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Wednesday, May 17, 2006Its a Friendship Fence!
In 1994 a little watched movie (that I loved, of course) came out called Speechless. In it, Michael Keaton and Geena Davis played speech writers for two opposing candidates. They of course, fall in love, lose their jobs, fall in love even more, etc....
During the film one of the policies being debated is one candidate has the idea of curbing illegal immigration by building a large ditch between the US and Mexico. As the speech writer, one of them comes up with the idea of calling it the the Friendship Ditch, quoting "Good Fences make Good Neighbors". I remember while watching the movie I thought (as a 14 year old) that this was a very laughable idea for controlling a very serious problem. But as it was a romantic comedy, what else can you expect.
Well, apparently our senators are softies at heart as well and also watched this movie. Today the senate voted to approve building a fence between a long section of the US/Mexico border. Full article here.
You'll notice the reference to the "good fences" quote. The only thing they are missing is the name "Friendship Fence", which I'm sure will come soon. (and I've copyrighted, so if they use it, they'll owe me big $)
Is this what our government has come to? Taking their ideas for government from romantic comedies? Isn't a fence just going to contain the problem, and not really solve it? Wouldn't working on a strong immigration policy to make it easier for immigrants to come to America from Mexico legally work more for American workers than against? After all, if they are legal immigrants, they will have government protection in demanding minimum wage, instead of working for even lower wages under the table. Then, the immigrants would be on the same page as American workers who complain that illegal immigrants work for cheaper.
Perhaps the issue of immigration isn't that American workers are afraid of losing their jobs, but that those Americans that are racist do not feel they should have to share their country with anyone else and are simply using the "low wages" stance as a red herring.
If nothing else, think of the other things that we use fences for. I use a fence to keep my dog in the yard. Ranchers use fences to keep cattle contained and predators out. Is this the image that we want to portray to Mexico, that they are simply an animal to keep in place? Or are they the crafty predator and Americans are the docile cattle?
There are many things that this administration has done that I have disagreed with, but this is the first that I am truly ashamed of.
picture from Seonna Hong