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Reply #160: dingdingding!! We have a winner!!! [View All]

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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #134
160. dingdingding!! We have a winner!!!
>>They were victims of a corrupt and crappy system.<<


This is why saying "use the system we already have, enforce the laws that already exist, yaddayaddayadda" leaves you open to being taken apart. It IS a corrupt and crappy system, and the whole damn' system needs an overhaul from top to bottom, starting out with an HONEST discussion of what our national goal should be in permitting immigration at all. (BTW, I'm FOR permitting immigration, I'm just saying that the discussion needs to start out at that fundamental a level in order to work through all the crap and ensure that everyone gets properly heard, and be CLEAR and UNDERSTANDABLE to all the stakeholders-- which is all of us.)

I know who you're talking about when you say "The pro-illegal immigrant camp," but again, that kind of verbiage is likely to be self-defeating. It focuses on the human element, and whenever that comes up, the discussion gets derailed into the 'it's a question of fundamental human rights/decency, etc.' territory and you automatically become a "racist" (see below,) no matter how little you actually care about issues of race. It's also a bit like the folks on the "anti" side in the choice issue trying to put an opprobrious label on their opponents (because they think it's a successful rhetorical device) with "pro-abortion." That backfired on them, because it gave their opponents a chance to bring the fundamental question of "choice" front and center with the relabeling "pro-choice."

Yes, it is naive to assume that all immigrants are starry-eyed innocents huddling in today's version of the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, determined to make good and become upstanding Americans (although I hope you concede that such folks are definitely in the majority among the immigrant population, regardless of legal status.) And the demand that such an image be the "default" assumption for everyone taking part in this discussion renders their case vulnerable to everyone who's ever known a creepy undocumented Russian gangster, a scary undocumented Latino gang member, a cynically manipulative 'get-rich-quick' European, or any of a thousand other unpleasant people who are here for all the wrong reasons. Many, many people who have encountered such (and who DON'T know the hard-working home health aide who's struggling to support her children and make a real home in a community that needs her skills, or others of the millions of really wonderful would-be Americans) will just turn the discussion off when such demands conflict with their 'reality.'

As long as the discussion stays in the territory of the *people* (the living, breathing would-be fine American neighbors and the sleazy exploiters of American good will alike) it can never be fruitful. It will degenerate (it already is degenerating, heck) into one of those sterile, dead-end, stalemates like choice or guns or Israel, etc., and the real questions will never even be raised, much less answered. Not surprising, they're painful questions that are likely to expose a lot of ugliness even among basically good, decent, caring people with all the right intentions and motives. As long as one side can throw the dewy veil of Emma Lazarus over the discussion (the "give us your huddled masses," poet,) and the other side relies on a mishmash of easily-puncturable, sometimes contradictory, and often self-defeating arguments relating to "It's the Law! and "American jobs for Americans" and "Us versus Them" and "They take but don't give" etc., no resolution is possible and the discussion will simply loop. Everyone will get angrier and angrier, more peoples' positions will harden, and resolution will become even more impossible.

Sorry, Thinking, the last bits aren't really directed at you, somewhere along the line my "rant" button just got pushed. I'm gonna bow out of all of these threads now, since I've made as much useful contribution as I think I can make.

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