New Abortion

Immigration will be the abortion of this century. Everybody will use the issue to posture and rev up emotions – “You baby-snatchers! You MS-13 supporters!” – trying very carefully not to do any definitive about it. And then eventually there will be no issue to solve.

41 thoughts on “New Abortion”

    1. An immigration bill. No lottery, point-based merit immigration that you apply for in an easy simplified way from your place of origin and not at the border. Twenty years ago in Canada, the system was you get a small card that you fill out from home for free where you answer a bunch of easy qusstions. You mail the card and they respond within two months to say if your case has merit and you should apply. Nobody had to schlep to the border for any reason.

      I understand this is a much larger country than Canada. But it was a working system.


      1. And these days the cards could be automated, so people would get responses really fast.

        Let’s note that nobody is even remotely trying to propose this idea even though it’s been in existence right here on the continent for a long time.


      2. But there are a lot of Canadians living and working undocumented in the US, I am told, and I’m not sure Canada has much demand as US.

        But the keys here are that we want low-wage labor and we don’t want more non-white citizens and legal residents. We also don’t want to bring back formal slavery, but the current practices are a way to approximate it.

        It is similar to what the university does to my department, refuse to support well enough, constantly hassle, and yet not simply abolish. They need us, but they don’t want us to flourish. This is how US feels about foreign-born workers, and the current non-system is the best way it has come up with to express and actualize these feelings.


        1. If it were true that there was a demand for low-wage white workers, then it would be easier to immigrate here from my part of the world. But it’s not true. You can only immigrate if you are Slavic if you have five advanced degrees and not even then.

          Unskilled white workers are abundant in the world. If they were wanted here, it would be super easy to get them.


          1. US only wants to commit to a few highly qualified immigrants. Then they want a low-wage workforce that can come and go. Mexico / C.A. are convenient since coming and going is an established pattern. Also, they need the exact right skills and folklore around them. Farm work, fishing, seafood picking, also oil platform work are not unskilled really, there’s a trick to ’em, and people who don’t know what they’re doing tend to produce poorly or give up / quit. For all these reasons undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans are very convenient to have.


          2. …and Slavs aren’t white. White is white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant. But the point is, US wants Mexican and C.A. workers but does not want them to vote.


            1. The idea of not being fully white feels a lot more acceptable to me than to many Latin Americans. Which, I guess, means I’m very white. 🙂

              But it’s absolutely true about the need for permanently terrified, non-voting masses. If there was a Romania or a Poland across the border, don’t you think it would all be exactly the same?


              1. Many Latin Americans are white back home, have white privilege there, and lose it here. It’s a weird experience to lose white privilege and also prestige.

                Yes, we’d have the same situation if Romania or Poland were across the border, but we would not call Romanians or Poles white.

                Liked by 1 person

  1. Immigration will be the abortion of this century.

    Nope. I think with Trump getting to appoint two justices during his first term in office you’ll definitely see some action on immigration and abortion but it won’t be anything lefties like.


    1. Kennedy announces retirement from Supreme Court
      Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he is retiring after more than 30 years on the court, kicking off what is sure to be a vicious confirmation battle.

      Kennedy advised his colleagues that he is submitting a formal notification of his decision, effective July 31, to President Trump, the Supreme Court’s press office announced a few hours after the court adjourned for the term.

      “It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy said in a statement.

      Kennedy added that while his family was willing for him to continue to serve, his decision to step aside was based on his deep desire to spend more time with them.

      Kennedy, who turns 82 in July, is the court’s longest-serving member and second-oldest justice after its leading liberal, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 85.

      Speculation that Kennedy was thinking about retiring started circling last term and gained steam this year. Some Republicans on Capitol Hill even claimed it was a definite, while others urged him to announce as soon as possible to give the GOP time to confirm his replacement before the midterm elections.

      Nominated by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed in 1988, Kennedy has made a name for himself as a moderate and pivotal swing vote on the court.

      During his tenure, he sided with liberals to advance gay rights, save ObamaCare and limit the death penalty while voting with the conservative wing to protect religious liberty and limit campaign finance laws.

      Democrats and liberals, still angry with Republicans’ refusal to hold a confirmation hearing or vote on Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, are sure to put up at fight, but they have little leverage.

      Republicans changed Senate rules last year to get Trump’s nominee for Scalia’s seat, Neil Gorsuch, confirmed, lowering the threshold to advance Supreme Court nominations to a simple majority vote.


    2. I appreciate the realistic reference to his first term.

      The immigration bill has just been “overwhelmingly rejected.” Which tells us all we need to know about this.

      What would lefties like on the issue? I’m deeply interested in finding out.


      1. GOP holds all the power and they can’t agree on immigration.

        GOP immigration bill goes down in flames in rebuff to Trump

        The House delivered a massive defeat to a Republican immigration bill Wednesday, despite President Donald Trump’s last-minute push for the legislation and weeks of negotiation between GOP lawmakers.

        The 121-301 vote came amid opposition from all Democrats and dozens of Republicans, who feared backing a bill that could be tagged as “amnesty” by the right — even though it closely aligned with Trump’s immigration proposal and received an all-caps Twitter endorsement from the president earlier in the day.

        “This bill is even stronger than the last bill at building the wall, front loading the money, so President Trump can have the money to build the wall, close loopholes, re-unite families, all of those things,” Scalise said.


        1. From what I’ve read from you, my impression is that you think Dems are being obstructionists here. ‘Just give him his bloody wall!’, you’ve said many times.

          This vote went down 121-301 in the house at a time when the GOP holds a majority there.


      2. Oh, I did say “first” didn’t I?

        I guess I’ll hear of my friends starting their family in Germany then assuming their visa lasts. The minute Hillary conceded they announced they were staying in Germany. She works for a German multinational and he’s in IT so it’s unclear who got the workers visa.


          1. “Abolish ICE” isn’t an empty idea. It’s only 15 years old and is part of the then-new DHS. That whole thing is repressive. I’m for getting rid of it and the Patriot Act, etc. — all that stuff Bush brought in and Obama kept. It doesn’t mean there can’t be border enforcement. Open borders, well, some say it would increase GDP. … we could put the immigrants and the money used to incarcerate to work on a new high-speed rail system, or some series of projects like that. It might be fun. And we could all trade places, too — I’d like to be able to work abroad…


            1. Let’s open up borders to people fleeing truly horrific violence and persecution in Central America. You and I study this for a living and we know that these are very legitimate claims.

              If that’s done, what’s to prevent the very gangsters who are torturing these victims at home from coming here and persecuting them and others here? Obviously, nothing.

              This means there should be a process at the border to ascertain who’s a victim and who’s an evildoer. And we are back to border detentions. And it all goes in circles from there.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. This is specifically about detention centers. What’s the point of marching against detention centers without a clear alternative?


              2. And there are several good alternatives to family detention. Here’s one piece https://www.aclu.o


      3. Well, this isn’t necessarily a left proposal but a pragmatic solution would have to:
        – have an amnesty for people who have been here for a certain amount of time / etc. A left person would say they should vote but if it is not desirable to have them vote then a system would have to be devised, for instance to block citizenship to anyone who ever entered “illegally” or overstayed a visa.
        – offer massive aid in Mex./C.A. so people who prefer to stay home, can
        – address human trafficking
        – give out many more work visas
        – figure out what to do with the leftover people.


        1. We would also have to figure out how to appease the prison industrial complex. Detention is an industry and the arms companies are involved. Figuring out what to do about this would be KEY in solving the problem.


  2. Smart comment from Facebook friend:

    “Since you asked: I’m pretty sure it’s like this. The Trump camp is pulling its stunts at the border specifically to put us (that is: progressives) in a position where we have to enter a big fight on immigration. And they’e done it: the whole business of children in concentration camps is one that people like us simply cannot turn away from. The calculation is that our response to the provocation will make the midterm elections about immigration, not about anything else (like, say, corruption at the highest levels and the destruction of the Western alliance). And the right wing believes this is the best possible issue for them in a difficult election, one where popular opinion (alas) breaks in their favor. They are probably right about this: the last time immigration was at the level it’s at today, we saw massive retrenchment, a revitalization of the KKK, and policies that severely restricted immigration for a generation. Xenophobia and bigotry are powerful forces, and sadly few people rise above base tribalism to see the common humanity that most religions preach and to which lip service is frequently paid. The border actions are so atrocious we have to take the bait—it would be inexcusable not to. So we have to hope we can win on the enemy’s chosen battlefield. It’s bad all the way through: bad that the right uses children as pawns, bad that a large part of the public is capable of dehumanizing people who don’t look like themselves, bad that the grandchildren of the previous generation of suffering migrants perpetuate the evils their ancestors suffered at the hands of nativists, and bad that we will fight the election at a disadvantage. I hope to see you at Saturday’s demonstrations, where we will do the right thing and march into the jaws of the enemy.”


    1. Nobody prevented Obama from doing something more meaningful than deportations by the million during his terms. Whose xenophobia and bigotry was at okay then? The racist Obama?

      I believe that attempts to make immigration debates about race are extremely counterproductive. And frankly baseless.


      1. Well, the first US immigration restrictions were explicitly by race — cf. the Chinese Exclusion Act. And quotas often work that way, and there is all this immigrant profiling by race. But my point is that you always have to racialize the enslaved or semi-enslaved class. That was why, for instance, in Berkeley in my grandmothers’ day, where the working classes where Finnish and Swedish, they weren’t considered white (and they had foreign accents, which accentuated this).


      2. Obama had opposition to everything he did. I don’t think he was very good on immigration, but I am also not convinced he could have got a “solution” through. Look how ACA went.


      3. Also, if people really cared about making things better for immigrants, they wouldn’t make it all about race. Because even if it were true that everybody who opposes letting all who want to cross the border freely (which is the only alternative to detention at the border) is a Nazi racist, it would not lead to any productive resolution of the conflict to keep pointing out “you are a Nazi racist.” Even if it were true. And it’s not in the least true.

        This is why I don’t believe the sincerity of the concern for immigrants that is couched in terms of racial vindication. Which, by the way, is only advanced by extremely white people.


        1. And also, using words like concentration camps is unnecessarily alienating to many people. When I do my union organizing, I don’t approach people with “you motherfucking lackey of capitalist exploitation who can’t see past your racial and gender privilege, how dare you not join our struggle.” Even when it’s true. Because it’s not leading to any practical good results for the union. It would make me feel better, absolutely. But it would damage the larger goal.


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