Friday, November 23, 2007

Thank God for This Illegal Immigrant

Anti-illegal immigrant conservatives love to point out those stories where illegal immigrants do harm to some legal citizen of the U.S. They love to point out that if only our immigration laws were enforced and we put up a stinking wall, some innocent and unsuspecting victim of a crime committed by an illegal immigrant might still be alive. Fine. No one ever said that illegal immigrants are not like other human beings, capable of doing bad and criminal things. But what these anti-illegal immigrant conservatives NEVER point out is the other reality that many lives are saved and many good deeds are done by illegal immigrants.

Here's one recent story of an illegal immigrant who made the choice to stay and help a 9-yr-old boy who was involved in a tragic automobile accident in the Arizona desert, an accident which claimed the life of his mother. Facing the certainty of deportation, this immigrant chose to do the right thing and stayed with this boy, likely saving his life, until help could arrive. I could very well argue that had a wall been built and this illegal immigrant kept out of the United States, it could have very well cost the life of a traumatized 9-yr-old U.S. citizen. Here's the pertinent part of the story:

As temperatures dropped, he gave him a jacket, built a bonfire and stayed with him until about 8 a.m. Friday, when hunters passed by and called authorities, Estrada said. The boy was flown to University Medical Center in Tucson as a precaution but appeared unhurt.

"We suspect that they communicated somehow, but we don't know if he knows Spanish or if the gentleman knew English," Estrada said of the boy.

"For a 9-year-old it has to be completely traumatic, being out there alone with his mother dead," Estrada said. "Fortunately for the kid, (Cordova) was there. That was his angel."

Cordova was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents, who were the first to respond to the call for help. He had been trying to walk into the U.S. when he came across the boy.

The boy and his mother were in the area camping, Estrada said. The woman's husband, the boy's father, had died only two months ago. The names of the woman and her son were not being released until relatives were notified.

Cordova likely saved the boy, Estrada said, and his actions should remind people not to quickly characterize illegal immigrants as criminals.

"They do get demonized for a lot of reasons, and they do a lot of good. Obviously this is one example of what an individual can do," he said.
What a story of heroism and goodness! But don't hold your breath waiting for Lou Dobbs to tell it, though.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most illegal aliens ARE good people. Unfortunately, when they ignore the immigration system, we can't seperate the good, from the bad.

No country can survive if they open their borders and let in an unlimited number of people with any type of screening or standards.

We should welcome legal immigrants and deny jobs to illegals.

Call your congressman and ask hil to support the SAVE Act HR 4088. It will force all employers to verify social security numbers.

Huck said...

Anonymous - Thanks for the comment. I agree that countries not only have the right, but even the obligation to set border policies and to enforce them. I have no problem with border patrolling and enforcement of immigration law. But you are mistaken if you think the immigration system is designed to separate the good from the bad. It is designed to keep the world's working poor out of this country, regardless of whether they are good or bad. Believe me, many "bad" people in the world, but who are wealthy, can much more readily secure a Visa to enter this country whereas the working poor who go through the system legally never have a shot.

Nevertheless, what I have an even greater problem with is the general tone of the anti-illegal immigrant movement, which almost always dehumanizes illegal immigrants. For instance, why do you insist on referring to such people as illegal "aliens"? It's not a term you have to use, yet you choose to use it knowing full well that the term "alien" is nothing if not a dehumanizing term. These people are not from another planet. And even though you admit that most illegal immigrants are good people, how often is this ever said or pointed out? Have you ever seen a blogger or pundit hostile to illegal immigrants run a story or commentary on the good and heroic things illegal immigrants do? On the flip side, every time an illegal immigrant does something bad, commits a crime, it gets headline attention and all kinds of vile comments by those hostile to illegal immigrants.

If you think that most illegal immigrants are good people, even though some are bad people, I challenge you to say as much in proportion to the reality.

Don_cos said...

knowing full well that the term "alien" is nothing if not a dehumanizing term. ~ Huck

And the left like to use the word “immigrant,” knowing full well that the term is nothing but a ploy to deflect from the fact that they are here illegally.

However I do have to give you kudos for not doing so yourself.

These people are not from another planet. ~ Huck

Main Entry:
1 alien

Function:
adjective

Etymology:
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin alienus, from alius

Date:
14th century

1 a: belonging or relating to another person, place, or thing : STRANGE b: relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government.


If you think that most illegal immigrants are good people, even though some are bad people, I challenge you to say as much in proportion to the reality. ~ Huck

The biggest problem with the “most illegal aliens are good people line” is that we all seem to be missing the big picture.

We could keep taking in Mexico’s problems but that is like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. The problem needs to be fixed at the source. Mexico needs to be taking care of these people.

And yes Mr. Cordova is a hero. I personally would be proud to call him and others like him “an American.” But frankly these Good Samaritan cases don’t even come close to balancing the damage done by the “criminal element” side of this issue.

Huck said...

Hi, don_cos - Good to hear from you. Hope all is well these days with you and yours.

A couple thoughts in reply to your comments:

First, I have no problem with referring to migrants without propers papers as illegals. They are, in fact, in violation of U.S. law. It is not the "illegal" part of "illegal alien" that bothers me, but rather the use of a term that most of us associate with being from another planet or with some monstrous space creature fighting against Sigourney Weaver. The use of the term "alien" in this context of immigration, regardless of its alternative dictionary definitions, is meant to dehumanize. In fact, there is no other reason to use the term "alien" than to dehumanize. Think of it like this: If the real problem that some people have with illegal immigrants has to do exclusively with the illegality of such people, doesn't "illegal immigrant" sufficiently convey the sense of illegality? The use of the term following the descriptive adjective "illegal" is what determines how one views the person being described. Here is where I think we have a choice to recognize the humanity of the person or to dehumanize the person, without at all giving that person a pass regarding his legal status. Anyone who chooses to use the term "alien" over "immigrant" is basically seeking to dehumanizes the person being described.

I also think that the "big picture" argument you give, which I generally agree with in principle, does not diminish in any way the truth that most illegal immigrants are good people. Recognizing the big picture doesn't mean we have to overlook to small picture.

But frankly these Good Samaritan cases don’t even come close to balancing the damage done by the “criminal element” side of this issue.

How are you defining "criminal" in your claim. Some people believe that the fact of being an illegal immigrant automatically makes that person a member of the "criminal element." So, are you distinguishing, as it seems you are, the "illegality" of crossing the border with the "criminality" of other kinds of behavior? Nevertheless, taking your comment on face value, I think you are falling into the trap of believing that the high publicity of the negative always outweighs the silent and unpublicized positive. Isn't it true that we always hear and read about the bad much, much, much more than the good in our world? If we were to think about it, if there really are 20 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., and yet only a couple hundred (or even a couple thousand) of these illegal immigrants do very bad things, that still means that more than 99.99% of all illegal immigrants aren't doing bad things. And I'd venture to say that many, many, many more of these folks are actually doing silent and daily acts of heroism and good deeds than the couple thousand "criminals" are doing bad things. As you well know, the "Good Samaritan" cases are not just limited to this one act. There are hundreds of thousands of "Good Samaritan" acts done by illegal immigrants that never get recognized. On balance, I'd say that you have it backwards. Just as in our broader society, I'd say that the Good Samaritan acts done by illegal immigrants far outweighs the "criminal element" present among this group of people.

Don_cos said...

The use of the term "alien" in this context of immigration, regardless of its alternative dictionary definitions, is meant to dehumanize. In fact, there is no other reason to use the term "alien" than to dehumanize.

Or maybe some people just know what the word alien means and others are projecting a dehumanizing definition on to it.

doesn't "illegal immigrant" sufficiently convey the sense of illegality? ~ Huck

Personally I have no issue with this term. But many do because the term “immigrant” implies that the “immigrant’ is here to integrate into the existing society. However there are far too many “immigrants” who are making it clear that they have no such intention.

Anyone who chooses to use the term "alien" over "immigrant" is basically seeking to dehumanizes the person being described. ~ Huck

Or they simply do not define it the same way you do.

most illegal immigrants are good people. Recognizing the big picture doesn't mean we have to overlook to small picture ~ Huck.

I agree.

How are you defining "criminal" in your claim. ~ Huck

Think Gangs, drunk drivers (I can introduce you to the families of the two girls killed in Virginia Beach), drug dealers and all the other associated criminal activity that comes hand in hand with the establishment of a sub-class in a society.

And

You should have used a question mark rather than a period. This doesn’t have anything to do with the issue but I get a big kick out of correcting college professors! ;-}

99.99% of all illegal immigrants aren't doing bad things. ~ Huck

And this leaves out the costs incurred by these illegal immigrants that has to be picked up by the American taxpayers. This is money that could be used to fix problems that actually belong to the US.