playbook..Using fear to codify racism.
    This law has an added appeal to those 'Birthers' who are angry about having a black man in the White House.
    'Show us your papers!'..

  6. As our president said, the new law is misguided. It is racism. I do like your suggestions.

  7. Right on Christine!!!!! I read Stones....you are spot on!

  8. mi - my profile pic is from a movie called Kung Fu Hustle. I highly recommend it. There is a rumor in our family that some of the Germans had a little bit of Chinese in them.

    Sling - Just read how Arizona was the last state to adopt a MLKJ Day. And then it was only after years of boycotts that lost them milions of dollars in convention revenue. Forward thinkers you got there. Texas is right on their heels.

    Mom - I am baffled by how the employers are never talked about as part of the solution.

    Rosemary - one of my favorite books. Too easy to demonize the Germans which doesn't allow you to take away any lessons to prevent it from happening again.

  9. Do you remember when you didn't have any ID if you didn't hold a driving license - out here in Aussie land...I remember not even having a Taxation number - there were no tolls on any of the "public roads" even during the planned Japanese Invasion of Australia there were no I D cards...and the world didn't grind to a halt...

    go for the factory and sweat shop owners...for the organisers of prostitution and drug selling all of which are populated by those with nothing left to sell but their bodies for whatever work...

    You know if they put a halt on alowing Chinese goods in so easily there would be work for all...