On Sunday, July 3, I witnessed a disturbing sight. At the intersection of Routes 111 and 102 in Hudson, N.H., on three of the corners were groups of men with big American flags and signs that read, “Deport Illegal Aliens Now.” Some of these guys looked like the classic skinhead Neo-Nazis, short hair, goatees, and chamoflage fatiques, but at least half of the group didn’t fit that stereotype.
Many people were voicing their support with waving and honking horns as they drove by.
I found the whole incident very disturbing; it made me sick to my stomach. There seemed to be a palpable sense of hate. Maybe next time I’ll stop and talk to these guys to see what their larger agenda is.
It wasn’t that I oppose enforcing immigration law. What bothered me was the fact that this was being done in the name of patriotism.
Clearly, our system of border patrols and immigration needs to be reworked. Many would argue that our own agricultural sector requires the availability of hundreds of thousands of exploited laborers, many of whom are illegals. Listen to Marketplace’s special report, “The Undocumented War,” to gain a better perspective than many Americans have.
3 Replies to “Some Dare Call It Patriotism”
I suppose neo-nazi/skinheads want to deport illegal immigrants because they hate minorities.
We must always stand against this bigotry and hate.
However, one can be FOR deporting illegal aliens without this sinful rationale.
I do not hate minorities, but I applaud the effort to deport illegals and beg our politicians to do it. They are here “illegally.”
I am all for LEGAL immigration: that’s how most of us arrived here. But there’s a huge difference between legal and illegal immigration.
And one can be against illegal immigrants and not be a skinhead/neo-nazi.
As I tried to express, it was the overtone of the whole thing that I found discomfiting. I have no trouble with enforcing immigration law, although having seen the other side, and knowing how random our enforcement is, I have little faith in or respect for the current system. This issue has been brought to the forefront in New Hampshire by a law enforcement in a few towns which, having discovered the Federal authorities have no interest in prosecuting illegal immigrants in relatively obscure populations, have begun to use tresspassing law as a lever toward deportment.
Right now we have areas where thousands of people a day cross the borders illegally. The population of illegal immigrants in the US is estimated to be 11,000,000 people.
I have seen firsthand the desperation that would cause someone to risk his life by illegal immigration into the US. I have worked in immigrant communities, and been close friends with people who were undocumented aliens. In their eyes, we have “mountains of gold.” It’s not a case of the grass being greener on “our” side, it’s the fact that the grass even exists.
One proposal being talked about would provide 6-month work permits in huge numbers for Mexican immigrants. (Mexicans represent the largest sector of illegal immigration, due to Mexico’s extreme poverty and shared border.) The difficulty here is that it would require coordination with the Mexican government, which is rife with corruption, and tends not to handle such programs well. Stil, this industry-demand-driven model would probably work well, as long as immigrant residence locations and exits were well-tracked. Having a one-strike-and-you’re-out policy about exiting on time, with document verification such as does not currently exist, could make this sytem work very well. (All of this would require us to spend far more than we currently do on border security.)
As an aside, at the opposite end of the spectrum, we graduate so few engineers, that our own high-end employers are completely dependent on foreign workers (in this case legal ones).
Correction: There are estimated to be 11,000,000 undocumented aliens in the U.S., not 1,000,000. I’ve corrected the original entry.