Monday, August 21, 2006

Immigration Honesty

A Washington Post article reveals what the GOP is really thinking on the topic of illegal immigration. First, Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA) on the one-sidedness of his farce "hearings" on the subject:
"What I wanted was witnesses who agree with me, not disagree with me."

Nothing like a good old fashioned commitment to truth, regardless of source. As The Carpetbagger Report puts it, to the GOP, "an appropriate hearing is one in which everyone thinks exactly the same way."

But while Norwood got most of the attention from the blogosphere, amazingly, he does not win the award for the most appalling comment in the article. Check out the sentiments coming out of a GOP base voter:
At the Bakers Dozen donut shop in Sierra Vista, Sally Hawk of Huachuca City held her tongue as her husband, Jim, fretted over a Republican Party in control of the House, Senate and White House but "doing nothing." Then, when talk turned to the illegal immigrants flowing over the border, she chimed in hesitantly: "I think they ought to shoot them. I don't have anything against Mexicans. I just want them here legally."

Well, I sure am glad she hesitated before saying it. I was worried that this call for murder was one she came to hastily. But now it's clear that when mediating between the conflicting values of showing she has nothing "against Mexicans" and showing her disapproval of illegal immigration, the proper, balanced solution she thought up was mass execution. Heavens be praised.


Anonymous said...

So the lady said we 'ought to shoot them.' I don't see what the big deal is. She wasn't calling for murder, she was calling for border defense. If I go into a bank with a gun and try to rob it, I would expect to be met with a hail of bullets. Not murder, but law enforcement. These illegal insurgents coming up across the border with their governments consent are no better than the German army marching into Poland in 1939. The only difference really is that the Poles fought back! Every illegal in this country will be leaving and it matters little to me if it is on foot, in handcuffs, or in a body bag.

David Schraub said...

Shooting unarmed civilians is a crime against humanity, even if they are committing a "crime." Shooting persons in the midst of a criminal activity is only (normatively and legally) justified if one has legitimate reason to fear for ones life (being robbed at gunpoint, for example). Walking (or running, or crawling) across a border does not qualify anymore than jaywalking does (maybe cops in your town greet jaywalkers with a hail of bullets too, I don't know). That's true of law enforcement too (Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 [1985]--unconstitutional for police to shoot a fleeing unarmed and non-violent felony suspect).

The proper analogy here isn't Poland in 1939 (an invading armed force of a sovereign state) but Berlin in 1969 (Berlin Wall guards shooting non-violent people trying to cross a border to escape oppression and find a better life). And what the $#^% does "illegal insurgent" mean in this context?

You're unquestionably advocating for a massive human rights violation that is also a crime against humanity. No doubt about it. And if you've reached the point where casual slaughter of unarmed civilians doesn't bother you, I pity your immortal soul.

Scott said...

It is not always a crime against humanity, during a riot for example many are unarmed, it is the weight of numbers that make it dangerous. In this case however I will agree. Shooting a person for the sole reason being that the person in question dared to attempt to cross our southern border is both sick and sad. I hope Anon will stop, think about this a bit more and realise how stupid a solution this is.

Mark said...

The desire to have testimony "controlled" is not a GOP only fault, I think that is pretty bi-partisan in nature.

Likewise a desire for immigrants to curb illegal immigration is not necessarily a bad thing. If you take a left-leaning issue I'm sure you can find outrageous statements being made there as well ... so I'm a little confused as to what point your trying to make here.

Because if you're just demonizing the GOP as part of a exercise in knee-jerk partisan hackery, I'm a little surprised. Normally you rise a bit above the partisan froth and phelgm.

David Schraub said...

Mark: The problem is these sentiments are no longer isolated. They're not mainstream yet, either, but as I documented in this comment, the existance of simply barbaric and inhumane views as to immigration policy is a growing problem in the GOP. In Arizona, for example, (where the quoted woman is from), another politician called for "forced labor camps" for illegal immigrants.

I tend to get more "partisan", if you will, on issues where the disagreement stems not from a conflict of policy, but where I feel the other side is showing a fundamental disrespect for basic human rights. I think the right is wrong on social security privatization, but I think the right flank (which for once does not include Bush) lost their minds (or more accurately, their souls) when it comes to immigration. I'm not sure what left-leaning issue forthrightly calls for the slaughter of universally admitted full-fledged human beings--if you can point to a Democratic congressman that wishes to strip the citizenship of a given minority group (Ron Paul (R-TX) on immigrant children) or a Democratic state senator who calls the children of a certain group "the next generation of terrorists" (State Rep. Debbie Stafford (CO)), I'd be obliged.

Left-wing extremism infuriates me, but right-wing extremism terrifies me. That's the difference.

Anonymous said...

You said the patriots opposed to the invasion of America show "a fundamental disrespect for basic human rights." The problem is that you are wrong because these people have absolutely zero rights once they illegally cross into the United States. We could shoot them all in the back of the head and line huge pits with their bodies and their is no harm-no foul. These people don't have a right to breathe my air let alone to be treated 'humanely.'

Thank dog you commies weren't around when we were fighting the Japanese after they invaded and bombed US soil. We did the right thing then, we made them into 'Nips', 'Slants', Gooks', and Asian Devils. This was completely appropriate since they started war on us. The key here is they started it. We ended it too, which is emminently moral (if you understand morals) by frying a bunch of em. Now, we don't hate them and we don't call them racial slurs.

I am not advocating wiping these Mexicans out for invading this country but I am only pointing out that it is no foul if we did. We need to get them all the hell out of here and we need to make Mexico pay for the trouble.

David Schraub said...

"Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is surely a 'person' in any ordinary sense of that term. Aliens, even aliens whose presence in this country is unlawful, have long been recognized as 'persons' guaranteed due process of law by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments." Plyer v. Doe 457 U.S. 202, 210 (1982).

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury...nor shall any person be...deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...." --Amendment V, U.S. Constitution

"No State shall...deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." --Amendment XIV, U.S. Constitution

Thank God you weren't around when the constitution was written. But for someone so gung-ho on enforcing the law, you sure are quick to condone the violation of our oldest and most cherished ones.