I am very grateful for veteran commenter Extradimensional Cephalopod clarifying explanation regarding how and why adversaries on the “dreamer” issue so often talk past and around each other, with never the twain meeting. The first I heard of the “Honor vs. Compassion schism” was in this 2009 essay in The New Criterion by James Bowman. I should have referenced it before. He wrote in part,
Compassion is a virtue, but it is a private, a face-to-face virtue which almost invariably ceases to be one when it takes on a public dimension. An act of compassion by a government, in the full glare of publicity, is not a virtue but a bid to be given credit for moral superiority.
Here is Extradimensional Cephalopod‘s Comment of the Day on the post,Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Ethics:
It’s a classic honor versus compassion schism. Honor represents orderly good, enforcing consistency and stability so that society may benefit from people knowing where they stand. Compassion represents chaotic good, making exceptions and doing things that cannot be expected or required so that society can benefit from such kindness. Both are necessary, but they must be balanced against each other.
Because your position is based on honor, and makes sense in that context, it’s impossible for people to rebut it in those terms. Instead, they assert that the harm allowed by not extending compassion outweighs the benefits provided by honor, or they reject the concept of honor entirely. They don’t really understand honor or the harm done by dismantling it. Maybe they never noticed the benefits of honor, and only saw its negative effects, or they were oppressed by an ill-conceived brand of honor.
Whenever someone talks to such people about the importance of rule of law, it doesn’t really get through to them because their paradigm interprets it as “the importance of rule of social justice law”, and other laws can be disregarded. The name is a dead giveaway, really. Honor and compassion are also known as justice and mercy. “Social justice” is an oxymoron, because “social” things are inherently based on favor and choice, whereas justice is based on restrictions and requirements
It will take patient education to show people why honor is important, probably with some basic example scenarios. I think it would be immediately effective, though, if you were to speak their language by talking about helping out people who are actually living in the countries illegal immigrants are coming from, as you suggested. It’s an excellent point that they’d be likely to understand. Have you brought that up with any of them?
As a side note, I was impressed that nobody tried to make DACA spell anything warm and fuzzy until you mentioned it was an executive order and not a law passed by Congress.