Quo status?

It’s hard to have a debate when the people who want to participate don’t know what the debate is about. We mentioned this the other week–we took election week off–with Jonah Goldberg’s discussion of the border fence. And again in the past few days the my way or the status quo meme has reappeared:

>Increased border patrol, a 700-mile fence to stop the easiest access routes (something President Bush signed into law two weeks ago), employer sanctions and encouragement of one official language can all help solve the crisis. But once the debate is renewed, congressional reformers will be blitzed by advocates of the failed status quo with a series of false assumptions concerning the issue.

That’s V.D.Hanson, a man quickly becoming a Nonsequitur star. The problem here is that no one seriously advocates the status quo. It’s tiresome to point this out, but take a look at the following:

>Take, for example, the shared self-interest argument–that the benefits to both the U.S. and Mexico of leaving our borders open trumps the need for enforcement of existing laws and outweighs the costs to U.S. taxpayers that result from massive influxes of poor illegal aliens.

Take also for example the argument for turning the elderly into soylent green. “Leaving the borders open” is rather different from “tolerating illegal immigration as it stands.” I don’t think even these cold-hearted people would advocate the current system of institutionalized illegality. And so for the rest.

3 thoughts on “Quo status?”

  1. i fail to see the problem here. i mean it’s just easier to argue with the opponent you wish you had instead of the one you really do have.BTW, that dripping sound you hear is my sarcasm.

  2. I disagree with your assumption that no one seriously advocates the status quo and in fact I believe that on this issue the majority of our political leaders prefer the status quo then advocating change because it does not require their commitment with the possibility of voter backlash.
    There is a growing sentiment of anti-illegal immigration here is America that is countering the balance for the business desire of cheap labor and the political desire for possibly capturing a favorable voting demographic.
    Our Government is manipulated by the big business lobby and are also obsessed with their own self perpetuation – so unfortunately to placate us the electorate, they will debate and carry on, but in the end the status quo will remain by de facto.
    How else do you think we got into this position of 20 to 30 miliion undocumented residents here in the USA?
    I appreciate editorials that at least keep this issue in the news.

  3. Thanks for the comment. I don’t think anyone has seriously advocated the institutionalized illegality of the present system. Whether or not the majority of our politicians advocate this by doing nothing serious is another question. Perhaps a more interesting one. My point was only that Hanson confuses the views of the various parties in this debate. Certainly, for the sake of all involved, we ought to have the debate. But the debate ought to be an honest one.

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