May 02, 2006

So, did it work?

Our own illustrious News Journal conveniently blurs the distinction between "illegal" and "legal" immigrants (or, usually in their vernacular, "undocumented" and "documented" immigrants) in their coverage of the "Day Without Immigrants," though remarkably they utilized a much smaller figure for the national illegal population, citing 7.5 million as opposed to the more commonly used 12 million. (On NBC's "Today" show, a reporter used the phrase "those whom critics call 'illegals,'" as if one is a mere "critic" when pointing out that someone has entered the country, um, illegally.) WNJ writers Mike Chalmers and Eric Ruth note how many local businesses were affected by the "protest;" however, did either of them query the local business owners as to what, exactly -- if their employees were LEGAL immigrants -- they or their employees have to fear about federal immigration legislation? Not that I saw.

Let's take a look at the American public's views on immigration, especially illegal immigration. Despite what many in the media may have said about yesterday's protest, a sizeable majority feel the protest hurts [illegal] immigrants' cause, 57% to 17% (who say it helps) and 20% (who say it has no effect). (NBC/Wall St. Journal poll.)

  • USA Today/Gallup poll: "Do you think that illegal immigration to the United States is out of control, or not?" Out of control: 81%; Not out of control: 16%.
  • A Time poll shows 68% feel illegal immigration is an "extremely serious" or "very serious" problem.
  • USA Today/Gallup and CBS polls both show that Americans overwhelmingly feel that immigration levels should currently be either kept at the present level OR decreased: 82% and 78% respectively.
  • Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll: 90% of Americans feel that illegal immigration is a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem. In response to the question "Do you think most illegal immigrants have a greater allegiance to their home countries or to the United States?" 57% say "their home countries" to 18% saying the US. In answer to "Do you think it is fair or unfair to grant rights to illegal immigrants while thousands of people wait each year to come to the United States legally?" 81% say "unfair."

The different polls and their related questions are extensive and can be read here. It's definitely worth noting that, despite the strong feelings Americans have about illegal immigration, their natural generosity and good will remain evident. Majorities believe, when given the choice in poll questions, that illegals should have a path available to them to obtain eventual citizenship, be able to obtain work permits (or work in a guest worker program), that citizens should not be penalized for giving aid (medical or otherwise) to illegals, and that the US government should concentrate more on border enforcement than worrying about the illegals already here in the country. Perhaps Alfred Coe's letter in today's News Journal summarizes it best:

The statement "America is a country made by immigrants" is true but for the native Indians. We came, built homes and lives here, learned to speak the predominant language -- English -- worked and paid taxes.

We still welcome those who embrace this system, but do not appreciate those who do not. We perceive illegal immigrants as people who expect us to speak their language and provide health and schooling while making no financial contribution to the system from which they benefit.

They are perceived to drive illegally and have no car insurance. When they attempt to change this perception, they will be welcomed. Until then for them to expect us to welcome them is ludicrous.

Some of those perceptions are more correct than others, of course, but the point is plain. Still, to some of the paranoid set, any concern about illegal immigration displays "anti-immigrant" sentiment. *YAWN* The positive sentiments noted above won't assuage those "on high" who "know" better. There are those that think illegal immigrants somehow aren't illegal at all -- they are "free trade refugees" or some other nouveau appellation because somehow, someway, the United States forced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Mexico, and hence the US is now "obligated" to see to those refugees they "created." (Mexico's government was powerless to stop it, you see; the Republican Revolution in Congress in 1994 at that time invented a mind-control device that influenced President Bill Clinton to fight for the agreement, as well as the Mexican government officials to go along. Or, from a "reactionary right-wing" perspective, Clinton knew that NAFTA would lead to increased numbers of illegals entering the US and figured that'd help ensure a solid Democratic voting bloc for years to come!)

In other words, the law (NAFTA) is unjust, and unjust laws should not followed. This was used to good effect during the Civil Rights era (rightly so, in this case), and now the usual suspects want to turn illegal immigration into the next big "civil rights" movement. 'Ol Ted Kennedy has recently said as much, for example. But again, what about Mexico's responsibility? If NAFTA is so unjust, why did they agree to it? Why aren't pissed off Mexicans lobbying their own government to get the hell out of it? Ah, but you see, why ask such hard questions when you make a "civil rights" issue out of it here in the US? "Unjust" laws should be ignored!

Of course, don't make that argument to lefties about abortion or something similar ... they'll burst their craniums in apoplexy; however, maybe you can ease them into it by beginning with the following: change the term "aborted fetus" to "victim of the reproductive rights genocide."

Posted by Hube at May 2, 2006 04:26 PM | TrackBack

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That's it, I'm calling for a boycott of Cinco de Mayo! Oh, feel free to get drunk this Friday, just don't do it with Corona, Jose Cuervo, Tecate, or whatever. I suggest Carlsberg or Tuborg, to show support for Denmark.

Posted by: G Rex at May 3, 2006 03:51 PM

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