Friday, December 30, 2005

"Illegal' Immigrants: Culture of Indifference To Suffering?

You know how I’m always complaining about how undocumented immigrant workers aren’t getting health and safety training or being provided, especially down in the Gulf hurricane area?

Well, never mind. I didn’t really mean it. It was all just a joke. Ha ha. No one can accuse me of succumbing to the ‘culture of indifference’ to our nation’s immigration laws. No sireee. These people are all potential felons and assisting them means you’re aiding and abetting criminal and felonious and immoral behavior and you’ll be sent to the pokey. Hell, even blogging about helping undocumented immigrant workers illegal aliens is probably enough to get me a short term in Leavenworth (or at least getting my phone and e-mail bugged)

“He’s finally gone off the deep end, you say. Too little sleep will do that to you.

But no. Legislation that was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month
would broaden the nation’s immigrant-smuggling law so that people who assist or shield illegal immigrants would be subject to prosecution. Offenders, who could include priests, nurses or social workers could face up to five years in prison.


The legislation would make it a federal crime to live in the United States illegally, which would turn millions of illegal immigrants into felons, ineligible to win any legal status

Supporters of the border-security bill say they are trying to crack down on a culture of indifference to the nation's immigration laws that has allowed 11 million illegal immigrants to live in this country.
President Bush has announced that he supports the legislation, although he hasn’t commented on this provision. The President, apparently with a straight face, argued that
America is a nation built on the rule of law and this bill will help us secure our borders and crack down on illegal entry into the United States.
So, our mission is clear. In order to secure our borders, fight terrorism, maintain law & order, fight for truth, justice and the American way, we need to let those illegals keep on falling off buildings, getting crushed in trench collapses and poisoned by pesticides. No training, no safety equipment -- don't even stop to give anyone directions unless you check to make sure they're legal.

In fact, instead of penalizing employers for endangering (undocumented) workers, OSHA should be giving 'em medals.

A number of church groups and immigrant advocates are opposing the bill:
"We never ask for documentation," he said. "Our mission is to help anyone in need of service, regardless of their immigration status. We are proud of that."

Speaking for the Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino, Calif., said the measure threatened church workers and doctors as well as ordinary citizens who provided urgent or life-saving assistance to illegal immigrants.

"Current legislation does not require humanitarian groups to ascertain the legal status of an individual prior to providing assistance," Bishop Barnes wrote this month in a letter to Congress. "The legislation would place parish, diocesan and social service program staff at risk of criminal prosecution simply for performing their jobs."
Personally, I agree there's a 'culture of indifference,' but it's the bill's supporters who are indifferent to the reality of the 'global marketplace,' as well as to human suffering.