Here in America, citizens and other legal residents have every right to stage rallies, protests and demonstrations on any topic that tickles their fancy.
But they ought to say what they mean. It’s reached the point where some of these characters use so many misleading code words that you need some kind of politically correct secret decoder ring.
And I wonder if the folks who cover such events for our newspapers shouldn’t provide us with a little of that cryptanalysis.
“A coalition of labor, business, faith and immigrant rights leaders gathered in downtown Las Vegas on Monday to launch the local leg of a national campaign pushing reform of America’s immigration laws,” the Review-Journal reported June 2.
“All of us have seen the disastrous effects of this broken (immigration) system, which has enforcement only as its approach,” said Peter Ashman, chairman of Nevada’s chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “The immigration system must be overhauled to create and accommodate a balanced and sensible approach to immigration, one that takes into account our need for secure and orderly borders and protects our integrity as a nation of immigrants.”
By which Mr. Ashman actually meant to say that he now demands we “finish the job of making our borders the least secure in the world, inviting every poor person in the hemisphere to swarm here illegally, thus bankrupting legal immigrants and native-born Americana alike, and if you object I’m going to call you a racist and pretend your forebears broke just as many laws getting here as my clients break every day.”
Millions of immigrants “have been suffering for many, many years and living in the shadows,” the newspaper quoted Geoconda Arguello-Kline, president of the Culinary union, as saying back on June 2.
Meantime, lawyer Ashman said immigration reform is necessary in part because trying to “remove the undocumented population” isn’t realistic. “It’s too costly, unworkable and un-American,” he said. “It has not worked.”
Where to begin?
First, if we define “immigrants” as most people would, meaning those millions who have gone through the minimal required legal steps to immigrate to America legally, I wonder where we would find the “immigrants (who) have been suffering for many, many years and living in the shadows.”
I know plenty of immigrants. They’re proud to be active participants in every aspect of American life, because they know if the occasion should ever arise where they should have to prove they have a legal right to be here, that won’t be any problem.
The people to whom Ms. Arguello-Kline refers as “immigrants” aren’t “immigrants,” by that sensible definition, at all. They’re trespassing illegal aliens, who violate multiple laws, including the statutes against fraud and identify theft, every day they’re here. That is who she’s talking about — right?
Calling these people “undocumented” is meant to create the impression their “documents merely failed to show up in the mail,” a situation easily remedied by filling out a couple pesky forms. That’s like calling a rapist an “insensitive lover” or a bank robber a “customer who makes withdrawals without presenting proper withdrawal slips.”
And not even they seem to be suffering much in the shadows, so far as I can see. I wait behind them in the post office all the time — people who need translators because they speak no language but Spanish (unlike legal immigrants, who often have a larger English vocabulary than the native-born). They’re everywhere, and they’re illegals, Geoconda. So why try to confuse people by pretending to describe the plight of people who came here legally and played by the rules?
Furthermore, I submit none of the 50 people who staged their photo op down by the courthouse this month have any interest in seeing U.S. immigration laws liberalized. Let’s say Congress were to decide tomorrow to double, triple — heck, to multiply by five — the number of foreign folks to be allowed to immigrate to this country, legally, next year: five times more people from all over the world invited to apply, demonstrate they have no criminal history or infectious diseases, that they have either a big enough bank account or enough education and training in a needed skill to guarantee them employment upon arrival here.
Would even that massive a “reform” please these protesters? Of course not. No such real “reform” would make any difference to the illegal trespassers already here. They’re functionally illiterate and have no notable skills, meaning they still wouldn’t get to emigrate legally — not just to America, but to any other First World country, because they all set similar, sensible standards. Heck, even Mexico has such standards!
That’s why we next get the code words about “keeping families together.” The only qualification these protesters want to see for mass amnesty is “a family member already here, even if it’s only an anchor baby, to help show us how to sign up for all the free stuff” — starting with our vastly expensive welfare schools.
If the radicals who gathered downtown want to demonstrate in favor of a mass amnesty — for open borders, over which hundreds of millions of the world’s poor and oppressed would be invited to come here and swarm our free public schools and free hospital emergency rooms till our current socialist policies drive us finally, completely bankrupt — let them at least say what they mean.
“Removing the undocumented population” is “too costly, unworkable and un-American,” Mr. Ashman? It “has not worked”?
Harry Truman did it. Dwight Eisenhower did it, with remarkable effectiveness, and at no great cost, in Operation Wetback.
Calling that mere enforcement of our laws “Stalinesque,” as the ideological descendants of Stalin now do, is mere name-calling, intended to intimidate and silence. Stalin imprisoned, tortured and murdered millions — often through purposeful starvation — for the “crimes” of owning property, or simply not going along with his collectivist schemes.
During Operation Wetback, so far as I know, no one was killed, beaten or tortured. If any court found such humane law enforcement “illegal,” please cite the case. And note that once a few tens of thousands had been legally deported, back in 1954, hundreds of thousands more caught the drift and headed home on their own.
How can it be “un-American” to insist that Congress has a constitutional power to set even-handed immigration policies, or that America’s laws be enforced?
And how on earth can anyone say rounding up and deporting our population of illegal alien trespassers “has not worked,” when — with the exception of a few token raids on meatpacking plants, apparently now suspended by the scofflaw Obama — it hasn’t been seriously tried in 50 years?
Those token packing plant raids, by the by, disproved in spades the claim that these are “jobs Americans won’t do,” as thousands of legal residents applied for those jobs in the days after the raids.
It worked in 1954. It would work again now. So what’s the real objection? That it would leave too big a gap in current Democratic voter rolls?
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of “The Black Arrow.” See http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/vin/