Earlier this month, Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer wrote an interesting piece on the realities of U.S. immigration policy. He addressed what he considers to be the economic and social dangers of having a large group of people forced into an exiled status in the country in which they were raised.
From Oppenheimer’s column on the subject:
You may have violated a rule, but that should not make you an ‘illegal’ person. You may have gotten a ticket for speeding, but that doesn’t make you an ‘illegal’ human being, even if the potential harm of your reckless driving is much greater than anything done by most of the hard-working undocumented immigrants in this country.
Carrying out enforcement-only policies, labeling undocumented workers as ‘illegals’ and depriving them of hope for upward mobility — rather than working toward greater economic cooperation with Latin America to reduce migration pressures — is not only wrong, but dangerous. The millions of undocumented among us will not leave. They will only get angrier.
So, Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly learned of the column. And in the interest of public discourse and rational debate, he offered a well reasoned and thoughtful assessment, laying out a lucid analysis of why Oppenheimer was wrong. (OK, I’m just kidding about that part. But you probably already guessed that.) No, no. The transcript is here. Mr. O’Reilly responded by calling Mr. Oppenheimer a “nut job” and a “crazy columnist.” Certainly can’t argue with the logical nuance and depth of understanding he brings to these thorny and complex legal issues.
Also, Laura Ingraham, who was on the show commenting, said it seemed like Oppenheimer was trying to incite a race war. (The woman really needs to work on her reading comprehension. He doesn’t say that at all.) Here is Oppenheimer’s response to the accusation. Notice how he actually responds to the issues. And no matter what your position is on the immigration issue, his points are an important reminder that this is a not something that will be solved with simplistic and pat responses.
Lauri in York