14 April 2006

Condelezza Rice AND Immigration, but not together.

I've refrained from commenting about politics for a while, and there's so much fodder now that I can't help it. Yesterday, I was listening to my local NPR affiliate, which streams The World Today from the BBC, and I heard Condelezza Rice make the following statement about Iran's nuclear ambitions. "They are using salami slicing tactics." WTF?!? What does that even mean? I called a friend who works in public relations and told her about it and she had the appropriate reaction, which was, of course, WTF?!? You know that someone writes speeches and snippets that she says in public...what the hell were they thinking, let alone her, when that came out of her mouth? I wish I had found the link to that specific sound byte, but I didn't. You'll just have to take my word for it, pfthht.

And then there's the immigration battle. I find it unfortunately necessary to remind everyone that the United States of America IS A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS. On St. Patrick's Day I wrote about my Anglo European roots. Not to repeat myself, but here's the thing. I am descended from 8 people who came to this county in the early 1900s from 7 different countries. I do not know my own family history nearly as well as I should, but I do know this tidbit. My great-grandfather, to be specific, my mother’s father’s father, came to Chicago (The way that we all ended up in Ohio is another story for another day. Stay with me here, people.) from Denmark in the early part of the last century as an indentured servant (look it up) with a contract spelled out according to the laws in the Bible (that’s probably the first and last time I will mention that book ever on this site) and after doing some independent research, I think he probably crossed the border into this country illegally. I defy nearly anyone to look into their own genealogical background and show me an entire family that settled here fully legally.

My husband and I had a discussion the other day where he told me that there is a clear difference between my great-grandfather and those who have crossed the US/Mexico border illegally. I disagree, whole-heartedly. Crossing a border illegally is crossing a border illegally. Breaking a law in 1906 is the same as breaking the law in 2006. That said, I do not agree with those who intend to make being an illegal immigrant a felony. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Criminalization is always the wrong answer. I don’t know what the right answer is. I like the idea of a guest worker program. I like the idea of an amnesty program. Guest worker programs in Germany and Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s were somewhat successful. Take a lesson from what didn’t work in Germany and what did work in Sweden and go from there.

I do not buy the idea that everyone who crosses the border illegally is looking for a welfare handout. The migrant worker community is full of people who are breaking their backs doing jobs that Americans don’t want. So I also don’t buy the idea that illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from tax-paying Americans. People who tell me that get laughed at. Loudly. Another post that I wrote a while back mentioned that when you think that you haven’t anything in common with someone, start by acknowledging to yourself that people all over the world want the same things. Food, clothes, shelter, a better life for their kids than what they’ve got. Maslow's hierarchy y’all. People who come to the United States from third world countries are doing so in the hope that they will be able to make a better life for themselves and their families. They have my unwavering support in that endeavor.


Aunty Marianne said...

We have "saucissonage" as an expression at work. It means artificially dividing up a purchase so you don't have to comply with procurement rules.

I think the salami slicing thing is similar... perhaps she means Iran is planning to admit they've been enriching for weapons grade, but only slowly and bit by bit.

P.S. Thanks for your kind comment. Glad you stopped by, please do again.

Lucy Arin said...

*red face* of course that's what she meant. I didn't get it, but when I went back and listened to the broadcast again, that's exactly what she was talking about. Duh. Sometimes I don't understand my mother tounge as well as I ought. Thanks!!