Peter Beinart smears GOP, sticks up for illegal immigration
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Peter Beinart of the Daily Beast and the CFR offers "Why the GOP Demonizes 'Illegals'" (link) in which he smears the GOP and sticks up for illegal immigration using a series of misleading talking points.
1. About the only thing Beinart gets right is the fact that illegal aliens shouldn't be referred to as "illegals". Just use the legally-correct term: illegal aliens. That's factually correct, and it also stands in opposition to euphemisms like "undocumented workers" at the same time as it helps prevent those like Beinart from using nomenclature to support illegal immigration.
2. Beinart falsely claims that the use of "illegals" by politicians is an indicator of racial animus towards Latinos:
"Illegal" is the latest in a long line of euphemisms that politicians use to signal their antipathy to a reviled racial or ethnic group, in this case, Latinos. No, no, you say, this has nothing to do with animosity toward Hispanics; it’s about protecting the border and obeying the law. Really? Then why don’t we call the CEOs of the companies that hire illegal immigrants "illegals"? ...People from nonstigmatized ethnic groups don’t get called “illegals” no matter what they do. When I grew up in Boston in the 1980s, the city was filled with Irish workers with forged immigration papers.
First, the idea that Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, or Rick Perry (who are mentioned in Beinart's post) dislike Hispanics anymore than other groups is absurd. All three are in mainly just about the money. Some in the GOP base may dislike Hispanics in general, but the GOP doesn't reach out to them. Instead, the GOP bends over backwards to reach out to Hispanics, many of whom are in the sway of the far-left and would never vote for the GOP no matter what they did.
Regarding the terminology, the idea that CEOs who do good or bad aren't given negative names - justified or not - is absurd. "Felon", "convicted", and so on are just the legally-correct examples. However, there's no longer term that includes the term "illegal" that could be shortened to "illegals" in their case; "illegal executive" isn't a term in wide use. There are, however, other terms such as "illegal racer" (28,200 search results, not all relevant); "illegal drug dealer" (1,910,000 results, ditto); and "illegal dumper" (41,800 results, ditto). If those terms were in wider use and illegal aliens/illegals wasn't in such wide use, it's not hard to imagine those three referred to as "illegals".
And, per a 2007 Los Angeles Times article (link), there are around 50,000 illegal aliens from Ireland in the U.S. A 1996 government estimate was 30,000 (PDF link). The latter estimated there were nearly 100 times as many illegal aliens from Mexico, over ten times as many from El Salvador, and so on. Irish illegal aliens would also be more likely to be working in jobs that aren't often raided by the Department of Homeland Security and would be more able to assimilate than low-skilled workers from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. When someone refers to illegal aliens or illegals, they aren't just referring to Mexicans but to all those here illegally. At the same time, illegal aliens from Europe have a much, much lower profile than Hispanic illegal aliens. The latter march in our streets under their countries' flags and have advocacy organizations that are linked into the top of our political system (such as the National Council of La Raza). Very few people have probably even heard of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform.
3. Beinart uses a set of misleading talking points throughout the article. Please take a look at these (especially the first), then compare it to the quote from his post below:
Now, compare those to Beinart:
In today’s GOP, the correct term for a human being who crosses the U.S. border without a visa in search of a brutally difficult, poorly paid job that few native-born Americans wish to do but on which our national economy depends is “illegal.”
Not “illegal immigrant” or even “illegal alien,” which implies that the people cooking our food and making our beds arrived here by spaceship. But merely “illegal.” Maybe in the general election, when Mitt Romney goes trolling for votes in the Southwest, he’ll soften up and merely dehumanize America’s most vulnerable people via adjective. But when you’re battling Rick Perry and Herman Cain, adjectives aren’t good enough. You need the noun.
1. It's beyond rich that a member of the Council on Foreign Relations writing in Newsweek's Daily Beast sticks up for illegal aliens at the same time as calling them "America’s most vulnerable people". Some people who are actually vulnerable include impoverished U.S. citizens negatively affected by illegal immigration. Beinart and other establishment hacks ignore them, and instead stick up for foreign citizens.
2. The very reason why many of those jobs illegal aliens take are "brutally difficult" and "poorly paid" is because of the presence of illegal aliens in the first place. Without the illegal immigration that Beinart supports, those jobs would have higher wages under better conditions and would be staffed by American citizens or legal workers. Employers are more willing to exploit illegal aliens than legal workers. Beinart is giving the impression that he cares about those doing brutally difficult and poorly paid jobs, when he's actually enabling those jobs to be brutally difficult and poorly paid.
3. Beinart is attempting to pull the heartstrings of liberals and threatening them at the same time: if you oppose illegal immigration by poor oppressed people, you're a racist just like the GOP. That's not true, but some might buy it and thereby help enrich the elites of the U.S. at the same time as hurting not just low-skilled workers in the U.S. but also harming foreign countries and enriching those foreign countries' corrupt elites. What Beinart is doing on immigration is similar to what the Koch family and to a good extent the GOP do on economics: push an agenda that benefits a few using cultural opposition to the far-left.
4. Referring to illegal aliens as "the people cooking our food and making our beds" is an appeal to the personal corruption of many in what I call the "Nanny Employing Class". The lifestyles of those in Beinart's class are made easier by having a ready supply of domestic workers to cook and clean for them, with a ready supply of greenskeepers available for those up the scale from them. Using illegal foreign labor also relieves them of the bother associated with employing American citizens, and also might have emotional benefits for them in the same way that they might prefer artisan Third World imported products to the homegrown equivalents.
Now it's your turn. If I haven't convinced you that Beinart is almost all wrong, leave a comment and I'll explain why he's wrong in even more detail.