Saturday, December 31, 2005

Silly Insulting Wall

Rigoberta Menchu: US Wall Is an Insult - Prensa Latina

Who am I to criticize a Nobel Peace Prize winner or a head of state, but this business of Latin Americans taking insult at the prospect of the United States building a wall along the border with Mexico is just silly. Worse, it's just pandering.

Insult? The real insult is that humanity thinks it is different from a colony of bacteria in a petri dish. Neither can outgrow its environment, but both are destined to ruin their environment in the rush to outgrow it.

What I hear these insulted ones saying is that people should be free to ruin their neighbors' commons, which is what unfettered illegal immigration will accelerate. What they're really saying is whatever they think their respective constituencies want them to say, whatever serves their political aims.

What is even sillier than the insult these people say they perceive is the very idea of the wall itself. Anything less than a coordinated package of measures, maybe including a wall but certainly including politically impossible sanctions on businesses and individuals who exploit immigrants' cheap labor and facilitate their migration, is as useless as the War on Some Drugs. (Useless with respect to stated aims, that is; the immigration wall and the War on Some Drugs are both very useful to unstated aims.)

So what's the solution?

There is no politically practicable solution to the problem of illegal immigration, but pretending that there is a solution along these lines serves certain political purposes. Get used to it, y aprendan a platicar en EspaƱol.

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