Wednesday, October 3, 2007

They're trying to make our country better, dammit

Spouses of servicemembers are being deported. It seems like a no-brainer to me that people serving overseas shouldn't have to also be fighting immigration battles here. The counter-argument-that-wasn't that CNN offers from Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies is less than convincing--he pretty much just calls the idea another amnesty that's "ridiculous" or some equally unhelpful word. The soldier in question states it so bluntly that all immigration critics should be ashamed: "I'm trying to make this country--my country--better."

So let's lay this situation out. An individual volunteers for military service and goes overseas, most likely to Iraq or Afghanistan, to take part in "the defining struggle of our time." Back home, that person's spouse is facing deportation for one or more administrative reasons (note that the woman in the CNN report linked above came here "illegally" when she was five years old. Her children are most likely U.S. citizens, assuming they were born here.) These deportations are supported mostly by people who are not taking part in "the greatest force for liberation that humankind has ever known," and who do not stand to lose anything personally by supporting such proceedings.

This is, to put it as mildly as I am capable, bullshit.

To judge from his ever-so-brief Wikipedia biography, Mark Krikorian has never served a day in uniform (if I'm wrong, I'll take it back, just let me know). He argues here that there are no jobs that Americans "won't do," so there's no need to import foreign labor (i.e. for the shit jobs like scrubbing toilets that pay so little no American will do it). Again, I doubt he has ever scrubbed a toilet in his life. And lest this seem like an irrelevant ad hominem attack, keep in mind that this guy's whole argument boils down to knowledge of human behavior and human nature (i.e. "Sure, Americans will be happy to mow lawns and wash dishes for pennies an hour! How do I know? Uh, because I'm an American!") While there is a certain populist appeal to the idea that no work should be "beneath" Americans, it is the messenger I doubt more than the message. Show me that you are willing to do the heavy lifting, Mr. Krikorian, and maybe I'll start to believe you.

In the meantime, for fuck's sake stop deporting soldiers' spouses!!! Give them something to fight for, dammit!

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