Michael Kinsley: simple-minded thoughts on immigration

Michael Kinsley offers "Kidding Ourselves About Immigration" in which he tries to present an argument for conflating all types of immigration together. You can click his name at the article to let him know what you think. The bottom line is that he's a sheltered Beltway insider who isn't familiar with this issue:

Saying that you oppose illegal immigration is like saying you oppose illegal drug use or illegal speeding. Of course you do, or should.

What he fails to mention is that many politicians claim to oppose illegal immigration, and then take steps to encourage and enable it, such as by giving benefits to illegal aliens or trying to block enforcement.

Another question: Why are you so upset about this particular form of lawbreaking? After all, there are lots of laws, not all of them enforced with vigor. The suspicion naturally arises that the illegality is not what bothers you. What bothers you is the immigration. There is an easy way to test this. Reducing illegal immigration is hard, but increasing legal immigration would be easy. If your view is that legal immigration is good and illegal immigration is bad, how about increasing legal immigration? How about doubling it? Any takers? So in the end, this is not really a debate about illegal immigration. This is a debate about immigration.

To a certain extent that's true. However, what Kinsley doesn't understand is that the illegallity is a vital part of the issue. While we shouldn't expect every law to be fully prosecuted, when millions of people are allowed to enter the U.S. illegally despite the wishes of the American public, one might wonder what's going on. Unfortunately, Kinsley doesn't seem to have figured out that massive illegal immigration is evidence of massive government corruption. Instead of doing their job, many politicians have decided to allow illegal immigration in some way so that they, their party, or their donors can benefit.

He then demonstrates yet more Beltway Cluelessness by saying that giving driver's licenses to illegal aliens is an "arcane" issue. Then:

On the Republican side, the candidates take turns accusing one another of committing some act of human decency toward illegals, and indignantly denying that they did any such thing.

That's certainly cute, but there are strong public policy arguments against doing things like giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens, and enabling illegal immigration is not a "decent" or humane thing to do.

Then, somewhat surprisingly, he admits that we have a right to determine how many are allowed to immigrate here and that "[t]here is no obligation to be fair to foreigners". Then, it's back to Cluelessland:

To characterize illegal immigrants as queue-jumping, lawbreaking scum is seriously unjust... [we're all immigrants drivel]

Most illegal aliens are, I'm sure, nice people. Unfortunately, massive illegal immigration has had a cultural impact that Kinsley doesn't discuss or doesn't know about. Many illegal aliens are used to buying fake documents and engaging in other sorts of illegal activity, and many don't see a problem with that ("If work is a crime, accuse me of committing a crime." and others). If legalized, would they suddenly forswear activity of that sort? Or, would they cut corners when it's convenient for them?

And, some of those coming here have no respect for our laws or our territorial claims. Or, in the case of Elvira Arellano, invent justifications for coming here illegally.

Then, it gets even worse, where he says that illegal aliens would win in an "American-values contest" against past immigrant groups. Considering that most illegal aliens are from Mexico, and considering that, per Zogby, a large majority of Mexicans think the U.S. Southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico, I'd say that Kinsley has no idea what he's talking about.

Let me suggest that Kinsley hires an interpreter and goes out and asks twenty or thirty Mexican illegal aliens whether they'd sign on to the statement "I didn't cross the border, the border crossed me." And, he can find out from the same number of illegal aliens from all countries whether they think things like identity theft are major crimes. Then, he can engage his brain and get back to us.


I'm sick and tiresd of hearing how hard these people work. That is a purely blanket statement. My sister died this week in a nursing home that employed many people I suspect were illegal or H1B visa holders. They often spoke broken english and calling them lazy was being kind. When we brought her things they were often stolen...by the help! Incompetence and ineptitude was the norm. And don't try and tell me they cared....I used to work as a nurses aid many years ago as did my other sister and we really worked hard, and cared about our patients.....Often I see these people all lined up around the desk sitting on their keisters. If you asked them to do something it was an affront to them...That is what they tell us we need to take care of our aging population...well, if that is the case we are screwed!!

I agree with that we should keep things simple and conflate all types of immigration. And to keep things really simple we should STOP IT ALL.

_The suspicion naturally arises that the illegality is not what bothers you. What bothers you is the immigration. There is an easy way to test this._ Here's a test. You only need to be able to read [1]. That counts out most of Kinsley's wonderful hard-working immigrants but he himself should be able to get the message loud and clear.

[1] age-of-treason.blogspot.com/2007/12/unmigration-manifesto.html

Mary is right, the fact is if you look at Hispanic Culture you will see a system of Enslavement a people of slavery and a world of total fools who Love nothing and care for nothing that is what the third world is all-about and that is what this Government want's for you.

A better solution would be for you people that don't like blacks, asians, indians, mexicans, etc to just leave this country.

For more than 50 years I have been forced to subsidize the wages of illegal immigrants; providing them with food, shelter, education and health care that I could not afford for my own children. Now my children and grandchildren are being forced to do the same. Meanwhile the elite of Mexico live like monarchs because Mexico is the wealthiest Latin American country and they pimp their poor to American employers for American taxpayers to support. The illegal workers send millions of non-taxed dollars to Mexico! When my grandparents came to America, they did not receive handouts. They worked for everything they got and went without things they could not pay for, like health care and food!

In over 19 years dealing with this issue one on one with our "undocumented visitors" I admit there are those that come with full intentions of adhering to all of our laws and do what is asked of them to follow all legal avenues; except of course having legal status. Then there are those who say that is their intention but are pure criminals in their actions here. Yes there are the good and there are the bad. From ALL countries of the world. Having said that, I receive calls often from all over the country telling this same story. "My father retired from work in Vermont but his social security benefits are being held up because their records show he has been working in 'Waco, Texas' (for example) for the last eight years. He has never been to 'Waco, Texas." We obviously know that most likely an illegal alien has been using this persons SSN and now causes this stalemate between the man retiring and the Social Security Administration. This is just one example of issues that are not commonly broadcast that arise out of illegal immigration. I have no agenda. I am just giving you the facts.

Well I guess everyone can make their own opinion sound like itÂ’s the right solution but we are all short of true wisdom, even myself. I know I donÂ’t have all the answers but I do know someone who does. He says to give is better then to receive, to help your neighbor that is in need, to love your enemies, to forgive all, and all these radical things that one might be blown away and ask themselves if its truly possible to live it out in your own personal life. IÂ’m sure there isnÂ’t a single human other Jesus Christ that has lived perfectly but I do know many others who have improved their ways in many of areas of their lives. In his word we are taught to also obey the laws of the land which is also very important, it is something that is without question as important as everything else that is mentioned in the scriptures. In the beginning this government was established with Godly principles and in my opinion is the only true explanation as to why it is has been blessed and prosperous. (Read the story of Solomon) Now knowing the information above that is underlined, I see two problems from both perspectives on the issue of immigration ((Helping our neighbors in need & Obeying the Laws)). I canÂ’t say that I have the solution that would fix it all just some things to consider before everyone else posts their opinions.

Hey Emanul, At the rate this country is going we will never be able to help anyone again...I could use the lifeboat analogy...only so many will float...or the airplane theory , when oxygen level drops , put your own mask on before you put your childs or others on....SAME THING here...We are OVERWHELMED with FREELOADERS...not just people in need...but people abusing and taking advantage of the system.. I may not be the wisest but anyone with a lick of sense knows it has to STOP NOW!!! Send them back to their own countries and let them show their benevolence to their own people!!! Translation- Ain't buying the crap you just dished out!!

Mary, I'm not offended in any way. I just believe in the word of God which this country was based on originally. The word says to give right? Well if you don't give you will be like the Dead sea, all it wants to do is receive. But if you do give, you will get back in return above and beyond what you can ever dream about, thatÂ’s why the U.S. is blessed as it has been. Take away the giving and helping and you end up like the Dead Sea, with no life and no blessings. I do agree that for anyone that takes advantage of our system will one day have to answer to God about those things, but its not just Immigrants who take advantage of our system. I have seen people from every race: Anglo, African American, Hispanic, Asian, etc... I totally agree that they shouldnÂ’t take advantage of our system. What I'm trying to say is that I believe your word FREE LOADERS can fall into many ethnic backgrounds. Does this mean you want to send Anglo Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans etc.. out of the country because they are freeloading. How would you be able to accomplish anything like that? Trust me on one things I really dislike lazy people that want everything handed to them and I know we can both agree on that, but help me better understand your point. If all you are really trying to say is that people who are hear illegally should not continue to do so or that they should be punished, well I can say that if itÂ’s a law and it is broken then YES. There is consequences to choices that we make, I agree that we should all obey the law equally, but I also will help someone who is in need, where to draw the line, well thatÂ’s just something that you might need to pray about.

This country GIVES more around the world and to those here than any other country in the world...for that we get lambasted day in and day out.......There's givcing and there's also being made a sucker...not to mention destroying our own country in the process....... Nuff said! Prayers won't stop this invasion!

Your right, prayer alone isnÂ’t going to help any. ItÂ’s a combination of prayer and action. What good is to have knowledge and not apply it. Well I guess you couldnÂ’t answer anything back about free loading, you didnÂ’t clear anything up about your point of free loading. Also, this country is being made a sucker by some people, same in this situation, this can fall in any kind of race. You seem to mention things that affects every ethnic background in the U.S. I have a hard time understanding your argument.