Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Mythology of the Amnesty Movement

The recent political push for another mass amnesty is predicated upon the propagation of several myths concerning illegal immigration. In his recent speech to promote bipartisanship support for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform package, President Obama based his argument for an earned amnesty program upon several of those myths.

"Now, if the majority of Americans are skeptical of a blanket amnesty, they are also skeptical that it is possible to round up and deport 11 million people. They know it's not possible."
(The first sentence of this section of his speech uses the old "if this is true, then this is also true" fallacy, and then the second sentence is simply a "bare assertion fallacy.")

"Such an effort would be logistically impossible and wildly expensive."
(Whereas a plan to find and round-up 11 million people for deportation---all at one time---would be very expensive and would pose all sorts of logistical challenges, that certainly does not mean that it would be impossible; nor does it mean that the ONLY viable alternative to a massive "round-up and removal" is to give legal residency status to millions of illegal aliens.

For example, if the illegal aliens living in this country could no longer keep or obtain jobs---and could no longer obtain public benefits and free health care---most of them would voluntarily leave and return to their own countries.)

"Moreover, it would tear at the very fabric of this nation -– because immigrants who are here illegally are now intricately woven into that fabric."
(I'm relatively certain that the fabric of American society could survive the absence of illegal aliens, Mr. President---especially in this depressed economy.

There would be a period of adjustment however---as new job openings started springing-up in construction, housekeeping, landscaping, and the food-and-beverage industry. And we'd have to adjust to less congestion in classrooms, traffic, jails, and hospitals. But I think the fabric of America would survive all that, Mr. President.)

"Many have children who are American citizens."
(Those children are only considered to be citizens because of a correctable misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment clause erroneously granting them birthright citizenship. Anyway, if "family unity" is an important consideration in the enforcement of immigration law, then if there is not a citizen-relative willing and capable to raise them here, then dependent anchor-baby citizens should accompany their illegal alien parents back to their native country.

"Some are children themselves, brought here by their parents at a very young age, growing up as American kids, only to discover their illegal status when they apply for college or a job."
(Wouldn't a responsible parent tell their child that they were illegally present in the country, long before they applied to go to college or applied for a job? But then again, a responsible parent wouldn't make a criminal of their child to begin with.)

"Migrant workers -– mostly here illegally -– have been the labor force of our farmers and agricultural producers for generations. So even if it was possible, a program of mass deportations would disrupt our economy and communities in ways that most Americans would find intolerable."
(Whereas the first sentence about "migrant farm workers" may be true, it implies that there is no other way to get America's crops harvested than with illegal alien labor. What about using legal-immigrant labor, or county prison "chain-gang" labor, or "at-risk" youth diversionary program labor, or AmeriCorps VISTA?

In return for lowered taxes, lower insurance rates, smaller class sizes, and less violent crime, I think most patriotic Americans would tolerate paying a nickel more for a head of lettuce.)

After setting the stage for his proposal to grant another blanket amnesty (rather than aggressively enforcing our immigration laws), Obama then presented a basic look at how this mass amnesty would have to be "earned."

"...we have to demand responsibility from people living here illegally. They must be required to admit that they broke the law. They should be required to register, pay their taxes, pay a fine, and learn English. They must get right with the law before they can get in line and earn their citizenship..."

But what if an "earned" amnesty plan is legislated, but millions of illegal aliens still do not "come out of the shadows"---because they don't want to "register, pay past taxes, pay a fine, and learn English"?

And after they have "registered"---and have been given legal residency status---how long will you let them remain living (and breeding) in the country if they don't pay-off their taxes and fines...or learn English?

But most importantly, how does the granting of another mass amnesty prevent or discourage anyone else from illegally immigrating here; especially if our borders are not secured?

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