recently claimed that Donald Trump’s strict immigration laws could spark a civil war. His latest article is so absurd that even the majority of Al Jazeera’s commenters have rightly pilloried his fatuous logic. This warrants yet another thorough deconstruction. He actually begins by conceding one of Trump’s arguments, only to later denounce it (emphasis mine):
Trump has accumulated a lot of support from the GOP nativist base in large part because they trust him to enforce immigration laws. The first sentence in his plan is “When politicians talk about ‘immigration reform’ they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders,” and he’s right. Few national politicians and fewer business leaders are serious about deporting 11 million people. Undocumented immigrants are a necessary part of the national economy; American enforcement practices are designed to manage, not eliminate, violations of border laws.Taking that contention at face value, I guess that in a shitty service economy like the United States, immigrants can provide some benefits. Is that something we really want to encourage though? In an already terrible job market, importing yet more low-wage, unskilled workers doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense. Anyway, after mouthing the usual tired cultural left/libertarian talking points, Harris raises hyperbole to an art form:
First of all, there’s the scale. Deporting 11 million people would be a population transfer so large it only has a couple historical precedents, and one of them is Adolf Hitler’s. To extract that many people from their communities would require a much larger and more determined effort that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is capable of at present. To this end, Trump proposes tripling the number of ICE officers, specifically geared to increase deportations. In a country with volunteer border patrols and lasting unemployment, I don’t think President Trump would have a problem recruiting.That’s right, wanting to deport illegal immigrants – which wouldn’t be deemed controversial in the overwhelming majority of countries around the world – places you on the same moral level as Hitler. Only in the US (and its Anglosphere cousins) would such rhetoric fly. Also, while conceding that Trump would have no problem recruiting people for his deportation push, Harris implies that deporting that many illegal immigrants is unrealistic. Okay, perhaps deporting all 11 million is a bit of a stretch, but there is no logical reason to believe that the US is incapable of controlling its borders and enforcing immigration laws. Uncle Sam has no problem maintaining military bases all around the globe, assassinating people in destitute shitholes with drones, or spying on the entire country via the NSA. If the American government really wanted to, they could easily stem the tide of immigration. Speaking of the federal government, Harris embraces a cities’ rights approach that bears a strange resemblance to the states’ rights rhetoric of the old South:
Sending an amped-up ICE on a mass-deportation mission wouldn’t just be an assault on undocumented people and their families, it would be an attack on American cities, where more than 90 percent of them live. For large municipalities, rigorously enforcing immigration law is unfeasible but also politically unpopular. So-called “sanctuary cities” have declared their ongoing intention to drag their feet when it comes to cooperating with the Feds. For example, law enforcement in many cities (including New York) selectively complies with ICE requests to hold people in custody on suspicion of being undocumented. ICE can’t do their job without local cooperation and the use of these legally questionable detention orders has decreased by more than 70 percent in the last four years. Trump’s answer to sanctuary cities is to defund them by “cutting off federal grants.” It’s not clear if he means particular law-enforcement grants or all federal money, but either way he’s provoking a big fight, one that pits levels of government and their armed agents against each other. Every American city larger than Jacksonville, Florida, has some sort of public sanctuary provision. I don’t think Trump wants to go to war with all of them, but he says he does.Funny how when it comes to gay marriage, leftists are always supporting the power of the federal government over the sovereignty of more conservative states. Yet when the issue is illegal immigration, people like Harris become the George Wallace of open borders. The author then subtly endorses terrorism:
Local law enforcement might be a Trump ICE’s smallest problem. I don’t think any number of federal officers will be able, for example, to enter New York City and round up half a million people without meeting popular resistance. There are plenty of precedents. London’s Anti-Raids Network catalogs and organizes activism against immigration enforcement neighborhood by neighborhood. The group uses Twitter to spur immediate disruptions of raids in progress. American authorities may be better armed, but we also have a strong core of brave activists and organizers who are already changing the country from the street. And if only a small percentage of the various conspiracist anti-government fringe movements’ members aren’t white supremacists, the detention camps a Trump administration would have to hastily construct would push at least dozens of them over the edge.In other words, you’d better grant amnesty to illegals, or some of my more crazy brethren might go apeshit on you!
I think that he vastly overestimates the numbers and resolve of pro-immigration types. Sure, many liberals passionately support open borders from the comfort of their coastal enclaves. But how many of these people with bumper stickers saying a “human being isn’t illegal” are actually willing to take up arms and risk their many comforts on behalf of
Right now there’s a contradiction between the laws and the practices when it comes to American immigration, and it’s no accident. This compromise keeps elite interests (like low-wage labor and white supremacy) balanced and the system running, at least until now. Because the current system works well for most powerful people, it’s doubtful Trump will be able to win the presidency or implement his dastardly plan, but his support indicates a substantial number of Americans are so full of hate they want to roll the dice no matter what the consequences.I gotta admit, the whole “white supremacy” part left me a bit nonplussed. If our elites really placed such a high premium on white supremacy, would we even have an immigration problem to begin with? Would whites have plummeted from close to 90% of the population to just over 60% in a matter of five decades? I think it’s safe to say that our new oligarchs don’t care too much about the interests of most white people.
This little passage also goes to show that the left is completely dependent on the 1% that they ostensibly hate. Harris, in so many ways, seems to be demonstrating some measure of furtive gratitude for the immense power of our wealthy elites. Without them, poor illegals would be subject to the mercy of Trump and the “hateful” machinations of growing numbers of white Americans.
At the end of the article, Harris predicts (or hopes for?) a civil war. I won’t go so far as some of Al Jazeera’s commenters and say “bring it on!” What I will say is that you know your country is in a terminal state of decline when a modest proposal to enforce borders and deport illegal immigrants prompts comparisons to Hitler and fears of civil war. All I know is that unless some kind of action is taken, the US’s status as the 3rd world of the 1st world will only get worse. Once that happens, then we might very well witness a real civil war.