Why are Some People Entitled to their Fears, while Others are Not?

“Fear” is a word you hear thrown around quite a lot in discussions about immigration. Oddly, the word has different connotations depending on who it is being applied to.

When the word fear is being applied to people who violate our immigration laws and the possibility of the law being enforced against them, it is meant to evoke sympathy for the illegal aliens and to rebuke the heartless society that is causing them to live in fear. When simple fear is not enough to spark the desired emotional response, the media and advocates for illegal aliens stand ready to up the rhetorical ante to “terror” – as in the “immigrant community” (a blanket description that lumps legal and illegal immigrants together) is being terrorized by the law enforcement agency that is tasked with enforcing the laws illegal aliens violate.

Conversely, the word fear is used frequently in discussing the broad swath of the American public that wants immigration laws enforced and overall immigration levels reduced. In that context it is not meant to evoke sympathy, but rather disdain. Americans who are said to be fearful of mass immigration and unchecked illegal immigration are depicted as driven by base emotions. Their inability to conquer the most primitive of all emotions make their concerns unworthy of consideration by the political and social elite.

In fact, as acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said recently in congressional testimony, people who break laws should live with some degree of fear that there could be consequences for their actions. If there are no consequences for breaking laws, then law are meaningless. No one should live in terror (and the only terror associated with illegal immigration is manufactured hysteria by political advocates), but all of us, including illegal aliens, should be worried when we break laws.

The people whom our laws are meant to protect, on the other hand, do have some legitimate fears of mass immigration and unenforced illegal immigration. For good reason, they fear that these phenomena threaten their jobs, their wages, their children’s schools, their access to vital public service, and other things that are important to them. A few, like those who live in communities infested by violent criminal gangs like MS-13, live in terror as a result of our unenforced immigration laws. Nobody should be terrorized by criminal gang members – especially those who should never have been in the country in the first place.

Unfortunately, like just about everything else, our language and our emotions are being corrupted by political opportunitists. It seems that nowadays, among the many things we have to fear is the application of the word fear itself.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    let me tell you about fear , there is something going on in this country that’s not being addressed, there are way to many immigrants coming in. For one Islamic immigrants have been invading countries around the world this last few years and terrorizing them, I think its time to invest in repairing countries these people are coming from instead of ramming these people down our throats. Our cultures do not match and can not co exist, their doctrine explicitly say to lie to gain access to other places and invade, Since their doctrine explicitly says to lie .how can you believe a single word that comes from their mouths?. as we see in Europe they are trying to take over, why the hell would you even consider bringing this vile plague to our country, their doctrine clashes with our constitution it can not co exist. there fore it must be banned. Also there seems to be a rash of non muslim people coming into our country. I don’t even know what they are, they have an accent, but I do not recognize it and there are large numbers they seem to be every where. its not Hispanic, its not Islamic, its not people from india, they have a darker color skin but aren’t black. I have no idea what they are, but there seem to be a ton this last couple years. One thing is bothering me, why are all these people coming here? we aren’t sending U.S. immigrants to their countries, so why are they all coming here?, I say close the gates enough is enough, we have a ton of people here and we don’t need any more, cripe after people start having children the pop is gonna grow anyway, stop taking more and more and more, is there some reason the land they live on now gonna vanish? time to stop this bullcrap and find ways to help people in the world right where they are , stop bringing them here it isn’t helping anything! if anything it’s setting us up for our country to be overthrown or attacked.

  2. avatar

    Most of the media insists that more immigration only helps this country. There is a story in today’s Los Angeles Daily News that just shows the downward spiral that city is in. Both LA and San Francisco have huge homeless populations. One city councilman says LA is a “city of encampments” with filthy streets and rampant drug use. Since California has the largest number of immigrants, percentage wise and total, you would think they would not have these problems. At least so go the arguments of how immigration “grows the economy”.

    The hard reality is that overpopulation has made even the most ordinary houses and apts. beyond the reach of all but the upper percentile. Yet the politicians of that state, backed by the brain dead voters, encourage and incentivize more immigration, whether legal or illegal. Moonbeam Jerry Brown has said “all” Mexicans are welcome to move there.

    And any opposition is always declared, with the help of the media, to be racist. It’s a big part of why the press is against Trump. They have continued to portray the White House as filled with white supremacists, based on nothing more than innuendo. Meanwhile they have totally ignored the decade long association of Democratic National Committee vice chairman Keith Ellison with Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan is one of the most virulent anti-Semitic anti-white bigots in the recent history of this country and Ellison was a passionate public defender of him for years, then distancing himself from him only when Ellison ran for office. Like Obama with Rev, Wright.

    • avatar

      Well, anybody can do what he/she wants as per their positions. .but one thing does not change…n it is their actions n their implications on what they represent n consequences ..

      For instance our constitutional rights that the president just showed do not matter under him any longer…..well today was the Latinos…..an endorsement of racism after Virginia’s….

      He should had let the due process take place n perhaps pardon Arpaio after he serves his sentence but justice is served…..

      Leland your vote has destroyed the very essence we always shined but no longer on anything that has been fairness n discrimination…….

      You should be more than ashamed since u r a threat to the free World…….

      • avatar

        So that you understand what I wrote …. The consequences n implications of these actions, started w your vote. Look at the magnified result….our way of life n the reason people gave their lives n fortunes in the from the birth of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to nowadays …how a single vote has out put country on it’s knees n more people will be affected…. hopefully there will be no more blood in your hands after Virginia’s…..

        • avatar

          No one could ever “understand” what you “wrote” because it’s meaningless endless babble.

          • avatar

            It is just you Leland due to the fact you never went to school to further develop your brains…si it us not your fault…it comes from your gene’s ancestry…..

            Nothing wring to enjoy life bin a simpler manner

            The only issue is that your vote is dangerous ti the future of this land. ….

            Read below what I told you even illegals are helping.

            Houston police chief says goal is to complete all critical rescue missions
            Pair of 70-year-old dams protecting Houston overflow
            Associated Press • MICHAEL GRACZYK and DAVID J. PHILLIP • 27 minutes ago
            HOUSTON (AP) — A pair of 70-year-old reservoir dams that protect downtown Houston from flooding began overflowing Tuesday, adding to the rising floodwaters from Harvey that have crippled the city after five consecutive days of rain.

            Engineers began releasing water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs Monday to ease the strain on the dams. But the releases were not enough to relieve the pressure after one of the heaviest downpours in U.S. history, Army Corps of Engineers officials said. Both reservoirs are at record highs.

            The release of the water means that more homes and streets will flood, and some homes will be inundated for up to a month, said Jeff Lindner of the Harris County Flood Control District.

            The county is trying to determine where the water will go, Lindner said.

            Meanwhile, more than 17,000 people are seeking refuge in Texas shelters, the American Red Cross said. With rescues continuing, that number seemed certain to grow.

            Calls for rescue have so overwhelmed emergency teams that they have had little time to search for bodies. And officials acknowledge that fatalities from Harvey could soar once the floodwaters start to recede from one of America’s most sprawling metropolitan centers.

            More than four days after the storm ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, authorities had confirmed only three deaths — including a woman killed Monday when heavy rains dislodged a large oak tree onto her trailer home in the small town of Porter. But unconfirmed reports of others missing or presumed dead were growing.

            “We know in these kinds of events that, sadly, the death toll goes up historically,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told The Associated Press. “I’m really worried about how many bodies we’re going to find.”

            One Houston woman said Monday that she presumes six members of a family, including four of her grandchildren, died after their van sank into Greens Bayou in East Houston.

            Virginia Saldivar told The Associated Press her brother-in-law was driving the van Sunday when a strong current took the vehicle over a bridge and into the bayou. The driver was able to get out and urged the children to escape through the back door, Saldivar said, but they could not.

            “I’m just hoping we find the bodies,” Saldivar said.

            Houston emergency officials could not confirm the deaths.

            A spokeswoman for a Houston hotel said one of its employees disappeared while helping about 100 guests and workers evacuate the building.

            The disaster is unfolding on an epic scale, with the nation’s fourth-largest city mostly paralyzed by the storm that parked itself over the Gulf Coast. With nearly 2 more feet (61 centimeters) of rain expected on top of the 30-plus inches (76 centimeters) in some places, authorities worried the worst might be yet to come.

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            2635 Reactions

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            Share your reaction

            Avatar Joe 6 hours ago
            I have seen Blacks Hispanics and whites working together, it is heart warming when people work for the good of others.
            Hide replies Reply 1695 85
            Avatar Jl 14 seconds ago
            True ❤️
            0 0
            Avatar Nada 55 seconds ago
            You just can’t seem to get “race” off of your brain. You are seriously SCARED for life.
            0 1
            Avatar Michael 2 minutes ago
            The divides only exist as a rule in Washington and with those having an agenda. The rest of us are just getting along fine.

    • avatar

      Hahahaha!!! N u fail to recognize yourself every morning at the mirror!not!!!…you r 1 of them: brain dead voter: … look who U elected…. hahaha!!!

      • avatar

        I have no idea why this site continues to allow you to troll with your endless cut and paste.

  3. avatar

    You forget we allowed/welcomed them to stay here …abused them n in some instances some be an wealthy using them……so fear is the correct word .. .

      • avatar

        I concur that you write gibberish. Plus, the cut & paste job did not prove your point. The article said black and white working together. Saw no mention of anyone’s citizenship or legal status mentioned.
        Moreover, your memory is short. After Katrina, the Mexicans and their below-our-border friends flooded into the hard hit areas. There, they undercut wages of tradesmen rebuilding the area. Then they did what they always do: chain migrate their relatives and birth anchor babies. Here’s the interesting part: when the economy went sour, naturally the locals said “American jobs for American workers”. Blacks were displaced particularly. Get this: illegals cried foul, because “we LURED them here”!!!!! Yep. We sure did. With a cat 10 hurricane?
        Residents also resented that the very character of their towns had changed also, becoming barrios. Call me crazy, but when I go to New Orleans, I expect to see black folk. And that is precisely what they said.
        Your gobbledygook argument does not hold (flood) water.