Saturday, April 6, 2013

Canada vs. Mexico

"The Proposal," is on TV tonight. I don't like it that much. Sandra Bullock plays a Canadian about to be deported, so she concocts a scheme to marry her American assistant Ryan Reynolds. Boy meets girls etc.

Every time I see this movie, yes, I've seen it more than once, I ask, "Why would the US deport a Canadian." When my eldest child saw the movie, she asked the same question. When my youngest child saw it this evening she asked the same thing. Why would the US want to deport a Canadian. The premise seems so unbelievable.

I dislike most counter-factual arguments. But would the premise be unbelievable if Bullock's role was instead played by Eva Mendes about a Cuban being deported? Or if the role was played by Sofia Vergara about a Columbian? Or if the role was played by Eva Longoria about a Mexican? Maybe the premise would be just as absurd. But I don't think so. If the lead role was a Cuban, or a Columbian or a Mexican, I think the premise would be more believable.

But why is that? Why has the US built a fence across the border with Mexico but not Canada? What do we fear about the Mexicans we don't fear about the Canadians? Or am I wrong and we would have an equal fear about the Canadians if Canadians were attempting to enter the US by the millions? Maybe. Maybe we would. Maybe then we would be building a fence to keep the Canadians out as well.

Maybe, but I just don't think so. I think there is something we fear about he Mexicans we don't fear about the Canadians. Language? Maybe. Wealth? That is we don't want a poorer population? Maybe. Religion? Doesn't seem to be mentioned much, but maybe. Drugs and violence? Probably. Racism? Maybe, but that's just speculation, and I'm not willing to tar everyone who disagrees with me about immigration as racist.

I think the country benefits from immigration. I suppose opponents could drag out studies that support the opposite, but the evidence is overwhelming the country benefits from immigration. Just like the country benefits from free trade. You can manufacturer a study that claims the opposite but the evidence is overwhelming and obvious the country benefits from free trade and easy and open immigration policies are part and parcel of free trade. If two mature parties should be allowed to engage in a relationship without the heavy hand of the State preventing them, why should the State prevent me from hiring a gardener from Mexico (excuse the stereotypes), a customer service rep from India and a cab driver from Pakistan?

The current debate on immigration depresses me. Neither side comes anywhere close to my position. Not even close. Legislation
could be introduced as soon as next week in light of a tentative deal on guest-worker programs struck by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. ... Under the tentative deal ... the U.S. would issue anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000 guest-worker visas annually. ... Labor and business groups also reached a tentative agreement on wage levels.
 200,000? That's it? Wage levels? Huh?

Let them in. Let them all in. People come to America for a better life for themselves and in the process they make all of us richer as well.

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