Times horrified and shocked by Alabama law

Here is the New York Times lead editorial yesterday on Alabama’s anti-illegal alien law. Notice how the entire editorial, starting with its title, “Alabama’s Shame,” is couched in overcharged emotional terms, condemning the “cruel,” “harsh,” and “hostile” law—words the Times uses over and over. Here we see both the substance of the liberal ideology under which we live, and its enforcement mechanism. The substance of the liberal ideology is that everyone in the world who wants to be in America, should be allowed to be in America. The enforcement mechanism is the intimidating message that Americans who seek to enforce our nation’s laws and get illegal aliens to leave are inhuman monsters.

Indeed, since Americans who believe in our nation’s laws and sovereignty are so horrible and cruel and nasty, and since illegal aliens are so nice and good and worthy of protection, wouldn’t it make sense simply to replace all those bad Americans with good aliens? Of course it would. That is the liberal ideology.

Alabama’s Shame

Only about 3.5 percent of Alabama’s population is foreign-born, according to the Census Bureau. Undocumented immigrants made up roughly 4.2 percent of its work force in 2010, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. But the drafters of Alabama’s harsh immigration law wanted to turn their state into the country’s most hostile territory for illegal immigrants. They are succeeding, as many of Alabama’s most vulnerable residents can attest. [LA replies: According to the Times, it’s a “harsh” law, which has turned Alabama into “hostile” territory for “vulnerable” people. No. It’s a law intended to get people who are in the United States illegally to LEAVE.]

The law went into effect over the weekend, after being largely upheld by a federal district judge. Volunteers on an immigrant-rights group’s hot line said that since then they have received more than 1,000 calls from pregnant women afraid to go to the hospital, crime victims afraid to go the police, parents afraid to send their children to school. [LA replies: The law is not intended to make people fearful of going to the police or going to school; it’s intended to make them LEAVE the United States and the state of Alabama which they have ILLEGALLY entered and in which they are ILLEGALLY residing.]

School superintendents and principals across the state confirm that attendance of Hispanic children has dropped noticeably since the word went out that school officials are now required to check the immigration status of newly enrolled students and their parents.

That rule is part of the law’s sweeping attempt to curtail the rights and complicate the lives of people without papers, making them unable to enter contracts, find jobs, rent homes or access government services. In other words, to be isolated, unemployable, poor, defenseless and uneducated. [LA replies: The point is not to make them unable to enter contracts and find jobs, etc. The point is to get them to LEAVE. Of course the Times can’t grasp this, because it believes that all illegal aliens should be here and have “rights” here, and that any effort to enforce the law is an act of inhumane cruelty.]

The education crackdown is particularly senseless and unconstitutional. In 1982, the Supreme Court found that all children living in the United States have the right to a public education, whatever their immigration status. The justices’ reasoning was shaped not by compassion but practicality: it does the country no good to perpetuate an uneducated underclass.

Officials in Alabama—some well meaning, others less so—insisted that nothing in the new law is intended to deny children an education. School districts, they noted, are supposed to collect only numbers of children without papers, not names.

“I don’t know where the misinformation’s coming from,” Alabama’s interim state school superintendent, Larry Craven, told NPR. “If you have difficulty understanding the language anyway, then who knows what they’re being told?” With comments like that, it’s not surprising that any of “them” would be frightened.

The Obama administration was right to sue to try to stop the Alabama law. It needs to press ahead with its appeal of the ruling and challenge similar laws in Utah, Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina.

President Obama needs to show stronger leadership in defending core American values in the face of the hostility that has overtaken Alabama and so many other states. He can start by scrapping the Secure Communities program, which encourages local immigration dragnets and reinforces the false notion that most undocumented immigrants pose a threat to this country’s security. [LA replies: According to the Times, “core American values” means having open borders and accepting all illegal aliens and giving them all the rights and government assistance they want and need.]

As for Alabama, one has to wonder at such counterproductive cruelty. Do Alabamans want children too frightened to go to school? Or pregnant women too frightened to seek care? Whom could that possibly benefit? [LA replies: Alabamians want illegal aliens to LEAVE the state. But the Times acts as if all those illegals have no choice but to remain in Alabama, and therefore they are now being deprived of school, medical care, etc.]

- end of initial entry -

James P. writes:

Notice how the NYT begins by stating that there is no reason to be “hostile” to immigrants in Alabama, because there are so few of them? If there were a lot of immigrants, the NYT would argue that there were too many to risk offending. The liberal party line on immigrants always alternates between “too few to matter” and “too many to anger.” Somehow the number of immigrants is never “just enough” to represent a problem that it is both politically possible and necessary to address.

Bruce B. writes:

I thought your distinction between the substance of liberal ideology and its enforcement mechanism was very insightful. However, this doesn’t sound quite correct to me:

“The substance of the liberal ideology is that everyone in the world belongs in America.”

I would disagree with the statement that liberals think everyone belongs in America. It seems to me that the substance of the liberal ideology is that everyone who WANTS to be in American should be allowed to be in America since this follows from the liberal premise that discrimination is morally wrong. And I do think that their imperative not to discriminate is particularly strong when the person is already physically here. Of course, we disagree with them. Just trying to state the liberal position accurately.

LA replies:

You’re right. I will change that.

JC in Houston writes:

The proper appellation for a (legal) resident of Alabama is actually Alabamian. My family lived there for several generations after immigrating there from the old country. As for the law, more power to my fellow Alabamians. It proves that ENFORCEMENT WORKS!

LA replies:

I’ll make that change in my comment.

Jay P. writes:

Thanks for covering this. (And for saving me the pain of reading the NYT myself.)

One of the things that amaze me about the liberal party line on immigration is the way they’re able completely to ignore the fact that the people most harmed by the current waves of immigration are liberals’ very own beloved poor and minorities. When it comes to immigration, the interests of poor Americans, especially blacks, suddenly don’t matter.

Stephen T. writes:

Been there, done that with the Los Angeles Times in the ’80s and ’90s. Here’s how it will go, if the good people of Alabama don’t stand up for themselves. The New York Times will continue to print editorials saying, “Why are these cruel measures being carried out when the illegal alien workforce in Alabama is a mere 4.2 percent?” “Illegal immigration will never be a factor in Alabama so stop worrying about it, you racists.” Etc. This theme will continue unchanged for about 10 years. Then, one day Alabamians will wake up to a Times editorial which suddenly, victoriously, declares, “A vibrant, unstoppable new majority of energetic Mexicans has boldly swept aside the feeble Anglos in Alabama, ushering in a bright new era in which Hispanics now control the state. Alabamians who oppose illegal immigration must stop living in denial and accept the reality that the white majority is breathing its last gasp. It is far too late for impotent efforts to oppose the triumphant political and demographic force of Mexican immigrants, who now number over 8 million. Resistance is futile.”

There will be no intermediate position expressed by the Times between “Stop worrying, you’re imagining things,” and “Give up—Mexicans now rule your own state.”

LA replies:

What you’re describing as the Times’ position is also the neocons’ position. They dismiss the immigration problem as a non-problem, then ten years later they announce, “California’s lost, and it’s too late to do anything about it.” In the first instance, there’s no problem worth criticizing or opposing. In the second instance, the problem has taken over and it’s futile to criticize or oppose it. What is the single constant? Do not criticize or oppose immigration.

Robert P. writes:

From Alabama Labor Market Newsletter (pdf):

The State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, at 9.9 percent in August, was down from July’s rate of 10.0 percent and was above the year-ago rate of 9.1 percent.

From NY Times editorial:

Undocumented immigrants made up roughly 4.2 percent of its work force in 2010, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

9.9 percent minus 4.2 percent = 5.7 percent unemployment rate

That’s not “full employment” as defined by the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act (1978), but probably as near to it as possible in the current economic environment. Bring it down another percentage point and I would expect to see wages increase in the fields that currently employ the 4.2 percent of the work force who are illegal immigrants.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 05, 2011 09:32 AM | Send

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