Friday, November 21, 2014

Pimping Out Lady Liberty

Shorter President Obama: (his exact words are in italics)
 The responsible (right wing dog whistle-speak for non-deadbeat employment-age wage slaves) tired, poor, and huddled masses can stay for a short while as long as they've lived and worked here for at least five years, have procreated on our shores, can show that they are loyal Homelandians, and have the financial wherewithal to pay a slew of fines and back taxes with no benefits to themselves but tons of new profits for their greedy employers. Obama the Merciful and Ming the Merciless are neatly rolled into one passive-aggressive package:
 Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable, especially those who may be dangerous. (Translation: they shall all be considered dangerous felons until they can prove otherwise -- immigrant justice will be the exact opposite of native-born justice -- or should I say justice reserved for the wealthy native-born?)
This protection bestowed upon them can cancelled at any time. It's a balanced approach. We need to stop them embarrassing me at my speeches and  chaining themselves to the fence of my estate, and at the same time manipulate them into thinking they've achieved a permanent victory.
Also too this proclamation fulfills the needs of my plutocratic backers, since I will allow the enhanced importation of foreign entrepreneurs and investors with lots of money, as well as stealing cheap foreign techies, trained at another's expense, to reward my good donor buddies at Microsoft, Facebook and wherever else in Silicon Valley there are more profits to be made and wages to be suppressed. It's who we are as Americans. It's the far-right thing to do.... I’ll make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates and entrepreneurs to stay (no time limits or draconian registration process here!) and contribute to our economy, as so many business (the oligarchic Business Round Table and US Chamber of Commerce) leaders proposed."
But those thousands of kids fleeing Central American violence historically caused by CIA coups and American imperialism? There will be an immediate surge of weaponized  militarization at the borders to stop them in their tracks and send them home to their fates. Because they didn't work hard and show responsibility like the CIA torturers and Wall Street banksters that I will continuously and permanently protect, each and every day. And that goes for undocumented mothers who had the poor taste to wait until Nov. 21 to give birth. My order does not grant protection to irresponsible pregnant ladies! No room at the inn for you! All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America. 
Oh, and I almost forgot. Within five minutes of my sickly sweet speech, this is the modest image of me that you'll be seeing in your email in-box:

President Obama is taking action. The other side (pretends that they) want nothing more than to tear this program down! So gimme your tired, your poor, your huddled masses. But most important of all, just Gimme, Gimme, Gimme! "Fight back" by donating $15, $35, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 to President Obama's Magical Legacy-Burnishing Machine. Donations will be automatically charged to your credit card, and can be cancelled at any time, just like Obama's temporary selective amnesty order.
That email from Obamorganizing For Action was just one of many that flowed in from the usual Democratic veal pen outfits -- including the ubiquitous MoveOn -- asking for cash and my signature on a thank-you note to the president. So, it was very refreshing to get this one from Presente.Org's Arturo Carmona, urging me to thank the activists who (along with the donor class) essentially forced the Deporter-in-Chief's hand into granting some measure of relief to at least some of the immigrants. Latinos stayed away from the polls and heckled him everywhere he went and did not buy into the lesser evilism excuse that has enabled a pathetic Democratic Party to continue existing as a weak foil to the GOP. Therefore, they won a major battle in the continuing class war. Just think what could be accomplished if other activists joined forces with them nationwide, as are the Chicago labor and teacher unionists.
Writes Carmona, 
"Last night, I was overwhelmed with a bittersweet feeling. While executive action protects four million from deportations and ends the devastating Secure Communities program, seven million people remain left out. But I draw strength from the determination and corazón of our gente — victories like this are hard-fought and will protect millions, but we can't turn our backs on those who are left out. Now, more than ever, we need to renew our commitment to fight for the remaining seven million.
Remember what led to this moment: undocumented youth risking arrest and deportation each time they occupied offices of members of Congress; parents who participated in direct actions and sit-ins in front of the White House; countless immigrant activists, and organizations like Presente, supported by thousands of members like you, all joined forces to hold President Obama and the Democrats accountable.
We're going to keep on fighting until all immigrants receive the dignity and justice they deserve. At a time when cynicism and cronyism plagues D.C. politics, a vibrant immigrant-led movement has prevailed — often in the face of terrifying circumstances. Immigrants stood up to xenophobic Republicans and challenged President Obama to stop countless deportations.

After nearly a decade of fighting, last night marks a big step forward, but the fight is far from over. There are seven million people still left out, including parents of DACA recipients. Next week, as families across the country are sitting down to dinner on Thanksgiving, people may find themselves sitting next to their parents or siblings who've been left out of this executive order. Not to mention the fact that more money is being shifted to further militarize the border which will only increase violence there. But this milestone, achieved through the hands of immigrants and our allies, means that our power is growing and we will not stop until our whole community is together.


Pearl said...

What is sad is that the money to welcome so many immigrants into the U.S.will not come from overbloated military organizations, nor in more taxes for the wealthy who have gotten away with murder in their unequal taxation requirements, but will again have to reduce the needed programs for most of the citizens and slow down any attempts to improve conditions such as minimum pay increases, health care coverage, infrastructure needs, ad infinitum. This will only increase resentments and not allow real humanitarian help and constructive plans for millions of immigrants to move forward in their lives and contribute their skills to a jobless society.
Lots of trouble ahead all around.

Denis Neville said...

@ Pearl, Very concise summary…“Lots of trouble ahead all around.”

Our federal and state governments are not providing basic services and protections to their citizens. This has created a fertile soil for anti-immigrant demagogues, who serve up a steady diet of fear, anger, and resentment of illegal immigrants, which serves as a diversion from the looting by kleptocrats in every state and every city in the country.

Our job creators love immigrant low-skill cheap labor.

Working at a large urban trauma center, I have witnessed how undocumented workers from Mexico are routinely exploited. Dishonest employers in high-risk industries such as residential construction, roofing and meatpacking don’t offer their undocumented workers a health plan or any kind of safety net should they be injured on the job. They are just cannon fodder, expendable and replaceable. Rather than help their injured workers, employers simply turn their backs.

Some employers even threaten to inform the government of their immigration status if they try to gain compensation. While laws in some states prevent employers from using an employee’s immigration status to retaliate against a worker, in some parts of the country, predominantly the South and Mid-West, this is still a problem.

I recall the particular case of a Mexican roofer who fell at a job site, rendering him a ventilator dependent high-level quadriplegic. No workers’ compensation insurance. His care was costly. Hospital discharge planners searched to no avail for a rehabilitation program or nursing home. None were willing to accept him without insurance. Medicaid does not cover long-term care for illegal immigrants, or for newly arrived legal immigrants, creating a quandary for hospitals, which are obligated by federal regulation to arrange post-hospital care for patients who need it. Hospital administrators viewed him as a costly, burdensome patient that forced them to shoulder responsibility for our dysfunctional immigration and health-care system.

Many hospitals engage in “medical repatriations” of seriously uninsured injured and ill immigrants; sending them back to their homelands. Hospital administrators see it as the only alternative to keeping these patients indefinitely in the acute-care setting. Immigration authorities play no role in these private repatriations.

Critics argue it is “de facto deportation” and a violation of basic human rights. They see it as a kind of international patient dumping, with air ambulances taking patients in the wrong direction, away from first-world hospitals to less-adequate care, if any.

The Mexican roofer was bundled onto the plane and out of the USA back to Mexico, and once he was out of sight, he was out of mind. It was pretty much a death sentence.

The question of whether or not to provide health care for immigrants, especially those who are undocumented, is controversial. However, if we let employers avoid paying what a worker should receive for workplace injuries just because they’re illegal, they’re going to keep hiring illegal workers. They have no incentive to keep a safe workplace.

Zee said...

As I believe I have remarked before, it is time that we simply legalized every “illegal” immigrant here—all 11 million or so—as long as he/she has a clean criminal record. It's simply beyond the realm of possibility to round up and deport them all, and, even if we could, we would doubtless wind up accidentally deporting many who are actually U.S. citizens, as has happened recently. Such mistakes are unforgivable.

But then what?

As Denis points out, “Our job creators love immigrant low-skill cheap labor.”

So American businesses' desire for cheap labor will continue unabated, as will the continued arrival of new illegal immigrants willing to undercut any economic gains that the newly-legitimized immigrants might hope for.

So our borders must be secured concurrent with any legalization process. Otherwise, we will be caught in an endless cycle of legalizing one set of immigrants even as we import new members of “the permanent underclass” to take their place.