Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Looking Beyond Immigration

Change is something that comes along with fear and trepidation; still it comes raw, unrefined and oblivious to our personal insecurities. You would think that the race of intelligent mankind would instinctively know this one salient and inexorable thing well enough by now to accept the inevitability of it nevertheless it continues to be the root cause of more pain, anxiety and hatred than we can possibly measure in terms of rational thinking; Just ask the American Indians.

In the recent debates featuring the conflagrations of the Illegal Immigration Issue we have seen fear and trepidation, we have seen the full range of primal insecurities, we have seen racism, we have seen the inferences of racism and we have seen resistance to change. Without confusing the two issues of Illegal immigration and change lets remember that all sovereign nations reserve the right to self preservation but let us also remember in the same breath that there is no nation on the face of this earth now that did not somehow come into being on the tails of momentous change that created opportunities for some even as it incinerated opportunities for others. Once again we look to the example of the American Indians and the encroachment of Europe on the North American Continent.

To better appreciate the stubbornly indefinable terms of this issue lets consider for a moment that the existence of a national boundary, otherwise known to us in the somewhat more ominous terminology as “The Border”… is really the foundation of our antithesis to the kind of change that we are talking about here. What exactly is a “Border” and who exactly is it that should recognize that Border?? Though the United States has two national borders, one with Canada and the other With Mexico it is the Southern border that seems to be the focus of national concern at this particular time if for no other reason than the sheer force of numbers traversing that region on the human journey in search of survival and it is exactly for that reason that it represents the most potent source of potential change accompanied by the ever present henchmen fear and trepidation.

To Examine the issue more closely consider that the National Border is really just a mythical line drawn in the sand beneath which lie myriad antecedent boundaries drawn by predecessors and forbears who have long since retired to dust and ash leaving us only scattered remnants of architecture as a reminder that they once decided where territorial parameters of ownership and national sovereignty lay.

It is not an exaggeration to say that almost all of the changes made in these parameters were accompanied by aggression, violence and outright thievery which represent some of the less attractive elements of the phenomenon we call change. In retrospect we must also realize that many of the descendants of former civilizations still consider it their right to persevere as a culture despite the intrusions of modern politics. To a starving Mestizo and his family the political boundary in between him and his right to a better existence drawn by some light skinned men a thousand miles away in Washington D.C. means very little in terms of deference. On the flip side of that same coin however there is still the economic identity of a nation some 250 years old ( an infant by cultural standards ) that must be protected in order for it to survive or at least to adhere to the illusion of survival in the face of change.

The real dilemma finds its face systems of representative government that have grown more popular in the past three hundred years wherein a few make decisions for many. When the many see that the few no longer represent their best interest, say for instance allowing millions of destitute refugees to enter a protected space, there is anger, fear and resentment and so a singular response is formulated or at least tries to formulate from the collective voice of the people represented. This however constitutes only one of the several destinies that will bear on the future of a nation or a people; the others may lie in the hands of those who have different agendas such as survival and the right to share in the wealth of an adjacent culture that may have replaced the one that nurtured them. Individual lifespan notwithstanding an organized culture can have a lifespan of its own.

I have already been too wordy and there is so much more to say about these things. Suffice it to say however that the issues of migration are as old as man himself and that no nation on Earth is a true enclave immune from the inevitable forces of change. We may for a brief moment maintain our footing and a sense of national Identity but only for as long as the much more pervasive and durable process of change allows for it