Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Politics and Religion, I'll Drink to That!
Or conversely, perhaps it will drive me to drink. The Enquirer this morning has an article justifying illegal immigration, and strategizing how to lure more cheap labor into Cincinnati. You'd almost miss the point of the article, were it not for the title:
Can immigrants save city?
As population leaves Cincinnati, there's too few to pick up slack

Gregory Korte does point out that "some" say Cincinnati is in a good position, not having to provide all the services those that waited for legal immigration are provided and those families that have lived here for over 200 years are given as citizens of the United States. Clearly arguing in favor of illegal immigration, he follows up this statement with a justification that is clearly misleading:
Others see immigrants as the labor needed to fuel the economy. They provide cheap, unskilled workers in some industries and highly skilled labor in fields such as medicine, engineering and computer science.

Yep... you know that flood of doctors, engineers, and computer scientists flowing freely across the U.S./Mexican border. C'mon Greg, you can do better than that.

Apparently, there is some reason for Cincinnatians to be concerned that only 2.6 percent of our population is foreign-born. Personally, I could care less what percentage of our city was born in a foreign nation, is white, black, red, green, purple, or rainbow as long as we can all live together as a productive, friendly society. That we would need to go out and seek workers from other nations is ridiculous.
County-by-county population estimates released last month show that Hamilton County ranked fifth in the rate of population loss among the country's 100 largest counties from 2004 to 2005. That's in part because it ranked 93rd in the rate of international migration to the county, according to census estimates.

Yes, maybe in part. Perhaps we should not be asking ourselves why we rank 93rd (in the great race to be #1 I suppose?), and focus on the problems within the city. I'd say the largest "part" of the mythical worker shortage in Cincinnati is incompetent city government. Also, in case you hadn't noticed, Cincinnati is roughly 1,500 miles from our border with that nation which encourages its poor and poverty stricken (to the point of giving guides) to flee into the United States.
"The really sad thing for Cincinnati, and I saw this regularly as a teacher at UC, is we're losing the best and brightest of our homegrown," said Daniels, now retired and living in Bellevue, Wash. "So what's happening is that new people aren't coming in, and the old people are dying off. That's why you're losing population."

Roger Daniels appears to "get it right." If city council could somehow find a way to get past its impotence and absolutly horrid decision making, some real plans to develop downtown could get underway. Or maybe we could toss up a few more $500,000,000 stadiums and money-sink museums. Either way.

Onward, to the religious aspect of this post.
Puerto-Rican-born Victor Velez, the director of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's Su Casa Hispanic Ministry, often teaches English to new immigrants. They tell him how they miss their families, how beautiful their hometowns are.

Tell me about the bunnies, George. As Sean Penn would say, "They had flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles." I'd say if they are living in Cincinnati and miss their families and beautiful hometowns, maybe they should consider bringing their families to America. Oh wait... they'd have to migrate legally to do that. For the most part. I agree with the noble aims of Su Casa (teaching immigrants english), but isn't the Catholic Church supposed to be the universal church by definition? Why must we target Hispanics specifically for ministry? Why are there ethno-centric Catholic churches within the Archdiocese? These are sanctioned, not spontaneous communities coming together. Kathy makes a good point about the situation in California. This is really what it's all about regarding the Mexican immigrants.

Locking down the border with a "Great Wall of America" is something I support, but not necessarily to stem only the overwhelming Mexican illegal immigration. We need to secure our borders so that we can screen those coming and going. It is terrifyingly easy for someone who wants to harm America and its citizens to waltz across either border without being noticed. If we are to survive as a society, this must be remedied.

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