Let’s be blunt: anyone who endorses anything remotely resembling the “comprehensive immigration reform” currently bandied about in Congress is either a fool or a liar.
Amnesty — and make no mistakes about it, “comprehensive immigration reform,” “a pathway to citizenship,” and whatever other euphemisms its apologists invoke do nothing to change the fact that it is amnesty that they favor — is a fool’s errand of epic proportions. This becomes obvious once we consider it in light of an analogy from everyday life.
You’re married. Chief among the obligations inherent in marriage is that of fidelity. Your spouse has chronically failed to fulfill this most basic of duties. Finally, you’ve had enough. Upon threatening your philandering spouse with divorce, she acknowledges that your marriage is “broken” before swearing to not only change, but change radically. Not only will she stop cheating, she promises to transform herself into the epitome of the loyal and loving wife.
While you would doubtless want to believe this, you could not do so.
No one could.
Unfortunately, none of the good sense on display here is present in this debate over amnesty — even though the reasoning for the latter is identical to the reasoning of the unfaithful wife.
It is among the most basic obligations of a government to secure its country’s borders. As fidelity is essential to preserving the integrity of marriage, so too is border security essential to preserving the integrity of a nation. Indeed, a government that fails to secure its borders is unfaithful to its citizens.
Now, according to the Senate Gang of Eight’s plan, the government will be expected, not only to secure the border, but to see to it that a whole lot of other conditions are satisfied by those who are on “the pathway to citizenship.” There are a few things to note here.
First, if the government can’t or won’t fulfill its most basic and simplest of obligations in securing the country’s borders now, there is zero reason to accept its assurances that it will fulfill this duty as well as a bunch of new duties later. As my old martial arts instructor used to say, you’ve got to learn how to walk before you can learn how to run.
With respect to this issue, our government hasn’t yet learned how to walk or even crawl. But the Gang of Eight and their accomplices in the media would have us believe that with the stroke of a pen, the federal government will instantaneously become a marathon runner.
Second, border security is as big of a non-negotiable in governing as fidelity is a non-negotiable in marriage. The citizens of the United States should no more have to negotiate with their government to secure its borders than spouses should have to negotiate with one another to refrain from engaging in adultery. Spouses owe it to each other to be faithful. Similarly, the government owes it to its citizens to secure their borders.
However, when Marco Rubio or Chuck Schumer or any other politician favoring amnesty tells us that, in order to secure the border we must first place millions of illegal immigrants on a “pathway” to citizenship, what they are essentially saying is that we, the people’s elected representatives, will not discharge our constitutional duty unless you go along with what we want.
Translation: border security most definitely is negotiable.
And their accomplices in the media, most tragically the so-called “conservative” media, echo this sentiment.
Finally, when Chuck Schumer, Marco Rubio, and their allies in Washington inform us that our immigration system is “broken,” they admit, albeit unwittingly, that they, Republicans and Democrats alike, broke it. Only now, after decades of breaking the system apart piece by piece, they expect for citizens to trust them to construct a new system that is better than ever, a system that will magically solve all of our immigration related issues once and forever.
To take seriously such a claim is to expose oneself as a fool. To ask others to take it seriously is to expose oneself as a liar.
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at email@example.com or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.