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Illegal immigration and the war of words

The story of New Ipswich, New Hampshire's police chief, Garrett Chamberlain, and his novel way of dealing with illegal immigrants is getting more and more attention. (A quick recap for those of you who may have missed it: Chief Chamberlain is using the state's Criminal Trespass statute to prosecute illegal aliens he catches that the federal government doesn't want to deal with.) Another chief in a nearby town, Chief Richard Gendron of Hudson, liked the idea so much he's using it himself.

First, it was the Mexican government that got a bit peeved at Chief Chamberlain's innovative approach. Then the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union decided to stick its nose into the matter. Now, it's heating up even more.

A group calling itself "The New Hampshire Immigrant Rights Task Force" is organizing a caravan to travel to Hudson and New Ipswich tomorrow to hand-deliver letters of protest to the chiefs.

Once again, we are seeing the cynical manipulation of language by these so-called "immigration advocates." They want to define the terms of the argument to improve their chances of winning the fight.

This happens all the time. The side that controls the language of the argument has a tremendous advantage. This is played out in the abortion argument, where one side claims it's "pro-choice" versus "anti-choice," while the other insists it's "pro-life" versus "pro-abortion." It might seem silly, but it's actually a key battle.

Personally, I tend to call any group by the name it chooses for itself, within reason. My main exception is when that name flies in the face of reason or somehow offends my sensibilities. One example would be "African-American." I don't use that term for two reasons: first, I don't like hyphenating "American" -- it strikes me as unnecessarily divisive. Secondly, it's too general a term -- not all Africans are black. There are quite a few Arabs from Africa, and let's not forget Theresa Heinz Kerry once called herself an African-American.

But I digress (as usual). Back to the topic at hand.

These advocates are trying to blur the line between LEGAL immigrants and ILLEGAL immigrants in the hopes of painting their opponents with the broad brush of being racist, xenophobic bigots.

Here's an analogy for you: there's a boxing match on HBO that I want to see. I don't subscribe to HBO, but my neighbor does. He's away for the weekend, but I know where he hides his spare key. Without his permission, I go over and watch the match, have a little snack and a beer, and watch the fight. After the match, I feel a smidgen guilty, so I clean his bathroom for him. And so others can enjoy the benefits I have, I leave his door unlocked when I leave.

What's the harm? I only used a little of his electricity and food, and I did a job nobody likes to do before I left.

One of the most fundamental rights of a nation -- hell, one of the most fundamental DEFINITIONS of a nation -- is establishing and securing its borders, and determining the places and manner non-citizens may enter. The United States has one of the most generous (if not the most generous) immigration policies. We are quite possibly the only nation that has a long history of people struggling to get and stay here.

But that isn't good enough for these "immigration activists." They denigrate and insult the millions of immigrants who follow the rules, fill out the paperwork, and in cases wait years to come to the United States. For heaven's sake, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. He spent a decade to become an American citizen, and now he's governor of the most populous state.

The so-called "immigration advocates" are not human-rights activists in the least. They are challenging the United States' very right to set and govern its own borders, which is one of the key elements in the definition of a nation. And even more contemptibly, they're smearing the millions of immigrants who actually respected and followed the legal procedures and policies we have established by lumping them in with those who cross our borders illegally.

I'd love to go down and attend the "convoy," to present a contrasting opinion, but unlike the "activists," apparently, I have a job to go to.

(Update: broken link fixed. Thanks, Ken.)

Comments (31)

Bingo! I immigrated as a ki... (Below threshold)

Bingo! I immigrated as a kid. My parents waited, complied with the law, and got visas and green cards. We are now all US citizens, and productive members of society. I resent like hell the idea that lawbreakers should have status as anything other than detainees awaiting deportation. These so-called "immigration activists" deliberately distort, conflating legal and illegal immigration. They deliberated distort the history of this country, and they deliberately undermine one of the foundations of our liberty in order to promote lawlessness. What you didn't go on to say is that these activists also work diligently to undermine another foundation of this country's greatness, because they also tend to oppose assimilation. They want open borders and they oppose assimilation. This combination would amount to nothing short of national suicide.

thanks for the link to the ... (Below threshold)

thanks for the link to the biker chicks...


nothing like the internet... one mistake and you get to look at porn.

I am tired of seeing the il... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I am tired of seeing the illegal immigration advocates whine about how being here illegally isn't criminal. Now if they mean it isn't criminal in the same sense that say murder or rape is, they have a point, but the fact is that they are here without legal documentation, and that does in fact make them illegal, and it does in fact make them criminals.

Personally, I think we would be far better off if we made legal immigration cheaper and easier for those who want to come here and work, but then put in place a strict policy that deports anyone and everyone who is here without proper documentation.

I believe it was last summe... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

I believe it was last summer when a semi truck was filled with dead illegal immigrants. They died of dehydration and had been left in the back of this semi truck after being smuggled into the country! That is sad! ... Legal immigration is the only way in our day and age. Mexico needs to understand our country and our world is a different place these days! We are neighbors and we can get along better and all be safer if we do! Here in Texas we love the Mexicans! They are hard workers! I only object to the illegality of their entrance! If it is that easy for them? Why wouldn't it be that easy for some crazed terrorist ready to bomb themselves and anyone or anything else that just so happens to be near!

OT - alert - re Newsweek, <... (Below threshold)

OT - alert - re Newsweek, here.

Pushing the vote for illega... (Below threshold)

Pushing the vote for illegal aliens, these immigration advocates are trying to reduce US citizenship to merely not having to get a green card.

One of the possible solutio... (Below threshold)

One of the possible solutions to this is to send emails to the media that covers these events, pointing out where they called groups by misleading names.

For an extreme example, consider the near-riot that occurred in Baldwin Park, CA. The L.A. Times referred to ANSWER LA as an "antiwar and anti-racism group".

At that event, a 66-year-old female was hit in the forehead by a full water bottle and spent the night in the hospital. She was also a former volunteer for the Minuteman Project.

Also, "Hispanics" are planning to boycott Arizona for a few days in July. The fact that most of those doing the boycott are citizens of another country who are here illegally, and the implications of that, seem to have escaped the notice of the MSM.

One example would be "Af... (Below threshold)

One example would be "African-American." I don't use that term for two reasons: first, I don't like hyphenating "American" -- it strikes me as unnecessarily divisive. Secondly, it's too general a term -- not all Africans are black.

You could adopt the usage suggested by sociologist Charles Moskos: “Afro-Americans” are the descendants of black African slaves. Kim du Toit is an “African American”. Still hyphenated, though.

Its time to stop complainin... (Below threshold)

Its time to stop complaining about Illegal Immigrants and time to do something about it.

Historic National ‘Unite to Fight’ summit in Vegas May 27-29


Hmm, the name of the group ... (Below threshold)
Mike Boelter:

Hmm, the name of the group is: The New Hampshire Immigrant Rights Task Force.

Wonder how they would feel if while they were protesting 'illegal immigrant rights' someone invade their homes, illegaly taking their posessions, and then they were picketed by members of a Burglars Rights Task Force.

A guy named "Enrique Morone... (Below threshold)

A guy named "Enrique Morones" (identified as being representative of a group calling itself "Border Angels" -- advocates for illegal immigration from Mexico) was on FOX's O'Reilly Factor last Friday, and was going on and on about how The Minutemen "...are forcing (illegal immigrants) into outlying areas (inorder to complete their illegal transit into the U.S.A. from Mexico)."

It is more of that same language manipulatin that you make mention of here and something I've long ago found concerning and that Morales guy was/is a great example of that: he promotes that border security "forces" illegal immigrants into areas of illegal immigration transit that they'd prefer not to use but are being "forced" into using becuase some citizens are at the border to remind illegal immigrants that their behaviors are illegal.

The Morales guy and those like him refuse to focus on the fact that the behavior by illegal immigrants is their choice, their responsibility. They have options: immigrate legally and refuse to engage in illegal behaviors, including illegal immigration.

Their treks and such are their own responsibility -- the negative in this mix is the illegal behavior by those involved in illegal immigration, not in border security and those who support and represent border security and legal immigration.

And yet, to apologists for illegal immigration (Enrique Morones and his "Border Angels" group among others), the immigration requirements are the problem, the borders are the problem, the penalties are the problem, the border conditions are the problem...yada, yada, yada.

When, in fact, the ONLY and ONE thing that IS the problem is their behavior: illegal immigration.

If they opted to chose legal behaviors, and promote legal behaviors, they would solve their own "problems."

At this point, these vaious spokespersons for illegal immigration refuse to focus on personal responsibilities and continue to denigrate the very ideals they SAY they want to capture and use for their own purposes. No wonder so few of us believe them, and don't find them credible.

I like analogies Jay, but I... (Below threshold)

I like analogies Jay, but I dont think that yours really captured the situation. How about this:

There's a barbed wire fence, and a sign that reads "No Trespassing." But there is a guy on the other side of the fence, and he's offering you a job that pays you 10 times what you make on your side of the fence. Along with that, the guy is one of the legal landowners. So you go for it, despite the sign. Of course, he doesnt admit to the other owners that he hired you or encouraged you, so when you get there to work they're all pissed off and arrest you for breaking the law.

Can anyone say mixed signals?

They dont just come here and freeload and then do a little work to make up for it. They come here to work their asses off, and American businesses hire them willingly.

I'm not an advocate of people coming here illegally, and in fact I would really like to see this issue get dealt with. I AM an advocate of people getting a better understanding of whats really going on though, instead of looking at things from just one viewpoint.

S wrote:When, i... (Below threshold)

S wrote:

When, in fact, the ONLY and ONE thing that IS the problem is their behavior: illegal immigration.

That is one of the factors, but isnt the only problem here. Economic conditions in other countries are part of the problem. The efficacy of our Border Patrol is part of the problem. Americans who hire illegal workers are part of the problem. Penalties may be a problem if they arent effective at deterring people (which obviously they arent). Immigration quotas or requirements may be a part of the problem. Americans who buy products and/or services from companies that employ illegal labor are part of the problem (vote with your dollars kids)...

It's just not as simple as you make it.

Economic conditions in o... (Below threshold)

Economic conditions in other countries are part of the problem.

And corrupt governments in those other countries encourage illegal immigration to America so they don't have to fix their own problems.

ryan: if and when the cond... (Below threshold)

ryan: if and when the conditions are that bad, there've been indications about an impending downslide and usually for a while.

Such that, anyone who wants to immigrate to the U.S. can apply to do so, legally. Stand in line, fill out the forms, provide required documentation and pay the filing fees and then wait like all the other legal immigrants to the U.S. who have been doing so since we had a country: legally immigrating.

To "blame" people -- particularly the laws and requirements of the country you/anyone intends to land in and use for their own benefit -- for purposes of justifying illegal behavior is not an indication of someone who either understands what citizenship is or who doesn't care, or probably, both.

Blaming and lambasting the laws of the country that's intended to be the new home of the immigrant, such that it's decided that the laws/requirements can simply be refused in observation because they're not to the liking of whomever -- is the language of crime.

And illegal immigration is criminal behavior. It's a crime and those who engage in it are engaged in criminal behavior and trying to blame everyone under the sun, moon and stars for the personal acts chosen and engaged in by individuals is also the act of a criminal trying to justify their behavior: someone ELSE "made them" do it/whatever.

No one makes anyone else commit crimes, unless the person committing the crimes is insane or incompetent. If you're suggesting that illegal immigrants are both (or even either/or) of those, then we have an even greater problem (I don't think you are, directly, but that's the end run conclusion of what you allege and what irrational Enrique Morones and those like him allege...that people are compelled [from Mexico] to engage in illegal immigration and they should be allowed to freely continue to be so compelled and to commit illegal immigration just because they...they...the list of justifications goes here, to include ridiculing American citizens themselves).

Your comments also fail to ... (Below threshold)

Your comments also fail to recognize and include mention of the culture, mostly fostered by and present in Mexico, that disdains U.S. immigration requirements and encourages persons there to illegally immigrate for a higher degree of social recognition there ("go north, send money home, and it doesn't matter how you do it, just do it" -- that social meme mostly of Mexican origin and endorsement, and present among illegal immigration apologists in the U.S.)

Ha, as if on cue, ryan's co... (Below threshold)

Ha, as if on cue, ryan's comments DO include denigration of "Americans" who do whatever (he/she uses the excuse of "Americans who buy products...") to attempt to rationalize the behaviors and choices made by mostly people from Mexico to suit their own purposes and refute the legal requirements of the United States.

An illegal immigrant makes a personal choice: do I immigrate illegally or do I not?

You chose the illegal immigration route, you chose to commit crime.

Yes, it's that simple because each of us makes choices every single day of our lives to behave lawfully or to ignore/refuse to obey laws. It's a matter of personal choice, an exercise in personal ethics.

Where's the social structure in mostly Mexico (but China and Pakistan and South America and others are also of issue here, but the current "anti legal immigration" thing is largely originating in Mexico and always has) to educate their population on respecting the laws and requirements of other countries? Not like most in the U.S. plan and plot flying to, say, Switzerland and forging documents inorder to do so, or driving into that country secreted in holds of vehicles and hiding out in the basements of other helpers while we are secured in Switzerland and obtain false documents to remain there and find employment, etc.

It's a case of a larger problem that originates, again, mostly in Mexico that actually instructs against U.S. laws and definitively denigrates U.S. immigration requirements. People are taught to engage in illegal immigration, by condition or reward, but the behavior, ultimately, rests with he/she who engages in it.

Illegal immigration is criminal behavior. False documents, sneakign across borders, lying your way into employment and housing and financial rewards...those are not honorable behaviors and they defraud American citizens.

Not the sort of ethics that are desirable in new immigrants. The problem with legal immigration is that you are asked to make certain honest commitments and that's what I think is the stumbling block to many who engage in criminal, illegal immigration -- those commitments. So, they chose to engage in illegal behaviors. They chose. Their choice. They chose illegal behavior and disrespect the legal immigration requirements and blaming the country for our own laws is not the way to go to solve the problem.

Illegal immigration could b... (Below threshold)
Pesky Jim:

Illegal immigration could be solved overnight. Just prosecute and actually penalize employers who hire illegals. Change laws to make it less attractive.

But government won't ever do that. Who wants to pay the real costs every time they eat at a resteraunt, use a hotel, do practically anything? Nah, let the cheap mexicans and latinos do it. We'll ignore the reason why they keep coming here. Money from jobs given by US employers. From major companies down to unpatriotic idiots who hire 'cleaners' and 'housemaids'...cos, well, 'they're cheap!'

S:I have an idea f... (Below threshold)


I have an idea for you. Why dont you go to the INS and tell them that you have it all figured out. Tell them that the whole problem is just because illegals come here and willingly break our laws, and if we stop that, bingo. Your brilliance should not go unnoticed. Great analysis of the situation.

Nice try saying that I'm denigrating Americans. Nothing against us Americans, but yes, we are a part of the problem. Are you in denial? Who do you think willingly hires the workers? How is it denigrating Americans by pointing out reality?

Did you read that little analogy that I wrote? What did you think about that?

Your main point, which you repeated about 10 times, is that illegal immigration is illegal. Clearly, thats not very hard to grasp. I'm trying to suggest to you that there may be other factors that are a part of the equation besides the fact that people choose to break our immigration laws and come here to work. Thats a part of it, but not all of it, and I dont see why thats so hard for you to consider.

And corrupt governments ... (Below threshold)

And corrupt governments in those other countries encourage illegal immigration to America so they don't have to fix their own problems.

You think thats how it works? Maybe people flee corrupt countries because it sucks living there, and the government is too busy being corrupt to give a damn what poor laborers do.

PeskyJim wrote:... (Below threshold)

PeskyJim wrote:

We'll ignore the reason why they keep coming here. Money from jobs given by US employers.

No...we cant look at the reasons behind this. It's better to just put all the blame elsewhere.

When, in fact, the ONLY ... (Below threshold)

When, in fact, the ONLY and ONE thing that IS the problem is their behavior: illegal immigration.

I had to put that one up again just for the keen insight that it provides.

Thats like saying, "The problem with illegal immigration is that people come here illegally." Well, glad we solved that one...

And illegal immigration ... (Below threshold)

And illegal immigration is criminal behavior. It's a crime and those who engage in it are engaged in criminal behavior and trying to blame everyone under the sun, moon and stars for the personal acts chosen and engaged in by individuals is also the act of a criminal trying to justify their behavior: someone ELSE "made them" do it/whatever.

Inspector Javert strikes again!

-S- "Such that, anyone who ... (Below threshold)
John Anderson:

-S- "Such that, anyone who wants to immigrate to the U.S. can apply to do so, legally. Stand in line, fill out the forms, provide required documentation and pay the filing fees and then wait like all the other legal immigrants to the U.S. who have been doing so since we had a country: legally immigrating."

You, and a lot of others, sort of ignore something we've had for a couple of centuries.

A quota system.

Ask Russians. Or Thais. Or Vietnamese.

No, I don't think we can discard quotas. But when is the last time they were adjusted on anything but an "Emergency" (eg, the Hmong) basis? And if they are finding jobs, might that be because they are needed? Perhaps rather than alter the law/quota, our representatives and the bureaucracies they are suposed to control simply find it easier to pretend there is only a minor problem that can be disregarded.

Indeed, we have Congresscritters who pass laws they admit they haven't read, let be read the laws we do have. A bureaucracy at the IRS that sets up help personnel to advise the public, but with the caveat that they probably don't know what they are doing and cannot be held liable if they tell you to break the law. A bunch of state governments who have decided that the Federal Congress' [temporary] rule against collecting sales tax on Internet purchases doesn't include excise taxes - and that if they can make us pay the excise we then become liable for the sales tax, too, Feds or no Feds.

First of all not all illega... (Below threshold)
Rational Human Being:

First of all not all illegal immigrants are criminals. Breaking the law doesn't make you one. If someone runs a stop sign, that person breaks the law, but doesn't make him/her a criminal.

Second, I agree that it shouldn't be easy to immigrate legally here, but it shouldn't be impossible either, like it seems to be nowadays.

Third, until politicians and law-makers realize this is a foreign policy problem, nothing will change. We all like to have our cake and eat it too. It only works to our advantage to have a Chinese national working at $.25/hr so that we can buy a T-Shirt for $10. However, when the Chinese person realizes he or she can make close to $6/hr, that is a clear motivation to think about coming here. Now, if such person has a family and cannot even feed them or cloth them, then the motivation is even greater. Now, should we ask this Chinese national to get in a 10 to 12 year line, pay a lawyer (you should see the paperwork) and the INS fees (about $5,000/person) then you get a clear view of how the problem generated.
We need to realize that if we help them help themselves, less of them will come here, but that will mean that we'll have to pay more for goods too, while at the same time outsourcing would decrease, as it wouldn't be that much cheaper to hire someone abroad.

thank you for that rational... (Below threshold)

thank you for that rational human being.

First, I agree that not all... (Below threshold)

First, I agree that not all illegal immigrants are criminals just because they broke the "law" by arriving here undocumented. Then are you going to say Rosa Parks was a criminal because she refused to sit in the back of the bus or for that matter, Martin Luther King was a criminal for fighting against Jim Crow laws? We have an immigration system that is clearly broken from the get go. We can't label these people criminals just because they chose to feed their families. If you feel so stongly about illegal immigration next time you go to the grocery store scream out and say " I refuse to pay 2 dollars for these bag of oranges, here is 10 bucks." Frickin hypocrites.

Mark Krikorian of the Cente... (Below threshold)

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies has another great article about how to deal with this invasion.


And Gabe, when you equate sovereignty - an essential part of every nation's foundation - with the civil rights movement, you expose yourself as being woefully uninformed. It's an insult to equate Rosa Parks with MS-13 gang members and people who, instead of taking a risk and building their own nation, come to ours and ask for handouts. And if you don't think free education, health care and use of public infrastructure isn't a handout, you don't know how our economies work.

Did you go to public school?

Frickin' moron.

K Daddy are you saying all ... (Below threshold)

K Daddy are you saying all undocumented immigrants are gang members and criminals? You obviously watch too much Fox News. Your brain is so clouded by your own bigotry and prejudice that you don't see reality. Most of them come here to work, not as you say looking for handouts. Why don't you instead blame the employers who are giving them low paying mundane jobs no American is willing to take? Are you so dumb that you can't even see who is mowing your lawn and picking the fruits you eat? Yes I went to public high school and university and damn proud of it. You want to sound patriotic at the same time insult our public school system that's educating most of us in this country.

once again you are a fu...en hypocrite .

Hey Kdaddy. What's the K st... (Below threshold)

Hey Kdaddy. What's the K stand for KKK?

I am going to bore you all ... (Below threshold)

I am going to bore you all to death. I am doing a college paper on Illegal Immigration. And honestly not to sound evil - I want all of them sent home, never to return. They are a drain on society, they are ruining my home town and they are taking jobs. Unfortunately, the jobs they are taking are the jobs that only the under educated americans would want, but either way it is really hurting America as a whole. Schools are overcroweded, properties values are decreasing, the state and federal benefit programs are being sucked dry by the moochers from Mexico. I am not racist by any means, but I am sick and tired of "Immigrants" getting special treatment, hell all they have to do is whine and say they come from Mexico and they get anything. No taxes, free housing, food, medical benefits. While us poor middle class Americans bust our butts day in and day out and we don't get jack. I work 40 to 45 hrs a week, I have two kids, but I make too much money to get any assistance. Not that I want to mooch off the system, but I have to drive 45 mins each way to make 10 bucks an hr. I think that my town is really suffering since all the factories here in town hire the mexicans since they bust butt and work for pennies, which leaves me(us) Americans out of work.
Something needs to be done. I think the Minutemen are on the right track and if I didn't have responsiblities here, I would be more than happy to join them.






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