Rhetoric Vs. Reality In The Immigration Debate

by lizard

Congratulations, America. Thanks to a bipartisan effort, Mexicans have finally gotten the message: GO HOME!

The net flow of Mexicans into the US has dwindled to a trickle and may now be in reverse, giving the lie to right-wing warnings of an “invasion” of illegal immigrants and bringing to an end four decades of inward migration.

Will Republicans acknowledge that—with the help of the Obama administration—aggressive deportations, border patrol impunity, and a shitty economy have helped reverse the MEXICAN INVASION we’ve been told to fear? Yeah, right. From the link:

President Barack Obama says he backs immigration reform, announcing last month an initiative to ease deportation policies, but he has sent home over 1 million illegal immigrants in 2-1/2 years — on pace to deport more in one term than George W. Bush did in two.

The Obama administration had deported about 1.06 million as of September 12, against 1.57 million in Bush’s two full presidential terms.

This seeming contradiction between rhetoric and reality is a key element of debate over U.S. immigration policy, and stakes are high for 2012’s presidential election as Obama faces criticism from both conservatives and liberals.

Neither side of the political spectrum seems very good at acknowledging reality these days, so don’t hold your breath. Instead, both Democrats and Republicans point to just the rhetoric while ignoring the reality of what the Obama administration policies actually do, on the ground.

For a glimpse of reality, here’s Democracy Now covering the violent beating death of Anastasio Hernández Rojas, a father of five who doesn’t get to be a father anymore, because he’s dead.

So Obama says he supports immigration reform? Bullshit. Obama supports getting himself reelected. That means he will say things to get elected, while doing the opposite to ensure Republicans can’t point to actual actions being taken to make that rhetoric resemble reality.

Of course, even if he was being earnest with *wanting* to reform immigration policies, it’s doubtful he could get enough of his own team to go along with it. Remember, our own senator, Jon Tester, helped kill the very modest reform known as the Dream Act. And what was Jon’s rationale for his vote? Here is what Jon said in an e-mail:

Illegal immigration is a critical problem facing our country, but amnesty is not the solution. I do not support legislation that provides a path to citizenship for anyone in this country illegally.

Like I said, reality doesn’t matter to politicians; reelection, though, does.

Will Jon Tester amend his position in light of this new data showing the “critical problem facing our country” is no longer critical? It’s an election year, so I doubt it. If the topic comes up, maintaining the bullshit rationale that the Dream Act represented some kind of “amnesty” will still be the smart thing to do, since Montanans probably still mostly fear and despise the idea of Mexicans flooding across the borders to steal their jobs and sell their middle-school kids weed, because that’s what Fox News and the GOP say.

Meanwhile, Obama will outpace Bush kicking people out of the country, families will continue being ripped apart, and politicians like Jon Tester will continue ignoring reality in order to win elections.

America, you should be so proud.


  1. Swede Johannson

    Not to worry Liz.

    They’re having them fill out absentee ballots before they leave.

    • JC

      Hmmm… wonder how many descendants of Mitten’s Mexican Mormon polygamy commune might have migrated north just to vote for him?

      • dbudge55

        WTF, JC? Did you wake up this morning and bump your head on the stupid tree? Or are you just a bigot?

        • lizard19

          I thought you disapproved of name calling, Dave, tsk tsk.

        • dbudge55

          I didn’t call hem any names. I’m questioning what he is doing. My questions are not rhetorical. I can understand comments like that by some but was taken aback by this.

          • JC

            Just channeling Schweitzer for Swede’s daily dose of bad humor. As to the stupid tree, yeah, sometimes I wake up and post without my daily dose of coffee…

          • dbudge55

            Let’s do a little thought experiment, shall we, and change up the words a bit:

            wonder how many Barry’s siblings of his polygamist Muslim father might have migrated west just to vote for him?”

            Is that as easy to digest?

            What Schweitzer said was stupid, too, and demonstrates the idiocy of partisans.

  2. dbudge55

    Back on topic. Unlike many of my conservative friends I’m a dyed-in-the-wool advocate of open borders and immigration. Regardless of the political doings of power venality, I think the moral case for immigratin is simple. As Bryan Caplan writes:

    You say you care about the poor? That everyone is equal? That all men are brothers? Then open borders – not forced charity for your well-fed countrymen – should be your overwhelming priority. Anyone who supports the welfare state on humanitarian grounds should favor open borders. And if that’s too demanding for you, it’s the welfare state you should compromise first.

    .

  3. Swede Johansson

    Ya know what’s even more interesting than The Bamster kicking out Mexicans?

    Romney is going to pick Rubio for VP.

    Can you imagine anything worse for you guys? South of the border Tea Partier dragging Mitt across the finish line.

    Sweet.

    • lizard19

      sure Swede, and hopefully the great American hate machine known as the GOP will keep y’all frothing and gnashing your teeth so all the unsavory aspects of your sorry-ass candidate can be conveniently ignored.

      yeah, sweet.

      • Swede Johansson

        Great American hate machine?

        Kinda like the ones who threatened the latino Zimmerman?

        • Steve W

          You mean Bob Dylan, Swede?

          I thought it was your party who hated Bob Dylan. Called him a hippie as I recall.

          • Swede Johansson

            George not Bob.

            Get with it Steve.

            “The Times They Are A Changing”.

            • Steve W

              “Lord Lord, they shot George Jackson down.”

              The more things change, the more they stay the same.

              “Whose gonna take away his license to kill?”

            • lizard19

              some folks seem to wish the times would change back to the 1950’s, when women and colored folk knew their place.

              maybe you should just admit, Swede, it’s not Obama’s policies you have issues with, it’s his complexion.

              • Swede Johansson

                Card throwing hate speech?

  4. Rev. Timothy Gordish

    The good news is that we need secure borders to keep people out, instead of keeping them in!

    Open borders were great while they worked, but we cannot afford to keep other nations criminals and terrorists so we need to have some sort of order and filter in the process.

    The answer is quick, easy, immigration policies that allow many more people who desire to be citizens of our great country the opportunity to be such.

    The idea that we give amnesty the ones who are already here will only encourage others to enter the country unrecognized, and promotes a subculture of non-citizen labor living in slave like conditions. Our standard is loyal citizens, whose human rights are protected.

    We need to use a carrot, not a stick. Increase the quota of immigration from Mexico to be equal to the number of aliens who were counted in the census, but application for immigration must be made in person at the U.S. Embassies in their country of origin. If they really want to be U.S. Citizens they will find their way here in an honest and orderly way.

    • Steve W

      Rev, I think your premise is wrong and fearful and afraid.

      But i agree that a written policy is probably better than no policy. And a policy to allow people a legal, orderly and quick passage to and fro is far better than what we are currently doing.

      It would save a lot of people a lot of grief and it would save us a pile of money in the long run if we expanded legal entrance slots and made them reasonably easy to obtain and use.

      So for the most part I agree generally with your solution, Rev.

  5. Steve W

    PS

    I am an advocate of open boarders so I agree with Dave on that point, but I’m also aware that politically that’s a complete non-starter.

    So making legal boarder crossing easy and fast is my second choice.

  6. Statehood for the tribes and Mexico.

    • JC

      Why would tribes want to downgrade their status as nations granted by treaty (i.e. read the Hellgate Treaty) to one of mere statehood?

      • We, the People have failed the tribes, JC: only the richest nations enjoy any kind of sovereignty and compete with the states which can rely on earmarks to maintain infrastructure.

        While the Palestinian homeland looks like holes in the slice of Swiss cheese analogous to the illegal Israeli state, progress toward resolutions of Native trust disputes would have far more political traction after tribes secede from the States in which they reside and then be ratified to form one State, the 51st, sans contiguous borders with two Senators and two House members as there are an estimated 2.5 million indigenous.

        The US is long overdue for a constitutional convention as the current document has left too many behind.

        • JC

          Well, many thoughts there larry. First off, a ConCon, while attractive may garner way too much traction from the right and end up being counterproductive. Many of us have talked about this at length, and aren’t ready to go that route just yet. What makes you think the national mood is right for a progressive ConCon that would finally grant and recognize rights and obligations that a mature nation owes its subjects? I think we would be more likely to see a return to the Constitution of the old west and pioneer days.

          And as to “We, the People” having failed the tribes, I think that doing right by the tribes has never been a goal of the peeps. Taking land and subjugation was the goal, which has succeeded beyond the founders imagination.

          But if you want to get into tribal politics, I’d encourage you to come to one of the Salish-Kootenai’s Hellgate Treaty celebrations to get their take on tribal sovereignty, and what they think about giving up 1st Nation status for a joint statehood. I don’t think you’d find many takers. BTW, I do live on the S-K rez, and have been paying attention to these things for decades.

          But occasionally you do hear talk about tribal nations seceding from the state they are contained within, and maintaining their national status, and nationalizing federal/state/corporate resources contained within. Of course, that would just lead to another round of subjugation, with the U.S. military treating the tribes much like the israelis treat the palestinians. That what you want?

          • When Fidel Castro took the reins in Cuba he dissolved the previous constitution with all its treaties, wrote a new manual, and ruled by decree.

            That’s essentially what happened to tribes: treaties that served as constitutions for American indigenous were broken and are still being rewritten for political expediency. American Indians are subject to at least four overlapping jurisdictions making tribes the most regulated people in the US without representatives serving in Congress.

            Lise Balk King is a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was previously co-publisher and executive editor of The Native Voice newspaper.”

            She brought readers up to speed at Indian Country Today on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as it turns its focus to the American Genocide :

            “The most important human rights milestone in our collective history is arguably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was taken up on the heels of the atrocities of World War II at the first session of the UN General Assembly in 1946. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Prof. James Anaya, provides a simple formula:

            “Use the declaration for engagement with governments, with Congress, with the courts. Tribes need to use it with the outside world and within their communities…to build healthy relationships on all levels.” Now is the time to insist that the standards originally put forth by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be carried out by the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Let’s aspire that results won’t be 60 years in the making.”

          • dbudge55

            its subjects? Subjects? REally?

            • JC

              Yeah, I’ve written about neo-feudalism, and I often feel like we are treated like subjects by our government and the wealthy. So there’s a bit of snark in that statement, for sure.

  7. Thanks Dupes

    We capitalist thought it was pretty funny when you equality nuts wanted to dump millions of women and minorities into the labor pool. What better way to smash the wage rate than flood the labor market? Even Marx himself could not have imagined the vast “army of unemployed” and underemployed that you created.

    But the icing on the cake had to be the illegal Mexicans. Open borders—we thought we had died and gone to heaven!

    Oh, and thanks for undermining the unions, too.

    — Max Bucks

  8. Steve W

    Max, you are nuts. Raving bonkers. We all know it, except you.




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