Response to the Immigration Article Posted by: Jon Henke
on Saturday, May 20, 2006
There have been a few responses to my immigration article at TCSDaily, and I want to discuss them in due time, but one response stands out for its sheer sliminess and deception. Bryan Preston at Hot Air writes...
For instance Jon Henke, blogger at QandO, in a column for TCS tries his best to understand why immigration has “suddenly” come to dominate the airspace. [...] He runs through language like “nativist” and “restrictionist,” manages to leave out “racist”…but just barely, though it’s implicit in the mystery itself.
Look, it's disgusting and dishonest when Harry Reid accuses proponents of English as a common or national langue of being racist — as if language is racial — and it's every bit as vile when people leap to the assumption that concern about immigration equals racism or xenophobia. In fact, I've previously defended Preston's co-blogger Michelle Malkin from that very charge.
However, nowhere in my article did I mention, allude to, or imply racism, and for Preston to assign such an implication to me is, frankly, the kind of behaviour I'd expect from Harry Reid, Atrios and the slime slingers on the Left. But Bryan Preston apparently believes he knows what I really meant, so now I've implied they were racist and "just barely" managed to leave it out.
For the record, neither "restictionist" nor "nativist" imply racism. A restrictionist is merely somebody who wants to heighten restrictions — more border patrols, more walls, more migrant interdiction, more focus on keeping migrants out — while nativism is merely favoring natives over outsiders.
I don't mind people who disagree with me — that's the point of an exchange of ideas. I do, however, mind very much when I'm accused of dishonesty, of racism, or when my arguments are misrepresented like this.
The rest of his critique is not much better. Preston writes...
Yet he never makes the case for his own position, which appears to be on the open borders bandwagon.
Well, the point was not to lay out a comprehensive plan so much as point out the incoherence of the "border control" faction. However, I did conclude with the suggestion that a policy of welcoming peaceful migrants rather than erecting barriers to their entry would help solve a lot of the cultural and security problems about which the restrictionists worry. Preston even made that point himself, noting that the "fake ID trade [flourishes] thanks to having millions of illegal immigrants here who need to fool authorities".
When it comes to immigration, it’s remarkable how many on the right adopt the tactics of the left–smear first, ignore the facts, engage in spin and pretend history has nothing to do with the present.
Preston would certainly know about the "tactics of the left", like smearing, ignoring the points made in the article, spinning, etc. I made no mention of amnesty. I simply point out that restrictionist policies make it harder for immigrants to assimilate, while only trivially reducing their incentive to come into the country in the first place. In fact, those policies create the uncontrolled flood of illegal immigration, out of which it is vastly more difficult to find terrorists and violent criminals.
Preston then delves into a discussion of why the far-less-monitored Canadian border is a less pressing issue than the Mexican border, but his argument primarily revolves around the Mexican government being way more annoying than the Canadian government. (they published a border-crossing comic book, threatened to sue and they're not fighting in Afghanistan!) Never mind the fact that there are far more immigrant Muslims in Canada and "roughly 50 terrorist groups operate in" Canada" and a "human-smuggling ring that was running illegal immigrants [including Pakistanis] into the United States through Canada", all of which I pointed out in the article.
Never mind that, there's a tiny fringe of reconquista Mexicans! They held signs up at protests! To the walls!
Finally, Preston writes...
Henke’s article misses most of these relevant points. In fact, it misses all of them.
...which makes it hard to believe he actually read the article at all. In it, I specifically addressed the security, cultural and economic concerns, citing academic research on the cultural and economic front and inherent contradictions and problems with security. Preston may disagree with me on those fronts, but instead he accuses me of simply avoiding altogether the very areas the article was about and implying that the proponents of more border control were simply racist.
That's not a serious argument. It's demagoguery. I don't think Preston is racist, but I do think he has acted like an ass.
I tried to post this before but either my IP or some word I was using is banned. Let’s try it again:
It’s become a major issue due to the Minutemen + the protests over the Senesenbrenner bill.
Considering that it’s a vital issue affecting hundreds of millions of people and involved hundreds of billions of dollars, the better question is why others haven’t made a big issue of it before.
As for security, there’s much more to it than just terrorists.
For instance, most countries would consider it extremely dangerous to have a large number of foreign citizens in their country, especially when those foreign citizens begin marching in their streets and making demands. What happens if they don’t get what they want? As I write here, we’ve not only lost control of our borders, we’ve lost control of the interior of our country as well.
If you disagree, tell me exactly how you’d deport even just a million illegal aliens over six months. And, tell me exactly what you think would happen if they resisted.
As for the Open Letter on Immigration, it’s a joke:
lo newa cko.com/blog/archives/005060.html (remove the spaces)
And, there’s the matter of many of those illegal aliens coming from one country. That country is semi-hostile and used to own part of our country. And, they continually attempt - and frequently succeed - to meddle in our internal politics. And, the head of their former office of Mexicans Abroad publicly stated that his goal was to keep the Mexicans they send us Mexicans.
Both recent Mexican presidents have stated that the Mexican state includes all Mexicans inside and outside their country, including millions in the U.S.
If a foreign country tries to hang on to the citizens they send and claims a large portion of your population as its own, that’s a security issue too.
Lone, we’ll have to agree to disagree about the degree to which the reconquistas constitute an actual policy problem. Annoying, ridiculous, wrong...sure. But they’re a fringe group. That some Mexicans want to re-take portions of the US requires no more policy reaction than the fact that some Southerners still want to secede. They are a subsection of a subsection.
As I write here, we’ve not only lost control of our borders, we’ve lost control of the interior of our country as well.
Yeah, well I’m a libertarian. I don’t like the idea of internal "control". I like the idea that free people should be able to speak, assemble and petition without the government "controlling" it. I know it probably hurts the egos of Americans who feel out of control, but frankly I don’t really see a big problem with it. We ought to spend more time worrying about the crimes that actually violate our life, liberty and property. We might be able to do that if we had less existential angst about people merely being here.
As for the Open Letter on Immigration, it’s a joke:
It’s probably best that you don’t call the letter a joke, then provide a link wherein you demonstrate that you completely missed the point of the letter. They did not profess to dictate policy, nor to address areas outside those on which there was a consensus. They merely pointed out what serious research has shown, so that people debating the issue would be informed of the facts in those specific areas.
Jon, I’ve concluded that in the current climate, one cannot expect a reasoned and reasonable discussion of immigration policy in most venues. The conversation here has been civil and rather productive, but that is not the norm — I say this based on my perusal of many right-of-center blogs and their comments sections.
And altho you certainly did not accuse anyone of being a racist, and it was absurd to suggest you did, I do not shrink from that claim. It is palpable in too many of the comments I’ve read and the mindless, sudden rage that screams for an explanation. Even here, one of your commenters came right out and said he wants a predominantly "white" America. Just because folks have the sense not to use words like "Spic" does not mean their opposition to Mexican immigrants is not driven by a fundamental antipathy to non-Caucasian people who speak a different language.
I write that as a libertarian who has angrily rejected accusations that I am a racist merely because I’d repeal most of the Civil Rights Act. In my view, employers should be free to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion...whatever notions float their boat. (And I might boycott them, as I did Cracker Barrel when that company refused to hire gay people.) So I do understand that many who disagree with me about immigration policy, possibly even most, are not racist in their motivation. But only a blind person could fail to see the racism in a lot of the erupting fury about Mexican immigrants.I completely admit that a lot of folks who share my views on the wrongness of the CRA are racists; I’m not, but I also do not deny that many who share that view are.
Your position is very much the same as my own; clearly we need "control" of the borders in terms of processing immigrants and weeding out criminals/terrorists; they must be documented and given papers that render their presence legal, and above ground. It is their illegal status that breeds so much of the harm, and a sensible policy would accommodate that fact. Desperately poor people are simply not going to stop flowing here for jobs and an opportunity to improve their lives and the lives of their children. In their shoes, many of us would do the same thing, even if it made us "criminals." That is reality, and a sensible policy would deal with that reality.
That some Mexicans want to re-take portions of the US requires no more policy reaction than the fact that some Southerners still want to secede. They are a subsection of a subsection.
1. Many Mexican-American politicians are former members of MEChA or have expressed extremist views. Former Mechistas include: Los Angeles’ mayor, CA state Sen. Cedillo, CA state assemblman Nunez, and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva.
2. If that weren’t bad enough, the MSM refuses to report on those affiliations, in effect covering up for extremists. That makes this much more pernicious than Southern secessionists.
3. 58% of Mexicans in Mexico said the U.S. southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico. That doesn’t mean that an equal percentage of those who’ve come here believe that, but it is a light version of irredentism and it should be worrisome to anyone who thinks those we invite here shouldn’t be a threat to the rest of us.
4. As stated above, the Mexican government has been very forthright about having its eyes on a portion of those who live in our country. Once again, that should be worrisome to those 99%+ of Americans who support this country’s fundamental concepts.
They merely pointed out what serious research has shown, so that people debating the issue would be informed of the facts in those specific areas.
The letter was quite short on facts and a balanced view, It means absolutely nothing because it doesn’t even give a nod to everything involved in the current situation and the current debate. And, it doesn’t say anything about what would happen if the Senate/Bush get their way and 66 million legal immigrants come here over the next 20 years, not to mention all the accompaning illegal aliens.
And, they try to portray remittances as completely good, when in fact they also lead to an unhealthy dependency, incentivize Mexico sending us people, prolong reforms in Mexico, give Mexico more political power in the U.S., and greatly increase political corruption in the U.S.
The letter does show however that many "liberals" and libertarians share a common trait of being far removed from reality.
If you want to exaggerate the importance of the reconquista movement, there’s not really anything more for me to say about it. Like secessionists, One World Government advocates and anarchists, they exist, but that does not mean we need to do something about it.
The letter was quite short on facts and a balanced view, It means absolutely nothing because it doesn’t even give a nod to everything involved in the current situation and the current debate.
Do you know how ridiculous that is? They provided a link to the facts — pages upon pages of facts and serious academic research. The letter merely described the facts; it did not puport to lay them out. Open letters tend not to be quite as long as doctoral dissertations. However, if long, academic research papers are what you’re into....you’re welcome to them. But I’ll go out on a limb and guess that, though you complain about the lack of facts, the presence of facts doesn’t change your mind.
Worse, the idea that, because they didn’t discuss everything, then their letter means "absolutely nothing" is patently ridiculous. In your response, you didn’t mention everything. Does that imply that your response also means nothing? They stated facts. That is all.
Jon, I’ve concluded that in the current climate, one cannot expect a reasoned and reasonable discussion of immigration policy in most venues.
Yeah, I’ve seen exactly the same sort of behaviour from the right — in response to my column and in general — as I’ve seen from the left on so many topics. (the war in Iraq, for example) It’s frustrating. Not because I expect agreement, but because...
(1) I’m disappointed by the personal attacks, the misrepresentations and the viciousness of the disagreement. And...
(2) I’m confused by the sudden lack of skepticism from people who are otherwise intensely skeptical of government. So many on the right just got done arguing that the federal government can’t possibly be responsible for protecting New Orleans or for handling disastere management responsibly and effectively....but suddenly the federal government is capable of controlling a 2000 mile border against motivated millions? The overwhelming majority of whom are threatening to pick our lettuce, build our homes, wash our dishes, etc?
I think they vastly overestimate the competence, dedication and effectiveness of our government, the cost-effectiveness of the solution, the extent of the problem and the viability of the lower-cost alternatives.
I should point out, though, that while some people have racist motivations, I don’t assume them. I’m sure that race plays a part for some participants in this debate, but I think it would be intellectually dishonest of me to focus on the racism, rather than on the non-racist arguments. Much like the civil rights debate of which you wrote, I’m sure there are racists who want to eliminate programs for racial reasons, but focusing on them obscures the legitimate non-racist motivations.
MEChA is a left-wing, lunatic fringe group whose power is primarily confined to the fevered halls of academe — the last remaining enclave of leftist inanity. As conservative Republican Raoul Lowery Contreras has written:
In 2001, I wrote these words in my book (page 181), “The New American Majority…,”The name Aztlan is more associated with radical Chicano groups than with Meso-American, pre-Columbian Aztecs.” Further, I wrote, “On college campuses…throughout the Southwest…Mecha not only has a presence, but they draw attention from the Mexican-haters. The Haters use MECHA as a whipping boy and MECHA goes out of its way to provide them with material to use against everyone in the Mexican-American population.”
MEChA utters its nonsense, and the anti-Mexicans among us dutifully try to terrify us with it. A true symbiotic and sick relationship.
So many on the right just got done arguing that the federal government can’t possibly be responsible for protecting New Orleans or for handling disastere management responsibly and effectively....but suddenly the federal government is capable of controlling a 2000 mile border against motivated millions?
Controlling the US borders is a Federal function, Jon. I don’t expect the Federal government to do everything, but I do expect it to do it’s bloody job.
If you want to exaggerate the importance of the reconquista movement, there’s not really anything more for me to say about it.
Once again, let’s try this list of former members of the racial separatist group MEChA, the group that wants to "liberate Aztlan". Now with bolding!
1. The mayor of Los Angeles, the second largest city in the country. 2. California state Senator Gil Cedillo (California would be the world’s 6th or so largest economy) 3. Fabian Nunez, speaker of the California Assembly 4. U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (Arizona) 5. Cruz Bustamante, California Lt. Governor
Should you the reader trust anyone who thinks it’s an exaggeration to worry about the fact that many top leaders in California are former members of an extremist group?
Let’s, for instance, imagine that many top leaders of some state (let’s pick on Indiana) were former KKK members. Wouldn’t that be a trifle worrisome? And, if the press refused to cover that, or even covered it up, wouldn’t that be even more worrisome?
You misread the comment on your piece. He wasn’t saying YOU were racist, he was sanswering your question as to why it’s suddenly a big issue. Go take a look at some of the Minutemen sites and tell me there is not a lot of racism behind what some of them are saying. Here is a useful round-up: http://sdrobbie.wordpress.com/2006/05/19/a-dark-chapter-in-world-history-repeating-itself/
You’re living in a dream world if you don’t acknowledge how big a role racism plays in this debate.
If you were inclined to believe the far left national newspapers, it would seem that the majority of the America population wanted a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for every illegal alien? I don’t think so! You have only got to peruse Yahoo or Googles media commentaries to realize that this is far from the truth?
An avid reader can quickly establish the real facts, by evaluating the political seen at every level of government. Starting with the town Herndon in Virginia where pro-illegal alien mayor and officers were voted out of office. This is no longer one political party members against the other. This is bypartison fallout who will be seeing their political demise in the November elections. From the low, rural and manicipal buerocracies to the governors races, to the presidential hopefuls, you better have a strong aggressive platform against the hiring of illegal aliens. Incumbent or candidate alike, you had better have a good record of anti-amnesty, strict border enforcement and no welfare for foreign nationals.
There is a growing momentum in the political theatre, to start listening to the American citizens who are paying their wages. The illegal immigrants might protest in the streets of our cities, to demand the rights belonging only to American citizens Their bluster and show, emphisised with flags of foreign nations, has not intimidated the U.S.taxpayer, but has drawn the majority of the population together. Quitely they are beginning to fight this injustice, brought upon them by a large majority of the Senate. The fallout started in a little town called Herndon, Virginia and it’s call to arms is marching from one election constuiency to another. Strong candidates will arise backed by the philosophy of America first, and State Governors will crash and burn because of their weak diatribe and failure to sign into law anti-illegal immigrant laws.
Just to prove a point is a small volume of significant happenings, that clearly defines the measure of tolerance that is fading fast. The throngs of militant protestors dwarf in magnitude, to the rising fury born of the American population who now see this invasion as a threat to their own nation. Each State is now visiting the eroding effect of illegal immigrants, who are taking large bites from their budgets and escalating their financial woes
Opponents of illegal immigration point out that illegal aliens cost Alaska taxpayers about 30-million dollars a year for emergency healthcare, education, and even incarceration.
The issue of whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to pay in-state tuition at Nebraska state colleges was pivotal in Nebraska’s Republican gubernatorial primary last week. It helped defeat Rep. Tom Osborne, who served 25 years as the football coach at the University of Nebraska, and who enjoyed legendary status in the state.
In 2005, 9 percent of Delaware births involved an immigrant mother, legal and not, producing about 1,030 children. Immigrant mothers accounted for 22 percent of all births in the state financed by Medicaid in 2005, at a cost of $7.6 million. The children of immigrants are diversifying schools in Delaware – and overwhelming the state’s classes in English as a second language. Education officials say they need $1 million to keep up with the growing number of non-English-speaking students.Between 13,000 and 35,000 illegal immigrants hold jobs in the First State – but the federal State Criminal Alien Assistance Program spent $131,263 in 2004 to incarcerate illegal immigrants serving time here for a felony or two or more misdemeanors.Illegal aliens in Delaware won’t benefit from taxes withheld from their paychecks for Medicare and Social Security – but 1,628 immigrant children in the state collected more than $1.5 million in food stamps in 2005.
40 percent of all workers in L.A. County are working for cash and not paying taxes. 95 percent of all arrest warrants issued for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal immigrants. 75 percent of people on L.A.’s most-wanted list are illegal aliens. Over two-thirds of all births are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by the California taxpayers. Nearly 25 percent of all prisoners in California detention centers are here illegally. Over 300,000 illegals are living in garages. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegals from south of the border. Nearly 60 percent of all owners of HUD properties are illegal. Of the 10 million people in Los Angeles County, 5.1 million speak English and 3.9 million speak Spanish. Less than 2 percent of illegals are picking crops but 29 percent are on welfare. 29 percent of inmates in the federal prisons are illegal aliens. They also send about $15 billion back to Mexico annually. It cost Los Angeles $276 million in welfare costs for 100,000 children of illegal aliens. The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant in California is negative.
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue signed sweeping new laws on Monday, requiring adults in that state seeking benefits to prove their U.S. citizenship, sanctioning employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens and requiring companies with state contracts to check their employees’ legal status. The law, which does not affect emergency medical care or education benefits for children, also requires police officers in Georgia to check the legal status of people they arrest. It has been called one of the toughest laws targeting illegal aliens in the U.S. The bill’s author, State Sen. Chip Rogers, called the legislation "the strongest single bill in America dealing with illegal immigration. Period." He told The Washington Times this week it was intended to send a message that "while the federal government is not enforcing its immigration laws, the state of Georgia takes those laws seriously."
Indiana Republican Bright grabbed what appeared to be 84 percent of the vote statewide for the 69th District House seat over Brent Mullikin after voter tabulation problems kept the final tally still in the dark at press time. Talking about Illegal immigration. “I don’t know the answer, but will be relying on doctors, nurses and hospital heads to help figure it out,” he said, adding that the growing illegal alien population is largely responsible for the deficit. “Hospitals factor in a 30 percent fee in our bills to cover the illegal aliens they don’t get paid to treat,” he said. “It’s sad. We treat the aliens a lot better than we treat our senior citizens.” Mullikin, who conceded defeat in his quest for the Republican nomination against Bright, said: “Even though I didn’t win, I gave it one tough shot.”
The Illegal demonstrators have shown their true colors, same with condescending mayors and officers who stand by the aliens. When you take an oath of office it is to support and defend the United States of america, not a dictatorship like Mexico. These radical groups who inspire to be a Cuba’s Fidel Castro’s are in for a nasty surprise, if they think they are going to occupy the Southwestern states?
After the massacre at the Alamo in 1836, the Mexican dictator Generalisimo Santa Ana, thought he was going to overun the rest of Texas. San Jacinto was the turning point, and Santa Ana after leaving his men, was captured hiding in a tree. From the beginning of time wars have been fought to occupy anothers land. From the earliest records land and its wealth, has been taken by force. The Romans succeeded in conquering a huge Empire, only to fall because it’s armies were stretched to thin. Your history books give ample evidence of foreign armies sweeping across the known world. The British, French, Spanish all took a bite out of the Americas, before they too were vanquished by each others king.
We know that their are many radical organizations out there, who resent the land taken by the American armies in 1846. General Zachary Taylor quickly subdued the Mexican army at the battle of Buena Vista, where American troops were outnumbered three to one. October 12, 1847 brought the Mexican war to a close, when General Santa Ana turned over his battered command, to a junior officer and vanished. It was not until the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo on Feburary 2, 1848 that all hostilitities ceased, and Mexico ceded the provinces of Texas, California New mexico and other significent parts of the Southwest. In return the United states agreed to pay $15.000.000 in gold to complete the transaction outright.
Today the so-called "reconquista" have assumed the Mexican-American war without a shot, and our sitting Senate is assisting them by allowing the huge deluge of illegal aliens to settle here. These zealot’s are not just overwealming illegal immigrants, but members of our own government, including mayors and officers in our towns, not forgetting Mexican government officials.