A comment from the previous post concerning immigration by a commenter by the name of Horatio states:
I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.
I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, housing, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!
Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.
Doesn’t this sound nice and reasonable? But examine the words carefully, and the flaws in the argument start to appear. Let’s start with the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
WE THE PEOPLE has a nice ring, doesn’t it? We the People are us, the Citizens of the United States, who are law-abiding and one of the most generous people on the face of the Earth. We the People also stand for what freedom really is, and ask, not demand, respect for our country, its people, and the laws that we live under so that our country can continue to exist.
Our country is a country of laws, which were first set up by the Founders in the form of our Constitution. The initial Constitution was not complete, which is why the Founders of the Country made it possible for the People to change or amend the Constitution. Thus, the first changes were the Bill of Rights, and afterward, more changes were made allowing for women and minorities the right to vote as well as other equal civil liberties. The Suffrage and Civil Rights Movements made that possible.
At this point, let us note that the Founder’s of the Country were white, well-to-do gentlemen of substance of various backgrounds, and subjects of the British Crown, and not of many nations as Horatio posits. Let us also note that the majority of people of the days of the Suffrage and Civil Rights voted for these rights to be granted to women and minorities through State elections, not through a minority of civic-minded politicians that didn’t listen to their constituents. Remember, it was the majority that granted the rights to the minority through their elected Representatives. Last we should also note that the rights of women and minorities were granted to legal residents of the United States.
This is where Horatio loses the concept of a sovereign nation. Our nation, like many other nations, has borders and laws to enforce them. It has an immigration policy and laws to support them. Arizona, for the most part, is reiterating the Federal laws on Immigration. No other country, including Mexico, will allow people to enter the country without due process. Why does anyone think that the United States should be different?
The United States is a shining beacon of what a country can do if governed by the will of the people and not by the will of a despot, dictator, or king. The United States is (or should be) a champion of that concept throughout the world, and support the rights of people in their respective countries. But if those people wish to come to the United States, then I, as a citizen of this country, would welcome them – after all, part of the poem on the Statue of Liberty states,
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
My Great-Grandmother came to this country from her native Ireland fleeing the Great Potato Famine, and passed through Ellis Island. At no time was it considered to sneak into the United States like a thief in the night. People came to this country as a land of opportunity, a chance to start over. Coming in illegally was not the way to start a new life. This is the strength of the United States.
Let’s look at this excellent video (h/t to GeeeeeZ!):
I take great insult to Horatio’s implication that it is somehow the duty of the United States and its citizens to welcome people who cross our borders illegally, and that we should “stop and examine [our] conscience.” Horatio also implies that to do otherwise is discriminatory.
What is right and legal is for immigrants to follow the due process of our laws, for then we know (at least in principle) that these people intend to be law-abiding. It’s not discrimination, it’s self-preservation given the world today. The violence in Arizona and Texas from Mexican gangs crossing the border illegally should give one pause the practicality of having an open border.
Horatio, I’m sorry, but you dream of a Utopia that cannot exist in this world or in any other. It is not the fault of the immigrant that wants a better life for himself or his family. It is the fault of the country he lives in for being repressive and closed to opportunities to better his lot in life. The United States, realistically, cannot have unlimited immigration with open borders. It is not practical nor is it sustainable.
And finally, I sleep very well at night because I have a clear concience, and I have suffered discrimination.