Finally, Congress has gotten around to doing something about the shadowy yet hydra-like threat posed to America's very existence as a nation by the presence within our borders of 11 million undocumented busboys, dishwashers, cooks, landscapers, farm workers, roofers, maids, janitors, nurses' aides and nannies.
What a relief. Send 'em all back where they came from, and I, for one, will sleep better knowing that the vast numbers of Latin-American peasants who take orders directly from Osama bin Laden--the wrongs of Islam and Middle Eastern politics being so naturally compelling to them--are back in the starving slums and villages where they belong, and that America is a little whiter, a little more Protestant and Anglophone and, of course, a whole lot dirtier and more expensive. It's a sacrifice we may just have to make.
Not that it would be an actual sacrifice to me, personally, which is why I don't care.
The mass deportation of the people who do most of the hard, boring, physical work in this country wouldn't much affect my daily life, and as a good Bushian, I don't give a good goddamn about anything but my own comfort and convenience--that crap about giving us your tired, your poor, your yada-yada, simply has no meaning in the dog-eat-dog globalized neoconservative gunslingin' America of the 21st century. My ancestors got here early, so nyah nyah nyah. (To see the reasonableness of Sen. Jon Kyl's proposal to send people back home so they can apply to re-enter, just think about how easy it would have been for your own forebears to pick up and go back to Italy or Ireland or Estonia or wherever. See? No big deal.)
Sure, if all the undocumented workers become instant felons, the grocery bill will triple, but that's not going to break me--my husband and I don't live on fixed incomes. We clean our own house and rake our own yard, and we just had the roof redone a couple of years ago, so we're good there. I like to cook, and we don't eat out much, and when we do, it's usually sushi, so while a lot of restaurants would have to close, that wouldn't be a big problem for me, and anyway, if you have to choose between chile rellenos and getting blown into tiny bits or having to live among criminals, well. I mean, the Germans came to the same sort of realization in the 1930s--they faced a similarly shadowy but hydra-like internal threat from Jews (and gypsies, homosexuals and retarded people), and so no matter how painful it may have been for everyone, they had no choice but to make those people illegal and get rid of them.
At this juncture in our history, I think we should all remember that sometimes nations have to make hard choices. The Nazis knew that. The Republican House leadership knows it, too.
Our elected officials and other really rich people will have to keep this firmly in mind, because they depend more than most of us on invisible labor. They have to spend lots of time in government buildings, hotels, restaurants and other places that would go to hell with all the undocumented felons back home in Oaxaca or in prison camps in the Dakotas or wherever they're going. I mean, these are folks who are used to service, and service is not something that's going to come cheap anymore. Just take dining out: I've heard that the backbone of the high-end restaurant business on the East Coast is undocumented Ecuadorians, so there goes lunch and dinner. And clean sheets in a hotel are going to be hard to come by. Our senators and congressmen will have to say adios to turn-down service, I'm afraid.
So it'll be difficult for the rich, and I feel for them, but not much, because, as we've all learned from talk radio, selfishness is the essence of patriotism. I will do OK, as will my closest relatives, and that's what matters. I don't anticipate anyone in my immediate family needing extended nursing anytime soon, and we can probably ride out the gigantic economic and social dislocations that will follow mass expulsion without acute financial discomfort. I'm not in the real estate business, have no plans to buy a house and don't teach school. I don't work at Wal-Mart or own a small business, or a farm or a meat-packing plant. So, fine, throw them out.
Of course, I will be sad to see my Social Security go, since undocumented workers' unrecoverable contributions are keeping the system solvent, and I was kind of hoping to get payments someday. Too bad, really, but once again, it's a small price to pay when you realize that the alternative is fiery death. (We need to keep fiery death in mind at all times--we were beginning to lose our tight Sept. 11 focus until the Dubai ports deal snapped us to attention again, which is no doubt why President Bush proposed it. Thank heavens for his visionary leadership during these terrifying times.)
So, anyway, if we've got to say vaya con Dios to the 11 million hardest-working people in America, OK. It's no skin off my nose, and that's all that counts.