This might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read in the Boston Globe – and that is saying a lot. No matter that they are criminals and a drain on our society, this tool wants millions of them to flood our state to preserve a congressional seat. Oh, and in case you were wondering, it’s our fault they are called illegal because we have made it too hard to come here and feed off of the public trough.
The relative decline of our population compared to the rest of the nation has been the source of much soul-searching. Why don’t people want to live in Massachusetts? Some blame the weather, an unpersuasive answer if you’ve ever spent a summer in a growing state such as Georgia. Others blame our politics, our high housing costs, our taxes, and even our economy (it’s geared to college grads, and hence shuts out those of lower skills).
Solution: Illegal immigrants. Each member of Congress represents about 647,000 people. Get a few million immigrants to move to Massachusetts, and we’d start to get some muscle.
Which is what puzzles me about this paroxysm of anti-immigrant rage that has swept the nation, a paroxysm that has even made its way into Massachusetts’s gubernatorial elections. Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker has taken a tough line, supporting Arizona’s mean-spirited immigration law, ripping incumbent Deval Patrick for “siding with immigrants,’’ and vowing to put the State Police to work enforcing immigration laws. Patrick has been far better on the issue, but even as he decries “hate-mongering,’’ he agrees that “illegal immigration is a serious national problem.’’
No, it’s not.
Let’s deal first with this obsession over the word “illegal.’’ There is an easy assumption that “illegal’’ equates to immorality. But illegal immigrants are illegal because we have made it much harder today to be legal than it once was (did the Pilgrims ever have to show the Wampanoags their green cards?). Being illegal doesn’t make you a bad person any more than dropping the speed limit to 10 miles per hour would suddenly make those driving faster bad drivers. Indeed, if mere “illegality’’ was truly the issue, then you’d expect to see the anti-immigrant crowd pushing to loosen immigration rules.