Wednesday, August 02, 2006


On Saturday I wondered, on this blog, whether illegal would-be immigrants really understand the risks before they undertake the perilous journey to Sicily or Spain by sea. I have found the answer, which is in the affirmative, in an article entitled "Sound of the Angry Sea" in yesterday's Guardian. I cannot make the link to the story work but if you go to the website of the Senagalese song mentioned in the article you will find some very distressing and powerful images. I do not think it is possible to look at them and remain unmoved.


Ballpoint Wren said...

Try this link.

We have a similar problem in San Diego, California, where hundreds and hundreds of illegal immigrants die of thirst as they try to cross the desert into the United States.

There are many opportunities here in the United States, though. If they can get in, they can find jobs and send money home (even if they're working illegally).

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Bonnie.
Thanks for commenting and making the link work.
I'm very interested in what you say about illegal immigrants in the US. It seems much better to me to allow them to work and help their families; they just can't in Britain, even if they've been there for years.

Ballpoint Wren said...

Pat, I don't understand; in Britain are illegal immigrants not allowed to work at all? How do they accomplish that? Or are they just prevented from becoming citizens?

I'm all for making it easier for immigrants to come here to work legally. There's a refugee network near me that helps Sudanese refugees emigrate here, and the Sudanese jump through the most outrageous hoops to stay legal!

But it doesn't seem right to assist those who break the law, when there are equally desperate people doing their best to emigrate legally.

For example, our state legislature recently tried to pass discounted college tuition for illegal immigrants, meaning that illegal immigrants would pay less than legal immigrants and U.S. citizens do, which is wrong, wrong, wrong.

The whole debate has gotten twisted up in right- and left-wing politics so I fear nothing substantive will ever be accomplished.

Ballpoint Wren said...

Yikes! I wrote up a long answer but where did it go? Did I post it on another post? Dang!

To sum up my lost thoughts, I don't understand the situation in England. Do you mean illegal immigrants can't work at all there? Or that they can't become citizens unless they're legal?

We had an amnesty program in the 80s; I helped a neighbor fill out the paperwork to become legal. But now there are even more people here who want amnesty, and now I think amnesty doesn't work. It would be far better to make it easier for immigrants to enter the country legally for work.

Recently our state legislature tried to pass a law giving illegal immigrants discounts on college tuition, meaning they would pay less than legal immigrants and US. citizens! These types of measures are well-meaning but wrong, because not only do they reward those people who break the law, but they don't help solve the real problem.

And right now the debate has become so wrapped up in right- and left-wing politics that nothing good can ever come of it. If you are against drivers' licenses for illegal aliens, you must be racist. If you want to help illegal immigrants become legal, you must be against national security.

Everyone is throwing labels around and nobody is thinking.


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