Standing Up For Immigrants

One of the elements of the illegal alien debate that most irks me is the blurring of the distinction between legal aliens and illegal aliens, often slurred into the overarching category of “immigrants.” It’s odd, because it’s usually the left that claims to be the party of “nuances,” while accusing the right of seeing everything as “black and white.”

Here’s a perfect example from the AP, courtesy of the Boston Globe.

It’s an analysis of the housing market, with some projections into the future. The gist of the piece is that immigrants and their children are the fastest-growing segment of home buyers, and those in the biz better know that and be ready for it if they want to stay in business.

But tucked away in the fourth paragraph is an assumption that their case is built upon:

Assuming Congress doesn’t impose further restrictions, immigrants — both legal and illegal — and their native-born children are forecast to provide the bulk of coming years’ growth in home-buying demand, nudging the market back up and aiding the broader economy.

I’ve never bought a house. I am a lifelong renter. But it’s my understanding that buying a house is an incredibly complex process, with many trees giving their lives in the cause of purchasing a domicile. And a great many of those documents involve — directly or indirectly — proving the buyer’s identity and legal status. Documents such as Social Security numbers, employment and income verification, employment history, and the like.

When an illegal alien buys a home, they almost certainly have to commit several frauds. Or, if they’re perfectly honest, then they are providing confessions to numerous laws.

But in the AP article above, that’s just accepted as a fact of life.

In fact, it’s phrased such that the illegal aliens are implied to be an economic boon, and could be the salvation for our suffering housing market.

The real story here is one that is often ignored: the gross insult rendered to legal immigrants. Those people, who have played by the rules and obeyed the laws, see their honesty and integrity denigrated and slighted as they are lumped in with the border-jumpers, the liars who come here on fraudulent visas or overstay them — all those people who think themselves and their circumstances too important to get in line and wait their turn like everyone else. It is on their behalf that I get the most aggravated.

But they tend to take it in stride. I suspect the patience and tolerance and thick skin they’ve developed wending their way through our too-complicated immigration process has inured them to such slights as this.

That’s why it falls on those of us whose citizenship is assured to take up their defense. These are precisely the kinds of immigrants we need, and we must not let them be discouraged if we can at all help it.

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