Sunday, March 26, 2006

Clear identification

The new hot-button political issue, as if there weren't enough already, is the immigration debate.

Thus far, there are two problems:
(1) How to keep future "illegals" out of the United States...
(2) What to do with "illegals" that are in the United States...

Nevermind the cultural aspects that drive this political issue; it's not merely the issue of illegal immigration; it's the issue of illegal immigration by a group that is not merely distinctive via language, but usually by skin color and ethnicity as well; Mexicans are an easily identifible people, and illegal Mexican immigrants are not only clearly identifible, they're also clearly powerless. They're in the worst situation possible in a liberal, utilitarian system (nevermind the labor that they participate in).

The difficulty of the legislators is that they must write legislation from an empowered, majority standpoint, for a group that has no representation, no power, and is of a "lesser" cultural status (if only numerically).

It is difficult to imagine what America would be like if we did not have pre-determined situations in society for the purpose of exploiting and dominating a group. The fact remains that America was founded upon a system of labor that depended upon slavery; even after slavery was abolished, the same economy remained in place, waiting for other groups to exploit. Illegal aliens are a perfect group.

The difficulty of the legislators is that they must write legislation that clarifies the legal status of the immigrants (this could entail numerous conclusions--e.g., a wall, provisions for allowing illegals to "work" towards legality, a new waiting line system, etc.) without destroying the economic system that allows for such a group to exist.

What I wonder is, who will take over the lowest economic positions offered in America if the most extreme legislation is passed?

America needs an easily identifible, clearly powerless group to exist, in order to place them into their designated spot at the bottom of society, a spot that is clearly predetermined by America's slave economy.

It would be excellent for the illegal immigrants to receive the most progressive legislation possible to ensure their legality, which could open up doors for an eventual (and probably painstaking) change in status. But, another group would have to take their place.

So long as capitalism and liberalism co-exist in America, the problem of illegal immigration will never be resolved. The problem of illegal immigration is merely the problem of alienated labor, of exploitation of a cultural/ethnic minority, of slavery. To say that the problem has evolved is an understatement; but at its foundation it remains the same problem.


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