It will not surprise my two or three regular readers that I am on the ACLU emailing list.
Today, I got an appeal to notify my state officials of my opposition to instituting an Arizona-like “I Know One When I See One” immigration policy, with the option of customizing the message (no doubt most of you have seen such things). Often, when I get such appeals from some of the sites in which I participate, I do not customize the message; sometimes I add a paragraph or two. Occasionally, I rewrite the whole darn thing. Once and a while, I ignore them as frivolous, stupid, or silly.
This time, I rewrote the whole darn thing as follows:
I was glad to see that Governor McDonnell expressed skepticism about the course that Arizona has taken regarding immigration.
I hope and trust that Virginia will not embrace anything like the magical “I Know One When I See One” approach to immigration that Arizona has taken. I oppose any such profiling and vigilantism.
I think immigration policy should be returned to what it was when my ex-wife’s Italian forebears entered the country: If you were healthy and could work, you got in. I note that this policy changed only when the skin color of immigrants changed from European white to darker hues, starting with the exclusion of the Chinese.
Since the days of the Know Nothings, previous generations of American immigrants have decided that the next generation of immigrants is somehow “unAmerican.” And each succeeding generation of immigrants has proven them wrong.
It is time to end the hypocrisy and bigotry of American immigration policy, to replace
“Give me your rich, your white, your Ph. D.s,
your investment bankers yearning for tax free”
“Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Don’t even bother to talk to me about “practical.”
The United States was not founded on “practical.” The Founders were practical persons with an impractical vision.
The United States was founded on an ideal; the Constitution was a practical way to that impractical ideal.
That’s what ideals are about: the attempt to realize them.
The American people have found a way over the years to bumble eventually into doing the right thing, sort of.
Each “sort of” has become an improvement for the succeeding generation.
And eventually is sometimes a long, long time.