I successfully navigated my presentation on Global Migration last Monday. More than 100 denizens of Harbour Ridge politely listened to TTG and by all accounts I was a tad more than presentable. At least nobody threw anything.
Kathy asked me what was next and I have been cogitating about that all week. But there is nagging voice in my head. I started to recreate my talk for you but in truth it was far too wordy. I have been frustrated by my inability to come up with a pithy solution to migration. Maybe like many of you.
Migration has gone on for millennia. It is a force of nature. A wall, short of putting out 10,000 volts upon touching, is not going to stop anyone. in my humble estimation, bringing new people to our shores should not be curtailed . It is what keeps us vibrant, creative and in may cases alive. God forbid that we admit we need help in everything from the sciences to cutting our lawns.
Yuval Harari in his book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” puts it best in his chapter on immigration. First we must decide are we going to let people in ? If we vote yes then is it a privilege we are bestowing or a moral right open to all? Antis will claim we are being invaded and we have worked hard to make our country what it is. You can’t just come in here and screw it up.
Fair enough but are we all willing to look the other way when it comes to cleaning our houses, serving our restaurants and making construction projects more affordable? We want to have our cake and eat it too. Okay, you can bus tables but does that mean I have to educate you and take care of you if you are sick? Interesting question.
Secondly, if I do let you in, then you should have to play by my rules. You have a responsibility to assimilate. That is not as obsequious as it may sound. We have some sort of identity as Americans even though I am hard pressed to define what it is. You cannot have Sharia Law in your neighborhood. You should learn the language. You should work to fit in no matter how hard we make it. More on that later.
Lastly we have to decide how long am I going to give you to meet some sort of standards? Five years? A generation? Please don’t forget the Little Italies, Germantowns and Chinatowns we have not only endured but embraced. They did not happen overnight.
Living in Harbour Ridge or Palm Desert or Denver is not all that different. We as a nation have created habitats over many generations. Cities, neighborhoods and parishes. And the pure and simple truth is we don’t like outsiders and we don’t want change. We reminisce about the good old days and yearn for Ozzie and Harriet or some other look alike to move in next door. Sorry kids, those days are gone.
Give me that old time religion? How many of us go to church? Muslims scare the crap out of us. Anyone named Muhammed has to be wearing a suicide belt. What is that lady under the hijab looking at? What really goes on inside those mosques? They eat funny food even though we wolf down sushi, Thai food and and Indian cuisine is not exactly from the Navajos. .
We abhor new things but our world and our tastes have completely turned over since the sixties and seventies. We just have never paid attention to it. Remember when Swanson TV dinners were an acceptable cuisine? Point being? Change is good as long as it is gradual. If you don’t believe we have made changes for the better in food, medicine, transportation et al, then enjoy your own little part of the world. The rest of us have to move on in some sort of sane way.
The point about transitions happening at a moderate pace should not be looked at askance. The left wants it tomorrow. The right never wants it. Their extreme positions although terribly popular today are untenable. We wind up getting nowhere. I don’t know about you but nowhere is not my desired destination.
Migration is a microcosm of our world. To get it right we have to be deliberative, compromising and above all cognizant of our fellow man or woman. Yes, we should reach out to the people that need it but we can’t run over those that are already here. I guess this winner take all attitude or high ground positions are what is making me Nuts in La La Land.
What if these burrs in our saddles became itches we have to scratch? Not to be ignored but worthy of thought. Can’t we take entitlements, healthcare, infrastructure, and education in the same vein. Maybe that is naive on my part but I am not willing to let it go just yet. How about you? Have you quit in disgust or arrogance or is there room for negotiation somewhere? I hope so.
Ted The Great
We have 15 million illegals in the country. 3/4 of them are here by overstaying visas not sneaking across the border. A majority have been here over 10 years. Can we deport all of them or should we just look the other way?
The southern border is 2000 miles long. We have secured 650 miles of it. If you drew a straight line from San Diego to Cleveland, Ohio that would come in at 2000 miles. Should we build, man and maintain that distance for years to come?
People come here for a better life and that translates into work. There is a system called EVerify which if used by companies in our country would make it impossible for an illegal to get a job. Corporate America loves the cheap labor to increase bottom lines. The ACLU thinks it is an invasion of privacy. Lovely!
As the result of a 1952 convention that we as a nation signed off on an asylum seeker has a RIGHT to come to our door and ask for refuge. We have the RIGHT to say no. They have the RIGHT to appeal.That is the law! We have 825,000 asylum seekers waiting to be heard by 394 judges. Most of the people appearing at our southern border are seeking asylum.
Immigrants of all sorts (non native born) number 45 million which is 15% of our population and they account for:
45% of our domestic work force
36% of manufacturing
33% of agricultural