NPR Story Goes for the “Wow”, Neglects the “Why” of Immigrant Detention
On NPR’s Morning Edition this week, reporter Ted Robbins had the makings of a good story about a congressional mandate that requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hit an expensive target for detention of illegal immigrants.
But the story careened immediately into editorial Never-Never Land with host Steve Inskeep’s sophomoric introduction. Then Robbins drove it into the reportorial briar patch with his own editorial slant on a story that should have let the facts speak for themselves.
"The Top 10 Laws You Didn’t Know ICE Enforces"
The ICE website currently features this gem: “The top 10 laws you didn’t know ICE enforces.” I immediately clicked on it, expecting to see the Immigration and Nationality Act listed as Number 1, based on the findings of a new report we’re releasing next week, showing immigration enforcement in steep decline.
Did an Illegal Alien Try to Burn Down a Church in Sen. Leahy’s Vermont?
We have noted in the past how few illegal aliens seem to live in the home state of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a sturdy supporter of amnesty.
Has one of those rare illegals just tried to burn down a big old Congregational Church in Vermont’s largest city, Burlington? This is a church where the late first lady Grace Coolidge worshiped more than 100 years ago.
Vive la France
There is an important distinction that is made in schools of realistic philosophy between idea and reality. The distinction is very helpful in every day life: “Does he love you or the idea of you or, better (or worse!), just the idea of being in relationship?” “Do you really like marketing or do you like the idea of being in a marketing firm in a big city?” The applications are many.
The distinction can also be helpful in wading through the multi-faceted issue of immigration. A recent “controversy” in France, reported in the Wall Street Journal, precisely beckons making the distinction, the distinction between the idea of immigration and the reality of immigration.
Lights, Camera, Arrest!
Manuel Roig-Franzia’s WaPo profile of Representative Luis Gutierrez (D., Amnesty) is worth a look. If nothing else, it’s encouraging to see how much his Democrat colleagues hate him, too. But what I found most striking was how important getting arrested at pro-amnesty protests seems to be to Gutierrez’s self image. He yuks it up with Charlie Rangel about making bail.
Amnesty as a Civil Right: Part 3
In 1991 Harvard Law School professor Mary Ann Glendon published an important book entitled Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse. In it, she noted Americans’ modern tendency to view nearly every social controversy as a clash of rights.
Professor Glendon’s observations are a useful framework within which to consider the new effort to make the legalization of illegal aliens a new civil right.
Amnesty as a Civil Right: Part 1
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s memorable phrase “Defining Deviancy Down” tartly and honestly captured the irony of the determined, but futile effort to avoid dealing with a breakdown in America’s social and legal norms surrounding crime and family life. Faced with behavior that it was unwilling to confront, or perhaps lacking the means to do so, America, he wrote, had simply tried to define the problem away.
Defining Immigration Enforcement Down
In 1993, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Harvard Professor and then U.S. Senator (D-NY), published a seminal and prescient article in the winter issue of the American Scholar entitled “Defining Deviancy Down”.
Moynihan’s thesis was that, “over the past generation … the amount of deviant behavior in American society has increased beyond the levels the community can ‘afford to recognize’ and that, accordingly, we have been re-defining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard.”
Two Stories of Immigration and Human Capital
Two stories last week in El Diario de El Paso, a Spanish language newspaper in that city, illustrate one of the most salient features of immigration to the United States: the fact that it brings us many people who have an abundance of what social scientists call the “human capital” to become productive members of society, and many more who do not.
Hearts, Flowers, and Violins for an Illegal Alien’s Sturdy Father
This is a story about a reasonably healthy, 65-year-old man. Born in China, he works full time in the United States, owns a restaurant and (assuming that he has paid his social security taxes) is covered right now by Medicare and is about to start receiving social security benefits.
He is thus in better financial shape than many other Americans of his age. Further, he is legally present in the United States and has been here for 24 years. He could become a citizen if he wanted.