A Day Without Immigrants
By John D. Turner
6 May 2006

On a day once known for massive parades of military might in Communist countries such as the Soviet Union, massive demonstrations for “immigrant rights” took place all across the United States. Billed as “a day without immigrants”, the idea was that immigrants take the day off and show everyone how utterly indispensable immigrants are to this country. How, without them, things we take for granted, those necessary jobs that need to be done, but which “Americans are unwilling to do”, will not get accomplished.

Of course, if it were truly “a day without immigrants”, the only people who would be left would be American Indians, who would be no doubt delighted if everyone left and gave them back the land they had before Columbus discovered the “new world” in 1492. And if you go back far enough, you find that even they are “immigrants” too.

Calling it “a day without immigrants” and claiming that it’s all about “immigrant rights” puts everyone on an equal footing and erases the line between those who got here legally and those who just came anyway. But no one is fooled. It’s not all about immigrants, but rather all about illegal immigrants (and specifically, Mexican illegal immigrants). To understand this, just ask yourself the question, what rights are legal immigrants being deprived of?

When blacks marched in the 1960’s they had a legitimate beef. They were American citizens, and their rights as American citizens were being abridged. For the most part, their ancestors had been brought to this country involuntarily, in slavery. Since the end of the civil war, they were granted full citizenship and all the rights that implied, yet in reality, those rights were denied in many parts of this country for a hundred years after they were freed from bondage. The civil rights demonstrations of the 1960’s forced legislation to right these wrongs done to a legitimate segment of our society.

Where are the Jim Crow laws pertaining to legal immigrants? Where are the lynchings and cross-burnings and marches of white-clad KKK members against legal immigrants? Where are the signs on public fountains that say “American Citizens Only”, or the signs on buses that say “immigrants move to the back”?

Where are the segregated schools, where legal immigrant children are taught in “separate but equal” facilities? Where are the communities where legal immigrants are not allowed to purchase homes, or the jobs that otherwise qualified legal immigrants are not allowed to hold?

Where in this country are legal immigrants unlawfully put into prison for the “crime” of being here legally? Where in this country are legal immigrants beat up by US citizens for exhibiting “uppity” behavior and not knowing their “place”?

It is true that legal American citizens of Hispanic descent are sometimes asked to show proof that they are in fact, here legally. This is not due to any prejudice against Hispanics, nor is it an example of racist behavior. It is a symptom of the problem we face with regards to illegal immigration, namely that there are a lot of illegal immigrants in this country, and the majority of them are Hispanic. If this were not the case, no one would be asking Hispanics for proof of citizenship. No one would care. If there were no illegal immigrant problem, then everyone would be assumed to be here legally, either as a citizen, visitor, or legal resident alien.

Exactly what civil rights are legal immigrants being deprived of, that they feel it necessary to demonstrate in order to regain? They don’t have the right to vote – but then again, since they are not citizens of this country, that only makes sense. Presumably they still have the right to vote in the country they are citizens of, if they so desire, and if that country has democratic elections. No other country allows non-citizens to vote in their national elections; why should the United States be any different?

The answer is simple. There are no civil rights that legal immigrants are being deprived of. There is no pending legislation regarding criminalization of immigrants who are lawfully and legally in this country. There are no civil rights that are being taken away from legal immigrants nor is there any discussion of doing so. What is actually being protested is the “criminalization” of an activity that is already a crime; illegal entry into the United States, and the returning of such persons back to their country of origin. How can something that is illegal be anything else other than a crime? The only “right” being demanded here is the “right” for those here illegally to remain here legally. Oh yes, and that they be granted immediate American citizenship. Why? Because somehow, it is their “right” of course.

We did this once before, when we granted “amnesty” to people here illegally when Ronald Reagan was president, and gave them a path to citizenship. At that time, we also put into place laws which were supposed to prevent the problem from occurring again in the future. Obviously, writing laws and not enforcing them does not stop the behavior the laws were enacted to prevent. The problem we have today is far worse than it was in Mr. Reagan’s day, exacerbated by the precedent we set when we granted amnesty the first time. Since we did it once, maybe we will do it again. Since we did it once, it isn’t “fair” if we don’t do it again.

And if we do suddenly waive the magic wand and make the 12 million plus illegals in our country citizens by fiat, what is to prevent us from having the same problem yet again 10 years down the road? How do we keep them from coming across our borders in the first place? Logically, why wouldn’t they? Logically, why would anyone attempt to immigrate here legally?

During the revolutionary war, Benjamin Franklin once famously observed that revolutions are not illegal in the first person, as in “our revolution”, it is only in the third person “their revolution” that it becomes illegal. Thus it is with Mexico and its relationship to our illegal immigration “problem”. According to Vicente Fox, the President of Mexico, there is nothing illegal about Mexican nationals entering the US any time they like, and staying for as long as they wish.

However, when it comes to aliens entering his country illegally, his attitude is not quite so enlightened. Mexican law classifies undocumented immigration as a felony punishable by up to two years in prison. [1] This despite the fact that President Fox has declared our attempts to pass a similar law as “shameful”, and his foreign minister as “stupid and underhanded”. [2]

Of course, Mexico seldom actually incarcerates undocumented immigrants entering Mexico illegally; deportation is more common, a solution that Mexico also protests when it is us deporting their citizens from our country. As stated in an article by Mark Stevenson, Associated Press:

Considered felons by the government, these migrants fear detention, rape and robbery. Police and soldiers hunt them down at railroads, bus stations and fleabag hotels. Sometimes they are deported; more often officers simply take their money…although Mexico demands humane treatment for its citizens who migrate to the U.S., regardless of their legal status, Mexico provides few protections for migrants on its own soil. [1]

So much for consistency in Mexico. “Do what I say, not what I do”, rather than “practice what you preach” seems to be the rule there.

There still remains the problem that President Fox sees nothing wrong with Mexican nationals illegally (from our perspective) crossing the border into our country and staying as long as they like. In fact, the Mexican government encourages the practice, and President Fox considers himself the president of all Hispanics, on both sides of the border, whether citizens of Mexico or citizens of the United States. Not that this policy is new; Mexican leaders have been stating the same for some time. [3]

This is consistent with the views of those preaching “la reconquista”, or the reconquest of the American southwest. Immigration implies people willingly moving to another country, with the express purpose of becoming a citizen and assimilating into the new culture. Assimilating means leaving the old country behind and becoming part of a new culture, with a new national identity. It implies things like learning the language, learning the culture, and trying your best to “fit in”. Reconquista is not assimilation. It is colonization.

In fact, reconquista has been underway for some time. And, consistent with this, what we are seeing today is more like colonization rather than immigration. Willingly moving to a new country, but not assimilating. Not learning English. Not leaving the old culture behind. Not becoming part of the new culture or changing allegiance to the new country, but maintaining loyalty and faithfulness to the old; flooding across a border that, in their mind, does not exist. Moving not to the United States, but rather to a part of Mexico that curiously speaks English predominately, rather than Spanish. Not to worry, over time that too will change as more and more arrive, crossing a border that they do not acknowledge, and which we are not willing to enforce. What need is there to assimilate, when you are the majority population?

So what if they simply come here, set up shop, and continue to live as they did before? So what if they keep their language and culture, maintain their allegiance to the country they came from, and never assimilate? So what if they settle and raise families? So what if they become the majority population in that area?

Ask Mexico. They have had previous experience with this phenomenon. The result is now called the State of Texas.

How about this instead. How about we grant citizenship to all Mexicans, from the Rio Grande to their current southern border. That will save us the hassle of having to go through this again every 10-15 years, and save them the hassle of actually having to come here to get citizenship. They can be “expatriate” Americans, as are many Americans who live abroad, or maybe “at large” Americans, as they wouldn’t have residency in any particular state; sort of like being a citizen of a US Territory like Guam, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. They won’t need to come here to have an “anchor” baby, since they will already be citizens. And if they do come to work, they will be on our tax rolls. Employers will have to pay them the same way they do everyone else, since they will then be liable for federal income tax and social security withholding. We might have to pay them social security when they retire (assuming they pay into it), but they won’t be using our social services.

And, as American citizens, they would be eligible to vote on a referendum on statehood. We could spend a few years on a publicity campaign outlining the benefits of statehood, then hold the referendum. I would bet, if we did it right, we could get most of them to go for it.

And we could add another 16 or so stars to our flag…

Then again, maybe not. A recent poll in Mexico revealed that 58 percent of Mexicans polled believe that the United States stole the southwest from them, and that it rightfully belongs to Mexico, while 57 percent are in agreement with Mr. Fox in that they don’t believe they require any permission to enter the U.S. anytime they wish. [3] They would probably see such a move as a blatant land-grab by the United States. Liberals here would probably agree with them.

The recent sympathetic demonstrations in Mexico, coinciding with the “a day without immigrants” demonstrations here in the US, and called there “a day without Gringos”, gives an indication about how many there really feel about us.

It is certain that those on the radical left of the “immigration rights” movement are sympathetic with those poll numbers. In fact, there are many good, decent people within the movement that are becoming alarmed at how radical leftist groups are co-opting the agenda. It is no accident or coincidence that these rallies and boycotts were held on May first, as radical left groups under the banner of ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) have become active promoters of the national movement. And May first is traditionally the worldwide day of commemorative demonstration by socialist, communist and other leftist organizations. [4]

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and he had an interesting suggestion, which was, to hire illegal immigrants to guard the border to keep illegal immigrants from crossing into the United States. He agreed that this solution might not be optimal, but pointed out however that, as we are told, illegal immigrants only do jobs that Americans are unwilling to do. And as it is clear that guarding the border is a job that we (or at least our government) are unwilling to do, hiring illegals may be the only solution.

It does give one food for thought…

[1] “Mexico Harsh to Undocumented Migrants”, 18 Apr 2006.
[2] “Mexicans Hire Bush Advisor to Stop US Border, Illegal Immigration Reforms”, 30 Dec 2005.
[3] “Amnesty’s Impact on the Future of the US”, 4 May 2006.
[4] “May Day protest organized by communists”, 3 May 2006.