July 10, 2007

The Rise and Fall of Immigration Reform: Language Had Everything to Do with It

From HuffingtonPost.com, via Alternet, by Drew Westen:

To be compelling, and to defuse the morality tale on immigration of the right and righteous, our story needs to begin with the most important truth, for which we needed no reminder this week from London and Glasgow, that the protection of our borders and safety is the first task of government. It then needs to steal the thunder from the right that readily reverberates through the middle by adding to the incantation, "If they're going to live in our country, they need to learn to speak our language," the simple, progressive, and quintessentially American phrase, "because if they don't, their children will never know the American Dream, and we will have done nothing for them but to relegate them to second-class citizenship."

And it should remind those of us who can sometimes be moved to hatred or callousness when it is intermingled with the language of terror or prejudice, but whose better angels will heed our call if only we summon them, that we were all once strangers in a strange land, and that when we look in the face of an immigrant who wants nothing more than to work hard for a better life for his or her children, we are looking in the mirror.


I'm at work so I can't spend long on this. I just thought this was a really good post on immigration.

In other news, I recently ordered this shirt from Alternative Tentacles' website:

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