Immigration and restriction
By Bernard Chapin
Nowadays, it is surprisingly simple to be political. All you have to do is live near a major metropolis, prop yourself up against a parking meter, and wait for the demonstration to come to you; which is exactly what I did on May 1 st in anticipation of the impending immigration rally.
With amazing punctuality, at high noon, an elephantine wave of social consciousness trampled by on their way to Chicago's Grant Park. Diverse flags were everywhere as six unmarked police vehicles, along with two patrol cars, led the march. Seven helicopters hovered as a PA sloganeered in both Spanish and English. One of the first chants I could make out was "Viva la Mexico," although, as many American flags were waved as Mexican ones. The scene was not combative, however. Bystanders beneficently looked on. My neighborhood church, Old St. Patrick's, even hung a banner of welcome reading: "Yesterday's Immigrants Support Today's Immigrants. Your Journey is Our Journey."
The crowd included countless families and could not be confined to the road as the extra participants rivered out upon the sidewalk. A local radio station, "Multicultural 950 AM" -- the station which first broadcast Air America in Chicago, camped out on a corner and blared Spanish music from its speakers, and, even though it was a decidedly Hispanic affair, people of all persuasions were present, including the hyphenated pride of Polish and Irish Americans.
Ubiquitous among the throng were assistants with green t-shirts. They had pink tags around their necks stamped with the word "Peacemaker." I spoke to two of them who informed me that Congress was planning to imprison illegal aliens, and that the government wanted to make it a crime to even know an illegal. Of course this was simply a lie. Nothing within the pending legislation even remotely mentions such Draconian measures. The passage to which they mistakenly, and emotionally, refer actually pertains to smugglers:
Sadly, in our new century, there can be no politics without distortion. To discuss the merits of erecting a 700 mile fence or the Green Card Lottery is too mundane for effective discussion; only sound byte argumentation can persuade.
Speaking of distortion, I discovered that alongside me were two women handing out copies of The Revolutionary Worker, now re-titled, Revolution, which is the flagship magazine of a Maoist offshoot of the Communist Party. Sales did not look to be brisk, but that could not be said of the red flags and t-shirts they were peddling. I asked them about their goods and was handed a flag which, unfortunately, a great many others in the crowd waved. I resisted a sudden urge to set it on fire. The t-shirt that the activists wore accused the Bush administration of being illegal immigrants themselves. It featured a prisonesque shot of Bush, the most pro-no accountability for immigrants leader in history, upon its front and back.
Your average red stater may be surprised to discover that communists are common at today's leftist gatherings. They are tolerated perhaps due to their being "liberals in a hurry" or that they are unduly regarded as brave and devout. Sympathy should be extended to immigrants tricked into an association with a bloody flag symbolizing 100 million deaths. These leftists should be confined to Federal Plaza or the Daly Center where all the other bureaucratic elites congregate. They don't belong among the people.
For the apparachnik, immigrants mean nothing in themselves. They are merely another way to foment social disorder. I recall one of their number telling me, back in 2001, that she was "very excited about the recent revolutionary activity in Cincinnati." What she actually was referring to were race riots. Anti-American hate groups, like International A.N.S.W.E.R., vehemently support immigrant demonstrations and agitations as they represent instability. They know that citizenship restrictions have nothing to do with waging war or racism, but champion any group critical of our nation.
After it was over, I could not help but wonder if any of the organizers realized just how counter-productive these actions were. Closing down streets, in our already overcrowded city, will endear them to no one. I'm sure that consciousness was raised among the general population, but that consciousness may not have been favorable.
The demonstrators also made clear their obvious devotion to their homeland which should remind undecided Americans that illegals will not easily morph into vested citizens. A Pew Hispanic study suggested that 55 percent of Americans with Mexican descent considered themselves Mexican "first," and a quarter even viewed "Hispanic" as their primary identity. 
The story of immigration control is one imbued with as much futility as the war on drugs. In both cases, government response has done little to prevent inflow. Unfettered immigration is possibly more dangerous than drug usage as we have no idea who is entering our country on any particular day. To greatly improve the situation, Congress needs to do very little -- just build some barriers and assign agents to patrol them.
As for the status quo, it's a joke. Last week, I had a chance to see part of our southern border and could not believe what constitutes a "fence" in the mind of some politicians. It's not a fence as much as a "Do Not Disturb" sign. Stone Age engineering will not improve the situation.
Unlike other leftist positions, this one cannot be defended. There's no reason in the world why we shouldn't know who enters and leaves our shores. It also clashes with the standard Democratic mantra in regards to minorities. The left claims that they alone protect the "economic interests" of blacks and indigenous Hispanics, but no minority benefits from increased competition for jobs and a steady decline of wages. Those who support unlimited immigration due to its positive impact upon economic growth are misguided. The integrity and viability of the nation is what is essential. As to whether we continue to consume at the rate we do is immaterial. 
One of the many tricks used by the left, and reflective of their Manichean mindset, is that everything must be either black or white. This is their stance on every issue: you either hate taxes or love them, you're either politically correct or a bigot, and, in this instance, you either are pro-immigration or a nativist marauder. Delineations such as these turn debate into a farce and are not reflective of the way people think. With immigration, I have found that everyone I talk to possesses a rather nuanced view -- including this writer. I believe we should establish a yearly quota and then enforce the laws. Annually assimilating 500,000 to 1,000,000 new citizens will not be a problem.
Obviously, such a practical view is anathema to the left. They'd call whoever made such a proposal a racist or a fascist which is their standard response to any challenge. These names don't apply to this discussion, however. It doesn't matter to me if all the yearly quota hails from Ghana, Burma or wherever. There's no reason for coercive government action here either. We should shore up the borders as opposed to sending out the FBI to ferret passports from the masses. Barriers are not the stuff of authoritarianism, they simply protect the people. We need politicians who recognize that American preservation is more important than vote accumulation. We have the greatest country on earth -- for now. Sharing the land with immigrants is not an option; it's a foregone conclusion, but we must defend our interests and ensure the future. Let's move forward together.
Bernard Chapin is a writer living in Chicago whose work addresses cultural and political issues. His book, Escape from Gangsta Island: A School’s Progressive Decline, was recently released while a new book, Slaves to the Feminaria, will appear this summer. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 From page 19 of John O'Sullivan's "The Real British Disease" which appeared in the September 2005 issue of The New Criterion.
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