Monday, December 26, 2005
The Two Faces of Immigration: Xenophobes and Heroes
Here it is, the two extremes of illegal Mexican immigration, the issue that, as Chaos has noted in the past, has the potential to split the Republican party in two. On the xenophobic end, we have the profile of CO Rep. Tom Tancredo, a "lonely figure who rails against immigration and battles his own president and party." At least, up to now, when anger over immigration has propelled this reactionary to prominence, with such incendiary ideas as fences at the border, denying citizenship to residents born here, and felonizing the mere presence of illegal immigrants in the US. Not all of these will come to pass, immigration being one of the few issues that George Bush thinks he knows something about (he technically was the governor of Texas for a brief time), and opposes, but the "catching up" with Tancredo reflects a deep xenophobia among many citizens of the Empire. On the other hand comes this illustration of how deeply important to Mexico and its economy are these illegal immigrants, such that a parade is held in some Mexican towns for the returning workers, who are hailed as heroes for their financial contributions to local coffers. "People waved and shouted as a line of 51 vehicles, driven by returning immigrants as part of a parade and car concert, made its way through the streets of this town (Rio Verde) of 88,000." Mexican immigrants are apparently responsible for about $1 billion per year repatriating back to Mexico, explaining why the government passively encourages the practice. Chaos observes further that Mexican immigrants have spread to the four corners of the US, which also explains the spread of xenophobia. Hang on, this can only get worse (yes, more entropy).