May 20, 2010

“Do you try to evolve or do you try to know what you are?”   This was a question posed on tonight’s episode of NBC’s “Community”.  This is a real question, even if it was delivered in a Full House-esque manner.  You know, we all laugh when DJ and Kimmy get drunk and fall but then we cry when Danny reveals the seriousness of the issue and the real life people make a PSA after the episode.  It really boils down to whether or not we do what we should or what we are comfortable with.

Skipping the crap, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS ILLEGAL.  Arizona’s new has created a rift not seen since the Team Jacob/Edward thing.  Tonight on NPR a lady claimed that this law illustrated “America’s fear of people with brown skin”.  You have to be kidding me.  Somehow, the enforcement of law indicated something wrong with America.  Maybe she is unaware of the former all caps statement.  The law simply indicates that if someone is stopped by police, the police have the authority to ensure they have proper documentation to be in the country.  This is barely different than when you are pulled over for speeding and the cops make sure you don’t have a warrant.  Should we stop that?

Let’s not worry about any laws because it makes us uncomfortable.  If people want to illegally come into a country let them, they are only trying to improve their situation.  So are people who steal.

I was once told “if you want sympathy, you can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.  This may be funny and quippy but sympathy isn’t a bad thing.  I get it.  People want to improve their situation.  Good.  It’s human nature to want to improve but not at the expense of the law.

The mayor and city of Los Angeles have decided, because of the Arizona law, to boycott the state.  As wrong as they may be I applaud their sense of duty.  The city has banned all travel to Arizona for business and will not consider any future contracts with companies based in that state.  Good for them.  This generated a response from the Arizona Department of Energy.  Not the whole department but a member.  He offered to help LA with their new boycott.  You see, 20-25% of LA’s electricity is provided by two power plants located in Arizona.  The ADE rep offered to divert that power somewhere else in order for LA to not rely on Arizona for any services.  LA declined the offer.

This brings us back to our original question.  Arizona, has enacted a law, right or wrong, they have stood by their decision.  LA has started a boycott, right or wrong, and they are picking and choosing the bits that help them the most.  I am choosing to leave this slightly open ended to encourage some discussion.  I am not sure who reads this blog, but I would value your comment.  Which community is right?


4 Responses to “Community”

  1. Shane said

    Well immigration is a pretty hot button issue that is in need of a lot of action. America is a country that is built on the backs of immigrants (and not to mention slaves). My big issue with it is that it is so hard for so many people trying to improve their lives to come here and do so. A long time ago Irish, Italian, German immigrants etc. came over on boats and were simply quarantined for a few weeks and were then simply let in. Now it can (and usually does) take up to 7 to 10 years for someone to immigrate to this country “legally”.

  2. gfabbott said

    It likens to preventative maintenance on a car. We have neglected the manitenance and now the transmission, engine, brakes, shocks and alignment are all out of whack. But as far as citizenship, we have gotten that wrong as well. It’s like traffic, most of us calmly wait in our lanes to move forward and progress, doing things the right way. Then along comes a Porsche Boxster and cuts us off and switches from lane to lane creating more problems. The people we want in this country are the people who are willing to do things the right way and wait for their time. And you cannot reqard bad behavior by granting amnesty to those who are already here illegally. That’s called appeasement and that’s how WW2 started.

    • Cleve said

      I think this issue is too far reaching to be viewed in a strictly legal vs illegal sense. Am I opposed to people breaking the laws of this country? Absolutely. But the issue is bigger than a law being broken. I will use your car example to help illustrate my point. Lets say that your car was running fine right now. Sure, you have maybe have missed some oil changes, but overall, your car is viewed as the premier car on the market. Would you get the maintenance done if it meant removing vital parts to your car, threatening its ability to function? Of course not. Illegal immigrants serve a vital role in the economy of our country and many of the jobs they do would simply not be replaced if they were all suddenly removed.

      At the beginning of medical school we had to read a book titled “The Working Poor” which highlighted the role that these people have in many different aspects of our society. Because of their illegal status, they work for well below minimum wage, with a huge percentage being migrant laborers. They do jobs that people in this country would not do, even at minimum wage. What would happen to our foundations if they were removed?

      I understand the arguments for the other side as well, though. One, it’s illegal. Two, immigrants put a strain on our resources (schools, hospitals, police, etc). The only practical solutions I see to these 2 things, are to either to continue on and ignore the issue, or to grant amnesty to anyone already here, and attempt to tighten our borders. My argument has nothing to do with the moral aspects of the situation, and is based purely on what I see as practicality. I dont know exactly how the extension of citizenship would work, however. And even with my “solution” I see faults (ie. who would determine who is elligible?, would drug dealers be elligible?, would you have to prove that you contribute to society?, etc, etc).

      And I don’t view it as rewarding “bad behavior.” The comparison with stealing, while accurate, lacks a sense of morality and justice. We have to look look at not only what the law says, but also its essence. Certainly someone stealing a loaf of bread to feed himself, cannot be put into the same category as a CEO of Enron. The same is true for these people. If they are truly here looking for a better life, have integrated into our society, and provide a service we need, then what exactly is their bad behavior? Yes, some come in and become drug dealers, but this is not the norm.

      All I know for certain is that kicking these people out is absolutely not an option.

      • gfabbott said

        This brings up a seperate issue all together. A few years ago the State of California “cleaned up the back stretch” of horse racing. This crippled the industry. No one to cleanup after the horses, etc. Because horse racing provides a great deal of income to Cali, it was repealed and they decided to look the other way. I think immigrants have an incredible work ethic and truly understand the meaning of a hard days work. This cannot be discounted. To date, I have never seen a hispanic person holding a sign at an off ramp that reads “Please help, God bless.” Amnesty however is just a form of appeasement, and that’s how WW2 got started.
        Maybe the solution is to adopt something similar to the UK. If someone wants to jump to the front of the line, they must be “sponsored” by a business. This would ensure that they are properly documented and providing a service to society at large. This would also ensure that they were being paid a full and legal wage to work in this country. Amnesty would reward those people who have come illegally into this country while people in other parts of the world wait patiently and LEGALLY for their turn.
        Some laws need to be enforced despite their practicaliy. Let me explain. Social Security is the right thing to do. But this never would have become practice if people were thinking about being practical with our laws or whatever Social Security is. The same with unemployment. Why should people who work pay people who don’t? That makes no practical sense, but on a certain level it is justifiable for a society. You can’t simply allow something to happen because of practicality. That’s like saying “it’s convenient for people to speed and way too difficult to enforce, go as fast as you want.” I agree that this is a complex issue but there is an equitable resolution, I am not sure what that is, but I think Arizona has pushed the envelope far enough that it’s created the need for real discussion.

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