Little did I know that Sundy as I started my shift, I would be visited by one of my favorite comic book characters. Wolverine came in ... or a reasonable facsimile. Squat and powerful, I could easily see this female version easily shredding through a bag of Funions as easily as a hot knife through butter. Watching her rummage through her fake Louis Vitton bag, I witnessed an exercise in futility. At least Wolverine's claws were retractable, which would be an assett given the task at hand. Despite her probable superhuman strength she could muster vs. a Whopper Value Meal, I think I'll stick to the X-Men for inspiration.
Now, Time magazine has a cover story about immigration. This is such a touchy subject for Americans right now. Most Americans feel immigration is a serious problem and I agree but for different reasons than the alarmists. I feel the problem is that many of these aliens probably get a raw deal with working with no benefits, especially when they're working for a huge corporation like Tyson or a poultry farm. The alarmists tend to argue that the immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans. I think they're taking jobs no one wants to do. How many Americans are lining up to shovel shit out of chicken coops or remove the innards of cattle in a rendering plant? Probably not too many.
It's a fundamentally easy issue: if companies would'nt hire illegals, then they wouldn't come in such numbers. But let's be honest, we see them working fast food, construction, landscaping, and in the fields. Trust me, I'm frustrated when I have a Jurist Doctorate unable to find work and pulling up next to me is some guy from Chihuahua with a sweet $20,000 F-150. BUT I know that when I score my next job, I'll have benefits like insurance. AND he is probably doing work that I honestly would never consider doing. This guy in next to me at the light won't collect Social Security that he has paid into (and if he hasn't, then his employer is paying him under the table and that is illegal and a main reason why so many come here in the first place ... employment that bypasses the legal process).
Anti-immigrationists say that illegals are a drain on public services. They'll often cite the fact that illegals will use emergency rooms because they don't have health insurance and can't be refused treatment (not necessarily true but we'll assume it to be true). Immigration proponents will say that illegals pay way more into the government services than they will ever collect (again, not necessarily true since many of these illegals get paid in cash with no taxes being taken out). As with most things, the truth lies somewhere in between.
My mother is an immigrant. She emigrated with my grandparents when she was only 3. Now before any right wingers decide to call Nazi security ... err, um .. Homeland Security, my grandparents emigrated legally. They luckily learned to speak English because of folks at their Catholic parish who took the time to work with them. Which is another point: I think that if you intend to reside in a place for more than a vacation, you should learn enough of the language to interact. The problem is that there aren't many public services that assist these folks. I volunteered at a literacy project back in Ohio which had immigrants who wanted to learn English. The list of immigrants waiting for a tutor was staggering. Easily over 200 and waiting for over a year. They were so anxious to learn, so anxious to fit into American society, so anxious to become American in some sense. We definitely need more programs for these people. In the interim, we should provide ballots, public documents in every possible language. WHY? Because the right to vote is so key, so fundamental to a democracy, that a citizen should be able to make an informed decision and if they need to read a ballot in their native language to be informed, so be it.
This is truly America's strength: It's diversity. We're not all of the same mindset. We're all different. During law school, Bono came by to talk about debt relief in Africa. He made a comment about what America is that will forever be with me. He said "America is an idea." He is so right. It is an idea, a belief that we will take people from every corner in the world and give them the opportunity to succeed. I'm not saying to assimilate so much so that you give up your culture and ethnic identity. Please don't!! What is more American than a neighborhood where you'll see a Thai restaurant next to a Chinese grocer across the street from an Italian deli where the Irish pub owner eats lunch with his Mexican friend?? Now that is truly what America is about.