Thursday, March 30, 2006
Another Bad Idea
As spontaneous uprisings around the country to this wonderful admnistration's new proposal to criminalize illegal immigration threaten to shut down business and travel in some areas, I have to wonder whether this might not be the wake-up call for another segment of the population which I had supposed to be hopelessly mired in ignorance. Naive, I know. With V for Vendetta still stuck in my head, the thought of newly created felons trapped behind a wall of genuine terror is not a vision of America I could sleep well with, and I hope that is the same for more of you who might have felt secure until now.
I don't think anyone is this country is pleased with the current situation wherein untold numbers of illegal immigrants, mostly from Mexico, wreak havoc in the US job market and tax support systems intended for citizens and legitimate visitors. Clearly the problem has to be addressed. The people in this country need to be here legally, or not at all. But the pogrom-style response being rushed into law by the Bush Cabal could only appeal to the perverted sense of justice of uneducated Americans who have been fed a false view of US history wherein the country was settled by fat, rich, white Republicans from England.
The legislation proposes making being in the US illegally a felony, and calls for the building of a high-tech wall along the border. Just the visual image reminds me of scenes from Dark Angel. As to making illegal immigrant status a felony, it reminds me of the mindset of those who still support the criminalization of marijuana. Although marijuana is something I personally gave up any use for many, many years ago, the fact remains that it is about as harmless as a drug can get. It is certainly less harmless than alcohol, or the "hillbilly heroin" (oxycontin) and similar prescription drugs that have, according to recent reports, outstripped marijuana as the "gateway to drug use" for America's children. In my opinion, as a people we are fat and stupid enough without pot. Nevertheless, to prosecute marijuana dealers as felons (and to prosecute its users at all) is total hypocrisy as long as the liquor stores remain open and anyone with a prescription pad can pander to people who have neglected their own lives and health so long that they can't touch their toes with a ten-foot pole.
Why does marijuana lead to hard drugs? Simple. You have to go to a drug dealer to get it. And once you're in for a dime, you're in for a dollar. You're already breaking the law. Once you're there, get you some crack. Whereas America's potheads would be unlikely to wind up on skid row from anything they could get in Kroger, if marijuana were for sale there. Unless they still sell beer. And oh yeah, those cleaning supplies....
The same logic, or lack thereof, applies to making illegal immigrants felons. True, the current policy of busing them back to Mexico so they can walk back again tomorrow doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But if an illegal immigrant becomes a felon and subject to lengthy imprisonment just for being here, hell, why not commit a few crimes? Rob a bank? Kill some people? Hell, why not, he says, I'm already a criminal. This was, in the good old days when America had a Constitution that meant something, known as a status offense. Nowadays such fine distinctions don't matter.
And as to the high-tech wall, just remember, you complacent little shits, the wall that's built to keep them out can keep you in. Just remember that when the boot comes down.