It's being suggested that conventioneers, entertainers, even spring training for major league baseball boycott Arizona because of the unprecedented immigration law that just passed. Given the number of Latino players from Mexico, South America, Puerto Rico, etc., it should be interesting next spring, particularly if any of them are stopped at random. Any thoughts from writers? Should we avoid events, signings, etc., in Arizona as a protest? I recently blogged my thoughts about the law at: http://open.salon.com/blog/christopher_valen
As I said previously, if Arizona or any other state wants to cut the flow of illegal immigration, then they need to go after the businesses that hire illegals. There's no way to guard every mile of the border and a ten foot fence just means you need an eleven foot ladder. I saw on 60 minutes recently that the cameras and new video technology that was supposed to help stem the flow doesn't work in the heat even though millions have been spent. And even if we could round-up all of the 10-12 million illegals currently estimated to be in the U.S., sending them home would cause the economy of this country to collapse. We need comprehensive immigration reform. It would be great if the two senators from Arizona would lead the reform instead of blaming the government that has employed them for the last 25 years.
I agree that going after the businesses that hire illegals is necessary and is not being done. Administrations of both parties have shown great cowardice in this arena. If it were done, illegal immigration would thin out considerably.
I disagree, however, that amnesty (aka "comprehensive immigration reform") is the answer. "Comprehensive immigration reform" is centered around a "path to citizenship" which is a warmed-over euphemism for amnesty. It's the same thing in the end. They all become legal after breaking our laws to get here. It's a "solution" that is much easier to adopt than the harder choice of strong military presence along our border.
Jon Loomis commented that this would be next to impossible, and I replied that it was already done a few years ago in a limited fashion. The National Guard was sent to the border to assist the Border Patrol. They could not arrest, they could only assist, and the illegal immigration in those limited areas dried up and moved elsewhere. Combine this with your suggestion to go after the businesses that hire illegals and you solve a great deal of the problem. Amnesty (making them all legal) is not the answer.
Count me in on the wimp side with Benjamin. LOL! I like to keep my political views and personal views separate from my writing life because that stuff tends to come back and bite you in the butt. He's right. Folks have a million reasons not to buy our books, we don't need to tick folks off in the process. LOL! I prefer to stay private. I feel that my personal beliefs aren't the public's business.
That and yes, I'm a big wimp. But I'll be a happy author wimp, LOL.
But I've enjoyed all the points brought up and commend those for boycotting. I'd never planned to go to Arizona so for me, boycotting wouldn't be necessary. Sure as heck ain't going now.
I completely understand that reaction, Stacy, and I think that there's really no right or wrong approach. Nothing wimpy about it, IMO. My role model in these matters is Carl Hiaasen, whose politics are pretty similar to mine, and who's done very well by satirizing the general loony-ness that is the state of Florida, political and otherwise. I think also of Chandler and Walter Mosley, neither of whom pulled any punches on the subjects of official corruption or official racism, respectively. Those are profoundly political points-of-view, although we tend not to think of them that way for some reason. There are also highly successful genre writers who pull no punches in advancing right-wing points of view: Tom Clancy comes to mind; no doubt there are lots of others I just can't think of right now.
That said, I would personally not want to read a novel that put politics over story, or that used flat political stereotypes as characters, or that contained a lot of righteous political diatribes masquerading as dialogue (see Ayn Rand). I can't think of anything more boring, even if I agree 100% with the book's sentiments.
I really have to read this law. Seems to me it was about having identification, a concept most Americans don't understand very well. If you travel frequently (I don't mean to Canada and Mexico) to Asia, South American, Africa and Europe (minimum 10 trips a year) the concept of having legal identification and being taken aside and questioned about all this entering of a country that often is normal. Not only must your passport be valid, but all your visas must be in order. (Do you know how many people think a visa is a credit card? Naive is what I call it.
Foreigners coming to the US to protest, to me, is the head shaker. First tell me how much marching and protesting you've done in your own country. It's a free pass to complain, something we honor, but it seems to me it always blasts out like a burst boil into everything and anything that barely fits the issue. Talk logically to most of them and just watch their face as they get angry at ruining their fun. Who cares the real issue.
Foreigners have a huge advantage in the US, it is the only country where if you come here and birth a child, that child automatically becomes a US citizen.
Also, Mrs. Parker, speaking on the foreigner issue of presence in the US being a privilege, I read a proposal on the UPI just a couple days ago by the Democrats.
Seems they want workers to carry the “Believe," national identification card. An acronym for “Biometric Enrollment, Locally-stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment” with biometric data, such as fingerprints, within six years.
The American Civil Liberties Union is tearing it apart saying that it “will not only be astronomically expensive, it will usher government into the very center of our lives.” Others say,...“it represents a possible path forward on immigration.”
I agree with the latter, if you're working you're not Illegal. Personally, if I were from another country, I wouldn't have an argument with that.
I don't know if it's still the case (probably not), but my grandfather was born in France to American parents and became a dual citizen of France and the U.S. Which was fine until the outbreak of WWI, when the French tried like hell to draft him. That was problematic for a couple of reasons, not least of which was the fact that he'd already enlisted in the US Army. Until his dying day he was considered a draft-dodger by the French government, and could never legally re-enter the country. Nothing to do with any of this, but still kind of a good story.
Wasn't that one of the reason for the War of 1812? The British stopping American ships and trying to draft anyone on board born in the UK?
And by the way, children born in Canada are citizens at birth, too, it's not just the US. There was a case a little while ago about a woman who gave birth in a plane as it passed over Canada from Europe and when it landed in Boston the child was declared Canadian. So even kids born 'above' Canada are Canadian.
We sometimes watch this stuff closely here because anything the US federal government does applies to all borders. A while ago a comedian suggested after the big fence or ditch or whatever's being built on the Mexican border you guys should build a big penalty box on the Canadian border.
Sorry John, that's true, babies born in Canada are citizens, provided the parents get past those tough borders they got up there. Under the US system, hospitals have to serve illegal aliens in emergency rooms. Unfortunately, illegal immigrants have very little health care protection in Canada which means the parents can't get sick. Even the legal immigrants have to wait 3 months to apply for health care.
But what about the Canadians? No one knows how many illegal immigrants from Canada currently reside in the United States. And it is extremely difficult to find out since Canadians look American. Unlike Mexicans, Canadians take jobs from Americans that Americans actually WANT.
My Dad was a Canadian "Dryback" in the early 1960s, where he worked various low level jobs in Boston from short order cook, to paint factory helper.
His contacts with the police at the time usually didn't involve them asking for his green card (which he eventually did get) but did occasionally involve the cops giving him a friendly ass kicking to keep him alert.