April 21, 2013

NYT editorial: "Immigration and Fear"

The New York Times takes a break from editorializing nonstop about Newtown and how we must save the children from mass shooters to pooh-pooh any alarmists concerned by the recent display of vibrancy in Boston
Immigration and Fear 
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD 
APRIL 20, 2013

Much of the country was still waking up to the mayhem and confusion outside Boston on Friday morning when Senator Charles Grassley decided to link the hunt for terrorist bombers to immigration reform. 
“How can individuals evade authorities and plan such attacks on our soil?” asked Mr. Grassley, the Iowa Republican, at the beginning of a hearing on the Senate’s immigration bill. “How can we beef up security checks on people who wish to enter the U.S.?” 
The country is beginning to discuss seriously the most sweeping overhaul of immigration since 1986, with hearings in the Senate last week and this week, and a possible vote by early summer. After years of stalemate, the mood has shifted sharply, with bipartisan Congressional coalitions, business and labor leaders, law-enforcement and religious groups, and a majority of the public united behind a long-delayed overhaul of the crippled system. 
Until the bombing came along, the antis were running out of arguments. They cannot rail against “illegals,” since the bill is all about making things legal and upright, with registration, fines and fees. They cannot argue seriously that reform is bad for business: turning a shadow population of anonymous, underpaid laborers into on-the-books employees and taxpayers, with papers and workplace protections, will only help the economy grow. 
About all they have left is scary aliens. 
There is a long tradition of raw fear fouling the immigration debate. Lou Dobbs ranted about superhighways from Mexico injecting Spanish speakers deep into the heartland. Gov. Jan Brewer told lies about headless bodies in the Arizona desert. 
... But the Boston events have nothing to do with immigration reform. Even if we stop accepting refugees and asylum seekers, stop giving out green cards and devise a terror-profiling system that can bore into the hearts of 9-year-olds, which seems to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s age when he entered the United States, we will still face risks. And we will not have fixed immigration. 
There is a better way to be safer: pass an immigration bill. If terrorists, drug traffickers and gangbangers are sharp needles in the immigrant haystack, then shrink the haystack. Get 11 million people on the books. Find out who they are. ...
And if we are serious about making America safer, why not divert some of the billions now lavished on the border to agencies fighting gangs, drugs, illegal guns and workplace abuse? Or to community policing and English-language classes, so immigrants can more readily cooperate with law enforcement? Why not make immigrants feel safer and invested in their neighborhoods, so they don’t fear and shun the police? Why not stop outsourcing immigration policing to local sheriffs who chase traffic offenders and janitors? 
As we have seen with the failure of gun control, a determined minority wielding false arguments can kill the best ideas. The immigration debate will test the resilience of the reform coalition in Congress. Changes so ambitious require calm, thoughtful deliberation, and a fair amount of courage. They cannot be allowed to come undone with irrelevant appeals to paranoia and fear.

Wow, that was weak.

Originally, I assumed I should go through this editorial line-by-line, but, instead, like a good defense attorney following a disastrous prosecution presentation, I'll just, "Ladies and gentlemen, we rest our case."

I make unkind Downes Syndrome jokes about the NYT's designated immigration editorialist Lawrence Downes, but, really, he doesn't seem terribly smart. 

Anyway, the Bomb Brothers have been an unpleasant intrusion of reality into the state-of-the-art marketing campaign for amnesty. As I've occasionally noted, marketing is the dominant type of work in 21st Century America, and journalism is slowly turning into marketing criticism. As we've seen with the amnesty push over the last six months, most of the "news" has been reporters telling us admiringly that the marketing campaign is proceeding smoothly, and that only bad people are noticing anything the least bit untoward about immigration. Everybody else is enthralled by the Gang of Eight's precision marketing.

And then this had to happen, making it hard for Americans to keep being quite as oblivious to the obvious.

36 comments:

John Forbes K. said...

Providing a $123m aid to Chechnya rebels is a welcome conclusion to that untimely Boston incident.

Only nonlethal supplies are involved, thus we don't fear anything might go wrong someday.

AMac said...

> And if we are serious about making America safer, why not divert some of the billions now lavished on the border to agencies...

Whoops. Can we get the New Slim Times to do a rewrite? Fast, before anyone notices?

After all, there is that pesky Gang of Eight talking point about strengthening a broken border system, honest!--no kidding!--real soon!

No surprise that the gangsters and their pals see the lavishly overfunded border budget as a source for diversions to language classes, Vagnina Monologues puppet shows, and other vibrancy initiatives.

I'd always assumed that those JournoList talking points wouldn't be distributed until the legislation passed.

rightsaidfred said...

Yes, more of the usual.

I like how they promise economic goodness if we just go along with the narrative. But when the economy tanks even more, then they call for MORE immigration, 'cause everyone knows that the outside consultant has all the answers. Push the gas pedal down even farther. Meanwhile the NYT pays little price for this lousy policy, except that the country fills with people who don't read their paper. So I guess they get both kinds of victory, moral and Pyrrhic.

Anonymous said...

So the Downes Syndrome crowd is continuing to spin their immigration marketing pitch, you know, the same type of pitch that convinced us that Lucky Charms is "magically delicious" and "part of a balanced breakfast." Is anyone with a brain stem still listening to these guys?

Lou dog said...

That's the ticket. Turn 11 million illegals into legal residents/citizens so we can get them on the books. Yes, because we can rest assured that immigrants who plan to go and commit a crime will all then feel obligated out of patriotism to their new country to report their plans to the police or that the police will then keep close tabs on all that they are doing once they are here legally. After all, that was how the Chechen brothers, as well as the 9/11 bombers, and the VT shooter were all nabbed, narrowly averting what would surely have been disasters.

This is right up there with Pelosi's brilliant line about Obamacare that,"We've got to pass it so we can see what's in it".

Anonymous said...

Does anyone here think that the elder Tsarnaev brother (Tamerlan) looks like a more macho version of Sergey Brin? Other people have already noticed that the other brother looks somewhat like Bob Dylan aka Bob Zimmerman.

Both lookalikes are Jewish, obviously, though the Tsarnaevs are Muslim Chechens. It does make me wonder if there is something to the Khazaria theory of Jewish origins. Chechnya is certainly within the borders of Khazaria, if you compare maps of the Caucasus with maps of Khazaria.

Chubby Ape said...

...
As I've occasionally noted, marketing is the dominant type of work in 21st Century America, and journalism is slowly turning into marketing criticism.
...


Too true. Up here in Canada we just got Pierre Trudeau's son Justin crowned as the leader of the Liberal Party and all the media can ask is whether it's a clever marketing strategy. One totally unforeseen glitch though is that Justin Trudeau looks a lot like the surviving Chechen Bomb Brother.

Rohan Swee said...

I make unkind Downes Syndrome jokes about the NYT's designated immigration editorialist Lawrence Downes, but, really, he doesn't seem terribly smart.

Dumb-as-dirt pants-wetters telling us that (irrational, ignorant, troglodyte) "fear" is the only reason for anyone not being on board with the latest lunacy? That pretty much covers 99% of contemporary MSM opinion pieces, don't it? But yeah, this guy seems even dumber than usual.

Anonymous said...

EVERYTHING goes out the window- women's rights, the environment, the well being of poor and lower class americans, our basic safety, our rights...- when the agenda of replacing the native born whites and making white christians a minority - the "scot-irish" want to make this like moorish spain or the ottman empire- likes pigs in crap - that's where they feel 'comfortable' and don't have to worry about the 'cossacks'.

Rohan Swee said...

(Only slightly) OT, but I came across a comment that provides a wonderful illustration of the complete perversion (inversion? subversion? animadversion?) of the whole "coming to be American" idea that is alleged to still animate immigration here. From a comment to an article entitled "Bhutanese refugees kill themselves because of lack of jobs; let’s import more immigrant labor!":

"The labour challenges experienced by the resettled Bhutanese refugee immigrant to the States is not a unique one given what is experienced by previous cohort of refugees to US who came from similar history of employment or means of livelihood. The stress and trauma experienced of these folks are triggered by the labour regime of US which is structured by the capitalistic principles, norms and regulations. The labour market in the states and also in Canada hardly recognizes their traditional skills, abilities, and education. As a result they find themselves at odd with the demand of skills and abilities in the US market. The capitalistic market that is profit driven hardly acknowledges the historical context and social aspects of the Bhutanese folks. On the other hand the government both at federal and local level does not provide adequate support for their settlement such as long term settlement allowances, free trade and vocational courses, resources (land etc), and funding for the settlement programs that could facilitate their successful transition."

raj khadka PhD Candidate (researching on labour market of Bhutanese refugee immigrant)


Uh, who's supposed to be doing all the transitioning here? Apparently, us. (Sorry, raj, but back in the day, "the capitalistic market" didn't give a flying f*** about "the historical context and social aspects" of the "traditional skills, abilities, and education" of my immigrant ancestors, either.)

Granted, in itself this is just a guy quite naturally hustling for his own group. But unfortunately the implied view - that it's the host that needs to bloody well improve its adaptation to the newcomer - pervades our official through-the-looking-glass immigration policy.

foseti said...

There's nothing particularly 21st Century-ish about the manufacturing of consent.

If you haven't done so, you should take the time to read the work that coined that particular phrase: http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924096776269#page/n7/mode/2up

(Note the publication date of 1885)

Democracy is government by manufactured consent, and the immigration issue the best current example of this process in action. The process, however, is as old as democratic government.

eah said...

Let us not ask, or notice, what 'diversity' has done for us, or to us; rather, let us ask what we can do to further 'diversity'.

Anonymous said...

12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcI5Zu-Znvs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My06Za8cVT8

Voyna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFILh_09Yp8

"Osman the Spy" (lol)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyp1zJHd64E

Neighboring Ingush people

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjl4oTNF_lE

Wikichen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLTWiUg2fX0

Grozovye Vorota

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntGbzTEGL2k

"Chechens are sometimes referred to as the "French of the Caucasus", for a number of reasons (it is notable that the Circassians are the "English of the Caucasus", and the Georgians are the "Italians of the Caucasus"). This comparison may refer to either political/historical traits, or to personality characteristics. Compared to their natives, Chechens have, like the French, historically been a comparably liberal people, though this is often obscured in the modern day. Like the French, who overthrew their age-old monarchy in the French revolution, the Chechens had a similar revolution a century or two earlier,[40] and like the French, they bore the distinction (for a period) of being the only egalitarian society in an area full of monarchic states. Like the French, the Chechens preferred swift, revolutionary (and often violent) methods to realize the change they wished to see - unlike the Circassians (called the "English of the Caucasus" both for their political and personality characteristics) who preferred more gradualist methods.[41] In the more personality/national character sense (generally the more common use), like the French, they have a reputation for being witty and clever."

Cail Corishev said...

I'm sure that, if these bombers had turned out to be white conservatives protesting the inclusion of gays in the marathon or something, we'd be getting the same articles about how we shouldn't judge a group by the actions of a couple of members, and how the important thing is to reach out even harder to such people and be more accommodating to them. Right?

I'm sure that, if I go back and read NYT articles about Timothy McVeigh, they will talk about how one man does not represent a group, and it would be a great tragedy if separatist militia groups were to be profiled or harassed in any way due to his actions. Right?

I'd like to think they'd be better off if they just shut up. But that's probably not true, because most of their readers will lap this right up and never see the blatant contradictions.

David said...

>As I've occasionally noted, marketing is the dominant type of work in 21st Century America, and journalism is slowly turning into marketing criticism.<

An astute observation. The sales mentality is creeping into everything. A small example: Apple's Final Cut program has a doorstop of a manual that rarely tells the user how to do a task (x). Instead, it consists of thousands upon thousands of words, most of them strung into sentences like this: "There are many innovative features and options available to help you to do (x)." What those options are and how to use them, you have to go to online message boards to find out. The user manual is almost 100% sales talk. This is for the user to read AFTER he has bought the product, mind you. I suppose the purpose of the manual is to give a pep talk to fanboys - that's a charitable interpretation.

Remember also that Obama was named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for 2008.

Anonymous said...

That line about 'in the shadows, hidden wage slaves turned into tax payers' has got to be the biggest pile of poop going.

As I'm tired of explaining for the umpteenth time the low paid are tax eaters and not tax payers. 'Legitimizing' them only means that the tax eaters will be eligible for subsidies, rather than excluded from them. A throughly bad deal for America.

Anonymous said...

"They cannot argue seriously that reform is bad for business"

It's certainly not bad for large business owners.

David said...

The government has an extraordinary amount of confidence that it can impose any unpopular policy on people, and the country will somehow not come apart.

It has gotten away with a lot. Embroiling us in the World Wars, imposing official racial integration, turning over the country to rule by their buddies among the economic oligarchs.

They keep stretching a rubber band farther and - farther - One day it will break. Then what? They party? Do they even want their government and country to continue to hold together?

It isn't that "the People" will rise up in a Revolution. It's that the thing will go bust and disintegrate.

Anonymous said...

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/boston-bombers-fbi-hunting-12-strong-1844844#.UXM54Yqm6hA.twitter

Does this mean 12 out of 200 were into terrorism? Rotfl.

Please, more Chechens in blue cities.
Let libs bring more wolverines and adder snakes into their home as pets.

Anonymous said...

I'm perfectly content to let anti terrorism hysteria derail immigration reform but that fact is that terrorism is pretty far down the list of problems caused by our immigration policy. Think to yourselves, how much would it really help the country if we resolved to have no more muslim immigrants but instead make up the difference with an equal number of illiterate south american peasants? We would probably be even worse off under those circumstances despite the fact that there would be virtually no terrorists among those south americans.

Anonymous said...

The NYT editorial board said:There is a better way to be safer: pass an immigration bill...

Absolutely. The immigration act of 1924 helped keep the nation safe from terror, so let's go with an approach that we already know works.

-The Judean People's Front

Anonymous said...

But, sources say that the bombers were part of a larger "sleeper cell".

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/boston-bombers-fbi-hunting-12-strong-1844844

Power Child said...

Steve, I know it's tempting not to "let a crisis go to waste," but I think you should either be doing more to tie this in with immigrant crime rates generally, or else focusing on other more pervasive negative externalities of immigration, like its economic and cultural impact on the destination country.

As you've been saying in the comments over at EconLog, the probability of there being criminally dangerous immigrants is indeed higher than many want to believe, but you've gotta admit the odds that an immigrant is going to cause you physical harm is still nothing next to the odds than an immigrant is going to cause you economic harm or degrade your culture.

I worry that by focusing on the physical harm, even if you win that argument you're left with, say, "Percentage X of immigrants are dangerous," to which opponents can still say "Fine, but that's still a tiny percentage of all immigrants."

Anonymous said...

Go back to the beginning here. The family was give refugee status, based upon a supposedly "well founded fear of persecution". Yet the parents later moved back home. So they were never bona fide refugees to begin with. The whole system is corrupt from top to bottom.

Matra said...

On a couple of European TV channels they mentioned that the older brother had been under FBI surveillance for 5 years due to suspicion that he was a jihadi. The source was his own mother. Yet when I watched a US news report on Saturday there was absolutely no mention of this.

Anonymous said...

Wow--called Gov Brewer a liar. They are my enemy.

David said...

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! [...] Give me [...] the wretched refuse of your teeming shore."

America as garbage dump. A meme-switch brought to you by Emma Lazarus.

Anonymous said...

" If terrorists, drug traffickers and gangbangers are sharp needles in the immigrant haystack, then shrink the haystack. Get 11 million people on the books. " - I don't know, that kinda seems like it would cause the haystack to explode all out of proportion.

Anonymous said...

A little OT. Yesterday when the Royals played the Red Sox in Fenway, Neil Diamond sang "Sweet Caroline" before the bottom of the 8th inning. I am not from Boston, so I don't get this "Sweet Caroline" thing. But yesterday was special since it was the first first home game since the bombing, and Neil himself appeared live.

While listening to the crowd sing along, I wondered why the powers that be didn't have Neil sing a more appropriate song for their worldview. Wouldn't "Coming to America" be more appropriate given all the Borats just waiting to diversify us?

Anonymous said...

Bosnia, Bostonia ..it's all the same.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

"Lies about headless bodies in the desert"

Having seen a few of those bodies, what the fuck is this guy talking about?

publicist said...

Mr. Dobbs expresses his gratitude for being mentioned again in the NY Times after a 5-10 years absence.

Anonymous said...

Lyrics to "Coming to America" - lol, oh the irony.

Far
We've been travelling far
Without a home
But not without a star

Free
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They're coming to America
Never looking back again
They're coming to America

Home, don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're travelling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Every time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They're coming to America
Got a dream they've come to share
They're coming to America

They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today

My country 'tis of thee
(Today)
Sweet land of liberty
(today)
Of thee I sing
(today)
Of thee I sing
(today)

(today)

(today)

(today)

NOTA said...

Terrorism and entrepreneurship (think Srgei Brin) are about outliers--a really tiny fraction of the immigrant population will do these things.

Normal-level crime and driving down wages are about averages--a largish fraction of immigrants who work for less, or whose kids will join a gang when they can't really understand all that crap the teacher is saying in school anyway.

It's a mistake to confuse the two. I doubt many changes we are likely to make or need to make to our immigration laws would have prevented the marathon bombing, but we can surely do a lot to thin out the ranks of guys taking constructuin jobs at low wages with pretty obvious changes to those laws.

rob said...

Does anyone here think that the elder Tsarnaev brother (Tamerlan) looks like a more macho version of Sergey Brin? Other people have already noticed that the other brother looks somewhat like Bob Dylan aka Bob Zimmerman.

Both lookalikes are Jewish, obviously, though the Tsarnaevs are Muslim Chechens. It does make me wonder if there is something to the Khazaria theory of Jewish origins.


Lends a bit of weight to the idea that these two Chechens are of Jewish origin. Debka certainly had a story ready to go.

Anonymous said...

"It does make me wonder if there is something to the Khazaria theory of Jewish origins."

Jews were involved in the slave trade around there for a couple of thousand years.


"I doubt many changes we are likely to make or need to make to our immigration laws would have prevented the marathon bombing"

One of the problems the security services have is there are way too many people to watch. If there were fewer it would be a lot easier to keep tabs.