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Thread: Immigration irony

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    Default Immigration irony

    In 1960, my dad immigrated to Los Angeles from Quebec as a 19 year old who spoke no English. He had an aunt & uncle who were living there, so they sponsored his visa. He still doesn’t speak English well enough to pass middle school and my Canadian relatives say he still speaks French like a teenager.
    He became an American citizen in 1979 and now he is an anti-immigration conservative!
    And a racist too, despite being part Native American. When speaking with him, it is clear that he gets 100% of his news from FOX.
    I avoid political conversations in general, but when he stated a few things as fact regarding immigration, I couldn’t resist countering some points.
    He talked about immigrants causing crime; I reminded him that he was an immigrant and a convicted felon too (he was in jail most of my high school years for drug offenses).
    Regarding jobs, he said that my nephew couldn’t get a job because of all the “immigrants and cripples” (the nephew is an 18 year old who refuses to work at his parents garden supply store in a very white town, and who stopped going to his job at a pizza restaurant because he wasn’t getting enough hours). This is privileged young man, not a person who would do manual labor in any form.
    Finally he said immigrants should go home and apply to come legally like him - he claimed that he had to wait two years after applying for a US visa. I called BS as I knew this was not the case.
    It amazes me that he doesn’t see the irony in his views vs his own life and how he has conveniently revised his own history.
    How much worse is this when the immigration happened to more distant relatives?
     

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    Default Re: Immigration irony

    I live in a rather white Western Suburb of Detroit and I see this same sort of thinking. While life is easier (I suppose) when we define a group as "other," does that really make sense? I can't help but think, anytime someone describes a problem as somehow happening to other people or caused by a group from which they conveniently exclude themselves, that describing a problem as outside of myself is a lot like sitting in a rowboat with a person and not being concerned about the leak in the boat because it is on the "other's" side of the boat. There is no them. There is only us.
     

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    Default Re: Immigration irony

    From what you say, your dad emigrated to the US legally. Further on you add that "he said immigrants should go home and apply to come legally like him", with corroboration since you say his aunt and uncle sponsored his visa. I don't see any irony in this story.

    There are many people who support legal immigration who do not support illegal immigration. The US has let in up to one million legal immigrants per year for a while now. Many feel that is enough each year and they are entitled to that view.

    I find that many intentionally distort the distinction between legal and illegal immigration, concluding that if one is against illegal immigration that they don't like immigrants or immigration in any way. Not necessarily the case.
     

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    Default Re: Immigration irony

    Quote Originally Posted by bdaghisallo View Post
    I find that many intentionally distort the distinction between legal and illegal immigration, concluding that if one is against illegal immigration that they don't like immigrants or immigration in any way. Not necessarily the case.
    ^I agree with this thought, it's a very accurate appraisal, imo.

    On immigration I dont have the answer. It's easy to say what 'should be' if you're already a US citizen, and arent living in the terrible poverty and conditions many people are dealing with in some of the countries people flee from. And it's easy to lump everyone into a 'them' category, when in fact these are individual people with hopes and dreams just like everyone else. And yet, you can't simply open the borders to anyone who wants to come here. Immigration is always gonna be a complicated problem, imo.
     

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    Default Re: Immigration irony

    Quote Originally Posted by jumphigher View Post
    ^I agree with this thought, it's a very accurate appraisal, imo.

    On immigration I dont have the answer. It's easy to say what 'should be' if you're already a US citizen, and arent living in the terrible poverty and conditions many people are dealing with in some of the countries people flee from. And it's easy to lump everyone into a 'them' category, when in fact these are individual people with hopes and dreams just like everyone else. And yet, you can't simply open the borders to anyone who wants to come here. Immigration is always gonna be a complicated problem, imo.
    It's a sad reality that there will always be better and worse places in the world to live. Those in the better places don't owe anything to those in the worse places. The US does not have any moral obligation to allow in anyone and everyone who wants to emigrate there. No other country in the world is expected to take in anyone who wants in. No other country is expected to simply tolerate illegality as the US is.
     

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    Default Re: Immigration irony

    Quote Originally Posted by bdaghisallo View Post
    No other country in the world is expected to take in anyone who wants in. No other country is expected to simply tolerate illegality as the US is.
    What country are you referring to with the first quoted sentence? Certainly not the United States. There certainly is a limit on permanent immigrants each year.

    A fact of illegal immigration in the United States is that segments of the economy depend on it.
     

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    Default Re: Immigration irony

    Quote Originally Posted by bdaghisallo View Post
    It's a sad reality that there will always be better and worse places in the world to live. Those in the better places don't owe anything to those in the worse places. The US does not have any moral obligation to allow in anyone and everyone who wants to emigrate there. No other country in the world is expected to take in anyone who wants in. No other country is expected to simply tolerate illegality as the US is.
    I agree with your first sentence. But I think everyone as a human being has a moral obligation to try and help others. It's certainly the right thing to do, imo. That doesnt mean I think everyone and anyone should be allowed into the US - or any other country for that matter. But since there are human beings involved it's a bit more complicated than just saying 'too bad for them, they were born in a worse place, and we dont want them here'.

    Like I said though, I dont have the answer to this complex issue.
     

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    Default Re: Immigration irony

    Quote Originally Posted by bdaghisallo View Post
    From what you say, your dad emigrated to the US legally. Further on you add that "he said immigrants should go home and apply to come legally like him", with corroboration since you say his aunt and uncle sponsored his visa. I don't see any irony in this story.
    I didn’t say he immigrated illegally.
    His lie is that he applied and waited two years - the truth is that he waited a matter of weeks not years.
    He had it easy but thinks that he had it tough.
    Much has changed since 1960. The wait to immigrate legally is often decades.
     

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    Default Re: Immigration irony

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Beaudoin View Post
    I didn’t say he immigrated illegally.
    His lie is that he applied and waited two years - the truth is that he waited a matter of weeks not years.
    He had it easy but thinks that he had it tough.
    Much has changed since 1960. The wait to immigrate legally is often decades.
    I didn't say that you did. You do paint a pretty broad picture considering your aim was simply to point out that his recollection of the time his visa took was wrong.

    The process to emigrate legally to the US may be much longer today than it's been in the past but I am sure much of that is due to the very different world we live in now and increased numbers of those who wish to emigrate. A long lead time for approval is not a valid excuse for those who chose to do it illegally.
     

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    Default Re: Immigration irony

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Beaudoin View Post
    In 1960, my dad immigrated to Los Angeles from Quebec as a 19 year old who spoke no English. He had an aunt & uncle who were living there, so they sponsored his visa. He still doesn’t speak English well enough to pass middle school and my Canadian relatives say he still speaks French like a teenager.
    He became an American citizen in 1979 and now he is an anti-immigration conservative!
    And a racist too, despite being part Native American. When speaking with him, it is clear that he gets 100% of his news from FOX.
    I avoid political conversations in general, but when he stated a few things as fact regarding immigration, I couldn’t resist countering some points.
    He talked about immigrants causing crime; I reminded him that he was an immigrant and a convicted felon too (he was in jail most of my high school years for drug offenses).
    Regarding jobs, he said that my nephew couldn’t get a job because of all the “immigrants and cripples” (the nephew is an 18 year old who refuses to work at his parents garden supply store in a very white town, and who stopped going to his job at a pizza restaurant because he wasn’t getting enough hours). This is privileged young man, not a person who would do manual labor in any form.
    Finally he said immigrants should go home and apply to come legally like him - he claimed that he had to wait two years after applying for a US visa. I called BS as I knew this was not the case.
    It amazes me that he doesn’t see the irony in his views vs his own life and how he has conveniently revised his own history.
    How much worse is this when the immigration happened to more distant relatives?
    It´s typical: prejudice, bias, intolerance, moralism usually grows around individuals who suffered and learnt it as a code to live by. Enlightened, tolerant ones usually don´t go through this; liberal thinking finds easier reception among those who look disgusted and in fear of ending at the wrong side of injustice.
    I wouldn´t call prejudice and racism conservative thinking but fascism or extreme right wing. Fascism and right wing is entirely different from Conservative in my view.
    I came here for the socks.

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