Monday, May 01, 2006

Why are legal immigrants marching alongside illegal immigrants?

Many of the people who are advocating cracking down on illegal immigrants believe there is a world of difference between legal and illegal immigrants. Legal immigrants are the opposite of illegals: legals are good and illegals are bad.

But if you listen to the people who have been marching for immigrant’s rights they don’t seem to see any difference at all. They see all immigrants, legal and illegal, as being under attack. Why are they ignoring the distinction between legal and illegal that others claim is so important?

If you listen to what the immigrant’s rights marchers are saying they are hearing a lot of talk against immigrants as a group. They are not hearing people making a distinction between legal and illegal. What they are hearing is people attacking immigrants -– attacking people speaking languages other than English, having different customs, celebrating different holidays, waving different flags and being foreign.

Which group’s perception is closer to the truth? Are the people who want to crack down on illegal immigrants mostly concerned with illegality as they claim or mostly against those who are foreign as the immigrants claim?


Anonymous said...

All Mexicans are feeling this.

Carl Nyberg said...

Come on!

You know much of the political support for being punitive toward illegal immigrants comes from people that would prefer to cut legal immigration too.

You can't have missed this.

Dave Barrett said...

No, I did not miss that. It is just that a great deal of the talk by the people who want to crack down on illegal immigrants is about how their primary concern is that laws are being broken. They claim concern for the rule of law rather than xenophobia as their primary motivation.

I was just trying to point out that all the legal immigrants marching on Monday reflected the perception of the immigrant community that they all (legal and illegal) were under attack and all immigrants had common cause to take action in response.

(Of course the way the vast majority of Americans routinely break our speed limits while driving also should be a clue that all these people claiming to have a great concern that our laws should not be broken are not serious about that.)

buckblog said...

If the marches were truly about just immigration why did the media focus almost exclusively on hispanic immigrants? Where were the stories about African immigrants, Asian immigrants or eastern european immigrants. Those stories were few and far between. It was focused almost exclusively on one group.

While I am sure some use illegal immigration as cover for anti any kind of immigrant views polls show over and over most Americans want immigration but they want it legally.