I've suddenly come upon the last thing I have to write for the paper before I send the last page to the printer. It feels  like I've been speeding along the highway, turn the corner and encounter a dead-end. I have to slam on the breaks and ask myself "Now where am I?" When you write many stories in a short period  of time, you tend to get lost in other people's thoughts and at the end, you have to ask yourself "Now where am I?"
      The beauty  -- and therapy -- of writing Reflections at the end of putting the paper to bed is that I do have to get back into what I am thinking and feeling. A writer doesn't know what he or she is thinking until they put their pen to paper -- or fingertips to keyboard. The danger is that the writer may not know what is coming out until it is written. Wait, this is getting too deep.
      I think about immigration from time to time and it's an issue that has many pitfalls for me because I know people and love people on both sides of the issue. And at the risk of alienating someone, I must say that I strongly support amnesty for those undocumented workers who currently reside in the United States.
      I support amnesty because it is a matter of justice and the injustice has come about due to failed American policies -- or a lack of them -- in a global economy that seems to evolve faster than government policies can keep up with them.
      Now I have heard some of my legal immigrant friends express the feeling that they immigrated legally to the United States and so, the undocumented workers should be required to do the same thing. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. And I have to admit that I can sympathize with that thought. There is nothing more exasperating in life than having gone      through an ordeal only to see the rules changed after you have completed the task to make it easier for those who come after you.
      However, U.S. immigration policies have always been designed to meet the strategic and economic needs of the United States. They have never been set up for humanitarian reasons. Allies of the U.S. war efforts like the Hmong who became refugees have first priority. Refugees from war devastated areas of Africa do not. People who have technical skills that the U.S. desires -- how did all of those Nazi scientists miraculously make it into the U.S. with new identities -- get accepted into the country. General workers generally do not get in. People with sufficient assets get into the country, poor people don't.
      There was one thing wrong with these policies. With the advent of the global economy and trade agreements like NAFTA, our economy has changed tremendously during the past 10-20 years as many factories and jobs were shipped overseas and technological advances allowed capital -- money -- to be sent across the globe within an instant. Large numbers of people experience economic upheaval not within a matter of a year, but oftentimes within the matter of days. While NAFTA originally sent many of our industries south of the border, the same economic forces are sending them from Mexico to China. I know this sudden change never happened in my father's lifetime.
      So while our government's policies focused on allies and technologically or economically gifted individuals, our economy was changing so fast -- And all of us wanted to live the good life -- that many manual and service jobs went unfilled by American born workers.  Therefore it was no surprise that millions of people adjusted to the sudden economic upheaval within the U.S. and south of the border and joined the American workforce as undocumented workers. Our public policies did not keep up with economic reality. Since it would have been impossible for them to stem the tide, they should have been adjusted -- if anyone in Washington was watching anything happen besides Monica Leweinsky's escapades with Bill Clinton -- to regulate the flow of undocumented workers.
      Now realistically speaking, it would kill our standard of living and economy -- not to speak of that it is physically impossible -- to ship all the undocumented workers across the border. So it is only fair and a matter of justice that our government give them full rights as U.S. citizens. Anything less would be a matter of bad policy following even worst policy. It would be government recognition  of the blatant exploitation of a significant number of people who will permanently live inside our borders. And that, my dear readers, should be considered Un-American.
VOL II No. 15                     JULY 25, 2007
The status of Civil Rights
Madison Civil Rights' Director Lucia Nunez
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
July 25, 2007
Stories and Columns

The Literary Divide: NIE Report contradicts Bush Iraqi/Terrorist policies,
by Dr. Paul Barrows

Eighth Annual Dane Dances: Lessons from the past,
by Jonathan Gramling

Centro Hispano Exec. Director Peter Munoz: South side dreams,
by Jonathan Gramling

Asian Wisconzine: Ping Huang, a pioneer in Chinese-American bicultural education,
by Heidi M. Pascual

2007 Money Conference: Touting home ownership,
by Jonathan Gramling

Politicas de hoy: El corazon no salta como cuando a mi me cantan una cancion colombiana,
por alfonso Zepeda Capistran

Simple Things: Nature calls,
by Lang Kenneth Haynes

* B
etty Banks: Heart and soul in community activism,
by Laura Salinger

Voices: "The Bush Agenda,"
by Dr. Jean Daniels

Center Spread: The Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza,
by Jonathan Gramling

* 1
3th Annual Diversity Picnic,
by Jonathan Gramling

China Dispatch: On the streets of Hefei,
by Andrew Gramling

AAEA/Promega BTCI Summer science program,
by Jonathan Gramling

Former Centro Hispano Executive Director Dora Zuniga: Fiesta Hispana retrospective,
by Jonathan Gramling

* Hearing on "Democratic Developments in sub-Saharan Africa,"
by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold

* A book review of "Telling Tongues,"
by Julia Richards