Thursday, May 03, 2007

DEBATING "ILLEGAL" IMMIGRATION

Whoever first defines the situation is the victor.” So said the iconoclastic psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. Consider, for example, the difference between dealing with the “Soviet government” or an “evil empire”—between paying “confiscatory taxes” and making “infrastructure investments.”

The accuracy of Szasz’s statement is further illustrated in the debate over…illegal immigration. The prior sentence would have had a different impact if the word “illegal” were omitted—as it typically is when “mainstream” media cover the issue.

The day after this year’s May Day marches, a North County Times headline announced, “Local immigration protests draw few.” Hometown television hairdos employed similar lingo the evening before, speaking of “immigration activists” and “immigration rights.”

Other terms included “humane progressive change,” “meaningful immigration reform,” and “undocumented immigrants.” The final construct is a tad more honest than the insipid phrase “undocumented residents” that a local TV reporter invented a few weeks ago.

As I switched from one station to another, the uniform story line was that though the rallies were shadows of last year’s events (The Vista march, one journalist said, numbered around 50.) the protestors’ points were made just as forcefully. In other words, it was implied that numbers don’t matter—a perspective never voiced when marches are “massive.”

The most honest reportorial moment occurred when a trifecta of protestor demands was announced: no guest workers, stop the raids, legalization for all. There was, naturally, no commentary about the realistic consequences of this no-border policy.

After fluff coverage of the marches, a brief statement by Congressman Brian Bilbray was imposed on the screen and read: “While we may be a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws, and it is absolutely absurd for anyone who has broken our laws to demand rights such as citizenship.”

KUSI then proceeded to a segment about the rise of hate crimes and of “anti-immigrant” hate groups—drawing special attention to a Klan member who hoped for a bomb to “blow up a busload of Latinos.”

So there you have it. On the one hand we have persons who only want “a decent living wage and a decent life,” and on the other hand you have those who want to murder Latinos—a group juxtaposed with the North County Congressman who dares ignore the protest sign: “Ninguna persona es illegal.”

Missing was any honest analysis of how twelve million “illegal aliens” affect local schools and hospitals. Missing was any discussion about welfare benefits, gangs, and the impact of “open-borders” on persons at the lower end of the economic ladder. Missing was commentary, like Diana West’s, that highlights the four-decade transformation of Anglo Los Angeles into the second largest Mexican city in the world—behind Mexico City.

I’m perfectly willing to agree that most “illegals” come to this country to work and to work hard. What I won’t do is ignore the difference between regulated legal immigration and unregulated illegal immigration. Just as I won’t pretend, for PC’s sake, that a locked back door equals the Berlin Wall.

1 comment:

joanna dillon said...

Illegal immigration must be stopped. The problem? It's too late. The borders have been unenforced for so long that there is not hope of stopping the problem. Oh, sure, the government can attempt to slow down the number of illegals who enter this country but the "damage" has been done. The welfare system is taxed beyond all comprehension. The medical system is bulging at the seams. The rate of unwanted pregnancies are alarming. The gang related activity is eye-popping and the economic ramifications of illegal immigration are only going to get worse. People complain about the minimum wage rate. The cost of living continues to increase but minimum wage continues to lag behind. Why is this? Because $5.15 per hour sounds pretty good to someone who is accustomed to making pennies. These illegal immigrants hold more and more American jobs. People say that the illegal immigrant provides "cheap" farm labor. Well, here's a solution. Why not make the minimum security prisoners that are over taxing our prison system, getting 3-square meals a day, cable television and free educational resources, get off their butts and work in the fields? Remember the chain gangs? Well, let's reinstitute that practice. Prison should not be a social function. If these people were put to work the need for illegal labor would cease.

Yep, something needs to be done about illegal immigration. The solution isn't making NEW laws....it lies in enforcing the OLD laws!