27 Apr 2006

Michelle’s Wrong on This One

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Michelle Malkin is posting this morning opposing amnesty for illegal aliens. Sorry, Michelle, I don’t agree with you for once.

Immigration policy is a classic example of the kind of issue America simply cannot handle rationally.

It’s just like Prohibition and Drug Control. Nice people want to have a drink themselves before dinner, but you know what problems result from letting those workingmen waste their paychecks on beer down at the saloon. Of course, we all smoked a little weed in our day, but how could we walk the streets safely if we didn’t imprison vast numbers of poor minority group members for drugs? Besides, we don’t want our children’s academic success compromised by experimenting with marijuana. They might become pothead slackers. Of course, we want our lawns mowed, and we naturally enjoy the low prices resulting from the availability of cheap labor, but we don’t want all those Mexicans all over the place. Can’t they just go home to Guadalajara when they’ve finished the yard work?

We have a fine tradition of hypocrisy in this country going right back to the Pilgrim Fathers who settled Massachusetts Bay. Americans want to have it both ways. We all want the hard work and the stoop labor done by somebody else. (We’re certainly not going to do it.) And we want affordable services from cheap labor. We just don’t want all those funny-looking riff raff foreigners hanging around spoiling our views. So we demand that the politicians get to work, and pass some laws, which we still really don’t want enforced.

When –as happened with Prohibition– the law proves impossible to enforce, and the law becomes a joke, the answer is to get rid of the law we’re all collaborating in breaking, not redouble our efforts to enforce the inconvenient law.

Illegal Latin Americans working in the United States are illegal because we have unrealistic immigration quotas (which fail to recognize our national need for labor), and the barrers are just too high. What Bush thinks in private, and at present doesn’t dare say out loud, is perfectly correct. We need to legalize the status of everybody already here, and we need to change the rules to make immigration easier to do legally. And don’t give me any of that sanctimonious statist stuff about how it’s wrong to “reward breaking the law.” We Americans have lots of stupid laws, and we break them all the time. Do you always drive 55 mph, Michelle?

This is a country that has major public debates over how we handle the Korans we supply to incarcerated terrorists, and you think we’re going to kick in doors, handcuff, and forcibly expel millions of hard-working people who are here doing all of our most unpleasant jobs at the lowest wages? It’s never going to happen, and – of course – it shouldn’t happen.

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