Politically Competent

Were political posturing and other hidden interests put aside, I wager the current immigration crisis would to a great extent just fade away. A transparent objective look at the subject also requires losing the emotional baggage instigated by the flood of Central American children to the US border.

The plight of the children is serious and cause of great concern. However, we far too often see children pushed into the spotlight as adults lose the capacity for dialogue. Indeed, throughout the world, we are increasingly resorting to using victims as a substitute for debate. Should this tendency reach the point of actually provoking victimization in order to make a point, we will have arrived at a new depth of inhumanity. Some would affirm we are already there. Aspects of the current US border crisis do suggest we have reached a threshold in that respect.

I was told by a friend a few days ago that parts of his family immigrated back during the Second World War. Apparently the shortage of industrial labor force in US factories actually provoked the need to recruit workers from south of the border.

No expert on immigration, I am not clear of how the situation evolved over the years. What is perfectly clear is that, in spite of current legality issues and physical obstacles, everyone who gets through gets a job. One can only assume the existence of a real job market.

As to the reason behind not recognizing that demand or need, we would need to enter into the shadowland of interests, greed and political maneuvering. The “illegality status” creates an underworld of parallel, unregulated and highly profitable financial and commercial structures.

It also creates family rupture as parents cannot freely travel back home and periodically see their children. This is one of the main contributing factors to the current child immigration situation, in my opinion. I know people in this situation. They went to the USA for the employment opportunity and as the means of providing for their families. They had no intention of staying on, but the economy got tough so it is taking longer than originally planned. They are worried about their children, with all the bad news coming out and they are being forced to make the decision to stay or leave. Staying means bringing in the family.

Canada takes a different approach. Employment opportunities, complete with strict requirements, are published by the embassy. Recruitment, selection and work visas are coordinated through diplomatic channels. Employees travel by air, just like the rest of us. They enjoy vacation periods and are able to visit home periodically. Quite the contrast…

So, why is it that we cannot publically acknowledge what we actually are doing; what we actually need? Cannot we understand that the “out of sight, out of mind” attitude comes with a pricetag; we only favor dark interests when we refuse to see reality. It also opens us up to be manipulated and that generally is brought to bear on our emotions. The “plight of the children” is in fact very real. But have we had a part in creating the crisis because we refuse to respond to any other stimulus?

How much control have we given away, in exchange for not being bothered? Have we noticed how Politically Correct gets twisted into Politically Convenient? Perhaps we need to ask ourselves whether we are actually Politically Competent. Perhaps all of us, on both sides of the border, need to take back some control and responsibility… and leave the kids alone.


4 thoughts on “Politically Competent

  1. Don

    Quite interesting! I would be curious to know if this is written from an “American” or Salvadorian point of view. Gives a different perspective depending on that. Although I tend to agree with you in your concerns, I do have some differences of opinion.

    In your first paragraph you state “……………..immigration issue would to a great extnet just fade away.” I tend to disagree. There are some very real reasons why people come to the US, that are not driven by political or hidden interests. Many come from countries that really need to fix their own political/socio-economic systems to help stop that flow, including Central American countries. No doubt the current flood of immigrants is being used by politicians to further their goals, in fact probably encouraged if not caused by them.

    Paragraph two states “………………..actually provoking victimization in order to make a point………………..”. Unfortunately this is already a tactic being used quite sucessfully by certain political factions. One need only listen to news broadcasts or read published articles with an open mind to see victimhood used quite successfully. Further evidenced by the increasing numbers of recipients of governmental handout programs.

    Paragraph three.says “……………..need to recruit workers from south of the border.” Yes. Well documented and the product of a heavily regulated immigration policy. Actually worked quite well. We should go back to that as many other countries do.

    Paragraph four “…………………….everyone who gets through gets a job.” Not so! Plenty of undocumented workers on the welfate rolls because they don’t have an income.

    Paragraph five “…………………Illegality status creates an underworld…………………..”. Absolutely. It is much cheaper to hire an illegal worker who is willing to work for far less than the prevaling wage, than to hire a documented worker and pay that wage plus accompaning benefits that double hourly costs. In many cases, jobs that teenagers would typically accept as summer or part time jobs are not availabel to them because of undocumented workers.

    Paragraph six. This is a tough one! To be harsh, it’s their own fault that the family is split up and as an illegal, they cannot travel freely. To be fair, there seems to be some unrealistic expectations encouraged by various interests about the befefits of coming to the US in spite of the pitfalls. Althouth, ultimately they make the decision themselves. Bad economies and lack of jobs has been with us forever, lots of reasons for it including draining local economies to provide for those who receive much more than they give.

    Paragraph 7 “Canada……………………………………..” Benefits of a tough immigration policy plus they do not have a southern border with Mexico. Big help!

    Paragraph 8 I’ll give you a break on this one!

    1. Ron Brenneman Post author

      Thanks for your comments, Don. Actually the purpose of this article is to kick off a needed discussion, needed for quite some time now. Regarding perspective, well… If the shoe fits… Much of the “we” does of course reflect on the USA point of view, in that the choice to live in denial of reality seems to be a large part of that “American innocence” that some find endearing and others less so.

      I am not proposing doing away with immigration as you seem to suggest regarding the first paragraph, but to treat it openly and in practical terms. I see we would agree there, in the sense that the current Canadian policy and the policy of the USA during WW2 seem to fit the bill quite nicely.

      Canada has no southern border with Mexico; that is true. They also have not been mucking about Latin America for the past century backing corporate serfdom and provoking proxy wars. Now, that´s a big can of worms that I didn´t want to open, but if we are to be objective, a bit of responsibility needs to be recognized here. El Salvador is still recovering from that 3 million dollar a day “Democracy Course.” That kind of money cannot be dumped anywhere without creating more harm than good and without strengthening corrupt structures which are then practically impossible to eradicate. It is precisely given this factor, the importance to bring the issue out into the light; time to lose a bit of that “American Innocence.”

      1. Don

        Ahh Yes, American innocense! Nice catch words. Points a finger without pointing a finger. Kind of like saying that I seem to suggest we do away with immigration when I simply suggest that tougher immigration standards may help the problem. As far as Canada is concerned, gee it must be nice to be perfect, but if you consider that Canada is part of the British Empire and not totaly independant in their actions, and consider what the British Empire has done in the world in the past century, including coliuding with the US on many things, suddenly things aren’t quits so rosy.
        But then again “American Innocense”. I would be interested in hearing a bit more definition on that. Perhaps it is little more than a fataistic attitude from living with the results of our government’s actions and the impact of mass illegal immigration. We’re paying for that you know!

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