In an update to my previous post about illegal immigration, I saw a debate televised on CNN that was about this subject. One position was taken by veteran newsman Lou Dobbs, while the other was represented by immigrant advocate Maria Elena Salinas. Keeping in mind that it has been some hours since I’ve seen the program, I’d like to share my impressions.
Dobbs was very clear about his stance. He said that he favored restricting immigration due to a wide variety of concerns. Foremost amongst these was concern for the immigrants themselves, since they are prone to exploitation by employers if they aren’t supposed to be in this country.
And Salinas’ rebuttal? She immediately attacked Dobbs and accused him of being a racist! The basis for her charge was that Dobbs only mentioned the 11 million illegals from Mexico while ignoring the estimated 200,000 illegal immigrants who are here from European countries.
Dobbs tried to continue the debate in a moderate tone while Salinas became ever more agitated and shrill. Eventually the newscaster who was supposed to referee this free for all announced that they had lost Salinas’ feed, and she finished up the time allotted by chatting with Dobbs over the issue. Considering how spitting mad Salinas was just before they “lost the feed”, I can’t help but think that she simply unclipped her mic and stormed out in a huff.
I think that this is pretty much the only arrow that the advocates for illegal immigration have in their quiver. “Disagree with us and you are the worst kind of human being.” The very real problems that have to be addressed are swept aside in a torrent of emotion.
Shannon Love left a comment to my previous post that I think can be applied here.
“Border security might prove to be something that only a Democrat can spearhead under the ole “only Nixon can go to China” idea. Like NAFTA, Democrats will fight the idea if they see it as a purely rightwing concept and it’s easier for Democrats to fend off charges of xenophobia and racism.”
The debate is sliding in to the toilet pretty quick. I think that this will hurt the immigrants in the long term. The only thing is that, should they continue with this sort of behavior, the long term will get here pretty quick.