Friday, April 21, 2006

Reactions to the GA “Illegals” law

Somehow I missed this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution* yesterday, but it's still worth mentioning. First up, here's what an international relations expert in Mexico City had to say:

It's having an impact on how [Mexicans] believe immigrants are perceived --- as a threat to cultural values, as a cost to the state.

Hmm. . . why would illegal immigrants be considered "a cost to the state?" Maybe it's because they are? I could care less about a "threat to cultural values," since I don't have any general problems with another person's culture, but illegal immigrants have chosen to break the law of the country they ostensibly want to become citizens of, and that's not an issue of culture, that's an issue of the law in this state. Illegals want to partake in government services for which they have not paid. Therefore, they are in fact a cost to the citizens of this state.

Moving on, it seems that the government of Mexico, shockingly enough, isn't fond of the new legislation either:

Implementing the Georgia law could result in "acts of discrimination" against Mexicans living in Georgia, Ruben Aguilar, spokesman for President Vicente Fox, told reporters Tuesday.

What discrimination? Does the law say, or has any Georgia lawmaker said, that only illegal immigrants from Mexico are being "targeted?" No, it doesn't. This is not an issue of racism or discrimination toward Mexicans, it's about serving the needs and wants of the people of Georgia, which is what we elected our officials to do, and is something that happens rarely enough.

"It's the position of [Fox] that the half-measures in this law are insufficient to resolve ... the complex phenomenon of immigration between Mexico and the United States," Aguilar said.

What about the complex phenomenon of non-citizens in this state receiving services that citizens paid for? Why is it so apparently shocking to Mr. Fox that Georgians want, demand, and are (hopefully, anyway, I'm still not convinced that this isn't just election year grandstanding) getting change? Aguilar makes an interesting turn of phrase there too: "phenomenon of immigration between Mexico and the U.S." Between, eh? Worried about that flood of Michiganders flowing across the Rio Grande into Mexico, are we? How about the "phenomenon of ILLEGAL immigration INTO the U.S. from Mexico, with the tacit, if not explicit, consent of the Mexican government?" Time for a little spokesman-on-spokesman action:

"This is not an anti-immigrant law. It is a fairness issue. This is saying that people should come in the front door, not the back door, and that the laws of our country and our state need to be obeyed. We are a hospitable people in the state of Georgia, but when folks wish to immigrate to the country, they need to do it in a legal way," [Georgia Gov. Purdue's spokesman] McLagan said.
By the way, how has Mexico treated immigrants to their own country, the vast majority of whom are merely transients on their way to the U.S.?

The level of brutality Central American migrants face in Mexico was apparent Monday, when police conducting a raid for undocumented migrants near a rail yard outside Mexico City shot to death a local man, apparently because his dark skin and work clothes made officers think he was a migrant.
. . .
The Mexican government acknowledges that many federal, state and local officials are on the take from the people-smugglers who move hundreds of thousands of Central Americans north, and that migrants are particularly vulnerable to abuse by corrupt police.

That's right, the Mexican government acknowledges the corruption in their own system while simultaneously condemning the state government in another country for doing something that it's citizens want done, on the same issue. According to the Mexican government, we're racists discriminating against Mexicans, while their own agents kill one of their citizens because his dark skin made him look like a migrant. That's just one example, by the way; the article linked above is well worth a read.

The real money quote from the AJC article came from state Sen. Chip Rogers:

I challenge President Fox to reread Senate Bill 529, and if he can find a single reference to Mexico or any foreign nation, I will move to repeal 529.

I would suggest the government of Mexico stop concerning themselves with what we do in Georgia and instead worry about their own corrupt government, which has caused millions of their own citizens to leave their home country. A foreign government has no place in making Georgia law.

Damn straight.

Well, it's a start...

*The AJC may require registration. Sorry.

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