Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rick Perry, Superman, and Illegal Immigration

This has been making the rounds and I think it's just too damn good to pass up:



oyster said...

Yes, exactly!

Eric said...

Kind of funny he is picking on Perry on this issue... Perry is more sympathetic to illegal immigrants than any of the other GOP candidates. In fact, that is probably the single biggest factor keeping Perry out of serious contention right now.

Huck said...

Eric - You're right that Perry is more sympathetic to undocumented immigrants than any of the other candidates, and that's telling, because Perry's sympathies are still pretty shallow and he's had to backtrack on everything that he's done that even marginally treats undocumented immigrants humanely.

Second point, I bet Perry is not the only one of the GOP crop who would have the view of Superman as one of the greatest American superheroes. So, the overall point is still very relevant and definitely condemnatory of the current crop of GOP presidential hopefuls.

Eric said...

Well, for the record, if a trespassing non-citizen shows up in El Paso with the ablity to fly, bend steel beams with their hands, and shoot laser beams from their eyes, and is willing to take orders fromt he US Government... I support amnesty and immediate citizenship for that individual.

Huck said...

OK, Eric. But let's just think of some of those undocumented immigrants as the John Galt railroad worker types, which many of them are. It reminds us that one doesn't need to demonstrate the ability to fly, to bend steel beams with his hands, or to shoot laser beams from his eyes to be an American hero or to form the backbone of what makes America great. Isn't a dedication to hard work and a commitment to individual responsibility enough in itself to warrant amnesty and immediate citizenship in America?

Eric said...

Well, of course the problem with that is John Galt wasn't just a railroad worker. Like Superman, he was a fictional and idealized specimen of physical, mental, and philosophical perfection (or at least one person's idea of it). And in the real world that ideal is about as unattainable as the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

But putting that aside for a moment, if it were possible to design a test for illegal immigrants that measured them against a standard of health, stamina, intelligence, philosophical integrity, good character, common decency, and ambition... then sure, under certain conditions I'd be willing grant amnesty and citizenship to those who scored in the top quintile. But I doubt that idea would get any support from the left.

Huck said...

Yes, John Galt wasn't just a railroad worker, but the fact that he chose to be one wasn't coincidental. I think the point he was making was that it didn't matter what occupation you had, as long as it involved a commitment to hard work and self-reliance.

And I beg to differ about how much support any kind of amnesty and citizenship program would have on the left.

My suggestion would be to change our immigration policy to let anyone who passes a security background check to get a temporary work visa that could be converted into a permanent resident visa after six months if that person can demonstrate that he/she has a secure job, guaranteed by an employer who would vouch for that person.

Let immigrants come into the US and compete for jobs with the promise of potential citizenship for succeeding at the task of competing for a job. Employers would love it. The immigrants would love it. And I promise you that those immigrants who couldn't meet the standard after six months would probably be happy to go back home anyway. The undocumented immigrants who want to stay now are the ones who are working hard and have secure jobs.

It's not the left you'd have to worry about in terms of securing support for your proposal. I think you'd find much more support there than on the rightwing.

I think the antipathy to instituting a comprehensive immigration reform program on the rightwing that involves any kind of amnesty/citizenship provision has very little to do with the health, stamina, intelligence, philosophical integrity, good character, common decency, and ambition of an immigrant, but rather a simple fear of a transformation of some notion of a pure American culture that would come with such reform.

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