We as a society have an unanswered question that is tearing us apart:
Are we okay with Mexicans doing the backbreaking labor that we don’t want to do so that we can have cheap food and consumer products?
If we approve, then we should stop hassling them and create a legal method for them to come here and do that work. If we disapprove, then we should crack down on employers who hire them, close the borders entirely, and live with higher prices at the supermarket as expensive-to-employ Americans do their labor. End of story.
Mexicans come here voluntarily. Nobody forces them to toil in banana fields and textile factories; they choose to because it offers a better proposition than life in war-torn Mexico. The average guy who crosses the border illegally to do backbreaking labor for pennies on the dollar has the following mental calculus in his brain:
“Hmm, I could illegally enter the United states and try to make a better life for my family, or I could stay here in abject poverty and risk being brutalized by the government, or kidnapped or shot by drug gangs.”
That’s a no-brainer. I’d like to address three biggest — and stupidest — arguments made about immigrants:
1. They’re taking our jobs!
No, they’re not. They’re doing the jobs we wouldn’t do in our right minds. Do you want to work in a shoe factory for 12 hours a day? How about a coffee plantation? Like mowing lawns for rich people? No, I didn’t think so, and I don’t either. Let’s face it, these are shitty, shitty jobs that working-class white Americans don’t want. It’s true that if every illegal Mexican immigrant vanished, that we would have to do these jobs, but we wouldn’t like it, and I bet we’d waste no time in trying to automate these jobs out of existence or pawn them off onto another group of immigrants.
Mexicans do the jobs we thumb our noses at. They’re not coming here and becoming autoworkers, machinists, electricians, or grocery store managers; they’re picking fruit and assembling plastic toys, and we all know it.
Maddox makes this argument too, and with more humor and swearing! I got the above comic from his site, because it is awesome.
2. They’re all leeching off welfare!
Please. Don’t insult me. You think people who are in this country illegally are lining up to give the government all their personal information? The very idea is almost laughable. Illegal immigrants are plumb terrified of the government, because they know that the more Uncle Sam knows about them, the higher the chance they’ll be booted back into the blasted hellscape of a country they escaped from. These people want to keep as low a profile as possible. The absolute worst way to keep your anonymity that I can think of is heading down to the local welfare office and filling out 20 pages of personally identifying information to a government employee.
3. They cause crime!
This is true, to a certain extent. But it’s not because they’re sticking up convenience stores or jacking up Brinks vans; it’s because the nature of their illegal entry requires them to associate with people who really are the grizzled scofflaws we picture when we think about criminals.
Let’s be frank; the kinds of people who work in papaya fields 12 hours a day for pennies on the dollar aren’t cut from the same cloth as the ones who smuggle the desperate across the border for outrageous prices, often to rob and murder them in the middle of the desert. Those are the real criminals, the ones who cause mayhem in the U.S. (and Mexico, for that matter). If laborers could enter legally, they wouldn’t need the assistance of hardened criminals.