21 Jan 2009

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (US Flag)
Coming home from a looong day at work, I heard the following in a news story about a rally asking President Obama* to change immigration law. One of their complaints concerned Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

"We need to stop these indiscriminate raids by ICE. They're picking people up just for being undocumented workers."


Wait, what? One of the jobs of Immigration & Customs Enforcement is enforcing our immigration laws. Which means that if you are inside the borders of the United States of America without a valid visa, residency permit, or other proof that you have a legal right to be here, you are breaking the law. Period. End of story. Under the law, such people are subject to deportation following a hearing. Don't like ICE raids? Don't bust the border.

This isn't about not liking Mexicans (or Chinese, or confused Canadians), it is about having control over who enters our nation. Look, this summer Kirsten and i are flying to Montreal; a city spitting distance from the US border, a city where I'm told we could use US money with little trouble. Yet to enter Canada and re-enter the United States we need passports. This isn't a huge hassle, and I understand it. If I wanted to move to Canada, there is an amazing number of hoops to jump through because Canada gets to choose who lives there. Being the longest undefended land border in the world, I could easily cross into Canada, and probably find work, but I would be subject to arrest and deportation.

There is another consideration.. my health. Close to 14 years past cancer, and i still have a weak immune system. How do I know that the Mexicans working on a job site don't carry drug-resistant TB? Or Hepatitis B? Hell, Pneumonic Plague is still out there. Legal immigrants are subject to health checks. I don't want to die because Pedro/Chiang/Whoever decided that he deserved a chance to skip the line.

Do we need serious immigration reform? Hell yes! We need a way to allow the people who want to come here and work to do so without the nearly insurmountable hassles they currently face. But, on the other hand, I'm a US citizen, and the needs and safety of my nation have to come first. Grapple, grapple.

There's no easy solution, but don't complain because the Immigration cops are enforcing the law.


*I don't think I'm going to get tired of saying that anytime soon...
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (San Francisco)
Gotta love Don Asmussen's Bad Reporter )

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