Did You Ever Ask Yourself “Why?”

A post from a friend on FB about immigration inspired this morning rant, which has been percolating for a while.

Have you ever asked yourself “why?” with respect to immigration?

You hear about “immigrants are taking our jobs”, but why would this be happening?

  • Are they willing to work for less? But isn’t it good business to get the lowest priced workers? Would you be willing to work for less?
  • Perhaps they are more skilled then you? Are they? What can you do to improve your skills that you aren’t doing, but they are?
  • Perhaps they have a better work ethic? Show up on time, less sick days, less absences, more productive?
  • Is it is job you would be willing to do, or is it “beneath you”?

Often, the reason an immigrant is hired is not because of the immigrant, but because of what is lacking in the person who isn’t hired.

Oh, and if you think they are hiring undocumented immigrants, ask yourself who is hiring them? It isn’t any companies of any size who have to fill out and submit the government paperwork. It is those paying cash under the table to avoid taxes and other overhead. In other words: Businesses who think more about profit than anything else. It is those hiring day works or household workers, who can avoid paperwork. Perhaps that guy you picked up at Home Depot to help you build your wall. Then ask yourself: Who (or what) is pushing you in that direction, and why?

Now, ask yourself: Why are people opposed to letting in more legal immigrants? Hint: It isn’t due to jobs or crime or any of the reasons given. There are really just a few underlying reasons:

  • Fear of the other, of those who are different, those who have different customs.
  • Fear of dilution: that letting in those with different customs and practices will somehow weaken your majority position and your implicit privilege
  • Fear of loss of power: that those entering the country will be of a different political persuasion than you, and will dilute the power your party or faction has in running the country. That is also, by the way, why Puerto Rico can’t become a state: it will upset the balance.

That last one is the real reason immigration is opposed by the Conservatives: Most immigrants, when they come in the country, vote Progressive. More immigrants means dilution of the voting block, dilution of the last stand for $skin_color $political_value $religious_value. I think you can fill in the parameters. Sure, you’ll hear arguments about being fair to those that came before them, who have had to wait in line for years. But since when has this country really been fair to all?

What are my thoughts:  We should cut much of the immigration red tape and quotas. If you have a clean background (no violent or sexual crimes), if you are not connected with terrorist groups, and you have the ability to support yourself, you should be able to get a limited time work visa. If you can demonstrate by the end of that visa that you were able to be employed, sustain yourself, pay taxes, and pass the citizenship test, you should be able to become a citizen. I’d love to be able to add a minor change: You become a provisional citizen, which can become permanent by voting consistently in a two year election cycle.

Once you see the whole immigration debate — and indeed, much of what the party in power does (whatever the party in power is) — as a power play to retain their power, much becomes clear.