Why You’re Wrong to Think I’m Against Immigration Reform

FAIR -- fighting the FAIR fight for true immigration reformThe immigration conversation has deteriorated into an unproductive, polarized “I’m for” and “you’re against” discussion that often ignores the complexity and nuances of the issue.  Divisive labeling most often misrepresents the motives and rationale of groups like FAIR who advocate for – most affirmatively for – secure borders and the rule of law, yet we’re frequently described being “against” everything and opposed to reform.

For the mainstream media, defining individuals and groups as either for or against immigration reform is easy and offers the benefit of implying “good” and “bad” – opposing elements that journalists use to drive the drama of a story.

Although it is certainly easier to sum up one’s position by either of those two words, the latter is one few want to be associated with. Even in issues as heated as the abortion debate, there is at least an attempt to define both sides as being for something. One is either pro-life or pro-choice because people on both sides hold sincerely principled beliefs.

Unfortunately, for those who do not subscribe to the idea that “immigration reform” equates to amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, the policies and principles they do support are rarely mentioned. FAIR is among a number of immigration organizations wrongly categorized by journalists as being “anti-immigrant” – a doubly egregious description. Not only does it attach the inherently negative “anti” label, but it includes the intellectually dishonest conflation of “immigrant” and “immigration,” suggesting that those who want immigration laws enforced bear some animosity toward immigrants.

Instead of researching what FAIR and other like-minded groups support, the press tends to regurgitate a simplistic one-word description, while the sorts of reforms we espouse are not even mentioned.

While our true thoughts are left out, any person who follows current events is well aware of what groups like National Council of La Raza, America’s Voice and Immigration Works advocate for: They want immigration policy to bend to their own political or economic interests.  FAIR-aligned individuals and groups are called anti-reform but none of that is true. In fact, we want to reform immigration that places the interests of the American people paramount.

We want the type of reform that acknowledges that our immigration laws exist to protect the economic, social, and security interests of the American people. None of the legislation under serious consideration in Congress – particularly the Senate Gang of Eight bill, S. 744 – comes close to meeting this description.

Both sides in this debate are for immigration reform. It’s just that we have very different ideas about what those reforms should look like. Ironically, despite the negative labeling, recent polls suggest that when it comes to immigration reform, a majority of Americans are for what FAIR is for.

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  1. avatar

    Following up on the pro-life vs. pro-choice analogy, it might be helpful if we stated using a “pro” label to oppose the misleading but unfortunately widely used “pro-immigrant.” Ideally, it would have the same or fewer syllables. How about “pro-citizen”?

  2. avatar
    Cynthia Elia, RN on

    Because FAIR is very PRO POPULATION CONTROL, it perceived negatively and scoffed at. How can people be so blind to the facts, when famine, droughts, loss of usable land,are so obvious and other resources have almost disappeared, including the extinction of wildlife? Yet people continue to have families with 3-6+ children? My mom taught me in the 60’s about replacement population, and we learned about it again in school in the 70’s. Am I the only one who remembers? Am I the only one who listened? I love children and wildlife, which is why I care so much…I care more than people with kids, who look at me like I am from Mars whenever I speak about sustainable. They view having children as their God given, unalienable right, instead of considering what kind of world these BAD choices are doing to their kids. Many of the calamities we learned about in school have already come true, no longer a distant threat of the future….IS IT TOO LATE???

    • avatar

      Too many people think “Bigger is Better”. They can’t relate to the concept of a finite planet. When someone tells us they have 20 grand-children, instead of smiling and saying how great that is, we need to frown and let them know that this is definitely not a good thing –how this is sucking up the planet’s resources,. I think the majority of us think that the world is over-populated, but very few are willing to speak out about this.

    • avatar

      FAIR is a marvelous site and has the statistics and well researched information to back it up. It is also well formatted and highly informative.
      Yes, , I believe many think as we do -(as polls are now showing) and hopefully we will see big changes.
      Write your Representatives and ask them to “trash” the wretched immigration bill and to present the bill based on the premise of the “Jordan Commission.”
      We have to stop that enormous, unfair immigration bill and present something which can be accomplished. Look at the ACA and the tax system to see the evils of burying all the political favors in humongous government bills.
      Accolades tp yopur profession – (RN). One of the most highly professional achievements in this country.

  3. avatar

    It’s easy for the general public and the media to say “For Immigration Reform” or “Against Immigration Reform” because it fits on a bumper sticker, which is about as far as most of them can think.

  4. avatar

    The problem is the innocuous sounding phrase “comprehensive immigration reform.” To most people, that “reform” includes de facto amnesty for millions of trespassers. If it just meant fixing some things that could be improved, etc., there would be no argument. But as long as “reform” means the betrayal of amnesty, we should all be against it, and say so without apology.
    Therefore-I am against this “reform,” (Period !) and always will be. When amnesty is dropped from reform,” I will then support reform.
    Make it clear that you are AGAINST ANY FORM of amnesty for trespassers, and then state specifically what remaining reform you support. FAIR and all the others should do that.
    ALL of you should have joined together years ago and demanded repatriation of all the illegals and got that out into the public arena and debate. You have failed to do that and that is one reasons we are in this mess.

  5. avatar
    HelpForAmericans on

    What we should be doing is not going against the illegals, but against those who hire them. They are the ones who give these illegals the incentive to sneak into our country. They are the cause of illegal immigration. Without business’s hiring these people, they would not come here and plus they would go back where they came from. We need to get on their back and not let go until they have had enough of us and stop hiring those illegals .There are some who have actually started a business to explicitly hire illegals only, just to make a huge profit off of them. Hiring illegals is against the law. When are we going to enforce that law? When are we going to boycott business’s that hire them. Do not do business with any crook that hires illegals. They are knowingly hiring them to make huge profits and the government is allowing them to do this. We can stop it by not doing business with them. Also write them and tell them they are breaking the law. Ask them why they hire illegals and not Americans. Hiring them to do work for you makes you part of the problem.

    • avatar

      Wrong. I am against those who hire them (jail for them) but the main culprits are the illegals themselves and the federal govt, whose job it is to keep the illegals out in the first place. The employers cannot control the borders and the illegals are the intentional lawbreakers. DO NOT let them off the hook!!!!
      They should all be repatriated-this can be done.
      This country is fighting for its life and NO ONE should be wishy-washy on this issue.
      Trespassers out!!!

      • avatar

        Jean what you say is all well and good but it does not solve the problem of the jobs magnet, the reason the illegals come here in the first place. The only solution that does that is mandatory use of E-Verify by all employers for all employees.This with $10,000 fines for each employee employers hire without use of E-Verify would close off the jobs and force self deportation of the mass of illegals coming here for jobs leaving only the gang members and other criminals to handle. Our borders are too long to seal completely without the use of harsh methods that we will never use.

    • avatar

      I wholeheartedly concur and want you to know it goes MUCH farther than that. I recently worked for four years in the non-profit field where I saw organization after organization receive money from major corporations to “help the community”. Though the project proposals and grants submitted did not even remotely mention a Latino service priority, review of the non-profits’ service records would clearly show that’s where the bulk of their money and resources would go – even when the client most fitting their stated mission was from another group. I personally witnessed a non-profit who had been working in the the construction field in a city with a relatively low-Latino population say to a Latino organization they were glad they would now be moving to a new city with a high Latino population so they could hire those people. The new city they moved to has historic high unemployment – the highest amount is among non-Latinos.

      I am now in government and have been waging a battle almost daily to ensure our resources and programs more clearly reflect our constituents. For years, at least 7 that I am aware of, the dominant group that receives service and assistance is Latino – though the vast majority of these clients are NOT citizens or of legal status AND they are not the group with the highest documented need. However, the staff charged with doing outreach is all Latino and under the leadership of a White director, a Black director, and now a Latina they have been allowed to funnel almost all service/programs/outreach to this group. I have been in my role only a few months, but thankfully my boss (assistant director) and others now seem to be listening and making moves. Who knows how long it will take, but I’ll keep at it!

  6. avatar
    HelpForAmericans on

    They still need to tell America just what is it about the immigration laws that need to be fixed. They say it is broken. Well just what is broken? What needs to be reformed? That Hispanic illegals should be exempted from the law?

    • avatar

      Enforcement is broken just as are our borders, laws, and all the promises we got in 1986 that all of this would be dealt with.
      Out environment, workforce, neighborhoods, culture, and destiny are all being broken. There is only one solution-total crack down on the invaders-and traitors who support them.

    • avatar

      Accountability is broken. Immediately after entry of a legal or illegal visitor Immigration services lose them. 40% of illegals entered the country with a visa and then failed to leave. Where are the 50 to 60 thousand “kids” that arrived this year? The Administration forbids local police to ask for papers, even though the law requires legal visitors to carry them, States give them drivers licenses, our legal identification, and they disappear. The only solution is mandatory use of E-Verify with enforcement so they can not work.

  7. avatar

    I think the main reason I am against open immigration is the fact that the immigrates state they come here for a better life and then demand that we change all we stand for and adhere to their beliefs. Most business want to hire only bi-lingual people thus limited the number of job seeking Americans who are not bi-lingual. I have known numerous people who have lost their jobs for just this reason. If they want to come here and assimilate into this country they need to learn our language. I do not care what religion they practice, but we are expected to give up out beliefs and practices because it offends them. My grandparents were immigrants, they were required to learn the language, monetary system and prove they could work and support their families before they could stay. I have has police officers say they rarely stop people of Hispanic origin since it goes to racial profiling and the officer ends up defending himself against being a racist.. Nevada allowed them to have drivers cards here, they interviewed a man that stated (through and interpreter) that he had been driving here for 20 years illegally and this seemed to be okay since he openly admitted to being here illegally and committing a crime for 20 years yet still received his driving card.. I am not a racist, but I believe in a level playing field and the laws and rules should apply to everyone equally .

    • avatar

      The rule of law ,is the rule of law. The whole 3rd world wants to come here ,like a plague of locus plundering resources meant for future generations of AMERICANS… If they want to cause a smoke screen labeling anyone against their agenda a RACIST so be it ! Past time to run these INVADING HORDES out of our country on the end of a bayonet !

  8. avatar

    As a FAIR supporter, I think that the simplistic labeling of people and their positions by the journalists in this country only makes it more difficult to educate the public and to craft sensible immigration legislation. Saying that FAIR supporters are Against any and all immigrants makes as much sense as saying that those in favor of amnesty for illegals and mass legal immigration are in Favor of any or all immigrants. Assuming the extreme position applies to both sides, FAIR supporters want zero immigrants, while everyone else wants zero limits on immigrants, so ISIS members can immigrate here and at least 2 to 3 billion poor people on Earth can move here because if we have any limits on immigration then you are anti-immigrant and racist.

    Wanting lower levels of legal immigration than we have now and no illegal immigration does not make you anti-immigrant or racist any more than not wanting ISIS members and 3 billion poor people to move here makes you anti-immigrant or racist. So please stop trying to win your arguments by labeling people, American journalists, and look at the facts of the immigration issue and what is in the best interests of the citizens of the US.

  9. avatar

    Virtually everyone is for immigration reform because virtually everyone thinks immigration policy as it operates today needs fixing. But the immigration that I and FAIR want to see is along the lines of the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (the “Jordan” Commission) that issued its recommendations in the mid-90s. Those included scaling back legal immigration by restricting family sponsorship to only nuclear family members, eliminating the category for unskilled immigrants and (by implication) ending the visa lottery. The recommendations also included increased control against illegal immigration at the border and at the worksite. Those recommendations are still valid, and some of them were included in the so-called “comprehensive” reform legislation adopted in the Senate. But, the USCIR did not recommend an amnesty for illegal aliens already in the U.S., and that idea was inimical to former Sen. Barbara Jordan, who chaired the Commission.

  10. avatar

    Its Wrong to Want to be Right?

    Its the right thing to do to enforce our sovereign nation immigration laws, almost all other nations in this world would agree with me here. So why do the American open border pundits buck the globalist trend by bad mouthing America’s immigration laws?

  11. avatar

    When you read a news story about some immigration restriction party getting a substantial vote in a European country, the press in this country invariably describes that party as “far right”. But they never explain why the label fits. Apparently limiting immigration is the equal of jackboots in the street.

    When it comes down to it, who has been proven right. For decades FAIR has said that a growing population is only going to make our water woes worse. And not just the West. Atlanta has long been under a federal court order to take no more water from a lake that sends water into rivers that flow into Alabama and Florida. For all the tantrums about “nativism” from the other side, they were the ones proven wrong about something that is common sense on the face of it. More population for the same resources doesn’t work.

    Or the fact that FAIR and other groups have for decades been saying that immigration lowers wages for the average American worker. And you can chart it, decade by decade for the last 30 years. Mass immigration and falling wages for working and middle class workers. And all those politicians who claim to care so much for the working class turn around and do the bidding of big business and the US Chamber of Commerce.

    It’s like a remark Ann Coulter made a few months ago, commenting on the shills at MSNBC acting all bewildered as to why there was not more recognition among some conservatives about the benefits of the Senate “reform” bill, because it was supported by big business. As if that support by business proved something. As Coulter pointed out, something that would give big business massive amounts of visas for low wage foreign workers is in their self interest. Not in the interests of the average worker. Liberals put their blinders on when it comes to immigration. They won’t believe a thing big business says, except when those same businesses want to flood the country with low wage/no benefit workers and Americans are expected to compete with that.