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.