The president is a liar

(See further reflections below on the proper meaning of the word amnesty, and the idea that amnesty properly understood is something restrictionists should support, while what Bush seeks is far worse than amnesty.)

George “The United States of America doesn’t stop at the Rio Grande” Bush is still at it. As reported in today’s New York Times:

Speaking to dozens of Border Patrol agents, gathered here under a bright sun, Mr. Bush said: “We’ve got to resolve the status of millions of illegal immigrants already in the country. People who entered the country illegally should not be given amnesty. Amnesty is the forgiveness of an offense without penalty. I oppose amnesty, and I think most people in the United States Congress oppose amnesty.”

Mr. Bush, a former governor of Texas, said he was “working closely with Republicans and Democrats to find a practical answer that lies between granting automatic citizeever institute nship to every illegal immigrant and deporting every illegal immigrant.”

Under his proposal, Mr. Bush said, “illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay” could do so in some circumstances, if they paid fines and back taxes, learned English and showed they had worked here for a number of years.

Illegal immigrants could apply for citizenship. “Approval would not be automatic,” Mr. Bush said. “They would have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law.”

Bush says this is not an amnesty because the granting of citizenship is not automatic and would take years. Notice that he doesn’t say that the granting of legal permanent residence is not automatic and would take years. That’s because as soon as these illegal aliens’ status is “resolved,” meaning as soon as they begin to be processed under this law, they would receive legal permanent residency in the United States, which is of course what they seek. Citizenship is not what they seek. Citizenship is icing on the cake. Millions upon millions of legal permanent residents live quite happily in this country without ever applying for citizenship. Citizenship adds nothing to legal permanent residence but the right to vote and the ability to bring even more relatives to the U.S. than a legal permanent resident can bring. What the illegals want is legal status in the United States for the the rest of their lives, and that is what Jorge Busheron passionately yearns to give them. It is amnesty he proposes, and his denial that he is doing so a bald-faced lie.

- end of initial entry -

Gary M. writes:

Malaysia has a problem with illegal immigrants, in their case from Indonesia. And they gave an amnesty to those illegals. In Malaysia, however, “amnesty” meant being given a certain amount of time to get out in exchange for not being prosecuted and sent to prison.

I think I like Malaysia’s version of “amnesty.”



This is a further sign that the East Asians have their act together and will become the dominant world civilization in a few decades unless the white West repents of liberalism and radically changes course.

LA adds:

Here’s a story on Malaysia’s real amnesty, meaning that if illegal aliens leave the country voluntarily, they will not be punished. This paragraph says it all:

Under the amnesty program, nearly 400,000 people have left Malaysia. Those who refuse to leave voluntarily and employers who hire them will face whipping, jail or fines if they are caught.

I repeat, between a society that uses words that correspond with reality, as Malaysia is now uses the word “amnesty,” and a society that uses words that don’t correspond with reality, as Jorge Busheron and at least half the U.S. political elite use the word “amnesty,” which society do you think has the better prospects for long term success and survival?

Gary M. writes:

Interesting stuff. Malaysia has about 400,000 illegals out of a population of 27 miilion (i.e. 1.5% of its total population). By contrast, we have, let’s say, 20 million in a population of 300 million plus—in other words about 6% of our total population. (I’m not buying Bush’s assertion that there are 12 million illegals here. Maybe when he took office…but not now). Malayisa is using 500,000 law enforcement personnel to catch their scofflaws. That would be like us using 22 million to catch our illegals. We can’t even double the size of an undermanned Border Patrol without the left going apoplectic. One more interesting point: Malaysians and Indonesians are very close ethnically and linguistically, and excepting the Chinese minority in both countries, are largely Muslim, so there’s religious affinity also. So for Malaysia to expel Indonesians would be sort of akin to us deciding that we had too many impoverished illegal Canadians in our midst and decided to do something about it.

Vincent Chiarello writes:

Mr. Auster has entitled his piece about President Bush’s policy in dealing with illegal immigrants, “The president is a liar.” Those are unquestionably strong words. Yet they are also truthful, for the president continues to play a shell game with the American public, one that portrays his actions as fair and just—compassionate conservatism—and as hewing to the letter and sprit of carrying out the laws of the land. That is a bald-faced lie. This subversion of the rule of law in executing immigration laws currently on the books is not new; in fact, it has existed for at least three decades, but during the Bush administration, it has reached proportions of dishonesty that are unparalleled in our history. And I do not say that lightly.

My dictionary defines a liar as, “A person who knowingly utters falsehoods.” For more than five years after 9/11, the Bush administration and its apologists in the print media and talk radio have praised the president’s Iraq policy as bold, and one that shows U.S. leadership in “the war against terror.” Yet, during that same period, this president, despite warnings about a future 9/11, has refused to seal the U.S. border, and prevent access to this country by those who could and would do us harm. Estimates are that anywhere from 1-2 million people, about whom we know nothing, have entered this country since 9/11. True, most are from Mexico and Latin America, but there are now three mosques in Tucson, Arizona. Sheer coincidence? I think not. And we have not even broached the subject of the costs of such illegal entry for the U.S. taxpayer, which are significant. All of these facts are known and documented, but when the president speaks of administering English proficiency tests, and payment of fines on “the path to citizenship,” he becomes, “a person who knowingly utters falsehoods.” Why?

The American National Council for Immigration Reform (ANCIR) has recently completed a DVD, which can be downloaded from its new website. The DVD presents the congressional testimony of former Director of Security at the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Michael Maxwell, and his informed view that CIS is unable to undertake its responsibilities as outlined by the president. To strengthen the validity of Maxwell’s congressional testimony, the DVD has an interview with Rosemary Jenks, legal counsel for NumbersUSA, who has worked for 18 years on congressional action in dealing with illegal immigration. She explains how the president’s policy is unlikely to be carried out, citing governmental incompetence, bribery, and, finally, being overwhelmed by the number of applicants (as happened in the first amnesty in 1986). The president and his advisers know what will happen: people with criminal records will share American citizenship with those who are law abiding; fines will never be collected, they will be considered too burdensome, and English proficiency will mean, well, what CIS wants it to mean—very little.

President Bush cannot be unaware of the rising and vocal opposition to congressional passage of the pending Flake-Gutierrez amnesty bill; yet he is committed to see that it, or something similar, becomes law. Once signed, you can bet that the amnesty provisions will be forcefully carried out, unlike any other aspect of immigration law over the past 20 years. Are, then, the president and his advisers not lying, as Mr. Auster suggests, to the American public about his intentions? But might, in addition, any objective observer reach another conclusion, this one put into rhyme by the Elizabethan political theorist, John Harington:

Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason?
For it to prosper, none dare call it treason.

LA writes:

Definition of amnesty: “A period during which offenders are exempt from punishment.”

I think we have all failed to focus adequately on the proper meaning of “amnesty.” It is the removal of a punishment. If, say, a city gives people the opportunity to turn in illegal handguns to the police during a given period, and if they do so they are not prosecuted for having an illegal gun, that is amnesty. (My example should not be taken as support for removal of the right to gun ownership.) If the U.S. allows draft dodgers to return to the U.S. from Canada and removes the punishments, that is amnesty. Similarly, what Malaysia is doing, telling illegals that if they leave the country by a certain date they will not be arrested and punished, is amnesty.

However, what the U.S. did in 1986 was not amnesty, it was rewarding illegals by giving them legal status. And obviously what Bush is contemplating is not amnesty, but the rewarding of illegals by giving them legal status.

What, then would be “amnesty” for illegals in the U.S. context? In fact, the concept of amnesty does not and cannot apply to illegal immigration in the U.S., because there is no punishment for illegally entering the U.S. The worst that happens is that you are arrested and sent back to your home country. So the 1986 amnesty should have been called a legalization of illegal aliens, not an amnesty.

Similarly, the current argument is between, on one hand, varying degrees of legalization of illegal aliens, and, on the other hand, various measures to enforce the law, to keep the illegals out of our country, to prevent employers from hiring them so that they will go home on their own, and, finally, if they are apprehended, to arrest and deport them. What the compehensive immigration reform would do is worse than amnesty, it is rewarding people with a positive reward.

Alternatively, it could be argued that for the law to be enforced and for people to be deported or refused employment would be the “punishment.” In which case removing those “punishments”—i.e., making it possible for an illegal to be hired without fear of arrest and without fear of being rejected for employement as an illegal—would be the “amnesty.” So in that sense, this argument goes, we could say that legalizing these people is an “amnesty.” But this is flawed reasoning, because the illegals would be getting more than they started with. Amnesty is a trade off—if you give up your illegal gun by a certain date, if you pay your back taxes by a certain date, you are not punished. In an amnesty, you gain nothing but the lifting of a punishment. But with comprehensive immigration reform the illegals would be gaining an invaluable benefit that they didn’t have before—LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN THE U.S.

Conclusion: the very concept of amnesty should be dropped from the immigration debate, and replaced by something like “rewarding illegal aliens for their lawbreaking by giving them permanent legal residency in the U.S.” We need a shorthand way of saying this, like: “rewarding illegals with permanent legal status.” Even if we found a shorter term, I know it won’t get adopted because the word amnesty is too much implanted in the debate. But this is worth thinking about. Though people will inevitably keep speaking of opposing “amnesty,” we need to keep reminding them that what Bush is proposing is worse than amnesty.

A final point: the fact that Bush would impose some fines that illegals must pay to get legalized gives him a superficially plausible basis for saying that this is not an amnesty. But this is false, because, once again, there are no fines in our law for illegally entering and residing in the U.S. [This is incorrect; see comments below which explain the (almost never imposed) punishments for illegal entry into the U.S.] The only consequence under the law for being illegally here is that a person be removed. Bush has artificially added these money fines, so that he can claim that this is not an amnesty, even as he gives the illegals something much greater than amnesty, a huge benefit that they did not have prior to their breaking the law.

Buddy writes:

I like Malaysia’s version of amnesty. I seem to recall that the IRS or maybe some of the state tax agencies have offered tax amnesties from time to time—along the lines of “pay your back taxes, and we won’t charge you a penalty or criminally prosecute you.” In other words, get in compliance with the law, and you’ll avoid the consequences of law-breaking. These amnesties don’t grant any benefits—say, the perpetual freedom from paying taxes—like the various proposals for illegal alien amnesty would.

For illegals, amnesty defined as “getting in compliance with the law in order to avoid the consequences” would mean leaving the country, period. Why should the definition of “amnesty” be any more favorable to illegals than it is to citizens?

LA replies:

Ok, there’s a possible proper meaning of amnesty: If you leave the country, we won’t seek to arrest and deport you or prohibit your hiring. The slate is wiped clean! Buh bye!

Paul Nachman writes:

This …

… there are no fines in our law for illegally entering and residing in the U.S. The only consequence under the law for being illegally here is that a person be removed…

… isn’t literally true. If you’re here due to illegal entry or “entry without inspection,” you can be convicted of a misdemeanor the first time and spend up to six months in jail. Then be deported. Then if you enter illegally again, it’s a felony. You can also be fined for these. It’s different if you enter legally, then overstay. That’s considered a civil violation. I don’t know where to find that in the law, but the illegal entry penalties are covered here, in plain English:

As a practical matter, this isn’t happening, but it’s on the books. (Actually, I think people who are formally deported—in contrast to those who accept voluntary repatriation, so it leaves little or no record on the books—sometimes do get prosecuted for the felony of illegal re-entry.)

Imagine the legal system and penal system crack-ups if they actually put every apprehended illegal alien through the process, instead of just dumping them back across the border (to try again).

LA replies:

Thanks for the clarification. I knew the second entry into the U.S. is a felony and I think I knew the first entry is a misdemeanor, but they never seem to be prosecuted as crimes and no punishment is ever imposed, so it’s as if these laws don’t exist. Also, they don’t play any role in the current debate. On the amnesty side, how can the Congress “lift” punishments that are never given? On the non-amnestry side, how can the Congress “keep in place” punishments that are never given? In fact, the Congress and the Administration have cooked up their own “punishments,” fines one must pay to get legalized. But this is a payment of money in exchange for a benefit, not a payment of a fine as punishment for a crime.

However, these considerations put in a new light my above discussion. It turns out that it would be possible to have a genuine amnesty after all, as in Malaysia—at least in theory. Let us attempt this thought experiment. We announce that we are going to start prosecuting violations of the federal laws against unauthorized entry into the United States, with a misdemeanor carrying a six-month sentence for the first offense, and a felony with up to a two-year sentence for the second offense (as Eric E. explains below). Since the six month sentence may not be a strong enough deterrent, we increase it up to 360 days, just short of a year (the maximum for a misdemeanor). We also add substantial fines, say $3,500 for the first offense, and $7,000 for the second offense. Then we announce that if illegals leave the country within four months they will not be subject to arrest, trial, and incarceration. If they remain, the full force of the law will be exerted against them.

That would be a real amnesty. Of course it cannot be, because we would have to add millions of prison cells to make the threat of punishment credible. Nevertheless, if it were possible to do it, it would be the way to go. Furthemore, now that the proper meaning of amnesty had been established, the terms in which the debate is conducted would be reversed. The immigration restrictionists would be the ones supporting amnesty, while the open borders types would be the ones opposing amnesty, as “too draconian,” and instead pushing Life-time Legal Residence in the U.S. as a Reward for Illegal Aliens. Whether or not we ever institute a real amnesty, this is the kind of terminological clarity that our side needs to inject into this debate.

Eric E. writes:

While I applaud your attempt to show that legalizing illegals is worse than what we have generally thought of as Amnesty, you are making a mistake that seems to be commonplace now: saying that there is no criminal penalty for entering the United States illegally.

Read this. Note that a first offense can get you up to six Months in federal prison, or a fine, or both.

The general definition of a felony under Federal law (and most states) is that it is anything which has a penalty that could be more than one year in prison.

So the first offense of entry without inspection is a misdemeanor, evidently.

The second offense is clearly considered a felony, since it carries a penalty of two years.

Note that a civil penalty may also be imposed. But they are clearly noted as being in addition to the criminal penalties, and not in lieu of.

What happens when a Border Patrol agent arrests the average illegal alien? He offers him a choice: sign a voluntary deportation agreement, or face prosecution.

Deportation has been adjudged to be NOT a penalty. So the alien is offered a no-brainer: sign the no-penalty form, get a free ride home, and try again.

He is not prosecuted. For a federal crime, which could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on his own history.

Now that is truly a crime against the American people: a foreign national aggressively commits a crime, a federal crime, and nothing happens. Legally and literally, he is home free, after willfully committing a crime against the laws and people of the United States.

Does such a thing occur for ordinary Americans? The question answers itself.

So we have a new group of protected persons—foreign alien criminals. They have a privilege that no other class of Americans has ever had—the tacit right to commit continuing crimes. As long as they are the right crimes—the ones which they assert they have no choice but to commit.

Illegally entering the United States is, well, illegal. As in, a crime. With apologies to Sonny Bono….

Eric E. writes:

I probably went a bit overboard. Like I said, in general, I totally agree with the basic premise of the discussion.

In fact, I’m glad you posted it, because it reminds me that I came to the same realization a few years ago, thinking in general about “amnesty” as it applies to illegals.

It was one of those realizations where my head literally started shaking “no, no” as I thought of it. Not only were they going to be absolved of a crime, but they were going to get a huge benefit for doing the crime in the first place!!

As you said, the only thing that could credibly be called an amnesty in the common understanding of it would be the absence of prosecution if they were to return home. THAT would be magnanimous in itself—a nation which did that could call itself just. We will let you leave our property unmolested if you do so in an orderly manner, without argument.

But what do we have instead? Something incredible and unbelievable—not only do they not leave, they take to our streets causing mayhem and chaos, violently and bitterly demanding that we acquiesce in their wishes. There is not even any talk of the fundamentally criminal nature of their presence, but the inverse: the implication that for us even to consider it a crime is unjust and cruel.

You’re absolutely right. There is no precedent for this, we have no succinct word for it. We should. Such a word would convey the utter audacity and contempt for our entire society implicit in such a thing—a triumphalist crime. A crime consummated with the total surrender of the victim, forced to accept the terms of surrender dictated by the criminal. I think you said just that—Surrender to Mexico is what it is.

Know what? I know a lot of Mexicans who would interpret it as just that. In their society, they understand exactly what’s going on, and they would never let it happen to their nation. They understand that this is a game of intimidation, a hustle, being perpetrated by their government and by them. They’re waiting to see if we retaliate. They would. Not to retaliate is to submit—that means you’re gone, you’ve given in. If we were to retaliate, they would understand. They would respect us, consider us strong. In Mexico, a man who forces others to do his will is a strong man, a respected man. Even if he’s cruel in doing so. They shrug and say, well, a real man does what he has to.

But there is no respect for those who give up. Nothing but contempt—they will be called “girls,” “queers,” whatever. You understand the attitude.

It is crude and ugly, childish bully mentality and games. But that is Spaniard culture, and that is what they are doing. The push will continue—they will be relentless. To do less—you’re not a man! So they continue. Amnesty? They will laugh hysterically. Then they will know the Gringo is finished. And the stakes will be upped by 1000 percent. Citizenship? We don’t want just that. We want to rule you. Submit to us, or…. we’ll call you names. We know you’ll roll over, because that was why you did when we first came here.

So it ain’t just amnesty we’re talking about. It’s surrender to something evil and driven.

Ron K. writes:

Re Malaysian amnesty, I made the same point in a letter published at in 2001, copied below.

Since that time, I’ve thought through this again and realized that I was too soft. Instant deportation itself is amnesty! Where’s the punishment? No fine, no imprisonment, no punishment.

An illegal drives drunk, and the taxpayer gives him a free trip to Mexico. This has been a cold April—if I drive drunk, do I also get a free trip to Mexico?

Letter to Vdare:

All the discussion on about various euphemisms for amnesty misses an important point—“amnesty” is itself a euphemism.

A true amnesty is an exchange where one party waives the penalties for breaking the law if the other party agrees to obey that law in the future.

A tax amnesty requires the grantee to pay the tax. An illegal weapons amnesty requires the grantee to turn in his weapons, and agree not to replace them.

Thus an illegal entry amnesty would require the grantee to vacate the country before any penalties are waived. Anything less would not be “amnesty,” but ex post facto legalization. Our use of the term actually cedes quite a bit of territory to the opponents.

LA replies:

Ron K. was way ahead of me. I am embarrassed that I did not realize the inaccuracy of the term “amnesty” for what is being proposed in the U.S. until yesterday, April 10, when Gary M. told me about the Malaysian amnesty law, and I read an article on it. There was always a fuzziness around the use of the word that bothered me slightly, but I never focused on exactly what the problem was.

Howard Sutherland writes:

I haven’t seen it expressed this way before, but I think your comment that amnesty properly understood is something restrictionists might favor more than the open-borders crowd is on-target.

A true amnesty for illegal aliens would consist of nothing more than announcing that if illegal aliens leave the United States by a date certain, the federal government will agree not to prosecute them for their criminal trespass. But they must take themselves home; no making Uncle Sam find you and pay for your ride home. You note that there is no punishment specified for simply entering the United States illegally [LA: that was a mistatement by me; there is a punishment, but the crime is never prosecuted, so it’s as if it didn’t exist]; nevertheless even most “law-abiding” illegal aliens engage in ongoing criminal conduct once here, such as working when not authorized to work in the United States. If the United States truly had the will to survive as America, the Congress would make illegal entry a federal felony per se and deal with illegals already here by making the continued presence of an illegal alien within the United States after the amnesty date a federal felony per se, while clarifying that the 14th Amendment does not confer citizenship on illegal (or even legally resident) aliens’ children. (It goes without saying that Congress would have to make the legislation not subject to review by the federal courts.) The feds could distribute convicted illegal alien men to the states for work on road gangs and the like. Useful and less arduous prison occupations could be found for women convicts. Ideally illegal aliens’ labor would cover the costs of their incarceration. At the end of their sentences, automatic deportation follows with no possibility of being legally admitted to the United States thereafter.

After the amnesty date, the feds should move against illegal aliens with the full force of the law, with no exceptions to prosecution. True amnesty would not confer any right to enter, remain in or return to the United States. It would be a one-time right to leave unprosecuted, nothing more. Obviously, that amnesty should never extend to conduct that would be criminal if engaged in by an American (criminal trespass, burglary/robbery, drunk driving, drug dealing, rape, murder…).

Concurrent with this kind of amnesty we would have to have real enforcement of the immigration laws against employers of illegal aliens and the modern-day slavers who bring them in. I doubt America has the will to enact and enforce this program, but it would work. It could also be done humanely (in a non-liberal understanding of what is humane treatment, of course).

LA replies:

But incarcerating millions of illegals is something utterly beyod the capacities of our society. We don’t want to incarcerate them, we want them to leave.

Mr. Sutherland replies:

Incarceration would only be for those who do not avail themselves of the amnesty. The idea is to have as many illegal aliens as possible self-deport. To work, the consequences for those who don’t must be fairly draconian.

LA replies:

But for the threat to be credible, we would have to have the capacity to incarcerate millions of illegals.

EG writes:

Busheron is lying about more than just amnesty. His statement, “working closely with Republicans and Democrats to find a practical answer that lies between granting automatic citizenship to every illegal immigrant and deporting every illegal immigrant,”

is a manifest distortion in that he presents the choice as being between:

a) grant automatic citizenship

b) instant mass deportation, OR

c) his reasonable “compromise” of granting automatic legal residency to the illegals, and, essentially, eliminating illegal immigration by opening our borders legally to anyone on Earth who wants to “join the party.”

Well, what about attrition? How about strictly enforcing current law, and making sure all illegals are absolutely deprived of employment, social benefits, education for “the children”, and medical care? How about rethinking the absurdity of “birthright citizenship?” How about making it so unpleasant for these people that they’d rush back over the border voluntarily as fast as possible?

Howard Sutherland writes:

Eric E’s comments get to the heart of the matter, and help explain what we’re really up against and how best to present the issues to people. Eric says:

What happens when a Border Patrol agent arrests the average illegal alien? He offers him a choice: sign a voluntary deportation agreement, or face prosecution.

Deportation has been adjudged to be NOT a penalty. So the alien is offered a no-brainer: sign the no-penalty form, get a free ride home, and try again.

He is not prosecuted. For a federal crime, which could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on his own history.

The point is that the policy of the federal government with respect to illegal aliens already is amnesty. Each Border Patrol agent is a one-man immigration court, granting on-the-spot clemency to apprehended illegal aliens. Agents who let illegal aliens agree to be deported in lieu of being prosecuted giving them amnesty from prosecution under our immigration laws.

In truth this de facto amnesty policy is worse, from our point of view, than mere amnesty. There is no effort whatever to keep the illegal alien from trying until he gets through. The de facto immigration policy of the U.S. government, as administered on-the-spot and ad hoc by Border Patrol agents, is serial amnesties amounting to a residency lottery. The typical illegal alien gets an on-the-spot amnesty each time the Border Patrol nabs him, with essentially unlimited opportunities to keep trying until he beats the system. In effect, then, America’s border control policy is individual serial amnesties leading (thanks to non-existent interior enforcement) eventually to permanent residence in the United States.

So here is a new way to discuss whether Bush and his Congressional cronies are offering illegal aliens an amnesty or something else. Start by explaining that illegal alien amnesties are already almost universal in the United States, and then explain how Bush’s proposals go far beyond amnesty: (i) illegal aliens at large in America (especially ones so unafraid of deportation they march in our streets demanding their “rights”) already benefit from an effective amnesty; and (ii) what Bush/McCain/Kennedy/Flake/Gutierrez want to do is give illegal aliens the undeserved gift of legal permanent residency, which inevitably will become a road to citizenship.

Eric E is also right on target in his comments about how Bush and the other open-border whores are not just doing illegal aliens and countries like Mexico favors. They are surrendering our country. They are traitors, surrendering a strong country to importuning weaklings against the wishes of its citizens. Mexico and the Central American countries are weaklings compared to the United States, but they are macho weaklings. From their point of view, any nation that would submit to what they demand is a pitiful collection of effeminate cowards. If America gives in to them, we will have their contempt along with their peons—and we’ll deserve it.

LA replies:

May I suggest that Mr. Sutherland is being too clever by half. An amnesty by definition means that the person receiving the amnesty has put himself right with the law and undertakes not to violate it again. An “amnesty” given in the full expectation that the violator will repeat the offense the next day is not an amnesty at all, and I think it needlessly complicates an already complicated discussion to look at this behavior as “amnesty,” only to turn around and say, “No this is not amnesty.”

HRS replies:

Mr. Auster is right. Our situation now is even worse than amnesty because the Border Patrol grants on-the-spot clemency even though agents know illegal aliens won’t stop breaking the law, but will keep trying to break into the country until they succeed. I’m trying to think up talking points that get past President Bush’s false choice of (a) deport all illegal aliens or (b) grant all illegal aliens citizenship, so that people won’t be tricked into thinking his proposal is reasonable. This thread has been very helpful in thinking about how to convince people of the folly of these nation-destroying proposals that keep cropping up.

LA replies:

To expand on this further, I agree with Mr. Sutherland that in an abstract sense, sticking the illegals back into Mexico and not punishing them is—or at least is analagous to—“amnesty.” The problem is that amnesty implies closure and resolution. In reality, the situation at our borders is more like the following: A police officer finds a burglar breaking into a store. He removes him from the store and puts him in the street and releases him, knowing he will try to break into the store again. Thus the criminal act has been ended (for the moment), and there is no punishment. By Mr. Sutherland’s logic, this would be amnesty. But of course it is not. It is simple lawlessness, or, to be more precise, it is “managing” lawlessness, just one one step removed from not stopping lawbreaking at all.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 10, 2007 10:38 AM | Send

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