Saturday, September 22, 2007

"What's really bothering opponents of immigration?" article

What's really bothering opponents of immigration?

This is a publication I've discovered only recently, and while I haven't read many of it's articles or interviews, it's given some stuff for consideration. Although I'm pretty sure they aren't as conservative as I am, they're normally not looney libs either. They had a very interesting article about some things going on in the church nowadays that I though was very insightful, and not what I would expect from libs, and they give algore a bit of the works over his constant reinventing of himself (now if they will only do the same to Hillary...).

This article is probably the one I have any sort of serious disagreement with, and I don't want to take it too far here. It's sitll an interesting article, with some things to ponder. Mostly, I find some of the writer's thoughts to be a bit off.

It's about immigration, one to the current hot topics here in the US. Lawrence's take on it seems to be that one of the main issues about those who are against illegal immigration (I'll assume that, and not immigration as a whole, though I don't see where he makes the distinction) us that it's more about 'integration' then 'immigration'--it's about being more concerned about the illegals from another racial make-up (Mexicans) and not so concerned about those of similar race to most in America (Canadians).

"It is a subtle, but not insignificant, fact that to the casual ear the word "immigration" generates echoes of the word "integration." And it taps into the same kinds of fears about ethnic identity that have been a dominant force in the United States for most of our history."

I would be curious to know upon what basis he makes such a claim. No doubt the circles he runs in are very different from mine, but I have not noticed such a thing. Most conservative people like myself welcome immigrant, and even acknowledge that there are those, for example asylum seekers from oppressive nations, who cannot go through proper channels in order to escape their situations. The fact is, though the Mexican government has its problems, it's not an oppressive regime, and illegals are not asylum seekers.

Nor do I think the idea has to do with race. Perhaps some may say that such comes close when we would have immigrants learn one language, English, but the fact is English is the language of the US, and in order for a person to have any hope of succeeding here they must be able to some extend to speak the language. As someone who has lived in Russia for a few years, I know how hard life can be in a place where I know the language only marginally, and my experience was tempered by the fact that I was in missions and lived on support for that work. Had I needed to work there in order to live, I would have been in deep crap indeed.

"While National Guard troops are being amassed in those states that border Mexico, no such action is being taken along the far longer and more porous border with Canada."

Perhaps he makes a bit of a point here. I have heard concerned raised on the conservative talk radio shows I have listened to about the US/Canadian border, though I do grant that main focus has been on the southern one with Mexico. The perception seems to be the the southern border is the main concern for now.

I think his gripe, though, may be a bit shallow. If the main focus had been on the northern border, would such as Lawrence be trying to tell us that we should focus on the south?

But his main concern seems to be that we don't worry so much the Canadian border because the Canadians are like us. But we may not worry about it because we do not need to, because Canada is a more stable ally then Mexico, and because the number of illegals coming from Mexico is probably many times more then illegals from Canada.

"But there were no Canadian Mounties at the border in the 1960s when young Americans, seeking to escape the draft, illegally crossed into Saskatchewan."

As far as I'm concerned, if Canada wants to welcome our cowards, they are welcomed to welcome them. That was entirely Canada's concern, how they chose to handle their borders.

"The real issue is that American attitudes on almost every issue cannot be separated from American attitudes on race and ethnicity. White folks who speak only English tend to have more trouble feeling comfortable with dark-skinned Spanish speakers than with light-skinned French speakers. And that makes the matter of immigration—or integration—not a legal issue or a military issue or even a language issue, but a spiritual issue."

Earlier, I tried to assume that he was refering only to illegal immigration, but here that assumption starts to wear thin. When he talks about "the matter of immigration", as in the paragraph above, I start to think that he is refering to immigration as a whole, not illegal immigration.

It seems to be a common liberal ploy, to confuse the issue here about legal versus illegal immigration. The attempt is to make it seem that the people who speak out against illegal immigration are really speaking against immigration as a whole--in a word or two, to play the 'race card' against them, accusing them of racism.

This is, to use tame language, a disgusting lie and unworthy of anyone who wishes to take the issue seriously. No doubt he could find some fringe group who would completely close the borders, but for every conservative I can think of, the issue is about illegal immigration. As I said before, we conservative welcome immigrants to the US. They have blessed us a lot with their presence, and that gladly offer them the chance to a better life. What we ask is that they go about it by the rules, instead of sneaking across our borders.

So, I would contend that the real issue is not what Lawrence says, but about honoring and obeying the rules of our country.

"When Paul was writing his letters, being a citizen of the Roman Empire meant—as it did personally for him—having access to the protections of a legal system not available to noncitizens. Yet Paul wrote to the Philippians that one's earthly citizenship was irrelevant, "for our citizenship is in heaven."

I can think of at least two times recorded in Acts where Paul made use of his citizenship. Once was in Philippi, demanding a personal release from the authorities there, and once in Jerusalem to keep from being beaten. A third time may have been when he appealed to Caesar. I think those effectively refute any attempt to say that Paul didn't count his Roman citizenship as being of some importance.

"In America's past, there have been others who tried that. George Wallace tried to block a university doorway. Strom Thurmond tried to block a voter registration booth. William Jennings Bryan may have blocked his own entrance to the White House by failing to let immigrants feel integrated into his party's political process."

To try comparing those actions to protecting our borders is coming close to being looney, and I don't think I'm exaggerating a bit. There is no comparison. It's like calling a man who installs an alarm system in his house a racist.

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