May 16, 2006

Meeting of Minds

Move your cursor over the cartoon to see the flipped version (may not work on all browsers).

After the "Day Without Immigrants" protests, John Podhoretz made a good point in The New York Post: Problema.
With their psychotically provocative behavior, these radical lunatics of the Left are moving the ideological goalposts of this debate toward the restrictionist Right. Unless they wise up, by the time they're through every politician in this country outside the inner cities will be paying lip service at the very least to a serious crackdown on illegal immigration.
In referencing the article above, TIA Daily's Robert Tracinski took the idea one step further: "[T]he left's attempt to capture the pro-immigration side of the argument creates a false alternative, with both sides taking for granted the false premise that the effect of immigration is to destroy America and merely disagreeing on the desirability of this outcome."

The far Left's anti-American agenda is apparent. In December, Tracinski also highlighted a similar problema with anti-immigrationists on the Right: Americans Against The American Dream.
The real essence of the anti-immigrationists' argument is not that immigrants are unwilling to work, but that they are too willing to work, that they are so eager to work that they will come here and take "our" jobs -- jobs that are supposed to be set aside, by governmental fiat, for American workers. Their crude version of being "pro-American" is that they want to protect a supposed monopoly on jobs by native-born Americans, a monopoly enforced at the point of a gun.

This is the welfare-state entitlement mentality of the left, adopted in a crudely nationalistic variation. The premise of the anti-immigration crusade is that native-born Americans have a right to be hired for menial jobs at high wages, not because they have the skills or initiative to perform those jobs productively, but simply because they were born in this country. But the idea that you have a right to a job and a paycheck, just as a reward for being born, regardless of your ability or willingness to do the work--isn't that the worst aspect of the welfare-state mentality of the left?
UPDATE I -- May 17: I've changed the cartoon "flip" to work by simply moving your cursor over the cartoon. This method doesn't require JavaScript and hopefully will work for more readers (however for some it may still not work). Thanks to Chris Davis at Quent Cordair Fine Arts for his technical expertise.

UPDATE II -- May 23: A must-read article on immigration from Jewish World Review: The real cause of the immigration crisis by Jeff Jacoby. (via TIA Daily)
To countless Americans, the difference between legal and illegal immigration is self-evident and meaningful. But is that really what distinguishes the immigrants we want from those we don't that the former enter the country lawfully, while the latter break the rules to get here? Are immigrants like my father and son inherently desirable merely because a lot of exasperating bureaucratic requirements were met before they came? Are the 11 million illegal immigrants living within our borders (and the several hundred thousand added to their number each year) unwelcome and problematic only because they got in the wrong way?

A foreigner who enters the United States without first running the immigration-law gantlet is not congenitally unfit to be a good American any more than someone who operates an automobile without a license is congenitally unfit to drive. Our immigration laws are maddening and Byzantine. They are heavily skewed in favor of people with family ties to US citizens nearly two-thirds of all legal immigrants qualify to enter the United States because they are the relatives of someone already here, and even then it can take 10 or 15 years to qualify for legal residence. If you were designing an immigration system that would admit people on the basis of whether they seemed likely to become good Americans patriotic, hard working, law-abiding, English-speaking this is hardly the system you would devise.

Posted by Forkum at May 16, 2006 05:46 PM