Andres Oppenheimer is getting pretty good at hand-waving himself through the illegal immigration issue. In a column he wrote 2 weeks ago
, he warns us of an Hispanic "intifada" if the United States doesn't begin to grant legal status to illegals. Pretty strong words, and he has received a strong reaction from people such as Bill O'Reilly.
The O'Reilly reaction to Oppenheimer's threatening column prompted our esteemed Herald columnist to write a counter-column
which appeared in today's Herald.
In his latest piece, Oppenheimer defends himself against what he quotes Bill O'Reilly and guest Laura Ingraham stating on the O'Reilly Factor
on Nov 8th:
On Nov. 8, O'Reilly said in an on-air conversation with Fox News analyst Laura Ingraham that ``there is a crazy columnist in Miami, Miami Herald, who says that the Hispanics are going to rise up.''
Ingraham said I was ''intimating something akin, Bill, to a race war . . . It's insane.'' He responded, ''He's a nut. He's a nut, this guy.'' She added that I am part of ''a crazy far-left anarchist wing'' of the immigration debate.
As much as Oppenheimer may not want to admit, his use of the term "intifada" and his not-so-veiled threat that illegals would take to violence left him wide open for attack. Ingraham is correct in stating that Oppenheimer intimated to a race or class war. Intimated doesn't mean supporting, it means hinting at or vaguely suggesting the possibility. I believe Oppenheimer missed that one, big time.
I will say this: I don't consider Oppenheimer to be an anarchist or someone who wants illegal immigrants to rise up and start a revolution of sorts. As commenter jblanco brilliantly noted on Oppenheimer's blog
, Mr. Oppenheimer is someone with a pro-Hispanic and liberal view on immigration, one at odds with the views of most Americans. He laments that people such as O'Reilly don't have "realistic solutions" to illegal immigration. Actually, they do. Put a fence up? Sounds pretty realistic and logical to me. Enforce current immigration laws? Penalize companies for hiring illegals? We can do this tomorrow if we had the will. It's people like Oppenheimer whose solutions to illegal immigration are too "pie in the sky" and costly to the average American. Take a look:
If we want to reduce illegal immigration, we will have to allow greater legal immigration and at the same time increase economic ties with Latin America to help our neighbors grow and reduce their people's pressures to emigrate.
Ah yes, the "let's throw money at inept Latin American countries" theory. Does anyone really believe that's going to work? I sure as heck don't want my hard-earned dollars going to a corrupt government. How about fixing Latin America's problems from within, Mr. Oppenheimer. As a fellow Hispanic, it should be as embarrassing for you as it is to me to realize that present-day Latin America is largely a cesspool of corruption and ineptitude.
The fact is, when you boil this issue down to the bare-bones basics, we have those who want our immigration laws enforced, and we have those who don't care as much about our laws as they should. Oppenheimer fits into the latter. Being lax on immigration will only encourage more illegal immigration, or "undocumented workers" as many liberals put it. The pro-illegal immigration crowd realizes this deep down. That's why they often resort to hand-waving in order to defend what is indefensible.
Oppenheimer is right in believing that U.S.-raised illegals should earn a path to citizenship. The operative word here is EARN. Bills such as the DREAM Act had potential but eventually became mired in ancillary garbage that made the bill unsupportable. We should be sensible enough to think about those who didn't have a choice in entering the country illegally, but we should do so responsibly.
Lastly, for those of you who think my position on immigration contradicts my views on Cubans who wash up on our shores
, please allow me to state the following: the day, the moment, the second Cubans are free to elect their leaders and have a say in their country's future as many other Hispanics do all across Latin America, that's the time that the United States should close the door to Cuban migration as we know it today.