What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Does television news give you an accurate view of real news? Sorry, I channel surf, bouncing from TV show to news to sports to movies. Sometimes within minutes. Guess what I landed on? Immigration.

Rather, the immigration problem. Protesters in Washington and elsewhere were protesting, for lack of anything constructive, any immigration policy which did not give full amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Who was doing the protesting? Illegal immigrants.

Perhaps I don’t recognize all the social ramifications of immigration, or even illegal immigration.

At a simple level, life in the US is sufficiently attractive that many people from other countries, mostly poor countries, want to live here.

In fact, many are willing to die to get here, while others are willing to sneak in and break laws to live here.

Once they’re here, most illegal (and legal) immigrants find work of some kind or another and try to live their lives as the rest of us. In debt.

Through the decades of porous border policy, the US has plenty of illegal immigrants. So many, in fact, that they’re willing to make some public noise about their rights to stay in the US.

My mom gave me a clipping from the newspaper which seems, on the surface, to explain the situation better than anything I’ve heard on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, or wherever.

The clipping said, in part:

“Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration. Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into the country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.

Do I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests?

Let’s say I break into your house. Let’s say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave. But I say, “I’ve made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors. I’ve done all the things you don’t like to do. I’m hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).

According to the protesters, not only must you let me stay, you must add me to your family’s insurance plan, educate my kids, and provide other benefits to me and to my family (my husband will do your yard work because he too is hard-working and honest, except for that breaking in part). If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my right to be there.

It’s only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I’m just trying to better myself. I’m hard-working and honest, um, except for, well, you know.

And what a deal it is for me! I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of selfishness, prejudiced, and being an anti-housebreaker. Oh yeah, and I want you to learn my language so you can communicate with me.”

That’s an attractive analogy, right? What’s wrong with this picture? Am I missing something?

Editor’s NoteBefore her death, Tera passed along her personal journal. It is filled with hundreds of comments, essays, observations, and perspectives on every subject matter. As time permits, I will edit and publish select journal entries for Tera Talks—Alexis Kayhill