Why Do We Actually Care About Immigration, Anyway?
Today, the New York Times editorial board wrote a lengthy piece on the very high cost of deporting illegal immigrants.
They cite the cost of the enforcement troops to do the work. The cost of building The Wall. The cost to our economy of people putting in taxes and work without taking out health care, social security and so on. Massively expensive.
Immigration keeps coming up as this big issue. It never really made sense to me why. Why is this so important? We’re really not a country of haters, are we? We’re not a country of cruel and heartless people, are we? We’re not xenophobes, are we?
No, we’re not. We’re a country of mostly good people. I am an atheist so don’t frequently quote The Bible:
Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.
We have a lot of idle hands and lips because of under-employment in the middle of the country. And while there are other targets of hate and fury, and plenty of mouthpieces to spew that hate and fury, illegal immigrants are pretty good targets.
The Times misunderstands why so many Americans believe it’s important to get rid of illegal immigrants. This isn’t remotely about whether it’s cost-effective, or even feasible.
Deportation is about what’s right
Illegal immigrants take jobs. Illegal immigrants are criminals by definition. They don’t belong here. There are rapists, murderers and terrorists among them. Thousands upon thousands.
And I, Tom Harrison, avowed liberal, progressive, and non-alternative-fact based guy assert: all of the above statements are undeniable.
- Immigrants do take jobs; that’s why they come here.
- Illegal immigrants are in our country without invitation so are criminals.
- There have been rapes, murders and terrorism by illegal immigrants.
The NY Times and other mainstream media (and I) completely miss the far more relevant point. The numbers and facts: not relevant.
Ask yourself: why is immigration so important compared to all the other issues? Why does it keep coming up? To get there, consider another point of view.
Put yourself in your fellow citizens’ shoes
It’s the weekend. You’re not reading the Times. You’re not reading Medium. You’re not thinking about what to do for fun. You’re worried as hell about the next payment, and you hate your shitty job.
This is not new. You’re watching Fox, or reading on the Internet and hearing an awful lot of things that just add up. They make sense. They ring true. Your neighbors are all saying the same things, and having the same troubles.
The Washington Times says immigrants are increasing unemployment:
However, when the nation is flooded with immigrants in skill categories without genuine shortages — shortages where, for example, employers simply cannot find enough qualified applicants or the wages they would have to pay are too high to keep their doors open — illegal immigration drives down wages and increases unemployment, especially for America’s lowest-paid workers.
Or InfoWars says they are stealing jobs from the middle class:
A million Americans recently showed up to apply for a job at McDonald’s. That is how desperate Americans are for work these days. Please don’t try to tell me that there aren’t millions of Americans out there that would not pick fruit for minimum wage. The millions upon millions of illegal immigrants in this country are stealing jobs, they are depressing wages in a whole host of industries and they are a huge factor in the erosion of the middle class.
Worse, it’s affecting black people disproportionately, says a report in Breitbart News on testimony to a Senate committee:
“Unequivocally, the wages and employment levels of black Americans are disproportionately adversely affect by illegal immigration. Particularly when it pertains to the effect on black males,” Kirsanow testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.
Terrorists were responsible for 88 percent of murders on US soil, a report by the Cato Institute asserts:
Foreign-born terrorists who entered the country, either as immigrants or tourists, were responsible for 88 percent (or 3,024) of the 3,432 murders caused by terrorists on U.S. soil from 1975 through the end of 2015.
Here are “Examples of Serious Crimes by Illegal Aliens”, as reported by FAIR:
The following crime information is gathered from various news sources, and refers to crimes other than terrorism. The criminal aliens mentioned are all identified as being in the country illegally. Many of them had come into the hands of law enforcement agencies prior to the crime that is described, and were not deported or in some cases, deported but reentered the country.
So the New York Times can report all it wants on the cost of deporting millions of people. What the people that matter see is: immigrants are taking our jobs, they are terrorists, and are murdering Americans.
Fighting against perceptions and beliefs
I don’t know if the sources I quoted above are based in fact or not.
It doesn’t matter!
We can rail against “alternative facts” (and I have and do). We can throw our hands up in disbelief and fury about how climate change progress appears to be getting reversed (and I have and do). We can focus on the data (read the full Cato article which says the opposite of the quote I pulled above). We can fret against authoritarianism, nationalism, isolationism, and all the rest (and I have and I do).
Good, well-paying, honest, permanent jobs matter. Period.
The single and only issue is: the people who should have jobs, who have always had good jobs, and who have had good incomes that support the American dream don’t have good jobs.
Until our fellow countrymen, legitimate citizens, have proper jobs, Liberals, Progressives, Democrats, Republicans, Conservative politicians — all are fighting the wrong fight.
Is it unjust and horrifying that we are ripping illegal immigrants out of the country? Before you answer, ask yourself:
- If you had watched your employment, family, town, county, region, state, and country and way of life fall apart;
- If you had watched Obama and the Democrats focus on gay rights, climate change, and trying to get rid of the last few coal plants instead of fixing jobs;
- If you’re getting a penalty on your taxes because you don’t have health insurance you can’t afford;
- If you had watched as we flailed away at the terrorist threat and then started accepting floods of immigrants from the very countries filled with terrorists;
- If the job you tried to get at McDonald’s was filled by someone who doesn’t even speak English;
- If you see news reports of gangs of immigrants spreading drugs, killing people, and meanwhile you’re watching your life and livelihood, your house, your community slip away, your increasingly unemployed neighbors fall into opioid addictions;
- If you had watched the moral fiber of the country dissolve;
- If all of these and other things you had seen were true…
…how would you feel about deporting the fuckers?
It might feel right. It might feel like justice. It might feel like we’re finally paying attention to the right things.
It might feel like finally someone gets it.
Putting America First, and Making America Great Again may be catchphrases.
But they are the right ones because they capture the perceptions and sentiments of a broad swath of our country.
The middle of our country:
- has been getting screwed,
- is currently getting screwed, and
- was going to continue getting screwed as long as there was someone in the Presidency who failed to understand this truth.
Compare Trump’s phrases to Clinton’s “Stronger Together”.
Kum-bi-fuckin-ya. No, we’re not “stronger together” you libtard. I hate every one of you morons who think you’re so superior. You just don’t get it.
(The above is a comment directed at me from another piece I wrote recently. It’s a fair example of how two sides have completely different perspectives.)
America, in its wisdom found a leader who “got it”. America reacted. We lashed out. We got a showman, a barker, a snake-oil-salesman, lying, cheating, narcissist with no morals to lead the charge.
Trump and what’s happening as a result horrifies me. I suspect that there are a significant number of Republicans and otherwise good and honorable people who find this man, his words, his methods, distasteful or even frightening.
Yet, for the large group of Americans who have watched their lives decay, more-of-the-same from Clinton was even worse than Trump.
Wake up, fellow Libtards
Before any of us liberals, progressives or bleeding hearts try to find a solution, we must above all realize that what has been happening with the middle of America is the core problem.
Americans who had good jobs now are unemployed, under-employed and are heading in the wrong direction, faster and faster.
Economists point out that job losses are mainly due to automation through technology, and globalization, and that the millions of jobs are lost and gone forever. That this is undeniably true doesn’t help.
Before any other issues are solved, we must solve America First. Idle hands hear the mouthpieces repeat over and over. Immigrants and all the others, like terrorists have messed up our country. The environmentalists made coal mines go away, and now they’re all over fracking for gas and oil. The Japanese stole our car industry. The Democrats regulated away any competitive advantage we had in manufacturing.
Who’s right? Economists? Or common sense?
I see very little indication that the Democrats or Republicans have, in any way, internalized this message.
The Democrats are flailing. The Republicans are just trying to take advantage of the chaos to get some of the stupidest anti-middle-class, regressive, conservative dogma laws passed — more money for the rich guys, free market is incredible and all powerful.
Trump gets it. He is a horrible man, he’s probably crazy, but he gets the emotion that is driving hate, anger, frustration, and fury. He gets it.
So, to my fellow liberal, progressive and thoughtful people of any stripe — we got what we deserved. As usual, we focused on the facts, focused on what’s real and practical, hoping that a rising tide lifts all ships.
How to get jobs for the people that need them
Let’s start thinking about how we’re going to hear the real message and start focusing on a proper solution. No, we’re not going to bring back coal, or steel, or manufacturing, or farming like it was in the good old days.
As it happens, adding people to actually hunt down and deport illegal immigrants would result in a lot of good, well-paying jobs. Oh, and building a wall: yep, lots of jobs. Lots of other ways to spend money evicting the illegals. The New York Times article talking about how expensive these things are misses that “cost” is income for the people who need it.
Liberals and Progressives — let’s be more creative and find alternate good jobs, instead.
We can start thinking of ways to get our good citizens of the middle part of the US into real jobs, that pay well, run by private enterprises even.
Solar and wind power, batteries and new American cars that use electricity? A smarter electrical infrastructure. And yes building roads, trains, bridges may not be a bad start either. Don’t call it “addressing the threat of climate change”. We’re supporting innovative, American jobs and technology.
For that matter, building high-tech war machines and building up our military will make a lot of jobs, too. Not my favorite choice, but innovation in the military has frequently lead to commercialize successes, like computers and Internet, to name several.
When people are back to work, I think it will be amazing how fast the frustration and anger will fade. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Then the crazy white nationalists, alt-right, the Tea Party, the KKK and all the others can go back to their little holes and stew for another few decades about the great conspiracy against them.
For now, let’s focus on getting the good folks some honest work. That’s how to win back the Senate and House.