Monday, May 15, 2006

Yo granddaddy


Screen capture from Crooks and Liars

Here he goes...he wants us to know that he's met people like us...people whose parents or grandparents came over from the old country. Of course, he couldn't pass up the opportunity to exploit the story of a man, a Latino, a non-citizen and U.S. Marine, who was wounded in the Iraq conflict (which the president convinced the country to accept based on a pack of lies.)

Your blogstress, though of immigrant stock, knew only the U.S.-born generations of her family. But of his grandfather, who fled to America to escape conscription in the tzar's army, le père de la blogstresse, discussing the current debate over immigrants, said, "When my grandfather wanted to come over, all he had to do was get on the boat."

Of course, that's when the nation was desperate for factory workers, and before unions won a minimum wage and an eight-hour day for workers. Today, an employer would have to give a documented worker overtime after eight hours, and a minimum wage (though that is laughably low). Today's undocumented worker, vulnerable to deportation, can be made to work 13-hour shifts and otherwise exploited. And so it is the undocumented who are built into our economy, in much the same way that famine-plagued Irish or draft-dodgers from Poland were in the 19th century.

So, let's stop kidding ourselves: we're just blaming the victims for the problem. If we didn't keep all the goodies up here above the border, these folks would have no interest in leaving their homes and families. If your family was hungry, wouldn't you do what you had to do to feed them?

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