The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ethnic Cleansing in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has new immigration legislation that will take effect November 1, called the toughest in the land. "Anyone who provides a job, shelter or public benefits to illegal aliens after Nov. 1 does so at their own peril," said Randy Terrill, author of the bill.

There were concerns that just driving a neighbor to church or picking up a child after school could land citizens in jail, but Terrill says this is not so.

But the legislation is already having effects, as Oklahoma schools report drops in Hispanic enrollment, and CNN reported yesterday that thousands of Hispanics are leaving Tulsa, many going back to Mexico.

While I assure you that I do not support allowing non-citizens to come across our borders unimpeded, I do not believe that squeezing undocumented people out by force or threat is the answer either.

I assume Oklahoma is like the rest of the country, including Alabama, in that hispanics (both legal and illegal) make up a good portion of the work force. In Alabama, at least, unemployment is at low levels, and I assume the same for OK. So don't tell me there are Americans waiting and willing to take the jobs that the Hispanics hold now.

I really hope Oklahoma learns a lesson and can not find workers for their construction industry, and other service industries that Hispanics work in. It would serve them right for attempting to solve a problem by ethnic cleansing. This is the term used to describe the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan regarding Hispanic immigrants in an editorial by John Davis of Athens and pubished in yesterday's Birmingham News. He examines the irony of the situation summed up in this statement, "Racial persecution, lamented by tens of thousands of bikers riding the Trail of Tears some mile and a half away, was celebrated by the Ku Klux Klan members who called for another ethnic cleansing of Hispanic immigrants." It's worth reading. Here

Denying children education or health care or other public services is morally wrong, and that is one of the effects of the Oklahoma legislation.

Isn't it ironic that the historical ethnic cleansing of Cherokee Indians and others ended with their relocation to Oklahoma, the same state that now wants to cleanse itself of unpopular Hispanics.

Hey here's an idea. Look for workable solutions to the immigration dilemma that keeps human dignity and respect for all people in the forefront. Within those parameters, a solution can be found.

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Lets not start using terms like "ethnic cleansing" or "racism" for problems of illegal immigration. We are not talking about violence or abuse of civil rights or hatred of a people. What they seem to be doing in this Oklahoma region is putting an end to turning a blind eye to illegals so that we can fill jobs and rent apartments and then call that acceptable due to a necessity. I strongly believe that if they didn't have a job or an apartment waiting for them, they would not be drawn to cross the borders illegally to begin with. They (and I am speaking of Mexican's who are undocumented) all know they can work and find housing here - pretty much anywhere - and they know that the laws are written to where their families will get medical care and education. We should NOT have to abuse these families in the process of executing our laws and consequences of being an illegal immigrant. Going home to Mexico on a bus is not really abuse in my book. I guess to some, its harsh but its not the same as prison and the atrocities they may incur in that setting for other people who do things out of necessity that involve breaking the laws of the USA. My experience with illegal immigrants is that they are taking the opportunity that is available to them and how can we blame them? They are not bad people and just using the opportunity we give them. Its us Americans who are the problem and until we as a country crack down on illegal hiring of undocumented workers and providing housing to undocumented persons, then it will continue at the expense of taxpayers, including those immigrants who are here legally and contributing to our society legitimately.

I guess, if we make it comfortable and safe to break the law, then its no wonder the floodgates are wide open and the problem is as bad as it is.

If the rationale for why we need illegal immigrants is the filling of jobs, then lets raise minimum wage to a living wage and that way businesses will have a large pool of american workers available and keep the laws tough on hiring illegals. Make the penalties tough enough to make giving good pay and benefits a better option than risk getting caught hiring illegally to turn a bigger profit. Currently that is not the case. If we want to talk about civil rights being violated, then I am sure illegals are being extorted and exploited and they have no recourse to complain for fear of being "outed". Just my thoughts. Jennifer

Joe Openshaw said...

Jennifer,
I agree with most of what you say, but I don't see making tougher laws and all until and unless we provide a way for those already here doing those jobs to continue. In providing a worker status or even a path to citizenship we are not rewarding illegal behavior, as some have said, rather we are rewarding someone for trying to better their life and do well for their family, and it is hard to argue with that.

Anonymous said...

Here is an idea.....If and illegal is here and contributing, why not give the company who employees them the right to sponsor them.If they are a asset to the company, let the company pay for schooling(so they can learn our language), all documentation(so they can become Americans).......give the company a chance to say"hey we need this person".......we will be responsible for them until they are a citizen!

documented citizen of lipscomb said...

i will have to agree with jennifer.
anonymous also has a worthy suggestion if it were enforced.