"As for adopting the ways which the state has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Welcome the Immigrants
I'm not sure at what point in American history we decided that the Anglo-Saxon culture and its fascination with aristocrats, old money and lawyer worship must become the de facto culture of the Union . With books like Patrick J. Buchanan's Death of the West came a long train of pundits and authors who bemoan what they see as the sad loss of Americana and the influx of immigrants and new blood.
But can we ever come to accept those brown skinned men, women and children who cross the Mexican border to find jobs, opportunities, citizenship and (shockingly for some) welfare entitlements that other Americans abuse, even though they are often at odds with our established cultural norms and our racial, genetic features?
Consider some of the values immigrants bring with them. They work over and under the table to provide desperately needed money for families in the U.S. and abroad. For the most part, they subject themselves to a hostile, English-only environment in which they must quickly adapt or fall behind. They settle for the most degrading of jobs ' cleaning our bathrooms, picking our fruit, watching our children, all the while looking over their shoulder for 'la immigra.'
They are an indispensable part of our government-controlled and underground economies, acting as the veritable underbelly of our system, providing cheap labor. Although immigration critics lament the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenues (as if any income the government takes by force could ever be called revenues), hundreds of thousands of illegals file for TINs (Taxpayer Identification Numbers) so that when they do legally apply for residency and even citizenship, they can show a court of law that they have been nothing but tax-paying, law-abiding citizens.
It is true that some immigrants move into Spanish-speaking environments and comfortably settle in, unfortunately never learning the English language, which would benefit them greatly. But English or no English, they uprooted themselves to come into a hostile country where the snow and the cold shoulder equally provide a chilling effect.
Have you heard the one about the Latino immigrants who came to this country costing us more in welfare benefits than American-born whites and blacks? Well it isn't true.
Those who want to demonize any sojourner to this Union as a car stealing, welfare guzzling, cocaine trafficking lawbreaker perpetuate a racist fallacy. Perhaps I could entice one of these immigration critics to spend a night in the city of Compton or Camden and ask them if American values are just fine the way gang bangers, racist police and sleazy politicians enforce them, all of whom are U.S. citizens.
The problem, according to immigration critics, is the porous borders. If we do not stop up, plug up or fix them, we will have a greater problem on our hands than the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dam.
But immigration critics put the cart before the horse. They start with what they think in their closed circuit logic is a 'problem' and from there devise all kinds of relevant evils and drastic measures to fix the 'problem' they themselves create.
Let's take this problem one step further. Does a porous border mean that armies or foreign soldiers are invading our country, stealing property and enslaving Americans? No. A porous border means open access for individuals to freely travel between one State and another without passports, checkpoint Charlies, flag saluting or other government forms of aggrandizement and control.
What then is so bad about a porous border? I can invite and contract with any au pair in the world from Uganda to Uruguay to come and watch my children without having to beg permission from the Border Patrol or my Congress crony.
I have admittedly read reports about armed Mexican paramilitaries and drug cartels that may or may not be terrorizing local border towns and property owners. I would advise the taxpayer-funded Border Patrol and National Guard to quit shooting innocent Iraqi civilians and instead provide a common defense of these property owners.
But common defense can hardly justify the manhandling, detainment and deportation of middle aged women and young boys suffering unbearable heat and treacherous terrain just to cross over into another government territory for the sake of a better life.
So what is it about immigrants that offends us Americans so much?
Well, their cultures, of course! We have the Western culture, and whatever that is or whatever that means, we will defend it down to the last knuckle-dragging government nationalist. Never mind that the Declaration of Independence, the theories of John Locke, the English Reformation and the libertarian movement have all been counter-cultural and engaged in deadly philosophical combat with Western culture since the Battle of Hastings.
Roman Catholic peasants offended us when they landed on our shores to practice their religion freely after Protestants had long demanded the rights we were hesitant to extend to fellow men. We considered Irish, Italian and Polish people uneducated masses here to swamp our school systems, our way of life and our Anglo-Saxon hegemony. Even the very blacks we enslaved under the tyranny of Southern slavery and the complicity of Northern manhunting were not welcome in large American cities when they were a-coming to enjoy the benefits of freedom and capitalism, or so they thought.
There is no doubt that our past Western culture provided many interesting documents and cultural darlings such as the misunderstood Magna Carta and the violently determined rights of Englishmen in the Glorious Revolution. But this is the same Western culture that gave us the Inquisition, the gagging of Galileo, the burning of street preachers, the witch trials of innocent Puritans and the burdensome concoction of church and state both under diverse tyrannies of Pope Leo X and King Henry VIII. Either one fails the political quiz I use from the Advocates for Self-Government.
What then do we do about immigration? On one hand, we have an increasingly secular culture trying to seduce our government schoolchildren to believe in *gasp* evolution and other anti-religious nonsense. At our doors of moral values stand the Huns and Vandals ready to tell us that there are other cultures and ideas out there in the world and that Mexicans should only entertain us with mariachis while we put more guacamole sauce on our overpriced quesadillas.
On the other hand, we have overtaxed Americans and income-deprived foreigners who come near us of their own choosing yet under the threat of detainment, deportation and abuse.
Both sides share God-given rights to barter, trade, employ the other, beg for help or charity and conversely deny any help or charity. But not at the point of a gun ' not at the end of a rifle muzzle purchased and wielded by agents of the State.
To protect private property from thieves, drug dealers or foreign troops is one thing. It is outright barbarism to deny liberty to people discriminated against by place of origin or 'official government citizenship''the liberty to enter a country and clean our malls and pick our grapes.
Immigration critics like to tear their robes and throw ashes on their heads, howling that everything from moral values to American apple pie will be lost by allowing the invasion of foreign labor and Spanish as a first language. (Frankly, I can live without apple pie.)
They lament that our English language is the superior form of communication. Our arts, music, entertainment and humanities surpass all other cultures. Anything that would challenge this Pax Americana must certainly be lawless, immoral and foreign. They perpetuate the myth that one language means one united society, denying that liberty itself in whatever language or culture should be the eternal tie that binds us together.
English might be the lingua franca of the day, but if we do not have the freedom to speak in whatever language we want, we have no free speech at all. If you don't like watching the overly dramatic Spanish soap operas, then switch the channel. Don't pass immoral laws sending people of my race and culture to the penitentiaries of criminals and murderers because they did not receive your divine permission to live, breathe and provide for their own within the steel walls of this voluntary Union .
Xenophobia spokesman Frosty Woolridge opines at Newswithviews.com about the outrageous costs of immigration in this country. (The war on Iraq must be chump change by comparison.) Should we put up an Ariel Sharon-style wall along the borders? Would drugs finally then disappear? Perhaps rap music would no longer sell and prayer would then return to the government schools! We would be one step closer to the ultra nationalist agenda of American neoconservatism.
Mr. Woolridge, an avid cyclist who has visited many countries and cultures around the globe, is convinced that lawlessness reigns in Arizona , Texas and other border states because immigrants are allowed to come to this country. We then drain our tax coffers when we keep them alive in our prisons once we detain them.
Here is an easy solution: Don't imprison them at all. While we're at it, we can throw out of prison the nonviolent offenders for marijuana use, tax evasion and victimized dads of non-custody children. Imagine prison guards being laid off for not enough work and prison wardens going back to online college courses to get another career.
But if Mexican border crossers bother Mr. Woolridge, imagine what he would say about the huge Chicano immigrant population in Illinois , the Portuguese in New England , the Cubans in Florida , the Chinese in San Francisco or the Russians in New York ? If we follow his thoughts to conclusion, we are left with paranoia of a mass scale invasion in which every God-fearing American should run to the hills, hunker down in a red-state Iowan fortress and shoot anything that moves.
For immigration critics like Mr. Woolridge, the invasion of foreign born people is the scourge of America and the very source of its financial woes and teetering greatness. I would argue that it has been its lifeblood, since free societies, so long as they remain free, have always attracted free people.
But the cancer in this context is not the immigrants but the corrupt State itself. Open up the welfare coffins and you will attract immigrants and most Americans as well. Start foreign wars and you will suit up citizens as well as resident aliens to fight and die needlessly for God and country. Steal the wealth of the people's labor through inflationary Leninist tactics and you tax all workers in this country, whether above or under the table, through the printing of paper fiat money.
My view of what lawlessness means is radically different from the immigration critics. I see lawlessness as any attack on the right to property, from which all rights under heaven most naturally flow.
The right to immigrate without State harassment or coercion is the fundamental right of private property owners and businesses to contract with foreign labor. This includes the right of individuals to determine where on planet Earth they move the most precious property they own: themselves.
The man-made U.S. Constitution may grant the federal government a power to regulate immigration and naturalization, but I speak of higher law and higher rights.
Those are my American values. Welcome the immigrants. End the Welfare State that abuses everyone and that everyone abuses, but never stop welcoming the tired and huddled masses at our borders and shores while liberty yet shines in the darkness.