Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The New York Times published yet another editorial proposing amnesty for illegal immigrants, along with asserting that illegals have a right to conduct their day-to-day activities here without fer of prosecution, and that local law enforcement should do nothing whatsoever about illegal immigration. You can find this editorial at:

Here's my response:

This editorial argues by anecdote. Anecdotes can illustrate an argument, but they can't prove it.

For every anecdote of illegals as innocent victims of Americans, you can find an anecdote of Americans as innocent victims of illegals. None of those anecdotes finds its way into this editorial, however. Nor does a single statistic. Nor does empirical reasoning.

All of which makes this editorial pure propaganda, playing on readers' heartstrings through a one-sided sob story treatment of a difficult issue, using loaded language to tilt the playing field even further. (Such as renaming illegal aliens "undocumented immigrants", which strips away the taint of trespass.)

It all works because even among the college educated, many get their BAs without any real exposure to scientific logic, quantitiative analysis, or training in how to spot propaganda and avoid being manipulated by it.

Once you scrape away the propagandizing, here's what this editorial claims:

1. The nation is inundated with hate crimes against illegals. (False—the FBI reported 7,622 hate crimes last year, meaning that 0.003% of the population is committing such crimes; and that number is down from 2006.)

2. Illegals are afraid to talk to police for fear of being deported, so crimes against them going unpunished. (Plausible, but also due to illegals coming from countries where police prey on you instead of helping you, and from countries that don't speak English; moreover, the offsetting value of local law enforcement helping rid America of illegals isn't even considered.)

3. Illegals are here to stay; we're powerless to expel them; therefore we must give them citizenship to avoid creating a permanent underclass. (The Left hopes that people will come to believe this trope through sheer repetition; but in fact, adopting E-Verify universally would make it impossible for illegals to work here other than as pick-up labor in front of Home Depots; and adopting a universal biometric ID system would force most illegals to go home the same way they got here.)

4. It's immoral to "tear families apart." (By this logic we mustn't arrest thieves with families; and of course illegals' families are welcome to leave with them. Moreover, those families are the product of the decisions of the illegals themselves, not us. It's called "responsibility." Look it up.)

5. Illegals have rights, just like the rest of us. (They have basic human rights, but they don't have the right to be here, nor to be paid for their labor, because it was illegal for them to do that labor for money in the first place. Nor do they have the right to "congregate in public places without fear" because, again, they don't have the right to be here, because they're trespassing.)

7. Local law enforcement should concentrate on keeping "off the books businesses from eroding pay and conditions for all workers." (You bet—but the easiest way to do that is through E-Verify and a universal biometric ID system, neither of which you mention or advocate, and without which local law enforcement is denied its best means of accomplishing this.)

This editorial's emotional appeal betrays total callousness towards the main victims of illegals: working-class Americans of all races and ethnicities, whose already low wages have been driven below the poverty line by competition from illegals.

For shame.

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