Independent Stan: You do agree to a secure border, don't you Dee? You don't want them taking away our jobs, do you?
Dee: Of Course I believe in a secure border, but I don't believe in a 2000 mile fence.
Independent Stan: I used to live in El Paso. I know the comin and goin's.
Dee: That's called COMMERCE Stan and it has been that way since our country was formed. People travel back and forth every day. You lived in El Paso. You know this. And remember, the checkpoints are 15 miles in.
Independent Stan: (nods) But we seriously need to control the border. You do believe that.
Dee: Of course I do. However, I also believe in Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Our current policies are broken. We also have to think about the History of our Nation and our Founding Fathers.
TeaParty Jack: I believe in the Constitution. Have you Read it?
Dee: I know I read it. I'm for the words of Thomas Jefferson: "All men/women are created equal." Our country was formed based on Freedom. Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Religion. Freedom of the Press. Land of the Free. Home of the Brave. We are a Land of Immigrants...yearning to breath Free.
In order to understand our current state, we need to look back at history. There were NO IMMIGRATION LAWS when our country was formed. The Immigration Laws we have today were established by Restrictionists. They were formed a little over a hundred years ago with the Chinese Exclusion Act. Then with the Immigration Act of 1924, we restricted Immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe as well as Asians. Yet, we left the border to the south WIDE OPEN! Why? Because we were Nation Building! Nation Building! And we liked the Work Ethic and Christian Values of the Hispanic Values. After Slavery ended, we need these workers to Nation Build. Plus, their added value, they went home when the work was done. They didn't stick around and want to take Land for themselves as the Eastern, Southern Europeans and Asians did. That's why we left the borders to the south wide open. Then over the years, we continued to partner with our Southern neighbors with programs like the Bracero Program and other similar Guest Worker programs.
Independent Stan: (Nods, listening aptly, asking questions as I go on)
Tea Party Jack: (stands up, somewhat irritated, goes off and buys a coke)
Dee: Yet, during economically tough times, over the years, we have treated our Latino neighbors poorly. Those who are not citizens are kicked out of the country, as they were in the 1930s, during the depression; brought back in the 40's after the war as the country was flourishing, then kicked out again in the late 1950s with Operation Wet Back." And in the mix, during the xenophobic times we kicked them out, Latino Citizens were racially profiled and harassed, as is being done now by Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona as he and his masked volunteers conduct their suppression sweeps (their words) in Latino neighborhoods. Why do you think their are so many protests over sb1070? People are scared to death to go outside when arpaio and his masked volunteers terrorize their neighborhoods. We cannot allow that the re-enactment of Operation Wet Back (sb1070) and racial profiling to occur again in Arizona or any other state. That's why the protests.
Independent Stan: (Nods Heavily) I see what you mean.
Dee: And as far as jobs are concerned, Middle Class Americans DO NOT want their jobs. We want the jobs that have been out-sourced overseas by Big Business. Do you want to be a crop picker or landscaper? Honestly now. Tell the truth on this.
Independent Stan: (Shakes his head No) I understand. So knowing all this, what do you want.
Dee: Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Do you know what that is?
Independent Stan: Amnesty?
Dee: (I shake my head) Too much Fox News.
Independent Stan: (Laughs)
Dee: It's 1. Secure Borders; 2. Employer Sanctions for Exploiting Employers; 3. Allowing those who are felony free to get in line and apply for citizenship. This is not an easy process. It can take up to 10 years -- crime free, working, paying fines. Plus it means the Immigration Authorities must clear the backlog in Immigration Courts. You did know that 40% of those here "illegally" are visa overstays and are trying to correct their status in courts?
Independent Stan: (shakes head No; agrees with me; reassessing his view on Immigration)
Dee: Plus, laws like Arizona's sb1070 demand Mass Deportation -- or as they call it -- "Attrition through Enforcement." Can you imagine the cost of arresting and detaining 12M people plus their children? That's the size of the state of New York.
Independent Stan: I hadn't thought about it that way.
Dee: Well Stan, I know this is a lot of information. And there is so much more to discuss, including what is really going on with those wanting to establish "Official English" and change Birthright Citizenship. But we can save that discussion for another day.
Independent Stan: Dee, I'm glad we talked about this. I'd like to think I am informed but you taught me something here. I certainly have to do a lot more reading about this entire subject. I guess I didn't understand the issues at all.
At the end of our conversation I realized President Obama was right when he recommended that ALL AMERICANS should sit down and have civil Conversations about Race, Immigration and Other Issues. I know I have hesitated to have open discussions with those who do not have my same view. However, Friday's discussion helped convince me we should talk more, particularly to Independents, and share the facts, the history and our recomendations to help Unite America!