Just the other day, I received a fowarded email that just hit the wrong nerve. Perhaps you have seen it also? The original is in red and my response is below.
“Guest” workers explained:
Since hearing the plan for treating illegal immigrants as “guest” workers, I now have undergone a complete reversal in my understanding of the proper meaning of words. I stupidly used to believe that the definition of “guest” is one who is invited. Now I’m told this is no longer correct.
For instance, if a burglar breaks into my home, he really becomes a guest who is only looking for a better life. Because he broke in for that reason, I must accept the obligation to provide health care, education, transportation, and living quarters. I feel so much better now.
Guest – maybe not the best descriptor – but would one call a “mother-in-law” a guest? At least in our case, she still comes to visit, cleans the entire house while she is there, does a little laundry, cooks some food, and oversees any other work that needs to happen while she is present. She may or may not be considered a guest- but the fact reamins, she is related to you. (as are our neighbors to the South if we take Genesis seriously). Most of us are just immigrants of a different generation anyway, a previous one when our nation was a little more opened-armed toward people seeking refuge and a better life. I never knew Lady Liberty had a footnote after “give me your poor” that said “only if you are white, anglo-saxon, and arrogant enough to forget your own history.”
As for burglars? This analogy works well – as long as you have the burglar sleep in a closet that no one else in the house ever used; pay for upkeep (in taxes that could never be claimed); fix all the plumbing, broken fixtures,walls, floors, and high-end landscaping so that property value would increase – and all for little more than just the closet, some food, and an occasional day off every other month. Oh, and the resident “burgular” would also agree to build new homes up and down the street so your family, friends, and community neighbors could live in gated communities that thrive on cheap labor by sitting in their back yards, sipping margaritas, and complaining about the guests around them that are doing all the work.
Come to think of it – these workers are “invited” guests – at least to come in through the back door wearing white – we just don’t want them to come in through the front door because they might say they have rights, deserve higher pay, and actually warrent being treated as equals. I really do feel so much better now.
PS: For those looking for a different perspective on immigration that warrents some attention and reflection, read this op-ed piece by Douglas Massey