A Big Brother Migration Solution

How far off are we from living in a moated and checkpoint society?

By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Published on LatinoLA: October 22, 2008

A Big Brother Migration Solution

For perhaps at least the past generation, the so-called immigration debate has been code for scapegoating and getting rid of the "wetbacks" which of course in this country is but another code word for Mexicans. Anybody brown, really. It could be called the hidden narrative, yet how hidden is it really?

And yet, holding back the "brown hordes" is no longer the primary issue in regards to this debate. Make no mistake; hundreds of brown peoples are still dying in the inhospitable deserts, mountains and rivers along the U.S.-Mexico border. And the Department of Homeland Security's ICE agents are still running amok terrorizing Mexican and Central American communities. But the sad reality is that the mere existence of a "Homeland Security" apparatus tells us that even something bigger is amiss.

In the efforts to hold back those hordes, government, particularly since 9-11 of 2001, has minimally mushroomed into a behemoth bureaucracy, and at worst, has precipitated the creation of a big brother government. In other words, the immigration problem is no longer about "hard-working amigos"; the problem is an ominous and over-bearing Big Brother.

All of this has happened under the cover of the "war on terror." While politicos have distracted the populace with fears of terrorists sneaking across the southern border and somehow associating it with the issue of immigration, illegal or otherwise government has created a fear-based society. This has been useful for the purposes of being able to wage endless, costly and unnecessary wars. It has also ushered in what novelist Naomi Wolf terms as a coming police state. In this climate, government has also created or permitted:

U.S. agencies to spy on virtually anyone whether through electronic eavesdropping, internet snooping or cameras on many of the nation's roads (And a new proposal to create a domestic CIA).
huge no-fly passenger lists, including enemies lists.
data bases that track peoples movements, including one for anyone (not just Mexicans) who cross the border.
massive walls and fences along the southern border.
a massive increase in the number of border patrol and Transportation Security Administration agents
massive secrecy to become the natural order of government business; the days of open government and privacy are long behind us.
the [for-profit] privatization of war, law enforcement and the penal system.

On top of being morally wrong, these developments are highly secretive, inefficient, extremely costly and non-productive. For instance, from an economic standpoint, border patrol agents, massive walls and draconian immigration raids do not create wealth. Despite this, there is a clamor for more. Nowadays, those same demand exists and will increasingly get louder throughout the country. After 2,000 miles of walls go up along the U.S./Mexico border in the name of equality look for demands for the northern border to also be walled. It is amazing what people will surrender in the name of fear.

Brown peoples have always lived this reality, regardless of where they/we live. However, it is highly probable that soon, all people in this country will have to repeatedly prove their legal right to be in
this country. While the government has been doing nothing about immigration, contrarily, it has been moving fast on creating this draconian apparatus to divide up everyone into legal and illegal
populations. How far off are we from living in a moated and checkpoint society?

This is where the expression, "careful what you wish for," is most appropriate. A police state is the unintended consequence of demands to seal the border. Police states do not discriminate. Once
entrenched, a police state will do whatever is necessary to consolidate and expand its power. One path toward achieving such a state is dividing up populations into legitimate vs. illegitimate ones
into legal ones vs. illegal ones.

Truly, outside of fringe elements, including racial supremacists, it is doubtful that this is what even immigration restrictionists had in mind. Given a choice, and I've had enough conversations to know this, that most people do not want to live in such a society because under such a scheme, categories of illegitimate and illegal populations will invariably grow. Yet, it is not too late. Given a choice, I am still confident that it is a future that most Americans including the Lou Dobbs' of the world will reject. What most people want, I presume, is a solution, not a police state. What most people want, I believe, is a narrative of freedom.

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