Saturday, November 26, 2016

"I'm An Undocumented Harvard Grad; The Election Has Left Me Broken"

What/how should we think about stories like this one?
   On the one hand, I understand the argument according to which long-term illegals are de facto Americans and constitute a special case. I'm inclined to agree with that position.
   OTOH, it's not at all clear that this is what Ms. Diaz is thinking. She's clearly indicating that enforcing immigration laws would be bad...and she gives no indication that she thinks this is true only when long-term illegals are at issue. 
   She writes:
I’m not going to say that I’m undocumented and unafraid. Not yet. Three weeks after the election, I still feel broken. I still feel the knife that America stabbed into my back. To so many in America, I was not worth anything. Disposable, replaceable. My work over the past 17 years meant absolutely nothing to them. The laws have not changed; the attitudes remain the same. The abuse will continue and will grow.
   This seems absurd to me. Enforcing--even threatening to enforce--immigration laws is stabbing her in the back? It indicates that she is "not worth anything"? And to what "abuse" is she referring?
   I have to say, this sort of thing is getting old. It's not that I don't sympathize--I do. But without immigration laws, the U.S. would not exist in anything like its current form, and might not exist at all. Ms. Diaz has her (rather overly) tearful story. But there are equally heart-rending stories of people waiting to get in legally who cannot. In fact, many of those stories are much more heart-rending, if that's to be our criterion.
   So again with my hobby-horse: there's no advocacy of open borders here. But there is certainly a clear suggestion that enforcement of immigration laws is unjust. 
   And it's not that I don't want to hear Ms. Diaz's story. It's that I'm starting to question the motives and objectivity of the media when we hear this sort of thing over and over and over again...and when there seems to be no effort to criticize or even acknowledge the apparent implications of the motivating ideas and sentiments of these stories.
   Needless to say, I could be wrong.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ron said...

Our immigration policy is based on politicians' fear of the economic ignorance and xenophobia of a portion of our population. It's no healthier for us than for would-be immigrants. Now we have a president who either shares those prejudices or is happy to cater to them, making the situation that much worse.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Not true, but perhaps partially true.

The solution is to change the laws, not to engage in statutory neglect. And certainly not to open the borders.

If the laws are sub-optimal, then let's have a public discussion and change them.

Abandoning them completely is national suicide.

9:52 AM  

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