I would like to highlight one part of the complex morass that is the 'south of the border' immigration issue. The part of the problem that is often missed or understated by both progressives and conservatives is the physical danger and exploitation of illegal immigrants. Having lived on the border for most of my adult life, I can say the most Americans live securely insulated from the knowledge of and the effects of illegal immigration.
Everyday that America does not have orderly borders and a comprehensive federal immigration policy:
* We don't know who is in our country, where they are, and why. (Yes, it is possible to want this information without being motivated by hate, racism, etc.)
* We are complicit in a shadow society rife with the heinous exploitation
* We are complicit in a shadow economy that is easily exploited for nefarious purposes (human smuggling, drug trade, forced prostitution, slavery). If you doubt this, see my earlier point about being insulated. Then do some research. Ask a district attorney.
* We tacitly insure that illegal aliens are forced to live in abominable conditions without viable legal recourse and with no hope of getting on the right side of the law.
* We are complicit in the unchecked undocumented spread of so-called third world disease in this country. Yes, it is possible to say such things without malice towards the immigrants and care for the people afflicted and those they could infect.
So, my fellow progressives, go ahead. Protest if you will. Get arrested. Chant and wave banners. But also do this, write a letter to your representatives in Washington D.C. and encourage others to do so. Demand that they display some courage and forge a fair and reasonable immigration policy and orderly borders.
**Recent news to support my earlier assertion regarding a shadow economy: http://www.examiner.com/x-50038-Harris-County-Independent-Examiner~y2010m8d3-The-hub-of-human-trafficking-Texas