Saturday, December 30, 2017

Is There An Immigration Problem? Audi Alteram Partem

Bear with me now. 
I am going to sound, for a few moments, like a Build-the-Wall Donald Trumpee (or Trumper as they prefer) but I am wending my way toward a new understanding and that takes some treading through swampy areas.

You will understand I have previously posted in my Six Articles enunciating where all true, thoughtful Dems should be, that there is in fact no immigration problem, only a perception problem, in these United States. 

I came to this conclusion based in part on my experience with folks from the Massachusetts towns of Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen, where the immigrants I've met struck me as fine  people, struggling to make it, working harder than most citizens and worthy of our support.

But now I'm reading the New Yorker article by Jonathan Blitzer "Trapped"  detailing the experience on Long Island, N.Y.,  and I realized the inspiring story of immigrant communities in Essex County, Massachusetts may not be what people on Long Island are living. 

Some numbers:
1/ By the mid 1990's more than 90,000 Salvadorans were living on Long Island. 
The population of El Salvador is 6 million, which means something approaching 2% of their population fled north to Long Island. 
Who knows how many fled to Los Angeles?

Honduras has 9 million people. Nicaragua has 6 million. 
These 3 Central American countries then have 21 million people.

2/ In Brentwood, a town of 60,000, nearly 70% of the population is Hispanic, of whom 16,000 are Salvadoran. The Salvadoran government opened a consulate in the town.
3/ MS-13 has 400 members in Suffolk County, LI. In Los Angeles there are 10,000 and in Central America 50,000.
4/ In one year 2016-2017 MS 13 was thought to have committed 17 known murders in Suffolk County, LI.

Is this a pervasive problem? An invasion? Or just a drop of ink in a large tub? 

In my own mind, I go back to images of Ellis Island, where grateful immigrants, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, arrived by ship, the wretched refuse of the teeming shore, ready to transform themselves and their newly adopted country in a soulful ascent to greatness. 

But there is a difference between the wretched refuse disembarking from those ships and the folks who walked across the Southern border of this country. Those huddled masses on the ships, were on ships.  That constituted a sort of control to the process. Rules, unfair or fair, wise or not, racist or not, could be enforced.

If the government decided it wanted to admit only a certain number or a certain type, that spigot could be turned on or off in accordance with by the will of the government, which, in theory at least, reflected the will of the American people already inside the club.

So that was "immigration."

When you have now with Central America is a population which is walking across the border.
That is something different. 
You can call it an "invasion" which evokes the image of hordes of orcs or Huns lead by Genghis Khan on horseback.  Or you can call it a tide, which is less emotive, but suggests a gentler process or you can call it a storm surge, which is more apt, coming as it does because of the tempest occurring in Central America. 
But, whatever you want to call it, Trump was getting a a sort of truth in his moronic way, when he sputtered, "We're not getting the best people. We're getting the criminals."

Of course, we are getting refugees which include some wretch refuse, but we are also getting some thugs, some nasties.

There are at least two sorts of immigrants we have to consider who would be undesirable. The lost souls of MS13 variety, who have no future but violence and early death and will take down solid citizens with them, and the wretch refuse, who by their simple numbers, as a group, not as individuals  pose a problem.
What if all 21 million decided to come to the United States?
And, if we decide to be really big hearted and throw open our borders entirely: what about  100 million Indians or the 100 million Chinese who might move here tomorrow if we threw open our borders.?

The problem with the first group, the illegal immigrants who are criminals becomes a logistical one: identifying, apprehending and sequestering these folks is a no brainer.

The second group simply requires laws, because, like their Ellis Island predecessors, they require a boat or an airplane and there are control points there.

The bigger issue, the harder issue, is what do we do with the illegals already here who pose no MS13 type threat, but occupy space, demand services and act as a magnet for those they left behind who wish to join them here?

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