A few interesting, somewhat unrelated articles:
Milwaukeeans out there may have seen the news stories about Oscar Ayala-Cornejo (most recent news story and links to earlier ones), an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who took on the identity of his deceased, U.S. citizen cousin in high school, and since went on to become a Milwaukee police officer. After his real identity was leaked to the police department in early June, Ayala-Cornejo was arrested, then released on bail, and has now been convicted of falsely impersonating a U.S. citizen. He faces a jail term and subsequent deportation. I’m itching to talk to this guy, but I don’t know if it will happen. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Editor O. Ricardo Pimentel has written a great column on the man’s punishment and the parallels this situation has with the greater national immigration debate.
Andrew Leonard, of Salon.com’s How the World Works, has predicted that Lou Dobbs will continue to aid in corroding the base of the Republican Party by spewing his extreme, fanatical views on immigration to millions of viewers. Immigration is a divisive issue for both parties, but there is a lot of talk of how big business, which clearly has an interest in either a) maintaining the status quo or b) passage of a reform bill that will legalize those in the country illegally AND create an immigration system that will meet the nation’s future economic needs. The Lou Dobbs, or Tom Tancredo types, want all the “illegal aliens” out ASAP, no matter what the cost, because clearly, they are taking over America in every way, and we need to preserve all that is righteous and good and pure about our white, male, Christian power structure. (Yikes, I so just mixed a whole bunch of crap into one big ball there).
Finally, I’d like to thank Francis Pauc, of Oak Creek (a southern suburb of Milwaukee) for sending this letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It was printed in Monday’s paper:
As I follow the immigration debate, I note that among the parties involved there is a passionate desire for the United States to secure its borders. This seems odd to me since national boundaries generally do not exist in the physical world; they are products of the human imagination.
Any photograph of the Earth from space will not show evidence of such a border anywhere on the globe. Any physical evidence of a national border, whether it be the Berlin Wall, a fence near the Rio Grande or the Great Wall of China, is simply a manifestation of human fear and aggression. National borders tend to be temporary and fluid; ask any European about that. A national border is a clear sign of the failure of men to get along with each other. The burning desire to defend our country’s borders is evidence that we are incapable of working amicably with our neighbors.
The sanctity of national borders also seems to be a matter of convenience for our nation’s leaders. Apparently some borders are sacred and some aren’t. Our border with Mexico appears to be crucial, but Iraq’s frontiers weren’t nearly so important when we invaded that country in March 2003.
Once again, I would suggest that borders are in our minds and nowhere else.
Amen to that.