Tuesday, April 11, 2006

On the Subject of Immigration

There has been much talk and lots of upset people in the news lately regarding the proposed changes in immigration laws. I believe that most Afftonians support this tightening of the US borders as old people generally are A) afraid of strangers and B) afraid of foreigners.

Your Mayor takes the following stance: I support criminalizing those who enter the country illegally. By the very nature of "illegals" (being in the US without proper papers) they are in violation of law. (Duh...illegal). While most immigrants do often menial jobs that a lot of Americans won't, I don't think there's any guarantee of a job, nor do the economics of the situation make it OK. I don't sympathize with families who are broken up in the flight to the US. They made that choice.

Your Mayor traveled extensively in his life however, loves to meet people from other lands, and supports a very liberal immigration policy on the whole. To those who oppose this, I offer travel photos of places like western Kansas where there is so much damn space with nothing there but sunflowers. Clearly this land is very useable for a community. Although it is land out of my jurisdiction, I think that fans of sunflowers or sunflower seeds are the only potential opposition. In the event of a shortage of the snack, I propose that people switch to Big League Chew which also comes in a pouch and is fun to eat and involves less spitting in public. Although the gum does not yet come in Jalapeno or Ranch flavors, I'm sure we could work it out. In fact, it's probably as inevitable as Diet Coke with Bacon.

Anyway, my experiences with local immigrants have ALWAYS been positive. Affton is home to a growing population of Bosnians that are climbing the economic ladder. As a result, they are investing in local real estate, pimping their rides and spending money locally. My only complaint is that their voter turnout is very, very low. I think that if we can overcome our fear of them and welcome them to Affton, they will begin to creep out of their shells and get involved in civics, PTA meetings and the planning of the Affton Days festival.


At 5:28 AM, Anonymous Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

how about we fine the ones that are illegal and get them documented so we can secure our country? We take the bums who are crooks and run them out. But people who are working and obeying the law, we fine them. Rounding everyone up is impossible. We have done this before and it worked out just fine.

If we are worried about technicality we should arrest everyone who has outstanding warrants for parking tickets too. We have offered amnesty for these people. They are generally law abiding citizens, they just made some mistakes. But we don't round them all up. The problem is that we have people and are going to continue to have these people undocumented and this itself is far more dangerous than our border security.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Not Erik Estrada said...

Mayor, though my dad is usually senile, he has a good idea with the mexican immigrants. We tell them we'll make them citizens if they serve in our army and fight in iraq. after two years of service we grant them citizenship...IN IRAQ. Oh cruel, cruel fate!

J. Stephen

ps. Congratulations on your triumph. Have you thought of taking an ad out in the local paper to thank your supporters?

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Not Erik Estrada said...

Mayor J. Patrick,

Amoung the many ideas I'd like to steal from your campaign, I'd especially like to know about your yard signs. Could you tell me where did you get them and how much did they cost? They are a VERY wise investment! It is my opnion that you should leave them up as long as possible (you have to start thinking about re-election, right?).


J. Stephen O'Laughlin, Candidate
Governor of California

At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Chris Tennill said...

Those sunflowers are much more aesthetically pleasing than those dirty immigrants.

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous JP said...

If you want a different persepctive on the Bosnian (and other immigrant) populations in Affton, you should talk to the Neighborhood Police Officers and see what they have to say. I'm pretty sure they would agree that they are very good neighbors and that the Police have very few run-ins with them.

Additionally, the UMSL grant you mentioned in a post a while back will also be tackling the issue of New Americans in the Affton Community, so we will likely learn a lot there.

You might also be interested in how many Bosnian kids attend Affton schools, and how the school district is addressing various issues related to immigrant populations (as a matter of perspective, I heard recently that the Bayless school district student population is over 40% Bosnian - or maybe it was just 40% non-english as primary language, and not necessarily Bosnian, I don't recall at the moment). I think such perspectives will provide a very good (and positive) picture of our Bosnian neighbors.

I also recently found out that we have two new Bosnian families in my neighborhood (I live off of Heege). One I knew about, the other is rather new, and with the nice weather, we're all just now getting out and about again. Hopefully we'll get to meet and know each other better. They're both families with kids, and that can only be a good thing for Affton.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Mayor of Affton said...

Thank you all for the great comments! Your Mayor is listening. The nice weather has brought my family out more as well and I'm making it a point to get to know more of the neighbors.


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