You probably heard on the news about Elvira Arellano, the illegal immigrant who was deported to Mexico yesterday after a year of claiming “sanctuary” inside a Chicago church. (She got caught in L.A., where she’d come to publicize the pro-immigration cause.)
Well, the law is the law. The United States has a duty to control who migrates into this country. So I’m not shedding any tears for Elvira Arellano (who got booted out in 1997 and snuck back in again).
But I heard a sound bite on the radio this afternoon that made a couple of my orifices clench.
Juan Jose Gutierrez, of something called “Latino Movement USA,” said: “It seems to us that the mentality and behavior by law enforcement of the runaway slave is alive and well.”
Oh no he di-in’t. He did not compare illegal immigration to black slavery... did he?
Then I saw a wire-service report where Señor Gutierrez popped up again. “A small group of protesters and activists condemned the deportation, comparing it to returning a slave to his masters,” according to Reuters.
“ ‘The message we take from the federal government is that there will be no mercy toward the modern-day slaves that are the undocumented workers,’ said Juan Jose Gutierrez, coordinator of Latino Movement USA.”
That’s what I can’t stand about the rhetoric of the hard left. It’s all about trying to manipulate people’s emotions. No clear-headed appeals to reason.
And make no mistake, Gutierrez is a hardcore revolutionary Marxist. I’ve downloaded a couple of his little speeches off the internets. His goal is to smash capitalism, so obviously he doesn’t want to strengthen America as it is; he wants to weaken it for the kill.
Hey, take your best shot, J.J. But don’t expect any black people to stand in solidarity with you on open immigration when you disrespect our struggle. Illegal immigration isn’t comparable to black slavery in any way.
One, nobody is dragging Mexicans here against their will. Two, no U.S. immigration official has lashed the bare back of any Mexican with a whip, as used to happen to “runaway slaves” who got caught. Three, Mexican workers get paid; they send billions of dollars per year back home to Mexico.
Gutierrez will use the deportation of Elvira Arellano to try to stoke up a couple of social-protest actions this coming fall. Whatever. I don’t care how he spends his time. I don’t care if he beats his meat to “The Bolivian Diary.”
I just say this: let’s treat our border like a border and build that fucking fence already. Those who wish to immigrate can line up in an orderly fashion and do it by the rules.
UPDATE (08/21/07): It had slipped by me that, even before Elvira Arellano got deported, her supporters were calling her “a Mexican Rosa Parks,” according to the L.A. Times. (Hat-tip: Sister Toldjah.)
The only positive thing about this is (as I mentioned in a comment), when it comes to social activism, the black civil-rights struggle is the gold standard for moral authority. When Latino activists invoke fugitive slaves or Sister Parks, they’re trying to cop some of that precious commodity.
To state the obvious: Rosa Parks was a citizen who defied an unjust law. Elvira Arellano is a non-citizen who defied a just law.