Anti-Immigration Anonymous

My name is David, and I’m Anti-immigration.

“Hi, David.”

Well, not anti-immigration, I’m against illegal immigration, seeing as how when I immigrate, I do it legally. And this is no small point: I commute to Canada from New York three or four times a week to pursue happiness there; I have happiness in two countries, and I’m taxed in both countries, and, in the extremes, I’d gladly take up arms to defend the institutions of both, unless, finally, the US tries to take Canada, which would be mutually beneficial anyway, so that’s a moot point (right: let’s see you pay the bridge tolls day after day, week after week, year after year). Moreover, the Canada-US border is sealed tight as an old Tupperware container: not even air crosses the border without accredited paperwork. The grayed locals pine for the old days when crossing the border involved no more than a wave and a nod from the border patrol.

This is my commute. Life is cruel, isn't it?
This is my commute. Life is cruel, isn’t it?

I suppose some of my attitudes stem from this anecdotal reality. And when Sam Wilson published a couple of jeremiads (his word), wherein he had the temerity to call me a “Republican,” I dismissed his arguments as so much more kayfabe, just more browbeating because I didn’t love the “children.” As I mentioned to him, as tenuously as possible, from my perspective on the border, the children are, unfortunately, the folding chairs in a high-stakes wrestling match. Life is cruel, not me.

However, he recently published a more measured review of the situation, and a few things he wrote caused me to realize that my attitudes were not aligned with what I believe. To be sure, I care not one whit about the economics of the thing; I care about the cultural aspects, namely our institutions, which seemed to be good once upon a time, then under constant assault, and now crumbling. Will a river of low-skill poor people not wash their facades away into the ever-consuming yesteryear?

Indeed, what if they do? I actually believe that it is good for institutions to come crumbling down, in due course, of course, not in a violent revolution. People rebuild them, not gods; they will not be perfect, cannot be perfect. Yet when we rebuild our institutions, we are attentive to mistakes of the past, are we not? As I keep saying, in real life, to myself, to my wife and children: the little boys and girls must die in order for the men and women to rise up to meet their end, their telos. It’s a pretty hard thing to do, especially since we have a propensity for childishness.

This one from Sam struck at the child in me: “The myth of the criminal immigrant is just that: a myth. The laws that ‘illegal’ immigrants break are the ones written specifically to target them.”

If I really believe that all our institutions are under everlasting construction, which requires controlled demolition, then I must bring my attitudes about “illegal” immigration into alignment with my beliefs. Unfortunately, as a part of my daily life, I am caught up in the actual process of immigration, which is paternalistic, nay, maternalistic, which, in turn, makes me into an enraged little boy.

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