This week on the “You Reap What You Sow” episode of This American Life was perhaps the most startling series of revelations since when we found out that Apple was kind of evil. First, we’re told the story of man with a plow truck and a heart of gold, who decided to dole out justice and generosity in the form of huge, unshovellable mounds of snow. Much like the Mr. Plow of episode of The Simpsons, we learn in this story that any man’s life problems can be easily solved investing in a truck and fastening a plow to the front of it.
Act I however, was like watching one of those Born Into Brothel style documentaries, nearly unrelenting if not enlightening. “Self Deportation” is a buzzword that not many were familiar with (fortunately this will change after this week’s episode) but has been all the rage in Alabama where a Final Solution of sorts is being implemented regarding immigration. What does it mean? The theory is that if we turn every interaction between cops and citizens into a checkpoint of sorts, “show me ID! No let us see yo ID!” (see Higher Learning) illegal aliens will eventually become so miserable and paranoid that they’ll leave under their own accord. Forget that fact that illegal immigrants are far less a major issue in Alabama than many other states. Disregard that Alabama has sort of poor track record as far as being accepting of diversity. What you have is a state that went totally rogue with regard to this “problem” and implemented a law that comes really close to ripping a section or two out of the constitution. How does something like this happen? Well, it’s rare that circumstances bring people to the point of making such sweeping and poor decisions but there’s set of circumstances that historically do the trick. When people are out of work and the economy is bad, they will sometimes act irrationally as was the case here.
The episode brings us the voices of the people who made the laws and the people who are suffering as a result of them. Those who made the laws claim that the action has resulted in a major blow to the sate’s unemployment, but TAL beautifully and unceremoniously refutes the shit out of that notion immediately. All that’s really happening as a result of “Self Deportation” being implemented is that Alabama is starting to seem a lot more like Chiapas in the worst way possible. On an ominous note the episode ends with Mitt Romney who, has taken on Self Deportation as his choice method of dealing with illegal immigrants, and meekly, Santorum jumped on the bandwagon afterwards. Of course, Mitt Romney believes that Jesus lived in Missouri, but few Republicans are able to claim to come from a family that’s been here all along. Right?
On the other side of the coin, this episode also informs us the accelerated rate at which the Obama administration is deported illegals. Is this disappointingly conservative Obama people have been referring to all along? Clearly there’s only one logical plan, and you can expect a Facebook group in the near future. 3 Words. Ira in ’16.