Recently, I finished reading the first book in a series by J.A. Jance, called Desert Heat. This is an excellent book full of adventure, drama, with a contemporary western theme. Well, I just found out via Kevin (guest blogger) that J.A. Jance has a blog where she a addresses the Arizona Law and the issues related to the illegal immigration problem. It is a very interesting read. Enjoy!
This week I've had several e-mails from fans who have asked me what I think about "what's going on in Arizona." People who have been reading my books for years have probably noticed there have been references to the illegal immigration problem in my stories for years, too, because this is not a new problem.
For starters let me say this. I'm the granddaughter of an illegal immigrant. My grandfather, A. G. Anderson, fled Sweden at age 19 when he was accused of poaching in a game preserve. According to him, he shot a deer which crossed over into the game preserve before it died. This could all be entirely true, but this is also the same grandfather who put a wet dishrag down the back of my shirt and called me a "wetback." Grandpa was a storyteller. He was in his seventies when my mother invited him to go along on a trip to the "old country" to see his brothers. He said "No!" in no uncertain terms. It took my mother a matter of months to get to the bottom of his objection, but finally the truth came out--he had never become a citizen. He went on that trip with her--on a Swedish passport--and did become a U.S. citizen officially before he died. So I have an oar in the water in this regard and maybe even an ax to grind. Who knows how many metaphors I'll be able to shoe-horn into this paragraph? That's the miracle of writing a blog. It can be a haven for free-range metaphors and there's no one to say, "Stop, hold, enough!"
So let's pretend. Let's pretend that all the people who currently live in Tacoma decide to pull up stakes and come live in Seattle, bringing all their issues and family dynamics right along with them. To say nothing of their children. And let's say that Seattle PD was suddenly downsized to a police force made up of 130 individuals, a number that would include all sworn officers, all jail personnel, and clerical staff as well. These "illegal Tacomans" who might or might not speak English, would want to enroll their children in suddenly over-crowded and budget-strapped schools although the new arrivals probably wouldn't own their own homes, the taxes on which are used to fund public education. These migrating illegal Tacomans would want to drive cars although it's unlikely that they would be licensed drivers or insured drivers. If they became ill, they would be able to go to Emergency Rooms for free treatment which the hospitals, by federal mandate, are required to give them. (Unfortunately, although federal law dictates there must be treatment, it happens to be an unfunded law.) If the hospitals can't afford to provide it, well then, they can always shut down their ERs. That way they won't be treating the "for free" patients, and they won't be treating any other patients, either. Most of these migrating Tacomans would come here looking for a better life or a better job. Some of them, however, would be bad guys bringing their brand of crime right along with them.