What are the worst arguments supporting the proposition that the United States should tolerate illegal immigration? There are no good ones. I have been searching for years. Even otherwise intelligent commentators resort to logical fallacies, emotion, rationalization, nonsense and absurdity when trying to explain why laws protecting our sovereignty and borders, should, unique among all laws not pronounced dead letters, be shrugged, winked and waved away depending on the assessment of the needs and desires of the law-breakers. At the end of this post, I’ll include a poll asking for votes regarding the worst of the “justifications.”
First, however, let’s examine one of the worst, the supposed hypocrisy of opposing illegal immigration because all such advocates for the rule of law and sovereignty have an immigrant somewhere in their gene pool. Never mind that the same pureed-brain argument exists for most occupants of every nation and that it would, carried to its logical-illogical extreme, mean that no borders should be enforced worldwide. For some reason only the U.S. is saddled with this weird theory on an ongoing basis.
The website A Beautiful Perspective’s ironically titled “Ideas” section recently extolled a woman named Jennifer Mendelsohn in an article called “Meet the woman confronting public figures with their immigrant histories.” Mendelsohn uses census records and ship manifests to” put anti-immigrant hypocrisy on blast with #resistancegenealogy.” Yes, she’s an idiot, as her quotes make abundantly clear, though the “Ideas” writer seems to have no inkling of her disability, perhaps because she shares it:
A Baltimore-based freelance journalist, Mendelsohn is a passionate genealogist and the creator of #resistancegenealogy, viral Twitter burns in which she confronts anti-immigration public figures with their own family histories. The ancestors she finds often have plenty in common with the immigrants they’re now condemning.
She has turned her sights on Fox News firecracker Tomi Lahren, traced the tree of Trump Senior Advisor Stephen Miller and dug through enough newspaper archives, ancestry.com listings, marriage licenses and census records to know that if your ancestors came to the U.S. by choice, Scavino’s immigration story is your immigration story, too.
“For me, it’s very personal,” Mendelsohn says. “My great-grandmother was illiterate and my great-grandfather was a shoemaker, and they were given entry to the U.S. with their three children in 1892. Two of my brothers have Ivy League degrees. That’s what it’s all about in America. … [W]e take in people with limited opportunities and we give them opportunities.”
One reads the puff piece with growing sadness for poor Jennifer, who is so enthusiastic and passionate and works so hard, and what she is doing is so, so utterly stupid and irrelevant. Won’t somebody tell her? It would be kind. Like this..
I hate to break it to you, Jennifer, but it’s not 1890 any more. Conditions were different then. See, Jennifer, policies change. Nations change. We learn. Women once weren’t allowed to vote. Insurance was illegal. Doctors handed out opium without prescriptions. And once we had less restrictive immigration laws. In 1890, there were about 63,000,000 people in the United States. Last year, there were more than 324, 000,000. Would that suggest to you that policies involving adding human beings to the population might be reasonably expected to change?
Oh, probably not.
And Jennifer, where did you get the idea that an individual is ethically bound to approve of a process or policy that, through chance and chaos, happened to benefit him or her? Better yet, what fraudulent schools did you attend that left you so devoid of critical thinking skills that you would leap to such a batty conclusion? Go back far enough, and I guarantee there was a rape or six in most human beings’ lineage, without which they wouldn’t exist—you included. Why do you think Genghis Khan and his sons have more descendants on earth than anyone else? Do you oppose rape laws? Do you think rapists should be unpunished? Why not? Your argument about illegal immigration is no different, which is to say, no less moronic.
I’m sorry, but this is tough love.
The same is true of abortion, but in reverse. You exist because you weren’t aborted. Isn’t it hypocritical for you to support abortion, when you may have been the beneficiary, through your ancestors, of a great, great, great grandmother who didn’t have that “choice”? If a Jennifer Mendelsohn, call her Jennifer Hannity, showed up with proof that you owe your existence to an anti-abortion law somewhere in time, would you suddenly slap your forehead and become a Pro-Life zealot? I doubt it. Well, maybe.
We have free will, and are not bound by past circumstances over which we had no control, nor are we obligated to extol past policies simply because now, decades or centuries later, we have derived tangible or intangible benefits from them. Many of our ancestors benefited from slavery at some point: my grandmother’s family owned slaves, for example. Would it be hypocritical for me to oppose slavery? I don’t think so, but then, I think.
The key point that inexplicably seems to elude you is that legal immigration is materially distinct from illegal immigration. My maternal grandmother and grandfather came here from Greece via legal immigration, and became citizens as soon as they could. What is the same about them and the immigrants I oppose—that they both got here—is not germane. The fact that those past immigrants like Sophia Primpas and Basil Coulouris did not arrive breaking our laws, and the illegal immigrants you are promoting did, is what matters. That’s why all your work, all your passion, is foolish and misdirected.
But even if Basil and Sophia swam from Greece and snuck in through Boston Harbor in the dead of night, that still wouldn’t obligate me to cheer for today’s illegals, just as if Basil robbed a bank to feed his eight kids that wouldn’t obligate me to lobby for all bank robbers to be pardoned.
You really shouldn’t make a hobby out of accusing others of hypocrisy without learning what hypocrisy is. (Tell Sarah Feldberg, your interviewer, this as well.) It isn’t hypocrisy to oppose conduct that you once engaged in years before. It certainly isn’t hypocrisy to oppose conduct that your ancestors engaged in decades and centuries ago no matter how well it worked out for you. Now, if you discovered that an illegal immigration opponent was secretly assisting illegal immigrants as they entered the country now, that would be hypocrisy.
Is any of this coming through to you, Jennifer?
Now the poll…and you can vote for more than one answer: