Friday, November 18, 2016

The NYT on Trump's Deportations, And Why I'm Skeptical Of Liberals On Illegal Immigration

   For a long time now, I've noted that I suspect the left of having a kind of tacit open-borders premise floating in the background of their arguments. This editorial at the NYT is the kind of thing that makes me think that. It argues two things. The first of which is that deporting millions of people would be bad. That strikes me as a plausible conclusion, though I don't know enough about law enforcement to really deserve an opinion here. It also seems to me, incidentally, that this argument only flies in conjunction with something like the premise that illegal immigration isn't bad--or isn't very bad.
   At any rate, I'm not in enthusiastic agreement with the NYT's conclusion, but I think it's plausible. I do not want to deport people who've been here a long time, who "play by the rules," who are good citizens and de facto Americans. That may be what the NYT is thinking, too, though it's not what it says in the linked piece.'s the final paragraph, defending sanctuary cities, that bothers me. Or, rather, it's the kind of thing that bothers me. This is the sort of thing that seems to inch (or leap) closer to the view that we should have no immigration enforcement at all--it seems to be a localized open borders policy. (Though, of course, since these cities are not on the border, their actions are consistent with merely thinking that immigration laws should only be enforced at the border. Though why one would think something like that is difficult to fathom.)
   Oh, also we get the next phase in terminological normalization: illegal aliens are now apparently "unauthorized immigrants." (I'm actually fond of our old friend TVD's suggestion "undocumented Democrats"...).
   Look, if we don't enforce borders, we don't have a country. The U.S., where basically everybody but Europeans and Canadians wants to live, would simply cease to exist as a viable political entity. I'm willing to consider the somewhat kooky conclusion that we should not kick anyone out who manages to evade border long as we then improve border security appreciably. Right now we apparently apprehend only about half of the people who try to get in illegally. That, combined with a policy of never kicking anyone out, is madness.
   Finally, open support for open borders is now a thing on the far-ish I think I can plausibly claim to be right on this one.


Blogger The Mystic said...

I doubt that the American Left actually has the sophistication of thought required to really entertain and/or accept an open borders position. I think they may have positions which rationally implicate that conclusion, but I think their positions are sufficiently irrational to make it clear that they aren't necessarily going to be in support of the rational conclusions of their positions.

But, it might also be the case that if they really sat down and put their positions together, they would be for some near-open-border-ish position regarding certain classes of people they declare to be oppressed, and this would likely include victims of actual oppression and totally fabricated victim classes.

I do think the language used here in the article is chosen with obvious rhetorical bias. For example, it is stated that we would be terrorizing people in order to deport those who broke the law in a way that makes legally valid their deportation.

On one hand, there are young children caught up in this, and I had a lot of respect for Rick Perry, believe it or not, who stood up and said you'd have to be heartless to just flatly order those children to be ripped from their homes and moved back to a country which is totally foreign to them purely because their parents broke the law.

On the other hand, parents probably can't be protected from consequences they earned by virtue of having children.

But regardless, it seems obviously dishonest to equate these deportation activities with terrorism.

And there's the whole annoying lefty argument about illegal immigrants keeping the economy working. I probably don't even need to point out that that's wrong for multiple reasons, such as the ends not justifying the means, or the adverse impact on our job quality and wages created by providing cheap, illegal labor.

And then there are more rhetorical tricks at the end, when they call sanctuary cities "immigrant-friendly" rather than pointing out that they are specifically talking about illegal immigrants (or "unauthorized" immigrants, another rhetorical trick you pointed out). They are implying that trump and the Republicans are trying to cut off funding to anyone friendly to any immigrants at all, when that's not the issue here.

It's a transparently bad article which demonstrates the validity of a lot of legitimate critiques of the American Left, but I don't think it provides a lot of evidence for a pure open-borders premise floating in the background.

My guess is that no significant portion of the American Left would endorse an open-borders position. They would, as I indicated in another comment, probably endorse some sort of quasi-open-for-oppressed|"oppressed"-peoples position.

And that could be bad. I personally think it's one of America's most fundamental commitments that we take in the poor, wretched, huddled masses in the world as quickly as possible so as to give those who desire it a chance at liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but I am sympathetic to claims that we need to get a lot more of our shit in order before I can take that responsibility as seriously as we should.

10:31 AM  

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