SAM SMITH - Whenever a new crisis develops in an election year and it's not nature's or the stock market's fault, the odds are pretty good that it's not a crisis.
Witness the sudden discovery of immigrants, a much more comfortable topic for some than Iraq, global warming, globalization, or runaway corporate greed.
The debate, however, has its bizarre aspects. For example, the Texas Rangers, who should know, list their last serious concerns with Mexican terrorists as occurring nearly 100 years ago when "when authorities in McAllen, Texas, arrest Basilio Ramos, Jr. Ramos is carrying a copy of the Plan of San Diego, a revolutionary manifesto supposedly written and signed at the South Texas town of San Diego. It calls for the formation of a 'Liberating Army of Races and Peoples,' of Mexican Americans, African Americans, and Japanese, to 'free' the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Colorado from United States. Versions of the plan call for the murder of all white citizens over 16 years of age. The goal is an independent republic, which might later seek annexation to Mexico.' Since then things have been pretty quiet, although some guerillas from another continent did considerable damage in 2001 by using the border crossing technique known as "buying airline tickets."
But it's not really about terrorism. It's about finding a scapegoat for America's increasing problems. What America's white elite is doing is just what its southern branch did under segregation: teach non-elite whites to blame their problems on a minority. It worked well then and it seems to be working now.
But those wishing to test the extent of the immigrant problem might want to conduct this quick test:
1. Has a Mexican ever fired or laid you off?
2. Was the plant you worked for until it was sent overseas been bought by Mexicans or is it still owned by the same people you used to work for?
3. Has a Mexican ever cut your pension or health benefits? Outsourced your job to India?
4. How much does Latin America contribute to global warming and its results - such as bigger hurricanes and more tornados - compared with the United States?
5. Was Enron run by Mexicans?
6. Are Mexicans responsible for NSA's spying you?
7. Do you think Mexicans or the pharmaceutical corporations are more responsible for high drug costs?
8. How much of the corruption in Washington has been instigated by the Mexicans?
9. Did the Mexicans' make us invade Iraq?
10. Are the Mexicans responsible for George bush being so dumb?
Chances are most your answers will be in the negative which is a clue to stop spending so much time worrying about immigration and turn your attention to something else.