28 June 2007

If not twelve million, then why one?

You have to love political discourse in this country. When you can’t find an argument which either actually supports your own position or refutes some portion (if not all) of your opponent’s position, you simply assert that your opponent’s position can be compared to that of some odious group, no matter how superficial the similarity.

Yesterday (27 June) while driving home from the office, I was listening to the Hugh Hewitt show. A caller to the show, in the course of his discussion of the bill, made the assertion that the United States cannot deport 12 million people – not because of the physical impossibility of such a deportation, but because doing that will get them (i.e., the United States) compared to nazis.

I’m not going to waste time distinguishing the deportation of illegal guest workers from the deportation of Jews in order to put them in concentration camps and gas them. I’m not going to waste time distinsuishing flying illegal guest workers home (or busing them, or sending them via passenger train) from herding them into cattle cars – again for the purposes of putting them into concetration camps and gassing them.

I don’t need to distinguish the two cases because the simple fact of the matter is that if we can’t deport 12 million without being compared to nazis then we can’t deport even one.

Let’s work backwards here. If we can’t deport 12 million people without being compared to nazis, may we deport 11,999,999 people? More than likely, even deporting just 11.9 million will still get us compared to nazis. What about 10 million? Can we deport 10 million without being compared to nazis? Again, probably not. How about just one million two hundred? Can we deport just that number? That’s 10 percent of the 12 million we’re talking about.

What’s the magic number? At what point do you get to deport illegal entrants into your country without being compared to nazis? Is it one hundred twenty thousand? That’s one percent of the number we’re talking about. Can we do that? If so, then can we deport one hundred twenty-one thousand? How about one hundred twenty-two thousand? If so, how about one hundred twenty-three thousand? At some point as we move down the number line we should come to that figure which these people would allow us to deport without comparing us to nazis, right? But then we can ask, “Why that number and not just one more?” and so on and so on until we get back to 12 million.

(Of course, it’s worse than that. For once they tell us how many people they will allow us to deport they’ll have to tell us who we may deport. Why these one hundred twenty-two thousand and not those one hundred twenty-two thousand, or those over there? So, really, we can’t even deport the one hundred twenty-two thousand.)

If you can’t deport 12 million people, then on what grounds do you deport just one? Besides, these 12 million (as I have the figures) are only the illegal Mexican guest workers. Since the caller asserts that we can’t deport 12 million, he must mean the Mexicans. Would he then assert that we can deport the remaining 18 million? Probably not. So again, we can’t deport anyone.

If we can’t deport 12 million, then why should we deport Zoila Meyer? And if we can (morally, not physically) deport Zoila Meyer, without being compared to nazis, then why can’t we deport 12 million illegal guest workers?

Note: I am not a proponent of mass deportation. I just disagree with the proposition that doing so -- if we did -- would earn us a just comparison with nazis. Give me a break. Deportation means sending them home, not to the gas chamber.

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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