Author’s Note: In the foreseeable future, all blog entries penned by Chuck Bloom will fall under the title of “And the Truth Is … ” to explain to the readers what is, and is NOT, the truth and what is utter nonsense (as opposed to common sense, which will be employed in all future blog submissions).
Many past submissions could be reworked into a future book, “And the Truth Is …”
“And the Truth Is …:” Illegal immigration is complicated and won’t go away anytime soon
They will bury Dallas police officer Brian Jackson today in Rhode Island. A memorial service was the lead story on almost all Dallas-Fort Worth newscasts and it has been the topic of water cooler conversation since the tragic incident happened last Sunday morning.
Jackson, a five-year member of the DPD, was shot and killed while answering a domestic dispute, giving chase to the suspect, an illegal immigrant from Mexico.
Jackson leaves behind a tearful wife of two months and thousands of angry Dallasites, clamoring for immediate action to toss out any and all illegal immigrants from the city, from the state, from the nation. To hear from many of them, every illegal is a criminal – armed and dangerous and waiting to kill every cop or every civilian on two feet.
God, I wish it were THAT simple. If it were, it would have been done already on all three governmental levels. But it can’t happen that fast, if it can happen at all.
And the truth is … I’m not sure everyone wants such a pipeline of cheap-ass labor to stop flowing across our southern border. It would … complicate things on many, MANY levels – all of which revolve around the almighty dollar.
The REAL problem is our societal paradox concerning everyday things - like food and retail prices, the cost of labor and which consumer group gets what. Illegal immigration is ALL about money - the workers coming across the border supply labor for a much cheaper price than U.S. workers. They do the jobs that North American workers tend NOT to want (stoop field labor for agriculture, manual construction work, landscape, cleaning, restaurant) - and for a much cheaper rate.
Consumers, while complaining about the presence of that type of labor force, do not want to pay MORE for goods - especially food. They like the cheaper prices they pay for the “fruits” of the illegal immigrants’ labor. Check that; they demand that such prices be kept artificially low. It cannot be done without it; again, that’s the truth.
If you travel through the vegetable belt of this land, in central California, you see the bounty of the land in full bloom. And you see who is doing the brutal, backbreaking work – immigrants, mostly from Mexico. Most of this work cannot be done through machines – it is hand to hand, basket by basket, bushel by bushel.
In cities like Soledad, they live in decent homes and go to decent schools, in the shadow, of course, of a large state prison. Prices are higher than other areas (notably the price of gasoline over the fall was far higher than the national average and higher than the big California cities) because companies can get away with doing it. There is no economic resistance available.
Then you have corporations, while fending off efforts to see themselves penalized for employing illegal immigrants, enjoy the heftier bottom line profit margins because of the cheaper rates paid to illegals. Wal-Mart has admitted to employing illegal immigrants, often to do their store cleaning, and has gotten away with murder (not literally) by avoiding prosecution and heavy fines.
Others have done the same or worse, if the truth be told.
And there is also Mexico, which needs to be a player in any immigration game. It thoroughly enjoys thinning out its potential labor force by NOT doing a damn thing to stop the cheaper labor from crossing the Rio Grande. That means a significant percentage of workers IT doesn’t have to worry about and can work (however slowly that might be) toward its own economic reformation.
No thickness of wall (along the 2,000-mile border), no threats of deportation and no American action is going to change the fact that it is in Mexico’s economic interest to keep the labor flow going. Frankly, there is just too close and cozy of a relationship between the Bush Administration and the Vicente Fox government in Mexico City. The White House talks a strong game but offers nothing but the “same old, same old” in this area and what has been put forth has angered conservatives AND liberals – a true rarity in today’s political atmosphere.
But in Dallas, that matters little today. A good office is dead and there would be a lynch mob gathered at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center if allowed.
To be clear: Not all illegals shoot police officers or commit crimes; that behavior is done by people of all nationalities and color. You’ve got crime everywhere and that is a parallel discussion to that of immigration. Most immigrants try to do what they intended to do all along – work hard and send money back to Mexico (yeah, like the Mexican government is going to refuse this influx of revenue).
Until serious action is taken on multiple fronts - not just a knee-jerk “kick ‘em all out” attitude - there will be more anger, more tragedy and more illegals.
And that’s the truth …