There are a lot of reasons that people immigrate illegally to the United States. But instead of blaming those of us who think it's important to follow the law, let's identify the real problems and fix them.
Yesterday in the Deseret News, John Renteria highlighted the unprofessional way that Federal agents raided the Swift Meat Company in Hyrum Utah recently. I agree that the raid should have been done in a much more civil manner. People weren't even allowed to go back inside and get their coats. Children didn't know where their parents were, etc. Seriously, I think the feds have been watching too many Antonio Banderas movies or something.
But I want to look at it from another point of view--would the Feds have raided Swift if there hadn't been a lot of illegal immigrants there? I know, the question sounds absurd, but please just humor me for a few paragraphs.
I want to discuss a couple of points that Mr. Renteria makes. First, he seems surprised (or sarcastic) when he says:
Not surprising, more than 95 percent of illegal workers snared are Hispanic.I assume he means that he's not surprised that the Feds would make an exaggerated issue of arresting more Hispanic illegals than are in the population. An NPR report indicates that 57% of illegals come from Mexico, and another 24% come from the rest of Latin America. It's not hard to imagine that a higher percentage than that exists in Utah.
Next, he states
As Americans, we need just to look into our own hearts and ponder, "What would I do in the same situation?"
I think this is an important point. As I mentioned above, peace officers have no business acting like...well almost like the FBI did to the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas about 10 years ago. But that's not the only problem.
He raises another important issue:
...the conditions and situation that forced these less fortunate families to defy immigration laws has not been remedied by the raid.
I agree with Renteria's sentiment, but since he does not identify what those conditions are, I suspect we disagree at least on some of the conditions (i.e. the problems). The main condition or problem that I think needs to be remedied is the Mexican economy. The problem with the Mexican the corruption endemic to Mexican society that starts clear at the top--the Mexican government.
I'm not sure we can do a whole lot about it other than pointing it out, but it sure would make me feel like people are serious about the immigration problem and that I wasn't getting blamed all the time for Mexico's shortcomings.
I do not agree with one of his solutions, which is to ban federal raids of businesses that hire illegals until congress implements reforms. (I don't support the way the Feds raided Swift.)
But I do agree wholeheartedly with this statement:
A proactive solution that will resolve existing immigration woes cannot be guided by fear, ignorance and maligned feelings of hatred about our inevitable coexistence in the future. The world is a smaller place, especially on this continent.
Whatever the solution is, it must be a solution of integrity. It must be a solution that is both legal and, as Mr. Renteria says, that causes us to "look into our own hearts and ponder, 'What would I do in the same situation?'"