Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tuesday Thoughts

On the homefront, finished the bag of Millstone's Special Blend for breakfast. I could have used more, though. Tonight I'll open a bag of Community Coffee for tomorrow's wake up cup. I get the coffeemaker ready the night before so all I have to do is push the button when I get up. Simple is best until I'm conscious.

Son has early dismissal from school today at noon so the morning routine is stepped up a bit. He is really enjoying this theatre class he is taking at the playhouse this semester. The teacher is in a movie being shot here and she is trying to arrange for the class - there are only 8 of them - to be extras. And for them to attend the premiere, which will be here in Houston. Cool.

Have you seen some of the protest marches around the country over proposed immigration reform? We've had them here in Houston, of course. Yesterday kids from a high school had a walkout and march of their own. Where else could 500,000 people in a large city, like the march in L.A. over the weekend, waving a foreign country's flag, protest domestic policy of a democracy? The chants were in Spanish. The flags were those of Mexico. Only in this country, I can promise you. No one arrested them. No one fired shots at them. No one did anything but try to manage traffic.

Those here illegally have no rights in this country. Period. I think it takes incredible chutzpah to make demands of a government in which you are breaking the law by the mere fact of living here. Estimates place the number of illegal immigrants at 11 to 12 million. There is no practical way to send them back to their own countries. The laws currently on the books must be enforced. The border patrol must be increased. I'm not opposed to a wall being built at the border. It's a different day.

Houston is a known as a sanctuary city. That means when a person is pulled over for a traffic violation or some such routine matter by the local police, you will not be asked to show that you are in the country legally. It's viewed as profiling and you know we don't want to offend anyone. In other cities around the world you are expected to show a passport or visa with photo to identify yourself as legally in the country. When we lived in Venezuela we always had our passports on us to provide documentation. And believe me when I tell you the police officer asking for documentation was not speaking English and was carrying an uzi on his back.

I watched the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday on C-Span briefly and the legislation to be introduced on the Senate floor for debate is confusing. It's hard work but it is their job and you, the taxpayer, are paying their salary. I understand desperate people seeking jobs to support families. I know ours is the greatest country in the world. The land of opportunity where anyone can be anything. However, we are a nation of laws. I want to know who is in this country.

To walk or swim across a border into another country is not showing respect to the welcoming country or its people. Illegal immigrants are vulnerable to exploitation by employers who will not pay them minimum wage or provide benefits. At least once a week we have been told by local law enforcement in Houston that homes are being raided that house tens of illegal immigrants being held for money from their families. Twenty or thirty people, usually men, being held in homes in neighborhoods until family members send money for their release. It is not uncommon for 18 wheel trucks to be stopped with a trailer full of men trying to sneak into the country. The people bringing them into the country are called coyotes. Often the people in the trucks die since the trailers have no fresh air or temperature control. Sometimes it makes the local news and a coyote is charged with the crime of human traffiking.

Diversity is great. Legally. To turn a blind eye as the government continues to do does no favor to our country.

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin


Jennifer said...

There are some issues that have become so much larger than life there is no solution, practical or otherwise. We've managed to get to a point where some things are so broken, they seem impossible to fix. But then, they can't be disposed of, either. The resulting mess, of beauracracy or of benign neglect, just sits there, festering. It's disenchanting, at best.

I just can't take the news anymore. Information overload has been not only achieved, but well exceeded acceptable limits.

Open Book

srp said...

It's hard to know what to do. I know that my brother has to have papers well in advance of working in another country and he has to pay that countries taxes along with the US taxes as well. He has no retirement or medical insurance provided in Austria because he isn't a citizen. He has to pay for his own. It should at least be the same for those who come here. Right now the world has the advantage over Americans in many things. I mean, wow, what it must be to be able to have job security for life and 4 - 6 weeks vacation and be able to take off work any time you feel necessary and to work as little as possible and not have any worry of being fired. In France everyone with a job essentially has tenure.