The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 January 2004

Who says we can't?

Emperor Misha can give you lots of reasons why the President's it's-not-really-amnesty plan is something less than wonderful, but the argument that truly knots the Imperial BVDs is the one that goes like this:

"But we CAN'T deport 8 million illegals, that's just IMPOSSIBLE!"

Oh, yeah?

The word "impossible" is, quite possibly, the most un-American word that I've ever heard, it's the very embodiment of what has turned Europe into the bilge of the civilized word.

And that's just ONE argument.

It's just as idiotic as saying that it's simply "impossible" to abolish highway robbery federal pork programs financed by payroll taxes. Or saying that since we've got millions of burglaries every year, it would be simply "impossible" to continue enforcing laws against it. Let's legalize burglary, why don't we? We can't prevent it, after all, so let's just bring down the statistics by making it legal.

And Spoons attacks the same premise from a different angle entirely:

Once you accept that income taxes should be at least 50%, then your spectrum of tax policy options shrinks mightily. Once you accept that the Constitution requires Affirmative Action, then your spectrum of policy options shrinks mightily. Of course, if you don't accept these things....

The President is buying a dubious premise: we can't really do anything about the however many million illegals we already have, so let's do something with that all-important "feel-good" quality, preferably before the election. His options, shall we say, have shrunk mightily. Nothing particularly unusual about this motivation, but it's still disheartening to see it.

Besides, the word that counts here isn't the word that's said, which is "can't", but the word that's meant, which is "won't".

If we're going to take this war-on-terror stuff seriously, we have to have control of our borders, not because Mexico is sending us terrorists — they aren't — but because any weak point can and will be exploited by terrorists. So long as the borders remain porous, so long as there is little or no fear of deportation, Homeland Security is nothing more than a guy in a suit with a bunch of paint chips.

Posted at 8:30 AM to Political Science Fiction


I'll go out on a limb here and say we can't. Or, at the very least, we won't.

Truth is, the steady flow of people crossing the Rio Grande will cease only when the quality of life on that side of the border is somewhat akin to the quality of life on this side of the border. Take a hard look at those news photos from Vicente Fox's big shindig in Monterrey. Behind those big hotels and convention centers are literally millions of people, people who live in the worst kind of abject poverty. People with kids to support, people with the same dreams as the rest of us, but with absolutely no hope other than making it to the US.

As long as America needs workers to mow her grass, take out her trash, pick her crops and drive
her taxicabs, people can and will find a way across that river. Unless we are willing to re- build the Berlin wall and stretch across south Texas, unless we are willing to take troops out of Iraq and Afganistan and station them on top of that wall, people are gonna find a way across that river, I guarandamtee it.

Posted by: ronbailey at 8:09 PM on 13 January 2004

Kinda makes "exporting jobs" a good idea after all, if they're being exported to the right place...

Posted by: McGehee at 5:38 AM on 14 January 2004

It sounds crazy to say but the real cause of the rapidly increasing rate of immigration is NAFTA. Most middle to upper class Mexicans are staying in Mexico (and I don't blame them, Mexico is a beautiful country. I've been tempted to move there more than once) but poor Mexicans, particularly rural Mexicans have been crunched by NAFTA. The reason is that while there have been more manufacturing jobs in certain areas, for the most part farmers have suffered there. Folks there have farmed corn for thousands upon thousands of years but now thanks to NAFTA are unable to compete against America's corporate ag machine. Nobody can grow corn as cheap as America, so these small farmers are now destitute and are making the trek north. I find this incredibly tragic that people who were once were independent farmers are now our janitors here in this country.

Posted by: J. M. Branum at 1:08 PM on 18 January 2004

Another good argument for killing our farm subsidies, at least. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 1:14 PM on 18 January 2004