When Pro-Immigration Righteousness Silences Dialogue

Hey kids. So today I want to address an elephant in my room.

I want to talk about the people who don’t agree with me 100% around immigration issues.

But I’m not talking about the people who scream in the comments section on a news website.

I’m talking about people in my life. People in my real world. On my Facebook page. College buddies. Former co-workers. People who went to the same high school in Long Island.

Last fall, I toured the US with my show, The Deportee’s Wife. My friend H came to see it in New York City. H and I go way, way back both on-stage and off.

A few days later, we were had breakfast at a diner in Manhattan. I’d like to think of it as “our place” when I see H in New York.

At one point, H said softly, “You know, I have to tell you, when I saw your show, there was a part of me all the way through that thought, yeah, well, R was in the US illegally. There’s a price to pay for that.”

We had a great dialogue about it. I acknowledged where he was at, and he did the same for me.

Safe space for us to explore and discuss what we needed to on the issue.

I didn’t necessarily change his mind on his point. But that was O.K. at the time. Still is.

H offered to help me to streamline the video part of my show. That meant a lot more to me than having him “agree” with me. Still does.

In an email this morning, another friend G (who coincidentally was also at that same NYC show as H) wrote that he doesn’t agree with me 100% around immigration issues.

But he recently had my back in an online post, in response to one of the Internet “screamers.”

He’d like to explore our views on immigration in a more in-depth manner. I’m looking forward to it.

So peeps, protests and marches have their place. So do letters, phone calls and the like.

But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, I’m putting out a call to the pro-immigration activists in the US:

Don’t forget about your real-world and online backyard.

Do you just assume that people in your life agree with your views on immigration?

Have you taken the time to ask?

Have you taken even more time to listen?

Or are you “too busy” fighting for immigration reform?

Just sayin’, kids. I’m just sayin’.

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14 thoughts on “When Pro-Immigration Righteousness Silences Dialogue

  1. The hard, cold attitude of people unaffected and far away making rules without thinking about how those rules impact people – this attitude creates the unjust pain people like Giselle suffer in real life situations. I would recommend that “Rumpled” should actually see the show. I would hope that this person would be unable to come back with all the same certainties afterward.

  2. Don’t you love when you’re trying to foster some engaging dialogue about immigration, asking people to look at multiple facets of immigration, and someone starts on the “illegal is illegal” argument, thinking they’ve made some kind of revelation? Nowadays I think it just cracks me up.

    Anyway. I agree that we can’t neglect the real-world contacts we have who aren’t fully on board with our views. Especially because THEY are much less likely to resort to “illegal is illegal” as a means of not having to deal with the reality of the issue.

    Carlos and I have a friend from Chicago, who we actually crossed paths with in Barcelona. He doesn’t know us super well, but he’s been following our story. He recently ran for state office on the Republican ticket, and while his views on immigration are of the less-informed variety, he has been seeking me out to get a better perspective. I appreciate that because it would be much easier for him to stick to the party line.

    I really have a great deal of respect for those who are willing to converse about immigration even when they don’t agree with us!

  3. After giving it some thought…I have to say, in all honesty, that all illegal immigrants should be kicked back to their own countries. Not for life, but for one year. Not just some, but all the millions living in the US illegally. All those inmagrants who pick up trash, wash dishes, clean houses and hotels, pick grapes and vegetables…you who I’m talking about…the “dangerous” ones. I would just LOVE to see all these anti immigrant clueless ignorants sustain the USs agricultural industry for a change. When they leave there comfortable jobs to pick there own fruit, clean their own houses, and pump their own gas… Only then will they have the right to cite the US constitution…come on people…just because you found the info in wikipedia while drinking a starbucks in your crocs does not mean that you have the intellectual capabilities to actually understand it. Talk to one of these “dangerous” immigrants for five minutes and you’ll realize they are only trying to do the jobs YOU clearly don’t want to do for yourselves….

    1. Thanks for posting, FGG.
      However, I do take umbrage with you bringing crocs into this…:)

      The D’s Wife

  4. Thanks for the great post, G. Being insular and/or being an idealogue may feel comfy but may squander some of our power for change.

    Back when MLK, Jr. Day became a federal holiday, Arizona opted out and myself as well as many others were outraged and protested in various ways. In my world, it was easy to feel that everyone knew how wrong that state’s action was and that pressure would force AZ’s opt-out to be rescinded. But those feelings were wrong. In fact, the treatment of MLK, Jr. Day as an “optional” holiday seems to be pretty widespread. This past MLK, Jr. Day, I noticed most banks and businesses were doing business as usual, and I even got a low-priority parcel delivery. Obviously, those of us outraged by that earlier AZ policy failed to connect well enough with others to spread our message and really contribute to social change.

    If we preach only to the choir (or only preach)–and don’t engage in dialogue with folks outside of our circle, Arizona’s most recent outrageous policy could become the norm. (Maybe it already has given that reports of police harassment of “Hispanic-looking” people are pretty common right here in my little chunk of the world.)

    1. @C-Thanks!
      @A, Thanks for the excellent example of previous AZ issues. R and I truly believe that it starts in the home. I’m not saying that we always get it perfectly, but there has to be a committment to the moments when no one is looking, watching what you do.

  5. Is the US CODE UNCONSTITUTIONAL?

    US CODE TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part VIII > § 1325

    § 1325. Improper entry by alien

    TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part VIII > § 1324a

    § 1324a. Unlawful employment of aliens

    (a) Making employment of unauthorized aliens unlawful

    U.S. Code TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part IX > § 1361

    § 1361. Burden of proof upon alien

    We should treat immigrants like Mexico does:

    At present, Article 67 of Mexico’s Population Law says, “Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal … are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues.”

    That would simplify things.

    We do NOT need immigration reform. We need immigration ENFORCEMENT!

    Simple question:

    What happens if someone jumps the fence and wanders around a gated community without an ID? I am sure a resident of the community calls the cops saying someone that doesn’t look like they belong here is roaming the streets. The cops arrive. They would ask the wanderer a few questions. And since the wanderer does not have a valid reason for being inside the gated community, the cops would escort them out, wouldn’t they? Isn’t a country, like the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, a “gated community”, too?

    WAKE UP AMERICA AND SMELL THE HYPOCRISY

    Simple question:

    What happens if someone jumps the fence and wanders around a gated community without an ID? I am sure a resident of the community calls the cops saying someone that doesn’t look like they belong here is roaming the streets. The cops arrive. They would ask the wanderer a few questions. And since the wanderer does not have a valid reason for being inside the gated community, the cops would escort them out, wouldn’t they? Isn’t a country, like the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, a “gated community”, too?

    WAKE UP AMERICA AND SMELL THE HYPOCRISY

    The REAL PROBLEM is that people have broken the law and need to be apprehended. All the other issues like racial profiling are SMOKE SCREENS.

    We do NOT need immigration reform. We need immigration ENFORCEMENT!

    WAKE UP AMERICA AND SMELL THE HYPOCRISY

    1. Hey Rumpled One,

      The title of this blog post is, “When Pro-Immigration Righteousness Silences Dialogue.”

      ’nuff said.

      Thanks,
      The D’s Wife

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