Incentives fueling illegal immigration – Why Not Throw in Tequila and Cheerleaders?

Viewing the title of this article I was prepared to read about what’s fueling illegal immigration. Instead we find an article rife with subdued hate speech and some ridiculous assertions peppered in.

Incentives fueling illegal immigration
Kathleen Parker
November 7, 2007

When Hillary Rodham Clinton fumbled a recent debate question about New York’s plan to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, she helped clarify at least one issue that keeps getting muddied: Illegal immigrants are illegal.

It starts off well enough. Ok, illegal is illegal. Got it.

As long as we offer jobs, medical treatment, driver’s licenses and in-state tuition to those who come here illegally, why would any right-thinking, would-be immigrant take a number and wait his or her turn? Why not just throw in the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and free tequila while we’re at it.

Now it has turned into citing extreme and ridiculous examples of how we’re giving our country away. I guess to Kathleen providing jobs, medical care, and education is tantamount to providing a woman’s body against her will. Even though this article was written by a women I’d argue that stating we should give away the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders is a misogynistic statement that not only undermines a woman’s right to their own body, but also asserts that cheerleaders are less than human. Of course, the tequila reference is nice too.  These ridiculous assertions are a part of the lexicon of anti-illegal and legal immigrants.  This same tactic of stating that women are a “perk” for illegal immigrants was used by Renee Butts in her Freeland, PA speech.

Arguments favoring services and privileges for illegal immigrants always point to the broader benefits to society. Healthy immigrants mean a healthier America; an educated populace means fewer jobless dependents; legal drivers are more responsible because, allegedly, they’ll also buy insurance and stick around when they have an accident

The latter seems unconvincing given that illegal immigrants, by definition, tend not to think legally. In any case, by the same logic, we might also say that amnesty is good for the country because then everyone would be legal. Rather than fix something, we simply accommodate circumstances. As in: Kids are having sex anyway, so we’ll just give them condoms.

Stating that illegal immigrants “tend not to think legally” is simply ridiculous. Though not the best analogy it is similar to stating that because I ran across the street against a light to save my brother that I have no concern for the law. Simply being here illegal does not make these people constant law breakers. This is a tactic used by the worst of the anti-illegal immigrant groups to demonize illegal immigrants by stating they bring crime (which cannot possibly be true because crime has actually gone down in this country) and that they’re murderers and rapists. I have to say that I find it strange this woman thinks that everything relates to sex. If we’re not handing over cheerleaders then we’re handing out condoms. 

Beyond principle, there are practical reasons for denying licenses to illegal immigrants. As some reformers have pointed out, the driver’s license is more than a permit to drive. It’s a nationally recognized ID that implies citizenship, and is the most coveted “breeder document” of terrorists because it allows them access to all the other things they need to blend in — jobs, housing, bank accounts — as well as access to commercial airplanes and rental cars.

This just wouldn’t be an anti-illegal immigrant article without a reference to terrorists. So here you have it.

Though I don’t believe in open borders or light-switch amnesty I do believe that we need to find a compassionate solution to this issue and that accounting for everyone here should be our highest priority. If we issue licenses through a tiered system, as proposed by Spitzer, we can at least account for the majority of those here illegally. From there these immigrants can be required to go through a process of becoming citizens if they choose to participate. If they do not choose to participate in this process then I have no problem with those people being deported. However, I do believe we need to recognize that there have always been migrant workers that simply want to work here without becoming citizens. This arrangement has been around for many years and should not be left in the dust of this illegal immigration debate. 


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