|Posted on September 14, 2016 at 8:50 PM|
Solving the problem of 11 million illegal immigrants
What would you do if you could change an untenable situation that has become a major political issue? Beg you pardon: a human issue.
I kept thinking about it. I traveled in Mexico three times, enjoying it very much. I thought, if I were the president, I would follow the example of Luis Muῆoz Marin, former president of Puerto Rico and founder of the Common Wealth status with the USA in 1952, who asked his fellow citizens, many of them who lived in dire poverty, to form a sort of union, not for Puerto Rico to become a state of the USA, but freedom to live, to work, and to travel to the USA, becoming USA citizens. A large majority – more than 80% - liked it. The Puerto Ricans I know are proud of their cultural identity.
I can relate to that, because I was born in the Netherlands, came to the USA in 1951 and became a citizen of the USA in 1971. I like living here and working here, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot express criticism of all the craziness that goes on in this country. The USA is one of the few “developed” countries on earth with the death penalty. In Holland – as we prefer to call our country - marijuana and prostitution are legal. Sexual contact with mutual consent between people, male or female sixteen years and over and over, is legal. Here in the USA, there are five times as many people in prisons and jails than in the rest of the world. None of that makes sense to me.
In 1993, the European countries, 26 altogether, with the exception of a few, like Switzerland, formed a union. That monumental decision took place in my country of birth, in Maastricht, in the Netherlands. No country lost independence, but the citizens of each country in the union gained the freedom to travel from one country to another without a passport, and could use the same standard, the euro. Not every country was happy. Greece had a rough time adjusting and the English decided to become independent again, something many regretted afterwards. By and large, the conversion to the euro has been a success. The euro has maintained a high exchange value against the dollar.
How are we going to solve “the problem” of 11 million illegal immigrants in the USA? We could solve it within seconds: let them be free! This, of course, after a majority in each country of North America would agree to a unit of currency and to find other jobs for the border patrol. This will not happen if Donald Trump for some unknown reason should become the president of the United Stares. After the election will be, thank heaven, a thing of the past and Donald Trump, let’s hope, will remain just background noise, we can engage in some realistic alternatives. I’ve heard the word “amnesty” being used. I’d like to go farther. I’d .like to see a union of North America.
We must get away from a parochial concept like that of Donald Trump’s universe, and get ourselves ready for a vastly expanded, world-wide union of countries, as travel to other planets will eventually change our way of life. People will keep their history, their culture, their language, their religion(s), and politicians will find other things to talk about.
The plan allows 11 million people not to live in fear, especially when it comes to the break-up of their families. In addition, it is essential to scrape the plan of a wall that separates people, rather than bringing them together as neighbors and friends. That sick, idiotic plan of a wall does nothing to help the USA or Mexico. Hitler started to build the gigantic “Atlantik Wall,” one of his favorite ideas. He should have realized that building a wall from Spain to Norway was the product of a megalomaniac. Fortunately, Hitler never finished that awful wall.
Donald Trump showed total lack of respect to tell our neighboring country that they would have to pay for the wall. Only a person suffering from advanced paranoia.would have come out with such rot.
Some people will say that our great grandfathers came over here and had to work hard to find a place in the society of the USA. People of the old guard forget sometimes that the world has changed. We live in a computerized society. Many jobs have become obsolete. Those who are from the old school insist that each “illegal” resident of the USA has to go back and apply. The majority of immigrants came here without a chavo. Why did they come here in the first place? Because they could find work in the USA. Did they take jobs away from others? No. The people living in the USA were always interested in paying less than more. People who worked here in union jobs, doing unskilled labor, were amazed and angry that they would lose their jobs to others who could not even speak English.
That development occurred right here under our nose. In the sixties, when I was working with the now defunct East Harlem Youth Employment Service, my coworker, Bob, tried to get jobs for the young people, 90% blacks and Hispanics, in the building trade. He talked to a union boss and was greeted with a curse word and advised to take a walk
Now, more than fifty years later, a private school, down the hill from where I live, was built with the help of Mexican construction workers. The union put out the large, mean-looking “union-rat “ to protest, but there was only one policeman on the scene, and nothing happened. Clearly the days of “On the Water Front” are over.
At the co-op where I live, the building crew that does the repair to meet all the legal building requirements is 90% Mexican. Everybody is happy. They do a good job. The management is happy. because they’re saving millions, the co-op representatives know that the buildings will retain their value. The “union-rat” is nowhere around. Only Donald Trump is unhappy, to the point of theatrical tears, insulting the Mexicans for ”taking the jobs away,” and promising his whities better times, from the days of old, as if that will change, should he becomes president. To Donald Trump, resolving a complex economic problem, means to rejuvenate dying industries.
But then, Trump lives in another age. The first thing I noticed about his audiences, seen on TV: no blacks, no Hispanics, except for a couple of token-blacks. I think life would be boring without racial diversity. However, it’s fine with me that Trump prefers his racial prejudice, because without the black and Hispanic vote he won’t be able to win the election.
. The type of jobs that some whities lost is now being done by machines, computers and by people working for low wages, except for a few people keeping an eye on the computer in front of them. Who was at fault of the developments; Obama? The Democrats?
I remember the advertisements that told us we should buy products made in America, but if you can get the same product in a 99c store, run by Chinese people, what do you do? Be honest now, Donald. You scream and yell against the Chinese, but that’s all theatrics. You like to save a buck, just .like everybody else.
Why did the American automobile industry have to take a second place to Japan? Does it help to accuse Obama, who has nothing to do with that economic development? Incidentally, I like my Toyota Corolla that I bought 14 years ago. It has a few scratches, but runs fine.
We are forgetting that for all these years the people of the USA were having an easy time letting someone else do the dirty work for payment lower than minimum wage. And then what happened about ten years ago? Scores of factories in the USA could no longer afford to pay wages for more than minimum wage. As a result, many small businesses went under or moved to China or …to Mexico. It was an economic process that no Donald Trump or anybody else, regardless of political affiliation, would have been able to stop.
Telling 11 million people to go back to their native country and then to apply for non-existent jobs or to apply for citizenship to the USA and get on the waiting list, none of that will work. Shouting slogans with a distorted face may be fine for a grade B comedy, but has nothing to do with reality, no matter who’s in the White House, because it has nothing to do with how loud and crazy or stupid a person you are or pretend to be. To get angry with “the drug dealers” doesn’t solve anything. Who are, for the most part, people who buy drugs? American citizens. We should decriminalize substance abuse and provide more and better facilities for treatment. The ranting and raving of a Donald Trump does nothing to help an impasse that can be resolved with mutual diplomacy and respect. Yelling and screaming in front of a microphone, with a face contorted with anger shows that you have no idea what you are talking about.
Instead, an elegant and painless solution will restore the sanity of an otherwise idiotic situation leading to checkmate. Not having to pay for border patrol, not having to pay for a wall and instead using the money for schools, hospitals, sports and recreation and for the saving of natural resources and of the environment, will be an unexpected blessing for which future generations will be thankful.