Featured Blog, I: Emma Lazarus Blog
Legal vs. Illegal Immigration
Kash, Angry Bear /March 28, 2006
Some of you have wondered why I haven't yet made much of an effort to
distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. It’s a fair question. Let me share my thoughts with you about the two, and explain why my sentiments about immigration in general mean that I don’t worry much about the distinction between the two.
Personally, I tend to see immigration as a positive thing. It helps the people immigrating, and it makes the US population as a whole stronger, richer, more creative, and more connected to the rest of the world. This analysis applies to both kinds of immigrants, legal and illegal.
But could there be reasons why one might want to reduce illegal immigration while leaving legal immigration rules alone? Let me try to compile a preliminary (and surely incomplete) list of reasons why one might want to reduce the number of illegal immigrants without allowing them legal entry as an alternative.
There are probably other reasons to consider, but let me work with this as a start, and try to explain why my predisposition in favor of immigration covers both the legal and illegal kind.
- Lots of illegal immigrants come to the US every year. Therefore, if you simply want to cut down on the number of total immigrants to the US, one way would be to make stronger efforts to reduce illegal immigration while denying the deterred illegal immigrants the option to legally enter the US. (Alternatively, you could reduce the number of legal immigrants allowed.)
- By far the largest source country of illegal immigrants is Mexico. So if you want to change the mix of the country-of-origin of immigrants coming in to the US (i.e. have a smaller proportion of immigrants come from Mexico), then again a good tactic would be to specifically try to reduce illegal immigration.
- Illegal immigrants, being in a precarious legal situation, are more easily taken advantage of by employers. If your concern is the well-being of the illegal immigrants, a sensible tactic would be to try to reduce the number of illegal immigrants. However, a corollary to that is that you should also want them to be legally allowed to remain in the US (since they obviously want to be here, given that they are willing to do it illegaly), in which case efforts to reduce illegal immigration should be coupled with an increase in legally allowed immigrants. On the other hand, if your concern is the effect of this phenomenon on the US labor market, then we can combine this item with #4 below...
- Illegal immigrants may be poorer and less well-educated (on average) than legal immigrants. This (possibly combined with #3 above) could have effects on the domestic market for unskilled labor in the US. If you want to try to address such concerns by changing the mix of the income/educational level of immigrants coming to the US, then one way might be to reduce illegal immigration while maintaining legal immigration at current levels.
Personally, I don’t think that there are too many immigrants in the US. If anything, I think the US should accept more immigrants than it currently does. This is the whole point behind my occasional arguments in favor of immigration in general. I am therefore not in favor of clamping down on illegal immigration for reason #1.
I also have no problem with the country mix of immigrants; I don’t think that immigrants from Mexico are inherently better or worse to have in the US than immigrants from any other country. So reason #2 doesn’t persuade me to want to reduce illegal immigration flows.
I am concerned about issue #3. I think that the plight of illegal immigrants in the US is often horrible, and a disgrace to a country like the US. This pushes me in favor of reducing illegal immigration, but only if it’s replaced with more legal immigration. If we imposed harsher penalties on illegal immigrants while simultaneously allowing an extra few hundred thousand legal immigrants (not the horrible "guest worker" idea, but fully legal immigrants) to enter the US every year, I might be okay with that.
Issue #4 may be the most difficult one to resolve. It really is a part of the deeper question of how much should the US try to shape the type of immigrants that we allow. Perhaps the US should more actively try to change the mix of immigrants toward more high-skill individuals. That would raise the average skill-level of the US population, and reduce the downward wage pressures on unskilled workers in the US. From a cost-benefit point of view, changing the mix of immigrants in such a manner would certainly be better for the US than the current system.
However, from a moral point of view that seems potentially problematic. Is it better to allow a doctor from Nigeria to come to the US and increase his standard of living from being relatively well-off in Nigeria to being relatively well-off in the US, instead of allowing a farm worker from Mexico come to the US and transform the situation of his children from being hungry, sick, and illiterate to getting basic nutrition, health care, and education? And is it okay to deliberately try to deprive the poorest parts of the world of their best-educated people? Read the brilliant rest at Angry Bear...
Featured Blog, II: Lazarus's Enemies
Michelle Malkin, Bottom-Feeder
The Rude Pundit/March 29, 2006
Some of the conservative reaction to the protests over immigration "reform" have reminded the Rude Pundit of the time his friend Jason saw his first real pussy. It was around junior year of high school, and by then the Rude Pundit had seen a pussy or two, including one blessed by the tender charms of a twenty year-old female friend, who graciously allowed the Rude Pundit to explore and discover that, indeed, there were mysteries within the labial folds and swollen clitoris, but the Rude Pundit was Encyclopedia Brown, the Hardy Boys, and Sherlock Fuckin' Holmes wrapped up in one hormonal package, and thus he probed and traversed the delicate vaginal landscape until he could map it out. Or at least have a general idea of where things were. It has benefited the Rude Pundit in ways immense and small.
But Jason didn't have such an education. And when he went over to his girlfriend's house one night when the parents' were away, she pulled off her Guess jeans and panties and spread her legs to reveal all. Apparently, Jason freaked. See, it's one thing to jack off to porn and imagine what you'd do if given the chance to experience a real pussy. It's one thing to stick your fingers into unzipped pants and feel around. It's another thing altogether to be dropped off in a foreign country with no guide and no language to speak. When Jason tried to explain to the Rude Pundit that he was turned on and then embarassed and confused and then hurt by his inability to comprehend the pussy, the Rude Pundit said, "Sorry, Jason, but that's what a pussy looks like. It's a beautiful thing, it says something about the woman around it, and if you can't deal with it, well, shit, there's always cock." Probably the Rude Pundit wasn't as smooth as that, but the general idea is pretty accurate.
Michelle Malkin has been even more rabid, monkeyfuck insane than usual over the immigration bill protests. Bless her comically exaggerated facial features, she was all awake at 1:15 this morning, tapping her fingers bloody to reveal to all of us the outrages of the protests, including - holy fuck - the placement of a United States flag upside down under a Mexican flag. This was done by high school students, those models of subtlety, in California. Evacuates Malkin, "You will not see this heart-stopping photo on the front page of the NY Times or on the lead story of the major news networks." That's right - upside down American flag second on a pole - heart-stopping. Japanese Americans put into concentration camps for being Japanese - a-ok. Such is the morality of Malkin, for whom symbols are more important than people.
Malkin expands on her blog's bugfuckery in her column this week (if by "column," you mean, "flatulent banshee screeches sledgehammered into your head"), where she calls the protests "militant racism" from a "protected minority group." See, for Malkin, it's racism if Hispanics call out whites for hypocrisy, and they're "protected" so she can't write something like "Paco Taco and Senorita Chiquita Banana hate whitey and threaten to sleep under their sombreros on our porches if we don't let them fuck our children with chalupas" without sounding, you know, racist. Good thing Mexican immigrants are so goddamn protected - otherwise, white employers might exploit them.
But it's the protest themselves that have Malkin's Hello Kitty panties in a wad (see? That's a vaguely racist reference because Malkin ain't "protected," right?). Malkin belches, "One of the largest, boldest banners visible from aerial shots of the rally read: 'THIS IS STOLEN LAND.' Others blared: 'CHICANO POWER' and 'BROWN IS BEAUTIFUL.' (Can you imagine the uproar if someone had come to the rally holding up a sign reading 'WHITE IS BEAUTIFUL'?) Thugs with masked faces flashed gang signs on the steps of L.A.'s City Hall. Students walked out of classrooms all across Southern California chanting, 'Latinos, stand up!' Young people raised their fists in defiance, clothed in T-shirts bearing radical leftist guerrilla Che Guevara's face and Aztlan emblems." God, one a.m. must be a sad little time around Casa de Malkin.
Rush Limbaugh, Cal Thomas, and other jowly right wingers are besides themselves that Hispanics would dare protest, would dare raise up the Mexican flag (although one would bet that they have no problem with the flags raised on St. Patrick's Day or Columbus Day), would dare actually cry out en masse against the government.
And this is how we get back to Jason and the pussy. 'Cause for the most part, in the last couple of decades, protests in this nation have been long-planned events, not spontaneous outpourings of outrage (even if the Hispanic media was involved in getting out the message this time). But this is what real protest looks like - not like riots, not like well-conceived marches. It's messy, it's angry, it's sometimes over the top, it's sometimes offensive. Maybe it's the fact that many of the protesters come from countries with a more contemporary tradition of mass action that the demonstrations have mattered and been more energized.
Let the bottom feeders like Malkin get pissed off and confused and hurt by the protests. Let us go about embracing them, embracing the effectiveness of the form, and asking what it says about the nation surrounding them to figure out how to harness their energy and tactics for future action.