Thursday, October 18, 2018

NC Candidates With Bad Immigration Ideas

There was a debate between two candidates for North Carolina's 9th congressional district* and the mention of immigration caught my attention.

The border: McCready said he would secure the border with the kind of technological surveillance he saw employed while he served as a Marine in Iraq. Harris said he agreed with President Trump’s position. 
“The only way you’re going to secure the border is ultimately build the wall,” he said.
The problem is that the positions of the candidates of both parties are doomed to miserable failure. The reason is that they dehumanize the issue, reducing it to a technocratic discussion of a particular place--the border--that they consider the core. But the border itself is only a tiny part of the issue.

North Carolina's economy depends heavily on immigrants. Jobs in agriculture, construction, poultry, and many others would suffer without them. Further, in Charlotte the immigrant community now has roots and collectively we all benefit from their entrepreneurship, buying power, etc. It has been fascinating for me to talk to native Charlottean students whose parents were born in Latin America and in some cases are even undocumented. These students are southerners. So you have to start there.

The two responses, then, start from the wrong premise and then get worse. I've written before about the technology fetish with regard to immigration. It defies all common sense and wastes enormous amounts of money. Technology is but one tool of many. And even worse than that, the U.S.-Mexico border is not Iraq. Ugh. I don't have much more to say about the wall, which will cause far more problems than it solves. Both of the candidates answers are quick and meaningless. But if too many members of Congress actually think that way, and we know many already do, then real and lasting policies will never be constructed.

* It used to be my district but no longer is. Lines here have a tendency to move.


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