Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day

Cinco de Mayo is four days away so why is May first the day for the Mexican immigrant protests? The answer is that today is more important to the organizers than the 5th.

For several decades, May 1 has been associated with workers' rights, especially in communist countries. A big organizer of the protests is International ANSWER which is closely related to a communist group.

Their tactics are based on revolutionary tactics. Today is a general strike. This is meant to force the US to agree to the demonstrators' demands, mainly instant legalization.
This means that non-Americans will be using the radically un-American tactic of a general strike in order to pressure Congress into acting in their interests, rather than in the interests of the American people. Yet what right do non-citizens have to influence political decisions about the American nation at all? People who are not citizens of the US do not have the right to vote or to hold office. But if we refuse to give non-citizens the traditional political rights of an American citizen, what sense can there be in extending to them the dubious right to use the streets as a path to political power: a right that the American tradition has always repudiated?
Do the marchers understand what they are doing? MSNBC has this quote:

"If I lose my job, it's worth it," said Cruz, who has a temporary work permit that is granted to many Central Americans. "It's worth losing several jobs to get my papers."

This man isn't even an illegal immigrant. He has work papers. Clearly the scope of the debate is shifting.

It is shifting in Mexico, also. President Fox has called it patriotic to continue to speak English in America. His likely successor Manuel Lopez Obrador, has proposed making the United States a 6th Mexican voting district.

Between demands for legalization of anyone who wonders over our boarder, granting driver's licenses to all residents, and proposed voting reform that lets anyone with a driver's license vote, the entire concept of American citizenship is under attack.

As I've said before, I'm all for immigration as long as it is on our terms. This includes the expectation that the immigrants will learn English and become citizens. I don't care at all for the American labor market being co-opted as a subsidiary of the Mexican economy.

Two years ago gay rights were gaining ground. Many states supported some form of domestic partnership. Had gay leaders accepted this as a temporary victory and waited for a decade, they would probably have eventually won support for gay marriage. Instead they rejected domestic partnership and pushed for full marriage to be recognized in every state. This prompted several state constitutional amendments outlawing both.

Illegal immigrants are following the same path. Political progress comes slowly and attempts to force it usually cause a matching counter movement. By making unreasonable demands, the immigrants are turning off people who had been generally supportive of them.

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