Who are Aliens? Bots, Maybe, But Not People!
The shutdown in the U.S. over the Wall that is on President Donald Trump’s agenda may have little impact on the Genesys Sales Kickoff set to unfold in Dallas in a few days.
Yet, what amuses me is all talk about aliens living in what is considered the Land of Opportunity – with reason given that it is a country offering enormous space for innovations and new ideas to thrive.
Well, to be precise, it is the use of the word, alien, even for legal residents in the country that I find strange – not the illegal immigrants in the U.S. per se.
An infiltrator is, possibly, the right expression to use to describe an illegal resident. Per U.S. terminology, however, all non-citizens are aliens, including foreigners living in the country legally. Effectively, they are variously categorised as legal aliens, illegal aliens, undocumented immigrants, etc.
The U.S. may be right if we go strictly by definition as any foreign resident can be dubbed alien. It is just not a happy expression. I find it demeaning. They are not extra-terrestrial people.
In an environment where digital ethics is assuming significance with Artificial Intelligence (AI) changing all things human and redefining the way we live, it may be right to give robots and chatbots an alien cloak.
Why not as we live in an increasingly AI-powered world meriting collaboration between humans and bots! The bots within that Blended AI scenario may rightfully be described as aliens and they will not object. They can even be taxed, going with the suggestion of Microsoft founder Bill Gates not too long ago!
But calling people living in a country, legally or illegally, aliens does not seem right.
Keeping this distraction aside, let me get to get to the crux of this post. Amid the shutdown crisis in the U.S., President Trump’s political opponents, liberals and the lopsided media may succeed in stalling his plans for building a Wall to stop illegal immigrants from flowing into the U.S.
I doubt Mr Trump himself is serious, though, as populist politics may be at play. With all the business interests his empire have in China, all the trade threats are set to become a farce. The Wall may meet a similar fate.
The argument that when most countries do not have a Wall why should the U.S. have one is poor reasoning. No other country draws illegal immigrants as the U.S. does. An estimated 11 million unauthorised immigrants live in the country, with about half of them from Mexico. The Chinese, Indians and Filipinos are among the other big illegal resident groups there.
I love Mexico, I have lived there and consider Mexicans among the warmest people anywhere.
Yet, Americans have reason to be concerned about the continuing flow of people from across the border. If the aliens (to go with the American terminological flow) deem it a matter of right, and Americans opposed to Trump agree with it, that amounts to only making work difficult for the border forces.
The U.S., after all, does not preside over an open, borderless land. Immigrants have room to enter the country the legal way.
The liberal, anti-Trump brigade, however, is vehement that the Constitution gives undocumented people living in the country the same rights and protection that citizens enjoy.
They may have a point as, if U.S. immigration has been lax in allowing unlawful entries, the country has to pay the price for it.
But why should efforts to prevent the streaming in of aliens illegally be a question of right for unauthorised entry?
Strangely, while the illegals get sympathy those who make it to the U.S. with the necessary authorisation and documentation still face harassment that starts at the first point of entry.
G Joslin Vethakumar