In regards to Immigration and taking care of the down trodden/ welcoming the poor...I mean get real America, you asked for it...remember the inscription on Lady Liberty! (Pay close attention to those last 5 lines.)
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)
From the Great Depression, incited by rumors and prolonged by natural disaster, to the baby boomers, attitudes of entitlement, hopes for a future that never quite materializes, and hoarding behaviors abound. Frankly I am sick of it. So many people worried about having, doing, acquiring, that the joy of the moment is often lost. Everyone seen as other becomes an enemy, someone who might get that coveted position, who might steal something from you or your children. These are the attitudes I witness people making decisions about policy from firsthand. And it is all steeped in a mentality of scarcity, possessiveness, and fear.
During my times in LA, I often saw hoards of food being dumped and locked up because of expired dates or fear of liability. From greedy grocery chains to extravagantly catered parties so much food never makes it into hungry tummies. Much of it ends up in locked dumpsters and taken to already overflowing landfills.
People are in fact creating the scarcity they fear. The air will be choked out by the smog and our land will become locked under rotting fruit and plastic.
Rebels with more resourcefulness than money often eat rather well off dumpster diving and sharing the riches of their plunder amongst comrades in dusty warehouses shared with 8-12 people. These are not degenerates. Many of the people I knew were great minds, artists of note, students going to prestigious schools, dedicated environmentalists, and hard working activists. None of this behavior is legal and could result in fines that these people would not be able to pay. With insufficient social programs and financial assistance, thank God for landlords who look the other way as long as rent is paid in full on time, and store workers who forget to lock to chains.
An artist from Mexico I had the pleasure of working with relayed his cousins account of the U.S. government coming to his small town in Mexico and recruiting people to come work in New Orleans cleaning up the devastation left by Katrina. It was rumored some arm of our government did this because they could not afford to pay or get enough American citizens to do the job within the budget of the contract. And one day the trucks were gone. The people from Mexico left there to find other work, a way home, etc. With fears of being deported and little knowledge of how to become legal citizens or of the English language.
For 20 years a friend of mine and his family had been living in Orange County. Three of his siblings were born there. His father had run a successful lawn service business after working for someone else who retired and was still waiting in constant anxiety for his wife, his two oldest sons, and himself to be granted citizenship...all the while trying various legal routes to make this happen. My friend wanted to go to film school but could not until he was a citizen, because he needed citizenship to apply for financial aid and resources to assist him in realizing this dream. His brother was a successful hair stylist. Im sure they would have been happy to pay taxes if given the legal right to do so. His wife lived in constant fear she would be separated from their younger children and did not want to report repair needs to the landlord so their rented town home was slowly falling into disrepair. She has no picket fence, or whirlpool dryer.
Personally, I implore everyone to take a good look at their motivations, fears, biases, and prejudices before forming your opinion on what policy should be regarding immigration. In another time it could have been your great grandfather, grandmother, or father being hurled hateful slurs, judged due to the color of their skin or thick accent and being told they had no right to be here. If we really want to get into that, many of us have no right to be here as much of this land and the resources were cunningly or forcefully taken from the Native American, but that is for another blog, another time.