On illegal immigrants
I didn’t get to follow in great details of the current debate on illegal immigrants. Here are just some of my thoughts on it. Or maybe “my doubts” is a better world.
Generally, I think this is another stupid response America had after 911. The failure of this government is their failure to understand the great benefit of open society and thus response in a very stupid way.
Initially, my response to illegal immigrants is: oh, yes, they are illegal. How come they dare to go out to the streets to protest and demand this and that.
But after I thought about this for a while, I have some other thoughts:
- Don’t Americans believe that the freedom to move around is human being’s basic rights? Isn’t free flow of labor the basic element of free market?
- Americans always say they want to help the world. Isn’t this a very good chance for them to help the world?
I came from a country where people used to be under strict control of where they can live and move. My father had to be distributed by the government to where he was supposed to work. He had no choice to look for jobs he liked. At that time, we believed that as a good Chinese, we should go to wherever our country needs us the most. Now we know no one knows where the country needs us the most and a society’s prosperity depends on how its citizens can maximally pursuit their own interests. Everyone is very different. No one else knows better than yourself what is best for you. Of course,this is a big topic (not as simple as many people would like to think). Anyway, to put it simply, we look up to the west as a model. We now believe people should have the right to move around. How come now American government wants to put a fence on the border? Isn’t this against the principle of free market?
I read some stories of those Mexicans dying when crossing the desert. Why are they willing to go through that much to come to this country? I think I can relate a lot to them in this aspect. People growing up in America totally have no idea of what kind of life people in other countries have to live. Here let me just tell you two little stories.
I went to a top 10 university in China. (A lot of people say it is top 3. All right, let’s just say top 3.) Here is what happened in our last year in that top 3 university in China. We had rats in our dorms. A lot of rats. At least 5 in each dorm. We have about 7 students living in a dorm. (Again, I need to tell you that we had almost no choice to choose to live off campus. We also had no choice in who our roommates are.) Just under my bed, there were two or three rats making noises every night. It’s like they were having a sports tournament there. Sometimes they were racing each other. Sometimes they were playing boxing. Sometimes they were just having sex. I could hear their bodies rubbing each other, making me very sick. We even had rat crossing a roommate’s face at night, and he lived on an upper bed! (we had buckle beds). It drove me nuts. I couldn’t sleep. I went to talk to school. The school ask me to go to another department, then another department. They just kicked me around. I told them there was going to be a rat disaster if they don’t handle it immediately since the rats spread disease. But no one care, since we were the graduating students and in our last year of school. This was what happened in a top 3 school in China. You can imagine what kind of life the bottom poor people live in China.
Another story is about China’s transportation during Chinese new year. I had to take the train for about 2000 miles back home. Since there was no starting train from the city where i went to university, I had to stand all the way back home. That was about 40 hours. During the days before Chinese new year, there are tons of people packed in the carts of the train. All the space were packed with people. There were people everywhere, even under the seat and over the shoulder of the seat. I couldn’t even stand straight. I had to twist my body a little and kept like that for around 40 hours. Don’t even mention going to bathroom. Basically you just don’t eat and don’t drink until you get home. After getting home, the two feet became very big. I was all right. But my friend had to go to hospital for several days. On the train, sometimes the police/army had to maintain the order. So they used belt to whip people. I got very angry at that. What kind of dignity I have?
To be fair, things in China is becoming much better. And things I have talked above have been greatly improved.
These are my life in China. This is just to give you a taste how Chinese lives. I guess those Mexicans lives similarly. That is why they risk their lives to cross the border. When you think about the issue of illegal immigrants, I hope you think about these stories. When you are talking about outsourcing, I also hope my stories will help you better think about it.
Since I’ve told you my life in China, also since this is related to the whole response American government had towards 911, let me just give you my thoughts from a third-world person’s perspective.
911 is a tragedy. I was deeply saddened when watching that on TV. It is a huge tragedy. But it is 10 times worse when it happened under Bush’s administration. 911, to the rest of the world, they would say “welcome to the club” to America. That is how we live. For Chinese recent 150 years of history, everyday of our lives was like 911. So if America can compromise on their freedom because of terrorism, don’t blame Chinese government on human rights violations because they were also done under the name of national security. Since we had gone through 150 years of 911, it is more justified for Chinese government to do so. Don’t you think so?
Since talking about terrorism has become very political, there is no geniune discussion of the real cause of terrorism. (Everyone has to swear I am patriot and I support the troop before they say anything. Well, I don’t support the troop. I can understand that it is very noble to give one’s life to his country. But it is stupid if such sacrifice is wrong and killing other people. How many of the young people joining the army are mature enough to make such a decision? Many of them are not even allowed to drink alcohol.) Is it really because people are poor and jealous of American wealth? I would tell you it is American foreign policy. Do you believe that American foreign policy is to spread democracy? Well, I have another story that might change your mind. I will talk about that story next time. Here I just want to say that 911 is a great chance for Americans to exam their government’s meddling in the rest of the world. But Americans are headed in the opposite direction.
Who are legal immigrants? I am wondering.