Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer & Immigration Continue To Heat Up

It has occurred to me that both the planet and immigration reform have been heating up in recent days. The planet (at least the northern hemisphere thereof) can be said to have some excuse for this other than the purported looming crisis of global warming ... summer. Different areas of the country are experiencing this annual event to different extents, with my current home of Kansas City to experience rain and highs in the mid 80's and my former home of Toledo and my daughter's home in the NYC area both expecting temperatures close to 100. 

The heat up of immigration law debate in this country has no such scientific justification; nevertheless, the subject seems to be drawing increasing levels of attention. Having dispensed with stimulus programs that didn't provide all that much relief from the nation's economic doldrums, health care reform that failed to provide relief for rising health care costs (at least in the near term), and having likewise proved that it's little better in dealing with disasters in the Gulf of Mexico than the previous administration; the current one is now apparently directing the full force of its attention to subject of immigration. Both sides on this subject seem to have their share of worthwhile points, as well as their respective flaws of argument and inconsistencies. 

Many choose to stand behind the idea of building a wall at the border, in spite of the consistent failure of fixed fortifications to provide any safety for those who built them (the Maginot Line, the Atlantic Wall of WWII, the Walls of Troy & Jericho). In fact, one cannot help but see an interesting inconsistency in the fact that many of the same people who cheered Reagan when he said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." are now those most likely to be those demanding the building of one on our own border. 

Others demand sympathy for offenders of Immigration law, especially for those who have been in this country for some time. This position seems equally inconsistent, since two previous immigration reform acts would have allowed such offenders two previous paths to forgiveness and legal citizenship. Still others point out that violations of immigration law are misdemeanors, and offenders should be cut some slack. And while there is little doubt that we have selectively enforced many of the laws in this country over the years, it also shows a lack of 'big picture' vision when we suggest such laxity while demanding increased enforcement of laws on misdemeanor alcohol or drug related offenses. Like summer temperatures, different areas of the country are experiencing different comfort levels where immigration is concerned. 

Arizona's recent passage of its own kind of immigration reform has certainly put them on the hot seat and at the center of the storm. Apparently a state does not have the right to increase enforcement of existing federal law (when such federal government does not want them to) by the use of its own personnel and funding, and that federal government will not hesitate to say so. Texas seems equally uncomfortable these days, as kidnappings, murders, and armed incursions of drug cartels penetrate their border with the south. Then again, Texas has always had a bit of a reputation for stretching the truth and using the least little thing (like uniformed gangs holding hostages, killing judges and prosecutors, and severed heads being delivered to families as warnings for good behavior) to justify the use of their second amendment rights. 

Not surprisingly, California seems largely untouched by the immigration issue, in spite of the border that they share. Then again, California seems largely untouched by much of reality much of the time. There is little hope that any real action will come of the heated debate on Immigration Reform this summer. Washington DC is also one of those places whose residents can experience serious discomfort during the summer months (which is why Congress recesses then). Additionally, this is an election year, and the polling data is inconsistent for those running for office as to which side of this debate provides the greatest chance of re-election (and the most political cover)

There will however be a significant amount of additional hot air generated by politicians, advocacy groups, and pundits on the subject; as a part of the heated rhetoric. As such, they will do little to resolve the issue; but will undoubtedly make a contribution to the increase in summer heat.

1 comment:

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Amigo (in abstentia) Tim,

"There will however be a significant amount of hot air generated by politicians, advocacy groups, and pundits on the subject, as well as a significant portion of heated rhetoric. They will do little to resolve the issue, but will undoubtedly make their contribution to the increase in summer heat."

This goes right to the heart of the problem...

Our elected gas bags spend most of their time contributing to atmospheric warming rather than tending to the business we elected them to do...

The solution, although obvious, is elusive due to party loyalists failing to think for themselves and to go against their party's wishes.