Friday, March 24, 2006

Fight for the rights you don't have anyway

This AP article about protests over proposed legislation that would crack down on illegal immigration is pretty even-handed, though the writer doesn't bother to quote anybody who's in favor of any of the proposals mentioned. I say that it's even-handed because it actually uses terms like "illegal immigrants" instead of euphamisms like "undocumented workers," and presents information in a pretty straightforward way.

Some of the quotes given, though, are just laughable. Take, for instance, the following, which relates to violence between black and latino students, which erupted when the latter decided to walk out of a Los Angeles-area high school "to protest a bill passed the House in December that would make it a felony to be in the U.S. illegally":
"It was horrible, horrible," [Chantal Mason, a sophomore at George Washington Preparatory High] said. "It's ridiculous that a bunch of black students would jump on Latinos like that, knowing they're trying to get their freedom."
Ms. Mason is right that racially-motivated violence is horrible, but I'm a bit confused about the last part of her statement. What "freedom" are these students "trying to get"? If they're United States citizens, they have a number of constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms already. If they're illegal immigrants who are in this country illegally, should they have some sort of freedom to be here, again, illegally?

Here's another gem, this time from Phoenix, where the police estimated that 10,000 people gathered to protest a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl which would give illegal immigrants a leisurely five years to leave the country:
"They're here for the American Dream," said Malissa Greer, 29, who joined a crowd estimated by police to be at least 10,000 strong. "God created all of us. He's not a God of the United States, he's a God of the world."
I don't even know where to start with Malissa. I guess one could point out that a lot of people are "here for the American Dream," though they have decided that they'll go through the painstaking process of applying for citizenship or the legal status of a resident alien instead of flouting our laws and making a mockery of our soverignty. And just what does God have to do with it? Did anybody claim that God only covers the USA, or did you just say that because it's the kind of mushy-headed liberal pap that naturally falls out of your head when you open your mouth?

There's plenty more at the link, including the mention of a condescending-sounding protest in Milwaukee called "A Day Without Latinos," implying, I guess, that all Latinos are illegal immigrants. And here I thought we right-wingers were the ones who engaged in all the nasty stereotyping.

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