Monday, August 21, 2006

Give Me Your Tired and Poor Misrepresentations

Jerry Bowyer over at TCS writes in defense of amnesty:
As the argument runs, we all like immigrants just fine, thank you. But what we don't like is illegality. [This] argument is basically circular. The debate is about whether we should change our laws. If we liberalize immigration rules, then a number of immigrants will no longer be in violation of the law. They won't be "illegals."
To the extent that some politicians attempt to divorce their discussion of illegal immigration from the number and source of illegal immigrants, Mr. Bowyer has a point. But no serious commentator on immigration does this. The number and source are exactly what "enforcement first" advocates are concerned about, as Mr. Bowyer should know perfectly well.
Those of us who believe importing massive numbers of low-wage workers from countries with traditions of economic paternalism and political corruption might be bad for the existing citizenry of the United States are always asked, "Do you really want to engage in mass deportations? Do you!?! If not, then you must agree to an amnesty in exchange for securing the border and enforcing the law . . . and we'll really do it this time, not like in '86 when we lied out our ass to get you to agree to the last amnesty. This time you can trust us."
No, Mr. Bowyer, those of us who want to see immigration law enforced, whatever our commitment to law and order in the abstract, are specifically opposed to the result of the illegality. And we want to see concrete evidence of the political will to stop the slow-motion invasion and conquest of our country by a foreign people before we consider the normalization of illegal immigrants already here.

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