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Re: more on recent discussions

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  • George Thomas
    Yes to all points.  The Austin American-Statesman and the NY Times both had special commentaries on the popular xenophobic border fear vs. the actual
    Message 1 of 2 , May 5, 2010
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      Yes to all points.  The Austin American-Statesman and the NY Times both had special commentaries on the popular xenophobic border fear vs. the actual situation.  While many of the problems with immigration politics are "media-created," many in "the media" seem to be trying to counteract it.
      One possible glitch I can see with Democratic challenger Roxanne Conlin's promising ideas (in parentheses below), is the part about waiting "a period" to become legalized citizens.  For many, this "period" runs to more than a decade.  The citizenship process is badly in need of people and resources.
      Otherwise I especially find her mention of family unification to be precisely on the mark, and one of the biggest items usually missing from the profoundly confused debate
      (Conlin's platform items....."Check whether they have committed any crimes beyond immigration violations, require them to 'pay all their taxes,' wait a period to become legalized citizens, require them to learn English, and help them with family unification.")
      George

      more on recent discussions
          Posted by: "Lloyd Miller" lloyd.miller@...
          Date: Tue May 4, 2010 11:09 am ((PDT))

      I'll summarize two items from today's Des Moines Register that I think are especially pertinent to recent listserv discussions.

      One presents evidence that crime rates along Arizona's border with Mexico are greatly exaggerated (by Dennis Wagner, Arizona Republic).  The FBI's Uniform Crime Report and statistics that police agencies provide show that border crime rates "have remained essentially flat for the past decade" in spite of increased drug-related violence in northern Mexico.  Pima Co. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says that the hype about illegal immigrants committing crimes on US soil simply "does not seem to jibe with reality.  This is a media-created event...I hear politicians on TV saying the border has gotten worse.  Well, the fact of the matter is that the border has never been more secure."

      David Aguilar, deputy commissioner for Customs and Border Protection, said that the border is "a third country that joins Mexico and the United States, and that those who think of border security as a "juridical line" really don't understand the dynamics.  He also said that Juarez, Mexico is regarded as the "deadliest city in the world" because of an estimated 5,000 murders in recent years.  Yet right across the border, El Paso, Texas, is listed among the safest towns in America.

      [My take]  I think that aside from the AZ anti-immigration law that frustration and fear have engendered, everyone wants the federal government to take quick action on immigration reform.  I find [Democratic challenger for Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley's senate seat] Roxanne Conlin's ideas promising.  Stating that border walls (neither physical nor electronic) are solutions, she advocates the following as a partial solution for the 10.2 million non-citizen immigrant citizens already here.  "Check whether they have committed any crimes beyond immigration violations, require them to 'pay all their taxes,' wait a period to become legalized citizens, require them to learn English, and help them with family unification."

      The other article, I think, speaks to the old horse (not yet completely dead) we love to beat (I especially), namely waning educational quality and standards.  Reprinted from USA Today, it reports of a study that finds more parents refusing vaccines for their children, apparently due to medical myths (example: kids can't be vaccinated when they have a cold).  Based on records and interviews of parents of 8,904 children, ages 1 1/2 to 3, and conducted through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Immunization Survey, findings reveal that the percentage of parents who delay or refuse a shot rose from 22 percent in 2003 to 39 percent in 2008.

      I think that this kind of "mythical" thinking is yet another example of our increasingly poor K-12 science education, and of course is tacitly supported and encouraged by the media's apparent willingness to exploit sensationalism at the expense of dull old facts (yes, it'll sell more sponsored product) and popular feelings that our right to our own opinions means that all opinions have equal value in the so-called free marketplace of ideas.

      I agree with Brian that anthropological knowledge and perspective has never been more needed.

      Lloyd




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