Friday, September 10, 2010

Philosophy of Politics - What part of Legal Immigration Don't You Understand?

Well, this is informative. I've mentioned many times before that the legal immigration process is long and complicated... It's a pretty shitty system, to be perfectly frank.

I had this long post typed up, but you know what, it doesn't really matter. I want to keep this short, because there's just so much that could be covered, and frankly, I don't feel like it. So, where do we begin? Literally, I guess, in this case. Where do we come from, how did we get here, what is our point in life? Existentialism aside, there are millions of answers for each question that are not only relevant to the political sphere, but directly influence law and society. Let's face it-- the "world" as we relate and attempt to understand it is more metaphysical than physical. Borders, countries, towns, etc. exist because we say they do; they are "real" because we collectively believe them to be. Language aside, a country is as "real" as the boundaries and people that comprise it. Therefore, it exists. However, who is to decide these arbitrary boundaries? Who gets to decide who gets to cross the lines and for what reasons?  History says might makes right, and maybe that's how things have been, but that doesn't mean it's how it should be. You can say something is yours, but that doesn't necessarily make it true.

Part of the issue is also identity- determining where one belongs, who one is, is based on so many dimensions of being. As much as we would like to pretend it doesn't matter, or move past it as a means of identification, skin color and geographic region of ancestral origin have a great deal of influence on one's identity. Where one lives, who one associates with... How one comes to exist in a location! The very term "immigrant" refers to a person who used to live in another geographic region bound by symbolic lines on a sheet of paper, under the rule of a different sovereign "state." However, immigrants existed long before those lines or states. (Definitions do change over time, remember?) Migration itself is a natural part of human existence. However, we've made it into a legal issue, when in reality, it has little to do with justice.

Anyway, those are just a few brief thoughts on the subject... I would rather not get too into this tonight. My point is, it's not as simple as we would like to pretend it is. It isn't as simple as "fill out this paperwork, take a test, and BAM! You're a citizen now, here's your flag & passport." It's just as much as a political process as anything else. Where you come from, how old you are, who you know (family, friends, & "friends in high places"), how much money you have, your occupation. No matter where you go in the world, these are the things that matter to them more than what's in your heart, who you really are, & what you're trying to do with your life. To live on the other side of a "natural boundary" such as a river, which may be just a few hundred feet away... if one side has a greater chance of survival & safety, and the only thing you have to do is get across the river to have a better life for your children, who wouldn't do it?

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