Skip to comments.'Illegal' is misunderstood by many [All law is narrative, illegality is arbitrary]
Posted on 05/22/2006 4:01:24 PM PDT by SJackson
Roberto Rodriguez Anti-immigrants like to bandy about the phrase: "What is it about illegal you don't understand?" And they go ballistic over "amnesty" at the thought of treating all human beings equally and humanely.
Here's a question that should help clarify the meaning of "illegal": In U.S. history, which of the following were not simply common practice, but legal?
A. Forced removal of native peoples and the theft of their lands.
B. Slavery, segregation and racial discrimination, and the denial of voting rights to women.
C. Mass internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent and the mass repatriation of U.S. citizens of Mexican descent.
If you answered yes to all of them, you would be correct. But let's fast forward to 2006. Which country asserts the right to:
A. Wage pre-emptive and permanent war against nations that do not pose an imminent threat?
B. Secretly and indefinitely detain suspects incommunicado, without charges, at home and also outside of its legal system, while exempting its military from the international war crimes tribunal and claiming that the Geneva Conventions on war do not apply to this nation?
C. Spy on its own citizens outside of the law, and also asserts the right to use the military for domestic purposes?
If you guessed the United States right again. The U.S. formulation of what is legal/illegal emanates from its military sector. (Since the 1950s, the United States has overthrown dozens of legitimate governments and propped up brutal military dictatorships.) President Bush is but carrying on a tradition that says that whatever he says is legal, is legal, or else.
Truthfully, that legal/illegal formulation, in relation to immigration, can be traced to a much earlier era when Europeans first arrived on this continent.
Americans like to collectively forget/deny that Europeans never had the legal right to seize lands or peoples (as slaves or subjects). American Indian law scholar Steven Newcomb, author of "Five Hundred Years of Injustice," has long argued that Euro-Americans have never established a recognized international legal claim to any land in the Americas. The basis for such claims comes from the so-called doctrine of discovery and the Catholic papal bulls of the 15th and 16th centuries that "gave" European powers the "right" to divide up and conquer the non-Christian world.
Law scholar Sharon Helen Venne, author of "Our Elders Understand Our Rights," also asserts that the institution of the law itself was created by Europeans to specifically deny indigenous peoples their humanity and their rights as human beings and as peoples, thus facilitating land theft and attempts to eliminate and/or dehumanize native populations.
This history is the context of legality/illegality with regard to immigration. It includes a clearly illegal war against Mexico in the 1840s and a history that has treated Indians-Mexicans as demonic, uncivilized and criminal and now equates them with terrorism. The only reason immigration is illegal in relation to Mexicans is because this society continues to view Mexicans most of whom are indigenous-based peoples as subhuman.
The book "Decade of Betrayal," by Francisco E. Balderrama and Raymond Rodriguez, reveals the inhumane anti-Mexican U.S. deportation policies during the 20th century. Additionally, an examination of laws regulating immigration from Canada and Mexico shows that they've always favored the northern border. Historically, Canadians were able to cross into the United States for six months, no questions asked. After those six months, there were no migra hunter battalions looking for them or other Europeans who had overstayed their visas. All sides fail to address the fact that 40 percent of the undocumented population comes in this way. Yet government always finds a way to single out and hunt down Mexicans.
It's time to repeat the phrase: What is it about illegal you don't understand?
There actually is an alternative, by way of the policies of the European Union, that would solve this crisis overnight. All workers from member nations are eligible to work in each others' countries, without losing their rights, citizenship or humanity.
Thus, we can clearly see that notions of illegality are arbitrary. As University of New Mexico scholar Margaret Montoya notes, all law is narrative. That's why if this nation wants to sign multinational agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (U.S., Canada and Mexico) or CAFTA (Central America) or the FTAA (Americas), then human beings cannot be left out of the equation. That's the narrative being inscribed in the jungles of Chiapas and by millions of people marching on U.S. streets: that "no human being is illegal."
Shall we debate the meaning of amnesty and who actually needs it?
Well, I guess the only "proper" thing to do would be to dissolve Congress, get rid of government altogether, and go back to the nice, peaceful old days of perpetual inter-tribal warfare - sort of like in Africa today.
Shouldn't this have a barf alert???
where's the barf alert?
Evil white men built the greatest society the world has ever known and are expected to feel guilty from these post-modernist leeches who want to live off it.
I suppose of I applied a baseball bat to Mr. Rodriguez (heaven forbid) then I wouldn't be arrested, since I would only be exercising my human right to dissent?
You know what's worse for them? I don't feel one drop of guilt over this.
Spain invaded and killed the rulers of Mexico.
Now the survivors of this must be allowed to invade and conquer America!
Then tell me, Mr. Rodriguez, why Mexicans are so damn insistent on barging into this terrible country? Hmmmmmmm?
Maybe we should have occupied Mexico City after 1848 and extended the USA clear to Panama.
We would have a lot fewer problems today if we had.
He lost me on the third line.
A series of quesiton to make us feel guilty about our history so we don't do whats best for the country but do what the agitators insist we do. .... Needs a "White Guilt Alert".
This clown writes the article about the bad, mean old United States but doesn't try to explain why the opressed are trying as hard as they can to stay here and bring their friends and families. We should put him in charge of helping these poor people escape their plight here by fleeing to their native countries.
I wouldn't mind 12 million illegal aliens so much if they all stayed at Roberto's house in Madison and Roberto picked up the entire bill.
So when we slit all the leftists' throats and dump their bodies so that the Ohio and Mississippi run red for a month, will our "narrative" be equally valid?
What is it about illegal aliens breaking our laws that we should just go along with. If we went to their country and broke the same laws that they break here, we would end up in jail.
Absolutley! And, in this debate, let us not leave aside from this discussion how Mexico treats their illegal immigrants who only cross into Mexico to do the jobs Mexicans won't do.
After all, family values don't stop at the Yucatan Peninsula, do they?
When the rats and the MSM stopped using the term illegal aliens and went first to undocumented immigrants and then to just immigrants, we lost the language war.