I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like the Journal Gazette's editorial called "A community's loss" right from the opening, when it quoted FDR's admonition for everybody to "remember always that all of use . . . are descended from immigrants and revolutionists." What else could this be but another JG effort to urge disobeying the law if it involves illegal immigrants? Sure enough -- this is the first paragraph:
In spite of their status as a nation of immigrants, Americans have struggled with each wave of immigration, chafing against the influx of Irish and Germans in the late 19th century, Italians in the early part of the 20th century and, today, Hispanic immigrants, both legal and illegal.
Notice a couple of semi-clever things done in that opening. It deftly refers to today's Hispanic immigrants, "both legal and illegal," as if both are equal problems and American citizens have equal responses to both. And by listing all the other immigrant groups Americans "have struggled with" (i.e., been nativist, xenophobic monsters toward), the editorial tries to get readers on a guilt trip right from the start. Hey, it's not the immigrants who are a problem, it's you because of the way you react to them.
Most of the editorial deals with the startling discovery that immigrants are people, too, and when you increase the number of people in a given area, then, by golly, you increase the need for certain goods and services. And if those people leave, then the need to cater to them diminishes. Well, swell, if all we want is people to buy and sell things so we can have a good economy, and we don't care whether they broke the law or not, let's just empty the prisons.
I guess it was the editorial's conclusion that really set me off:
As the downturn continues, attention must be paid to communities like Ligonier, which disproportionately bore the effects of immigration in recent years and now struggle as the economic boost it created is lost.
A strong social safety net should benefit not only native-born Hoosiers, but also the immigrants who have revived the state's struggling rural communities.
So, not only do we ignore the fact that they are here illegally. When the economy sours, giving them an incentive to leave and beginning to correct our illegal-immigration problem, we should prop them up so they can stay. Remarkable. Why not just go the extra step and recruit Hoosiers to drive trucks to the border and load them up with people to really make Ligonier prosper? Screw the law. Screw the border. Screw national sovereignty. Come on up, everybody!