DREAM Act, Not Dead Yet?

We have blogged about the DREAM Act before and about its defeat earlier this year.  It now appears that:

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is trying again to get the DREAM Act passed and will chair the first-ever Senate hearing Tuesday on the immigration measure to give students in the U.S. illegally a chance to stay.

You can read the entire story here.  We wish Senator Durbin the best of luck in getting DREAM Act passed.

Quote About Immigration

"The truth is, immigrants tend to be more American than people born here." — Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)

Media Backlash Over Vargas

This is a follow up to my post yesterday called "Coming Out" about Jose Antonio Vargas.  Some in the media are choosing to turn on Vargas, and it's vicious and disgusting.  Click here for the story from The Guardian.

Coming Out

There's not really much to say about this recent New York Times article where Jose Antonio Vargas comes out as both an illegal immigrant and gay man.  It's basically the story of a good, otherwise honest, hard-working person who's been forced into the shadowy underworld that is the US immigration system.  When people's rights are violated by governments, there's not much else they can do besides break the law and hope they don't get caught.  I hope everything works out for Jose.  His story makes me proud and sad.

Santiago indicated he may have more to say on this story later.

Video Busts the Overpopulation Myth

Poll Shows Steady Support for Immigration

In the face of measures across the country cracking down on illegal immigrants, the number of Americans who view legal immigration positively is holding steady - and the percent who favor even more is edging upward, according to a new poll Wednesday.

Get the full story here.

While this is mostly positive news, of course more must be done to educate Americans about individual rights as they relate to immigration.  We will continue to do that here at MoE.

Real Consequences to Georgia's Awful, New Immigration Law

As more and more states attempt to crack down on the number of illegal immigrants residing and working in their jurisdictions, the awful consequences of such laws are coming to light.  From this article:

A controversial immigration law in the US state of Georgia has brought unintended results, forcing farmers to reluctantly turn to ex-convicts as Latin American manual workers flee.

Georgia labor officials estimate a shortage of some 11,000 workers in the agriculture sector, and the state has enacted a program where people on probation, who often have difficulty finding jobs, are sent into the fields.

(Emphasis mine.)

But with the gaping hole in their normal workforce, many reluctant farmers have little choice.

"We're going to have to train them -- that's a cost we're going to have to absorb," James told AFP.

"If they pass a drug test and they're drug free, we'll use them if we have to," she added, pointing out that many workers they used to employ "are scared to come to Georgia."

I think conservative Republicans who are drawing unemployment checks from the state of George should be sent to work in those fields.  After all, are these not the "American jobs" they "have a right to" as an unemployed American?

Also note how preposterous it is that these farmers property rights have totally been violated.  Not only are they not allowed to hire whom they please to work on their property for their business, but now they're being forced to use criminal laborers.

Other farmers, such as Dan King of Five Brothers Produce in Rebecca, refuse to hire people on probation despite the shortage in laborers.

"I don't need to make it easy for someone to case my place and come back and steal from me after hours," he said.

Quotes About Immigration

Your life depends on a random stranger who could kill you, will probably disrespect you, and will most likely pay you much less than you deserve. But even those prospects are better than the ones you used to have. This is the life of los jornaleros – the day laborers. — Gustavo Arellano (Ask a Mexican)

Alabama's Awful New Immigration Law

The immigration law passed in Alabama last week is meant to make it far more difficult for illegal immigrants to live in the state. Should it take effect on September 1, they'll find it harder to find jobs, rent apartments, obtain medical care, enroll in college, interact with police, or even to get a ride across town.

Think of a man, here on a work visa, who is dating an illegal immigrant woman -- that is to say, someone whose parents brought her to this country when she was 7, and has lived in the United States for the last 20 years. Under this law, it is illegal for that man to drive his girlfriend to a doctor's appointment!

It isn't a crime to knowingly transport someone who smokes marijuana, or cheats on his taxes, or regularly drives drunk, or pirates Hollywood movies. Does it really make sense to criminalize the mere transport of an illegal immigrant?

These are awful choices to force on people. When legislation results in law-abiding citizens having pangs of conscience, odds are the law is a bad one. 

You can read the rest of the story here in which the author correctly asserts:

The Alabama immigration law is an attempt to embed immigration enforcement into every aspect of daily life. The inevitable result: a state bureaucracy that is suddenly omnipresent in daily life!

Which is precisely the problem in this country.  So many laws about everything have created a black markets in nearly everything.  Almost all of us break some law on any given day, many of us without even being aware of doing so.  Where does it end?

This reminds me of a story I saw in the news last week where a Massachusetts lawmaker stated that undocumented immigrant rape victims should be afraid to report their rape to police.  He's back-pedaling now, of course, but I really think this is exactly how many in the anti-immigrant community feel.  Is this really the kind of world we want to live in?  Do we really want to encourage our government to violate individual rights more so than it already does?  Do we really want to turn against each other and make an enemy out of everyone else rather than live and trade peacefully with each other?

(H/T to Paul Hsieh for linking us to The Atlantic article.)

US Immigration Laws Ruin Lives

The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.  - Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 183 (from the Lexicon)   

Here is an awful story about how the US government, once again, is sticking its nose where it doesn't belong and in the process, threatening the ruin the lives of at least two men.  From the link:

Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, have spent the last 19 years together, mostly in an apartment in San Francisco’s Castro district.

Makk gave up his career, started a business in San Francisco and invested in rental property, all to be with Wells and meet various visa requirements. Seven years ago, they married in Massachusetts.

Starting June 13, Makk, 48, faces possible deportation if he remains in the country illegally when his current visa expires. If he leaves, he would not be readmitted, the couple would be all but permanently separated and Wells, who has severe health complications from AIDS, would be left without his spouse and sole caregiver.

“We’re at the end of our rope,” said Wells, 55. “Ever since we met, all we’ve tried to do is be together. The focal point of our lives, everything we’ve done, is just so we could be together.”

Here is the rest of the article.

(H/T to Pablo for referring me to this story.)

How's This for Assimilation?

I'm pregnant!  I'm about two months along and we're going to my first doctor's appointment tomorrow.  It's an exciting time for me and Santiago and we are very much looking forward to this adventure.

I was thinking today about a common complaint many native-born Americans make about immigrants being unable or unwilling to assimilate.  I really don't know how such a myth got started, but it's certainly not true.  The evidence of assimilation is everywhere and obvious.  Perhaps most Americans don't realize (or have forgotten, or were not told by their grandparents, or were not taught by their schools) how difficult it is to assimilate, or how much time it can take (sometimes lifetimes or generations), but ignorance is no excuse to perpetuate such an ugly, harmful untruth.

Anyway, while I was thinking about my very mixed-race pregnancy today, it made me think of how much assimilation our families have done to get us to this point.  My family is English, French, Czech and Irish (and that's just what I know of!)  It appears my father's side of the family is newer to America than my mother's side, and I may only be a 4th generation American.  Santiago's mother is from the valley of Texas, and her family is likely a mix of Spanish, Mexican and native indian.  Santiago's father is from Mexico, making Santiago a first generation American.

I have never been that interested in genealogy, but thinking about this recently has suddenly made me more interested.  Not because it matters so much who my relatives were, but I am curious of their stories and how and why they came to America and how difficult or easy it may have been for some of them.  It doesn't seem like it took very long looking at pictures and hearing the few stories I've heard.  Is a partial-lifetime considered too long by Americans nowadays?  A partial-lifetime to absorb brand new politics, a new culture, a new language?   

With Santiago's father, the answers are a little easier because we can ask him.  His transition to America was a very difficult one, as it is for most Mexicans.  (It would take about 130 years for a poor to middle-class Mexican to immigrate to the US legally.  Not to mention more money than they could ever save while working in Mexico, assuming they could find work.) 

Once in the US, Santiago's father was determined to learn the language, become a citizen and educate his children (despite what others may have erroneously assumed about him.)  He started as the low-man on the totem pole at an engineering firm.  He took some night classes after work, but it was very difficult working full-time with a wife and two kids at home.  Despite that, he continued to work his way up and is now an engineer himself.  Now he has a son and a daughter who are successful and married, and next January, he will become a grandfather to a second-generation American. 

How's that for assimilation? =)

And one last thing.  I'd like to dedicate this post and my pregnancy to the unfriendly, racist folks over at NumbersUSA, FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies (you know, all of John Tanton's crooked organizations.)  I know my mixed-race pregnancy, my mixed-race marriage and the happiness and success our extended families enjoy just drives them nuts and goes against all the lies they perpetuate, so it's my honor to prove them wrong!

Objectivist Roundup

This week's roundup is over at Rational Jenn.  Go check it out!

Video Busts 3 Immigration Myths

Hat tip to Ari Armstrong for linking us to this great video:

Quote About Immigration

Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery. - Jack Parr