This entry from 6 January 2012 bears re-posting in the light of current events. 'Light' indeed. A new day is dawning. Things are looking up. We now have a president with the cojones to take action, and he has. Who would have thought that Donald J. Trump of all people would be the patriot to save the country? The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. What a week it's been! While conservatives rejoice -- I mean true conservatives, not NeverTrump quislings and jokers -- leftists lose their minds and descend into thuggery showing themselves plainly for what they were all along.
Philosophers hate a contradiction, but love a paradox. There are paradoxes everywhere, in the precincts of the most abstruse as well as in the precincts of the prosaic. Here are eight paradoxes of illegal immigration suggested to me by Victor Davis Hanson. The titles and formulations are my own. For good measure, I add a ninth, of my own invention.
The Paradox of Profiling. Racial profiling is supposed to be verboten. And yet it is employed by American border guards when they nab and deport thousands of illegal border crossers. Otherwise, how could they pick out illegals from citizens who are merely in the vicinity of the border? How can what is permissible near the border be impermissible far from it in, say, Phoenix? At what distance does permissibility transmogrify into impermissibility? If a border patrolman may profile why may not a highway patrolman? Is legal permissibility within a state indexed to spatiotemporal position and variable with variations in the latter?
The Paradox of Encroachment. The Federal government sues the state of Arizona for upholding Federal immigration law on the ground that it is an encroachment upon Federal jurisdiction. But sanctuary cities flout Federal law by not allowing the enforcement of Federal immigration statutes. Clearly, impeding the enforcement of Federal laws is far worse than duplicating and perhaps interfering with Federal law enforcement efforts. And yet the Feds go after Arizona while ignoring sanctuary cities. Paradoxical, eh?
The Paradox of Blaming the Benefactor. Millions flee Mexico for the U.S. because of the desirability of living and working here and the undesirability of living in a crime-ridden, corrupt, and impoverished country. So what does Mexican president Felipe Calderon do? Why, he criticizes the U.S. even though the U.S. provides to his citizens what he and his government cannot! And what do many Mexicans do? They wave the Mexican flag in a country whose laws they violate and from whose toleration they benefit.
The Paradox of Differential Sovereignty and Variable Border Violability. Apparently, some states are more sovereign than others. The U.S., for some reason, is less sovereign than Mexico, which is highly intolerant of invaders from Central America. Paradoxically, the violability of a border is a function of the countries between which the border falls.
The Paradox of Los Locos Gringos. The gringos are crazy, and racist xenophobes to boot, inasmuch as 70% of them demand border security and support AZ SB 1070. Why then do so many Mexicans want to live among the crazy gringos?
The Paradox of Supporting While Stiffing the Working Stiff. Liberals have traditionally been for the working man. But by being soft on illegal immigration they help drive down the hourly wages of the working poor north of the Rio Grande. (As I have said in other posts, there are liberal arguments against illegal immigration, and here are the makings of one.)
The Paradox of Penalizing the Legal while Tolerating the Illegal. Legal immigrants face hurdles and long waits while illegals are tolerated. But liberals are supposed to be big on fairness. How fair is this?
The Paradox of Subsidizing a Country Whose Citizens Violate our Laws. "America extends housing, food and education subsidies to illegal aliens in need. But Mexico receives more than $20 billion in American remittances a year -- its second-highest source of foreign exchange, and almost all of it from its own nationals living in the United States." So the U.S. takes care of illegal aliens from a failed state while subsidizing that state, making it more dependent, and less likely to clean up its act.
The Paradox of the Reconquista. Some Hispanics claim that the Southwest and California were 'stolen' from Mexico by the gringos. Well, suppose that this vast chunk of real estate had not been 'stolen' and now belonged to Mexico. Then it would be as screwed up as the rest of Mexico: as economically indigent, as politically corrupt, as crime-ridden, as drug-infested. Illegal immigrants from southern Mexico would then, in that counterfactual scenario, have farther to travel to get to the U.S., and there would be less of the U.S. for their use and enjoyment. The U.S. would be able to take in fewer of them. They would be worse off. So if Mexico were to re-conquer the lands 'stolen' from it, then it would make itself worse off than it is now. Gaining territory it would lose ground -- if I may put paradoxically the Paradox of the Reconquista.
Exercise for the reader: Find more paradoxes!