Euphemisms, Manipulation And Deceit On Illegal Immigration

Not that it isn't illegal for you to be here, but come on in anyway...

Not that it isn’t illegal for you to be here, but come on in anyway…

The U.S. needs to fix its illegal immigration policies, and deal with the millions of underground, and not so underground, illegals currently in the country, having children, getting benefits, often being abused and exploited while not integrating into U.S. society. This has been true for decades, and both parties, as well as the U.S. business community, Mexico, and the illegal immigrants themselves, share responsibility for allowing a major problem to metastasize into a crisis.

The proclivity of journalists to isolate blame to one participant in this fiasco to the exclusion of the others compounds the problem, by making a bi-partisan solution impossible and giving individuals a pass on accountability who deserve none. Even worse is the habit of the news media to adopt the misleading and dishonest terminology of open-border advocates and illegal immigrant activists. Attempting to use deceptive language, exaggerations and outright misrepresentations to make ethically dubious policies seem benign to the public has become standard practice among Democrats and progressives in the Obama era (Republicans and conservatives too, but at least at the present, less flamboyantly and with less success.) Abortion is promoted in terms that leave out any mention of the act at the center of the controversy: it’s about “choice.” Life? What life? As for the issue of how a nation maintains its security and rule of law when foreign citizens are entering the country in violation of those laws at will, the news media, like the President and others, works to make the central issue invisible.

Yet it is still the central issue. I have reached the point where I can barely stand to listen to news accounts about “immigrants” and the “immigration problem” when the honest and informative terminology must be “illegal immigrants” and “illegal immigration problem” to be anything but deceptive. I resent being lied to; I resent the news media using Orwellian tactics and wording to bend the public to its will (illegal immigration is the opposite of immigration, as in the legally sanctioned movement of foreign citizens into this country); and I condemn journalists taking sides in policy disputes where their job is to inform, not manipulate.

I also have a tendency—cognitive dissonance at work, I believe—to oppose advocates of policies that I might otherwise support when I perceive the methods and arguments they employ as designed to distort and circumvent the truth.  The post-Sandy Hook push for gun control comes to mind. The only way to stop such undemocratic tactics is to make sure they don’t work.

For journalists to employ these tactics is a breach of professional ethics and an outrage. Here is an example from this morning’s Washington Post, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning, knee-jerk liberal, shameless flack for President Obama and the Democrats, Eugene Robinson. Naturally, he attributes all the failure to address illegal immigration (though he won’t call it that) to Republicans. (As a rebuttal to that contention, I’ll refer you to Daniel Henninger’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, writing about the President’s refusal to engage in the Constitution-sanctioned method of governance, in which the author correctly concludes, “If congressional Republicans had even minimal institutional trust in the president, Mr. Obama would be able to assemble a majority to pass immigration reform…He can’t, or won’t, and so he rants. More than a few Americans watching parades pass by this weekend will recall that one man’s whim as the way we make laws has no support in the U.S. Not now, not ever.”)

Robinson’s paragraph describing the issue is stunning in its calculated deception and practical incoherence. He writes:

“The influx of children cannot be meaningfully addressed without considering the larger suite of immigration issues. An estimated 11 million people are living and working here with no papers. A real solution must involve not only increased border security but also a way for the undocumented to achieve residency and citizenship. There also must be a revamping of the formal immigration system so that crossing the border illegally is not the only option for economic migrants.”

1. The problem is not “immigration,” but the current proliferation of illegal immigration, which the current administration encourages with rhetoric and incentivizes by policy.

2. “With no papers” is utter deceit, implying that their plight is a mere administrative snafu in which they share no blame, as if they were akin to citizens who somehow had never received Social Security cards. They lack documentation of citizenship because they are not citizens and don’t deserve to be, having entered the country in violation of our laws. It is also clever, but manipulative, for Robinson to use the pejorative term ‘papers,’ evoking Nazi and Soviet era totalitarianism. There are 11 million illegal residents of the United States. Either state the problem honestly and clearly, or stay out of the issue, Mr. Robinson.

3. “…but also a way for the undocumented to achieve residency and citizenship”? Stated like this, the only “way” is open borders. Robinson throws in the obligatory nod to increased border security, yet that is clearly misdirection, since he immediately implies that anyone eluding such security must earn a “way” to citizenship. How gullible does he think the public is?

4. “…so that crossing the border illegally is not the only option for economic migrants.” The only option? How about obeying the law? How about taking responsibility for their own country’s economy, corruption, and failure to provide for its people? If the United States wants to develop a migrant worker program that doesn’t make illegal immigration a snap, fine, but that is the choice to be made by this country, not the citizens of other countries who want to by-pass current laws.

Until the advocates of “immigration reform” are willing to honestly define the problem (illegal immigration) and their proposed solution ( legalizing illegal immigrants) as well as admitting the possible consequences, such as the flood of children now coming across our borders, we should regard them as no better than irresponsible opportunists who would weaken the nation for their own political gain and the economic benefit of those whom the United States is in no way obligated to support.


Sources: WSJ, Washington Post

11 thoughts on “Euphemisms, Manipulation And Deceit On Illegal Immigration

  1. Note that many of these pro-invasion pundits even shy away from (and try to suppress) the terms “illegal immigration, “illegal alien” and even “American sovereignty”. They see future votes through amnesty that will overwhelm those of American citizens who seek to retain their nation, their traditions and their liberties.

  2. A lot of the blame for starting this mess can be laid at the feet of “the lion of the Senate” Teddy Kennedy and The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 where family reunification rather than needed skills was given preference. Kennedy remarked that “the bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission.” So now just about anybody can come in legally or illegally.

  3. The problem is sufficiently broad that only a comprehensive approach can possibly work. If a single issue—the DREAM Act, tighter border security, re-evaluation of priorities for legal immigration—finds its way into a bill, one side or the other will shoot it down because such a measure gives an apparent political advantage to The Other Guys. And both political parties can be found on the trip to Oz, standing by the side of the road, lacking brains, hearts, and courage. (I might suggest other anatomical deficiencies, as well, but I wouldn’t want to be crude.)

    After all, President Obama knows only that he wants something he can call a victory, even if it accomplishes nothing positive, and Congressional Republicans’ fondest desire is to deny him that victory, even if passing a particular initiative would be good for the nation (or even for their party). So the Democrats pander to their base, and the Republicans pander to theirs, and here we are.

    All is not lost in political terms, however—in Texas, for example, illegals have access not only to higher education but to state funding to support enrollment, even when federal funds (e.g., Pell Grants) are specifically forbidden to non-citizens. Neither political party seems to want to mess with the status quo; there have been murmurs from the right, but even the Rick Perry administration has worked to squelch any serious attempt to deny opportunity to the undocumented, especially but not exclusively to those who were brought to this country very young, are native English speakers, and have known no other homeland.

    But you’re certainly right about the euphemisms and the conflation of “immigrant” and “illegal immigrant.” My favorite line in this regard: “calling an illegal alien an ‘undocumented worker’ is like calling a drug pusher an ‘unlicensed pharmacist.’”

  4. I think opponents of the term “illegal immigrant” are correct that people aren’t illegal. I suggest the following alternative: criminal immigrant. Who here thinks they would agree that it’s a more appropriate way to describe them?

  5. To be clear, all this chaos this year and stalling by the Democrat administration in order to exacerbate the problem, points one way. With waning support for the democrat party (typically gained not on principle but by whipping to a frenzy key voting blocs), Democrats can expect lessened support from women on “women’s issues”, blacks on “minority issues”, etc. they are eyeballing a potentially envigorated vote from the Hispanic bloc this fall to hopefully stave off a rout. Sympathy from other blocs will be sought as well.

    Just wait to see how the media and the democrat party (but I repeat myself) slowly change the narrative to a “we must solve this problem now, our way! And the republicans only get in the way”.

    This is only a problem (like many problems) because it has allowed to fester for democrat purposes.

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