Today in the car, listening to NPR, they ran a story on the border patrol in Arizona. (Will update with link as soon as NPR posts it later today).
Yeah, I’m gonna get all political up in here.
I have to say that my stance on immigration is confused. I don’t normally consider myself a waffling, lukewarm kinda gal, but on this issue I’m…torn.
The debate centers around the ways of enforcing something that (barring a police state) seems highly unenforceable. How does one protect the borders when they are largely permeable in many different ways? How do we keep tabs on expired visas and documents from 1000 different languages? How do we track down the offenders, and when we find them, what do we do with them?
The story on NPR talked about a 260-mile swath of patrolled area in Arizona which caught, last year alone, over 300,000 people. And those are the ones they caught.
With the economy in crisis, those crossings have diminished. They may also have diminished because of Bush’s crackdowns as a result of Congress’ inability to pass decent legislation. A friend of a friend who is a coyote is saying that Spain is the current moneymaker for illegal crossings.
So…are illegal immigrants bad? For social services, yes. Are they bad for our economy? Debatable. Should we legalize them in some sort of blanket effort? I’d say no, and this would separate me from current Republican thought on the matter. What do we do with all the kids left without parents as a result of deportations? What does the average soccer mom do when her Odyssey is hit by an undocumented, uninsured immigrant?
Tomorrow we go for our green card interview. R entered the country legally, on a visa dependent on a program in which he no longer participates. And so we adjust the status in a long and pricey process, including this interview, where we have to “prove an ongoing marital relationship”. I’m wondering how a few pieces of paper (they suggest photos, leases, registrations and accounts in both our names) can prove something so intangible. One can have a marital relationship and not live together. One can have a marital relationship and see each other very seldom, if at all.
I’m wondering if this kind of fence is the harder one to cross.