"Sticks and Stones…"
Published on October 26th, 2010
Most of us grew up hearing the phrase, “Sticks and stone will break you bones but words will never harm you!” This was our parents’ way of telling us to ignore what school bullies said to us in an effort to intimidate us. You may be wondering why I am resurrecting an old adage when I generally focus my writings on the multitude of issues that make up the immigration issue. In reality, you will quickly understand how that adage relates to the immigration crisis that confronts our nation today. The use of language is of incredible significance when a debate is being waged. Words define the debate and have a huge impact on perceptions. The advocates for open borders and a sweeping amnesty program that would provide illegal aliens with lawful status and even United States citizenship have always understood that the laws, the facts, commonsense and morality all opposed what they wanted to achieve. They know that they had a huge mountain to climb. They came to the conclusion that they needed to find some sort of strategy that would level the playing field that was heavily tilted against their position. There is an old saying that when an attorney is in court and he is strong on the facts and weak on the law he pounds the facts. When he is strong on the law and weak on the facts he pounds the law and when he is weak on both the law and the facts, he pounds the table! Today the open borders crowd has become quite adept at “table pounding!” Going back to the old adage about sticks and stones breaking our bones while words would have little impact are very wrong! The words that have been used to great advantage were designed to have a strong emotional impact and paint a very distorted picture for the great majority of people, especially politicians who fear perceptions that may alienate the voters. (Pardon the pun!) President Jimmy Carter mandated that the employees of the old INS immediately stop using the term “Illegal Alien” to describe aliens who were illegally present in the United States. In point of fact, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines an alien as simply being “any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States.” I defy anyone to tell me where the insult is in that term or its definition. The problem with the term “alien” is that it provides real clarity in this debate that cannot be won by the open borders crowd if the debate is carried out purely on its dispassionate merits. My colleagues and I were angered and frustrated by Carter’s orders and I came to refer to illegal aliens as being “Pre-Citizens!” President George W. Bush made a succession of attempts to get a guest worker amnesty program passed for millions of illegal aliens. He also understood that this would be an impossible pill for Americans to swallow so rather than say he wanted to “Legalize illegal aliens” he said he wanted to “Legalize immigrants!” Of course we have all heard that our nation was built by immigrants and that “We are a nation of immigrants.” Of course this deceptive use of the word immigrant obfuscated the truth. When I participated in debates in all sorts of venues, back then, I suggested that President Bush’s offer to legalize immigrants made as much sense as an offer to make water wet! I noted that water is already wet and immigrants are already legal! Clearly President Bush wanted to legalize millions of illegal aliens! The artful use of words did not end there, however. Among the worst of the use of words had to do with the accusations hurled by the open borders advocates. They said that anyone who wanted to secure our borders against illegal aliens and rejected providing millions of illegal aliens with a pathway to United States citizenship were racists! They used other words of hate- they referred to those of us who rejected their open borders agenda as being “Anti-Immigrant!” The citizens of the United States tend to be among the most charitable and compassionate of all of the people on this planet. When a national disaster strikes anywhere in the world, it almost a given that among the first nation to respond to the call for help will be the United States. The use of language that accuses Americans of being less than fair or compassionate can be intimidating to all too many of our fellow citizens and it is because the folks who want to overcome the inherent deficiencies in their arguments for not securing our borders and providing a massive amnesty program know just how considerate and compassionate most Americans are that they cynically use these accusations. The DREAM Act provided yet another example of this sort of misleading use of words. Just about everyone is willing to help children and young people. How many times have we seen the DREAM Act as being portrayed as a piece of legislation that would help “young immigrants” to get their share of the “American Dream?” In point of fact, the House version of the bill would have established a cutoff age of 34 years of age. The Senate bill had no such restriction on age and both bills had a waiver section that could have been invoked in order to achieve “humanitarian goals” and to address family unity! In what parallel universe is someone who is 34 years old considered a “young immigrant?” It is also important to know that under the DREAM Act the aliens who would participate would have been able to petition for their parents and their siblings and their spouses and children to acquire lawful status and be placed on a pathway to United States citizenship! The incalculable harm that this strategy of intimidating Americans and politicians did to our nation has to do with the ambivalence of the members of Congress who wanted to appeal to as many voters as possible and garner as many campaign contributions as possible because, after all, for elected officials, job one is getting elected in the first place! Of course there are also quite a few politicians who understand full well the issues and are not persuaded by the false accusations but actually engage in the use of deceptive language because they have an agenda that is certainly not in the best interests of our nation or our citizens! I like to say that these characters are “grammatically challenged!” They can only conjugate verbs in the first person singular! The only people they care about, from their perspective are, “Me, myself and I!” We live in an exceedingly perilous world at an exceptionally dangerous time. Our nation’s security and the safety of our citizens are threatened by terrorists who wish to enter our country and embed themselves in our country as they prepare to attack us. Members of transnational gangs and the various pernicious and highly violent drug cartels operating in Mexico also have not only entered our country and set up shop but are increasing their presence in the United States and people in our country are falling victim to them. Ironically while open borders advocates accuse those of us who want to protect our nation and our communities from the specter of terrorist attacks and the increasing infestation of our cities and communities by alien gangs and criminal organizations of being “anti-immigrant,” the members of the immigrant community are, in fact, the most at risk of violence perpetrated by these transnational thugs! Because these international criminals and terrorists have confederates in place in countries other than the United States they are in the position to threaten the lives of relatives of members of the immigrant communities in the United States in their homelands, irrespective of what country they are from. The immigration laws have been enacted in order to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence in our country would be harmful to us. Among the categories of aliens who are deemed to be “excludible,” that is to say, prevented from entering our country, include aliens who have dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who suffer from extreme mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are human traffickers, aliens who are drug smugglers, aliens who have committed war crimes or human rights violations and aliens who are involved in espionage or terrorism. It is vital to make certain that as we contemplate the elections of next week that we focus on the position that the candidates take on immigration. Immigration is not a single issue but is a major factor in nearly every challenge that confronts our nation today. We need to stand behind those true political leaders who show the courage to ignore the fusillade of accusations hurled at them by those who seek to dismantle our nation’s borders and reward illegal aliens with citizenship. Likewise we need to have the chutzpah to stand tall and ignore those accusations and vote out those “representatives” who fail to support secure borders and creating an immigration system that has real integrity, that protects our nation and our citizens and also honors the countless millions of lawful immigrants who came to this country from the four corners of the globe to create the nation!