June 13, 2007


The demonizing of illegal immigrants (Jeff Jacoby, June 13, 2007, Boston Globe)

Kindergarten students, wrote Iowa Representative Steve King, are taught to line up at snack time and patiently wait their turn. A child who cuts in front of the others is promptly reprimanded and sent to the back of the line. "If not, the entire classroom erupts with charges of 'That's not fair!"' Making the line-cutter wait until all the other children have gotten their snacks teaches "the entire class . . . that good behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is punished." King's conclusion: "The Senate amnesty proposal amounts to letting every line-cutter walk away with his cupcake."

Given the rancor with which so much of the immigration debate is conducted, there's a winsome appeal to this "kindergarten" comparison.

But winsome or not, King's analogy fails. Illegal immigrants don't steal across the Mexican border because they lack the patience to wait their turn in line. They do it because there is no line for them to wait in. [...]

For most illegal immigrants, a legal option simply doesn't exist. Under current law, a young Mexican or Salvadoran who wants to improve his life by moving to America and working hard at a useful job generally has just two options: (a) Enter illegally, or (b) stay out forever. Several hundred thousand a year choose option (a).

Remove the numerical quotas that were imposed during America's disgraceful eugenic period and let them come through a regular and streamlined process. That removes the legality canard and satisfies two thirds of Americans.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 13, 2007 6:04 AM

"come through a regular and streamlined process". Fully agree (and that 2/3 of Americans agree).
The problem is that the current system doesn't provide this and that the proposed bill didn't provide for this either, hence the 70%+ opposition to the bill.

Posted by: AWW at June 13, 2007 8:58 AM

70% will oppose any bill that does.

Posted by: oj at June 13, 2007 9:50 AM

Shouldn't the ultimate goal for Mexicans be to change Mexico into an actual free-market democracy. Doesn't helping all the malcontents flee pretty much preclude any real improvement there? Or is posting this here the equivalent of putting a big "kick me" sign on my forehead?

Posted by: lebeaux at June 13, 2007 12:56 PM

Lebeaux, what makes you think that Mexicans are unhappy with their country? Americans have a lot tradition of coming here to work and send money back to the "Old country". Maybe they don't what their home to become as degraded as America is(As depicted by the Media).

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 13, 2007 1:29 PM

Actually, I said a free-market democracy, not America. The two aren't necessarily the same.... or are they? hmmmm.

Posted by: lebeaux at June 13, 2007 2:59 PM