08. December 2005 · Comments Off on “Give me your tired, your poor…” · Categories: A Href, General

Peggy Noonan has a thoughtful column today, posing some questions that she says make up “the big picture” about immigration policy.

I like her big question – “What does it mean that your first act upon entering your new country is breaking its laws?”

Peggy is the grand-daughter of immigrants, and does a nice comparison between her grandparents’ immigration experience and today. And her questions make sense to me.

The questions I bring to the subject are not about the flow of capital, the imminence of globalism, or the implications of uncontrolled immigration on the size and cost of the welfare state. They just have to do with what it is to be human.

What does it mean that your first act on entering a country–your first act on that soil–is the breaking of that country’s laws? What does it suggest to you when that country does nothing about your lawbreaking because it cannot, or chooses not to? What does that tell you? Will that make you a better future citizen, or worse? More respecting of the rule of law in your new home, or less?


Dan, in the comments, gives another perspective that’s worth hearing:

I don’t have an answer, but I struggle with that question paired against “what does it mean that you’re willing to risk arrest, and in many cases extreme physical danger, to enter this country”. Especially every time I drive off the exit where the American citizen is holding the “will work for food” sign (yeah, riiiight, I’ve offered), and then on through the intersection where the day laborers are trying to flag down any vehicle they can because they actually will work for food. And while I’ll take the fifth on how I know this, they bust ass.

Thanks, Dan. One thing I love about blogs is that there can actually be dialogue. It’s always good to hear someone else’s thoughts on a topic.

Comments closed.