Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Immigration and King Kong and Unanswered Questions

I have to admit, I'm as confused about this immigration debate as I think a lot of you may be.

I see Republicans treating "amnesty" like a liberal invention, even though I thought it was one of the few good things Ronald Reagan ever did. I see the President doing flip upon flop upon flip. And meanwhile, I find myself in a head-on collision between my morals, my principles, and my humanity.

First of all, illegal is illegal. Let's not use words like "undocumented" because it just cheapens the debate. I think the law is the law and everyone should obey it. And if I were someone who was forced to leave the country because his visa had expired I would be plenty pissed at someone who simply decided to stay regardless.

But if someone is here -- however they got here -- you can't make it a crime to help them if they're injured or sick. You can't deny these people medical care or services or an education. You can't turn twelve million people into Morlocks.

If not for the sake of decency, how about for the sake of not having people with untreated contagious diseases running loose in our cities? How about for the pure selfishness of it all? Surely Republicans can identify with
that.

But it goes beyond that. Living in Los Angeles as I do, I see the immigrant population as an important, vital part of this city. And as a U.S. citizen, I see their tax dollars as an important part of our revenue stream. So I would be very unhappy -- as would our Social Security recipients -- if they all went away tomorrow.

One question no one ever discusses, and I would love to see Bill Frist or some Republican answer it:

If this bill to deport twelve million people becomes law, how
exactly does that happen?

Seriously.

Are we really going to be okay with watching
twelve million people rounded up on live television? Parents yanked from their screaming (U.S. born) children? Rounded up and put into boxcars, live on CNN?

Okay, so I think we all agree that will never ever happen. America will not stand for it. Ever. So can we once and for all agree we'll never implement that "solution"?

Okay, good, we're done with that nonsense.

Now, let's deal with this other part of the discussion. The "jobs Americans won't do."

The next time some idiot goes on about Peter Jackson's
King Kong being "King Long" and how that first part of the movie was wayyy too long, and why did there have to be allllll that set-up?

Just remember that in 1933, the audience didn't need to be told what things were like in 1933. They had just
walked in from 1933.

Today's teens need a lot of set-up to understand why a woman would be so desperate, so poor, so hungry that she would get on a ship full of ruffians bound for Skull Island. Or why a filmmaker would need "money from backers" to finish a film, instead of a camcorder and Youtube.

Conversely, imagine what 1933 Americans would say if they heard there were twelve million jobs "Americans refuse to do."

Wow.

Even when I, Mr. 2006 Guy, hear that, I have to scratch my head. Because I know there a lot of Americans out of work.

I think "jobs Americans refuse to do" is code for "jobs that don't adhere to OSHA standards and that don't pay minimum wage."

If we have jobs like that in America, then maybe we should export those jobs somewhere else. Like, for instance, Mexico. Maybe if we helped them build up their economy, fewer of their workers would want to come here. And Mexico would become a better trade partner for us.

And goods that can't be made for a decent wage in America, shouldn't be made in America.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I filled out an application for a three-month gig picking strawberries in Oxnard. Never even called me in for an interview. Level playing field, my ass.