Friday, October 15, 2004

Xenophobia strikes the nation

We all know Lou Dobbs hates immigrants and moving jobs oversees. In fact, he is CNN's only successful show.

The night after the debate, he whined that when Bush and Kerry got asked about Immigration, they both dodged the issue. He supports the ill-touted notion that illegal immigrants take away jobs from Joe-sixpack, your average American blue collar worker. In fact, they take away jobs that Joe wouldn't even touch (like picking produce in Southern California and Florida). And because they make less than minimum wages (b/c they can't exactly complain to the government that they are being cheated), they have no effect on wages either.

But that didn't stop Lou from singing the praises of a GOP congressional candidate in Kansas that is trying to scare white voters into voting for him over immigration. Even TIME did an issue recently where it talked about how loose the borders are, and Kerry followed up on that point from a Homeland Security angle, arguing that terrorists can blend in with Mexicans coming over the boarder. Even in little old Utah, we have candidates running on fear of Mexicans, even against a Clinton Impeachment Manager according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Utah [GOP] Congressman Chris Cannon's views on immigration continue to haunt him in the 2004 election.

Already a force in the Republican primary, where immigration restrictionist Matt Throckmorton came closer than anyone ever has to defeating the four-term incumbent, immigration surfaced again Thursday during the taping of a debate at KUTV.

Only this time, it was Cannon's Democratic challenger Beau Babka stirring the pot, and with a new twist.

Babka, a South Salt Lake police captain, framed immigration reform as a homeland security issue, arguing that Cannon hasn't done enough to protect America's borders.

And he criticized Cannon for doing nothing to stop the overseas outsourcing of American jobs.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a supporter of opening the floodgates and allowing just about anyone into our country. I think we need stronger borders and tougher enforcement of people who violate their visa etc. But the whole "immigration Reform" issue plays into peoples fears and hatred of foreigners, especially those of darker skin tones. The same people that start these issue groups tend to be the same people that are associated with white supremacists.

Canada's economy isn't so hot either, and I am sure lots of Canadian people "sneak over" the boarder to work in the US; there's no one up on our side of the boarder (or not nearly enough) to protect us from terrorists coming over. In 2000, we got lucky that a terrorist was caught with explosives while driving from Vancouver to Seattle. Our neighbor to the north is more scary to be than Mexico.

I think we need to work out a proper guest worker program so that Mexicans can be seasonal workers in American fields, as long as they go home during the off-months. And for those who have lived here a number of years, have a clean record, paid their taxes, sent their children off to Iraq to die for this country, they should get to become naturalized citizens and not worry about the INS anymore.

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