Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weighing In

Last week, I responded to my dear friend's facebook posting about the current illegal immigration situation in America. Not surprising, Arizona was singled out as having dubious motives for passing their "anti-immigrant" law, which can also be seem as a "pro-state's rights" law. Either way, Arizona has taken federal immigration law and made it state law. I pointed that out, explaining that while there is a human component, understand that it is the duty and mission of the nation-state to defend it citizenry at all costs. Now the battle begins.

The only dog I have in this fight is the desire of my nation to have secure and defensible borders, which I truly feel everyone agrees on. But because I live in a state and city with a heavy Hispanic population, the debate tends to get emotional, as it is not unusual that the person sitting next to you is actually from south of our border or their parents were. Disagreements tend to be reduced to the charge of racism.

They are all, in my opinion, welcome. This country is surely physically big enough for everyone, and I think, emotionally big enough as well. Meaning, we are all trained early on to accept differences, even if we don't personally like everyone we meet. Just like needing a light on when you sleep or a certain lucky charm around your neck when you work, I need diversity. I need all those ethnic groups around me. It makes me feel alive.

But that doesn't mean people have the right to break the law. And the reports of open lawlessness on the part of drug cartels in Arizona is unacceptable. It is the duty of the federal government to protect its citizenry, and that can only be done by clearly defending those borders and defining not just who, but how to become a citizen.

As I mentioned in one of my facebook encounters with Carlos, who took up my call for defensible borders by, among other things, invoking the Torah, illegal immigrant proponents are demanding rights basically for one ethnic group - theirs. I asked him if another cultural group from another part of the world came in illegally by the millions and worked for less, would these same illegal immigrant proponents support them? Of course not.

At the end of the day, we need something we can agree on. It breaks my heart to see we are not even close to getting there.

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