Thursday, February 23, 2017
What "Undocumented" is All About
TL; DR version here. The use of the term "undocumented immigrants" instead of "illegal aliens" reveals something important about the way the left (I will refer to the more restrictive side as the right and the less restrictive side as the left for this post, as that is a good first-order approximation of how the current political situation is aligned) thinks (or wants us to think it thinks) about the immigration issue. Specifically, it shows that they think of the issue of illegal migration as fundamentally being about nothing more than proper paperwork. That is why they find deportation to be such an unjust overreaction; it is the equivalent of jailing someone for forgetting to include one of the ancillary forms with their tax return. The right, on the other hand, views the issue more in terms of consent, specifically in terms of the consent of the receiving country being required for a person to immigrate there properly. In other words, we view it in the same way that most people view sex. This of course stems from the fundamental difference that in general, in the West the left believes that everyone has a right to immigrate to Western nations (how universal this is for non-Western nations is generally not discussed) and that we cannot deny entry to anyone, with only the most extreme criminals (and South African whites) as exceptions. The right, on the other hand, believes that those who make up a country have a right to prevent the immigration of people whom they believe it would not be in their best interests to allow in. Hence much of the anger of the left over the unfairness of deportations, and much of the misunderstanding about what legal vs. illegal immigrant(alien) means. When someone says that people should only come legally, they say "not everyone can come the legal way." What they ignore is that if you are not able to come legally, perhaps that means we do not want you to come. This Twitter thread nicely encapsulates the leftist way of thinking about the issue: (Text of tweets): Okay. I've been off and on twitter lately, but I have a rant regarding #daywithoutimmigrants. I'm an immigrant. I am now a US citizen. I get real pissed when other immigrants say "I came over legally, why can't others?" YOU SHOULD KNOW WHY. It costs a lot of money. Whether you are getting a visa/green card or applying for citizenship, it costs A LOT of money. It takes a lot of time. Months and even years worth of time. Time that could mean the difference between living or dying. Both of which are inaccessible to lower income ppl. U can't hire an immigration lawyer if ur struggling to put food on the table Stop bitching about how u came legally and they should too - and start trying to make the process EASIER, so they don't have to! I'm so sick of the "I got mine, you get yours" mentality I see among white, well off, english-speaking immigrants. You're an immigrant. So are they. Carefully filled out paperwork doesn't make you any better than them. Look out for each other. First, note that the difference between coming here legally and coming here illegally is reduced to nothing more than having the paperwork filled out properly. Second, note that the interests of the receiving country or the desires of those already here count for absolutely nothing. That the process exists because a country wants to select which immigrants it lets in is completely ignored. To see how blatantly offensive this is, consider putting the same thinking into sex. Imagine mens' rights activists creating #daywithoutsex to protest "affirmative consent" laws: Okay. I've been off and on twitter lately, but I have a rant regarding #daywithoutsex. I am sexually active. I am now married. I get real pissed when other sexually active people say "I got consent before having sex, why can't others?" YOU SHOULD KNOW WHY. It costs a lot of money. Whether you are having a one night stand, going out with someone on a regular basis, or considering marriage, getting her to go all the way costs A LOT of money. It takes a lot of time. Months and even years worth of time. Time that could mean the difference between being sexually active or remaining a virgin one's whole life [NB: the implication in the original tweet that a significant portion of illegal aliens are in mortal danger if we don't let them come here is overblown, so I am not putting some "I'll die if I don't mate" - like issue in here to make it parallel]. Both of which can be inaccessible to lower income men without attractive personalities. U can't take someone out on a date if ur struggling to put food on the table Stop bitching about how u got consent and they should too - and start trying to make women consent more easily, so they don't have to! I'm so sick of the "I got mine, you get yours" mentality I see among attractive, well off, feminism-friendly men. You're sexually active. So are they. Carefully obtained consent doesn't make you any better than them. Look out for each other. One last point: I am assuming here that the leftist side is arguing in good faith. Obviously many on the left are not. They actively hate the Western country and see immigration not so much in terms of rights but in terms of a weapon to use against the hated West. Nonetheless, the paradigm for thinking about illegal immigration that they are pushing is that everyone has a right to come here and that legal vs. illegal is merely a procedural issue that only gross pedants really think is important. And that is the basis of the term "undocumented." It is both based on the assumption of an unlimited right to immigrate and designed to promote thinking in those terms. That is why it is so important to call people out for using that terminology; it is not merely there as a euphemism to make illegal migration sound less bad, it is meant to push an entire worldview. That is all.