Comment: Gods Of Immigration - In response to our comment in the 2/6/2012 issue of Immigration Daily we received a thought provoking letter from Jay McTyier raising an important question. The letter is reproduced below for your convenience.
What do you think are the "Gods of Immigration"? To what ends should US immigration policy be aimed and why? Please let us know your thoughts by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don't agree with the statement in yesterday's issue that immigration is "primarily an economic issue." As I see it, our immigration laws have become so complex and contradictory because the American people expect their immigration laws to serve three gods simultaneously: the god of Economics, the god of Humanitarianism, and the god of State Sovereignty. Examples of the laws that serve the god of Economics are those provisions that allow any foreign workers in at all, but also the laws that say there needs to be market testing of available U.S. workers before you hire a foreign one. Things like cancellation of removal based on established equities in the U.S., asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and the exemption of "immediate family members" from the worldwide visa quotas, and the delegation of prosecutorial discretion serve the god of Humanitarianism. The laws describing entry and inspection procedures and the power to deport serve the god of State Sovereignty. And I think all Americans would agree that all those provisions of law just referenced reflect their beliefs about what our immigration law "should do;" and are therefore necessary and useful - in their time.
The messiness comes when the facts of any one situation invoke the attention of all three gods at once. The new law in Alabama was clearly enacted to appease the god of State Sovereignty, but, as the figures are showing, it's hurting the interests of the Economics god. And, I imagine if you dig a little, you'll find several families in Alabama facing a separation from each other or what they believed was their home, as a collateral consequence of the new law. And that upsets the kind god of Humanitarianism.
Just as the ancient Greeks who worshipped a panoply of gods found out, you can anger one god-maybe all the rest of them-- when doing your best to serve another. Then you have to rely on that one god to save you, when the others are hurling catastrophes at you. In the context of current day Alabama, the good people of Alabama need to decide if the benefits of having bowed so low before the god of State Sovereignty will protect them from the slings and arrows of the god of Economics. Based on the numbers published here, the god of State Sovereignty is not giving them much in return for their blind worship.
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