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May 16, 2006

Rejecting mass deportation is "the middle ground"

The Washington Post describes Bush's immigration speech as an attempt to stake out a "middle ground" in the immigration debate:

Bush sought to reassure both sides with his speech last night, and in doing so he attempted to define the middle ground in a debate where consensus has been difficult. By ordering National Guard troops to the border, he was determined to show conservatives and House Republicans his belief that border security is a prerequisite to any legislative solution. But on the most contentious issue before Congress, Bush came closer to the approach now on the Senate floor, saying he favors a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants while rejecting either mass deportation or automatic amnesty for those now here illegally. [WaPo]

It's a sad commentary on the political discourse in this country, to say nothing of mainstream journalism, when you get moderate cred for rejecting the deportation of millions of people and sending 6000 troops to further militarize our border with a peaceful ally.

(Check out what constitutes publishable right wing discourse in a major online magazine: Vox Day argues that mass deportation is totally feasible because it only took the Nazis 6 years to "rid themselves" [sic] of 6 million Jews. [World Net Daily])
 

Amy Traub of the Drum Major institute has some cogent things to say about why Bush's guest worker program manages to shortchange both citizens and aspiring citizens by sanctioning a permanent cadre of second-class laborers who will drive down wages and benefits for all.

In other news, Bush's mixed messages on the border are even starting to freak out the Canadians. [WaPo]

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But of course it's the middle ground! Look! Even the president think so:

There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation. That middle ground recognizes...

"Is George Bush Over?" Illustrated, graphically. (Guidance suggested for minors)

The writer of that article she links to genuinely admires the way the Nazi's got rid of the Jews. Yes, they did alright, through death camps - is he suggesting that for Mexicans? (please don't anyone answer that, I really don't want to know the answer!)

And it says a lot that I actually thought it was a good, middle ground kind of speech. This year the middle is not deporting 12 million people and not declaring war on Mexico. Next year the middle is likely to be not using nukes.

Rose--

It's not clear whether Vox Day is a Holocaust denier, or if he's advocating extermination, or if he's just saying that expelling 12 million would be easier than killing 6 million. The fact that he leaves the question up in the air makes me suspect he favors extermination.

And I think one of the reasons he gets published by Wingnut Daily is that his dad is on the WND board.

I can't say that I'm surprised to see this sort of thing at WND, though. They often run columns that are very overt about fascism. What did surprise me, though, was seeing how close John Gibson came to advocating a policy of eugenics. The Fox guys are usually a bit more subtle.

Not that I live there (I grew up on the border in a different state), but I can sympathize with the locals who don't necessarily agree that we have a friendly neighbor to the south. In fact, I avoided the border highway for a few months when people on the other side started taking pot shots at those of us driving along. And if they were stealing/damaging my property, I'd raise hell with the government too.

Also there's the issue that while some people argue that free movement across national boundaries is a human right, no one has ever established that there is a protected right to enter our country in violation of our laws. As T. Roosevelt is reputed to have held, we need to fix the ridiculous immigration laws we have, but we need to enforce them until we do so. To do anything less is to profligately damage national sovereignty.

The whole immigration debate comes to nothing if the government doesn't have the balls to enforce it. They can put all they want on paper, hell they could even god forbid make it a felony to be an illegal alien, but that won't hold any water unless they act upon it. How can we expect this new "immigration reformation" to change anything when the current laws are being treated "more like guidelines" or suggestions than actual legislation? How many employers are prosecuted for knowingly hiring illegals?

Love that for the Quebec premier on the Canadian link,

"The daily story of our respective countries is the hockey teams that cross the borders every day, trade that goes on, people who shop on the other side," Charest said. "This is going to affect a lot of people."

When you get right down to it, it's about the Hockey.

Not surprised that these creeps are suggesting genocide (though it seems as much an anti-poor thing as a racist thing).

During the demonstrations, there were people suggesting concentration camps for illegals, in letters to the editor. You could almost see the Freeper's Grin on their faces, the kind they get when they're suggesting something completely vile. "Aahhhh... Life is Good!"

You know, I've always thought that somehow, no matter how bad things got, we'd never do what the Nazis did. Maybe it was wishful thinking. The Germans themselves used to think, in the 1930s, that their police and intelligence organizations would never be as bad as the Soviets'. Warnings that the Gestapo was becoming just as bad were ignored.

The key thing that jumped out at me after the speech yesterday was, "this is _not_ a militarization of the border." Oh really? 6000 National Guardspeople?

As T. Roosevelt is reputed to have held, we need to fix the ridiculous immigration laws we have, but we need to enforce them until we do so.

Fifty years ago, a lot of people suggested that people who protested segregation illegally should be jailed, too.

agm: As T. Roosevelt is reputed to have held, we need to fix the ridiculous immigration laws we have, but we need to enforce them until we do so. To do anything less is to profligately damage national sovereignty.

The desire to relentlessly enforce a policy that is admittedly "ridiculous" in order to prove some kind of point about "national sovereignty" may be the quidditative essence of both this administration and its supporters.

Meanwhile, among non-sociopaths:

You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, it is rather strange and paradoxical to find us consciously breaking laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: There are just and there are unjust laws. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that "An unjust law is no law at all."

--Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

I thought we established that the "breaking the law" thing was bullshit.

Bullshit "we" decided that. People who want unrestricted immigration irregardless of whatever policy we as a nation have decided to follow feel that way, but clearly there is not agreement on it.

And if I, someone who argues that we have a special relationship and debt to Mexico, aside from the economic benefits to all parties involved, feel that way, just think about how people who do not agree we owe anyone anything feel.

You can't implement good laws if you ignore a large chunk of the population, and this includes people who have the jitters about brown-skinned immigrants.

>You can't implement good laws if you ignore a large chunk of the population,

Wait a minute--are you arguing that we can't enact any laws if a sizable part of the population objects to the law?

>The desire to relentlessly enforce a policy that is admittedly "ridiculous" in order to prove some kind of point about "national sovereignty"

This ties in, for me, with the idiotic idea that we mustn't loosen immigration laws to make it easier for the undocumented, because it would be an "insult" to those who did it "the right way." I emigrated once, and there was so much red tape I couldn't see straight. Rather than feeling "insulted," I came out of the experience much _more_ inclined to forgive illegal immigrants. It didn't make me say "I had red tape--and by God, all of you will too!" It made me want to remove the red tape. As long as someone's not a violent person or a thief, if it's my country too, then I say they're welcome.

**agm:**

> You can't implement good laws if you ignore a large chunk of the population, and this includes people who have the jitters about brown-skinned immigrants.

Whether this is true or not, the point I was making had nothing in particular to do with whether or not you should implement new, better laws, or if so, when. It had to do with whether or not you're obliged in conscience to try to enforce already existing laws that are unjust. (You're not, because an unjust law has no legitimate authority, and because you're never obliged in conscience to do an injustice--even if every single person in the country besides you were demanding that you do it.) Admittedly ridiculous laws should not be enforced, and real people's lives and livelihoods are a hell of a lot more important than making your point about "national sovereignty."

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