Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Immigrants": The Highjacking of the Language

In a post at the DMI website, the group's leader, Andrea Batista Schlesinger, continues with the progressive high jacking of the English language over the issue of illegal immigration. In a post that runs over 800 words, Schlesinger never once uses the word illegal to modify immigrant. On the other hand, any of us who see the widespread disregard for the country's laws as a threat to American sovereignty-and safety-are defamed as "anti-immigrant."

Schlesinger goes about her task with a bag of rhetorical tricks that camouflages the moral bankruptcy of her position-and she has a convenient bogeyman, CNN"s Lou Dobbs, who she employs to create a false dichotomy between a Know Nothing and raging xenophobia and a reasonable and humane compassion. What is it Andrea about the word "illegal," that you find so difficult to understand?

And what is it about the concern that average folks have about the disrespect for the rule of law that you can't even begin to understand? Schlesinger cleverly elides the realities of public opinion with the following-"Washington's failure to achieve consensus on an immigration bill should not obscure the fact that commonsense immigration laws have strong majority support. Americans believe it is neither feasible nor desirable to deport the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently here. Instead, there is consensus in favor of providing a path to citizenship for immigrants of all kinds who learn English, work hard, and participate in the American system. Unfortunately, the anti-immigrant sentiment fostered by Dobbs and his ilk kept Washington from pursuing it."

Wass up here? This citation conveys the kind of dishonesty that ignores where people really stand on the illegal immigrant issue. The fact that majorities of Americans don't want to deport all of the 12 million people here, shouldn't obscure the fact that even larger numbers don't want to confer legitimacy on illegals before any comprehensive system is put into place. And it needs to be said that most folks see border enforcement-and the deportation of criminal illegal immigrants-as essential features of any reform policy.

We're not sure where Schlesinger is on the enforcement and deportation side of the equation but we've never heard her polemicize about Mary Nagel or the Newark Three-victims of hard working illegal immigrant criminals who may be given further cover under the Spitzer plan; unless you're confident that local DMV officials will have the expertise to weed out the fraudulent and dangerous among the 12 million undocumented.

So when she says, "Immigrants are consumers and taxpayers. They are entrepreneurs. They provide the services that native-born Americans rely on from morning until night. They resuscitate struggling neighborhoods. They keep our Social Security system solvent. They are not terrorists," she consciously avoids the billions being spent to incarcerate illegals who have preyed upon our citizens. And by the way, some of these folks may very well be terrorists that DMV personnel won't catch as they carefully try to vet some Bolivian or Indonesian passport.

Americans do want immigration reform, a reform that has been stymied by folks, like our editorial friends at the NY Times, who have no real desire to protect this country's borders. These are the reasonable and humane people who demonize the opponents of illegal immigration by vile name calling and dishonest caricature.

Schlesinger appears to be auditioning for an opening at the Times with her mimic of that paper's tired tropes on this issue. Which is, to us, akin to looking for a job as captain on the Titanic. To the Times and its acolytes, any opposition to the careless legitimation of illegal immigrants is a result of "misguided sentiments," retrograde ideas that will dissipate once their betters are able to properly educate them.