Friday, November 25, 2016

(1) Sessions; (2) Intentional Conflation of *Immigration* and *Illegal Immigration*

So while I was trying to wake up this morning I was just reading this and that about Jeff Sessions, and ended up here.
   Two things of minor note:
   This is fairly well-known:
In 1986, he was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to serve as a federal-district court judge, but a bipartisan panel of Judiciary Committee senators declined to send his nomination to the Senate floor amid allegations that he had said the NAACP was “un-American” and “Communist-inspired” and that a white civil rights lawyer was a “disgrace to his race.” Sessions vigorously denied the allegations.
   Sessions responds:
“I am not the Jeff Sessions my detractors have tried to create,” he said. “I am not a racist. I am not insensitive to blacks. I have supported civil rights activities in my state. I have done my job with integrity, equality and fairness for all.”
   So there's that. Denials are cheap...but so are accusations.

   But here's the thing that caught my eye:
Most prominently, Sessions has pressed for a crackdown on immigration, saying he is opposed to any path for legal citizenship for undocumented immigrants and is in favor of Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Southern border.
Look, this has gone beyond anything that can plausibly be attributed to carelessness. The media now routinely conflate illegal immigration and immigration. Here both (a) a refusal to grant citizenship to people here illegally [note: wrong wrong wrong--wasn't paying attention: opposition to a path to citizenship for illegals. Still not "anti-immigration" in any way. But different.] and (b) a plan to decrease illegal immigration are counted as anti-immigration--as "crackdowns" on immigration. It doesn't really matter what we think about the wisdom of either (a) or (b). The important point here is that it's difficult to see how anything short of open borders can count as non-anti-immigration / non-anti-immigrant according to this view. This just does not seem like a trivial point to me. It's not an accident. It happens too frequently to be an accident. And if it's not an accident then it has an end. If the end isn't something in the vicinity of open borders, what is it? (These are actual questions, not rhetorical ones.)
   For the record--though I should probably refuse to say this in the context of this discussion--I'm willing to discuss and consider open borders. I think open borders would be a catastrophe--tantamount to the end of the U.S...but I'm willing to discuss the idea. I've been wrong before. Maybe I'm wrong about that. But the apparent unwisdom of the policy isn't the main source of my concern. What I'm most concerned about is that (i) this campaign (if that's what it is) is being conducted covertly, and (b) it's being conducted by the "mainstream" media. I simply don't understand how anyone can think this kind of chicanery is permissible.
   Am I crazy about this?

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