Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Immigration Reform Bill: Give us your rich, educated and white

Without a doubt, the immigration reform bill being debated in the senate right now is the ugliest, most racist piece of legislation that has passed since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Introduced by one Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. from Wisconsin, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 has already passed the House with an over 90% republican support. Even though, Bush himself opposes such sweeping, irrational legislation, it speaks volumes about his lack of leadership and inability to gain any bipartisan support except for the most mundane and ultimately inconsequential bills (read Dubai port scandal).

Over 500,000 activists rallied in California over the weekend, protesting a bill that if passed, would do several completely horrible things. Among other things, it’s a bill that effectively turns illegal immigration into an aggravated felony that carries with it mandatory prison time. It criminalizes employers with the same sentencing imposed on smugglers. And furthermore, it supports building a wall (a bigger wall—one already exists) on the US-Mexico border (utterly ignoring that all the 9/11 terrorists crossed over from Canada). It hysterically claims that being a rapist or murderer is akin to being a poor, low-wage, illegal immigrant.

One of the biggest, most glaring problems with immigration reform is its unnatural coupling with anti-terrorism enforcement. We see this with the bureaucratic nightmare of conflating the Immigration Naturalization Services (INS) and the Department of Homeland Security. I know I am being naïve, and that the reality is that too many Americans see combating terrorism as an immigration problem. After all, terrorists are immigrants, and the threat comes from the outside. Of course, it also blithely ignores the fact that the overwhelmingly vast majority of immigrants (both legal and illegal) do not commit crimes.

The fact is that fighting terrorism and implementing immigration reform, while related, are enormously different issues. And they require completely different policies for meaningful, comprehensive change. They are joined in our culture and particularly politics, by some of the flimsiest, most reactionary and thoughtless arguments ever used. And yet, especially after 9/11, it becomes harder and harder to see the difference, that was so easy to do 10 years ago.

Also, I hate Bill Frist. More everyday. Unlike Bush, he never makes me laugh and is a joyless troll-man.

The bill is going through the congressional strainer right now, with new provisions, and amendments added seemingly every day.

Check out this very cool site for more information: Gov Track


Blogger munkey t. cat said...

couldnt it be argued that most americans dont have a problem with the "vast majority of immigrants (legal and illegal)" but its the potentially extreme cost of admitting only a handful of mo attas thats causing all the hooopla? i think people generallyfind the trade off of mexicans (who they dont feel are her e rightfuly anyway) in prison for a lesser chance of terrorism ok. face it, 911 is in the back of everyones mind..

6:17 AM  
Anonymous sony said...

mo attas? I don't know what that is, kid.

sure, I think that's pretty much the reasoning those 90% of republicans used when they agreed to support this bill...

9:59 AM  
Blogger munkey t. cat said...

im mostly just playing devils advocate on this, but if "mo atta" doesnt ring a bell then i dont see how you can even begin to see both sides of this bill clearly enough to pass judgment on it..

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol atta boy who crashed into u know wat and u know when

5:46 AM  
Blogger Sony Pony said...

ah..himm..No, obviously I know who Mohammed Atta is; I just thought you were talking slang.

If by being biased about the issue, you mean I believe forming legislation should be a rational process that does uses logic and reason as opposed to reactionary hysteria. Then yes, I suppose I am biased.

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lesbians rulez

7:54 AM  
Blogger munkey t. cat said...

wouldnt totally dismissing the bill as reactionary be just as reactionary? ;-)

8:52 AM  
Anonymous sony said...

another point: throwing Mexican migrant workers into jail isn't doing anything to alleviate terrorism. Most people, I hope, atleast understand this point.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Konrad said...

It is not rational or honest for Senate Democrats and some Republicans to argue that deportation is cruel and impractical for long term residing undocumented workers and yet require that those here less than 5 years be "sent back."

They fully expect the forthcoming enforcement to largely fail as it has for the past two decades.

Then, when the Right demands that the agreed to measures be carried out, the Left will say that to do so is racist and harsh, just as they are saying today and they will ask for a new path to citizenship for the next group of undocumented workers. 1986-2006-2026 and the cycle continues.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Sony Pony said...

Konrad: I don't even understand what your argument is. Have you even glanced at the House Resolution that was passed last year? It is nothing like any measure that has been ever been taken. As I have very clearly stated in my post, the issue is Not about enforcing laws about illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is already illegal. That is not the issue, the problem is the bill (if passed in the Senate), would turn illegal immigration into a felony. A felony is a federal offense that carries with it mandatory jail time. Of course law enforcement is going to fail, with such sweeping, utterly irrational measures that does absolutely nothing to stem terrorism or criminals or even really mean people.

The criminalization of immigration is completely separate from teh guest worker program. Which is another bill entirely that is being debated in the senate, with dismal results. We need a guest worker program. Of course we need a guest worker program. Surely, you see that the 5 year mandate is mostly arbrituary marker for set up to appease both sides of the debate. But it failed, our congress doesn't do well with compromises.

What has been passed, is an utterly racist piece of legislation--not to mention just plain stupid and impractical. All of this does nothing useful to alleviate the already growing hostility in this country for all things immigrant.

9:20 AM  

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