Saturday, March 2, 2024


    Our immigration system in the United States has been dysfunctional for a long time. Over the years, there have been many stop-gaps, and other patchwork legislation to address the problems without ever really solving much of anything. In spite of that---and in spite of contemporary propaganda---we don't have as serious a problem in that sphere as many other countries; and yes, that includes China and Mexico

   During our quadrennial Election Year showcases, the issue comes up regularly and serves as a useful distraction from our multitudinous other problems which the American Political Class is making no effort to solve. This week, the President-in-Exile and the current figurehead of the Junta both visited the US-Mexico Border---as if we don't have a northern border and two seacoasts which are under-defended too. What Biden had to say was about typical for a Neoliberal Democrat. The concerning is what has been coming from the Controlled Opposition on the subject. Because they have so few other issues or accomplishments to promote, the 'Border Crisis' has been hyped to a truly dangerous degree. They bombard us routinely with talk of 'an invasion' and their media outlets nearly every day focus on some crime committed by an illegal immigrant, in much the same way that the Mainstream Media focuses on shootings to promote their anti-2nd Amendment agendas.

  The Republicans are proposing (and actually doing where they can) some very draconian policies aimed at immigration enforcement. I think that we ought to think back to a little recent history and think a little bit about how the GOP has dealt with these kinds of things.

     1. George Bush Sr. declared that the drug problem in the US was 'a national emergency' and proceeded to decimate Constitutional protections against unaccountable police power and eviscerated many of our privacy laws---especially relating to financial privacy.

    2. George Bush Jr. declared 'a national emergency' after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and proceeded to create a Surveillance State and revoked many of the laws on Government transparency.

    3. Over the objections of President Trump and, initially, several Democrats, Republican Governors invoked 'a state of emergency' over a flu outbreak; suspended legislatures, imposed curfews, ruled by decree, illegally sealed State borders, and were the first to order mask mandates. 

   Now is it any wonder that, in 2024, claims of 'a national emergency' over immigration sound about as dangerous as the Left's claims of a 'climate emergency?' 

   The Republicans are talking seriously about establishing internment camps, mass-deportations, crack-downs on businesses hiring illegals and charitable organizations trying to aid them, and some even more violent measures have been suggested. Now, why isn't anybody asking the obvious questions here?

   The measures that the Republicans are proposing couldn't help but expand the powers of the Police/Surveillance State radically. To prove legal status would almost require some kind of National Identification Papers. Private homes and businesses would be subject to having their doors kicked in (moreso than they already are) on mere allegations. Police checkpoints could re-surface after being overturned by the Courts after some earlier GOP-led 'emergency.' Financial snooping would necessarily expand too: and the Republicans haven't expressed much opposition to (actually many support) a transition to Digital Currency. 

   As usual, Americans tend to act first and think later; and most are assuming---just like they assumed before---that such tough new measures only will effect other people. "If you're not doing anything wrong, you've got to worry about?" they snort, just like they said before about drug dealers and terrorists being the only ones who had anything to fear. 

   The problem with all of these Bush-era Republicans is that they fail to understand that the use of government force is the last---not the first---option that civilized societies resort to when solving problems. Even then, it is to be used with as much restraint as possible---a concept that has been observed since the time of St. Augustine. This is also conspicuously absent from Republican political discourse: they seem to take a perverse delight not only in employing power but in employing it as ruthlessly and disproportionately as possible. It's no argument to say 'Oh, but the Liberals do it too!' We're supposed to be different from them. Ever since Bush's kinder, gentler America, our side has countered the extremism of the Left with even more extremism and it hasn't worked either in practical results or in winning popular support. 

    In fact, these heavy-handed tactics have actually caused more problems at the Border than they have solved. Criminal gangs and terrorists are a lot more likely to risk being gunned down by government thugs than ordinary asylum-seekers or laborers. This is exactly what happened during Bush's War on Drugs: the corner drug-dealers disappeared while vicious cut-throat cartels took over entire neighborhoods. 

   Likewise, most of the migrants surging at the Border are coming from countries under the thumb of Wall Street/Beltway interests. Either they are from countries languishing under draconian sanctions (e.g. Venezuela, Cuba) or countries whose governments have imported American cultural and economic exceptionalism and have eroded their working classes like ours have been (e.g. El Salvador, Haiti). 

  There are ways to fix our immigration and border-control problems without stripping Americans of what few freedoms we still possess. Any political movement depending on Force and Fear to govern is not a movement we should support under any circumstances.


1 comment:

  1. You made some really good points. I do not wish to return to the Bush years! I remember how 100 miles within the border (of Canada) our civil rights were basically suspended. My husband and I were walking on the beach once and we encountered some women from Homeland Security. What made it comical was that there was a language gap and we were sure the miscommunication happening was probably going to get us detained or deported or something. Naturally our ID was in the car, two miles away.