The Cows of Immigration

One of the rules of thumb for bloggers is, don’t be cute; especially when it comes to creating a title.  Although I was listening, I have to confess my recalcitrant disinclination to follow the pro’s advice.  What can I say; whimsy gets the better of me.  Except, in this case I do have a point to make.  In this case, the cows are the illegal immigration argument that has been so prevalent for these past two administrations, all the way back to George W. Bush.  And now, many will reap what was sewn by that stance as the cows come back home to the barn where the law, as imperfect, unforgiving and unbalanced it is, resides.  And from here on, there could be many more a broken heart.

The main reason is a short six-word phrase; at the end of the day.  It’s a statement of reluctant acknowledgment, acceptance and weakness and I heard it during a pundit discussion of the current deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, as in, at the end of the day, she was in the country illegally.  It essentially means that regardless of the fact that she’s lived here for 21 years, she’s done so illegally.  And despite the fact that she’d committed a non-violent crime in 2008 and nevertheless still been allowed to remain in the country, it was a privilege that could be revoked at any time.  Did she know that on any one of those occasions when she dutifully checked in at ICE as instructed she could be deported, I wonder?  I don’t know.  I do think though that the fact she showed up at all each year is a testament to how little regard-aka, fear-illegal immigrants have for US immigration policies.  Or maybe, she mistakenly saw the law as being a lot more benevolent and humane than what it really is.

That was then and now is now.  And what we’re seeing is what you’re left with after using immigration as a political weapon or asset.  Illegal immigrants benefited for years and for many politicians, those folks were nothing other than a vote and we’re now seeing the aftermath when those votes are no longer needed.  We’re also seeing what happens when your political argument on immigration comes crashing horribly to the ground around your feet.

That’s because the jobs you’ve been taking for a while now have stopped being the jobs that nobody else wants.  They were the jobs that more and more white men held-technical, white collar positions-and not only the blue collar employment mainly sought initially.  And now, as the illegal immigrant labor force has improved thus the argument many found no issue with for so long is no longer all that acceptable.

As a black man and one of those who was left to compete with my brothers from the south twenty years ago for work, I nevertheless find no joy in today’s rulings and actions.  I find it inhumane that an immigration policy doesn’t look to maintain a family status quo; especially an America one.  But I also find it troubling that it seems Mexico hasn’t learned anything from this as they are warning immigrants here to be aware of the shift in American protocol.  They don’t see that a big problem is their apparent state sanctioning of their citizens’ illegal entry into our country.  It’s all done with a nod and a wink and instead of saying, stay home I hear, be more careful in sneaking around.  Thus the cows are making their way into the barn as I write.

In the end, people will be hurt.  Children may be left without a parent, families will be left without siblings and spouses will be left without their significant others.  It’s a cost of heartache that could’ve and should’ve been avoided.  It’s what happens when people are used as fodder in political battle.  And there’s enough blame to go around in both camps.  That’s usually the case when somebody leaves that barn door open and the cows get out in the first place.

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Filed under Justice, Life and Society, Opinion, Politics and Government

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