Thursday, August 18, 2011

What a Conservative Wants: Immigration Policy

One of the weirdest things about conservatives is how much they support liberal policies, if only they knew what liberal policies were.  Case in point: Illegal immigrants.

Now, you've heard their whole spiel, I'm sure.  All about how illegal immigrants (ie, Mexicans) are stealing our jobs while leaching all our government services without working for it.  And of course, we're reminded endlessly how illegals don't pay taxes, which fails to take into account all the taxes that illegals DO pay, such as sales tax, gas tax, and property tax.  And that only leaves income tax and payroll taxes they don't pay...because we don't let them. 

And seriously, every time I've pointed out to conservatives that we don't allow illegal immigrants to pay income taxes or payroll taxes, and that they'd LOVE to be able to become citizens and pay these taxes; these people act as if I've said the craziest thing in the world.  It's like it somehow never occurred to them that it's their own fault these people don't pay more taxes.  And no matter how much I repeat that, they simply refuse to accept it, even though the logic is completely undeniable.

It's kind of like people who cite violence in the drug war as a reason to be anti-drug; completely unaware that it's the war on drugs that is the source of the violence in the drug war.

The Path of Freedom

But the weirdest part is how much these people really support the liberal policy for immigration, but don't realize it.  For instance, they insist that they'd be perfectly happy if immigrants came through the proper channels and became a citizen the way people did in the old days.  They insist that it's the illegal, sneaking across the border stuff they don't like, and don't have a problem with people who come here legitimately.

But then I always point out: What IS the legitimate way of coming?  Seriously, it's as if these people imagine that these illegals could have filled out an application and waited their turn, and soon be brought right in.  But no, these locust-like hordes are crossing the border and sucking all our precious resources.  But of course, that's utter bullshit, as there IS no direct path to citizenship like in the old days, which is why so many people risk their lives trying to sneak their way into the country...or just marry their way in, if they're attractive enough.

And again, I'll mention that repeatedly to conservatives, and they act as if I'm speaking a different language.  As if there is some obvious path to citizenship that these lazy brown hordes refuse to go through.  And I ask them repeatedly to explain to me this magical procedure, but alas, the most I'll get is an assurance that there is a legitimate path to citizenship; which these people shouldn't  have bypassed.

And what does this tell us: These people definitely think there should be a direct path to citizenship.  They're not against immigration because they hate immigrants, but because they imagine there's already a direct path to citizenship.  Therefore, if we open our borders and give a direct path to citizenship, these people should be happy.

The Cycle of Immigration

And that leads into another area: Hard working immigrants who play by the rules and work to succeed.  It's an article of faith among the anti-immigrant crowd that Hispanic people are bad immigrants because they refuse to assimilate, as all prior immigrant hordes did, which makes them a danger to America's long-term greatness.  After all, you can't be the hardest working country in the world if you're sipping on margaritas and getting fat on queso and tamales.

But first off, that's something that all immigrant hordes have been accused of, and there's a reason such places as Little Italy and Chinatown were formed, and it wasn't just to give tourists a kitschy experience.  It's a well established pattern that the first generation of immigrants naturally groups together, and that they're widely assimiated within a few generations.  And before you know it, America has got another traditional cuisine its bastardized with ketchup and waxy food products.  Thus is the cycle of immigration.

And so liberals have addressed that point, and we want a policy whereby immigrants who play by the rules, learn to speak English, go to college, and stay gainfully employed can get on the path to citizenship; while the ones who commit crimes get deported.  If the anti-immigrant crowd is worried about these people not learning English or leaching off of us while raping our daughters, this should be a win-win. 

And I've mentioned this to them, and the answer: They refuse to believe this is real.  They refuse to believe anyone's trying to institute a policy that gets these people on a track to success and citizenship.  Why?  Because if they acknowledged such a thing, it'd completely undermine their preferred option of deporting all the buggers forever and ever.  Seriously, when I've mentioned this before, these people all insist that no Mexicans are interested in learning English, getting good jobs, or being successful.  And hey, if these people are right, then we've got nothing to lose, because no one will be able to take advantage of such a program.

And so again, the answer for us is to continue to push our immigration policies, because it's obviously what conservatives want.  And again, it's all the weirdest thing, because if you listen to what conservatives think they want, it's almost identical to what liberals want.  The trick is getting them to stop disagreeing with us enough to bother finding out what it is we're trying to say.

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