Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Million of Us Are Missing! But Don't Blame Obama!

Originally this was to be titled "Two Million Americans Are Missing", but the problem is that these two million of our missing friends and neighbors aren't considered Americans. That's why they are missing.  They were pulled from their homes and from our streets in the middle of the night or in broad daylight and then deported because they are not officially citizens.  It doesn't count that they sure acted like real and significant Americans before they were grabbed.

In fact, these "illegals" are vitally important Americans, and we have to keep replacing them with new ones to work our meat packing plants, make up our hotel beds, scrub our hospital floors, pick our fruit, and pave our roads even when summer temperatures rival the heat of the melted asphalt they are spreading.  And they pay taxes and serve  -  and have even been killed  -  in our military.

In spite of their enormous contribution to this country, the only time they seemingly "count" for anything is when the media totals the deported ones in order to blame the "Obama administration" for deporting them.  This blame is almost as outrageous as the deportations.  Yes, federal workers are deporting these people but they are doing it, not under orders from Obama, but under orders from Congress.  Congress has enacted a statute MANDATING that a certain number of immigrants be arrested for deportation.  How many?  Thirty-four thousand per day must be detained for deportation!  It costs us $2 billion a year to grab them and imprison them for deportation.  Approximately $164 per  day per person to put each one into a privately run deportation jail.

Efforts keep being made in Congress to repeal the arrest/deportation quota, the only such quota in all law enforcement.  But Republicans keep blocking the repeal even though the recession caused an enormous drop in the crossing of our borders.  The borders have also become harder to penetrate.  Nevertheless, the GOP still screams about "lax enforcement" and refuses to cut the inhumane and horribly expensive quota.

What hypocrisy!  We keep snatching mothers from their children, grandparents from their homes, fathers from their families, all in the name of a game of enforcement, while at the same time eating our lettuce from the fields of Salinas, our garlic from the farms of Gilroy, and our tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, peaches, walnuts, almond, grapes, potatoes and many other foods from every state from Maine's potato fields to Florida's citrus groves to Washington's apple orchards.

These very GOP Congressmen who hate these "illegals" go to conventions and sleep on the sheets these hated ones have washed and ironed.  The hating Congressmen roof their homes and pave their drives with illegal immigrant labor.  Do you really believe Mitt Romney was the only Republican to have "Illegals" in his employ?

Take these GOP Congressmen out to the fields of California when the temperature is near 100 degrees in the summer sun.  Let them bend again and again to pick or weed or hoe.  Let the drinking water be a long way away.  Let the outhouse be as far.  Let there be no shade.  Let the wages be so low that there's little money for food.  Make them take their little children with them so that the children work too.  Then let those GOP Congressmen tell us, as they have always done, that these "illegals" are taking work away from "real Americans".   Let those GOP Congressmen continue to demand that the farm workers be deported, and then make those Congressmen take their places in the fields!

I've been in those fields.  I know those conditions.  In the 1970s we fought alongside Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers to make things better.  Hopefully things have stayed better even though the union has been severely weakened by GOP state governors in the intervening 30 years.  More than likely the bad old conditions have returned. Working conditions for those who do our hardest work are always rotten because only the weak and desperate will take such hard work.

So get it straight, people!  It isn't Obama who is rounding up and deporting these folks who are our brothers and sisters and the ones who feed us.  It is the GOP Congressmen who keep in place a law REQUIRING a specific number of deportations.  If Obama or the immigration authorities under his command violate that law, Obama can be impeached for the crime of so doing.  That's the hard and simple truth.

It's a truth that the media just glide right by.


This posting is dedicated to the memory of Pete Seeger, who cared about the "illegals' just as he cared about everybody and who sang the beautiful, heartbreaking song, "Deportee", and to the memory of Woody Guthrie, who wrote the song and, like Peter, loved the people.


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