Illegal Immigration Debate is Xenophobia Disguised

Reading about the illegal immigration laws passed in Price William and Loudoun counties, I am struck by the foaming-mouthed obstinacy of those who stop at the word “illegal”.

The upstanding citizens of both counties that refuse to debate any aspect of the multi-faceted relationship we have with immigration in America if the word “illegal” is present. It really defies all rational thought. Until you replace the word “illegal” with the word “foreigners”.

And in this context, I mean the definition of “foreigners” as people who are different in language, culture, and maybe physical appearance, and almost importantly, who are perceived as having a lower socio-economic status.

To test out my proposition, let’s take a few quotes as an example, and substitute “foreigners” for “illegal” and you’ll see what I mean.

Sue Flemining of Help Save Manasas

“If we turn our heads and permit illegal foreigners entry into our county without making any effort or identification, we are saying our language, our culture, our Constitution, our neighborhoods and our flag are inconsequential.”

Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling>

“We need help in Loudoun. We are struggling. We are a small county, and we can’t handle the hordes that are coming here and using up our services. Illegal Foreign immigration is taking a greater and greater toll on our community.”

Reading these two quotes in their new form, do you see what I mean? The upstanding citizens of Price William and Loudoun counties really don’t care about legal or illegal, that is a red herring. They are really scared about “those people” the different ones who do not conform to the accepted norms of sterile suburban life. Or as Woodbridge resident Chris King said:

“I’m tired of pressing ’1′ for English” on the phone.

And I am tired of obscene hypocrisy of people like Ms. Fleming and Misters Delgaudio and King. The hypocrisy of their desire to discriminate against the very foreigners who built the houses those very upstanding citizens sleep in, pick the fruit they eat, wash the dishes they eat off, mow the lawns they take pride in, and pretty much do every menial minimum-wage-at-best job none of those very same upstanding citizens would ever demean themselves with.

Especially since we are all immigrants in the end.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Married, mortgaged, and soon to be a father, Wayan Vota is in the fast lane to mid-life respectability – until the day his brood finds his intimate journal of global traveling and curses him with the ever-eternal reply “I’m gonna be just like you, Dad!”

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