Thursday. I live in a state where there are a lot of illegal immigrants from Mexico and to a lesser degree Central and South America. Non-English speaking America. Spanish America, basically, if you don't count the large chunk of Portuguese speaking Brazilians sitting down there undigested in the middle of the other American continent. Then again there's a whole bunch of other folks here too: Asian, European, Mid-Eastern, Antarctican; you name ‘em, we got ‘em. They say there are maybe 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States hiding out in a total American population of about 300 million, many in states near the Mexican border. Yup. Been a whole bunch of illegal folks here for a long time.
For the first time, though, they're talking about enacting and enforcing real sanctions against companies who employ illegal immigrants and actively expelling any they find from the country. The interesting thing is the intensity I'm seeing in some of the people around me in favor of closing the border. They talk about security: terrorists crossing the river, hiking in through the desert with knives clenched between their teeth, bearing, well, bad thoughts and destructive devices. Don't want no terrorists arriving packing destructive devices. Then, of course, neither do they; neither do we.
There are all kinds of reasonable arguments for and against illegal immigration: the cost to our society (does it have a cost?), the displacement of jobs held by Americans (I assume it exists), mistreatment of Mexican and other illegal workers (we've gotten it down to a science). Add to the list, it's extensive. I'd like to find a source of unbiased data. I'd like to find sources of unbiased data for a lot of questions.
The reality is if we've got 12 million people living in our midst (many of whom have children who were born here and are U.S. citizens) who are working and hiding from the Federales. Our Federales. Ain't no way we're going to arrest them and shove them back over the border. You could have done that once, maybe, but no more. We've known about this for a long time, but the time to throw so many well established people out is long gone. I'm in favor of making them legal: sure, beat them up, make them say they're sorry, make them learn English, make them memorize the Declaration of Independence, but keep the sons-a-bitches here, if only for the cuisine, if only for the humanity, if only for the tacos. At the same time put the screws to the people who are hiring them, if that makes the world work better; don't, if it won't.
Tacos? Rude. Much too rude. Go sit in a corner. Besides, cuisine includes tacos.
Later. The CT scan was a breeze, took maybe five minutes. Had an appointment with my dentist for a teeth cleaning later in the afternoon, the dentist coming by to look at my x-rays from my last visit to say I had two fillings that needed replacing that were located about where I've been experiencing this damned pain I've been associating with the sinuses. Ah. A light bulb popped. Actually a light bulb didn't pop, but a plausible explanation presented itself this Thursday afternoon that doesn't involve anything more problematic than replacing a crown. I have an appointment next week with the nose doctor, an appointment with the dentist to replace the fillings the week following. The excitement, the excitement. Fortunately there's the large part of a bottle of sake sitting next to the microwave oven on the kitchen counter to celebrate. Here, taking this Thursday and Friday off, in Oakland.