Secondly, everyone should watch "El Norte", also one of my favorite movies. I have used it in classes.
From imdb: Mayan Indian peasants, tired of being thought of as nothing more than "brazos fuertes" ("strong arms", i.e., manual laborers) and organizing in an effort to improve their lot in life, are discovered by the Guatemalan army. After the army destroys their village and family, a brother and sister, teenagers who just barely escaped the massacre, decide they must flee to "El Norte" ("the North", i.e., the USA). After receiving clandestine help from friends and humorous advice from a veteran immigrant on strategies for traveling through Mexico, they make their way by truck, bus and other means to Los Angeles, where they try to make a new life as young, uneducated, and illegal immigrants
A rare enough scenario. I hope you provide some balance in your teaching, otherwise you would simply be peddling your prejudices and not giving your students the full picture.
You will bear in mind the Nicaraguans who were brought to the US some years backs when their country was devastated by a hurricane - few ever returned. The French have a saying, Only temporary things are permanent.
You may wish to consider the vast majority of simple economic migrants.
[qute]Thirdly, it is clear to me that personal experiences hugely determine how people think about immigration.[/quote]
This is true.
I am with Quesi because I know people who came to the US intending to go home, and whose country fell apart. There was no home to return to and they would have possibly been killed if they returned. I don't want to see my friends killed. Who would?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was quite mad in his later years, once said, "I don't believe in ghosts but there is a great number of people who say they have seen them and whose evidence taken in sum, says that there are ghosts."
Immigrants, as a mass are easy to dismiss, immigrants taken individually, are not. If they do not reach their destination or if they are quickly removed, then the problem does not arise. The trouble is that the law is a broad brush but does recognise individual circumstances and the few hours it takes to cross the boarder at night are to be compared with the days of paperwork and hearings... You can have cheap fast justice or slow detailed justice - it is a pragmatic question of cost.
We don't want immigrants to come to our country illegally, but we want food prices to be low, so we do want there to be people willing to work on farms for less than we would do it. So we do want there to be some illegal immigration.
This is a false dichotomy. It is a mistake to use imported manpower when technology can create efficient production. The argument for cheap labour is the argument for the failed economics of slavery.
I would advocate a fine on any employer of illegal immigrants of 10x the minimum wage per hour each immigrant has worked. Once the situation has settled down, such machinery as is available has been put in place, and local unemployment is minimal, then controlled, legal immigration may take place.
Sure, the law says imprison and/or deport people who are here illegally.
I believe that imprisonment is used, not as a sanction, but to ensure that the illegal immigrant is in a known place so that he may be removed.
They are criminals if they stay without the proper status. We have to agree that they have broken the law. But what kind of crime is it, exactly?
This question is by no means as easy to answer as it appears. Most detention and removal are administrative actions, not involving criminality.
Is it more like murder? More like bank robbery? More like child molestation? More like passing bad checks or cheating on your income tax?
You have this week's prize for rhetorical questions that can be answered with "No."
I think we can probably agree that illegal immigration by itself is closer to a "paperwork" crime
There are offences that can be tried in court but it is not particularly efficient to do that.
1)Deport violent and dangerous migrants, whether illegal or legal.
Fine: that is what happens now.
Microchip them so they can't come back. (Just kidding. Maybe.)
They are fingerprinted and iris scanned - it's easier
2)Have immigration policies that are consistent, fair and equally applied, instead of at the whim of the judge
This is more rhetoric and not based in fact. The law is clear - that is the purpose of the law - to be clear.
or based on whether the US likes the country the person comes from. (For example, ... Cuba)
Are you suggesting that the wishes of the people are to be overridden and that immigration policy is to be removed from foreign policy?
I honestly think you have not thought that one through.
3)Realize that most people prefer their own home countries, even if they are not perfect places.
You should rid yourself of that notion. It is simply not true - it really isn't.
Think of any 3rd world country
Place an advert in the paper of the most patriotic part of that country.#
The advert says, "1,000 US Green Cards are available free to the first applicants - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sit back, see what happens.
Migration is always a last resort after you realize that you have no decent future if you stay.
Simply not true. I am assuming you are thinking what it would take to cause you to leave the US - This is not a good example.
So, no, they don't all want to come here.
What percentage of Mexico do you think would arrive if the boarder were opened for 5 years?
We can stop with the "yellow peril" and "hordes of brown people massing at the border" crap.
Emotive stuff - not substance, but emotive.
If you are serious about addressing immigration, please keep to known facts or at least the big picture.
4)Establish a law whereby nobody is deported as a side effect of reporting a crime, enrolling children in school, seeking medical care, or to perform other actions that benefit the larger society.
Can you explain how having a medical operation benefits society, as opposed to the person undergoing it?
Unless you would rather have more exploited people afraid to report child trafficking, suffering from untreated infectious disease, kids joining gangs instead of being in school, etc.
Are you being serious? What sort of a strawman is that?
Please keep emotion out of this - emotions rarely helped anyone or solved any problems.
5)Help people stay home.
Yes. This is good. Do that. Help them with health, education and the infrastructure. Strangely enough $Billions go on this each year.
Don't bomb other countries, creating war refugees whose societies have fallen apart.
I do hope someone from Al-Shabab, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, or The Lord's Resistance Army is reading this...
Don't help dictators massacre their people, creating political refugees.
Always good advice
Don't exploit cheap labor
Please be aware that creating employment in a poor country and paying wages at their national average, is helping that country. It is not unreasonable. You expect average wages in your country, you are not being paid the wages of an Arab Sheikh. Why should someone producing shoes in Honduras be paid the US average wage when a doctor does not get the US average wage? Have you considered the effect on the local economy?
or lax environmental laws in poor countries,
All I have read is an emotional and poorly thought out page of rhetoric. Seriously, immigration is a topic that concerns us all.
We want a fair society that is not pushed to extremism. We want numbers that can be successfully socially integrated; all countries need to control borders, all countries want to control the rate of flow and the skills of those entering.
Once this is near the desired level - desired by the population - we will be in a better position to help people. Do not think that there is no other side to the immigration question - there is much developmental aid and other aid provided by your government.
Also realise that there are Americans requiring help - help that costs tax dollars - there is a balance to be struck. Be pragmatic - whilst the economy is not too good, do we want more people seeking employment? do we want wages undercut? Do we want to see those people exploited and given a bad name that will last for generations?