One of the other blogs I participate on is a local one in our local county. There is lots of local politics on the blog, of little interest outside of our little county in California. Except that our Congressman, Tom McClintock, is a national figure. He is the guy who stood up in on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington to complain when President Felipe Calderon of Mexico told the US that they had a lot of really stupid immigration laws which do not do a lot to regulate immigraton one way or the other. This was not necessarily politic of Calderon even if it was the truth, but so goes it. McClintock replied in kind, plus some, by advising Calderon to get in line in order to get a US green card, presumably by waiting umpteen years at the US Embassy in Mexico City where such things are sometimes issued.
I didn’t like McClintock’s speech on the House floor because it was cheap demagoguery (and yes I am one of the hundreds of thousands who watched it). Immigration reform is a major problem in the United states, in large part created by the United States fascination with cheap labor, and the inability of the United States to come up with an administratively simple guest worker visa for the last fifty years or so. Oh, and then there is lack of US American interest in deporting the people who mow our lawns, staff our restaurants and sweat shops, and re-roof my house. For that matter many illegal immigrants make donations via fake social security numbers which they will never collect, so their money goes straight to today’s retirees. Yeah, this is obviously a real simple problem which can be addressed by Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law gone national, as guys like my Congressman seem to believe. But then since McClintock seems to like demagogic ranting better then the hard slog of solving real difficult problems like immigration, let me make a suggestion.
Let’s deport Arizona. Yep, we can cut them loose, and be done with a whole bunch of problems. After all, Arizona wanted to go in the past—they seceded in 1861 and joined the Confederacy in order to preserve slavery, even though they didn’t have any slaves. Then when the rest of the states finally let them in the Union in 1912, they said no thanks, because we want to wait to join on the date on which they seceded to join the Confederacy and fought to keep the slaves they never owned (this is a true story—look it up in Wikipedia). And then what did Arizona do once they were graciously admitted to the Union, despite the bad manners? They stole a whole bunch of Colorado River water after California appropriated it from Mexico fair and square. In the 1990s they were the last state to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a holiday, which kind of goes with their old fascination with the Confederacy thing. Now in 2010 they pass an immigration law which is obviously unconstitutional under the equal protection, and search and seizure provisions of the US Constitution. What can I say? Typical Arizona.
That’s Arizona for you. Is it any surprise that we continue to get really stupid legislation from them like their immigration bill, or the bill banning school teachers with accents like California’s Governor, Arnold Schwarzenneger? I say, let’s enforce the United States’ laws, and send Arizona back to where it came from. Which I think is Mexico, by the way. Do you think President Calderon might take Arizona back? Maybe he can take time out of the decades long wait at the US Embassy for his US visa to consider this proposition. It’s a win-win. We get rid of Arizona, and Calderon doesn’t have to wait in line any longer for a visa to visit Tucson.
So now Congressman McClintock and I are even. We have both had our demagogic rant. Are we any closer to dealing with the problem of immigration and labor in the United States?
Tony Waters is czar and editor of Ethnography.com. He came to us from the Sociology department at California State University at Chico where he has been a professor since 1996. In 2016 though he suddenly found himself with a new gig at Payap University in northern Thailand where he is on the faculty of the Peace Studies Department. He has also been a guest professor in Germany, and Tanzania. In the past, his main interests have been international development and refugees in Thailand, Tanzania, and California. This reflects a former career in the Peace Corps (Thailand), and refugee camps (Thailand and Tanzania). His books include: Crime and Immigrant Youth (1999), Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan (2001), The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath of the Marketplace (2007), When Killing is a Crime (2007), and Schooling, Bureaucracy, and Childhood: Bureaucratizing the Child (2012). His hobby is trying to learn strange languages–and the mistakes that that implies. Tony is a prolific academic, you can read more of his work at academia.edu.or purchase one (or more!) of his books from Amazon.com.