Sunday, August 30, 2015

This One Weird Fedex Trick...

Sometimes, political rhetoric can get a little bit out of hand, and maybe needs to be pulled back from the ledge--that's what I think might be part of the problem with the immigration debate. I've noted in the past that some of the ideas about what to do with actual human beings who want to be in this country without all the legal hassle are either a futuristic civil liberties nightmare--like implanting RFID chips, or seem like the fantasies of a comic book villain, like an electric fence with a moat and alligators. I'm a silly old stick-in-the-mud. I want policies that are effective and actually can happen in the real world where the people are.

GOP presidential candidate and NJ Governor, Chris Christie made a bit of a stir by suggesting that people on a US visa be tracked in the way that FedEx tracks packages. I have to admit--I've very recently noted that something like 40% of illegal immigration stems from folks overstaying their visas, and I recommended they be tracked in some way. But I think this is probably better done by a voluntary self-reporting scheme of checking in with one's current address, and not the way packages are kept track of, because barcodes are actually used for package tracking. There's a lot of people who feel some kind of way about putting barcodes on people, and I would guess that the problems with a barcode scheme would go about as awkwardly as the RFID idea.

I have the feeling that there's a "political will" issue regarding immigration--politicians understand this is something citizens feel strongly about, but they also are very nervous about introducing a serious, comprehensive plan because of the emotional, amped-up rhetoric that goes into play. The immigration issue is more of a matter in the red-state stronghold south specifically because this is where Latin@ immigration and the low-wage agricultural/factory jobs come up and might be why Democrats don't really reference it in the same way. Donald Trump has managed to magnify the issue--but it results in WI Gov. Scott Walker talking about a Canadian border fence. Seriously? That's one long border, and one long fence.

If there's a wrong way to be talking about immigration, I have a feeling following the lead of Trump and getting more extreme is the wrong way. This is, essentially, the problem with an outsider candidate--they might have bold ideas, but no concept of process. And when they come up in the polls like Trump has, people who ought to know better, start acting like they don't. And that isn't good for the debate.

No comments: