Bordering on madness

Back in college, I was involved in student government. Part of my job was working with other student organizations — helping them get official recognition, funding, and the like. And, unfortunately, dealing with them when they broke their charters.

At one point I was tipped off that one organization was completely ignoring its charter. The group had become essentially a “project” of a faculty member, who made all the decisions and the student officers were rubber-stamping things. What made it worse was that there was no real malice here; the professor had essentially filled a void and kept the group functioning. And even worse for me personally was that I was friends with most of the leaders (both official and unofficial) of the group.

But it was an intolerable situation. I recruited a couple other student government members who were also close to the group’s membership and the three of us had a meeting with the entire group. There, we spelled out their options:

1) They could change their rules to reflect how they were really doing things.

2) They could change the way they were doing things to follow the rules.

3) They could scrap both and come up with a whole new system.

When someone asked if there was a fourth choice, I said yes — they could cease to exist as a recognized group.

We explained that the three of us had absolutely no preference for those first three choices, and would help them and support them as best we could in whichever they chose, but the current situation could not be allowed to continue.

My tipster — one of the informal leaders of the group — was pushing for the third option, with more independence from the faculty and more control by the students. And he put up a hell of an argument, but eventually the group decided they wanted to focus on the actual purpose of the group and pass on the minutiae. They opted for first choice.

I’m reminded of that story every time the issue of immigration reform comes up. We have a set of laws and policies that describe exactly who can come into our country, how they can, how long they can stay, and how they can become citizens. And every few years the topic of “amnesty” for illegal aliens comes around. No one ever seems to actually look at the existing laws any more.

The sheer dishonesty of the “pro-immigrant” side amazes me. They repeatedly denounce the enforcement of the law, call for exemptions and non-enforcement of the laws, but never actually have the courage of their convictions to call for changing the law.

It also apalls me that they free co-mingle legal and illegal immigrants under their aegis. There is a natural division between the two groups — the former is showing respect for the process outlined (and, by extension, the United States as a whole) by complying with the rules. They fill out all the forms, attend all the hearings, take all the tests, and in general constantly and repeatedly demonstrate their dedication to becoming responsible guests (and, potentially, citizens) of the United States. The latter are line-jumpers, people who want the instant gratification and immediate benefits of being in the United States without fulfilling any of the obligations outlined by law. To steal a phrase, they want the rights without the concomitant responsibilities.

So this is my challenge to the “immigrant advocates.” You’ve made it clear that you find the current laws on immigration offensive. Come up with your own policies, your own proposals, and let’s let the people debate them. Increase the quotas for Mexico and other Latin American countries? Fine. Offer unlimited visas to manual laborers? Sure. Dismantle the southern border entirely? Go for it.

Just please spell out exactly what you want, and we’ll talk. I — and, I’d wager, a great many others — are sick of you constantly complaining about our “unfair” immigration policies and enforcements without offering any kind of alternatives.

J.

Our incredibly incompetent military
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Arrested - Again

23 Comments

  1. Henry March 6, 2005
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