Congressman Ernest Istook Press release: Istook to Senate — ENFORCEMENT FIRST, NO AMNESTY, Immigration Reform Must have Real Bite to be Effective

This theme from the Istook camp has been discussed by others (most recently by but it still surprises me to hear him so stridently speak in such an ugly way against migrant workers who are trying to better their lives.

I know Istook (like much of the Republican party right now and of course
racist Tulsa Mayoral candidate Ben Faulk
too) is fixated on the idea that the undocumented migration is against “THE LAW”, but they forget that congress makes the law, and maybe the reason so many people break the law, is that it was a rotten law to begin with.

The truth be told most Mexicans are quite happy in Mexico. I’ve been to the country on many occasions, and frankly I can think of few reasons why anyone would rather live in US than in Mexico except for economics. (in fact, in many ways I’m envious of Mexicans and their culture. It is much friendlier, family-centered, and the food is much better, which I know sounds shallow but I think food is important. And people have more fun there. If you don’t believe me, go down there and hang out in the town plaza in any city you visit, and watch the unbearably cute couples ambling past, and the grandparents and grandkids playing together, and the street vender selling the little bitty steak tacos that you eat with lime juice and some tangy salsa verde…. ahh… I wish I was in Mexico right now)

But what folks do need there is money and opportunities. They’ve suffered through lots of governmental corruption (and boatloads of American oppression and exploitation) and because of capitalism (which has created a horribly divided society in which there are so many poor and so many rich in the same place) for a long-time, so lots of folks are dirt poor.

In fact, America shares much of the blame for the recent economic problems since NAFTA practically killed agriculture in Mexico; small-scale subsistence farmers just can’t compete with American mechanized farmers.

So many Mexicans feel compelled to come to the USA. Most don’t want to stay here, but they do want to work hard, send money back home and some day go back. Others do like it here and want to stay and be part of the community (which is ok by me).

So why not let them? I can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t be willing to welcome folks who want to work and are willing to be good folks. America since day one has been a nation of immigrants and we are richer for it. I know of course many will say that wages will be driven lower as a result, but I think that is not completely accurate. The real answer at this point in time is to legalize the undocumented workers and then unionize them so that they get a fair price for their labor. And the long-term answer is that America needs to give up on capitalism and globalism and encourage the other nations of our hemisphere to do the same. Capitalism has failed us for too long. We will continue to have problems with folks having to leave their homeland as long as our economic system is governed by greed and the worth of one’s labor is determined by market forces and imaginary lines on the earth that God did not create.