What would Riley do–immigration

August 5, 2010

My dear friend P has been picking at me for months, trying to get me to react to the illegal immigration issue. He is so desperate he’s now asked Riley to weigh in.

So, I brought the question to our sage little fur-boy.

Ah, immigration. I’ve seen Mom dancing around this subject with you for a while, and I’ve seen your illogical emails on the subject, too! (I’m sorry, Investigator, but I have to agree with my mother on the logic thing.)

So let me say this.

Illegal immigration is….illegal. Being as it’s against the law to come here unofficially, employers should not hire folks without real papers. Perhaps that’s the best place to attack the problem. With the employers.

As for Arizona’s law, well, there’s a lot of hidden bigotry in this nation and I’m afraid this law might reinforce that.

I, myself, do not have an accent. Mom made me lose my regionalism because she thought a Maltipoo with a southern accent was just wrong.

But let’s say my Afghan hound friend, Housyar, was walking down the street with me. If we were stopped, he’d be asked for his papers but I wouldn’t. Because he has an accent. That’s not right. Is it his fault his person didn’t spring for diction lessons?

Chances are he’d be stopped also simply because he looks different. Americans seem to have a problem with people who don’t look like them.

I am very uncomfortable with the idea of “papers.” I’ve read about that happening in Nazi Germany and between “papers” and a department called “homeland security,” well, we are getting a bit too near the swastika for me.

My mom dodged the dog licensing department in Tampa for years because she didn’t think it was necessary for me to have papers to live in a city. I have to agree. I came here legally from Seattle. Why did Tampa need to register me?

Seems to me that Americans are always looking for a target and illegal immigrants are the latest one.

And this move to amend the 14th Amendment? Scary. The 14th says if you’re born here, you’re American. Why do we need to fiddle with it just to keep people out?

I swear, conservatives can be some of the meanest people I know. They come from a very narrow place and will put the country through all sorts of contortions just to punish people, to deny powerless people things or to keep businesses from taking responsibility.

If life weren’t so much better here–in that hardworking illegal immigrants can actually get jobs–they wouldn’t come. If employers weren’t looking for cheap labor, there’d be nothing for illegal immigrants to do.

Of course, it’s hard to target employers. That’s because they bankroll politicians.

My bottom line on immigration is this: I’m glad I’m a dog.

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