Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Alien Attack

So I'm listening to National Public Radio today (yes, I know, that was my first mistake) and they were talking about the great many people who have been rendered without a home due to current financial problems tied to the current economic mess (read, "depression") that we're in.

They were interviewing individuals and families and informing listeners of their plight. At one point, I began to wonder if I could, and logistically how I could, help out a family should I encounter one that had indeed lost its home and found itself with no place to sleep. I began wondering how long a family of three or four could abide in the Mead Hall should the opportunity and need be presented.

Then I hear from one unfortunate mother how exactly that had happened to her. She had been staying with a family who had enountered them out in the cold and had taken them in. I was rather touched to hear it and felt all the more that doing anything I could would be the right thing to do.

Until the NPR reporter mentioned that this woman was, in fact, in the country illegally.

But the reporter wasn't making an issue of the fact that this woman was here illegally -- no. In fact, it was only brought up to point out that it was difficult for this woman to obtain public assistance: food stamps, welfare, subsidized housing, etc.

At that point, my empathy was replaced by justifiable anger with this woman, with NPR, and with our system of government.

In order to try and complete this posting without swearing or sounding like a raving lunatic, allow me please to make my point by virtue of analogy:

Let's say you encounter me at a party at a private club of which you are a paying member, or perhaps at a wedding reception that you are hosting. You find that, due to some physical limitation, I am unable to reach the hor'd ourves table. You feel pity on me and you help me out by offering me a tray of treats. You help me move around the room, cut my meat, and offer to buy me a drink.

Then you find out that I'm not a member of the club or that I wasn't invited to the wedding. What's more, I'm there with my three kids. We're not just helping ourselves to the refreshments that are provided to the guests, but you, my friend, had in part paid for these refreshments.

Do you still feel the same pity that you had before?

Well, I for one don't. I feel robbed. And more than that, I feel outraged that the bartender, whose salary I pay, has been working to keep these party-crashers from being thrown out on their asses or has refrained from calling the cops like should be done because these party-crashers might vote for him later if he doesn't.

I'm trying to keep calm right now, but it's getting increasingly harder. In fact, my increasing discontent (to be very euphemistic) is what has kept me from posting to this blog more often than I have lately.

I'm very angry at the unprecedented levels of my income and my assets that are being taken by force from me a citizen and being handed over to criminals who have hopped a fence or to companies and individuals that have proven incapable of proper stewardship of their own income and assets.

I am very close to rebellion.


Anonymous said...

If I knew that the guy came here looking for an honest job to feed his family, and he was there asking for a job and was hungry, I would feel bad for the guy, even if he was crashing. I'd give him some food, maybe even inquire if there were jobs available for him somehow.
I know hes here illegally. I don't want illegals in the country. I want them to go through channels and do the right thing. But on a human level, on what I would consider a Christian level, even though I am not a Christian, trying to help my fellow man on a one to one basis, giving someone some food, seems like the right thing to do. Looking at the whole of the problem it is something that makes me mad at times, but looking at an individual, I wonder if you could turn a fellow human away from your door, or your church's door, if they were desperate and hungry. WWJD? Would Jesus ask where this man was from? If he paid his taxes? If he was 'legal'? So while I understand your outrage, I also understand why people feel compassion for anyone who is down on their luck. Even when it's their own fault, even when they don't legally belong here. Sometimes you just say, "they need it more than I do" and feel lucky you can say that.

Gleno said...

I can't argue with what you say. As individuals, how can we not offer food, shelter, help? We do this out of human compassion. And, at the core of it, it is a decision. But do we really want our government making that decision for us? Do we want our government to take our resources from us and give them to others that they deem needy -- especially when there are plenty of us who are citizens, who have not broken the law, who have the same needs.

Aren't we morally responsible to take care of our own first?

I don't mind sending aid to another country. I do mind that aid being extracted from me and given to people who are obtaining it illegally.

Anonymous said...

Gleno, have you traveled to poor countries before? I'm not being rude, I'm just curious. Because if you go to Guatemala City and see children who live, work, and eat in a methane-soaked landfill, I think it would be easier to understand why people come to this country illegally.

Of course there are some people who come to the US to cause trouble, to join gangs, and so forth. But most of the illegal immigrants I've met are hard-working family-oriented people who toil long hours in jobs that most Americans don't want to do — not even in this bad economy. My mother works for a farmer who employs a lot of Guatemalans, and doing so has made her understand where they're coming from. She and the farmer know that their social security cards are fake (and ahem, taxes are still taken from their paychecks, so they ARE paying taxes). I've met a lot of these workers and they're good, decent people. Furthermore, the farmer is happy to hire local, legal help... except the locals refuse to "stoop" to picking, sorting, cleaning, and packing zucchini.

All I'm saying is, it's not as though illegal immigrants are living high off the hog. And when the alternative is sending them home to have their children join them in picking through rotting garbage to find food, who could do that?

I'm with cemetaryconsort. I couldn't turn a good person away just because he or she didn't have the right paperwork. Yeah, there are some people who abuse the system. (Same for US citizens.) But who am I to have so much wealth and not share it with someone who has practically nothing?

Donzo said...

The difference, is choice. If I choose to be generous with what I have been given, fine. If I choose to be stingy, God will adjust my attitude, and I will either lose what I have, or become generous. But, if I have money in my pocket, and you come and take it out of my pocket, no matter who you are, and no matter how much I have, no matter how much you took, and no matter how much you "need" it, I'm gonna ask you to give it back to me, or I'm gonna shoot you in the head, if I get the chance. And, the government, taking more from me than I am comfortable with, and giving it to people I don't want it given to, is unjust, and immoral. And Jesus does not like injustice and immorality. He calls me to work against injustice, to be moral myself, and to pray for my government. He also call his people to defend those who cannot defend themselves, with lethal force, if necessary, against those who would cause the innocent harm. I am to CHOOSE to be generous, to whom I please, because I can then be RESPONSIBLE to modify their behavior, in the same way God will modify mine.

AsterixChaos said...

If someone comes here unlawfully and they're here to cause trouble, join gangs, etc., I'm more than happy to shoot them, as they are committing a federal felony offense and I have an obligation as a citizen to assist law enforcement in halting or preventing the commission of felonious acts.

If someone wants to come to the country to work hard and take care of their family and contribute... I might not shoot them right away, if they indicate that they are willing to go to the State Department and do what's needed to get the documentation to be here legally.

As I see it, simply killing these people is kinder and more merciful in the big picture, than sending them home. A bullet and the cheap plastic coffins that FEMA has been stockpiling are cheap. Very cheap. The cost of deporting these people, often multiple times, or tracking them, or trying them, etc--is high. The fact that these people would have to go back to the squalor that made them come here in the first place is inhumane. The nicest thing that I can offer them is a quick, clean death. Children, too. The children are the responsibility of the parents, and if they brought their child along for a criminal act, then they should recognize that there are consequences for their actions.

Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

* Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or
* Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or
* Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact;

has committed a federal crime.

I've been to poor countries. The care for those countries is neither my concern nor responsibility. It's the concern and responsibility of the leadership of that sovereign state.

I've also lived along the US/Mexico border. I've seen how badly things like roads and education suffer because the tax dollars of the CITIZENS goes to pay for the illegals--who aren't paying taxes.

These people can JUST AS EASILY go through the process to get a visa and/or naturalize. Some people will whine and coddle, saying that, "Oooh! Immigration law is so unfair! It requires that people have a certain level of economic security before they can come into the country." Ayup, they do. Know why? So they won't be a drain on the commonwealth.

America's people get to whimper and whine and be all limp-wristed and snuggly because of the freedoms and comfort we have here. Because we DON'T have to send our kids to the methane dump in order to find an old shoe to boil and eat, we can stop and think about the poor little children. What we tend to overlook is that our country is strong enough to let us be all bleeding heart BECAUSE we built with the strength necessary to NOT copy those conditions, but EVERY time that one of them slips through the border, every time one of them gets free public schooling or free medical care, they reduce the resources available to citizens. Not JUST citizens, but in a lot of cases, citizens who gave EVERYTHING to serve these whining, drooling masses.

Until the abandoned veterans who are stuck on the street have homes and regular meals and good medical care and career-producing education, you can KEEP your fecking illegals. Until American Citizens who paid the tax man until they hit the curb have a fair chance, to HELL with Mexicans or Cubans who "want a better chance." We had our revolution. We changed our leaders. They need to man up and do the same, instead of taking away from what we have here.

I lift this glass in honor of the bodies in the Sonoran Desert. May their numbers ever increase.

(Extremely angry face goes here.)

Gleno said...

Anonymous makes the point that poor people are essentially good people who would do anything that you or I would do to feed ourselves and our families.

However, while I can't argue that fact, he/she did ignore my point that it isn't me offering these people my generosity, it is my government forcibly taking my money to hand it out to people I may not want to see receive it.

That point wasn't lost on Donzo and I appreciate his comments. I concur with them and feel no need to reiterate them as he's spoken them quite well.

To answer Anonymous' question, the answer is, yes, I have traveled to poor countries and quite a bit. I've been to Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, and other places in Central America.

Even more so, I've traveled to Eastern Europe with the express intention of helping kids there. I have spent two of the last three summers in Belarus and Ukraine teaching English to kids in summer camps. It cost me significant money to get myself there and, what's more, each time I paid for some of the students to atend the camps themselves. I have seen poverty.

I have seen quite a lot of poverty. Not simply the economic kind, but also the spiritual and social kinds as well.

I wouldn't have tried to help (and continue to do so) if that poverty doesn't touch me. However, as an American, I angrily reject the premise that government should allow criminals to come into the country illegally and then support them when they do. That is outrageous and every one of us are justified in rejecting that.