The wrong word

From time to time, I get sent links to stories from the Washington Post in my e-mail box in an effort to drum up some internet readership and blogging on various news items. Let’s see if we can pick out the word which doesn’t belong here.

The Washington Post‘s Aaron Davis reports: Growing frustration with illegal immigration, rising public debt and an effective Internet campaign to gather voters’ signatures have put Maryland conservatives on the cusp of a victory to delay and possibly repeal a new law that would give undocumented immigrants in-state college tuition breaks.

Opponents say they are on pace to turn in a combined 100,000 signatures by Thursday, even though state elections officials say they have certified most of the nearly 56,000 needed to suspend the law and send it to a statewide referendum in November 2012. The law had been scheduled to take effect Friday, but it has been suspended while officials await a final tally on the signatures.

The full story can be read here.

Did you catch the word that doesn’t belong?

I read the story, and in every case aside from the very first sentence the Post places the word “undocumented” where they should be saying “illegal.”

If I forget to bring a copy of the minutes of the last month’s meeting to read to the monthly Wicomico County Republican Club gathering I’m “undocumented.”

If I were sneaking across the border in such a manner to avoid detection or overstaying the time on my visa, I am “illegal.”

While I can’t speak for all 100,000 or so Marylanders who have signed the petition to place SB167 on referendum, I would wager that most are quite welcoming to immigrants who come to our country wanting a better life and go about it in the right manner through the proper channels. After all, a century or so ago I believe my great-grandfather did just that. (He was named Michael Swartz too.)

What we don’t like is having those who flouted the law take advantage of the system, too. After all, if they are illegal, how can they be gainfully employed after they complete college anyway? I don’t see them being a benefit to our society.

I think Daniel Bongino was partially correct the other night when he said the first step to immigration reform should be securing the borders. But I’m not completely convinced we can’t deport 12 million illegal immigrants because a large number would deport themselves if they can’t find work. I normally am a pro-business kind of guy, but the Chamber of Commerce is way wrong on the issue of immigration reform – we tried amnesty once and it didn’t work.

Tomorrow is the deadline to submit petitions, and today I sent through overnight mail a couple pages’ worth of names to add to the list. They may not be necessary but these were people who believe the General Assembly made a grievous error when it passed the Maryland DREAM Act. Let them just try and call all of us “racists.” I dare them.

Trust me, I have a lot more to say on the subject.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.

4 thoughts on “The wrong word”

  1. Given the number of African Americans and (legal) Hispanic immigrants who eagerly signed the petition in my neck of the woods, I don’t think the racist charge is going to fly. As for the _Post_ I suspect they have an editorial policy on the use of that term.

  2. Michael, you seem to labor under the false belief that there is a legal way for low-skilled workers to enter this country. In fact, it’s virtually impossible. I can guarantee that if your great-grandfather were Miguel Swartz and he lived today, he wouldn’t be allowed in this country legally.

    The only way to solve the illegal immigration problem is to reform our immigration laws to allow these people to come here legally. Part of that is setting up a workable guest worker program.

    It’s the height of unreality to think that we can secure the borders and deport 12 million illegal immigrants. Believing this is about as ridiculous as believing the government “stimulus” legislation helps create economic growth. It’s wishful thinking that has no basis in reality. The root cause of the problem is the supply of labor south of the border and the demand for that labor in the U.S. Enact all the legislation you want, but nothing can repeal the basic laws of supply and demand.

  3. Question Mike – if we want to insist on referring to them as illegals are you also prepared to refer to the Founders as illegals as well? After all, their actions were unquestionably in violation of British law and so long as they persisted in a state of rebellion they remained illegal.

    More importantly though, it is hardly appropriate to complain of people flouting the law and ignoring the legal immigration system to sneak into the country when the current law doesn’t offer any avenue to legal presence in the United States for the vast majority of unskilled workers – the people most likely to be illegal immigrants.

    Finally, for being pretty smart and a free market guy I’m pretty surprised to see you coming out for border enforcement first, other reforms later and attrition through enforcement. That approach completely ignores the bottomless wellspring that is human ingenuity.

    No matter what methods are implemented to secure the border, people are endlessly inventive and they will discover ways to get past it anyway. Same goes for work restrictions – you might put a bit of a dent in their working, but you’ll never wipeout the market for their labor, it’ll just go further underground.

    And that’s not even a theoretical, it’s the lesson of history.

    On the border, even the most heavily fortified border barriers seen couldn’t stop illegal crossings. Think about it, if fortifying a border enough worked, would people have gotten across the Berlin Wall and would there be suicide bombers in Israel?

    And on attrition through enforcement, if that worked at getting people to stop hiring people illegally in the country, why is Sheriff Arpaio still finding them in Maricopa County.

    As I’ve written before, there are only two ways to stop illegal immigration and increased border security and idiocy like E-Verify aren’t a part of either.

    The first is to deliberately tank the economy. Data shows that illegal immigration directly tracks the economy, going up when times are good and going down when the economy weakens. For obvious reasons I doubt this is practical.

    The second is to relieve the disincentive to legal immigration by making the process easier, shorter, and less expensive, while simultaneously significantly increasing the amount of people legally allowed to immigrate.

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