05 Jan

us immigration policy undone by teenage girls

in Immigration, TSA / Homeland Security

At $4 million per mile, who could ever imagine that the technological marvel that is a mid-sized fence could be so easily overcome?  Those brown folks must be breeding some super-cyborg schoolgirls to steal our jobs!

2 girls undermine entire US border strategy in under 18 seconds
08 May

Do we really want a War on Immigration to parallel the War on Drugs?

in Capitalism, Immigration, Racism

The newest installment of Tom the Dancing Bug reminds me of a recent discussion I was having about supply and demand in the (illegal) immigration debate.  At its base, this is an issue of supply (what the U.S. has to offer) and demand (who stands to gain from the risk) and I reject the notion that demand side efforts, such as increased border control and deportation controls, can ever do much to address the problem.  Such 'solutions', much like the war on drugs, play well with the electorate because they have the appearance of being proactive while diverting attention away from the ruling class and keeping people from questioning the obvious - that if there were no jobs for illegal immigrants, then there would be no illegal immigrants.

It would be cheaper and more effective to crack down on the supply-side (employers) but that would be targeting our economic drivers (if I'm feeling gracious) or white people (for when I'm feeling a bit more cynical).
Employers in the U.S.are already numbered, tagged and monitored - they are finite in number and easy to regulate. The same cannot be said about immigrants who the U.S. will never, ever be able to stop until the costs of illegality outweigh the benefits. 

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03 May

Forget boycotting. It's time to break Arizona

in Immigration, Police Abusing Power, Racism

I'm surprised how many people I would ordinarily consider sane are finding creative ways to rationalize the rancor driving Klu Klux Klarizona's new immigration policy (yeah, you know who you are).  With a straight face, some have even chastised me as though I should be accustomed to carrying paperwork as a guest in a foreign country (btw - no paperwork needed) and then have the audacity to act as though I am hyperbolic in suggesting that the law dismantles the fourth amendment in deference to criminalizing skin color.   Millions of lawful residents - and yes, born and bred American citizens - are being targeted to assuage the xenophobia stoked by the election of a black president.  But hey, who cares – it’s not about you, right?  I thought Robert Greenwald highlighted the hypocrisy best:

Image: Ku Klux Klan, a Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from arete13's photostream

I'm probably not going to get pulled over and questioned about my citizenship while driving in Arizona. I'm probably not going to have to carry my birth certificate in my car to prove I was born in the United States. And let's be honest: The only reason this is true is because I am not a Latino.

Exactly.  Let's be honest here - if we were having a problem with illegal Canadian workers, this law would never have passed because nobody wants to profile white people. So after decades of being either ignored or used as a political football by mainstream politicians, it's great to see Latinos starting to get organized, but screw boycotting Arizona.  Does anyone honestly believe that the state would miss any of the kind of people that would bother? 

No, Arizona's government has crossed the line and doesn’t need a spanking – it needs to be broken.  Here's a good start.  If you have brown skin or even if you can just speak with a plausible accent - grab some summer vacation time, hop on a plane, train, or automobile and head down to Arizona.  Spend the day at the park, in the mall, or driving up and down main street.  Make yourself seen.  Get pulled over.  If you want to lop this atrocity off at the knees then you gotta take it to the only thing these people understand.  Money.  Make this law too expensive to enforce and it goes away.  Yeah ... it's that easy. Oh, and note for the Democratic party: You want a winner for 2010?  The hop on board here before the GOP wises up.  You may have done next to nothing to woo Latinos over the past decades ever but now's your chance.  The only reason not to is if you're worried about pissing off the racist right and guess what - they ain't votin' for y’all anyways.