Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Why does the immigration debate bring out the worst in us? Vienna Convention case divides Texas conservatives

RickG at the Lone Star Times has an excellent extended discussion of why conservatives are torn over the dispute between the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and President George Bush over whether states are bound to abide by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

As someone who enjoys foreign travel whenever I can, I'm personally with the President on this one: I want other countries to follow our treaties when they're dealing with me, so IMO we should do the same with respect to U.S. laws. Rick shows why that stance, though, gives the CCA and a lot of conservatives severe heartburn. Laments Rick:
the rise of discontent with this President has seemed to blur the reason and judgment of otherwise fair-minded men, to the point that a civil discussion, let alone rational analyses, is nearly impossible.
Jacquielynn Floyd made the same observation recently in the Dallas News about the debate in Irving over police notifying immigration officials when they make arrests. (In most Texas jurisdictions, that only happens after someone is convicted and after any prison sentence is fully served.) I'm not sure what it is about the immigration debate that turns off people's brains, but more often than not, it sure seems to do just that.

MORE: SCOTUS blog has an account of the oral arguments.


Anonymous said...

It's fear, plain and simple. Our country has a long and sordid history of fear of immigrants. I think it is fear of the unknown, fear of change and fear of those who are in some ways different from us. In the 19th century it was fear of the Catholic influx of Irish, Polish and Italian immigrants. Immigrants from England were welcome. Now we have the fear of Spanish overtaking English. Gee wouldn't it be terrible if we got to be a truly bilingual country like Canada? Good, red-blooded Americans would have to submit to the tyranny of bilingualism. Horrors! Old Salty

JT Barrie said...

It's mostly racist. The difference in language is the key. Anyone caught speaking Spanish is immediately suspect. Most countries teach English as a second language - but that only happens with higher income well educated people. Closely wedded to anti immigration anxiety is the "English as the official language" brigade. Somehow we've gone over two centuries without an official language [I wonder how that happened - considering all the blatant racism that happened in the past?]. But now we need to make it official. Anyone who wants to abuse their body and soul to get to the top needs English anyway. Maybe it's spurred by the "life in the fast lane" consumerism that gives us our obesity epidemic that is the trigger. These lazy Mexicans don't want to join the rat race and kill themselves off early.

Kyle Maxwell said...

"He's not like me and therefore he's not as good as me."

This is often the key to the problem, and that spans people of all cultures, races, nationalities, and religions.

I do a lot of work in the Spanish-speaking community in Irving, actually, and I grew up in East Dallas. I have yet to meet an immigrant who doesn't see English as perhaps the most important key to success and even just functioning in day-to-day society. And even for those that are older and struggle to have the time and energy to learn the language, making sure their kids learn English is frequently their top educational priority as a family.

There's a reason you almost can't turn on a Spanish-langugage station without seeing a commercial for "Ingles sin barreras" within a few minutes.

Anonymous said...

"divides Texas conservatives"? Really? I didn't get that from the post in Lone Star Times. Unless you mean the author himself, so I guess that's one conservative who's divided.

The simple fact is that the President is an internationalist who has made an executive power grab for the purpose of placating Mexico. Even John Yoo doesn't think executive authority extends that far.

Matt Bramanti said...

Gee wouldn't it be terrible if we got to be a truly bilingual country like Canada?

Yeah, the various cultural groups in Canada get along great.

It's mostly racist.

What race are you talking about?