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Monday, July 14, 2014

Home Invasion

Please imagine this:

You are a parent, and a homeowner.

Your home is modest. You worked really hard, for many, many years, to put this home together. You love the color scheme. You love the carpets. You love the couch, even though you bought it at the Salvation Army. You like your neighbors. After years of walking on eggshells and negotiations, you've hammered out a modus vivendi with the folks next door and in back. You love your pets. You've got a walk schedule worked out where you take them to the park at the right times.

Your kid is chronically ill. Your kid needs expensive medication every day. Because of some fluke in the insurance, you have to pay for those meds out of pocket.

One night, you hear a rasping noise. Someone is using a file to jimmy your door lock and sneak into your home. You hear more voices. There's a whole bunch out there. They're coming in.

Home invasion. You've heard about this in the news. These gangs are breaking into homes. Stealing whatever drugs are on the premises. Eating all the food. Throwing trash around. Disrupting lives.

Your child, your offspring, the person for whom you are responsible, needs drugs every day. These home invaders might steal the drugs, leaving your kid without necessary medication.

You have a gun in your nightstand. Do you use it?

Me? I'd use the gun.

This imaginary scenario helps me to understand why some can disagree so violently on the question of mass illegal immigration to the US, and our current president's incompetent non-response.

Some of us see America as our home. We assess America as valuable. We realize how very much hard work went into creating the country we've been blessed with. We don't take America for granted. We realize that like any human creation, America could be destroyed by human hands.

We recognize the concept of "limited good." We get it that scamming the system leaves less for everyone. Some American suffering from a chronic illness is going without needed medication right now. I know because I am one of those people. The system can't support everybody, and our needs are eliminated in the triage.

Some of us live in Murrieta, CA – literally or metaphorically – Murrieta is the town that the government wants to dump illegal immigrants in. We don't live on Martha's Vineyard. We don't live in a rich enclave where illegal immigrants are merely the landscaper or the nanny. We don't have landscapers and we don't have nannies. We know how disruptive mass illegal immigration can be.

Read Robert Putnam. Look at crime statistics. Look at schools, hospitals, the general sense of civility and safety. All suffer thanks to mass illegal immigration and system scammers. That isn't an opinion. It isn't racism. It isn't xenophobia. It's a statistical reality.

George Borjas is himself an Hispanic immigrant. He was born in Cuba. He has shown through his research that poor, less well educated Americans, including African Americans, suffer from mii&ss. No getting around it. If Jose will take that job for less than minimum wage, Joe, who must be paid on the books and be paid minimum wage, is screwed.

Robert Putnam has written about how a sense of civility suffers when large segments of the population do not assimilate. People feel disconnected from others who don't share their language. Language is basic to creating community. Populations in the US who resist English language acquisition erode community.

Mass illegal immigration is not a victimless crime; the victim is the quality of life in communities that support large numbers of illegal immigrants. Scholars like George Borjas and Robert Putnam demonstrate this unequivocally.

So, those of us who see America as a valued and beloved home that we have poured work into and that needs protection, a home with "limited good," oppose mass illegal immigration and system scamming.

We aren't xenophobes; we value immigrants who come legally and learn English and respect America and support its institutions before attempting to benefit from those institutions. 

Some people support mass illegal immigration and system scamming, though. I think they see America very differently than how those of us who oppose mii&ss.

I think these people see America as guilty. As needing to be punished. As a big, fat, ATM machine that should be milked for all its got, and then milked some more. I think they see America not as their home at all. Not as something that they worked on. Not as something they hold dear. I think they see America as something outside themselves, just a big, bad bank whose vaults should be emptied out and then burned. 

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