Friday, March 18, 2016


I have been planning an upcoming backpacking trip with my son at a state park. In order to make a campsite reservation, (unless making it for less than 24 hours in advance) I had to make the reservation online with a credit card.
It occurred to me that this is an entry barrier to some (many?) who either don’t have internet access or, more likely, a credit card.
Now, there may be a way around this (I didn’t spend the time to explore all avenues), but on the face of it, here is a case of government efficiency (is there such a thing?) excluding a class of citizens.
Thinking of exclusionary policies, I have been musing a bit on immigration policy. I don’t contest the right of a nation from protecting and/or controlling its borders for at least some reasons.
On the other hand, we have historically contested the right of the American Indians to protect their borders. Because we were more numerous and had better technology, we consistently drove them off their land, made treaties giving them other land, and repeatedly broke those treaties to take their land again.
I am not so naïve to think the situations heretofore mentioned have don’t have nuances, especially regarding lands of plenty and justice, but in generality, this is something to ponder when considering immigration policy today.
Might makes right? Or is it Manifest Destiny-or these days: American Exceptionalism - that we don’t have to respect borders, lands and treaties because we are God’s people? But others (I guess those who aren't God's people?) need to respect our borders, lands and treaties?
We are able (potentially at least) to stop immigration from Latin America with our technology, but how is the Latin immigrant seeking a better life and/or freedom (at least to the limited extent the USA offers) different from the earlier settlers and pioneers?
No doubt we have a right and duty to our citizens to exclude violent invaders, criminals, and terrorists. This goes to controlling our borders. How about the others? Have we really run out of room and resources?
An economic situation where food and jobs are scarce enough for US citizens may justify limits to immigration, but is this even real? Note that in the recent poor economic downturn the net flow of peoples was to Mexico, rather than to the US.
I have written as if all these things are simple, yet I understand they are not. Not everything is considered in my analysis. It is just something to consider among all the other factors.

Oremus pro invicem!


Charlie said...

The immigration problem is simple. US businesses desire a workforce they can exploit. This is why they oppose amnesty but also the Great Wall of Mexico. They want to keep them illegal, and they want to keep them coming.

Jim Curley said...

I never really put it together like you propose. Makes sense.