Like all else in politics, the immigration question is a matter of timing. In the complex and illicit dance of states, citizens, governments, agendas, and 12 million aliens, the jitterbug caught out of step is trampled unforgivingly. The GOP has now assumed this most embarrassing of dance-floor positions — and with the President leading feet that won’t follow, cringeworthy moves were a given. Yet it’s the House where sequencing has been worst out of sync, and though there’s still time to get it right, the beat goes on with or without us. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do. To get our steps right, we first need to understand how timing shows us what about the immigration crisis is and isn’t a real issue. Then we need to grasp the objectives of those pro-illegal enthusiasts who dance to such a different drumbeat. Only then can we move with confidence.
The immigration crisis cannot be reduced to a single issue. Change one element — or separate it out — and you get a whole new debate. One element is volume: if the U.S. were home to only a million illegals, there would be no crisis. Another element is rate: only 500 illegals crossing over yearly also spells no crisis. We must remember that the rule-of-law issue, so critical and urgent given 12 million illegals, is negotiable on a sliding scale. Practically, the sovereignty of the United States is not damaged by very low volumes and rates of illegal immigration.
On another sliding scale is the character of the illegals themselves. Twelve million looks like a horrendous number, and the hordes of protesters clogging our cities seem dedicated to the overrun and overthrow of the law maintaining the American character. But think: if the protests fielded, in total, between 1 and 2 million unique individuals, then somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of illegals cared enough about their legal or political status to take to the streets. The others stayed home — or at work. And at least some of the protesters were already American citizens. So, for easy math, let’s estimate that one eighth of our 12 million illegals hit the streets. For every one who protested, perhaps seven chose not to. The percentage of the 12 million, in other words, who mobilized for amnesty or voting rights or Aztlan or whatever, is a clear minority of the illegal immigrant population.
Indeed, those who did protest certainly did so for different reasons. The story is in the slogans. For some, “today we march, tomorrow we vote” was the unnerving rallying cry. But for others, the goal was much more practical: not being deported. Some protesters seemed most concerned about getting across an emotional message — don’t hate us more than don’t ban us, with “us” being Latinos or Mexicans rather than simply illegals. There is a pile of mixed motivations here. But it is clear that HR 4437, because of its felony provision, was a leading external incitement factor. I bet most marched to register their opposition to being made felons. It’s equally clear that a leading internal incitement factor is a highly-motivated vanguard group that wants high-volume, high-rate Mexican immigration — legally or illegally — because it wants to change the character of not just the USA but nationalism itself.
FOR THE PRO-IMMIGRATION element, legality is a side issue. Before talk of criminalization, how much agitation did we see for amnesty? Before state measures designed to deny social services to the “undocumented,” who took to the streets to demand citizenship for those who didn’t seek it out in the first place? Those in favor of large numbers of Mexican immigrants do not need official legality, and they never have — so long as the system tolerates, includes, and provides for immigrants regardless of their legal status.
The real agenda of the pro-immigration element at its leading edge, politically speaking, is not amnesty for non-citizens but de-citizenship for all. For Mexican-Americans with would-be immigrant friends and family in Mexico, the important thing is relocating their community into the United States in a way that meets its needs and desires. The formality of citizenship is a second- or third-order objective. For American businesses looking to pay workers at rates Americans won’t take, the citizenship status of obliging Mexican laborers is moot. It does not affect their ability to do the job. And for Latino intellectuals and movement thinkers, citizenship itself is an obstacle to the future.p>Andrew Sullivan caught Michael Lind “satirizing the people with whom he must sometimes form alliances” thus: br> /p>
“Hello. I’m a post-patriotic progressive. I believe that nation-states like the USA are obsolete and indeed immoral. I abhor and denounce the bigotry of ‘citizenism’ — the idea that the American government should favor the interests of the 300 million citizens of the US over those of the other 5.7 billion people on earth.”br> Gents of the gente like Andres Rozental, president of the Mexican Council on International Affairs, and Professor Raul Hinojosa, director of the North American Integration & Development Institute at UCLA and
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online