Talking about “undocumented immigrants” in the same breath as refugees, permanent residents and citizens has only one purpose – to imbue illegal immigration with a nobility it does not deserve, deliberately undermining the beleaguered nation state. And the time has come for open borders zealots to be honest about what they are trying to do.
Under the guise of discussing the sanctuary city phenomenon, New York magazine has a propagandistic but otherwise pointless article profiling 44 “New Yorkers” of varying and sometimes dubious immigration status, whose sole purpose seems to be to deliberately blur the lines between various types of immigration, thus giving political cover to the illegal kind.
Why 44 immigrants? Presumably this is an allusion to the fact that Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States, and because he supported the DREAM Act and implemented the DACA policy (even though only four of 44 people profiled in the piece are themselves beneficiaries). Yes, that is the kind of pseudo-analytical, emotional codswallop that we are going to be dealing with here.
The piece begins with suitable pomposity:
That ours is a sanctuary city — arguably, the sanctuary city — shouldn’t be surprising. After all, for 130 years we’ve displayed, in the New York Harbor, the most iconic symbol of welcome in the world. In the weeks after an election season defined in part by an ugly debate over who should be allowed to live here, New York photographed dozens of immigrants and new citizens, ranging in age from 1 month to 91 years, to suggest the breadth of the New York–immigrant experience.
Of course, capturing the full breadth would be impossible — there are 3 million New Yorkers who were born somewhere else, more than a third of the city’s population. All of which is a good reminder that even the city’s hoariest come-hithers — make it here, make it anywhere, etc. — contain an implicit promise: Our city is open to anyone who’s willing to give it a shot. Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses, yes, but also your ambitious, your artsy, your queer, your shunned, your misfits, and anyone else who can’t, for some reason, feel at home where they are. Whatever it is you’re a refugee from, this city can be your refuge. We may have a fabled reputation for crossed-arm toughness, but in reality, New York is the city whose arms have always been open the widest.
We then delve into the profiles, many of whom are of babies who clearly cannot speak for themselves but who are nonetheless selected because of their emotional resonance (using babies to build emotional support for a political argument is fine when it concerns immigration, apparently, but try to do so in connection with a …different subject, and many on the Left will immediately lose their minds).
“I remember the sound of helicopters, and running, and the cold breeze, and my mom trying to cover me up,” Prioska Galicia says about the night she crossed the border into Arizona in 2004.
She was 6 years old. A recent high-school graduate, Galicia aspires to go to college, but that hope is tempered by the uncertainty of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals under Trump. “We want to work. We want to succeed. Other people don’t see it like that. They see it as us wanting to take other people’s jobs.”
Okay, so here we have what might be a seemingly typical case of an illegal immigrant smuggled into the United States by her family – and a very sympathetic case, at that. Galicia is, I am sure, a model petitioner for citizenship in every way.
But then we see Galicia’s case placed alongside examples like this:
Tristan Kelvin Bosc
Age: 1 month
From: United States
Bosc was born in November to German and French fathers who met in 2005, two years after moving to the United States.
“For us, it was a choice to move here,” says Benoit Bosc, one of Tristan’s fathers. “You don’t want to over-romanticize it, but you know, the land of dreams where things are possible. We hope that it stays this way because for him, that’s the future.”
Presumably Tristan’s German and French fathers both emigrated to America via one of the legal routes open to them. So why even include such people in an article about sanctuary cities, unless for the deliberate reason of muddying the waters that separate those who follow the process and those who circumvent the process? Maybe there is a word slightly less harsh than “propaganda” to explain what the New Yorker is doing here, but if so, I struggle to think of it.
From: South Korea
Tsue and her family moved to New York in 2015. Her mother is Korean and her father is Taiwanese-American.
At home, her mother, Seyun Kim, speaks to her only in Korean. When Pepper started preschool in September, Kim packed a translation sheet for the teacher. It included words and phrases like water, mommy and daddy, and I want a hug. “She’ll learn English,” says Kim. “But it’s important for her to know Korean, too.”
What a marvellous case study in good integration – a mother who deliberately refuses to help her own daughter to assimilate into their new country by conversing with her in the dominant language, and who then has the temerity to pack her daughter off to school with a translation sheet for the teacher, so that those already living here can do all of the hard work. Yes, this is exactly the kind of example that we should be promoting.
One doesn’t like to think ill of people. But what is one supposed to think of the New Yorker when it cherry-picks cases such as this, and celebrates them precisely because they go against the grain of integration and assimilation? Seriously, what is the excusing factor here? I fail to see it.
Indigo Van Eijck
From: The Netherlands
Lawful permanent resident
Indigo Van Eijck is in sixth grade. His family started commuting back and forth from Rotterdam when he was 5 for his father’s work in landscape architecture.
“I had to learn a whole new language,” he recalls. “You do learn English in the Netherlands, but only very little. You say things like, ‘Hi, how are you?’ but in a very Dutch accent.” The family became legal permanent residents in 2011 but still goes back to the Netherlands for a month every summer. “The people are different here,” Indigo says. “Nobody really cares if you go to the store in your pajamas in the morning. At home, most of the strangers you meet on the street are nicer ― probably because the population is so much smaller.” He misses his native cuisine when he’s here, and he made Indonesian dumplings (which are prevalent in Holland) for Thanksgiving. But the sushi in the Netherlands, he says, “is awful.”
So now we have the son of a clearly wealthy landscape architect and a lawful permanent resident. What place do these people have in an article purportedly about sanctuary cities? What do Indigo Van Eijck and his family need to take sanctuary from, precisely?
Fayza Gareb’s family fled Syria for Turkey in 2013 when the Assad regime began bombing her family’s village near Aleppo.
“I worked as a waitress in Turkey,” she says. “The first time I heard a plane’s voice over the restaurant, I went under the table because I was scared it would drop bombs like in Syria.” Her father longed to make it to the United States but died of cancer before the family was admitted last August. Gareb and her mother, sister, and brother were among the 15,000 Syrian refugees President Obama pledged to accept in 2016.
And now we have refugees thrown into the mix! Refugees who have been lawfully admitted into the United States and who therefore are at no risk of deportation or particular persecution by federal authorities. Why does New York Magazine see fit to include these cases side-by-side with undocumented child migrants from Mexico, lawful permanent resident children of successful landscape architects and natural born citizens?
Then we have that rarest of cases, a South Korean undocumented SJW, banging on about her relative “privilege”:
Stephanie Ji Won Park
From: South Korea
Stephanie’s family came to New York in 1998 when she was five and overstayed their tourist visas.
She first became aware of being undocumented in middle school, at Horace Mann. “I was thinking about the high-school-senior Bahamas trip, and my mom was like, ‘Hopefully in a couple of years something will happen,’” she says. “Whenever I introduce myself as undocumented I do a whole spiel where I say I think I’m one of the most privileged undocumented people out there. “Like, ‘Oh, I found out because I couldn’t go on a senior trip to the Bahamas.’” As she started applying for colleges, the realities of her status became more clear; still she considers herself lucky. “If I were to be deported, I’d be deported back to South Korea. Yeah, that’ll be tough, but it’s not the same as going back to a country where the chances of being murdered are very high. Maybe it’s a state of denial, but I’m just trying to focus my energy on people that are in a worse position.”
The heart bleeds. Thank goodness there are sanctuary cities like New York which provide a safe space for South Korean tourist visa abusers and their families to skip the queue, spurn the lawful routes of entry into the United States and avoid being sent back to the terrible, dangerous and backward country of South Korea.
Lawful Permanent Resident
Bomani’s Tanzanian parents met while studying at Howard University. Her sister was born here, then her parents moved back home and had her and her brother.
“We spent most of our summers here in the U.S. So then I came for college — at Drexel University in Philadelphia. I studied corporate communications,” she says. She came to New York to live permanently in 2009. “In New York, no one asks you where you’re from because you have an accent. Everyone’s from somewhere. It has a completely different feeling from the rest of the United States. The possibilities of what one can be — there’s just something in the air here.”
Quite why that atmosphere of possibility cannot be maintained while observing federal immigration law is never quite explained, either by Bomani herself or by New York Magazine, who casually use her life story as part of their insidious propaganda.
“I wish for her the same thing I wish for them, the best of life,” Lourdes, 47, says about her granddaughter Kamilla and her children, Ricardo Aca and Montserrat Aca, who are both Dreamers.
Lourdes crossed the border in 2004 and worked as a housekeeper and factory worker before sending for her children. “For me the most important thing is for them to study so that they have a better future, and hopefully stay in this country that we’ve learned to love. Because, in reality, we consider this country now like our country. There was a moment when I felt exasperated, that perhaps I had made a mistake in having brought them over,” says Lourdes. “But looking at it now, I feel like it was worth it. Everything that we went through was worth it.”
It is great that Lourdes and her family have “learned to love” America. Of the various kinds of illegal immigration this is the best kind – people who have or are assimilating, and feel gratitude toward their new host country. Perhaps this kind of illegal immigration is even the most typical, as leftist zealots loudly insist. Perhaps. And certainly we should have sympathy for people like Lourdes and her family – though they retain agency and responsibility for their actions, they were also victims of the strong “pull factor” of illegal immigration, the blind eye turned toward illegal immigration by American business and government.
Many such people are already now American in spirit, and there is nothing to be gained by deporting them. But neither is there anything to be gained from placing them on a pedestal and attempting to endow their actions with some kind of undeserved nobility. Immigration laws exist for a reason. And as with all laws, either support them or argue for their repeal, don’t equivocate while openly celebrating lawbreakers.
As one reads the New York Magazine piece, one is struck by the fact that the vast, vast majority (40 out of 44) of those profiled are either full citizens, lawful permanent residents or approved refugees, none of whom need the shelter of a so-called sanctuary city to live in the United States without fear of deportation. There is absolutely no good reason for these people to be included at all. But there is one very bad reason.
Because the goal here is not really to celebrate sanctuary cities specifically. Despite the title and preamble to the New York Magazine piece, this is nothing more than a convenient hook, a ruse. The real goal is nothing other than the perpetuation of this omnipresent, simplistic, holding-hands-beneath-a-rainbow leftist vision of a borderless world where more than sharing a common humanity (which of course we do), we also share the automatic right to live wherever we want in the world, regardless of whether we choose to move there legally or illegally.
It is part of an insidious attempt to undermine the idea of borders, of nationality, of the nation state itself, and to smear anybody who objects to this radical and untested vision as being a backward-looking reactionary at best and a dangerous racist at worst.
The only reason one might be motivated to publish an article praising sanctuary cities and then profiling the wealthy children of notable Dutch landscape architects is if one is actively pushing this absolutist open borders agenda, a worldview in which there is zero moral or bureaucratic distinction between somebody who obeys immigration law and somebody who proudly flouts those laws.
And if one takes this position, if one tacitly argues that current illegal immigrants living in America should all be praised and lauded and conferred with immediate citizenship, then surely the same goes for anybody around the world who wants to pick up and move to America tomorrow? And then you have no nation states anymore. And no America.
The people at New York Magazine are not stupid. Many of them are blessed with the ability to spin a fine turn of phrase and argue convincingly for the things in which they believe. So when can we stop fighting this tiresome shadow war and get down to the meat of the matter? When will they come out and honestly admit that they want to abolish America?
Postscript: If “abolish America” sounds harsh, what else should one call a suite of policies and actions which actively seek to reward lawbreaking and encourage vastly more illegal immigration while demanding absolutely nothing in return by way of bureaucratic compliance, respect for the law or intent to assimilate?