2010/04 – Friday

[Part of this was edited in on Saturday…] 
 
I just read an article about the Arizona immigration measures…
 
I think that no philosophically sincere participant in the immigration debate has ever yet directly repudiated the rule of law.  A minority of those in favour of illegal immigration have wanted for the law to continue unenforced, as currently, while the larger remainder have hoped for a blanket "amnesty", a collective offering of citizenship (and after that, potential enforcement of law).  On the other side, there has been no real fracture of opinion — the only option is to enforce the law, and send people who are here illegally back home.  Many on both sides have seen the law as imperfect, but only to the point of justifying reform, not disobedience.
 
That has also been my stance.  It seems very broken and stupid to me that this "free" country, set up as a beacon to the world (and largely still viewing itself as such), would not welcome any and all immigrants seeking inclusion in it, placing on them none but logistical limits.  That is not our current situation, though.  Instead we have foreign-policy-based quotas for every country.
 
Would unchecked immigration swamp this country?  And would it be unfair to those countries abandoned by their own people in droves?
 
Who cares if it would?  This country can not be true to itself unless it honours its founding phrase, "all men are created equal".  Suppose the U.S. are rich and the rest are poor — so what?  Do Americans deserve blessedness, and the others don’t?  If Americans want to seal a plastic bubble around their own citizenship (once secured), and look on arrogantly as the non-Americans outside perish, then America is a soulless country doomed to ultimate self-destruction.  Blessings are perishable, and spoil when hoarded.
 
And if countries want to guard their own population figures, they have one way to rightly do it: by fixing their political and economic systems; by offering both freedom and justice to their people.  Failing to do so, they should receive no other nation’s complicity in imprisoning the souls entrusted to them by God.  We use terms like "kidnapping" to describe such a crime domestically.  The U.S. ought not abet foreign kidnappers.
 
Anyway, then, am I against laws limiting immigration?
 
Yes, I am.  And I find myself in a hard place when faced with increased enforcement of a law I believe is flawed, and even devilish.
 
But… anarchy is worse than tight borders.  If the effect of unfairly restricting immigration is to diminish the humanity in the world, the effect of unfairly allowing immigration is to destroy humanity outright.  Not only do those in the U.S. deserve to be protected from the debilitating influences of sub-legal residents; immigrants themselves, and their children, deserve a better start at a new life in a new country than to be let in illegally, to be consigned to a lesser class with less opportunities and inclusion, and more struggles and social drag.
 
The only healthful, fair immigration… is legal immigration.  And frankly, till it can be fair, application of the broken system is a better choice, because it sustains legitimacy for the few it smiles upon.
 
 
The problem, of course, is the pressure.  If immigration is tightened at the borders without being loosened at the embassies, two parties are likely to suffer injury:
 
The locals, the Americans, who against their will are transformed into bullies, and trained by policy to devalue and suspect their neighbour nationals…
…and the non-locals, whose idealization of the U.S. is shattered, and turns to resentment.
 
And that, certainly, is a dangerous condition.  Wars are typically preceded by nationalistic hatreds.
 
 
Joseph Smith once predicted war; I discussed this in my other journal, linked at the side of this page.  And he also offered a cure for it, in his presidential platform:  governmental confiscation of human property with profitable return to their former holders, sufficient to ease the hurt of their economic and political deprivation.
 
…But, Americans preferred blood over peace.
 
Is it an impossible thing that we see a renewal of the long-dormant military strife with our southern neighbour?
 
Well, let’s consult Wikipedia.
 
United States of America     United Mexican States
309 (m) populace                 111 (m) populace (36%)
3,794 (k) square miles         762 (k) square miles (20%)
14.3 (t) GDP                          1.5 (t) GDP (10%)
 
Seems it wouldn’t be much of a fight.  Apparently Mexico is not nuclear, and their armed forces are even more extremely outnumbered by those of the U.S.
 
…But, who knows?  All it might take is a few Democrat presidents here, and a few years of stability and mobilization south of the border, and suddenly Mexico might be a match for the U.S. — or at least in a position to make demands.
 
Then again, all it really takes is a strong ally.  America could handle three or four fronts at the most.
 
But the tragedy of the Civil War wasn’t the threat of destruction to the North; it was the loss of life, both North and South, before the North asserted their obvious supremacy.
 
 
Anyway, this library is closing soon.  Direct conflict seems unlikely at this point, doesn’t it?  More plausible by far is civil unrest…
 
And the cure?  The same loosening of the valves as was advised by Candidate Smith.  Border control is a justified temporary answer; but lenient reform is the only fair solution to the immigration debate.
 
 
 
On Wednesday night, I began to suffer from the same stinging chest pains as beset me before my Canada trip three years ago.  I have felt them since then, but never so crushingly as on Wednesday.  I struggled a bit to get home that night…
 
Confronted again with an awareness of my mortality, my thoughts returned to Bomie.  As I lay cringing on my bed, I wished I could have had her nearby…
 
Possibly, I had just over-exerted myself in the days preceding.  On Thursday I was significantly less painful; today I have been nearly optimal.
 
 
Yesterday was an introductory meeting for new teachers at the ELC, and today was a slightly larger orientation for all employees.  I’ll be beginning as a lower-level intern (not actually teaching) next week.  At the lunch following today’s meeting, a Sister Martin came over to Sister McGovern, my supervisor, and wondered if any of us would be willing to be interns for some of her classes too.  I talked to her afterward, as well as to "Judson", who is teaching a class under her direction, and agreed to participate with them also.  I think I won’t pursue an opening at Selnate this term… and I surely won’t have time to audit that grammar class I was considering.
 
Kim Jeong-un is teaching there…
 
A new room-mate has moved into our apartment… Andrew Stevens, a youngster.
 
 
BYU hosted the Church-related "Women’s Conference" on Thursday and Friday.  From Wednesday, I started seeing a lot of ladies at the Cannon Center cafeteria, with the most on Friday evening.  Feeling lucky to be around so many good people, I took some pictures of them at that center… but was later scolded by an employee who I formerly thought was friendly, who told me that they had a "rule" against free picture-taking, for the sake of the "privacy" of their patrons.  Possibly that girl employee just had the ridiculous idea that being rude to me would make me like her more, or possibly the rule-makers there are simply idiots who routinely set up impossible, non-real rules.
 
As I ate, I noticed a young man sitting nearby; he’s friends with that Chinese girl I almost talked to a week or so ago.  His group now absent, he stood up and made to move seats, but then turned and came to my small table, asking if I would mind his company.  His name is Josh "Cotton".  He’s trying to study animation here, and is interested in kung fu.
 
-Steve
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