Although some will immediately think I am a racist, I want you to know I am one of the strongest fighters for racial and social justice. The harsh reality is America’s national security is placed in jeopardy when we do not fight illegal immigration. America is a nation with laws and a nation governed by the rule of law. If you break this nation’s laws, then you should face the consequences of breaking those laws. We should not simply allow illegal immigrants to break our nation’s laws because we want to be culturally, racially, and ethnically sensitive—that’s simply not the way to go about it. A nation without true borders is a nation without order. Let me be transparent from the beginning—this article is not an attempt to argue in favor of the Arizona Immigration Reform Bill. This article has a larger purpose: to have people to understand that the issue of illegal immigration is a serious matter of national security.
As an African-American, trust me I understand how angry discrimination, racism, bigotry, and racial prejudice can make you. Regardless of our race, we all have to be tremendously concerned about those individuals who would wish to do us harm who are living outside of our borders. I would not want a terrorist to come through our vastly unprotected borders, especially our Southern border (the Texas-Mexico border), and do us harm. While we sit around and debate about what type of immigration reform bill would be best, terrorists living outside of America are thinking about how they can enter into our country through our borders. If you are an illegal immigrant, then you are a criminal—it’s that simple. If you enter into this country in an illegal manner, you have violated the law and you deserve to be returned to your country of origin. I do not want to hear all of this rhetoric about we are a nation of immigrants. Of course, we are a nation of immigrants. This nation of immigrants has established laws for people wishing to enter into it.
In immigration reform bills being floated around in Congress, there is consideration of sundry “guest worker” programs. I do not support any guest worker program that will allow people who have entered into this country illegally to remain in this county. If they have children in this country who are products of parents who entered into this nation illegally, then those children should be returned to their country of origin with their parents. It is unfair for us to allow any illegal immigrant to remain in this country when legal immigrants have gone through the long process of formally becoming a citizen. These illegal immigrants should be forced to return to their country of origin, and then they can formally apply to be citizens. I am not against them formally applying for citizenship, but the formal process of becoming a citizen is a crucial process to ensuring our national security. We must have a formal accounting and screening of all individuals who enter into America.
The federal, state, and local government is going to have to do a better job of punishing those businesses that hire illegal immigrants. I have always found the label “undocumented worker” to be quite unsettling, which indicates that we have simply adopted illegal immigrants into our society—such a dangerous phenomenon. By acknowledging that we have undocumented workers, we make a public acknowledgement that we know that these individuals are not legal citizens. Is it going to take one of these illegal immigrants engaging in serious terrorist act before we stop treating the issue of illegal immigration as just another “hot” topic, instead of as a matter of public safety. Many American businesses, not all, enjoy exploiting illegal immigrants because they are able to pay them extremely low wages. Just to gain this cheap labor, many American businesses are putting our lives in danger—we do not know much about these illegal immigrants.
I am often unsettled and unnerved by the argument that illegal immigrants are performing vital work for America, work that we (legal American citizens) do not want to do. Are you kidding me? In an economy like this, people are looking for any type of work to help their families to survive. Many poor African-Americans would love to have the opportunity to have access to these jobs that illegal immigrants are performing for exploitative wages. Because employers know that these illegal immigrants will work for any wage, employers do not need to consider hiring poor African-American workers because they can save tremendous amounts of money by giving the work to illegal immigrants. While without question illegal immigrants performing in many of these jobs work tremendously hard, they are serving in jobs that legal citizens could be receiving income from. When illegal immigrants work for these exploitative wages, they enable employers to cut jobs and slow the rate at which they give pay raises and create good paying jobs.
Many African-Americans are trying to support illegal immigrants because of some of the radical elements of the Arizona Immigration Reform Bill. Although many African-Americans see this bill as racist, this should not cause them to support illegal immigration because it hurts them not only economically, but also when it comes to national security. Even though African-Americans are economically disadvantaged by illegal immigration, the threat to all Americans’ national security is much more important. Do you go to sleep at night with your doors wide open? I’m sure you don’t. Then, why would you allow your federal, state, and local leaders to leave our borders vastly unprotected?
Even though some think that it is not practical to ship all illegal immigrants back to their country of origin, we have to make a strong effort to do this. We cannot allow these lawbreakers to just roam around like they have not done anything wrong—they broke our laws! If you are an illegal immigrant, you need to go back home today! You have certainly worn out your welcome, and your illegal entrance into this country was never appreciated. President Obama seems to be more interested in gaining the votes of these illegal immigrants by allowing them to stay in this country.
While we do not have to solve the illegal immigration problem in the way Arizona has attempted to do it, we can find effective ways of sending them back home. We need to put the National Guard on our borders to help to provide better border security. Yes, we need to militarize the borders. I am not trying to be disrespectful in anyway, but these illegal immigrants were not worrying about being disrespectful when they illegally entered this country. It’s so unfair to those who entered into this nation legally to let illegal immigrants stay in our country. I call on President Obama to see illegal immigration as a matter of national security.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
It is really troubling and unforunate that as a person who claims to be about racial and social justice–that you would rely on the same fear based, us vs. then rheotoric that conservatives have used to deny blacks/African-Americans all sorts of rights and privileges within this country.
It also amazes me that you seem to be forgetting that this land on which we both stand was stolen and that our concept of ownership/policing of this country–Arizona’s borders–are those same attempts to deny and exclude a people who predates America.
And before you go around arguing that blacks are going to be financially hurt by undocumented workers taking their job, I would first have checked labor statistics that suggest that undocumented workers are taking the jobs that the majority of people DONT WONT, which in some cases puts the workers in risky and dangerous situations.
The way that Arizona has went about policing their boarders is wrongand unethical. In an attempt to resolve a very difficult situation, the govenor chose to sacrifice the security and civil rights of the Mexican-American folks residing in arizona for policies that will undoubtably incite more racial tensions, racial profiling, and cultural mistrust/hate. There is a better way!
I would hope that you would consider taking this post down, revising it, and providing a more logical/evidenced based post that does not rely on fear and ignorance.
Lol! Wow–it’s been a long time since someone referred to me as using “fear and ignorance.” As a published scholar, I always base what I say on the scholarly literature that I have read, so my posts are always informed by the scholarly literature. I would just say to you that you need to look at the scholarly literature that suggests that illegal immigrants are taking jobs that other legal citizens could be performing. This is not about any US vs. Them rhetoric–it’s all about the rule of law. My Ph.D. specialization is in an area that directly informs me about the stealing of the land that you are saying that I am forgetting. What I would suggest that you do is go read the scholarly literature on “undocumented workers” and their negative impact on the economy and other people of color living in America. I would also just suggest that you go read the laws pertaining to citizenship and entrance into this nation. Yes, I’m all about racial and social justice but this does not mean that I have to excuse illegal immigrants for breaking this nation’s laws. We simply cannot allow people to cross our borders without knowing anything about them and without being able to do a thorough screening of them. They need to stand in line like everyone else did.
It is important to note, that just because you are a Ph.d candidate that that somehow automatically confers upon you a social justice framework. The amount of racist literature/ that still is produced and packaged as “scholarship” within the academy is appalling.
And while I agree that illegal immigration is a problem, the way that AZ has tried to address this problem is unethical and will only foster more discrimination. So, the action steps that have been taken to address the problem should not jeopardize the safety of the Mexican-Americans living in AZ.
If you can not see how what you wrote is imbued with fear and playing/relying on right wing conservative discourse concerning immigration in this country, you have bigger fish to fry. What we fail to realize is that documented or not, they are people with lives, families, and reasons why they have decided to come here.
I would recommend that you spend some time reflecting on what laws are, why they were created, what were they meant to do, who are they benefiting, what they are doing, all the while recognizing the context of our nations shifting color, socio-cultural factors, and time.
There has been a law on the books banning people living with HIV from entering the United States for decades. It has just come off the books. That is to suggest, just because we create a law does not make it anything more than just that and history even tells us about the laws that had to come off the books in order for Blacks and Women to be recognized.
My article does not advocate for the Arizona Immigration Reform Bill–as stated in the first paragraph. I never said that my Ph.D. program did anything for me in terms of social (and racial) justice. My social and racial justice commitment is conspicuous in the numerous African-American males I mentor across the country. Moreover, my commitment to social and racial justice is ostensible in my running a non-profit organization that helps economically and socially disadvantaged minorities to overcome the hardships of living in a country that has imposed on them a legacy of racial discrimination and Jim Crow laws. My commitment to social and racial justice is evident in my scholarly work on the plight of the African-American males inside and outside of the educational pipeline. I would not have mentioned my Ph.D. work had you not tried to suggest that my article lacked competency simply because you disagreed with it. I don’t have to simply look at your set of statistics to make an argument that “undocumented” workers harm Blacks in the American workplace. Your reliance on governmental statistics seems to run counter to the resistance to hegemony that Michel Foucault champions, and in light of your graduate work I’m sure you have encountered Foucault’s work and have supported it at some point I’m sure, considering Sexuality Studies is heavily influenced by his work. I find it problematic that you elected not to engage in a serious discourse on this topic without saying that I am using “fear and ignorance.” With the history of my distinguished academic background (and I’m thankful to God for it and he is responsible for it), “ignorance” is something that is not present.
I don’t agree with the taking of the land from Native Americans. I don’t agree with racism, sexism, discrimination, and etc. I use Critical Race Theory and Marxism as my dominant theoretical lens; therefore, I’m very much aware of the racism, both overt and subtle, in the law. Some of America’s laws, however, are good laws. I simply want undocumented workers to stand in line like all other immigrants have been required to do. We need to know fundamental things about everyone who enters our country. You and I probably agree on many issues. For instance, we both agreed on the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. issue, which is a strong sense of unity between the both of us. We just don’t agree on this issue. Of course, human beings will naturally not agree on everything. I understand that a significant percentage of academic “scholarship” is problematic, flawed, and some of it is racist. I just happen to rely on it this time for this issue because I agree with it personally. My thoughts on this issue are theoretically-based as well, emerging from my use of Critical Race Theory and Marxism.
I very much appreciate you for reading my article and your responses are always welcomed. I don’t believe my article should be taken down and revised.