I Dig My Hole, You Build a Wall

It’s a lyric from a Bastion song! I would much rather talk about Bastion, actually. Why did I make this blog about politics and not shit I actually like?

I guess I have to address this whole Trump and Mexico debacle. Even though Mexicans were demoted to be among the various Asian ethnicities in the “races  we don’t care to acknowledge in the modern race discussion” bucket for quite some time, now that Trump is in office, they’ve become super relevant.

Donald Trump is racist, I guess. I don’t see it. I’ve never really seen it. He’s incredibly insensitive in a very general way and easily misconstrued, but I doubt the guy has any malicious thoughts or intentions based on the race of the target. He kind of just seems stupid. Isn’t that an internet law: don’t mistake stupidity for maliciousness. He didn’t call Mexicans murders and rapists, and that quote being constantly taken out of its context (where he was bringing up the sad fact that a disproportionate number of people, particularly women, are victimized by those traveling with them while trying to come into the country illegally) annoys me to no end. Then there’s the whole Wall thing, which is just a bad idea that a.) probably won’t be much of a deterrent and b.) would fuck with the private property rights that I think Donald Trump likes.

I think that if you have lots of people trying to come into your country, to the point where they’re willing to do it illegally, then that is a testament to how good your country is (at least in relation to the places around it). The day that droves of Mexican citizens decide that staying in Mexico is preferable to crossing the border is the day that the USA starts royally sucking as a place. So just a a litmus test to see that my country is still a desirable place to live, I’m fine with illegal immigration. I think it’s a good thing.

That being said, I’m not really a bleeding heart liberal on this issue. I think deportation is fine, both for the sake of the USA and for the sake of the betterment of Mexico, which I’ll get into later. If you are in a country illegally, the authorities of that country have every right to deport you. I don’t even know how to explain myself further on this topic. Is it sad that someone from Mexico has to be sent to Mexico when they don’t want to be sent back to Mexico? Yes. I can imagine that it is an incredibly shitty and unpleasant experience all around. That being said, you’re not entitled to just not get in trouble for breaking the law because getting in trouble would make you and your friends sad.

If it sounds like I’m being unempathetic, I really don’t mean to be. I understand that there are Mexican immigrants who come to the US and establish lives and connections and families. I understand that. How the US deals with Mexican immigration is awful, for the most part. “Anchor babies” are not anchor babies, they’re just babies who get shunted into our overburdened foster care system after their parents are sent back to Mexico. The utter red-tape bureaucracy of obtaining citizenship status, or even getting temporary permission to be in the country, is ridiculous and needs to be streamlined in some fashion. It’s not fair that a woman can be brought to America by her parents, having no say in the matter herself, at an age when she’s too young to even speak, only to find out that she’s not a citizen eighteen years later when she’s applying for college. As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t think deporting hard-working people whose only real crime is hopping the border 10 years ago is the best way to go about things.

It’s not like I’m a fan of how America deals with this issue. But you can sit in a circle clapping your hands and singing Kumbaya all you fucking want, it’s not going to change the fact that countries have borders and they have them for a reason. Unchecked immigration is a very nice idea, but its utopian. It’s never going to be a thing, and dealing with the immigration issue by chasing after a pipe dream of global citizenship where “no one is illegal” isn’t going to get anything done. If you want to see what I mean, go see if liberal icon Justin Trudeau would be okay with scores of under-educated, low-skill workers from rural Appalachia flooding into Canada with no real way to keep track of them. And remember, if he isn’t okay with it, he’s probably some kind of -ist.

This is not me saying that Mexican immigrants are criminals or a burden on society or that “they’re taking our jobs.” This is me saying that you cannot disrespect the property rights of another country and then expect that country to care about your interests. This is why I don’t fully understand how being pro-open border immigration is even a politically liberal standpoint. I honestly don’t. You’re essentially saying that you want all these people to be able to come and live and work in this country without having to worry about being sent back, totally ignoring that that essentially enables all of their abusers to continue abusing them. I don’t think we should be lenient on illegal immigration because the people who are fucked over by illegal immigration more than anyone else are illegal immigrants. Is no one going to acknowledge this?

Almost no one is saying that we should be giving these people a path to citizenship. No one is saying that we should abolish citizenship as a concept. They’re just saying that the American government should look the other way when someone from Mexico decides that they want to live in the US now without going through the legal means of doing that. You could be encouraging legal immigration and fight for reforms that would make naturalization a more streamlined process or provide a faster means for low-skill workers to receive the equivalent of a temporary work visa to help ease into the longer bureaucratic process of citizenship. But instead, you just want illegal immigrants to not only continue coming over here, but encourage illegal immigration as an option that gives all the perks of moving legally and being a legal citizen, but one that’s just more expedient and convenient (since apparently, they shouldn’t have to worry about being deported, and they should be entitled to be able to do all the things legal citizens can do like vote in American elections). What incentive does anyone have to come to the country legally, at this point?

And to cap all of that off, that beautiful picture liberals are painting where illegal immigrants have nothing to fear and have all the perks of American citizenship with none of the hassle of having to do all that pesky paperwork or have to sit on jury duty, is just a fucking pipe dream. Yes, Mexican citizens! Be physically and financially abused by people who are highly likely to rape and/or kill you in order to cross the border illegally into America, because then you’ll be living the high life of . . . being paid less than minimum wage because it’s not like you can complain to the authorities about it, living conditions in asbestos-ridden housing developments, giving your children an awful start at life once you realize that schooling requires English paperwork to be filed, and having almost no chance for upward social mobility.

Yeah, we really did those people a favor by letting them come here illegally without batting an eye! How is this the liberal position? It enables exploitative coyotes who may or may not be considered outright human traffickers, enables exploitative businesses that want cheaper in-country labor, and enables the continuation of horrible public schooling practices that take advantage of naive immigrant parents and don’t even teach their children English half the time. But hey, they can still vote in our elections even though they’re not citizens of the country. So keep letting them come in while we continue to make promises about improving their living conditions that we immediately ignore as soon as we’re voted into office!

Mexico’s government is one of the most corrupt in the goddamn world, and its allowed to stay that way because the people who face the brunt of that corruption (the blue collared poor) are given the green-light to just skip the border into Texas illegally instead of staying and demanding that something be done about the fact that their government might as well be a stand-in for oligarchs and Columbian drug cartels. Why do you think billboards and ads in Mexican newspapers funded by the government or wealthy private sources exist extolling the values of hopping the border? My comfortably middle-class Mexican friend went to Mexico City to visit family and learned the hard way that the police only give a damn about you and your troubles if you’re rich. Let’s just say he got used to people stealing his stuff and the cops only bothering to look in his direction if he flashed some money first.

If half of the political outrage over how “mean and unfair deportation is” was filtered into outrage over how Mexico’s working poor is essentially treated like cannon fodder by the wealthy and the federal and private authorities that back them up, then Mexico might be a half-way livable place for a working class stiff to be by now. How do you think the situation in Mexico is improving by its wealthier neighbor up north doing nothing to put pressure on it to reform and also giving it a Get Outta Jail Free card by offering to take all the disgruntled masses of off its hands for no cost to them?

Instead of funneling our resources into making Mexico a place people would actually want to live, we’re busy providing federal scholarships to Mexican children who had the poor fortune of being screwed over by their parents’ short-sighted decision-making skills. Instead of cracking down on companies that violate workers’ rights, we’re busy encouraging them to hire illegal immigrants who they have no incentive to treat well, with no means of punishing them for that mistreatment because that would entail revealing the undocumented status of their workers, which is a no-no.

I understand why people are so against deportation. I get it. It’s not like I look at video footage of someone being dragged kicking and screaming into a van back to TJ and get a warm, fuzzy feeling on the inside. But, in the end of the day, this open border policy where the Mexican underclass can shed the borderline-tyranny of living in a corrupt Mexico for the privilege of living in elevated poverty in the US is not working. It’s not helping either country. If you care about the well-being of illegal Mexican immigrants, then you should care about the reasons why they left their country to begin with; and you shouldn’t put a band-aid on it by telling them that they can just crash on your couch for a while until all the trouble back home blows over. It won’t all blow over. They’ll be crashing on your couch forever because you never give them any reason to leave, and that may be a nice thing to do for a limited period of time, but something should probably be done about it when they start listing your address as their place of permanent residence.

 

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