Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More catching up with what has been happening in Arizona and the rest of the country after new law

It's been a very busy week for me watching videos, reading blogs, and entering discussions about immigration problems in Arizona and other states. I want to say that I think everyone needs to hang on to their cool, because provocative angry remarks coming from either side, far or against, will not help. Words of anger simply hardens resistance in people you would influence.
We have not had such a focus on illegals in my memory and I think that needed to happen. Naturally this has alarmed and upset those who are here in the country illegally, because if no one pays attention to them it is easier for them to assimilate, but once their numbers became great enough, their presence was going to be noted eventually as cause for alarm.
I do not think any people in any country in the world would act otherwise. Now comes the test of our humaneness in how we handle the situation. I am thankful I had the opportunity to live among Hispanic people for twenty years, so that I was privy to the problems illegal immigration creates close up at the same time that I was becoming comfortable with many of our Hispanic citizens and more aware of their virtues. My daughter was inspired to become bilingual. I just think that more familiarity with other races is the key to acceptance.
I live in a complex now where older or disabled people of every race are my neighbors. I go up and down the elevators with them in close contact. I have black neighbors, Hispanics, Koreans, Romanians, Jews, etc. as well as whites. One of my neighbors I have grown fond of is gay. Some of my neighbors are alcoholics and I try to help them. Some are in here with problems relating to obesity and since I am overweight I feel we are in this together. I see problems to do with diabetes as well as damage from cigarette smoking. In any case, I also think that tolerance is absolutely necessary in dealing with everyone's addictions. You can't call people names and point the finger. That will not help them. It will only add more misery to their lot.
You know I am so proud of my people here in Phoenix who ride the buses that go to these complexes where the aging and disabled live. These have got to be the most tolerant, patient, and kindly bus riders in the world. It takes patience to put up with wheel chair people who have to be loaded and unloaded. I rarely hear if ever a word of impatience from anybody! It's amazing. Something to celebrate, and the same holds true for acceptance of all the races that ride the bus together. A homeless person can get on the bus who obviously has not changed clothes in a while and nobody will say anything to him.
I get more furious at Doc for saying negative things about strangers that they might overhear than at anything, which is one reason I will rarely ride the bus with him or go up and down the elevator here with him. When he is a little too drunk, he has been guilty of making what I regard as racist and unkind remarks. So it does take effort to not make these remarks yourself and hold the people in your family or your intimate circle to the same standards. I think parents can teach their children not to be racist the best by example. I am very proud of my four children for their tolerant attitudes.
This was not the case with my mother and dad. I remember that my mother did not approve of my daughter having a child whose father was a University student she met from Khartoum, Sudan. She was staying with me once when I was tending this child while my daughter worked. I heard her in the other room saying to this little child who was only five years old, "You are a very bad little boy and are going to grow up to be a bad man!" I was absolutely appalled and tore in there and shushed my mother. She also pinched him! I was not long in telling my sisters other arrangements would have to be made for my mother as I could no longer keep her in my home as my first obligation was to taking care of this child. By the way this is a wonderful grandchild who has never given his parents hardly a minute's trouble, who is gifted, and very attractive. (He looks sort of like President Obama which he has been told) He has never done drugs or got into trouble with the police.
My son-in-law adopted him when his father declined to be involved, and he has been a perfect father to him. I have by the way one of the kindest best son-in-laws in the world. I am so grateful for that. He is a very good father to the son he and my daughter had as well. A good provider, a very responsible man. He is now helping the older boy to go to college. Of course, his mother, my daughter, loves her sons so much and is a very caring mother. Oh yes, and my son-in-law is white. If ever a man believed a soft answer turneth away wrath it is he.
I have to celebrate the wise among us who see how important it is to be humane.
I believe that we can be compassionate in our treatment even of those who are in our country illegally, as we try to find a way to keep more people from entering our country illegally. I do not think we are being responsible to be lax about enforcing the laws. I have been reading that the Yuma section in Arizona has been more successful in stopping people who would enter illegally at the border, so the Tucson area where most illegals do enter needs to study what Yuma is doing and adopt more of their practices. It would be a lot less painful for people to be stopped at the border than to be caught and sent back after they have gotten a toehold in the US and are set on living their lives here. That seems to be what is causing so much upset among them now, being made to feel unwelcome after their presence has been largely ignored so many years.
The new Arizona law has caused citizens in other states to become more aware of how large their presence is becoming. Statistics are being gathered. Everyone is getting an idea about how many illegals have crossed. In fact, the media is lagging behind simply because of how difficult the problem has been to write about.
But this kind of awareness needed to happen before people would be able to acknowledge there is a problem and that more ways were needed to stop the flow. Some may think limiting immigration is cruel, but it has always been a problem for any country to absorb too many refugees. Wars have always caused big flows of refugees from one country or another seeking asylum in one that would take them in.
America has nurtured many immigrants and refugees in its long history, but gradually imposed restrictions. The new Arizona law is calling for better enforcement of these restrictions. Why are they necessary? How do we enforce them? We need to be objective in our responses and humane and firm if we think they are necessary. Desperate people will do almost anything to better their lot. It is hard to turn anyone away.
We will need to help Mexico become a better mother country to the people born there, if we start turning away more people who would enter our country to live. What is wrong? Who do so many people come north? If we push them back then we need to follow up on what is happening to them. These are our close neighbors.
I remember years ago reading about people living on huge garbage heaps in Mexico, little children picking garbage to eat and living in paper shacks. I have always tried to read about how the poverty stricken are living, in any country, far away India as well as those close to home. We need to figure out a way to help Mexico provide for her own people. If people are starving to death right next door we can't turn our backs on them. If we are determined we can't absorb too many in our country then we need to find other ways to help them.
This is a problem that our congressmen need to address, our President. Everybody needs to be studying and trying to figure out how to care for the needy of the world, if we do not think we can be an endless refuge. If not here then how do we help them there? The point is to care.
I think that good hearted people have not wanted to crack down on illegal immigration. Which is the main reason I think it has not been done.
A very deep recession has pushed the states into focusing on the costs of illegal immigration. Now we all need to take a closer look and decide what needs to be done and without losing our humanity, our caring for our fellow man. That is what is hard to do, but that is why angry words are so bad in this situation. They bespeak of cruelty. We need to care enough, first of all, not to show heartlessness. Anger is a wound to the desperate. We need to remember that.

2 comments: said...

This blog brought tears at times in dealing with people, amid problems. I was touched. We had an article published in the Spectrum on how Mexico treats illegals. It is not kind. I think the USA has been generous, but with the bad economy, we do need to look for ways to control the output of constant help. As more illegals become more violent, we need to keep citizens safe. There are difficult problems always.

vooman's voice said...

We also need to address the many employers who want cheaper labor and in these bad times can not even afford to pay what the law requires. The white man who will not work in the fields no matter what he is paid. In Az. in the food industry often times the Hispanic get in a top spot and they hire only hispanic. They don't want the whites...the prejudice goes both ways. My son went to a school that had latinos in the majority and they put him through hell. He learned to be friends with them, but they thought nothing of taking what they wanted from him. School is always an hassle, but having worked with many lations, I found them as a group much more pleasant to work with. I lived with a man from Mexico for 4 years and still love his humor and just being a nice person to be around. He was funny and pleasant and delt with his low income problems not with bitterness, but humor. I have seen the good, bad and ugly from owning apartment in bad neighborhoods. I have seen it all, that is my next book. If I can ever get this one done...


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