Illegal immigration, echoes of the civil rights movement

We've seen the masses in the streets protesting immigration reform. We've seen the organizers of these protests try to correct their initial misstep by insisting that protestors carry American flags rather than Mexican ones. We've heard the arguments that illegal immigrants (no "undocumented" or "migrant" workers euphemisms here) should be allowed to stay in the US and receive US citizenship. We've heard the unconvincing (to my ears) lip service paid to the fact that to do so would be immensely unfair and unjust to those who have been tangled in the bureaucratic red tape hell that is the road to legal immigration and US citizenship. We've heard the arguments that illegals take jobs that Americans won't do (as if creating another subservient class in the US is our only salvation, did we learn nothing from that whole slavery episode in American history?).

It all made me think of the people who would sit down at segregated lunch counters in the 1950s and 1960s and demand to be served. Like illegal immigrants they broke the law. They knew they were breaking the law. Unlike illegal immigrants they were prepared to suffer the consequences of breaking the law. Those people sat down at those lunch counters knowing that if they were lucky they would just end up in a jail cell for a bit. They sat because they believed that the segregation that kept them from being served was immoral and unjust. They broke the law because they did not wish to remain a subservient class in American society.

The laws governing entry into the United States are nothing like those that led people to risk life and limb in the civil rights movement. I'm sure that someone will try to argue otherwise but delineating the differences is not my purpose here.

Those protesting proposed immigration reform and the enforcement of current immigration laws aren't protesting because US immigration laws are immoral or unjust. They are protesting because they think that they shouldn't have to follow US immigration laws at all. Even worse, advocates of illegal immigration seem to be advocating for the right of people to come to the US to serve as America's newest subservient class. And while the lunch counter demonstrators of the 1950s and 1960s were prepared to suffer the consequences of their actions those crossing our borders illegally and living in our country illegally seem prepared to move heaven and earth to avoid the consequences of their actions and to perpetuate their subservient status.

Technorati Tags


Popular Posts

Treating autism as traumatic brain injury

No you're not a meth head if you take Adderall