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Racism and the Immigration Debate: Left of Center View

To pretend that race / racism is not a large part of the immigration debate is just plain silly. America is the land of illusion and dreams, but even we can’t disguise that fact that race has always played a large part in our immigration policy. Although it may not be “politically correct” to do so, perhaps the time has come that we finally address the pink elephant in the room racism in America.

America has been built on immigration and racism. When the first immigrants arrived, they took land from the “savages” that had been living there. Manifest Destiny really sucked from the Native American side of things. Things weren’t much better for the Africans and the forced immigration policy they were subject to. Irishmen stepping off the boat, were handed Union uniforms and sent to the front to fight in a Civil War many had never even heard of prior to their involvement in it and the Chinese were almost required to go directly to where ever it was that the railroad had made it to upon their arrival.

Being the new guy is difficult. The latest group to arrive has always been exploited by those already here and established, it’s the American way. Of course, since greed is colorblind, exploitation of one’s own has also been widespread, here as everywhere, but it is much easier to justify in on large scale when the people you are taking advantage of don’t look, talk or act like you. Once the system is in place it takes a catastrophic event to create change.

The events of September 11, 2001 have become just such a catalyst. The terrorist attacks, and subsequent yet vague “War on Terror” have deeply affected the American way of life, and have had some very interesting effects on our national psyche. Arabs are now seen as the bad guys, specifically Muslim Arabs, Crusades anyone? Now that Saddam has become the new Adolph, suddenly the other minorities aren’t as scary anymore. But that doesn’t mean that the divide is completely eradicated.

An African American can run for President but just because they’ll vote for him, that doesn’t necessarily mean that middle America is ready to live next him. Equally scary is the prospect of the flood of Indians coming in from the worlds largest Democracy and taking all the high paying respectable jobs. Doesn’t matter that there is a shortage of qualified applicants in the fields they are filling, mainly because millions of American students dropped out of school in the 7th grade to pursue a career in hip-hop, movies or baseball/basketball. (Since the NFL uses the collegiate system as it’s minor leagues, say what you want about the sport, but at least most of it’s stars have been to college.)

First our manufacturing jobs get out-sourced overseas, then our call-centers and programming. Pretty much anything that can be sent out of the country to take advantage of a cheaper labor force has been. And if that wasn’t bad enough the labor force that took our jobs when they went over-seas is now here to take what little we have left. And it’s no longer just the jobs we don’t want to do, these immigrants are taking the good jobs and since there isn’t a face associated with our jobs being sent away, we blame the face that we do see, whether it’s justified or not.

What we forget is that it is a cycle. Soon the 2nd and 3rd generation Indian and Mexican Americans will be complaining that the (insert name of nation coming to prominence) are coming here and taking their jobs. This isn’t a purely American problem either, this same cycle is repeated across Europe, and even Mexico is feeling the Northern migration of labor. So while we all stand around blaming the latest nationality to come on the party, we never actually examine the problem, and that is a big part of the problem.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Redefining Immigration

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Left:
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Multiculturalism and the Holidays
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Terrorists at the Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Archives by Date




Racism and the Immigration Debate: Right of Center View

While the politically correct liberals would have you think that the immigration debate is about bigotry nothing could be further from the truth. This nation was founded by and is great because of immigrants from around the world. People on the left and right side of the political spectrum recognize the impact and contributions of immigrants and understand that our nation would not be what it is today without them.

The immigration debate is primarily about the rule of law and those who do things the right way vs. those who do things the wrong way. Opponents of amnesty are so because we see the hypocrisy of making some people follow the rules and work to earn their citizenship while telling others that they are ok to break the law and we will reward them with passports and voter cards for it.

That being said, there is a racial element to the current debate in part because there are so many illegal immigrants coming from our closest neighbor to the south. Mexican immigrants far outnumber any other group coming into the United States illegally and therefore there is naturally going to be more scrutiny of them. This is also not a racism issue. If you have more illegal immigrants coming from Mexico than from any other place it stands to reason that you are going to more closely scrutinize people of Mexican descent when you are trying to address the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.

The logic of the scrutiny does not however excuse the actions of some who use the legitimate issue of illegal immigration to spread hateful lies about people of Mexican descent. There are without question some who claim to be fighting for securing America’s borders that use the debate over illegal immigration to paint all Mexicans with the same brush including spreading outright lies about them including things like them being carriers of leprosy who could infect whole cities of people if they are not stopped and sent back to Mexico. Lies like this have no place in the honest debate over illegal immigration.

For those of us that want to have a civilized discussion about how to best address securing our borders and finding ways to meet the needs of both American industry and the American people when it comes to immigration it is difficult to hold honest debate with these distractions. The fact is that there are a large number of illegal immigrants coming into the nation every year and they do have some negative impact on our economy. When they don’t pay taxes or send large amounts of money back to their home country it takes money out of our national coffers and out of the American economy. Especially now as we face a looming recession it is important to make sure that we are doing everything to preserve the flow of money into our national economy. Allowing large numbers of people to both avoid taxation and send the majority of the money they earn out of the country hurts us when we can least afford the economic hit. Conversely, we need low cost labor in certain industries and these people are willing to do the work.

What it comes down to in the final analysis it seems pretty clear that there can be no productive debate about immigration based on racial stereotypes but due to the nature of the current ethnic makeup of the majority of illegal immigrants race is going to come up in the discussion. What is incumbent upon the pundits and talking heads is to make sure that those in the media do not give voice to bigotry and hatred. It does not serve the greater purpose of the debate and more often than not distracts people from the real issues at hand. While there may be a clear ethnic majority among illegal immigrants that is not at the core of the matter. We need to focus on solutions and stop looking for scapegoats.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Redefining Immigration

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right:
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Multiculturalism and the Holidays
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Enemies At The Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Archives by Date

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally “The Race” in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isn’t really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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