The Bright Side of Amnesty
Saying there's a bright side to amnesty may seem much like talk of the advantages of malignant cancer. But this won't be a pie-in-the-sky article about the "economic benefits" of new workers, expanding the tax base or the wonders of "diversity." There is no Ayotte-Rubio flip-flop here; in fact, for those who don't know me, I've long called for a halt to even legal immigration. And understanding why is necessary to put amnesty's "bright side" in perspective.
It is an inconvenient and ignored truth that the main problems posed by illegal migration are essentially the same problems of legal immigration. Are you concerned about an influx of low-skilled workers driving down wages and competing with native Americans? Legal immigration also floods the nation with low-skilled workers. Do you worry that amnesty will grow Democrat voter rolls? A vast majority of legal immigrants also vote Democrat. Most significantly, do you fret that millions of unassimilable foreigners with values contrary to Western ideals are transforming our culture into something distinctly non-Western? Legal immigrants are essentially of the same demographic, with 1965's Immigration Reform Act ensuring that 85 percent of them hail from the Third World and Asia. The lesson?
Illegal migration isn't the problem.
It's an exacerbation of the problem.
To worry about it while accepting our current legal-immigration model is like losing sleep over the occasional counterfeiter while batting nary an eye at our government's legalized counterfeiting ("quantitative easing").
Of course, there is the difference that we can't scrutinize undocumented Democrats and ensure that they're not carrying bombs along with their bad ideology. But with respect to the only thing that matters over the long term - the destruction of Western culture in America - the most relevant way to define the types of migration isn't "legal" and "illegal," but good and bad. And, for the most part, the US has only one kind: the bad.
For those who would dispute this and say "Hey, everyone eventually assimilates; it just may take a couple of generations," know that neither today's immigrants nor today's US are what they once were. For starters, approximately 50 percent of our new arrivals hail from Mexico alone, and 67 percent of American Hispanics have origins in that nation. University of Edinburgh professor Stephen Tierney explains what this means in his book Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution, writing:
In a situation in which immigrants are divided into many different groups originating in distant countries, there is no feasible prospect of any particular immigrant group's challenging the hegemony of the national language [Tim Kaine's español, anyone?] and institutions. These groups may form an alliance among themselves to fight for better treatment and accommodations, but such an alliance can only be developed within the language and institutions of the host society and, hence, is integrative. In situations in which a single dominant immigrant group originates in a neighbouring country, the dynamics may be very different. The Arabs in Spain, and Mexicans in the United States, do not need allies among other immigrant groups. One could imagine claims for Arabic or Spanish to be declared a second official language, at least in regions where they are concentrated, and these immigrants could seek support from their neighbouring home country for such claims - in effect, establishing a kind of transnational extension of their original homeland in their new neighbouring country of residence.
And the blindness to the above helps explain the logic to many Republicans' capitulation on amnesty. If the main threats posed by the two separated-by-legality migrations are the same and people don't recognize them with respect to one, why should we be shocked that they don't recognize them with respect to the other?
The truth is that amnesty is inevitable. If not the current version, a future one; if not today, tomorrow. This is because the nation has long been moving left, and when it slides far enough, all of the liberal agenda will be realized. And the importation of socialist-minded voters is a major factor in this transformation. Oh, I know that some - notably Ann Coulter in an excellent article recently - point to polls showing that amnesty isn't very high on Hispanics' priority list. But this argument overlooks two things. First, all the polls mean is that Hispanics care about issues such as the economy and health care more, not that they don't care about amnesty at all. Second, it's much as with many blacks' current opposition to amnesty. It's irrelevant in a practical sense as long as, driven by anti-Republican prejudice and a desire for big government, these two groups continue supporting Democrats. People don't smoke because they want tar in their lungs, but it comes with the choice.
Worse still, there will be no such thing as an amnesty with teeth, no matter what the Rubios of the world claim. Ultimately, there will be no significant border enforcement, no denial of benefits, no true accountability for illegal migrants. How do I know? It isn't just that there never has been despite our having offered seven amnesties, and the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. It is because law means nothing without a certain necessary ingredient.
The left continually proves this. The Defense of Marriage Act is law, but Barack Obama simply refuses to enforce it. We have long had sanctuary (i.e., lawless) cities and those that refuse to obey federal drug laws. And, of course, there are literally thousands of more obscure laws on the books that are routinely ignored by states and localities, and our government has been trampling much of the supreme law of the land - the Constitution - for 100 years. Even more to the point here, the Obama administration has refused to enforce immigration laws already on the books and has granted a form of amnesty by executive order. So why suppose that a few more immigration laws would make a difference?
And the truth here is a sort of Catch-22: What would it mean if we really had the will to secure the border and enforce unwelcome rules on legalized illegals?
It would translate into our saying in the first place, unabashedly and unashamedly, "Get the heck out of our country."
If our will is so wanting that we'll pander on the big thing and not do what any sane nation does instinctively - deport invaders - it's beyond silly to think we'll suddenly man-up on the little things (especially since we have no history of doing that, either).
Given the dark picture I've painted, you may wonder what its bright side might be. Amnesty is inevitable, but even if it weren't we'd still be finished because of our bad legal migration? Pass the hemlock. Yet there is a possible lemons-into-lemonade outcome.
Americans have become inured to the legal-immigration problem, accepting a no-go status quo like that proverbial frog in the frying pan of water. So the question is, how can you awaken reptilian-brain voters, who can't sense steadily rising heat, to their impending 212-degree demise?
You turn up the flame.
And along with the other ways that power is causing the left to stir the pot - the IRS abuses, ObamaCare, the anti-traditionalist rhetoric and violence - amnesty may help do just that. It may help wake people up to our descent into Third World autocracy.
It may also have an unintended by-product. What might that be? Well, there are those in our nation who've concluded that if you have a severely gangrenous limb, you don't entertain the fancy that the infection won't spread if you simply label necrotic tissue healthy.
You cut your losses.
This is what is fueling the secessionist movement.
And a massive amnesty just might make some think that a parting of the ways has to happen sooner rather than later - before states have to try to separate from Mexico Norte. Is that really the kind of progress you progressives want?
Lest I thought to be striking a defeatist tone, none of this means I won't fight the good fight. I'll still oppose amnesty because doing so accords with truth. But I'll also say that inside-the-box solutions are hopeless because that is the truth. And I'll point out, as Christians would say, that God can bring good out of bad because that is the truth.
And we'd better hope and pray that this happens because, as far as our options go, bad is all we've got.