God bless the new American, 43-year-old Master Gunnery Sgt. Guadalupe Denogean (USMC) who immigrated to the United States from Mexico with his parents when he was but six. In today’s speech on illegal immigration solutions, President Bush correctly held him up as an example of the type of immigrant who loves his adopted country so much that he was willing to risk life and limb to defend it, as he has for the past twenty-six years. However, a certain question needs to be asked.
Was Gunny Denogean an illegal immigrant? In every write-up on the gentleman’s bravery and injuries from serving in Iraq, no mention is made of the status of his family when they made the journey from the Old Country to the New. I’m inclined to doubt that the military is accepting immigrants who arrived illegally, however.
Assuming that the good Marine’s family came here legally, it is dishonest for the president to hold him up as an example of the subject at hand. Few persons who want concrete and meaningful solutions to the illegal immigration problem begrudge the actions of legal immigrants—those who wait their turn for citizenship or step to the front of the line by serving in the manner that the gunny has. (And since he waited roughly thirty-two years for his citizenship, one could hardly say that the gunny stepped out of line. In my opinion, the end of his first enlistment should have put him in front of the line to take his test.)
When the president mentioned this man, I turned the broadcast off in anger. How dare he suggest that people who sneaked (his word) into this country are the same as those who followed the rules? And how dare he (and others) imply that those of us who want to stem the tide of illegal immigration of all ethnicities and nationalities are against embracing presumably legal immigrants and good persons like Gunny Denogean?
It’s as if certain segments of the population think that their countrymen who oppose illegal immigration are too stupid to know the difference.
It’s worse than that. Some charming elitists think that the immigration of illegals is just-deserts for low-skilled Americans; that Americans who don’t get their education deserve to be walking the streets unemployed; that they deserve to be displaced by those who broke the law to come here and are
forced willing to accept lower-than minimum wage. (I hope that such people remember their words the next time they’re complaining about the welfare state or some beggar asks them for a quarter or the next time they’re mugged.) One wonders what such people think should be done with all of these low-skilled Americans who can’t get jobs due to the illegal immigration factor. Perhaps they should all be forced to trade citizenship with the illegals. But then, the new Americans would rightly demand minimum wage and the problem would start itself all over again. (This from an economics blog, no less.)
Back to Gunny Denogean: if he was brought here illegally, he should have never been allowed to join the military. This in no way, lessens his service and if he and others, possibly being illegal immigrants, were allowed in—whether they have served one or thirty years—they should be allowed to stay in and given American citizenship, if desired, or legal status. However, if it is true that illegal immigrants are being allowed to join the military, it’s the government’s problem and not theirs and it needs to stop right now.
The way advocates of illegal immigration attempt to twist the conversation into being about all immigration speaks to an ugly facet of political discussion. One takes something that’s not being said and argues against that something. We all know what that method of argument is called. An even uglier facet of this type of argument attempts to attribute the worst of human failings to illegal immigration opponents: that of racism.
I could go on about my (partially, obviously) Mexican-descended cousins at this point, but I’d rather talk about my biological father. He certainly isn’t the best father in the world and he has some whack (IMO) political ideas, but I have some respect for him for one particular reason (aside from the fact that I am biblically-commanded to honor him).
From Kenya, he immigrated to the US to go to college (back when immigrants on student-visas actually attended school for honorably reasons) and met my mother there. After thier marriage, my birth and their divorce, he graduated and went back home to help better the country of his birth. (One might say that he wasn’t that successful, but that’s beside the point.)
Why can’t Mexicans, with so close an example at hand, do the same? A better question: why aren’t they willing to try?
Some fringe parts of the illegal immigration advocacy want the territories (now American states) appropriated as a result of the nineteenth-century Mexican-American War returned to Mexican possession. So let me get this straight: these people want to turn the place to which they fled seeking to receive jobs, education and real upward-mobility for their American-born children into the place from which they were oppressed so forcefully that they had to flee? Yeah, that makes sense. I suppose that this is easier than staying home and attempting to make meaningful change in one’s own country. (One might want to ask veterans of the Civil Rights Movement how “easy” such is, but it was done.)
I guess I’m simply baffled by the “logic” put forth by those who don’t want to do anything meaningful about illegal immigration, including that of President Bush.
Excuse me while I go take an aspirin.
(Thanks to Red State)