Immigration agendas hidden

Published 9:52 am Monday, July 27, 2009

If I were inclined to forget about Austin’s immigration protests, the phone calls, letters-to-the-editor, and postings on the Herald’s Web site would have kept it mind. I succeeded in getting people thinking and talking (well, at least, talking), and this alone makes the column a success. Not having the space for a complete statement, I hinted at some concerns, and now I assert them.

Those who are protesting immigration have a fully valid cause concerning illegal immigration, but I sense a cultural intolerance behind this; those who defend immigration have a fully valid cause for legal immigration, but I sense behind it an indulgence of illegal immigration.

These critics of immigration are totally correct in their objection to and protests of illegal immigration. In many, many instances, this is immediately followed, even implemented, by further acts of law violation. Statistically, there is a positive correlation between willingness to break entry laws and willingness and ease of breaking other laws.

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Yet, it must not be presumed, as these immigration protestors seem to presume, that breaking the law in entering necessarily leads to a life of law-breaking. Moreover, some of the violations are understandable, even when committed by legal immigrants, in light of their native backgrounds, because many of the federal and state laws violated are done naively. Some acts are not illegal in the countries in which they were reared, and it is no easy task to learn the plethora of laws new to them here.

It is even difficult to recognize the sense of some laws so as to become convinced they are worth compliance. (And you don’t need to come from Mexico to develop this skepticism.)

Even when an alien knows an act is illegal in this country, some find it difficult to take the law seriously inasmuch as minor laws just are not enforced in their native country. Again, not a small number of native Americans find it easy to violate laws they think are unlikely to be enforced. Such is not necessarily a cultural characteristic, but as much a human weakness.

Certain associations arise in my mind when I look at the pictures of those protesting immigration and read their statements or see their actions and hear their voices on television. Let me say just this: If they wish to convince me of the profundity of their thinking, the justness of their cause, the purity of their motives, or the strength of their character, they haven’t.

I recognize and I think understand how immigrants and those close to them react strongly against what they perceive as racial bias and intolerable intolerance of immigrants. They sense, as I do, these are actually opposed to all immigration. These people are a threat to immigrants, and immigrants and all fair minded Americans ought to find an appropriate and effective way to counter their campaign.

I just don’t think shouting obscenities and slogans at them can accomplish this.

However, just as the message of immigration protestors seems to have a subtext, so does that of protesting immigrants. The former present illegal immigration as the objection while targeting all immigration. The latter present immigration as their cause when they appear to be defending illegal immigration.

Both sides harbor hidden agendas.

However outrageous are many of the signs held by both sides, the one that just cannot be defended or excused was “No more deportations!” What this actually calls for is a violation of federal law. This provides deportation for several classes of immigrants, even legal immigrants. It mandates it for given actions. If government agents would cease legally authorized deportations, they would themselves be in violation of the law. The only way to end deportations is to change the law to outlaw them.

Now, those who made the signs, may have meant something else. Perhaps they refer not to deportation law but the manner in which some deportations have been executed recently. If so, they should say what they mean so we can understand and help.

To refer to illegal aliens as “undocumented workers” is utter nonsense. It makes as much sense as to term a murderer “an unregistered human terminator.” Enough of this radical political correctness. When a person is an alien and has entered our country illegally, he or she is an illegal alien—or English has entirely lost its meaning.

Let’s end illegal immigration and not indulge it. Let’s understand immigration and enhance it.