Flipping through television channels, I paused on a Major League Soccer game in the US. The play was unspectacular, but the advertising caught my attention. Instead of the usual suspects of major brands, I spotted the touting of immigration lawyers. The game was being played in Los Angeles and is popular with folks from countries to the south of the United States. Lawyers, who know how to chase an ambulance, are alleged to be smart cookies: they know where to troll for victims.
You would see such an advertising board in any other county. Other countries have problems with illegal immigrants, but lawyers are rarely involved. This is something truly American…
I have this love/hate relationship with London. For me, it is the most interesting city in the world, because of the mix of cultures. I hate the bloody aristocracy, with its privileges, unearned wealth, and arrogance, but they have allowed a myriad of cultures to live in peace and cross-cultivate. Other cities might have attracted people from many cultures, but there has been less mixing.
I read that the Los Angeles government has translators for 123 languages (which might have increased since reading), but I always felt that foreigners tried to assimilate into America. They came seeking the American Dream, which each imagined in his or her own way, and they sought to turn it into reality that fit in. In London, there is little assimilation, because no one wants or is able to become “English”.
Here’s another story to add the the media series “Scrapping the Bottom of the Barrel”:
"Princess charged in cockfighting case
Exiled Romanian king 'profoundly saddened' as daughter is accused of running rooster 'derbies' in Oregon where she lives"
Still, this raises several “who cares?” questions: such as about Romania, former Romania “royalty”, offspring of any aristocratic family, appeal of cockfighting, and so on.
This also raises the question about who knew that there was cockfighting is Oregon...or anywhere outside states bordering on the Gulf of Mexico?
(As a side note to non-UK residents, this story is of interest to UK residents because of the influx of poor Romanian immigrants from the hated EU. These people take low-paying jobs, shunned by the Brits, but are criticized and blamed for all the ills of a declining society, much like Mexicans in the US.)
I have not paid much, if any, attention to the “debate” raging over US immigration reform. If I do, I immediately tune out, because I do not understand the issue.
Now, I do. Like everything else in human life, it’s all about money. Not money at the bottom, where immigrants toil in poor conditions for low wages at jobs Americans shun. This is about big money and big profits for corporations that make major campaign contributions to politicians. The key here is militarizing the border, which government contractors would accomplish and for which they would charge large sums. This is a back-up plan, in case the American government does not line their pockets with continued foolish foreign wars, or merely incremental income.
Of course, none of this would appear in the US media. One learns such things by watching/listening/reading media outlets that operate outside the Land of Profit, communication conglomerates, and wholly owned politicians.
One does not hear discussions about immigration in Dubai. The country thrives because of foreign workers. The country would not work without them. In fact, there are more foreigners than citizens from the top of the food chain to the bottom, although most toil at the bottom of the totem pole. I doubt that any are illegal or that anyone would attempt to sneak over the border, which lies somewhere in the desert. Strict laws make it easy to deport miscreants or undesirables.
Or is it a vegetable? After all, people use the leaves in salad. And to make wine. (Must be desperate!)
My answer is that this plant is a nuisance. People worry about illegal immigrants, but no mention is ever made of unwanted immigrants from neighbors' plots. I strive each year to stamp out dandelions, but seeds continue to waft into my yard. What is Congress doing about that? These weeds are treated like firearms: no controls.
Immigrants have always played a role in the forming of human life in North America. The first arrived, supposedly, on foot from Asia, after transversing the land bridge that once existed between continents. A stretch of icy water has kept the pesky Russians from trespassing. The next wave (disregarding Vikings, which snuck into the Great Lake region and New England, without hanging around to rape, pillage, and plunder, possibly because there was nothing or no one around) arrived by ship from England. These folks brought their own brand of religion, which is still poisoning minds and politics. Like later arrivals, they left bits of culture behind and brought some with them. None learned the local language (which has been caricatured as being little more than grunts ever since), a complaint one hears about more-recent arrivals. Once again, might makes right...and the Right is mighty...in rhetoric.
The United States has always attracted “foreigners”, most of which assimilate and try to become “American”. The second generation usually does this better than the first, because they have no memories of the “homeland” and can become bored by parents’ and grandparents’ stories. Disillusionment, which can come from personal failure, might lead to a glorification of something less-known. Blaming others is easier than blaming oneself; hate is easier than forgiveness.
One thing is certain: some Americans are learning a bit of geography, if they pay attention to the occasional map shown in a news broadcast. Before last week, few had heard of Chechnya or Dagestan. Another certainty: rightwing demagogues can use heightened resentment to stir up dislike and fear of Russia, which is good for security industry profits. Few will mention that two nations, which are supposed to be enemies, both suffer from attacks by radical Islam, because that does not fit into the Rightist narrative.
I noticed a headline in a newspaper about a once honorable (I assume) politician that has accused illegal immigrants of causing the fire in Arizona.
The guy must not be aware of the Saying of the Day...or he is.
I have noticed interesting parallels between a recent program on DNA and news reports about the refugee crisis in Europe caused by unrest in the Arab world.
Revolutions in Tunisia and Libya are the focus of most reports, but the problem is more widespread. Not unlike the drang of humans seeking entry to the United States along the Mexican border or by boat to the shores of Florida, masses of refugees seek to exploit the prosperity of Europe and escape Africa poverty. The waters of the Mediterranean have not thwarted attempts, washing thousands upon the shores of the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa.
This flood of immigrants has revealed cracks in the usual face of European unity. Italy is on the front line and demands help from fellow Europeans in accepting refugees. Most, if not all, are young men, which will add to the unemployment ranks and the burden of social services. The truth is, that although Italy has large numbers in refugee camps, they have accepted far fewer into the country than their northern neighbors. This has led France to stop trains from Italy and refuse entry to refugees, which Italy has granted a pass from the internment camps. Rhetoric is heated between diplomats in Brussels, and Several European countries have entered a war of words in the media. Of course, part of the problem is the Muslim religion of all refugees and part of the problem is jobs. There are parallels to the different responses of states of America to the migrants. Undocumented labor is less a problem in Europe, because they have been dealing with this problem for many centuries before the US was even discovered.
There has been a trickle of migration back to Africa, but the roots are very different. Europeans sought to establish colonies, thus sending settlers, missionaries, and businessmen. But, colonization is about exploitation, whereas migration is about desperation.
What does this have to do with DNA? Recent studies of the human genome have proven that all human life evolved in Africa and different periods in history saw waves of migration. The recent flood of humanity trying to escape a harsh African environment is no different. Now, these latest migrants face bureaucratic hindrances in Europe, whereas their ancestors faced harsh environment, wild animals, and Cro-Magnons. Humans seem to always flee hardship and, like water, will seek the path of least resistance. Temporary hindrances, such as fences, bureaucratic intransigence, and emotions of fellow man, cannot stem the flood of humanity out of Africa...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.