Why Conservatives Shouldn’t Support Anti-Immigration Laws


People often ask how to crack the Catholic voter.

Sure we’re pro-life, and for most faithful Catholics that puts us squarely in the Republican Party, or at the very least aligned with the modern American conservative movement.  But in another sense, when you start asking deeper questions, there’s a strong social justice current within the voting bloc as a whole.  Catholics who are monsters on pro-life issues (good monsters… the kind you’d see in Where the Wild Things Are) become labelled as squeamish moderates — or worse, liberals — when it comes to education, opposition to the death penalty, a preferential option for the poor, or a sensitivity to immigration.  In short, the Catholic voter doesn’t  fit inside any political philosophy, and as a result has been difficult for America’s major political parties to court.

I’ve seen Corey Stewart’s proposal on the Virginia Rule of Law Act, where he argues that Virginia should have an Arizona-style anti-illegal immigrant policy.

So let me get some things straight.  The free market has made the United States of America an economic paradise compared to the rest of the world.  This economic miracle — built on free trade — has persuaded 20 million human beings to risk their lives, limbs, property, and the violation of our laws to come to America and be a part of our prosperity.

The reaction of so-called free market conservatives?  It almost reads out of the Joseph Stalin playbook.  Use the power of the state, round up the offenders, and deport them to their own personal Siberia.

In short, free market economics are fine… until undesireables enter the equation.

Let’s not kid ourselves as to who these 20 million people are.  20 million Canadians, or Irish, or Europeans probably wouldn’t phase our American sensibilities so much.  In fact, we’d probably welcome them with open arms to revive our manufacturing base, do the jobs nativist Americans simply do not do, or to reinvigorate our population replacement rates.

But it’s 20 million Mexicans.
20 million people of a foreign people (i.e. not European).
20 million people who don’t speak English.

…and so, rather than appealing to our logic, we appeal to baser instincts.

We neglect for a moment that 20 million people are within our borders because they want a better life for themselves and their family.  20 million people willing to work hard, build businesses, make money, and be a part of the community.  You know, the things America used to stand for?

Allow me to entertain a different idea.  Conservatives ideally believe in the power of the free market.  Instead of rounding up and deporting every non-English speaking Hispanic, why don’t we encourage work visas?  Extend business opportunities to Central America?  Take those 20 million “illegal” persons (as if such a concept existed) and recognize that 20 million potential Americans who believe in hard work and free enterprise are ready to enlist in the American Experiment?

Back to the Catholic voter for just a moment.  Suppose an illegal immigrant arrived at your door.  In most cases, the instinctive Catholic-influence individual’s first route of action is simple — food, water, warmth, and safety.  The last thing on your mind is calling the cops.

It’s not because one seeks to break any laws, but rather because the dignity of the human person demands we observe higher laws.  After all, an unjust law is no law at all, says the Catholic-educated scholar.

I do not recognize the argument that says 20 million people who desire to better their lot in life and participate in America’s free enterprise system are “illegal” in nature and should be turned away.  In fact, I take it a step further and say that such a policy of deportation is an utter betrayal of our free-market system, and should be deplored, condemned, and attacked by anyone truly calling themselves a conservative.

What is at stake isn’t the Hispanic voter writ large, as if Hispanics were the monolithic voting bloc Republicans have long erred African-Americans to be.  The Catholic voter is watching as well — 65 million strong  and 1/4 of America’s voting public are watching to see if a conservative ideology, which claims to prize individual liberty at all costs, is willing to betray those principles and use the power of the state to crackdown on the free market.

Which begs the question — should we do this, then what is it that conservatives truly prize?  The free market?  Individual liberty?  Or protectionism?

We’re smarter than draconian immigration laws.  Let the solution be something other than that which treats symptoms without addressing cures.  I firmly believe in conservative ethics, and I also believe very firmly in American exceptionalism.  I also believe that it is those values that are attracting 20 million people to our country like a magnet.

Corey Stewart is a good conservative, but he is dead wrong on this issue.  It would be a shame if, barely two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the best hope for freedom chose to turn the guns outward and build one of its own along the southern border of our nation.

  • Kat

    I do not recognize the argument that says 20 million people who desire to better their lot in life and participate in America’s free enterprise system are “illegal” in nature and should be turned away. In fact, I take it a step further and say that such a policy of deportation is an utter betrayal of our free-market system, and should be deplored, condemned, and attacked by anyone truly calling themselves a conservative.

    OK, first of all, Shaun, you are committing a logical fallacy here. NO ONE that I know of on the conservative side is arguing that the illegality is of nature. In that, I agree with you: human life is precious and we are all equally deserving of the respect due the image-bearers of God.

    The illegality is of LAW. There are laws in place – in every country of the world – of how one enters a country. Anyone who has entered a country by breaking or circumventing these laws is, by definition, a lawbreaker. Even the “free market” must abide by various rules.

    As Christians – Catholic or Protestant, no matter – we should have a deep respect for the law, do our best to abide by it, and not wink at those who flout it. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with immigrants who come tot he United States by legal means. I welcome them!

    But I do not want, as a citizen, to welcome people who deliberately and intentionally break our laws – because that shows a predilection for disrespect of the rule of law, which is supposed to be one of the foundations of American culture.

    Does our Christian compassion insist that we free people justly incarcerated in prison? No, it does not. We offer them our assistance in paying their debt to society, we care for their families when they need help, we counsel and train so that – once released – these men and women can be reintegrated into society as law-abiding and productive citizens.

    But we do NOT reward them – as you would apparently like to reward people who have entered this country by illegal means and intent – by patting them on the head and telling them, “Oh, that’s all right; we don’t need to enforce those laws in your case.”

    Do our immigration laws and procedures need reform? Absolutely!

    But do not make our already awful antinomian issues worse by encouraging or ignoring lawbreakers.

    I love you, Shaun, and I deeply respect you – but you are wrong on this issue, and you are not arguing the actual point of the soi-disant “anti-immigration laws.”

  • So Shaun Kenney wants to open the floodgates of all illegal trespassers refusing to gain legal status and follow our laws who have been rightfully booted out of Price William County and welcome them with huge wide open Catholic sympathies to Fluvanna County? Fine by Fairfax and Loudoun I’m sure!

    Shaun, you oversimplify and generalize the southern “immigrant” seeking to take more without paying for it as having equal social morals to the European immigrant escaping deathcamps and sure destruction of their very existance (OR simply seeking to legally expand their trade to new borders depending on the decade.)

    If you’re jumping on the liberal bandwagon seat that just because someone wants to enforce our rule of law in the country that they should be branded a bigot and are “dead wrong”, please consider dropping off all your kids on Dale Boulevard on a Friday night in Prince William County and see if they come home in one piece with “friendly” MS-13 gang bangers who took the time to Google your house and bring them home with icecream cones in hand… that’s your perogative, but it would be a foolish one!

    There’s nothing illegal about being an actual immigrant! Just fill out the right forms from whatever country you’re from and *poof* you’re LEGAL! WE WELCOME YOU! Get a job- contribute to the economy, start a business and make a better life for yourself- AMEN!

    BUT when an ILLEGAL criminal slithers across the border, STEALS a car in a border state, rapes a woman because he has “cultural” differences with us law abiding conservatives, drives drunk without insurance in the stolen car to Virginia, falsifies an application to rent a house in a suburbian neighborhood, calls up his 5 buddies who all park their hoopties in the front yard, burn bonfires in the culdesac till 3am, toss glass bottles into the street and harass the neighborhood mamacitas, break into the neighbors houses and steal what they want, utterly trash the neighborhood and surrounding shopping centers, then YES I HAVE A REAL PROBLEM WITH IT.

    The NEW AND OLD LAWS do NOT cite that ANY one race or appearance is targeted, so to claim racism is akin to Muslims claiming racial profiling at airports. They may be the group of particular interest at a point in time because they’re the ONES COMMITTING THE CRIMES, but we’re wouldn’t be targeting them, we’d be stopping airplanes from blowing up! No one is going after brown skinned people here, just LAW BREAKERS!

    Your compassion is admirable, your assessment of financial theory is fine, but your assumptions of the people that need to get the hell out of our country are alter boys being wrongfully targeted by some boogeyman conservatives is plainly left-field alternate reality that the liberals would be proud to cite as having successfully infiltrated your normally steel trapped mind.

    Visit Woodbridge, VA on Route 1 at the I-95 intersection to see what 10 years of “law abiding entrepreneurs” does to property values and visual appearances.

  • “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion”

    That’s from some document that Kenney used to read, I believe.

  • When Man’s Law contradicts God’s/Natural Law, we have an obligation to call that law out.

    Or are we obligated to abide by any act of the Federal government (like, say, the expansion of federal health care legislation) despite it infringing on individual liberties merely because it is law and we have an obligation to obey it?

  • Samuel Gilleran

    “Just fill out the right forms from whatever country you’re from and *poof* you’re LEGAL! WE WELCOME YOU!”

    Sure, if it were that simple. It’s not. We only let in (by statute) around 750,000 people on immigrant visas per year – this doesn’t include the numbers of people who come in on temporary work visas. There’s a giant backlog of people waiting for their year to come up so they can enter. Is it any wonder that people come in illegally if they don’t see any chance of coming in legally?

    I’m not going to respond to the rest of the comment, except to say that there’s a crime called disturbing the peace and police arrest for it all the time. I’m sure they’d be happy to arrest people who are so disturbing the peace.

  • Is this some sort of a joke? It’s like some liberation theology adherent is trying to impersonate the author on this.

    How about trying this on for size: the Rule of Law applies to everyone, equally. You follow the law, welcome to America. You don’t, then get the heck out.

    Promoting the interests of tens of millions of lawbreakers over the interests of lower income minority CITIZENS has about as much to do with Catholic teachings on social justice (ahem) as the Conference of Catholic Bishops has with Catholic teachings on abortion.

    Perhaps some might benefit from some remedial reading of Romans 13:1-6, 1 Peter 2:13-14, Titus 3:1-2, and 1 Timothy 2:1-2.

  • Greg —

    Does the “rule of law” then apply to abortion?

    If so, please explain your pro-abortion positions in the light of “remedial reading” of Romans 13:1-6, 1 Peter 2:13-14, Titus 3:1-2, and 1 Timothy 2:1-2.

    Just because it’s legal… doesn’t make it right.

  • Before you grab a rope and head to Fluvanna, take a minute and think about what Shaun actually said.

    He’s not saying that we should grant amnesty to the illegals. He’s not saying that we should put them on the welfare rolls and hand them free money while requiring nothing of them.

    What he’s saying, and what I agree with, is that we have to make sure that the laws we pass and the rules we create are designed to combat legitimate problems and aren’t simply a legally polished up form of nativism.

    The nativism that spawned the Know-Nothing party and almost infected the nascent Republican party in the pre-Civil War era was virulent and pervasive throughout the country. A guy with my last name back then would have been denied work and spat upon on the streets, even though my people have been in America since the 1600s.

    We have to be careful that whatever steps we take on illegal immigration make sense, address the real problems with illegal immigration and aren’t hijacked by those with a different agenda.

    First things first – the border needs to be secured. Once that happens we can address what to do with the illegals that are here. But second, and this is where the Arizona law and where (as I understand it) Corey Stewart’s laws come in – if there are illegals who are here and they are breaking the law (again) that makes a difference. I see no reason why law enforcement can’t check immigration status of someone in custody or who is being stopped on suspicion of breaking another law. There’s nothing racist about that – its just good law enforcement. As I’ve noted elsewhere, if you can’t prove your identity, you’re going to get locked up until you can. You could be as white as the wind driven snow and that will happen to you.

    We need to have a debate about resolutions of the illegal immigration debate, but it needs to be done without emotion and without hyperbole.

    I agree with Shaun that any reform plan needs to include expanded work visas, a migrant worker program that is actually well run, and I believe it should also include some kind of REAL ID program as well and penalties for employers.

    Shaun’s point is valid, but so is Chairman Stewart’s. In the end, the real issue here is with the federal government. Instead of pushing an unnecessary energy tax bill, the Administration should start working on immigration reform.

  • The Constitution and the U.S. Code establish the government’s responsibility to regulate immigration.

    Saying there is no such thing as an illegal alien – is simple sophistry.

    Appealing to economic self-interest is interesting – if you can make the case with economics – but only serves as a rational to address legal issues through legislation.

    An appeal to Natural Law begs the question, where does the Lord say open borders are His Law?

    Shaun should make sure the voters of Fluvanna Co. know how much he supports open borders and amnesty – if he means what he says in this piece.

  • Well stated, Brian.

  • JAB —

    Voters in Fluvanna or anywhere else are free to ask my opinion. They get an honest and thoughtful one every time.

  • When God’s law — clearly and unequivocably revealed is contrary to earthly law, of course Christians should do everything they could to have that law changed. That certainly doesn’t mean we should be executing abortionists. You don’t like immigration law, you lobby to get it changed. Until then advocating willful defiance of the law is a dicey proposition at best theologically.

    Surprised I would have to state such an obvious point, but that’s OK.

    A nation is defined by it’s borders. No borders, no nation. You want open borders, you essentially are saying you don’t want a nation, because you can’t both have a sovereign nation and open borders.

    By the way, how long would a burglar be required to evade detection in your house before you would be morally required to consider him a relative?

  • Conservativa

    Shaun, you make some good points, but I just wonder what someone who is an illegal immigrant is teaching his children – “Kids, we are going to America. It’s a wonderful country with so many blessings. They have the rule of law, with fair, speedy trials. They have honest cops. They have – what’s that, son? Well, the immigration laws don’t mean anything, really, it’s all just some formality. Everyone knows it’s not a big deal to just move there. So as I was saying, they have…” Not joking here. Of course families want to come here to have better lives for their children. Everyone can understand that. But the first thing they are teaching their children is that it’s okay to ignore laws that you don’t like.

  • Greg —

    Now that much I can respect — this is a nation, we must protect our borders. OK… that’s an argument.

    Would you also agree that such an understanding places limitations on the free market? Meaning that maybe our market isn’t-so-free as purists would want it?

  • Greg – If I come home to find someone cowering my my closet afraid to go home because they will starve or be beaten or hurt, I have an obligation to seek help for them or even offer them shelter.

    But say you throw them out, Greg. How well are you going to keep them out if you don’t even get a door installed?

  • steve vaughan

    Just once I’d like to see Republicans who are outraged…YES, OUTRAGED …about illegal immigration turn some of that wrath where it rightly belongs — on U.S. companies that invited illegal aliens into the country with jobs.
    If there were no job readily available, there would be no illegal immigration.
    I agree that we need to get control of the borders. We need to do that because a nation that can’t control its border isn’t a nation and because illegal immigration has a detrimental impact on the economic status of every American workers.
    But we need to start with the DEMAND side of the equation.
    Break American industry’s addiction to cheap, Mexican labor and you cure the immigration problem.

  • Steve – To do that you’d have to break the American consumer’s addition to cheap goods. What is the economic impact of removing up to 20 million workers from the American economy?

  • This is something that long needed to be said. I can’t find anything in it with which I disagree.

  • I’m with Rick.

    Well said Shaun, very well said

  • Conservativa

    Another reason to hurry with actual immigration reform is that people who come here are easily exploited by employers. “What do you mean you don’t want to work 18-hour shifts 7 days a week? Do it or I’ll call ICE.” That fact should also worry anyone concerned with human rights. Such employers should be punished, AND laws should be changed so that workers have some sort of status such that they don’t wind up in that situation.

  • Steve, I’m 100% with you. I don’t blame the immigrants here – I blame the employers, and I think if the employers faced legitimate jail time we’d see this changing.

    If there are no jobs here for illegals, then we’ll see significant decreases in the flow.

  • oldhick

    Ahh, nothing like pseudo-Conservatives clamoring for big government and bureaucratic protections. Never mind that words like liberty and freedom are meaningless if one isn’t able to walk the earth and live where he chooses. You have freedom to do what then? Your liberty extends as far as what exactly, your citizenship gained through a bureaucratic process?
    JAB, says “An appeal to Natural Law begs the question, where does the Lord say open borders are His Law?” The obvious retort is where does he say they aren’t his Law. We know that the Lord says the two most important laws are that we love the Lord our God with all of our hearts and that we love our neighbors as ourselves. Certainly limiting ones access to a better way of life, restricting ones freedom to live where he chooses and most importantly, identifying and deporting those here illegally are shining examples of Christ’s love.
    Mr. Schoeneman’s argument is well stated as pointed out by Shaun and has yet to be rebutted.
    Greg L. provides us with the Legal Postivist position. It is law, therefore it is right, and therefore you must obey. Gladly, this is NOT a conservative principal, but a principal of ignorance and one that flies directly in the face of our Constitution and historical traditions.
    Mr. Gilleran makes a grand point, if the system can’t accommodate the needs of the people, then people will by-pass the system. This truism is one that is often neglected.
    Jason Kenney articulated the Natural Law vs. Legal Positivism debate. One’s view on this issue is central to the discussion. Is a law just because it is the law.
    Mr. Kirwin, to you I would say, since when is the search for a home and a better life defined as an invasion? If you chose to use words in such a way as to strip them of their meaning, then why should one engage in a thoughtful discussion with you?
    Poor Eric Martin’s comment seems more like fearful rhetoric than an argument. First, the issue of citizen ship and immigration isn’t a neatly “Republican vs. Liberal” debate and the attempts to label ones views on the issue as such is immature at best. Many conservatives support open border policies and amnesty. Many liberals support closed borders and deportation. So the semantics of jumping on the “liberal bandwagon” as stated by Mr. Martin is simply evidence of vitriol, fear, and half truths. True, MS-13 represents an honest threat. However, are all illegal immigrants members of MS-13? No. Are the vast majority, no. Is the fact that some illegal immigrants are members of a gangs relevant to the discussion, no. Legal immigrants and citizens are members of gangs as well. Then Mr. Martin proceeds to welcome immigrants if they come through lawfully, ignoring the restrictions and limitations that make legal immigration nearly impossible for the people seeking to come to this country. Obviously, if legal immigration were an alternative, it would be taken. The choice to sneak into this country, putting ones life and the lives of their family at extreme risk isn’t one taken lightly and to pretend that legal immigration is a viable and realistic alternative is laughable. But how can one do anything but laugh at rhetoric like “No one is going after brown skinned people here, just LAW BREAKERS!”
    Kat seems to again stumble into the legal positivism, rejecting natural law. Kat says “But I do not want, as a citizen, to welcome people who deliberately and intentionally break our laws”. Is one’s desire to come to America and live a better life now equated to a desire to deliberately break the law? Or is the breaking of the law the unintentional side effect of seeking self betterment in this case? One must assume from Kat’s comment that the position being taken is that the driving goal of illegal immigrants is NOT to live in land of opportunity, but to break laws. Seriously? That’s fundamentally ridiculous. Respect for the law is key. Love for your fellow man is far superior.
    Excellent discussion so far. I enjoyed reading everyone’s positions.

    I say this “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    I will continue to love the Lord my God with all of my heart and I will continue to love my neighbors with all my heart. They are welcome and my love will not be tempered by a legal positivist view of the law. The law serves us, we do not serve the law.

  • Freddie

    I oppose 20 million low skilled people legally entering the US. I think there are two big differences between the mass immigration (legal or illegal) of 100 years ago, and now:

    1) There was not a welfare state back then. Now, low skill people (hard working or not) cost a lot more in government and private welfare spending then the taxes they generate. There is lots of school spending for children who have a limited command of English, and many immigrants do not have health insurance, and so are a major reason for the medical cost problem. The welfare state is not going away any times soon, if ever.

    2) We no longer have the pressures for immigrants to assimilate – at least the positive aspects of Americanism (The habits of Rap and Britney Spears are learned quickly). With multiculturalism, especially bilingualism, it’s taking much longer for immigrant families to become Americans.

  • Freddie —

    So the prime opposition is:

    (1) A welfare state, and

    (2) A poor public education system.

    Two things conservatives — I hoped — are working towards either doing away with, or at the very least reforming, yes?

  • For starters, most restrictionists do *not* call for immediate mass deportation of 12 million people (where Shaun gets 20M is beyond me, but onward). Rather, restrictionists want the current illegal inflow stopped (or dramatically reduced) along with a robust crackdown on those who hire illegal aliens. The lack of jobs will cause most to “self-deport.” This is known as “attrition.”

    That straw man dispatched, I’ll get to Shaun’s main question: why do most conservatives seem to ignore free-market philosophy when it comes to immigration?

    Simply put, the answer is most conservatives view immigration as a practical matter, not a philosophical one. To wit, if America really was a free market society, I suspect most (if not all) Americans would be far more comfortable with open borders – except for the matter of preventing terrorists from infiltrating the country. Shaun doesn’t address that point here, but in private conversations he has expressed a willingness for some border fortification to prevent that, so I’ll chalk that up to “violent agreement” and move on.

    That brings me to two sad realities. First: we are not a free-market society. We are instead a wheezing welfare state stumbling toward “transformation” into a suffocating social democracy. This means the increased immigration to which he refers will likely bankrupt the government entitlement system. Now, Shaun may be perfectly comfortable with entitlements coming to an end in this manner, and I can see its appeal. However, tens of millions of Americans don’t, and this enough is reason for them to oppose legal or illegal immigration.

    More importantly for me, however, is the second issue: the required partner of immigration – Americanization. Now, America has a far easier time assimilating newcomers than the rest of the world, due to our lack of dependence upon ethnicity for our sense of nationhood. However, there are certain fundamental tenets about being an American that must be preserved – and hardly anyone in the political class seems intent on preserving them. In other words, rather than encouraging newcomers to become American, our “elites” are, in many ways, encouraging newcomers *not* to become American, and in the process, make the rest of us *less* American. Many consider language (English) part of this equation. I’m not so sure, but I do know that American exceptionalism (which both Shaun and I prize) is nonexistent in much of Washington, NYC, or Hollywood.

    It is that erosion of the American ideal that, IMHO, leads so many to worry about the country, and they consider unfettered immigration in our current political climate as an exacerbation of the problem. They would rather we get our own political house in order first. To use Shaun’s doorstep analysis, if your house had a rodent problem, a busted washing machine, and all the food was spoiling in the broken refrigerator, you’d be far less inclined to let *anyone* in, even for five minutes. You’d be too busy trying to fix your place up.

    That’s where I suspect many Americans are on this one. Just a guess, though.

  • No one mentioning Shaun’s most idiotic point: That immigration policy is the key to the Catholic vote.

    I’m still laughing over that.

  • All the more reason to make our immigration system employment-based rather than the current family-based system we have.

    First thing we need to consider is national security. After that, the requirements of our economy for labor, whether it be farm workers or hi-tech. Unfortunately, too many foreign students in the U.S. graduate and can’t get permanent status, so they return home to start companies and create wealth and jobs there.

    I’m just offering a way forward that I think all can embrace. We’re stuck with a 19th century immigration policy in a 21st century world.

  • Freddie


    If the welfare and education systems are refomed, I will likely change my opinion on mass immigration. But first things first.

  • Finally I can speak my mind freely on a blog! God bless you Shaun Kenney!!!

    La gente suele preguntar cómo agrietar el votante católico.

    Seguro estamos a favor de la vida, y para la mayoría de los fieles católicos que nos coloca de lleno en el Partido Republicano, o por lo menos en consonancia con el moderno movimiento conservador estadounidense. Pero en otro sentido, cuando se empiezan a hacer preguntas más profundas, hay una justicia social fuerte corriente dentro del bloque de votantes en su conjunto. Los católicos que son monstruos en temas pro-vida (monstruos buenos … el tipo que veía en ¿Dónde viven los monstruos) se convierten en moderados aprensivos – o peor, los liberales – en lo que respecta a la educación, la oposición a la pena de muerte, uno preferencial opción por los pobres, o una sensibilidad a la inmigración.

    He visto la propuesta de Corey Stewart en la Regla de Virginia de Ley sobre el derecho, donde sostiene que Virginia debería haber una política de inmigración de Arizona de estilo de lucha contra la ilegal.

    Así que permítanme obtener algunas cosas en su lugar. El libre mercado ha hecho que los Estados Unidos de América un paraíso económico en comparación con el resto del mundo. Este milagro económico – incorporado en el libre comercio – ha persuadido a 20 millones de seres humanos a arriesgar sus vidas, las extremidades, la propiedad y la violación de nuestras leyes para venir a Estados Unidos y ser parte de nuestra prosperidad.

    La reacción de los conservadores llamado mercado libre? Casi lee el libro de jugadas de Joseph Stalin. Usa el poder del Estado, acorralar a los delincuentes y deportarlos a sus propios personales Siberia.

    En resumen, la economía de libre mercado están muy bien … hasta que undesireables de la ecuación.

    No nos engañemos en cuanto a quiénes son esos 20 millones de personas. 20 millones de canadienses, o irlandés, o los europeos probablemente no habría fase de nuestra sensibilidad americana tanto. De hecho, probablemente los espera con los brazos abiertos a revivir nuestra base manufacturera, lo que los estadounidenses nativista puestos de trabajo simplemente no hacer, o para revitalizar nuestras tarifas de renovación generacional.

    Pero los 20 millones de mexicanos.
    20 millones de personas de un pueblo extranjero (es decir, no europeos).
    20 millones de personas que no hablan Inglés.

    … Y así, en lugar de apelar a nuestra lógica, se recurre al más bajos instintos.

    Olvidamos por un momento que 20 millones de personas dentro de nuestras fronteras porque quieren una vida mejor para ellos y sus familiares. 20 millones de personas dispuestas a trabajar duro, construir negocios, ganar dinero, y ser parte de la comunidad. Ya sabes, las cosas que Estados Unidos usó para representar?

    Permítanme que depositar una idea diferente. Los conservadores creen que lo ideal en el poder del libre mercado. En lugar de redondeo y deportar a todos los de habla hispana no-Inglés, ¿por qué no animamos a visas de trabajo? Ampliar las oportunidades de negocio a América Central? Tome estos 20 millones de “ilegales” las personas (como si tal concepto existe) y reconocer que 20 millones de estadounidenses que creen en el potencial de trabajo duro y la libre empresa están dispuestos a alistarse en el experimento americano?

    Volver al votante católico por un momento. Supongamos que un inmigrante ilegal llegado a su puerta. En la mayoría de los casos, la primera ruta del individuo instintiva entre católicos y la influencia de la acción es simple – comida, agua, calor y seguridad. La última cosa en su mente es llamar a la policía.

    No es porque uno trata de romper las leyes, sino porque la dignidad de la persona humana exige que observamos las leyes superiores. Después de todo, una ley injusta no es ley en todos, dice el estudioso católico-educado.

    No reconozco el argumento que dice que 20 millones de personas que desean mejorar su nivel de vida y participar en el sistema de libre empresa de Estados Unidos son “ilegales” en la naturaleza y debería ser rechazado. De hecho, dar un paso más allá y decir que esta política de deportación es una traición completa de nuestro sistema de libre mercado, y debe ser deplorado, condenado y atacado por nadie en verdad se llama a un conservador.

    Lo que está en juego no es el recurso de los votantes hispanos grande, como si los hispanos fueron el monolítico bloque de votación republicanos desde hace mucho tiempo cometió un error afro-americanos a ser. El votante católico es ver también – fuerte 65 millones y 1 / 4 de votantes de Estados Unidos están observando para ver si una ideología conservadora, que pretende premio la libertad individual a toda costa, está dispuesto a traicionar los principios y usar el poder de la estado de las medidas de fuerza en el mercado libre.

    Que plantea la pregunta – si hacemos esto, entonces ¿qué es verdad que los conservadores premio? El libre mercado? La libertad individual? O el proteccionismo?

    Somos más listos que las leyes draconianas de inmigración. Deje que la solución es algo distinta de la que trata los síntomas sin abordar curas. Creo firmemente en la ética conservadora, y también creo muy firmemente en el excepcionalismo americano. También creo que son esos valores que están atrayendo a 20 millones de personas en nuestro país como un imán.

    Corey Stewart es un buen conservador, pero está totalmente equivocado en este asunto. Sería una lástima que, apenas dos décadas después de la caída del Muro de Berlín, la mejor esperanza de la libertad a su vez eligió a los cañones hacia el exterior y construir uno de los suyos a lo largo de la frontera sur de nuestro país.

  • You’ve got a point, Brian. The Catholic vote is not monolithic. It never really was. Just look at the various Catholic voter blocs of the 19th and 20th centuries — Irish, German, Poles, Italians, etc. Even among the Irish, there was the division between the lace curtain Irish and the shanty Irish.

    Then let’s not forget that where these various groups settled in the U.S. also helped dictate which party they joined.

  • Riley —

    Understanding Catholic approaches to immigration is, however, a key to understanding the Catholic vote. Catholic voters aren’t neatly liberal or conservative… they’re Catholic.

    As for any claims to idiocy, perhaps I’m only holding up a mirror… 🙂

  • illegal is a crime

    It’s just not Republicans who strongly oppose illegal immigration. Even the independents, many Democrat voters and people who aren’t at all into politics. It’s a touchy issue, especially for those who live in “sanctuary” cities.

    Those of us that aren’t in cloud 9 like the author and live around illegal immigrants, have a lot of contempt towards them. Some of us even have had friends and family who were killed by drunk illegal immigrants and watched the illegal run back to Mexico. Sometimes they get caught before they get a chance. Most of the time they don’t.

    This story is an example of local and federal authorities not doing their jobs. This man was in the country illegally and had numerous DUIs. He was never deported. Had he not being a product of pandering politicians/catholics this little girl would still be alive. This could have been the author or any support of illegal immigrants kid. Amnesty isn’t going to stop this behavior.


    I also lost a close friend of mine on July 4th, 2009. He went to buy fireworks for his son. Two illegal immigrants who were intoxicated went through the lights and hit his car. He died leaving behind his son. They caught one of the suspects, the other is still somewhere in Mexico. It could have been an American, but it was an illegal. Which means it could have been prevented.

    Not to say they’re inferior culturally, but it’s another culture that’s for sure. A culture that at times is often at odds with America. Cat calling and sexually assaulting isn’t just associated with Hispanics, but they certainly do it in a greater number.

  • Eric just said “I love you, Shaun” in Spanish.

  • Illegal is a crime – does it really make that big of a difference that the drunk driver was legal or illegal? If he’d been legal that would have been okay?

    Drunk driving is a crime. Just like murder, rape, etc. are crimes. The immigration status of the perpetrator doesn’t increase or lessen the damage done by the crime or the wrongness of it.

    Yes, some illegals commit crimes. Those who do should be deported. If they aren’t, then law enforcement isn’t doing it’s job. But at the same time, we can’t lump all illegals into the same categories. When we do that, the issue starts looking less like a concern for illegal immigration and more like nativism.

  • illegal is a crime

    Brian? Where do you live, just out of curiosity. Not to be condescending to the point that my remark is unbearable. You just don’t seem the type to have a clue or live near illegal immigrants.

  • Shaun, I’m Catholic. You never told me that I’d be excommunicated if I didn’t politically agree with your opposition to the law.

  • “does it really make that big of a difference that the drunk driver was legal or illegal?”

    Presumably, if the drunk driver is illegal, HE SHOULDN’T EVEN BE HERE!!!

  • Brian, you will be excommunicated (and scourged) should you not politically agree with my opposition to the law.

    The Inquisition! (let’s begin…)

  • Itson

    I am going to explain this to you as if you were a five year old. You sitting peacefully on a beautiful, sunny, Sunday morning reading your Virginian Pilot, that great conservative newspaper of the Tidewater area, when you hear a knock at the door. You answer it and find a handsome young man with a question. That question is, “would it be possible for me to stay with you and look for a job in your community?” You tell him that right now your house is supporting all the people it can. You go back to reading your paper and planning the rest of your day. You have yard work to do and you do it. Family is coming over so you go and buy some meats. You are planning on having your children and a couple of neighbors over for a cookout this evening. The evening goes well and you are proud to have been able to invite some neighbors over, who perhaps could not have had such a good meal, and you enjoy the fellowship of everyone being together. That evening you spend going over the next month’s budget, trying to get all the pieces to fit. You finally retire to bed with you wife. After retiring, around 2:30, you have a bit of indigestion. You put on your robe and go to the kitchen for some Rolaids and milk. You hear a noise on your back porch. When you investigate, you find the young man from earlier in the day has knocked down the door; set up a cot, hot plate, coffee maker, and small TV; and is reading your Virginian Pilot. You ask him what he thinks he is doing and ask him to pack up and leave. His answer is “Surely you can’t begrudge a person who needs to work to take care of his family a little bit of your space to live so that I can take care of my family.” You call the government to tell them that you have someone at your house illegally. The government says they can’t ask him who he is or where he is from and you will have to handle this yourself. You decide that there is nothing you can do right now; so, you go back inside to bed. You go to work the next morning leaving the stranger on your porch. That evening as you return from work your neighbor meets you to give you his bad news. He has lost his job, which was at a wage making a salary just bearable to exist. He tells you that he has been replaced by someone who will work for an even lower wage. He mentions that he saw his replacement and it is a young man he has seen around the neighborhood. You talk to your neighbor, empathizing with him and wishing there was something you could do to help. Unfortunately, you are barely making it on your own earnings. You go to your mailbox and find several items – hospital bills, letters from collection agencies, letters from governmental agencies, and letters from a foreign country – addressed to persons unknown to you. You storm to the back porch expecting to confront the young man. Instead of him, you find a young pregnant woman, who appears ready to deliver. Now there is a double bed instead of a cot; a stove and fridge; rugs on the floor; air conditioner in the window; hot water heater re-configured to heat the space. She asks for directions to the nearest emergency room as she is due to deliver any day; and tells you her husband is at work. You realize that this young man has replaced your neighbor in his job. The realization finally hits that these people are in your home permanantely and will probably end up owning it, as you will not be able to pay all the bills. You are left with some options.
    a. Call the local governmental authorities and ask for their help now; even though they have not helped in the past.
    b. Find a part time job so that you can support these people with the extra expenses for providing all benefits on their behalf as they send the money he makes back home to help family there.
    c. Leave your home and move somewhere else to start over and hopefully be able to provide for your family again.
    d. With thoughts of “Don’t tread on me”, go to your bedroom; get your legally registered 9mm to use to remove these people from your property.

    P. S.
    In a perfect world, we would not have had this problem had we had a high fence around our property with a guard to keep unwanted persons out. I did not do this and now I have to correct the problem.

    True story – when I applied for my Social Security benefits, I found out that someone in Arizona was using my Social Security number as their own. Arizona-do what you have to do to protect YOUR constitutional rights and YOUR personal property.

  • JR- no fair peeking at IP addresses! It’s because I’m bald isn’t it? You’re a bigot now! I should be allowed to post under hundreds of fake names in Espanol without having to worry about your stinking U.S. rules. Rules don’t apply in the “Kenney Spin Zone” and I don’t need no stinking Green Card in Shaun’s world.

    P.S. I need medical care and am sending you a bill for your share once my Medicaid check comes in from the generous Catholics who pay taxes.

  • Michael O’Reilly

    Irish Catholic here. Shaun Kenney! Looks like the crowd is calling for your blood? Crucify. Crucify. Crucify. I remember reading that somewhere. Looks like your compassion is good for nothing.

    Remember, just because something isn’t popular, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Irish Catholics were treated the same way. Devil worshipping mutts when we came here. Keep up the good fight.

    Eric Martin. Maybe you should post in gaelic next time?

    Póg mo Thóin.

    p.s. I am an illegal immigrant a 100 times over and conservatives shake my hand like I was their first born son. They hear the accent and don’t care.

  • Immigration–especially illegal–is always good fodder for a good discussion. This thread is no exception. Nobody has mentioned how the U.S. stold half of Mexico “fair and square” back in the 1840s.

    I had a pledge son in college from Mexico (here legally), and I took him home to St. Louis for Thanksgiving. That was the first time I ever heard the term “Poor Mexico. So far from God, so close the United States.” I thought it was a joke and I laughed. He said, “That is not a joke in my country.”

    It kind of made me pause, because I had never really thought about it before.

    This issue is so enormously complicated. As one poster said here, “Eliminate the demand, you eliminate the problem.” Another poster replied that demand and supply are the problem. I say, no matter what laws you pass, you will never defeat the law of supply and demand. You can’t. It’s like trying to stop the flow of campaign money with restrictions on this and that, but everybody somehow finds a way around it anyway. Akin to the “sticking your finger in the dike” fable. It just won’t work, no matter how much you try. Why not try a workable approach?

    Oh, believe me, I am well aware of the problems with SOME of these emigrants, especially the drug trade. But seriously, can you honestly say all American drug lords are Mexicans? If there is a drug market, there will be a supply. If the whole drug industry (not talking about pharmaceuticals) were legalized, there would be no reason for the violence and bad actors.

    Now, to slightly switch gears: Missouri has had laws nearly identical to the new Arizona laws on the books for years. Passed into law by Democrats. Don’t hear about that, do you? If the Feds are going to take Arizona to the Supreme Court, they are going to have to Missouri to court as well. And, I suspect, and a host of other states.

    Also, I agree with the point that without borders, there is no sovereignty which can undermine that awful government’s authority–its very raison d’etre–but at the end of the day, mere lines on a map are artificial barriers drawn in ink to the free movement of people and goods. Trying to stop those two things–the invisible hand, so to speak–is impossible.

    My, I sound like a raving Libertarian here but I guess sometimes that is just what I am.

    My two cents.

  • Let’s not kid ourselves folks. We live in a constitutional republic and we have an obligation to obey ALL of the laws of that republic whether we like them or not. What we CAN DO, if we disagree with a law, is LAWFULLY Change the law you disagree with.

    Right now, federal law says coming into this country (the topic of discussion, and don’t try to change the subject to another unconscionable law like abortion, or forced Obamacare or some other) is against the law. Don’t like that law, then change it. Don’t like that law, get enough people to agree with you, vote in people that will change it. But don’t skirt the law and think you are being noble, you aren’t.

  • Kender

    Shaun, you said “20 million people willing to work hard, build businesses, make money, and be a part of the community.”

    Yes they work hard, (for lower wages, depressing the job market for others), build businesses (hiring other illegals and making i harder for legal American businesses to compete) make money (which they send out of the country, thereby taking it out of circulation here) but they don’t want to be a part of the community they way you mean. Come to California and watch the La Raza crowds march. Listen to their chants. Stand face to face with an angry mob of “latinos” who are dead serious when they say “you stole this land and we’re taking it back” and then, THEN sit here so blithely spouting this is a free market issue. You’ve jumped the shark on this, dude, and are dead wrong.

  • Ogre

    Free Market? What planet do you live on? Do you honestly believe what exists in America today is a free market? Do you believe that people are coming to this country to participate in this “free market,” rather than to take part in the billions in “free” government benefits?

    Free market. What a joke. Engage in ANY transaction in this country without government permission, and you will be subject to jail.

    If the immigrants want to come here and agree to receive 0 dollars from the government, let them come. Let’s see how many actually would.

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  • Eric Martin

    O’Reilly- how many criminals live in your house for free besides you (100 times over illegal trespasser?) NONE live in Shaun’s house or work for him at his job, so it’s very easy to be so benevolent until you are carjacked, robbed or shot by a criminal whether US born or not, it’s a behavioral problem not a cultural one. Very few people who want to secure our borders are against incoming workers or people seeking to JOIN America versus DRAIN its resources.

    I can’t imagine any country with no borders. What’s next Jenyussses– Do we have houses with no doors? Banks with no locks? Does nothing come with a cost anymore? How Obama-centric.

    Once you live in Prince William County or Fairfax where illegals from MANY countries have come in and brought their culturally worst criminal behavior with them without prosecution from our police- who cite they can’t do anything due to being RESTRICTED BY FEDERAL ANTI-PROFILING LAWS, then you start to understand where the “enough is enough” backlash comes from.

    It used to be in major cities only for generations, and most of America ignored the problem because it never confronted them, but its face in now fully shown in the suburbs. Corey Stewart had the sack to fight it, and he WON, and his county is BETTER because of it- violent crime is down 38% in ONE YEAR since police were empowered to arrest and deport CRIMINAL behavior once they were CAUGHT doing something wrong- NOT because of their residential status!

    O’Reilly the troll, you can kiss my ass as well. Your country’s food sucks worse than your music.

  • GM Roper, that argument didn’t fly for about 90 years when northerners, including Republicans, ignored the Constitution’s protection of slavery and the fugitive slave law. And that was the right thing to do.

    It’s not always cut and dried. No one is arguing in favor of amnesty. What really needs to happen is, as I said before, the federal government gets off its collective butt and comes up with a solution to the problem that is comprehensive.

    Illegal is a crime – I’m from Fairfax. I’ve lived here, in Alexandria, in Arlington, in DC, in Pennsylvania and in Baltimore. I’ve been around plenty of illegals. That’s not the point. When we turn this into a nativism rant – which is what I see when I start hearing things like “culture,” we’re giving in to the worst part of ourselves.

  • illegal is a crime

    @brian w

    you live far away from the “fields”. far away from the southwest and the meat packing plants. your illegal immigration problem is minuscule compared to other places. if i lived in all those places you’ve mentioned i might feel the same way.

    i’m with eric. i’m originally from glasgow and i can’t think of one good thing to say about the irish. they’re good for yapping away about nothing in your ears. to hear a paddy talk about immigration is funny. they let them into glasgow and what did we get? a team followed by a bunch of bellends. 99% of all gypos are paddy’s, so of course they’re going to support open borders.

    rangers fan!

  • Ahhh, but Mr. Schoeneman, for 8,000 years slavery, as odious as it was, was in fact LEGAL.

    Having said that, when enough people felt it was odious enough, we went to war to toss it out and then established the 13th amendment outlawing it. That was action that was necessary and proper.

    Your argument fails on several points, but bringing up 150 year old history, well, what can I say. That was then, this is now.

  • Mr. Schoeneman, I live in Deeeep South Texas about 15 miles from the border. Want to discuss who has seen more illegals? And by the bye, I graduated from H.S. in Alexandria (Mt. Vernon, class of 64). I saw plenty of illegals then too. Difference was we called them congress critters. 🙂

  • Joe

    Legal means against immoral laws means Rsoa Parks sits in the back of the bus.

  • Sorry guys, but I just don’t buy the “if you lived here” argument. Hang out in Annandale or a Centreville Home Depot and you’ll see plenty of illegals. I’ve got friends and family out in Arizona, including a state legislator out there, so I hear about the problems all the time. My best friend’s father is on Sherrif Joe’s posse.

    I agree that the illegals shouldn’t be here. That’s why we need to secure the borders first. Once that’s done, we can start to talk about what to do about the people who are here. And that conversation needs to be free from all of the nativist undertones.

    But just like I opposed hate crime legislation because a crime is a crime regardless of the who it is committed by or against or their motivation, I don’t view crimes by illegals any more or less wrong. They’re simply wrong, and the punishment should be deportation. But whether they’re here legally or illegally, they can both commit crimes.

    GM, laws passed by the first Congress are still on the books today – should we ignore them because they’re 220+ years old? No. There are plenty of folks in both parties who would argue that an immoral law is no law at all, and plenty who would argue that natural law trumps all. Hiding behind the law is the easy way out of this debate and I’ve seen too many people shine their intolerance of different ethnic groups with the gloss of legalisms. We can’t just rest on the law in this debate. There’s more to it than that.

    That’s Shaun’s point and I agree with that.

  • After having scrolled through all those comments, I have to admit that I am somewhat gobsmacked that most took the trouble to engage anything other than this:

    Let’s not kid ourselves as to who these 20 million people are. 20 million Canadians, or Irish, or Europeans probably wouldn’t phase our American sensibilities so much. In fact, we’d probably welcome them with open arms to revive our manufacturing base, do the jobs nativist Americans simply do not do, or to reinvigorate our population replacement rates.

    But it’s 20 million Mexicans.
    20 million people of a foreign people (i.e. not European).
    20 million people who don’t speak English.

    …and so, rather than appealing to our logic, we appeal to baser instincts.

    I mean, in a nutshell, as far as I can tell, the man just told you that the only reason you don’t welcome those 12-20 million illegals is ’cause you don’t like Mexicans. Don’t like brown people. None of the border-enforcement arguments would have been offered, had you nativists not been so…




    Really, at bottom, that’s about it. That’s the key point in his argument. You just don’t like brown people, or you would have kept your yaps shut.

    Or so I read it.

  • You had a decent argument until you called us racists. Glad that you can read minds.

    Canadians might be harder to detect, but, illegal Canadians are breaking the law, too. We need to enforce our immigration laws or take them off of the books and admit that our sovereignty doesn’t matter.

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  • Jim Cunningham

    Dear Mr. Kenney:

    You were obviously called to a vocation as a Jesuit. You should get your marriage annulled and join the merry band.

    Let us examine the ‘free enterprise system’ that we Conservatives champion by analyzing the ‘lawn maintenance’ industry.

    Bubba, an old Irish Catholic guy like me, is in the lawn mowing business. He is planning to hire a new man for the crew. The two applicants under consideration are Shaun Jr. and Jose. Jose gets the job, because Bubba will not have to pay Social Security and other taxes for Jose, nor buy appropriate Workman’s Compensation Insurance as his employer, nor provide him with any safety equipment – all things he would have to do if he hires American ‘Shaun Junior’. IS THIS FREE MARKET COMPETITION? Illegal Jose gets a job. Bubba pockets the money saved.

    When Jose cuts his toe off with a lawn mower, the Rescue Squad takes Jose to the local hospital, where the injury is treated on the public’s dime. Bubba then fires Jose because he is not going to be able to walk fast enough because he is missing his big toe. Bubba stiffs Jose for his last week’s pay – standard practice. The Diocese of Richmond moans because there is no Workman’s Comp to make Jose whole again. They help the hobbling Jose get TANF (welfare). The Diocese lobbies the GA to pass legislation requiring the Workman’s Compensation Insurance Companies to pay anyone injured on the job, regardless of whether the employer had insurance. God provides the Delegates with extraordinary (but unfortunately temporary) wisdom to see the folly of this petition, and they reject the concept.

    The next day, Bubba hires Pedro to replace Jose. The cycle begins anew.

    The basic idea of Capitalism is that freedom begets prosperity, and lack of freedom begets poverty. (But freedom is not the right to violate another country – something Mexico does not tolerate of its neighbors.) What part does the Catholic Church play in the poverty of Mexico? Do they promote true freedom, the real dignity of Man, or do they prefer people relegated to the status of poor, subservient peasants? Are they too scared to talk about the real causes of Central American poverty? Or, are all of the world’s problems the fault of us arrogant Americans? After all, our Protestant forefathers are the ones who invented this ridiculous notion of man’s individual freedom and dignity, an idea which put an end to the Church’s beloved monarchs. Mother Church has never been the same.

    Father Shaun Kenney, SJ. It’s got a bit of a ring to it! You’d do the Berrigan Brothers proud!

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  • You are wrong on several counts.

    1. You say that If they were 20 million Canadians, or Europeans, etc., who walked over the border without passing through legal immigration channels, we would not object to their being here. This is ridiculous, and to see how ridiculous, ask yourself a simple question: would you want customs & immigration at LAX or JFK to be disbanded so that anyone getting off a plane could just stroll on into the country and disappear into the landscape? Or would you rather keep the existing system in which everyone, even citizens whose ancestors arrived here off of the Mayflower, must show identification and account for where they just had been. We either have a border, or we don’t, and yes, it is that simple.

    2. You make an appeal to charity by mentioning the old chestnut of “family”, just as George Bush was fond of doing (“they have families too”). Well if only having a family qualified a person to be welcome in a society! But of course this is a wholly insufficient condition. There is a rogue’s gallery throughout history of monsters who had families they loved. It means nothing: we all share biology and can replicate, and therefore no distinction can be made on this basis.

    3. You mock the notion that the 20 million are here “illegally” and yet Federal law is crystal clear on this point: you can be thrown in jail for up to six months for entering the country illegally. Try to run past the immigration officer next time you come through LAX and see what happens to you. Jail = criminal conduct.

    4. You gloss over the necessity of assimilation in any successful culture that seeks to preserve itself. 20 million illegals who refuse to assimilate, who ruthlessly cling to their own heritage, present a direct challenge to our heritage, which is very different. And not just different: better. Does saying this make you uncomfortable? But it is an objective fact proven several times over: (a) 20 million have risked their lives to come here and leave there – why would they do this? Because it’s worse here? (b) take the measure of political stability, wealth, freedom, and other criteria of the USA versus Mexico/Central America/South America / Spain. There is no comparison.

    A non-assimilating force from a country whose culture is in shambles and whose political and economic stability are greatly inferior to our own presents a clear and present danger to our way of life and government. We either defend our culture or we die as a nation.

  • eric g webster

    You sir are still missing the big picture. When we decribe these violaters, they are “illegal imigrants”. There is the word you need to be focused on “ILLEGAL”. My forefathers entered this country with legal papers and that is all we request of these people if they want to be U.S. citizens. Do it legally and maybe try to learn and speak proper english.

  • Mission Accomplished. Bearing Drift hits are up.

  • James Hawkins

    First we need to secure our southern border. Build fences and send in the troops.

    “Because of its impact on national security, crookedness at our borders is one of the top priorities in our public corruption program,” says Special Agent Keith Byers, a public corruption supervisor in the FBI’s Chicago office (and formerly assigned to the Public Corruption Unit at FBI Headquarters). “While it’s true that the most common acts of border corruption involve drug trafficking and human smuggling, a single incident of the wrong person getting into the country could result in a catastrophe.”


    In addition to the Somali immigration issue, Mexican smugglers are coaching some Middle Eastern immigrants before they cross the border – schooling them on how to dress and giving them phrases to help them look and sound like Latinos, law enforcement sources told FoxNews.com.

    “There have been a number of certain communities that have noticed this, villages in northern Mexico where Middle Easterners try to move into town and learn Spanish,” Neuhaus Schaan said. “People were changing there names from Middle Eastern names to Hispanic names.”
    Security experts say the push by illegal immigrants to try to fit in also could be the realization of what officials have feared for years: Latin American drug cartels are helping jihadist groups bring terrorists across the Mexican border.


    Its a national security issue. How many Americans need to be killed by terrorists who have crossed the southern border before people wake up to the real issue.
    “Jimmy Carter” Obama is acting like a fool in his refusal to secure the border unless we agree to his demands for amnesty for the illegal aliens already here.

    After the border has been secured then the American people need to discuss how the fix the mess that Democratic and Republican politicians have caused concerning the illegal aliens that are currently here.

    I tried to marry my Latina novia in San Andres 2 weeks ago but the Colombian government changed the law a year ago. I did not know about the change. Maybe I will try Sandals in Jamaica next.

  • U.S. citizens have a legal obligation to obey the law. If any citizen wants to change the law, there is a process for that. I encourage you to run for office on an amnesty platform – or give your time and money to those who will.

    Or, you oh-so-compassionate and very moral folks can get off your butt and walk the walk. Since about 5 billion of the 6 billion people on earth would like to live in the U.S. because they are so poor, why don’t you go help them where they live?

    Move to any 3rd World Country – especially one of the Muslim ones – and demand that they speak English, build a big house and have all the poor people come live with you. Teach them how to create a limited government, a Republic, a federal system, the rule of law and free, honest elections, the secret ballot, free market economics, honest civil service, etc.

    You know the immigration issues have nothing to do with culture or the ideas that come from culture – since its just about free market economics and a dash of racism in the US.

    If you care so much about the poor, go live with the poor. Mother Teresa did it.

    But, don’t break the law or encourage others to break the immigration laws.

    Your compassion for an illegal immigrant invasion is weak sauce when you expect – no demand – others pay for hand outs, schooling, social security for folks that never paid into it, the crime tax, etc. for illegal aliens.

    If you care so much, do something yourself about it.

  • Jim — this is the chickenhawk argument (if you care so much about the War on Terror, sign up).

    People can care about:

    * education, and not be teachers
    * the military, and not serve
    * transportation, and not work for VDOT
    * immigration, and not work abroad
    * abortion, and not work at a CPC
    * health care, and not work at a hospital

    ad infinitum.

    As for this:

    Your compassion for an illegal immigrant invasion is weak sauce when you expect – no demand – others pay for hand outs, schooling, social security for folks that never paid into it, the crime tax, etc. for illegal aliens.

    It rings rather hollow when the faux conservative response to immigrants is the impact to our social welfare state. Conservatives should be fighting to end or reform that, not use it as a rubber crutch.

    As for the “it’s the law” argument, abortion-on-demand is the law of the land today. I don’t see “it’s the law” as the end of that debate, precisely because the law does not square with social justice. Now one could argue that we should change those laws — and I agree.

    But, given the thought experiment were America’s borders open would others change the law (answer: yes) I still ask the question why? Why is it so important to protect our borders and prevent 20 million new Americans from joining our national enterprise and participating in our free market economy?

    I’ve heard reasons ranging from outright racism, to a rejection of Hispanic culture, to security against terrorism, etc. The first two are ludicrous, the last only holds merit if you are building a wall on our northern border as well.

    I suspect concerns other than reason motivate most of the opposition. Perhaps someone here can offer something different than a mere “it’s the law” argument. Otherwise, I call categorical imperatives.

  • The chickenhawk argument works for moral issues. Not political ones. Either walk the walk or don’t. Again, I make a distinction between moral posturing and political issues.

    I’m not arguing the impact on our welfare state. I am arguing the damage illegal immigration does to our economy, public education, neighborhoods, etc. etc.

    I’m all for ending Federal intrusion in welfare, health care and social insurance – follow the Constitution.

    There is no plus for illegal immigration. There are many pluses for healthy immigration – and some work visas.

    The ‘it’s the law’ argument doesn’t end debate. It points out the sophistry of claiming there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant. It points out the responsibility of the government to enforce the laws on the books. It reminds voters to hold politicians accountable at the polls for upholding the rule of law, not mere men with feelings.

  • Jim Cunningham

    Shaun: Our appologies — the rest of us thought that we were at Bearing Drift, but some apparent internet glitch has us at the site of the Alinski-Lovin ‘Catholic Virginian’ newspaper. Scuza’ pleez!

  • Kat

    This is a modified comment that I left for Jason on his Facebook account:

    One thing I’ve been noticing, Shaun, is that you appear to be arguing from the view that restricting and monitoring entry into a country is somehow immoral, and yet you have yet to support that view. You have, to be sure, used some *economic* reasons, but you have not supported or backed up your reasoning from the moral view.

    To be perfectly clear, in NO WAY do I support inhumane treatment of people who have entered this country by illegal means. That *is* morally wrong.

    Jason used an analogy to slavery and how people broke the law in getting slaves to freedom. However, slaves had no choice when being transported to this country, they had no choice in where they went when they arrived here, and they had no choice about moving/leaving if they were mistreated. Slavery is a black-and-white moral issue – and even when the Bible speaks of slavery, it is not spoken of as the “best good,” *and* there were very specific laws – honored mostly in the breach, to be sure – to protect slaves and ensure proper, humane treatment of them.

    People who arrive here by illegal means (see how far I have to go to make sure you can’t claim that I mean that their personhood is illegal?) DO have a choice. Yes, perhaps in most cases the choices available to them in their home countries are not the “best good,” but they do have choices. They can choose to stay in their own country, work hard, and do all they can to change THEIR laws to better their lives at home. They can choose which jobs they take (of the jobs available), and they can choose to leave or change jobs if they are mistreated. Their lives and choices are hard, yes…

    But there is STILL the moral issue of breaking the law. You entirely dismiss arguments on my side of the table by beating us over the head with “IS IT RIGHT?” and my response is, unless it goes against a command of God, we are obligated to obey the laws with which we disagree while working within legal means to change those laws. That is a MORAL behavior.

    You have not yet supported your case that dismissing/disobeying the law WRT illegal immigration (see stated definition of the term above) is a MORAL issue on this level.

    As I said elsewhere, Shaun, if you had phrased the debate as “Here is my moral reasoning that we should have unrestricted immigration, and thus we should work to change the law and protest the current laws” then I would have no issues with your reasoning, although I would quite probably disagree with your conclusions.

    However, again, you have NOT proven that you are standing on moral ground when you support ignoring and disobeying current law.

    It is sad that this issue has caused such disagreement; it truly grieves me when I clash so strongly with people I like and respect. And I suppose that I will have to ask forgiveness for using a particular quote on this issue when it has so much history and was originally used for a much more important purpose:

    “Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.”

  • Gail

    I always find it most amusing that for most Americans their favorite annual holiday is Thanksgiving. You remember — that holiday that celebrates the arrival of undocumented workers, braving all odds crossing a vast and dangerous stretch, landing on the shores of a new country without green cards or visas to start a new life for themselves and their families? Yeah, that one. Fortunate for all of us that ICE was not waiting on the shores…

  • Freddie


    The Indians should have required visas. They make a mistake. I think we should learn from history and not make the same mistake.

  • Freddie

    The welfare state is not going away any time soon, if ever. To say we need to get rid of the welfare state as a solution to the immigration problem is to ignore the immigration problem.

  • @Jim —

    The chickenhawk argument stands. For conservatives to lean back on the social welfare hammock as the reason why we should oppose immigration is ludicrous, and betrays a lack of conviction in the free market.

  • @Kat —

    I would argue the moral position in the sense that — as human beings created in the image of God — we owe them just as much opportunity and dignity as we would an unborn child, a man in a hospital bed, a fellow church member, or the guy shouting obscenities at us in the street.

    It comes back to our value system. If the free market is the centerpiece of the conservative philosophy as the best, most effective (material) liberator of humanity in the history of the modern market, then we should have a vested interest not only in its success, but expanding the Jeffersonian “empire of liberty” to anyone who assents to the American ideal.

    Now 20 million people have come to America in search of that dream. 20 million hard working, entrepreneurial men and women willing to sell all they have, hop a barbed wire fence, wander through a desert, find some place to call home, and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

    Why? Because America is exceptional.

    Now as existing Americans, we have two reactions. Either (a) see in this group of people the germ of American liberty and free enterprise, or (b) throw them back across the border en masse — women, children, old men, etc.

    I’ll leave aside the logistical nightmare Option B would become. Images of camps and trains, of raids and police, of the mistakes that would inevitably occur, and the requirements government would place on *us* in order to successfully extricate 20 million people from the United States.

    There are a few things that predicate my response to immigration:

    1. As a Christian, I see in each face the image and likeness of God, no worse than I.
    2. As a Catholic, I believe in social justice. The Beatitudes is a good start.
    2. As an American, I believe in American exceptionalism and the strength of our culture and values.
    3. As a conservative, I believe the free enterprise system is the most just and effective (material) liberator of mankind.

    Given all of these things… given 20 million souls who want to participate in our national success story… given all the promise that we are as a county… why would we *not* welcome them?

    In fact, I’d submit the absurd opposite: throw the doors open! Let everyone willing to work and be a part of America come here! Let those who believe in America’s greatness participate in the success story! Heck — let other nations join us as states! Our Founding Fathers tried several times to push Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico into the Union.

    Perhaps I’m more optimistic about the resilience of America?

    Random thoughts…

  • CAPT Freedom

    The good Catholic also opposes the death penalty – the Vatican has made clear that the death penalty is on the same moral plain as abortion – which conservatives generally support, too often with vigor. Therefore, the good Catholic is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Dems are usually pro-choice, not an option for Catholics and conservatives are usually pro-death penalty, also not an option.

    Both Ds and Rs support the free market – despite what that shock jock Glenn Beck believes or propagandizes.

  • YodraN

    Shaun… where does the Rule of Law factor into your equation?

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  • @Jim Cunningham —

    I have never been called a Jesuit as a pejorative before.

    Thank you for that. 🙂

  • illegal is a crime

    Catholics believe that Jesus magically appeared in Mary’s stomach. Far out.

  • I don’t know … having 8 years of Jesuit education under my belt, Shaun seems much more like a Dominican to me.

  • In my book, Shaun is right that treating his “20 million” people as criminals, who should all be deported, is neither morally acceptable or even practical.

    OK, is this problem mostly a breakdown of order, a security issue, in that we don’t have proper control of our southern border? Or, is it more about millions of people being here — without proper papers — and we citizens don’t want them here, for whatever reasons? So, send ‘em back!

    Obviously, neither answer stuffs the whole problem into a nutshell. It’s far too complicated for that. Still, I’d say a lot of cultural conservatives are afraid of what those 20 million people will do if they stay. Like, will they move into our neighborhoods and marry our children? How will they vote?

    Of course, some fiscal conservatives like it how those folks without proper papers will work cheap, for money under the table. Which, of course, makes some liberals not like what those under-the-table millions of workers might be doing to hold down wages … so, send ’em back!

    Bottom line: This is an incredibly complicated issue. I doubt we will ever be able to pass an immigration bill that addresses all of the facets of it.

    Moreover, I think some of those who call for just such a comprehensive immigration package actually want to keep kicking the can down the road. Genuine reform will have to be done piecemeal, over time.

    However, if we citizens honestly want to make things better on this front, any effort will have to start with respecting the dignity of decent people who came to America for much the same reason as the those who founded and built this country — to seek a better life for themselves and their families.

    Their motives are easy to understand. The motives of those who would deport them all are more complicated.

  • Kender

    It wouldn’t be so complicated if those 20 million people didn’t march in our streets with mexican flags demanding to be let off the hook for their transgressions. Where is the concept of personal responsibility?

  • When 20 million Irishmen take to the streets in St. Patrick’s Day parades demanding to be let off the hook for transgressions they’re about to make, no one complains.

    Personal responsibility? When drinking heavily is the sport of the day? Guess that’s OK if it’s the Irish…

  • Shaun,
    The chickenhawk defense is a slim and broken reed to lean on for your defense of your moral argument. It doesn’t stand for moral issues.

    The moral question – which is distinct from the legal issue of defending borders and legislating rules for citizenship – is when did you feed the hungry? When did you give the thirsty something to drink? When did you invite the stranger in to your home? When did you give the stranger clothes? When did you visit the sick or prisoners?

    Whatever you did – not government – for just one of the least of these persons matters.

    So, there are 5 billion out of 6 billion people who would like to live in the U.S. Trying to make it a moral argument to give special privileges to the millions who successfully broke our laws so far is unfair to the other 5 billion or so.

    The moral argument about illegal aliens isn’t about government merely enforcing the laws – the laws on immigration aren’t immoral.

    The moral argument about illegal aliens is what you, as an individual do, for the stranger in the land.

    Finally, there is no moral argument that those Americans who follow the law and want the laws enforced are racists.

  • Bigmo

    Defend America’s identity and culture from the alien elites:


    Before its too late. Beware of the RINOs.

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  • Jim Cunningham

    Shaun Kenney:

    You and those Berrigan Brothers — Free Market Conservatives all! 😉

    illegal is a crime:

    Yes, indeed, ‘Far Out’! But ‘with God, all things are possible’! If it serves His will, He will make it happen — perhaps a comforting idea to those of us to whom it appears that most of the world is dancing with the Devil. (Actually, I occasionally catch myself tapping my foot.)

  • Tim J

    “dancing with the Devil”? …”Running with the Devil”, Van Halen, Rogues Gallery, Va Beach April 27, 1978. Eddie Van Halen made Va. Beach stop and take a second breath that night…

  • “We’re smarter than draconian immigration laws.” – Taken from the article above

    Just from personal observation on this blog, arguements making use of the word “draconian” tend to be flawed.

    Once again, somebody needs to be called out for race baiting. This time it is the article’s author, Shaun Kenney.

    Taken from wikipedia(emphasis mine):

    “Race baiting can also be accomplished by implying that there is an underlying race-based motive in the actions of others towards the group baited, where none in fact exists.

    Many people who practice race baiting often believe in racism, or have an interest in making the group believe that racism is what motivates the actions of others.” – wikipedia

    Race baiting can be a double edged sword Shaun. Why the favoritism towards Mexicans Shaun? Don’t you also object then to limits placed on those from Hati? The Philipines? Canada? Germany? Croatia? China? Russia? South Africa? India? Iran? Yemen? Saudi Arabia?

    Since you are pointing to moral authority, at what point do we stop accepting new people? Is there a point? How do we handle the welfare issues? National Security?

    The Rule of Law is needed. We truly get into trouble when law can just be arbitrarily enforced or ignored. This is not to say that a truly immoral law that violates natural rights such as allowing the persecution of Jews in Hitler’s Germany should have been followed. Clearly that kind of law violates the Natural Rights of those human beings that happen to be Jewish. There is no such comparable issue going on here, and thus your arguement to ignore immigration laws and give specific preference to Mexicans, for what ever your reason is, is just wrong.

    How you can try to claim that trying to maintain your wealth and way of life as being immoral is perplexing. Your tax dollars and your job first, ok?

    Also note, that we Americans are supposed to be secure in our rights to property, a natural right. Money is property and an arguement can be made that until taxation or redistribution of wealth to illegal immigrants is changed, we are being deprived the fruits of our labor. At what point do we stop giving to others and actually support our own families? You can’t save everyone despite wanting to.

    Idealistically, a free and open border would be ideal, but only if we don’t have a welfare state, visitors cross legally, people immigrate legally from ALL countries, preferences not made for certain races, and all abide by rules set up for legal employment by “guest workers”. Also needed is enforcement of law in regard to businesses that take unfair advantage of the “illegal status”. The “Free Market” DOES NOT mean we condone a system that artificially takes advantage of desperate people willing to accept inadequate wages or dangerous working conditions. The ignoring of the rule of law has in fact established a lesser class of people to be preyed upon by predatory industry with interests vested in corruption and classism. The standard practice of ignoring the law and the employment of illegal aliens is in fact immoral!

    We need to secure our border, streamline LEGAL immigration and give more incentive to do it legally than illegally. We need a better system of allowing foreigners to legally work in the US. We need the enforcement of law and respect for the Rule of Law and for natural rights. And yes, that INCLUDES natural rights of those already American citizens.

  • James Shoopy

    All these “rule of law” arguments are nonsense. We have plenty of laws that we don’t enforce, for good or bad. For example, we don’t enforce most of our obscenity laws, and if we did, most of us would be in jail for looking at pornography. What about the law that makes it illegal to wear the American flag as a piece of clothing? What about all the weird states laws that are still on the books, such as not washing a goat on Sundays? Why are immigration laws so important compared to other laws?

    The way I see it, there are 2 types of laws: God’s laws and man’s laws. God’s laws are sacred and should never be broken, obviously. Man’s laws are provisional and are meant for practical reasons, and should be discarded for practical reasons. A lot of laws passed in the 1600s wouldn’t apply today because technology has made them obsolte. Immigration laws are man’s laws; they weren’t created because it is inherently immoral for a person in Mexico to work in the United States; but for practical reasons (stress on our economy, etc…) Since these laws have a practical purpose, they should be treated practically; and it is practically right to let these people stay.

    Anybody who is making the argument that the “rule of law” will break down in America is just being dumb. Did the “rule of law” break down when Reagan gave 3 million illegals amnesty in the 80’s? Do you think people will start murdering and raping because the government gave illegals amnesty?

  • James Shoopy

    “Defend America’s identity and culture from the alien elites:” – That’s just the type of idiotic thinking that has turned many people’s brains into mush. How is American culture different from the culture of Mexicans? They are more church-going than the average American, they are more family oriented than the average American, and they are less likely to commit crime than the average American. Also, they clearly are submitting to American ideals such as the rule of law, free markets, etc… as evidenced by their hard workingness. Lastly, idiots point to their lack of knowledge of English. Well, its hard to learn English! But there is no evidence that Mexicans are learning English at a slower rate than any other immigrant group that has come to the United States. In fact, English is closer to Spanish than many languages, such as German.

  • James Shoopy, the arguement is not stupid and neither am I. Why is your arguement so dependent on name calling?

    First, you are correct that there are many laws that should be struck from the books. That being the case, we need to remove them or pass legislation that supersedes them.

    Don’t be lazy. Fix the laws. You are correct in stating that immigration law is but one set of laws among many, and that all law should be enforced or done away with. ALL of them. There’s plenty of reason why the people don’t trust the government. The arbitrary enforcement of law is high on that list!

    Am I dumb because I made the “Rule of law” arguement? Certainly not, just more ad hominen on your part. If you would like for me to agree that Ronald Reagan was wrong in granting amnesty, consider that done! (Reagan is my favorite modern day president, btw) He had reason to hope that the issue would be taken care of if amnesty was granted, however, OBVIOUSLY THAT IS NOT THE CASE!!! We still have the problem and THAT is cold hard evidence to avoid another round of amnesty!

    Btw, I personally really don’t have an objection to the culture thing, but I say we let in more Guatemalans and fewer Mexicans. You know, the ones Mexico won’t allow into Mexico because they don’t believe in a free southern border either. Yet, they (Mexican govt.) are “outraged” at the US for suggesting restrictions and suggesting that such massive tides of illegal immigrants might cause problems for the economy. Such hypocrisey! Go figure.

    Please, somebody call the Mexicans xenophobic. I bet if we try hard enough, we can call the government of Mexico racists. Perhaps there are too many Native Americans crossing their southern border? Maybe the Mexican government doesn’t care about the poor at all and all their allegations of US cold heartedness is just more hypocritical posturing.

    What is really wrong is the businesses and political groups that benefit from illegal immigrants. Much of the problem would disapear if we made legal immigration easier after securing the borders. What we need is fewer illegal immigrants and more legal ones. We will probably need to consider finding ways for those already residing in the US to apply for temporary stays leading to permanent residence or transition to “guest workers”, but none of that will mean any more than what Reagan did if we don’t secure our borders and enforce immigration law.

    Guess what James? We have a large population of Filipinos in Virginia Beach. If I have to see “press 3 for Tagalog” on the ATMs there, I’m very ok with that. In fact, I want to see that! I’m not afraid of “culture”. You ok with that?

  • James Hawkins

    I agree with Mr Howard and believe that his previous post shows true understanding of the issues and how to solve them.
    I could say that anyone who disagrees with him is an immoral and racist jackass but I will not say that. I try not to talk like a democrat.

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  • Wendy

    Do you think playing the race card is going to make people feel guilty? It worked with blacks but Mexicans do not have the history in this country that blacks have. Besides, it takes time to assimilate and become Americans. It takes following laws and wanting to be a part of this country..not sending it all back to the old country or making this Mex-America.

    Why import more poverty except to erase the middle class and bring on crime the likes of which we have never seen before. Not all of us are in safe secure neigborhoods such as yours.

    I’m conservative and hate “free trade” Isn’t that what got us into this mess in the first place. What happened with NAFTA and how many other countries hate us because of our business or corporate leaders. And what has been the answer, to send our jobs overseas too? Or invite their brightest to come over here and take jobs from us with HB1-visas. Or insist we have nursing shortage so you can import nurses instead of training Americans?
    Does it even matter to those running coorporations that they are taking jobs from Amercians..Oh yeah..”free trade.”

    Catholics?? Hey, we aren’t all Catholics and maybe we don’t want this to be a nation under the Pope and his perverted priests. I guess that would suit him fine as it would give him money for those pedophile lawsuits.

  • When we lived in Texas, we knew a family that we stayed in relationship with for many years. We first met the mother and then her daughter, “Juanita.” Juanita is in her twenty’s and is married with two children . . . her husband maintains steady employment in the construction field and they own the home that they live in. Juanita moved to Texas from Mexico with her parents when she was a little girl and has grown up there.

    A couple of years ago, Juanita’s father died in Mexico (her parents had divorced and her father moved back to Mexico years ago) and she wanted to go to the funeral. The dilemma is that she was brought to the United States without proper documentation and, as such, is an “illegal alien.” With that in mind, she risked a great deal to go to Mexico to attend her father’s funeral. Her children (who are citizens of the United States based on the fact that they were born here) stayed in Texas so you can imagine her motivation to get back to the United States following the funeral. She got turned back on her first attempt to illegally cross into Texas but on her second attempt to come back in, she packed her clothes in a plastic bag to keep them dry and swam in her underwear across the Rio Grande successfully in order to return to her family and the only life she had known since she was in elementary school.
    Reactions range from empathy to outrage and may go as far as to take exception with the citizenship of Juanita’s children (which is mandated by the Constitution of the United States). There may be an immediate attempt to theoretically calculate what Juanita’s family and those like hers cost “us” in health care benefits and other financial considerations. There are some that take exception with the fact that her husband is “taking” jobs that would be higher paying to citizens of the United States. Some won’t like the fact that they can own property.

    This is a tough issue, we can all agree. The borders need to be secure if for no other reason, for the sake of security given the world climate especially evident since 09/11. We need to be a country of laws which are respected and enforced, no doubt about it. Economics matter and there needs to be equity and justice in services provided.

    We also need to be a nation of decency and common sense. Juanita, by reason of her age, did nothing wrong in being raised in Texas; it wasn’t her choice but that of her parents. Legally, she can’t be guilty of a crime which she lacked the mental state or “mens rea” to commit. By reason of her humanity, it would be difficult to condemn her for either going to her father’s funeral or crossing the river illegally to return to her family. Before we judge too harshly, it is reasonable to consider, “what would I do?”

    Recently, there was proposed legislation called the “Dream Act” in front of Congress that failed to get passed which would have addressed the problem by providing avenues for legal status to undocumented residents who were brought to this country as minors. Was that decision by our policy makers an accurate reflection on our nation’s attitude towards people like Juanita and, if so, are we really as decent as we claim?

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