Sojourners joined activist Jose Antonio Vargas’ demand for the Associated Press and the New York Times to censor the “I” word from their media lexicon. The “I” word is scornful, hateful, and racist. It “robs people of their dignity and prejudices readers against the needs and concerns of our immigrant brothers and sisters,” says Sojourners. What is the offensive “I” word? Illegal. Paired with “immigrant,” it dehumanizes people. What should we use in its place? Sojourners recommends the more sensitive and dignified term “undocumented” immigrant. I am surprised the mainstream media still uses the word. People with such sophisticated sensibilities, superior as they are to the rest of us troglodytes, should clearly know better. Best to chock it up to a glitch in the Politically Correct Spell Checker.
Sojourners’ nattering over the “I” word is the religious incarnation of the ‘useful idiot.’ It provides religious cover for the cynical politics of immigration.
First the cynicism. Consider for a moment that if Hispanics voted predominantly for Republicans, would Democrats support amnesty? Would Obama in the final months of his second presidential campaign announce a hiatus on the enforcement of immigration law, a move directed at undocumented Hispanics? Of course not. Only the most studied stupidity would suggest otherwise. In fact, the Democratic Party would have zero tolerance for “undocumented” immigrants. Only they would call them what they are, “illegal” immigrants. They would vigorously deport them. They would lecture us endlessly on the ways illegal immigrants steal jobs from America’s working families and place an undue burden on the country’s social institutions and programs. But they are christened saints because they and their legal family members vote Democratic (yes, illegals vote, why else would the Obama administration block voter identification laws, and let’s not forget that in certain precincts even the dead do).
Second, consider the language. Are undocumented immigrants in the country legally? No. They are here illegally. They are illegal immigrants. That’s why they are undocumented. I work in Canada. I am a citizen of the United States. I have applied for Permanent Residence, a process that takes about two years and lots of money. In the meantime, Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires that I apply for an annual Work Permit. I must complete the requisite forms, obtain new photos, and pay the application fee. All of which must be done months in advance so that there are no gaps in my legal employment status. Gaps are bad. They create huge problems for the university with the immigration authorities. Why? Gaps mean that I am illegal, I don’t have documents. I cannot legally be employed in Canada without, you guessed it, “Papers please.” Indeed, I must carry my Work Permit and identification at all times while in Canada. Why? So if the need arises, I can verify to the Canadian authorities that I am legal. The American political and religious Left denounces such sensible policies as Nazi tactics. For the Left, the next step on the moral slippery slope from asking immigrants to verify their legal status is putting them on trains to Auschwitz.
Third, Sojourners is not only concerned with the “I” word. Social justice for undocumented workers is their first concern. They worry that the word “prejudices readers against the needs and concerns of our immigrant brothers and sisters.” What are their needs? They need food, clothing, shelter, not to mention open access to public education for their children and health care for their families. How does Sojourners envision providing this cornucopia of social justice? Through federal and state social assistance programs. In other words, American citizens have the moral obligation to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, and palliate illegal immigrants. Why? Because they are our “brothers and sisters.” But, from a Christian perspective, all people are my kin. American citizens, even those who are Christians, have no more moral obligation to help the poor in Mexico than they do in Sudan. At least the people in Sudan ask for assistance rather than illegally enter the country and then demand free access to other peoples’ money via welfare programs. Consider, should the country allow people from Turkmenistan to enter the country without the proper processing and documentation? Or is it only the poor on our southern border who get that privilege?
I don’t doubt the noble intentions of the people at Sojourners. But the useful idiot is always a sincere believer. That’s what makes them effective surrogates of cynical politicians. They help create the prevailing mythology that masks the truth of the matter. In American politics, immigration reform is about power. Democrats know that they can create another dependent class and voting constituency. They are happy to spend other peoples’ money in the form of entitlement programs to do so. They also gladly accept the help of beguiled religious leaders who sanctify their political goal with the mantle of “social justice.”
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 “Tell the Associated Press that People aren’t ‘Illegal,’” Sojourners: https://secure3.convio.net/sojo/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=515, accessed October 10, 2012.