Informal immigration is a problem. At its base is leads to a culture of crime acceptance. I am not talking about the misdemeanor level crime of coming to this country without the proper paper work, but the whole criminal universe that grows up around people who are nervous about interaction with the law. They can be cheated of wages, they can be housed unfairly and, of course, there is the issue of human trafficking that grows from smuggling people across the boarder.
Now GOP Massachusetts State Rep. Ryan Fattman is saying this is a feature not a bug. He said, and you will really not believe this, from the Worcester Telegram and Gazette :
Asked if he would be concerned that a woman without legal immigration status was raped and beaten as she walked down the street might be afraid to report the crime to police, Mr. Fattman said he was not worried about those implications.
“My thought is that if someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward,” Mr. Fattman said. “If you do it the right way, you don’t have to be concerned about these things,” he said referring to obtaining legal immigration status.
That’s right, if you are an informal immigrant to this country, folks like Rep. Fattman (no there will be none of the 2 million name jokes that can be made here, they are just too easy) believe that you should live in fear and be helpless if you are victimized by anyone else, even in the case of serious crimes like rape and assault.
The United States as a whole wants cheap manual labor, primarily for labor intensive corps (things that can’t picked by machine because of the delicate nature of the produce) but also in areas like building trades and any hard, smelly and relatively dangerous job.
As long as we are not willing to pay what it would take for Americans to do these jobs, we are going to have immigration pressure. People from countries where the daily wage is less than the pittance they will early hourly here are always going to come to do the work. You would to if you were in their shoes.
The depths of Rep. Fattman’s lack of compassion were revealed when Mass. Gov. Patrick Duval refused to join a Federal Program that would turn a rape victim who was undocumented over to the Feds for deportation. This is the so-called Secure Communities program. This program was supposed to deport only those informal immigrants that have committed crimes, but predictably it had deported 3 times as many people who have committed no crime but being in the United States without formal permission.
What Rep. Fattman is basically saying is that if you are a scum bag that wants to rape or beat someone, you should pick on an informal immigrant. If you do that, he is not worried about the fact that you are committing felonies nearly as much as he is that the victim is has committed a misdemeanor. Let’s be clear, being here without permission is punishable at about the same level as drunk driving with a fine and or imprisonment.
This is the real problem with informal immigration; it leads to a culture of crime tolerance. When an immigrant is afraid to come forward they can be abused in all kinds of ways short of rape or assault. They can be paid less than the minimum wage, they can be cheated of wages, they can be cheated in housing, and now, if Fattman has his way they can also be physically assaulted without consequence.
It is amazing the level of contradiction that GOPers can hold in their heads. On the one hand Fattman is all about the law, he is incensed that these people are here outside the process, but he is completely blasé about the prospect that his fellow human beings might be raped and be able to do nothing about it. If that were me, my head would explode at the pressure of this contradiction.
However Fattman said something else that shows he is not concerned with the law, but rather is more focused on informal immigrant bashing:
Mr. Fattman acknowledged that people could be deported after an arrest even if they are not convicted of a crime, under the program in use in more than 30 states.
While citizens have the right to be viewed as innocent until found guilty in court, he said, “I don’t think that principle extends to illegal immigrants.” He said he had no concerns about racial profiling by police.
See, this fella does not care about our Constitutional principals. He only cares that there are brown folks (and yellow and white) who are in this country without permission and the fact that he can make political hay with his bigoted constituents by bashing an already pretty helpless group.
It is not like the Republican Party ever had a super grip on the idea of equal justice under the law. Still since the criminal Bush administration started playing fast and lose with the right to trial or facing your accusers or even having charges leveled against you the idea that if you’re not an American citizen (and sometimes even if you are) the laws of our nation don’t apply to you, except to your determent.
Of course this chubby Northern Caucasian Republican does not have any concerns about racial profiling. He never sees that damage that does. He has never been pulled over for Driving While Black or been followed around the Mall by security because of the color of his skin. It is an abstract problem to him and since he obviously has problems conceptualizing things, it just doesn’t look that important to him.
That anyone would just wave aside the rape or assault of any human, is enough to me to disqualify them for politics. The sad fact is that this is what passes for mainstream in the Republican Party today. No one is calling for this man’s resignation, no one is pointing out that he has a completely wrongheaded and skewed view of our system of law. He is just one of a group of Republicans bashing Gov. Patrick for not signing on to a failed and flawed program.
The floor is yours.