High Country News photo
Ash Wednesday is un-American. The day's central message is that which, drowning in our things, we hope to repress: we die. "You are dust and to dust you will return."
It is a good day to fight the terror of terror that has griped the country since 9/11. So it is good to read that the Roman Catholic Cardinal of Los Angeles, Archbishop Roger Mahony, has seized this occasion in the church calendar to denounce the fear of immigrants that is currently being exploited by politicians who thrive on fear. According to the LA Times
We need some teaching on Ash Wednesday, a day to remember we all die alike, "lega" and "illegal."
Via the invaluable site Migra Matters, I've found a coherent discussion of what seems intuitively obvious: if capital, money, is to be free to run around the world seeking the highest profit, workers have to be free to seek better wages -- and that means open borders. Although for most of the history of the U.S. we had just that policy, in this time of fear it has become hard to make a picture of what it would mean if we tore down the walls and accepted that globalization has thrown millions of hungry people out of work in their own countries, sending them here in search of work.
Peter Laufer, author of Wetback Nation simply argues we should accept the reality we've created:
Those "ancillary problems" include a militarized frontier, people dying in the desert, a large underground population whose names and activities we can't keep track of, and lots of unnecessary separations of families and children.
Laufer says open the border and deal with reality. There's a "reality-based" answer to the "immigration problem."