Sunday, May 16, 2010

Commit to Stand Against HB 1205

If you are on Facebook, oppose HB 1205, and might be able to make a trip up to the State Capitol in Baton Rouge sometime over the next week or two, and especially if you are a Louisiana resident, please consider joining this Facebook group. And invite your friends and colleagues to join, too.


Anonymous said...

Do you favor all undocumented (illegal, if you chose to be straightforward) immigration or just those who hail from your locale of expertise?

Huck said...

Anonymous - I'm not that stupid to fall into the trap of your false dichotomy. And if you had even clicked the Facebook group link you would know this.

What I favor is not criminalizing citizens who are good neighbors and help their fellow human beings in need regardless of the immigration status of these needy human beings. And this applies to fellow human beings whom we may encounter that hail from ALL parts of God's good earth.

Now, let me ask you something that is more directly relevant to HB 1205. Do you support sending a citizen to jail for six months who provides shelter to an undocumented relative who shows up on this citizen's doorstep hungry, homeless, and alone? If so, then HB 1205 is your golden ticket against the Golden Rule. If not, then join us in opposition to this bill.

Anonymous said...

Then why would your study of Latin culture be relevant to discussing 1205?

Huck said...

Anonymous - I answered your question, would you be so kind as to answer mine? But just to show how good a sport I am, I'll answer your second question, which should be obvious to anyone. My study of Latin culture has led me to develop friendships and relationships, both personally and professionally, with many Latinos, some of whom are undocumented and some of whom I've "transported" and "sheltered." Which means that HB 1205 threatens to make me a criminal for nothing more than being friendly to another human being. And because I also have many legal Latino friends who also transport and shelter undocumented immigrants, HB 1205 makes my legal Latino friends also criminals. And I also have developed mentor relationships with undergraduate and graduate students, as well as fellow faculty colleagues, all of whom are "legal" who do research on local Latino issues and who, I'm sure, also have professional and personal relationships with local Latinos, some of whom are also probably undocumented. So, you see, my "study of Latin culture" means much of my personal and professional life will be affected by HB 1205. And I'd say that makes it relevant for discussion, don't you think?

Now, your turn.

Anonymous said...

Since this is your area of expertise, how many illegal, or undocumented, Guatemalans are allowed to remain free in Mexico after that fact is discovered?

Huck said...

Your turn, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

How many years of prison would your assistance to your fellow human being, who happens to be undocumented, net you in Mexico?

Huck said...

Heh! Keep stewing in your self-loathing, Anonymous. I'm not the one who can't bring himself to acknowledge he thinks the good Samaritan is a criminal!

Does it really matter what Mexico does? For what it's worth, I don't live in Mexico, I live in Louisiana. The real question is whether a law like HB 1205 is right and appropriate for the kind of society you want to live in. If Mexico has its own version of HB 1205, then they're just as wrong for it. But, then, as I said, I don't live in Mexico, I live here; and I don't base what's right for me, my state, and my country according to what Mexico does. Apparently you do. And until you answer my original simple question, which you are avoiding, that's exactly what I will believe about your views. Which is that we should be more like Mexico in this regard. Don't be a coward about it, embrace it. Answer my first question.

Anonymous said...

coward? self-loathing? Not a very Christian response to your fellow man. Would it help if I mentioned that I'm here illegally?

To answer you, no, I don't think you should go to jail for six months for assisting any person who is starving, even someone who illegally entered the US. If you advertise your services, then my opinion changes.

It matters to me what Mexico does, simply because they would encourage its citizens to do something that they likewise discourage in their southern neighbors. Imagine a world where we suppress all border crossing between here and Mexico, but encourage over 10 million of our citizens to cross over to Canada. Is that something you think would be fair to Canada? Well, that's what we have going on with Mexico.

Now please answer my questions.

slapstick said...

The bottom line is that we have a process in this country to become a citizen. If you dont like that, then THAT is where you should focus your anger.
Anyone who doesnt follow the due process is breaking the law. Simple as that, and they should be punished. The level of punishment is a different debate IMO.
Your having a soft spot in your heart for immigrants and trying to be altruistic is irrelevant here.
What if I had a friend or family member who went to jail for simply having an ounce of pot? I dont like drug laws- I think theyre stupid. But lets say my friend escapes, hides out for a few days and shows up at my doorstep hungry. Am I a criminal if I allow him to stay with me? YOU BET I AM! Now, I agree its a tough situation, because this guy is my friend, and I think he was jailed on a stupid law. But this doesnt give me the right to harbor him.

Anonymous said...

How about if the guy, or gal, you harbored at a later date drives drunk and crashes, totaling my car that I use to get to work? That scenario actually happened to two people I know, one in which the perpetrator damaged three cars before leaving the scene.

How about another immigrant harbored (hypothetically, of course) by you, who later runs a stop sign, hits one car causing it to hit a house, then flees down the wrong way of a one-way street, where, while attempting to dart across a split-lane road, hits a car going in each direction, one receiving front-end damage, the other flipping several times down the street before being stopped by a parked car. The second car, btw, was occupied by two adults and an adolescent girl, none of whom, by the grace of God/Yahweh/Allah, suffered any injuries, nor did any of the kids walking down the street leaving school that afternoon. Did our visitors from the South stay around for the police? Of course not.

slapstick said...

The drunk driver or the 'stop sign runner' could be anybody. Whether he was here legally or not doesnt matter IMO...but overall I suppose I agree with your point.

Look, believe it or not, I'm FOR open borders. Anyone who wants to come here should be allowed to do so under a couple conditions. They should be able to go to ANY govt office (DMV, INS, Health Unit, etc) and declare themselves of their intent to stay here and become citizens. They would provide information about themselves to the govt and they would be issued some sort of temporary ID card. This ID would expire after some finite amount of time UNLESS the person is employed and paying taxes.
Then, eventually, INS would get to themand complete the citizenship process.

I know there are probably holes in my plan because I made it up...but I think it has merit and could work if executed properly.

Huck said...

Anonymous - Being a self-loathing coward has nothing to do with my willingness to be a good Christian towards you. I'm sure I've helped many a self-loathing coward in my day. But you have been playing games with me by assiduously refusing to answer a very simple question and posting under an "Anonymous" listing. I find that to be cowardly. And your deflection of something that ultimate boils down to our character/values by referring to something someone else does, or might do, indicates to me a degree of self-loathing about the contradictions in one's attitudes towards illegal immigration. At least my prodding finally got you to answer the question, which means that you should be opposed to HB 1205 much for the same reasons I am. But I presume you support HB 1205. Why you can't admit this contradiction to yourself and own it is another manifestation of a degree of self-loathing.

In terms of your questions, in all honesty, I don't know what Mexico's immigration policy is and what that country's law enforcement practices are regarding such immigration policy. But I don't think it really matters much as it relates to HB 1205 because I don't live in Mexico and have absolutely no business meddling in their internal affairs. If Mexico's immigration policy and enforcement behavior is as you claim it is, then I would agree that it is duplicitous and unfair. But my concern is whether the society and country I live in behaves in a better and more humane way, consistent with my values as to what is right and wrong. What Mexico does is ultimately irrelevant to what we do. I teach my kids that it doesn't matter if one of their classmates misbehaves, that is still not a license for them to behave similary or to wallow in the unfairness of it that their friends can do wrong, but I won't tolerate it from them.

And this gets to an answer I would make to both you and slapstick: my issue with HB 1205 is not really because I have a soft spot for immigrants, but because I believe that giving shelter to a needy person whose only "crime" is crossing an imaginary line in God's earth is inconsistent with the kind of society I want to live in. I am opposed to HB 1205 because I don't want to criminalize harboring and sheltering of someone just because they don't have documents to be here legally. In my mind, that is substantively different than harboring or transporting a known felon and jail escapee. It's not the pot possession (and I'm pretty sure you would "harbor" a pot-violator who isn't a jail escapee and not think of yourself as a criminal in the same way) but being the convicted jail escapee that makes the harboring in this case problematic.

Huck said...

slapstick - I'm sympathetic to your idea about how to regulate immigration in a more practical and humane way. In fact, what you proposed was very much akin to what I have proposed elsewhere. My idea would be to allow any foreigner who can make it to a U.S. consulate or embassy, to an immigration checkpoint in seaports or airports, or at land border crossing points to apply for and receive, upon the presentation of a valid national passport that can be checked for security reasons against a criminal or terrorist database, a 6 month temporary work visa with the promise that if, at the end of that 6 month time period, this immigrant can demonstrate proof of steady employment, that person should be streamlined in the naturalization process. This should be done for any and all immigrants. And we'll let the labor market determine the outcome. I've always maintained that if we made legal immigration easier and cheaper, a vast majority of the currently undocumented would gladly legalize their status.

slapstick said...

"But my concern is whether the society and country I live in behaves in a better and more humane way, consistent with my values as to what is right and wrong."

This comment is disturbing. I dont think your values, or anyone elses values, should be imposed on me. Whats wrong with living your life and letting me live mine? Whats "better" in your opinion might not correllate with whats "better" in my opinion. Its all relative. What exactly does "better" mean? Can you define it in a non-relative way? For the record, when I say "your values" I dont mean you personally, I mean ANYONE.

"my issue with HB 1205 is not really because I have a soft spot for immigrants, but because I believe that giving shelter to a needy person whose only "crime" is crossing an imaginary line in God's earth is inconsistent with the kind of society I want to live in."

If thats true, then I'll say again that your anger or opposition is pointed in the wrong direction. You should focus on FEDERAL law instead.
You should also consider that you just might be in the minority here. I will dare to say that MOST people in this country are tired of these immigrants coming here on the down low and taking advantage of our services, our niceties, and our political correctness. This is evidenced by the San Diego Business/ Convention Bureau (or whatever theyre called) who are now crying because so many conventions are being cancelled in San Diego because they chose to boycott Arizona for doing the right thing. Blowback is what they call it I think. Or maybe "unintended consequences" is a better way to say it.

My point is that if you want to harbor and accept illegal immigrants, then fine. Do so. Just dont try to convince me that its the right thing to do based on YOUR morals. And CERTAINLY dont try to FORCE me to accept YOUR morals via the government. This holds true no matter what "issue" is being discussed. Once people start using govt to enforce their personal values, it gets dangerous, and thats kinda where we are now in this country.

My point, again, is LIVE AND LET LIVE, provided we dont infringe on each others rights or damage each others property. Non citizens have no rights IMO except to not be treated inhumanely. Deportation is NOT inhumane.

slapstick said...

And one more condition needs to be added to my simple plan for streamlining the citizenship process...

If you dont know the language, then you'll enroll in classes and learn it. You will refrain from crying about it when you dont get hired based on your inability to read or write in English. And, you will take it upon yourself to assimilate to MY country because I really dont care about your old country, nor its customs and cultures.

We can encourage this behavior by not doing business with any business who goes out of the way to accommodate people who dont know the English language. If you merely offer me the option of pressing 2 for Spanish, I wont do business with you if I can avoid it. Its pretty simple.

As a matter of fact, if liberals want to further their agenda as it pertains to immigrants, they could probably achieve all of their goals if they just guarantee that the immigrants will assimilate themselves and all but forget the country they came from by not defending them in instances where language or culture is the big issue. I guarantee that language and culture are the two issues that will make a normally quiet conservative stand up and scream.

Leave those two issues out of the debate, and most conservatives will remain quiet and too busy working to complain. I hate saying all that too, because I wish conservatives would voice their opinions more than they do. Their sitting on the sidelines while liberals eat away at liberties is whats tearing this country down. There is an imbalance in political activism and it heavily favors liberals. It would be just as bad if the imbalance favored conservatives, I admit.

Huck said...

Interesting two comments, slapstick. In the first one, you chide me under some mistaken impression that I'm trying to impose my values on people, and then in your second posting you go right ahead and make claims to impose precisely your values on people. WTF? If the local Miami government, with the support of the majority of its residents, wants to put street signs up in Spanish and wants to make official public documents available in Spanish, why shouldn't they be able to do so? But, no, they've got to bow down to your cultural values, don't they?

Anyway, your criticism of me is way misplaced. I'm the one here trying to kill a piece of legislation that attempts to regulate my personal behavior based on my values. I'm not trying to force down anyone's throat a requirement via legislation that they have to be nice to undocumented immigrants or even have any contact with them at all. Let's get the facts straight here about who is trying to impose what set of values on whom. It ain't me, dude. I'm all for "live and let live." Perhaps you can tell that to the author of HB 1205.

Anonymous said...

I agree with much of what slapstick says and little of what you say, Huck. Let me know where to send you your Profiles in Courage award, Professor. Keep your head down on the mean streets of Tulane U.

Huck said...

Of course you don't agree with me, Anonymous. Why am I not surprised? As for where to send nice presents to me, you know where I am. It's not hard to find me. But where and to whom would I send the thank you note, Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Post it to your blog. Since I'm about the only one reading it, I'll understand your sentiment.

slapstick said...

Putting signs up in Spanish and printing documents in Spanish are merely the first steps in forcing ME to assimilate. Sorry, but its not my job to accept them or to accommodate them. They must learn to adapt. I'm sorry you dont see it that way. This is America. We speak English here.
The local Miami govt is still govt. They should not print in any language other than English. What message does it send when our govt prints in Spanish? Dont answer that because I already know your answer and you already know my reply. As for businesses, they can do as they please and I can freely choose to do business with them. I merely pointed out a way that anyone who agrees with me can bring about change by not doing business in certain places.
Where exactly did I try to impose any of my values on anyone?

Is it the following comment?
"If you dont know the language, then you'll enroll in classes and learn it. You will refrain from crying about it when you dont get hired based on your inability to read or write in English. And, you will take it upon yourself to assimilate to MY country because I really dont care about your old country, nor its customs and cultures."

If thats what youre referring to, then I suppose I can see how one might interpret it that way...but I think youre smarter than that and I think you know better. If I went over to your house and snatched up the remote and started watching the Catholic Network on your TV, I'm sure you wouldnt like it and would take an attitude. I'm sure you'd expect me to adapt to YOUR way of living when I'm inside YOUR home.

In this case, your personal behavior NEEDS to be regulated, since youre breaking the law. I wont get into what punishment you should receive, or even IF you should receive any at all. But the bottom line is that youre breaking the law and your behavior obviously needs to be regulated.

Huck said...

slapstick - the problem with your argument is that you presume that the public sphere in American is "your" sphere. Let's recall that the "home" we call America is a home we share. Think of municipalities as rooms in a group home that we all share. You don't get to tell the folks of Miami that, in their room, they can't set up their own rules because you think you get to decide the house rules and that YOUR house rules override MY room rules. It's presumptuous and inconsistent with the idea of shared democratic governance. You are no more dominant over the house rules than I am.

slapstick said...

Correct, the public sphere isnt my sphere. But my sphere isnt the publics either.

Govt's are elected by legal citizens. Govt's should represent legal citizens. Govt going out of its way to accomodate or welcome illegal immigrants is flat out wrong, no matter how you spin it. Assimilation is the responsibility of the immigrant- NOT the native citizen and NOT the govt.

As a liberal, pro-immigrant type of guy who is also apparently intelligent, I would think that you'd be capable of agreeing with a point i made in an earlier post. By agreeing with me you can "win" your battle against conservatism and anti-immigration folk because conservatives have become cowards.

Its really simple. Just drop the language and culture issues. Tell "your people" to simply learn the language. Inform them that you will not defend them when they try to impose their cultures on us and that we will not go out of our way to accomodate their cultures either. Is it really THAT hard? Is that just way too much to give up for the right to live here peacefully whether legal or not? I promise, take this stand and conservatives will go back to work and ignore your plight. And then you will 'win' easily and we can be one big giant melting pot with a huge overload of cilantro in it.

BTW, it doesnt bother me one bit what Miami does other than that its only a matter of time before it bleeds to Louisiana cities.