Thursday, December 29, 2011

Foreseen consequences

The Chicago Tribune published an editorial about immigration reform that I almost entirely agree with. The conclusion:

The lesson here is that the one-dimensional, enforcement-only approach doesn't address the root of illegal immigration: Businesses need workers. When the system fails to provide enough visas to fill the available jobs, employers and workers find ways around it. Those needs should drive our immigration policy.

Absolutely true. But here's the one problem I have:

Crops don't get picked. Chickens don't get plucked. Kids don't go to school. And the line at the Department of Motor Vehicles is really, really slow. Those are among the unintended consequences of Alabama's overreaching immigration law.

I have come to dislike the phrase "unintended consequences" with regard to immigration because it suggests that these outcomes were never foreseen. But they were. In Alabama and elsewhere, state legislators heard from farmers and a wide variety of other groups about what would happen, but they chose not to listen. There were editorials in newspapers large and small about what would happen, and there were countless news stories about what was already happening in Arizona. And all were ignored.

Ultimately, any elected official who finds him or herself surprised by these outcomes is unfit to be making binding decisions on others. They chose to live in a bubble that repelled all contrary arguments, then found themselves with a new law that does terrible damage to their constituents. It wasn't that they wanted these consequences so much as they consciously steered the state in a direction that guaranteed them. That might be splitting hairs, and in any case the results are the same (such as punishing the elderly).


Roque 2:24 AM  

Good point. It does seem to me, however, that there were a lot of people in Alabama that honestly continued to believe that if the state government forced the undocumented workers out of the state, U.S.-born residents would take their place. At least now we have our test case.

Defensores de Democracia 3:44 PM  

Torturing Women detained by ICE ( Immigration and Customs Enforcement ) : "It was very hard for me as a young 24-year-old woman to see the great inhumane treatment that such detention centers practice. Many people who were not able to speak English were treated differently by the officers; some were neglected and ignored.

Imprisoning and Deporting People for Private Business - Some of them are American Citizens and some inmates are forgotten while making profits for Shark Entrepreneurs related to Republicans.

This Establishment of Jailer Businessmen gives a lot of Money for the Political Campaigns of Great Racists like Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, former State Senator Russell Pearce ( already recalled ! ) and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Color Lines - News for Action
What If Nobody Told You Your Daughter Had Been Mistakenly Deported?
[Reader Forum]
by Channing Kennedy
Monday, January 9 2012

Some excerpts :

I have been in detention in Florida at the Broward Transitional Center In Pompano beach; it was a bitter experience. You are treated very inhumanely; if you are sick, you must fill out a request to see the doctor (it can take up to a week to see the doctor). A lot of the women detained suffered from excessive bleeding during their periods; some had stopped menstruating (a sign of psychological stress). There was an inmate who had tried to commit suicide; the doctor placed her under surveillance for one day and then released her back into the regular population. She was always drugged up with medication and spent the entire day in bed.

It was very hard for me as a young 24-year-old woman to see the great inhumane treatment that such detention centers practice. Many people who were not able to speak English were treated differently by the officers; some were neglected and ignored. There was an issue with bed bugs; a lot of women developed rashes. Once again, if you felt sick you would have to wait a week, which by then you will either feel better or worse. I remember always feeling watched over, even in my sleep. I had very bad headaches, always had nightmares. When we had to be counted around 2:00 AM, the officers will come in the cells yelling and waking us up. Sometimes they will come in at any given time in the wee hours of the night and will take some detainees, and we never saw them again. I didn’t know where they were taking them to and neither did they. It was scary to think that you could not even sleep due to being afraid and always thinking ” will I be taken away next?” “where will they take me to” …

I met great women in detention; their stories will forever be engraved in my heart. These women were undocumented, but they were all great souls. A lot of them ended up there due to lack of drivers licences. Many of them like myself had no criminal records yet still forced to be detained under “a threat to society” or “terrorism.” In the detention center where I was, we were supposed to have “Arts and Crafts” every other day; I never attended any of them - since I never witnessed such classes. The food at commissary was very unhealthy; milk had to be sipped quick since we had no fridge to store it. When we had a meeting with one of ICE’s top directors of the center we asked if we can please have healthier choices at commissary. We felt that since we had to pay for the food ourselves we might as well demand fruits and vegetables. The answer we received from him was: “Ladies, I did a lot regarding the food we provide you with - It was my idea to have salt and pepper provided during lunch and dinner meals” … .

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