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[RD] the problem with the "human beings are not illegal" argument

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by caketastydelish, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish 49ers 2019

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    Let's say I or some other man commit a bank robbery, sexual assault, murder whatever.

    Then the defense attorney says "He's a human being, and human beings are not illegal, and therefore he can do whatever he wants."

    That wouldn't be logical, would it? That isn't the way it works, nor should it. There are choices humans beings can make which are in fact illegal. And it should be that way. Laws exist for a reason. Illegal immigration causes problems.
     
  2. Peuri

    Peuri Game

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    Is it even an argument? It's more of a rallying cry that fixates itself too much to the word itself: "illegal immigrant". It's no wonder of course that the people who would disapprove of the term fixate on the form of the word. Many of them think (if only implicitly) that words and their explicit form are central in communication and not necessarily the concepts that they convey. Hence the euphemism treadmill.
     
  3. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish 49ers 2019

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    They immigrated illegally. They are illegal not for being human, but for a choice they made to immigrate illegally.

    edit: the word "immigrate" itself is a verb. It's something a person does, a choice. And it's a choice they didn't have to make, but chose to do so in spite of the law. It's not the same as simply existing.
     
  4. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    You are just being silly here.

    Obviously the point is not that everyone should be free to violate every law, but that human beings should not bear the stigma of being referred to with dehumanizing language because of the violation of specific statutes. One could just as fairly refer to others as illegals for jaywalking, exceeding speed limits, murdering, violating copyrights, arson, revealing government coverups of war crimes, underage drinking, accidentally infringing upon a patent, using medical marijuana, taking someone's else's prescription, making false arrests, etc.


    There is also a huge difference between violating malum prohibitum statutes and committing acts that are malum in se.

    Laws all exists for reasons, but they are very often not good reasons. Even those which were passed for good reasons are often enforced for bad reasons. Even the best meaning legislators are often shortsighted enough to ignore unintended consequences.

    An unjust law is no law at all. Civil disobedience is a better response than strict enforcement of many laws.

    Illegal immigration may cause some problems for some people, but on the whole it remains a net benefit to this country and all others.

    It was not without reason that men like Milton Friedman insisted that illegal immigration is the best kind of immigration.

    Protectionist measures meant to restrict migration cause far more harm than illegal immigrants do. Illegal immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurial and less criminal than natural born citizens, whereas law enforcement personnel and especially the sort of people who volunteer to work for ICE are much more likely than most citizens to commit major crimes even when not acting under the color of law.

    I am not saying that there cannot be reasonable restrictions on migration to prevent the spread of plagues or violent fugitives seeking refuge from justice, but we would be better off eliminating every law currently on the books and letting absolutely everyone into the country than continuing to enforce the laws as written.

    Most of the arguments used by Abolitionists against slavery apply just as strongly to modern day migrants. Humans have a natural right to travel and to voluntarily work for whoever will hire them. The State has no business requiring things like green cards and eVerify.

    Modern immigration laws deserve no more respect than the Fugitive Slave Acts did. Contemporary coyotes are the modern Underground Railroad. Are there abuses? Certainly! Many conductors on the underground railroad were also unscrupulous. Some sold out their charges to the slave patrols, and some murdered children that they feared would make enough noise to give away their position. Then and now, however, the sins of those circumventing unjust laws are primarily the fault of those who pass, support, and enforce those laws.



    Of course, the current administration has taken it on itself not merely to enforce unjust laws, but to break the laws in order to be unnecessarily cruel. Many of the migrants they are imprisoning or turning back are refugees who have a legal right to be here.
     
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  5. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Warlord

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    When your choice is to leave for better opportunities or stay behind and be killed by cartels and insurgents, is it really a choice?
     
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  6. uppi

    uppi Warlord

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    The steps the human mind takes from "immigration law offender" to "illegal immigrant" to just "illegal" are quite short. The last of those implies that the human itself is illegal and as a result they should have no rights and any mistreatment justified. This is what the "human beings are not illegal" is supposed to address.

    There may be different opinions on how immigration laws should look like. But if you take the act of crossing an imaginary line as an excuse to lock people up in concentration camps, separate them from their children or grossly violate their human rights in other ways, you are a terrible human being.
     
  7. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish 49ers 2019

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    It's not comparable to slavery. Slaves weren't considered human beings in the first place. The majority of illegals don't speak English (at the very least, not when they arrive). The vast majority are poor and uneducated, which leads to inevitable problems such as gangs and tensions, both racial and in general.

    It's possible to live in Mexico without being killed by cartels and insurgents, people do it all the time or it wouldn't be a country with millions of people.

    Slavery is an unfair example because slaves weren't considered human, to begin with, whereas illegal immigrants were already considered human but they made a choice (that they didn't have to) which was illegal.

    Another example (amongst a myriad of others) would be the Holocaust.

    They weren't illegal for illegally crossing the border into Germany or whatever, but for simply existing into a group that wasn't considered human, to begin with, much like slavery. They were put into the camps, not because of a choice they made, but just for being born for something they didn't even have control over (being Jewish, Gypsey, Homosexual, whatever).

    There is an abundance of examples throughout world history where human beings were illegal just for existing, but this isn't one of them. Not remotely.

    edit: to add to this, I find their comparison disgusting and offensive to the people who have suffered (and have even been killed) for REALLY being considered illegal just for being human.
     
  8. Peuri

    Peuri Game

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    Yeah, the first argument is exactly what I meant in my post above. You seem to think that the form of the word is paramount in deciphering it's meaning for people. It's kind of like the argument that history is his-story, because it kind of reminds of that. Or that instead of seminars, we should talk about ovulars, because the first alludes to male reproductive fluid.

    The world is filled with imaginary lines that should not be crossed. Why can't siblings be "friends with benefits"? Why can't I pay with toilet paper? Why can't I say "skibldigroo", and expect everyone to know I mean "a cat"? Why can't an ungraduated medical student work as a doctor, even if their thesis is just about to be accepted and all their other studies are completed etc. etc. Just because the lines only exist socially, it doesn't mean that their imaginaryness makes them meaningless and to be transgressed at will.
     
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  9. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    A person who crossed a border committed a misdemeanour. If they did so in order to work, then they committed a misdemeanour in order to work. Not significantly different from someone who sped to get to work on time. And certainly better than someone who speeds to get home.
     
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  10. uppi

    uppi Warlord

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    Some people may take the concept too far, but words do matter. "Illegal immigrants" gets shortened to "illegals" often enough, which is just plain wrong, because at that point you are calling the human illegal and not the action.
     
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  11. Peuri

    Peuri Game

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    I'm sure everyone gets the meaning behind the word. In my country we call illegal immigrants "paperless" (paperiton). Am I to infer that it will induce people into thinking that they lack printing paper?

    Edit: It's also a meaningful distinction between legal immigrants, the ones that decided to play by the rules.
     
  12. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish 49ers 2019

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    Moving to a different country (permanent/long term fixture) is very different than short term thing like speeding. Either way you deserve to get a ticket. You could have left on time, for example.
     
  13. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    You deserve the ticket if you're caught, but that's a separate discussion.

    The 'crime' of being an 'illegal' is crossing the border. It's a one-time event. It's not 'being in the country' that's illegal. Someone who speeds to work regularly, but hasn't gotten caught, is more of a criminal than an immigrant who crosses a border to work.
     
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  14. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish 49ers 2019

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    You are constantly breaking the law every second you're there when you don't have the right to be there. It's like saying someone who took out a loan and doesn't pay it back (while the interests pile up) doesn't deserve to have to file for bankruptcy because taking out the loan was a one-time event. Every month you don't make your payments you make it worse for yourself.

    And yes, it's only illegal if you get caught but is true for literally any law.

    and to even go to your analogy: if you speed while driving for 5 hours versus if you do it for 5 minutes, you're more likely to get caught (and punished) by committing the illegal act for a longer period of time.
     
  15. inthesomeday

    inthesomeday Immortan

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    As I understand the semantic issue is with how they “noun” people as illegals. On the other hand there is a concerted, political effort to shift discourse from “illegal immigrants/aliens” to “undocumented persons” with an explicit political motivation. On the same hand personally I think it’s a good strategy. The dehumanizing implication of calling people “illegals” or even “illegal immigrants” with the subtext it carries is a powerful tool fostered by the fascists who target immigrant communities. Efforts focused on overturning that are noble.
     
  16. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish 49ers 2019

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    So anyone wants people to abide by the law is a fascist. Got it.
     
  17. uppi

    uppi Warlord

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    I am sure that there are people that don't and I am pretty sure that there are people that get the meaning, but misuse it anyway.
     
  18. abradley

    abradley Chieftain

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    I am an American Citizen living in Thailand, every three months I must register with Thai Immigration or leave.

    If I came into the country without a visa, when the Thai authorities catch me I am fined and deported, if I sneak in again it may result in jail.

    All the time I am here without a visa I am illegal.
     
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  19. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    No, this isn't true. If you have it as a heuristic that it's true, you'll get the chance to change your entire thinking on the topic.

    There is no analogy. The misdemeanour is crossing the border illegally. This isn't intuitive to people, and it's why the political discussion is so different from the legal discussion. Keep in mind, Congress is always allowed to try to pass a law saying that it's illegal to be an undocumented person in the United States, but that will strongly but up against its Constitution.

    There's no doubt that getting caught as an undocumented worker means that they'll try to convict you for the crime committed. But you're not an ongoing 'illegal', since the crime occurred in the past. If someone commits a misdemeanour to get a job, they're a criminal. But they're not an 'illegal' or anything. What might be bothering you is that (unlike with speeding) there is ongoing evidence that they had committed the crime. But it is not true that the crime is ongoing.
     
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  20. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    you'd be calling the action of being here illegally, illegal
     

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