[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: The Hand Wavers

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Hand Wavers

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.



Blogger josh said...

Strange that you give no reason for your opposition to the DREAM Act, legislation that would permit individuals who were brought here as children many years ago to earn legal status if they remain in school through high school and continue on to college or military service.

You claim that "ancillary garbage" made it unupportable. What might that be, given that the DREAM Act has not fundamentally changed since it was first introduced in 2001? Those few changes that have been made have made it more limited to attract skeptics. For example, an age cap was imposed so that individuals over 30 years old could not qualify even if they were brought here as infants.

Face it, if you oppose the DREAM Act you reveal yourself as a hardcore immigrant hater, notwithstanding your Cuban roots.

10:31 AM, November 16, 2007  
Blogger CJC53 said...

I can tell you why it is feasible to oppose the Dream Act. It is a never-ending rolling amnesty and therefore a magnet for further illegal immigration. Also, after citizenship is awarded, chain migration begins with the legalization of illegal alien parents and other family members. We are talking millions of people here.
Why should American taxpayers subsidize in-state tuition and all of the programs and benefits for illegal aliens when it taking spots at universities away from our legal U.S. students. I have heard estimates that it is costing CA alone 100 million dollars.
How long do you think American taxpayers are going to afford all of the benefits illegal aliens are receiving in this country today? It is patently unfair to American citizens.
And, the fault lies with our government who leaves the border open and refuses to enforce immigration laws. Many in our government are looking toward an integration with Mexico. If employer sanctions and fines were enforced and taxpayer benefits cut off, illegal aliens would be compelled to return their country of origin. Many have no desire to assimilate or even learn our country's language!
The rule of law must be restored in this country because we are rapidly and irreversibly losing our constitution and our sovereignty.

12:08 PM, November 16, 2007  
Blogger josh said...


Your are misinformed, and your arguments are unavailing.

(1) The DREAM Act is not "a never-ending rolling amnesty." Only those who entered more than 5 years before it is signed and who were 15 years old or under when they entered could qualify. So, persons who come in the future, or who came in the last 5 years, could not qualify.

(2) It would be decades before DREAM Act beneficiairies would be able to petition for their undocumented parents... First, only U.S. citizens can immigrate their parents, and DREAM Act beneficiaries could not become citizens until they complete the process, at least 6 years not including the notorious backlogs and processing delays. Then their undocumented parents would have to leave the U.S. for at least 10 years before being eligible. It is likely that the parents will get status via a legalization program well before that.

(3) Contrary to what you apparently think, the DREAM Act will not impose a cost on taxpayers, it will provide a fiscal benefit. Taxpayers will benefit because the young people at issue will go farther in their education and will be able to work legally. As a result, they will make a lot more money (an average college graduate earns $1 million more in her lifetime than an average high school drop-out), paying more taxes, and costing less in criminal justice and social welfare.

Your most unintentionally funny statement is that "Many [illegal immigrants] have no desire to assimilate or even learn our country's language!" DREAM Act beneficiaries are the most assimilated immigrants imaginable. They all speak English and most of them have only vague memories of the countries where they were born. All they are asking is a chance to succeed, a success that will pay dividends for the rest of us.

As I said in the earlier post: only hardline haters oppose the DREAM Act.

12:48 PM, November 16, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


The DREAM Act should reward only those who had no choice in entering illegally. Instead, it potentially rewards those who either entered illegally or overstayed their legal visas. Even if it takes "decades" as you state for recipients to claim relatives (doubtful), it's still wrong. Who are we giving a deserved opportunity to, the kids or the parents? Your argument is another version of the hand-waving I based the post on. Thanks for being on-topic! ;)

BTW, why do you so quickly tag the "hardcore immigrant hater" label on someone you don't know anything about just because of my opposition to illegal immigration? I understand that is a predictable far-left tactic, but do you realize how dumb your labeling of me sounds?

1:33 PM, November 16, 2007  
Blogger Henry Gomez said...

My 4 point plan for solving the immigration problem.

1. We must build the security fence and stop the flow of illegal immigration to a trickle if not completely.

2. An amnesty for all illegal aliens that don't have criminal records. We have to get these people in from the shadows.

3. A radical increase in the number of visas offered to Latin Americans, so they can migrate here legally. We need the population as the non-Hispanic population in the US is aging and contracting. Latin Americans generally share the same values (Judeo-Christian) and contrary to what many believe, do want to learn English and live the American dream.

4. Free trade agreements with Latin American democracies. It's not our obligation to make improve Latin American economies but we have to recognize that a vital and viable latin America can only be good for the U.S.

That's it. Not that hard. If you start with number 1 a lot more people will be willing to go along with the rest. Unfortunately we have party that has no interest in #1 and another that thinks that #1 is the only answer.

4:42 PM, November 17, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Robert, this is well reasoned.

Henry, I agree with you on most points except about amnesty, because I'm skeptical that Congress can stop after just one amnesty (it hasn't so far). Sure, if we handle immigration well it's possible that the problem will be solved after one amnesty, but things don't always go as planned. I think the main thing, before we do anything else, is to build a fence to slow down illegal immigration. If we build an effective fence it will be easy for us to do the other things that we have to do on this issue. If we don't build a fence, the other things won't do any good.

Josh, bravo. You are the perfect blog commenter. Where else but on the Internet can someone make a thoughtful, detailed argument and then have some critic parachute in and start calling him names because the critic disagrees on a detail of the main argument. Well done!

6:01 PM, November 17, 2007  

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