Towards A Good Samaritan World

Thursday, April 07, 2005

MINUTEMEN IN WASHINGTON

From Harrup thinks the Minutemen should come to Washington to make their case:

The only place to control most illegal immigration is in the federal bureaucracies and their computers. Citizens who get into confrontations with illegal immigrants are playing sucker in a fixed game.

The Minutemen now rail at Bush for calling them "vigilantes." But by drawing the spotlight to the border, they are playing into his hands. If the volunteers want to be effective, they should turn their SUVs in a northeasterly direction and head to Washington. Now that might make an impression.


I say, Bring it on! And if they come, I want us (supporters of immigration) to be waiting. I want a big counter-demonstration. I want to say to all the young liberals out there, all the generous-minded young people, the people who look back to the 1960s and are envious because then people had something to believe in and struggle for: THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!

Once in a generation there comes an issue on which all the moral aces are in the same hand.

You don't have to choose between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome: immigration is an advance for both.

You don't have to choose between civil liberties and public safety: by giving civil rights to undocumented workers, we'll free law-enforcement agencies to deal with the real enemy.

You don't have to choose between multi-culturalism and American patriotism: you can keep with the faith with one of America's greatest traditions while at the same time embracing people of many faiths and cultures, and giving them the chance at a better life.

What we need is a network of people who will be ready to meet the Minutemen when they come to Washington. We can make signs, a papier-mache Statue of Liberty, foods from people's countries, and play songs like Neil Diamond's "They Come to America." Get our faces on the news maybe. Our goal: to become the symbol of progressive America, like the student movements in the 1960s.

Who's with me?

4 Comments:

  • The problem is that, as long as one accepts illegal immigration, whether tacitly or openly, then one has accepted the fact that foreign-born people who are peacefully earning their livings in our country are pushed into a shadowy underclass existence. As long as we wink and nod at illegal immigration, there's little pressure to confront the xonophobic and racist foundations of our immigration laws. Our country both needs and wants immigrants, but by making it easier for them to get in illiegally than legally, we get to keep them in a second-class status, legally, economically and socially.

    By Anonymous Strophyx, at 7:51 AM  

  • I am with you. I think perhaps you should look at hooking up with some of the local labor organizations and other groups that do outreach in the large Salvadoran community around DC. There are huge numbers of illegal immigrants in the DC area who I'm sure would love to mobilize to protect their rights (and those of other illegal immigrants), but who harbor obvious fears about arrest during such events. There's safety in numbers, though, and for somebody who was willing to put enough energy into it, the rewards could be huge.

    By Anonymous Beige, at 3:22 PM  

  • Re: strophyx.

    Well, my own position is that laws which restrict immigration are unjust, and I am in favor of civil disobedience with respect to such laws. Ultimately, I would like to see the right of the foreign-born to live and work in the US enshrined in the Constitution-- and I don't mind if we make them pay some extra, discriminatory taxes for the privilege, which we can use to compensate workers whose wages are pulled down by the new competition. In the meantime, I'm in favor of illegal immigration, and I welcome any laws which make it easier for illegal immigrants to get here, stay here, and live a bit of the American dream.

    Re: beige

    Thanks! A friend of mine is visiting this week, and said that he saw an advertisement for a protest in a shop. I asked him to see if he could find it again; if so, I'll try to find a link, and get the ball rolling.

    By Blogger Lancelot, at 12:41 PM  

  • I'm intrigued. Why are you in favor on immigration, including illegal immigration? If you posted on the topic in the past, can you pont me to it?

    Thanks.

    By Blogger one-eyed jack, at 9:46 AM  

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