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
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
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
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!