My most recent article as published in the UWM Times:
Idiocy, Irony and the Illegal Immigration Movement
Tell me what’s wrong with this picture: thousands of illegal immigrants take to the streets to protest for their rights to become U.S. citizens…while waving Mexican flags. To use comedian Carlos Mencia’s expression, “Dee dee deeeee”! I certainly cannot be the only one who sees the utter ridiculousness in the way illegal immigrants are crying for their “rights”.
There has been a lot of dialogue coming from the pro-illegal immigration crowd. Many of them are claiming that the America’s recent resolve to crackdown on illegal immigration is nothing more than racism. Therefore, their protesting is the start of a new civil rights movement. Timeout. Not only are these people illegal they also need a brief history lesson about the last civil rights movement in the United States:
The civil rights movement of the 1960s centered around the denial of basic rights to a whole group of United States citizens – African Americans. These rights were guaranteed to them under our U.S. Constitution. To make it even more obvious, African Americans were originally forced to come here. They had no choice. They didn’t hop a border to escape the depressing state of their homeland and make a better life by working cheap labor. In fact, African Americans worked for free, as slaves. After slavery ended, things gradually got better for them; however, it wasn’t until the push from the civil rights movement that African Americans truly reached equality status.
The present situation is exponentially incomparable. Where do you find the audacity to claim you have the right to work in a country that you snuck into? There is no inherent “right” for you to sneak into this country illegally, shirk that nation’s laws and then look like idiots when you protest about your illegal status. I don’t think there has ever been a movement that has been so clueless about the issues. Sure, they can amass very large numbers to protest, but their rhetoric is uninformed . Don’t believe me?
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa addressed a crowd of 500,000 last Saturday, “There are no illegal people here today.” He added: “America was built on the backs of immigrants.” Why yes, immigrants did help lay the foundation for America, Mayor Villaraigosa, but they came here legally – a very distinct point that you are blurring.
One protestor remarked that he was here “to make sure that Mexicans get their freedom, their rights.” Comments from these adults have a trickle-down, “dumbing”-effect on the recent student protests.
The students have shown to be even less informed. Reading the accounts from these “walk-outs” is quite entertaining. One student asked why illegal immigrants are being “treated like criminals.” This kid answered his own question! I’d suggest that he look up the word “illegal” for starters. He’d also find that a synonym for “illegal” is “criminal”. Imagine that!
Here are some other interesting and ironic facts: Some of the student walkouts took place on a day honoring the memory of Cesar Chavez. Funny they would dishonor a man who stood for labor.
Furthermore, students have been replacing American flags with Mexican flags at several schools. In one instance, student protests resulted in the American flag flying upside-down and underneath a Mexican flag. While you may be outraged at first, you might not have realized the stupidity of their actions. An upside down flag represents “distress” and is used as a signal in instances of extreme danger to life or property. See the irony? These kids think they are showing disrespect for the flag, but in actuality they are signaling to everyone that United States is in trouble.
These protestors do not know what exactly they want. All they know is that they don’t want to be deported back to the country they left. Instead, they’d like to keep the emotional attachments for their homeland by displaying Mexican flags while profiting off of a better life here in America. A majority of these people consider themselves Mexicans first – with no desire of assimilating into American life.
Teddy Roosevelt put it best when he said, “if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American… we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
I have not heard one argument from these protests that can justify why the United States should allow people to stay as citizens when they broke one of our laws as soon as they crossed our border. One of the most claimed reasons as to why they should stay is that illegal immigrants are needed to do the jobs Americans won’t do. Just say, “West Virginia Miners”. There is no job that Americans won’t do; however, they will lose out when businesses hire illegal immigrants because they can pay two to three of them for the wages of one American.
Even the statistics don’t back up the illegal immigrants’ argument. Statistics from the Pew Hispanic Center show that illegal immigrants make up 24 percent of workers in agriculture, 17 percent in cleaning, 14 percent in construction and 12 percent in food production. If you do the math, that leaves hefty percentages in favor of Americans or legal immigrants working these off-limits jobs.
Furthermore, this harms poor Americans the most, because they're the group that generally ends up competing with illegal aliens for jobs on the low end of the pay scale. The unchecked flow of unskilled labor significantly lowers wages for entry-level jobs, which in turn renders all poor Americans, including millions of teenage workers, less than competitive.
Perhaps the greatest problem with allowing illegal immigrants to shirk the system is the message it delivers to those who are trying to come here legally. Giving these illegals amnesty is a slap in the face to those who have patiently been waiting in line and our own law. Since when is it okay to ignore our own laws? Any way you look at it, it is not fair. You cannot convince me that just because a person has been here for five years he should be able to stay when there have been people waiting in line for the same amount of time who still have not made it here.
The point is this: Instead of living off of the profitability of our country and maintaining their native identity, Mexicans should put pressure on their government to make the changes necessary for their country to achieve prosperity. Mexican President Vincente Fox doesn’t feel the need to stop his people from leaving his country. That speaks volumes about the nature of this debate. Our leaders in Washington need to step up to the plate and not give in to the demands of 500,000 people who cannot even vote in our elections. The absurdity in caving in to their demands is obvious – especially when their own protests display the lack of understanding of our history and culture. There is a right way in handling this, but if we choose to let outsiders tell us how to run our country we will lose in more ways than we think. After all, if they think they can intimidate Americans they are severely mistaken; yet if they think they can intimidate our legislature that’s a whole different story I’m afraid.