Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Immigration Debates!

One problem I have with the way the immigration debate gets discussed stems from illegal immigrants almost always being presented as victims. Fleeing a poorly-run country, etc.

There are many, many failings re: the stock consideration of illegal immigrants, but one avenue I'd be tempted to explore is this: Does a duty, however slight or qualified, to one's own neighborhood exist, particularly in a democratic/western nation? To use the obvious example: If Mexico is for the most part - let's be blunt - kind of a shithole, is there any duty on the part of mexican natives to address this problem themselves?

What's interesting there is if the answer is yes, one has a duty to one's nation (or neighborhood, etc) that cannot be so easily abdicated, then to what degree can illegal immigrants be held responsible for turning their back on their country? (Of course, if they aren't turning their back on their country, then their presence is even more problematic due to dual loyalty concerns.) If the answer is no, that there is no duty to one's nation.. then how can one suggest that people in completely different nations have concerns about the country in question?

A related side question: How much harm has America caused Mexico specifically by being the wealthier, (for now) more stable and prosperous nation that can be illegally immigrated to with relative ease?


Drew said...

I do think that America's presence is probably harming Mexican society for the reasons you implied. I have a computer game called Tropico where you get to be a Latin American dictator (or honest politician, if you care to and can manage it). One way to stabilize your rule is to encourage emigration away from the country. That way, a lot of the troublemakers leave, as opposed to voting against you or taking up arms.

But I'm not sure that I would call it immoral to emigrate away from a wicked society. I think you only have a duty toward your neighborhood while you're there. Once you leave, that duty ends. Abraham's departure from Ur and Moses's departure from Egypt were examples of abandoning a bad society.

Crude said...

Tropico? Not Tropico 3? Pff, outdated!

Seriously though, I get your point - it's a complicated question. But it's also a question I wish was asked motr. Keep in mind, Mexico may be horrible, but - not that you said this - I would have a hard time accepting that people are leaving Mexico because it's a wicked society. It's a broken society, one that needs to be repaired. Likely a corrupt one too. Irredeemably so?

Maybe that's one reason why these questions go unasked. It's not just complicated, but the sort of answers that would come up would be disturbing. Particularly to many of us satisfied, just-want-peace-and-comfort sorts.