Apr 292010
Authors: Colin Devlin

Mr. Phillips, as a daily reader of the Collegian, I’ve become familiar with your political positions and understand that you fancy yourself a pretty well-read conservative.

But your piece Tuesday titled, “Arizona Immigration Bill Excellent Legislation,” went the furthest in providing us readers with a real insight into the worldview you cultivate.

Your article could be summarized in about two sentences, “There are seven million Mexicans here unauthorized. Obama and other liberals wish to open the borders so anyone who wants to can come here.” The latter is a straw man in the most classic sense, while the former may or may not be true.

While you cited polls, we all know how wonderfully dubious statistics can be. However, even if there are seven million “illegal” Mexicans here, that couldn’t be further from the real issue.

What I think is most shocking about your piece is your profound disconnect from reality. Have you ever talked with a Mexican outside of ordering your fries and shake? Probably not.

As a graduate student of Spanish and TESL (Google that one), I understand the estimate of seven million “illegal” Mexicans is merely the result of a deeper cancer.

Would you ever want to be forced to move from the U.S. to a country where they don’t speak English, they don’t listen to American music, they don’t eat American food and the general opinion of your nationality is rather negative?

I’ve read enough of your articles to know you bleed red, white and blue. The last thing anyone wants in their life is to be unwillingly transplanted into a foreign situation.

Ultimately, as I see it, there has been a comprehensive assault on the Latino substrate by multinational corporations through NAFTA and CAFTA agreements. A subsistence farmer from Mexico cannot be expected to compete with the grossly subsidized American agriculture.

They are forced to move to the city to find work. Unfortunately, when they get there the only thing to find is overcrowding and no employment. There is only one solution left. When humanity is stripped of all the elaborate systems we’ve created, like borders representative of national sovereignty, one has to survive.

That means going where the environment is conducive to survival. Furthermore, there is opportunity here to work. McDonald’s is always hiring. Why do they immigrate to the U.S. instead of Brazil, Argentina or Chile?

The problem I have with your argument, which is almost verbatim from the conservative talking points I’ve heard for years now, is that you aren’t interested in solving the real problem. To get to the heart of the infection we need to implement serious employment restrictions on those who hiring unauthorized immigrants for their easily-manipulated cheap labor, followed by the retooling or total scraping of NAFTA/CAFTA.

This puts us in the direction of solving two problems: First, they won’t come here because there is zero opportunity for a job, and second, we put an end to the destruction of their livelihood just so we can get cheaper avocados.

I volunteered for my senior year of undergraduate in Madison, Wisconsin, at a workers’ rights center. We helped people get the money they were owed by their bosses. These bosses were not paying them for the hours they worked, and using their immigration status as leverage to do so.

This is not an isolated phenomena in Madison, Wisc., but rather a national problem. It is our capitalist mindset that tells us to get the most out of them for the least cost.

My challenge to you is to broaden your horizons. You need to leave the confines of Uncle Sam and realize that every action we do here affects everyone else in the world.

It wasn’t until I began getting outside of the U.S. that I found the supreme interconnectedness of all our decisions. I hope you learned something today, and give your anti-Mexican agenda a much-needed review.

Thanks for your time and energy.
Colin Devlin is a Master’s student studying languages, lit and cultures. Letters can be sent to letters@collegian.com. _

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