http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/17/im ... dy-says/St
It's a very interesting case study in news shaping. The "study" was undertaken by FAIR – The Federation for American Immigration Reform - a shiny, candy-like button of a name - which consulted on the writing of the bill (Fox Guarding Henhouse Syndrome) - and the results were exclusively released to Faux (if no one has coined the term "Mouthpiece Journalism", I call dibs).
Of course, FAIR indicates that losses from a boycott would be far less than the savings to the state if the burden on the state from the immigrants in question was removed. One supposes this is the point of the "news" story is (the "Your Protests Will Make No Difference, So Why Bother?" play - a popular variant on the "Your Vote Will Make No Difference..." strategy). Lip-service is paid to the opposing side's numbers, which indicate a loss of 140k jobs and $11.7b in gross state product if all undocumented immigrants leave Arizona (with a fascinating parry from the report's chief researcher that's completely nonsensical). And it all gets wrapped in a big, fat "this is good" bow of asininity:
“We discovered after looking at places where big raids were made that salaries went up after the raids because employers now had to pay competitive wages to Americans.” Martin said. “And that will mean more money for the state.”
It's an interesting study, this piece. I wonder if Faux works on a template and includes certain terms X number of times...
All of which got me thinking on the topic itself. I'm of the opinion that because there is a process for immigration, if you want to live in America, you need to go through the process. Are people who circumvent the process here illegally? Yes. It's unfortunate, but it's a fact, and circumstances don't change the law as written. You can steal bread to feed your family - the end is noble, even vital, but it still amounts to stealing in the eyes of the law.
Should they be prosecuted for it? Here's the problem: the system has already quasi-integrated them. When you willingly employ an individual, when you take tax money from them, when you accept children into the educational system, when you treat them at the clinic, you send the message that it's all okay - yeah, yeah, I know you're not actually a citizen, and I know you don't actually have a visa, but that's okay, because you need X and I need Y and we'll all be okay, every one of us... To extend the analogy, if the baker allows you to take a loaf of bread for your family, he sends the message you're welcome to the bread. The baker's at fault for the resultant confusion when he decides to change the rules about taking bread after the fact.
It was all well and good for people to look the other way when it benefited them in cheap labor. Now? Yeah, well - since the forthcoming law doesn't do anything to affect the root cause, and just demonizes the individual who has circumvented the system, you have to believe it will be less about whether someone will use an undocumented worker, and more about how long they can glide under the radar while employing one.
I pass day laborers of Hispanic descent in Herndon, VA every day, who are waiting around by the Sunoco station for someone to pull over and offer them a day's work. Are they in the country legally, or merely unemployed? I can't tell by looking at them. So can someone explain how Joe Law Enforcement is going to be able to in Arizona? They have some kind of special detection device down there that we're lacking here in non-scorpion country?
Oh, right - they're going to ask to see your papers if they have reasonable cause to believe you're here illegally. Reasonable cause. Like 'race' isn't the first square on that game board.(How long before the first news program puts a reporter of Hispanic heritage undercover to see the how/when/why of such a "reasonable cause" stop in action? Want to bet it isn't Faux?)
Yesterday, in another venue, the question of Nationalism versus Patriotism came up. I kinda watched it from the sidelines, mired in post-trip deadlines and running about, but it got me thinking as I read this morning's Mouthpiece Journalism article in light of the whole Arizona immigration debacle and the political hay to be made.
Patriotism is recognizing that there's an issue for the United States and finding a solution that strengthens the whole. As it applies here: shore up the border? Yes. And not JUST with Mexico, but ALL points of entry, from ALL nations, to ensure that people who want to emigrate have a fair path (just as anyone who isn't a full-blooded native American was afforded that privilege somewhere in their family tree) and people who don't want to be (or shouldn't be) are weeded out. Instead of criminalizing the people who are already here around the system and already partially integrated, you find a way to naturalize them. They want to be here, and work, and achieve something for themselves and their children, so find a way to add their strength to the nation's.
Nationalism is asking for papers. It's comical when it happens to Indiana Jones on a blimp. It's less funny when the wrong answer gets you stuck in a boxcar and you disappear, even as people say, "this is the greatest nation on earth, THAT can't happen HERE." How long before they're asking to see the proof of your party affiliation or the American-ness of your blood? They WANT you to believe it can't happen here - in the same fashion they wanted you to believe that marching on Selma wouldn't make a difference, that your vote won't make a difference - that boycotting Arizona won't make a difference.
A big part of the problem is too many of the "Haves" in this country have forgotten what hunger is (both physical and spiritual). We've created subsequent generations of privileged kids who think manual labor is beneath them and want to make fast, easy money, whether as a pop star or an athlete or a CEO. Flip burgers for $6 an hour? As if. Hell, Faux turned it into excretainment as that moronic show with Paris Hilton and Lionel Ritchie's kid - what was it? Watch Dipstick Rich Brats Not Function In Society?
I'd love to see a survey of 1,000 random individuals across the spectrum of income and background to define in 20 words or less the American Dream.
I think the results would be staggering.