They're Tearing the Labor Camps Down 
Monday, October 29, 2007, 05:56 PM
As I was listening to an old Merle Haggard song, They're Tearing the Labor Camps Down, where he states in his introduction: "I couldn't help but wonder what's going to happen to the farm workers, to the fruit pickers who move from town to town, the man with the big family who can't afford the ol' high standard of living..." I realized that as I concern myself with petty details, millions of people around the world are preoccupied with the very struggle for existence. As I worry about whether I'll get home in time to watch my favorite TV show, they wonder whether they'll even get their next meal. These people don't just exist overseas in the ads we see on TV, they're the immigrants in our backyard who we're trying to drive back across the border. I've always rationalized my support for supporting a more liberal immigration policy because these people's presence in this country means that things I want cost less -- with little to no negative impact on my life. This was the first time that I seriously considered the humanitarian side of this. So many are so eager to talk about the need to help others overseas, but when it comes to people here -- NIMBY.

Oh they're tearing the labor camps down
And I feel a little sentimental shame.
Where's a hungry man going to live at in this town?
Oh they're tearing the labor camps down.


I think I'm a far cry from a "bleeding heart liberal" but I think even liberals in this debate have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) the humanitarian side of this debate. After all, sympathy is well in good, until the object of your sympathy moves into your town and becomes an eyesore.

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