Sunday, January 8, 2012

Don't Fence Me In

immigration legal fence
Years ago when I started going out socially, I tended to be the center of attention.  No, it was not due to my clever repartee or my ability to dazzle the crowd with my snappy dressing.  Rather, it was due to the fact that I had not yet learned to avoid certain topics like the plague such as religion, politics, and (in Southern California, anyway) immigration.  Such topics tend to be best left to close friends or on the Letters to the Editor page.

While I have learned not to engage in such discussions, the issue of immigration is becoming a sticking point for many people – particularly for those living in the Inland Empire.  What is interesting though is that for over two millennia, mankind has used fences (or fence-like policies) to keep someone (or thing) out or in.  Some great fences in history include the Great Wall of China, the French Maginot Line, the Berlin Wall, and the isolationist policies promulgated by the United States until the early 1940’s.  OK, this last one wasn’t so much a fence in the classic sense but it proved to be an intellectual hindrance and had it been allowed to continue, it might have catapulted the Nazis to world power status.  What this suggests is that not all fences are a good idea.  In fact, while all of these fences were virtually impenetrable, their original purposes were ultimately defeated and became twisted against (or by) the very people the fence was designed to protect.

While it may still not be a popular topic at parties, all persons of conscience should learn about such important matters as immigration.  To this end then, persons wishing to conduct legal research at any public law library can take advantage of several titles that can help people understand these issues, including State Immigration Employment Compliance Handbook (West), Immigration Law & Procedure (Matthew/Bender), Becoming a U.S. Citizen (Nolo Press), Immigration Employment Compliance Handbook (West), Immigration Procedures Handbook (West), and Guide to Homeland Security (West).

Life of the party
So the next time you’re at a party and you hear a snappy dresser ramble on about the lack of a proper fence along the California/Mexico border, you can (now properly armed with your new found knowledge)  jump right in and be the life of the party.