Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The I-word

The game of "hawks" and "doves" which I refer to below is aided by euphemism. Pro-abortion groups have long tried to make that debate about liberty by resolutely avoiding the word "abortion." No one likes to speak out against freedom. Few people are willing to defend abortion. If someone were to awake from a forty year coma, she'd have no idea what most pro-abortion discourse was actually about. All she'd hear is words like "choice," "women's health" and, occasionally, "reproductive rights."

Are we seeing the same thing in the debate over illegal immigration? As others have pointed out, the issue is almost always framed as being about immigration generally rather than immigration that is illegal. The term "undocumented immigrant" suggests someone who forgot her driver's license at home, not someone who has entered the United States in violation of the law and probably remains through fraud.

Proposals, like Sensenbrenner's bill or the proposal to build a wall, may be impractical but are attacked, instead, as "racist" and "hateful." My fellow community columnist Maria Flores (who is a bright and delightful young woman) recently likened the bill to the fugitive slave act and the Holocaust.

Calling people who support the enforcement of our immigration laws as "racist" or "fascist" is a ploy to create doves.

Much of what we are hearing from the left on immigration is bunk. There are few, if any, countries in modern history who have been indifferent to the security of their borders and who is and is not permitted to live within them. Immigration reform may be in order, but trying to find some way to enforce the laws we have is nothing like genocide, slavery or any other inapposite metaphor that proponents of illegal immigration might choose.


Anonymous said...

Dysphemism comes to mind when seeing the word fraud used in this argument. Fraud fits the employers and politicians more than the illegal (if you must) employees. Flores points out criminalizing those who "assist" illegols is the real bunk.

Rick Esenberg said...

It depends on the facts. Lots of illegal aliens (and yes, I must, because that is what they are) use phony documents. That is fraud. You and I may think it is forgiveable fraud but it's still fraud.

I don't think Sensenbrenner's idea that we can get rid of the 12 million people who are here is even possible, much less desireable. But at some point we should either enforce the law or repeal it.

Anonymous said...

Just the facts ma’m says Sgt. Joe Friday. Maybe before your time.

Illegal is illegal cry the lawmakers.
I think speed limit.
Its relative cries the driver
Justice is just cry the prosecutors.
Guilty as sin gavels the Judge
Right is righteous saith the Preacher.
Off with his head cries the Mad Hatter.

I fear absolutes.