Monday, November 28, 2011






Straw Man


"For a more substantive, honest and mature discussion of border security -- and the larger immigration issue that has been bound to it -- you had to turn to Newt Gingrich." Continuing, CNN contributor Ruben Navarrette Jr. writes "The former House speaker in pointed language, challenged the idea that the United States should be in the business of destroying families and uprooting people who have lived here, albeit illegally, for a quarter century or longer."

Frank Sharry, The Executive Director of America's Voice, a pro-immigrant organization, argues "Gingrich, while hardly a reformer in the tradition of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, at least deigns to acknowledge the reality that it is neither practical nor humane to drive 11 million people out of the country."

And Bill Clinton, praising Gingrich's approach, commented "On the other hand, a lot of those people have been here for years, they worked hard, they paid taxes, they’ve got kids in the schools, they’re not criminals, we’re going to have a hard time sending them all home, there’s millions of them."

Destroying families and uprooting people. Drive 11 million people out of the country. Sending them all home.

CNN didn't report it. Neither did the other 24-hour news cable channels, MSNBC and GOP TV. The major commercial networks- ABC, CBS, and NBC- missed it, as did public television. Apparently, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security have been cooking up a scheme to gather together all families containing illegal immigrants, lure them to the Rose Bowl, and send them via special charters back to their homeland. Or perhaps this was done, on a more limited scale, in the Bush Administration amid a media blackout imposed to enable future administrations to employ the same tactic.

No, probably not, because in this country at least, we do not resort to mass deportations- of murderers, rapists, car thieves, burglars, or immigrants. But you would never know it, given the constant reminder that we cannot "round up," as it's sometimes termed, millions of illegal immigrants,a s if it ever has been done, is being done, will be done, or under any circumstances would be done to illegal immigrants. (Japanese-Americans were rounded up during World War II, but they were here legally allowing for easier detection, it was rationalized as wartime necessity, and was sufficiently abhorrent that it would not be repeated.)

The idea that we should turn a blind eye to those illegally in the country admittedly raises interesting possibilities. Moving vehicle violations are rampant; perhaps police should throw up their hands, recognize that at that very moment, there are probably 12 million or more people driving at a faster rate than the speed limit, and ignore that guy blowing by him at 80 in a 55 mile per hour speed zone. And there are millions of Americans who smoke marijuana; perhaps law enforcement will forego enforcing its prohibition. Arguably, the state should look the other way, but try telling the cop who detains you for possession that it's okay because everyone does it.

Declare defeat and go home! It is an unusual argument, that individuals in the country illegally should stay put in part because they are so numerous, as if enforcement would be more pressing if there were fewer breaching the borders.






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