Peace through victory - the American way.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What Part Of Family Don't You Understand?

In the heated aftermath of Hurrican Katrina as New Orleans awaited the arrival of another potentially devastating hurricane, Lt. General Russell Honore gave the best advice anybody could hear about anything: "Don't get stuck on stupid." The anti-illegal immigration crowd would do well to think hard about the general's remark.

The anti-illegals have a favorite slogan when debating the issue: "What part of illegal don't you understand?" The slogan is thrown out as if it provides a self-evident solution to the problem of illegal immigration. It doesn't.

Recent estimates put the number of illegals in the US at 10 to 12 million people. Let's leave aside whether it's reasonable to aggressively look for and deport them all. It's doubtful that anti-illegals even want to do that. Their solution is to solve the problem the same way we're doing such a bang up job at solving drug abuse: criminalizing it. They propose to make illegal entry and residence in the US a felony.

Criminalization might lead to self-deportation as some illegals voluntarily leave the country rather than risk imprisonment. It's just as likely that illegals will stay and be driven further underground into deeper marginalization and exploitation. Criminalization has not exactly eliminated drug abuse in our country.

Moreover, criminalization has one really huge downside that is evident to anybody who chooses to listen for the real reason why hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in the last week. Illegal immigrants don't live in this country in isolation. They live here in families. Those families include citizens and legal residents.

If we criminalize illegal immigrants we attack those families and in many instances we make criminals out of entire families as aiders and abettors. If we criminalize illegals we make political enemies of their relatives who are citizens and legal residents.

Many of the radicals who have had a hand in organizing the demonstrations might like to believe the protests have been about reconquista and Aztlan; that is, taking the Southwest United States back for Mexico by changing the demography with Mexican immigration. With apologies to La Raza, it's not. Radicals have been pedaling that nonsense for decades now and have gotten no traction in the general Mexican-American population.

No, these protests have not been about recapturing faded Mexican glory. These protests have been about the same things that have always motivated ethnic minorities to take to the streets in this country: ethnic pride, respect, equal rights and opportunity, and inclusion in the American family.

Anti-illegals are making a huge mistake by trying to criminalize the illegals and their families. These people want to live here and contribute, they want to join the American family, many of them are already voters, and many will become eligible soon. Don't believe for one minute they will forget who was with them and who was against them when the next elections come around.

Anti-illegals need to get over their hangup with the word "illegal." Don't get stuck on stupid. The solution to the problem of illegal immigration is not to turn on our neighbors who have come to this country to make a better life for themselves and their families. The solution is a mixture of border enforcement and legalization. Those 12 million people aren't going home; they're home now. Deal with it.


Here's a sampling of quotes from the past week to demonstrate what these protests are really about.
“We're not criminals! We're not criminals!”
Chant by hundreds of high school students at a peaceful rally in Escondido's Grape Day Park
“All we want is equality and equal opportunity, just like everybody else. We're trying to unite, not to isolate.”
Maria Fernandez, student at Orange Glen High School in Escondido
“I think the Mexicans, we are the ones who work more and do more for our children so they can have a better life.”
Julie Mejia, 19, a mother

Amy Cervantes, 17, said she learned about the House bill at school and on television. On Friday, the Morse High School senior and two younger sisters joined other teens and a few adult chaperones in a downtown San Diego march that drew roughly 4,000 participants.
“It's that law,” she said of her reason for participating, though the House bill has not yet become law. “That 4437, where anyone who helps someone illegal is a criminal.”

Jacqueline Mundo, 17, said she walked out of Clairemont High on Tuesday and marched for miles to Chicano Park with about 1,800 students from about a dozen San Diego schools.
Yesterday, she sat calmly along the parade route eating pizza next to her mother, Alejandra Justo, who came to San Diego from the coastal Mexican city of Acapulco 23 years ago. “I'm proud of her because she's fighting for our rights,” Justo said of her daughter, “but I'm not happy because she missed school.”

Parents who missed work yesterday to retrieve their children at schools and the police station were torn between pride for their children and concern for their safety.
“My daughter is expressing her rights as a citizen and I'm proud of her. But she needs to be in school,” said Lucila Aguilar, who had to leave her job at Sea World to pick her daughter up after she was arrested for leaving Memorial Academy of Learning and Technology.

“I don't think that immigrants are felons. They're just trying to make a better life,” said Castle Park High School freshman Rebecca Ortiz, who was among those cited yesterday for loitering.
Rebecca, 14, said her grandfather immigrated illegally and was bitten by snakes as he made the arduous journey.

“We're here to support our friends. This whole thing is ridiculous, making immigrants felons. Our complete country was built by immigrants,” said Hawk Adlimakado, a 16-year-old junior at San Dieguito.
Some parents took off from work to accompany their children on the march. Some pushed baby strollers and carried toddlers.
Nicholas Quintero, 15, a ninth-grader at Memorial Academy, said, “We're here because they're treating us badly. The Mexicans just want a better life and they're just doing what white people did a long time ago.”

“Illegal immigrants are not criminals. They just want to be here to support their families. They are not like terrorists,” said Mayra Mendoza, 18, a senior at Escondido High School.
Annette Medina, 14, a freshman at Mount Miguel High School, was among about 340 students protesting in Spring Valley. “I have family that was born in Mexico, a grandmother, grandfather, Mom, Dad and uncles,” she said. “My uncle got deported because he wasn't a citizen. I don't think that's right.”


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Blogger jakejacobsen said...

“My uncle got deported because he wasn't a citizen. I don't think that's right.”

Um, if you're going to use quotes try to cherry pick the ones from people who aren't brain damaged?


Oh, and this whole post could be clssified as "appeal to emotion." Nice try but I'm not buying. Yes our government made it far too easy to come and stay here illegally, but understand this, it was never approved by the American people and they did not approve of it.

This is the danger when governments do not follow the law. If this was a bad law they should have changed it, just one problem though, the American people would have thrown them out on their asses.

I think you need to wake up and smell what's cooking and it ain't amnesty chief.

1:24 AM


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