Tuesday, June 3, 2008

immigration delusions

So, a recent disturbing editorial in the times about immigration here. Very disturbing. One quote that was really bad was this:

Someday, the country will recognize the true cost of its war on illegal immigration. We don’t mean dollars, though those are being squandered by the billions. The true cost is to the national identity: the sense of who we are and what we value.

You want to debate national identity? What about a simple one: respect for laws established by a democratic society.

And to specifically focus on the Mexicans, Huntington has a great comment here:

Unlike past immigrant
groups, Mexicans and other Latinos have
not assimilated into mainstream U.S.
culture, forming instead their own political
and linguistic enclaves—from Los Angeles
to Miami—and rejecting the Anglo-
Protestant values that built the American
dream. The United States ignores this
challenge at its peril.

So...rejecting illegal hispanic immigration does NOT threaten our national identity.

This is not about forcing people to go home and come back the right way. Ellis Island is closed. Legal paths are clogged or do not exist. Some backlogs are so long that they are measured in decades or generations. A bill to fix the system died a year ago this month. The current strategy, dreamed up by restrictionists and embraced by Republicans and some Democrats, is to force millions into fear and poverty.

This does not mean that the solution is letting millions of illegal Mexicans in without recourse.

The restrictionist message is brutally simple — that illegal immigrants deserve no rights, mercy or hope. It refuses to recognize that illegality is not an identity; it is a status that can be mended by making reparations and resuming a lawful life. Unless the nation contains its enforcement compulsion, illegal immigrants will remain forever Them and never Us, subject to whatever abusive regimes the powers of the moment may devise.

Every time this country has singled out a group of newly arrived immigrants for unjust punishment, the shame has echoed through history. Think of the Chinese and Irish, Catholics and Americans of Japanese ancestry. Children someday will study the Great Immigration Panic of the early 2000s, which harmed countless lives, wasted billions of dollars and mocked the nation’s most deeply held values.

Not fair. We do not advocate restricting their rights. We merely demand that they be treated as law breakers, WHICH THEY ARE. How do we treat any other criminal?

And the past is not a good lesson for the future this time. Mexicans have failed to integrate after several generations in the US. You can't compare them to the Irish and the Jews, who did very well just a generation after arriving.

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