Let’s talk about immigration reform, because that horse hasn’t been beaten into delicious, tender “mutton” yet.
A new immigration reform bill is working its way through Congress. This bill has bipartisan support, because Republicans care very much about getting socially conservative minorities to support them. I mean, they care about immigration and stuff.
Suddenly, Democrats and Republicans more or less agree on immigration reform. Both agree the border security issue is pretty much dealt with, because apparently the whole fence thing fell through when no one could find a documented worker willing to build it.
The two sides also agree on the need for employers to check the citizenship status of their employees. Why an employer would do such a thing when an undocumented worker will work for much less than a citizen (who must be paid at least $7 an hour) is beyond me, but some regularly enforced legal ramifications for the employer might help with that.
Republicans are going along with all of this because they need to do more to win the increasingly important Hispanic vote. Whether getting serious about immigration reform will help them do so is debatable.
America is a nation of immigrants. From across the globe, the wretched refuse of the world coalesced to forge an American Empire. Blood and iron built the empire; the blood of immigrants who forged the iron.
Yet for as long as America has been a nation of immigrants, there have been those who wish to keep them out and away: so-called nativists who reject the simple truth that cheap mass labor keeps America functioning.
Those same nativists also forget that a few decades ago, their own parents may have been in the same boat.
My great-grandfather came to this land fleeing the spread of the Third Reich.
There’s the Armenian who jumped out the window of his home while an angry mob pounded on the door, the migrant farm worker whose wife was killed in a drug shootout and has to send American money to support his family back in Mexico and the political radical who had to sneak out at night in the mud and rain. Those people are America.
To reject the people who come here with nothing, hoping to build something, is to reject the very identity of America.
Republicans shouldn’t support immigration reform to get votes. They should support immigration reform because it is what built America.
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