12 April 2006

The Undocumented Country

I was just listening to the news on the radio. The mayor of Los Angeles wants to remind America that this country was built on the backs of immigrants. I hate that line of garbage, for implicit within it is the proposition that some body of non-immigrants made some other body, the immigrants, do all the work. As we all know, there is no one here who is not an immigrant; by which I mean to include those who are the descendants of immigrants.

In addition to making—wilfully, I suspect—the same mistake that Tony Snow and others have made (that is, missing the point) by speaking of immigration per se as opposed to illegal immigration, Villarigosa makes another mistake. Villarigosa speaks of this country. A country is, among other things, a geographical entity; as a geographical entity, a country has borders. For all practical purposes, Villarigosa seems to want this country to continue without borders. Which is as much as to say that he wishes this country not to continue. (It’s about semantics and logical implications. Being a poltician, Villarigosa probably spends some time thinking about rhetorical flourish, but not a whole lot about logical implications, apparently.)

You can have doctors without borders. But you can’t have countries without borders. After all, countries are defined by their borders; doctors are defined by their medical credentials.

Besides, if there were countries without borders, what would we could call them?

Hmmmm. Welcome to the Undocumented States of America. No rules. Just rights.


About Me

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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