Immigration Reform

I am not meant or designed to take on weighty issues. I look at the problems of today and see that there are often no good answers and it makes me glad I’m not in charge. Immigration reform is one such conundrum. On the one hand, if we stop immigration, we cease to be the great melting pot our forefathers intended and refugees aren’t given the assistance they need to survive. On the other, we have to ensure the safety of our country by making sure we don’t let bad guys in. It’s a real problem.


I liken it to Italian food. At some point in my adult life, I realized I had developed an aversion to garlic. It took some trial and error, but we identified garlic as the culprit after dinner at a cheap Italian place one night. You know the kind – not quite good enough to have authentic flavor so they drown everything in garlic. My malady became quite evident when I yelled for the check and ran awkwardly out the door.

Garlic doesn’t make me break out in hives or give me breathing issues – it’s more of an internal combustion problem. Lovely, yeah. But that is precisely why it reminds me of immigration reform – a real $&*!-storm.

Over the years, the Italian assault on me seems to have greatly lessened. I might have a bad reaction to maybe 1 in every 5 meals or so and we never know when it will happen. It seems to be completely random – my vetting process doesn’t seem to prevent the occasional bad Italian from getting through. This situation with garlic has literally become a crapshoot. I pick up a piece of garlic bread and laugh maniacally as my family shudders in fear.


But here’s the rub – I love Italian food. My life would be poorer if I completely cut pastas and rich sauces out of it. I, however, am the gatekeeper and this is an awesome responsibility. I am the one making policy decisions in regards to my Italian intake. I am the government and the people, my family, sometimes pays for my granting asylum to the bad Italian who somehow bypasses the systematic checks and balances. They would advocate building a wall.

So you see, there is no good answer.

In the end, as a country with great resource, I think we have to err on the side of compassion – whether we help people get here or help them survive where they are, I believe we must help. This stamp of complete geographical exclusion seems wrong to me.

But who am I? I’m just another guy airing out factless opinion on the internet. I am fake news. I’m one fart joke away from being Bevis and Butthead.

I do like Italian food, though. And if it means an uncomfortable night on the couch, so be it.

13 thoughts on “Immigration Reform

  1. I love your Italian food analogy. I agree that we must continue to treat all people with compassion. We are so focused right now on immigration reform and building a wall that there is little or no focus on the people or issues within the U.S. Between gun and gang violence, drug and alcohol addiction, poverty, homelessness and other social problems, why would we spend billions of dollars on a wall? I believe it to be irresponsible.

  2. Our little town near the Minnesota/Iowa border is home to amazing array of immigrants. We have people from Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Myanmar and Central America. They all seem to get along pretty good but we do have our issues with social costs and educational expenses.

    But let’s not speak of compassion because there are 60 million refugees in the world today and for the few who have made it here, it may be wonderful – but it is nothing more than a lottery. We need to focus on the 60 million.

    1. That’s a good point. Immigration reform wouldn’t touch the global issue of refugees. Again, I’ve got no answers, just an upset stomach and fart jokes. I’m probably the worst kind of citizen.

  3. Mark, You are not just any guy!!! Your blog talks about many important things. It is both serious and well written. It touches on topics, where laughter, smile, tears or just thoughts are there to ponder. In this blog, the two important words for me were garlic & compassion. I am sorry for your Italian food upset but glad you have chosen to keep eating it. I already knew you were a person filled with Compassion but was really happy to read compassion & immigration were in the same line. Loving one another is important to remember every day of our lives! Thanks, Mark!

      1. The worst is how they hold them in those detention (read prison) centers but without Constitutional prison rights of course. Google it to see some photos. Children included.

  4. Canadians are wrestling with this issue more every day.
    Personally, i want to help everyone – but only if we have the resources to provide for everyone.

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