Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Dream Act and other promises to keep.

Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon. (Warning: this post is of a political nature.)

I get a chance to ask Mr.Wyden questions every year, face to face, when he spends an hour or so at our Town Hall. You have the same opportunities with your statesmen when they return home and visit local municipalities, present you with their accomplishments and goals, and then take questions from the audience.

What does an audience ask? It depends on the local needs, actually.
If Mr. Wyden dropped in this month at the coast, anywhere, he'd get an earful on the dredging issue. Here at our local ports, sand accumulates around the mouths of rivers and bays, keeping boats from leaving the port and go fishing.

Without dredging, clearing the sand bars, there is no fishing.

Dredging is expensive and is provided by specialized crews, mostly run by the Army Corps of Engineers. The work is necessary for the livelihood of the fishing and recreational industry around rivers, bays and ports.

Without dredging, everything comes to a standstill.

I might ask Mr. Wyden how he will vote on the Dream Act as well. You see, I too was an immigrant, and I remember full well the difficulties I encountered, difficulties that most people would rather not think about. Most people like me, might just forget to speak up, afraid to make a fuss, afraid that someone might make things more difficult for them or their families.

Most people, though,  think both of these issues do not affect them.


Regarding dredging:
1. Fish will cost you more than ever because local fishing industries will shut down.
2. If you own a boat forget about using it anywhere except your pool.
3. Vacationing on a beautiful bay might change to vacationing on a mosquito infected pond.
4. Goods from and to the Pacific Rim countries will have to arrive by plane.
5. All cities and towns on water will become ghost towns.

Regarding immigration reform:
1. Agricultural work will not get done in time, or as cheaply as it is done today.
2. Wine, produce and meat will be prohibitively expensive.
3. Restaurants and fast food places will have to charge more, because they have to pay more for their employees. Minimum wages do not apply right now to many seasonal industries.
4. Construction industry will come to a standstill.
5. Nannies and housekeepers will be hard to find.

We might all have to rethink what America will be like, if all immigrants disappeared, (including our relatives, best friends, our neighbors, etc...) if only the people who could afford visiting us would be found at our shores, would be setting up businesses here and exploiting our natives, would be shipping profits to their banks in most instances rather than investing in the community.

Ugh, come to think of it, this is already happening....
What about you? What issues would you bring up with your statesmen?


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with everything you have to say, Rosaria. It astounds me that so many Americans forget from whence they came. In fact since the 'problem' of immigration is a western one, it would a good lesson for people of all countries to consider that most of the world is made up of immigrants. If people aren't careful, the country will soon be a country of people wishing to be emigrants!

joeh said...

I believe it was you that said politics and religion are the "meat of the meal" or something like that so I will comment where normally I would not.
On dredging, it seems to be common practice here in the east, to open access to bays and even to replenish beaches for vacationers. It is suprising that it would not be a priority around all ports.
Regarding immigration, you make many good points, if only we could elliminate those undesirable immigrants who form gangs, sell drugs, murder, steal and treat our social services like a teat.
We should be able to do both, and those immegrants who perform the services you mention should be able to do so legally.
Our country is a great one because we get the best from all the other countries. If only we could also better filter out the counter productive visitors.

There, I took a chance and commented on a taboo subject!

Brian Miller said...

heh, they know better than to ask me for joeh above, i would say---we would be getting rid of many americans if we did that...smiles...i really want to know what they are going to do any differently to generate jobs and bolster the economy...most likely we will start a war in the next couple years to rebound it...then vote tht person out so they bring the troops home and our economy will suffer again...

Heather B said...

I love this post...and reminds me of the film/mockumentary "A Day without Mexicans". It helps us to realize how convenienced we are by immigrants (Mexican or otherwise) and how we would be impacted if we didn't have (in essence) cheap labor.
P.S. you've inspired a blog post for me.

dianefaith said...

I taught adult education for many years and our department included English as a Second Language students. I usually did not teach that class, but I was around the students enough to gain a thorough respect for them. Yet, others in the community would ask me -- are you not afraid to be in the building with them at night? Actually, they were the ones who looked out for the teachers, for our safety.The problem students, the few that we had, were always 100% born-here Americans, not the immigrants. We do have a major problem with 16-24 year-old American males in this country, but I hear little complaining about that.

Rob-bear said...

We have so many things here in Canada that it would hard to explain. Our current government, thought a 400+ page budget bill, has basically re-written the social contract in Canada. It has changed some 60 different laws, all at once. The environment will suffer, as will just about everyone but big business owners.

I had a little note on my desk, that I have re-discovered. The current government has launched an "attack on traditional Canadian values of fairness and support for fellow citizens." That pretty much covers it.

the walking man said...

They are important issues and fair position questions. The real question though is not his position but which bill is he going to use to fund the operations with a mark-up. I think the block grants to states to use for medicaid and food assistance are the new whipping boys in the Senate. Suggest those.

And hey at least you get face time with your rep all i get are emails begging for money which i refuse to send. The big 116 billionaires and almost billionaires can pay for the advertising but they aren't paying for my vote.

And as for opinion anything that keeps jobs working is a plus, and anything that gives people already here and are not associated with any gang deserves the chance to be fast tracked to citizenship.

I know I am a fat old white man but all the fat old white men have to be removed from office ASAP. More Latino's, Asians and people of color might actually return sanity to our politics.

NitWit1 said...

Generally, I don't comment on political issues, especially if I am not fully informed on the issues. In the case of this post this is true.

I generally agree the immigration process is a complex one, but having lived in metropolitan areas where I have encountered many different cultures, our country would not be what it claims to be without them. Whether the were legal or illegal, most of the time I did not know, but most were productive workers or self employed, otherwise law abiding people. And somewere super intelligent, too, when I was able to understand them. I do think the predominant language should be spoken, but we should help them learn it, as a second language. And us natives should try a little harder to learn some elementary second language, at least phrases.

Lydia said...

Great post! I sure hope you will speak up and give power to truth regarding immigration...and your own example. It will be powerful.
I have one and only one poem posted at the bottom of my blog's main page, and it also is one of the few that I have committed to memory (I intend to be reciting it while I die). The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus.

If Jeff Merkley comes to Silverton I will try to go this time.

As for Sen. Wyden, he certainly has been a faithful public servant. I have a book that belonged to my mother, written by his father! Bay of Pigs: the Untold Story, by Peter Wyden.

Helen said...

Some days I get so overwhelmed with the 'political craziness' ... I retreat from activism. Thanks for the nudge, I needed it!

(Not a new blog, just moving relevant posts from Living Boldly to Poetry Matters) It took me over eight hours to undo the damage!!! Exporting and importing isn't as simple as one might think!)

She Writes Here Now said...

To be honest, I am overwhelmed. But I agree with every word you said.