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Tuesday, 11 April 2006

News coverage of the illegal-immigrant demos was awash with happy-clappy clichés on the subject, every one of which has a straightforward answer. Samples.

---"They're just coming here for a better life." Well, that's also the reason people rob banks. If you rob a bank and get away with it, you'll have a MUCH better life than you had before. Should we legalize bank robbery?

---"Many of them have sons & daughters in the military, fighting in Iraq." On general grounds, I think hiring illegal immigrants into the armed forces is a lousy idea. When the Romans ran out of citizens willing to fight, they hired Germans, and look what happened. Still, any illegal who has served in combat on this country's behalf ought to be given citizenship, though I'd make his relatives go through proper channels. At least we'd find out how many is that "many."

---"Deporting illegals would mean splitting up families." Only if they chose to split up. If a man is illegal, his wife legal, and their child a citizen, I'd deport the man. They'd have to decide among themselves whether to split up the family or not. The wife and child could go with the man, if they didn't want to be split up.

You may as well start practicing these ripostes. You'll be needing them.

And concerning yesterday's TV coverage of these demonstrations:

From The Situation Room on CNN yesterday:

WOLF BLITZER: A lot of these demonstrators, you know, Jack, are legal. And many of them are citizens of the United States. They're not all illegal immigrants, the people protesting.


JACK CAFFERTY: How do you know?

BLITZER: Because I was out on the streets. I saw.

CAFFERTY: Well, where's the immigration service? Why don't they pull the buses up and start asking these people to show their green cards? And the ones that don't have them, put them on the buses and send them home.

BLITZER: There's a -- well, that's an expensive proposition, as you know -- 12 million -- 12 million of them.

CAFFERTY: As opposed to the cost we're enduring by having 12 million of these people running around the country?

[Derb] Surfing the cable news channels yesterday while the illegal immigrants were demonstrating, I would have to say that CNN came out on top. They have Lou Dobbs, of course, who's been pounding on the issue of illegals for years (Mark Krikorian's outfit gave Dobbs an award for his efforts last year). Even the Situation Room was getting to the point, though, as the above exchanges show. Fox News wasn't half as good; even O'Reilly seemed muted on the issue. Perhaps someone's explained to him what a horrible idea is the "guest worker" program he's been pushing. MSNBC I didn't watch much, but what I saw was feeble. Larry Kudlow did his best for the open-borders side, but for once his heart didn't seem to be in it.


On this one, Lou Dobbs is THE MAN. He's particularly good at picking pro-illegal advocates who self-detonate on-screen. Prize exhibit yesterday was a character who shrieked in outrage when Lou said "illegal immigrant." The guy went on to explain that this phrase is just as offensive and just as inadmissible as [taboo epithet for Jews], [taboo epithet for Hispanics], [taboo epithet for Italian Americans], and [taboo epithet for African Americans]. He said all the taboo words.

Dismaying to then watch the ten o'clock news on one of our big networks, where these demonstrations by foreigners against our laws were treated as a public-spirited demand for civil rights. The demonstrators were, said the anchor on my local Channel 11, "upholding America's immigrant tradition."

Posted on 04/11/2006 8:02 AM by John Derbyshire
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