Atlantis Alumni

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Immigration: Just Throw Them Into The Streets!

7:00 AM: Happy Mother's Day to my own mother and to all the Moms out there!

The good citizens of Farmer's Branch, Texas just voted overwhelmingly to make it illegal to rent living quarters to undocumented aliens. It seems as though property values in the town were not keeping pace with surrounding communities. The blame for this, of course, is the high number of undocumented workers and their families living in the town. If the new ordinance ever takes effect (it has been challenged in court,) landlords will be forced to evict undocumented workers and their families, or face fines.

The issue of undocumented immigration is a problem to be sure. We do need to find solutions that will enable us to address the problem in a humane fashion. However, throwing entire poor families out into the street is not the answer. The right wing has made this one of their red meat, hot button issues. This is pure and simple, a resurgence of nativism, another disgraced ideology, like Social Darwinism, that extremists on the right are using to create a new bogeyman and yes, once again, distract the public. Combine nativism, add a dose of xenophobia and throw in a little racism, and there you have it: the right wing's answer to undocumented immigration. Throw "them" into the streets!

How cruel can some of these people on the right be? Take a family like the one I saw interviewed on TV yesterday, a father who does construction work, his wife, and their two kids. They live modestly in a sparse but clean small apartment in Farmer's Branch. The father is working hard to make a living for his family. He can do better for them in Farmer's Branch than he can in Mexico, thanks in no small measure to U.S. trade policies which make it lucrative for our businesses to exploit foreign workers by keeping wages low in Mexico and elsewhere. What father would not do whatever he could for his wife and his children? No matter, we have to throw them out of their living quarters so that our property values recover, say the good Texans of Farmer's Branch.

This is a bad law that demonstrates, once again, that fundamental human rights for all people, whether they are "documented" or not, should never be put to a popular vote. The Founders understood this, and that's why we have a Constitution. The good citizens of Farmer's Branch need to read it. They also need to stop being cruel and heartless.

Photo: Red fox cub peers out from under the walk where her den is located.


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