Thursday, November 04, 2004

Maria Full of Grace

Monday night we excursioned out to Williamsburg for a flick: Maria Full of Grace. All about a Colombian girl who decides to take a job smuggling drugs into the US by swallowing them. You would think that this would be tragic, and at times it is, but happily the movie didn't end in an absolute tragedy (although there is tragedy along the way) and that's good.
The movie also provides a glance into life as an illegal immigrant. It presents a very organized community that understands its environment and how to get by in it. What an issue illegal immigration is! I am worried that so many states are taking measures to withhold services to illegal immigrants. Of course I would prefer that all immigrants were legal, but I don't think that withholding services will effectively stem the tide of people leaving everything for a bite of the American hamburger. It will only create a wider diaspora between those that have and those who don't. How many people pushing for these reforms employ illegal immigrants to perform menial tasks an American wouldn't do?
How to fix all of this? I don't know. Giving opportunities for the poor of these countries to learn a trade may be the first step. Being willing to give legal status to the people who do our grunt work may also be a part of it. Keeping needed services from illegal immigrants is not the way to do this: it will only contribute to poverty, crime and disease in our society.

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