In the Wall Street Journal’s online editorial site, OpinionJournal.com, they republished an opinion piece on immigration reform from a Harvard Law professor, Mary Ann Glendon, that very much revealed her humanity and Catholicism as well as her legal mind. Her ‘article’ was initially published as the June/July featured article at First Things.
I would characterize the expression of her thoughts as an ‘almost’ opinion piece: it almost passes the smell test and almost grasps the real issue and challenge.
Very few things set off my alarm bells faster than someone talking about a problem as one of ‘image’ instead of essence. When Professor Glendon notes the ‘importance of the rule of law to most Americans’ as a something that needs to be addressed in a way that avoids ‘the appearance of rewarding law-breakers’ she is telling us that rewarding law-breakers is exactly what she thinks should happen. She confirms this with the deft-phrasing in closing the same sentence:
“yet shift the focus in individual cases to how the immigrants have comported themselves while in residence here.”One assumes that by ‘comportment’ she means other than the duplicity and fraud required to successfully enter the country illegally and laws violated to avoid detection or deportation while ‘in residence’.
I suppose her point would be well taken IF most Americans felt the appearance rather than the existence of a rule of law was important.
Citing societal and moral implications of the issue Professor Glendon indicates, to her credit, that she understands this issue goes beyond a simple legal one, and grasps that immigration plays a vital role in our history and future. Where she fails miserably is that she avoids or ignores the responsibilities we have to the future: that immigration must be controlled in a manner that ensures the perpetuation of the kind of society that will continue to attract people who want to come here for our freedoms, opportunities and justice. Any immigration environment (such as one that turns a blind eye towards the wholesale invasion of illegal aliens) that does not promote the perpetuation of these and other key elements of our society, will inevitably condemn not only our descendents, but also the future of untold generations of current and future legal immigrants and their descendents.
There is also a not-so-niggling catch to her attempt to overlay some ‘humanity’ on the issue via government policy as well. From the comments the article received at OpinionJournal, I would say I’m not the only one who noticed:
At last! Liberals are outed. Their agenda under the pretext of immigration reform is to install socialism, communism, Marxism and Leninism as the controlling social and economic policies of the United States of America. Who said you can't learn anything from a Harvard professor.Ms Glendon, I submit that “Principled Immigration” involves a lot of ‘tough love’ that those of your ilk are too weak to understand much less administer. This includes taking steps that do not reward and perpetuate the injustice and poverty in the corrupt societies that fuel our immigration problems.