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.