Years ago I worked the overnight shift at Target stocking shelves to help pay my way through college. For some time I was the only white stocker there. I’ve seen immigrants (some of whom were probably very illegal), physically work harder then 95% of the guys that I’ve ever met. And that’s saying something, since I was also in a mechanized infantry unit at one point in my life. Proof? Not much, other than this: How else would a pasty white guy like me know about El Tri if it wasn’t true? And why would I reminisce over attempts to understand the crazy stuff El Pistolero was doing, which involved prank phone calls to white people…
Perhaps I just cooked up this idea in between classes at USC, located in an area of LA where most of the signs are not in English? Plausible. Or perhaps my time spent substitute teaching for ESL kids in the suburbs of Chicago affected me.
But that actually leads me to my second point, which is that I encountered parents who didn’t want their kids learning English and students who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I, of course, refused to start the class until they at least stood respectfully while their classmates recited the words.
In short: immigration is a really tricky issue. I’ve seen both sides of the immigration coin. And I’m much more inclined to blame gutless politicians in Washington DC than the moms, dads, and kids dealing with the real world consequences of having a scattershot public policy for decades on end.
Here are the two things I do know:
- No country can exist without having control over its borders. Sovereignty doesn’t exist if this simple task is unable to be fulfilled. I don’t care what the United Nations tells you.
- Language is important.
While it’s nice to be able to speak more than one language, it’s even better when a nation has one language that helps bind everyone together, culturally and intellectually. I think people often underestimate how crucial of a role language is in shaping who you are and how you go about solving problems. A few years ago I remember reading a story about Western workers trying to translate The Federalist Papers, The Constitution, and other important documents into Arabic. The translators were having a difficult time doing so because many of the words we associate with freedom, liberty, and the rule of law (again, I’ll work on getting the article for the exact words) didn’t exist. Likewise, I remember hearing that in certain parts of Asia, “lobbying” as Americans use the word doesn’t have an accurate translation. How to you organize and petition for a redress of grievances when you live in a culture that a.) doesn’t allow you to do so, and b.) by extension never invented a word to convey such an idea?
Again, the point isn’t to knock someone who speaks another language, but to knock the people that don’t see how destabilizing it would be to have 50 states adopt the moral relativist idea that it would be outstanding if everyone just did whatever the heck they wanted. Don’t want to learn English? No problem! (We always thought Germanic languages were downers anyway.) Coming from a country that occasionally stones women and still manages to find a slew of friend’s inside the United Nations? Sweet! Feel free to continue your avant-garde idea of women’s rights wherever you want.
The quote of the day over at hotair is spot on:
“If the federal government and our political parties were imaginative, they would understand that it is actually in their interests to restore peace and order to the border. It would be a way of demonstrating that our government is still capable of functioning, that it is still to some degree connected to the people’s will, that it has the broader interests of the country in mind.”
Unfortunately, the “Word of the Day” in Washington comes from a Twilight Zone episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse.