The "moral test" facing Los Angeles over deportation

Harold Meyerson, an editor at the American Prospect, has published something of a call to arms at the Los Angeles Times this week. He’s drumming up support for the people of Los Angeles to stand tall in the face of what he considers to be one of the great “moral tests” of our time. The test in question is what to do about what he perceives as increased deportations in the Trump era. This impassioned plea covers all manner of subject matter with the possible exception of a pesky little thing known as the law. (Los Angeles times)

With the Trump administration eliminating most of the legal distinctions between law-abiding, productive undocumented immigrants and their violent, convicted counterparts, the entire city is facing a test of character. “The question before us,” says Rusty Hicks, who heads the L.A. County Federation of Labor, “is how do we make this different from 1942, when Japanese Americans were carted away and no one lifted a finger to help them.”

At CHIRLA, the to-do lists have changed. The organization is now compelled, sometimes hourly, to confirm or deny reports of ICE sweeps. (No, CHIRLA put out the word on the day I interviewed Salas, there aren’t any ICE agents on the platforms at Union Station today.) But its primary mission is to inform immigrants of their rights and help provide counsel if they’re caught up in the government’s deportation machinery.

In at least one strange way I find myself agreeing with Meyerson here. This is most assuredly a “test of character,” and it is one which the author has completely failed. This is not the first time we’ve seen liberal commentators attempting to conflate the circumstances of illegal aliens in the United States today and the Japanese internment camps of the World War II era. Fortunately for us, anyone with the sense that God gave a goat knows that this rhetorical device is complete poppycock. The Japanese who wound up in those internment camps were, for the most part, American citizens. The millions of people living illegally in the greater Los Angeles area who Meyerson refers to do not enjoy the same rights and privileges.

The other bit of all too common mendacity which the author engages in is the standard liberal device of attempting to draw some sort of differentiation between what he refers to as, “law-abiding, productive undocumented immigrants” and gang members. At the risk of becoming repetitive, this is yet another load of poppycock. (If you don’t care for that term, feel free to insert “tripe.”) While it’s true that we tend to expend more effort and resources on locating and deporting the most violent offenders that’s only because of a lack of resources and personnel required to round up everyone. There is nothing “law-abiding” about anyone who is in the country illegally. You’re talking about criminals in each of these cases and were Meyerson more truthful he would note that he is simply arguing over matters of degree.

The author concludes his piece by pitching an upcoming rally scheduled for May 1 which is being hosted by the Service Employees International Union and is advertised as being “in defense of immigrants.” I noticed that John Hawkins caught wind of the story before me and he also feels that the scheduled March represents a real opportunity. Just not in the way that Mr. Meyerson anticipates.

They’re failing to the moral test by condoning illegality. The march would be a good time for ICE to swoop in and scoop up lots of illegals, though.

Without intending to, Meyerson does provide some thought-provoking material in terms of an actual test of the nation’s character. The real question that each of us involved in this ongoing debate needs to be able to answer is whether or not we have any fundamental respect for the rule of law. If your answer is yes then there is little question as to what we should be doing. If your answer is no, then perhaps a better subject for you to ponder is why you’re in this country in the first place.

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