Over at the conservative blog Illinois Review, John Ruskin quotes with approval from an unnamed letter writer who has a few things to say about the recent protests against stronger immigration enforcement (elisions mine) :
Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.
Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests. Let’s say I break into your house. Let’s say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave.
But I say, “I’ve made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors. I’ve done all the things you don’t like to do. I’m hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).
If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my RIGHT to be there.
It’s only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I’m just trying to better myself. I’m a hard-working and honest, person, except for well, you know, I did break into your house.
And what a deal it is for me!!! I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of cold, uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior.
Hmm. That’s an interesting analogy, and I know there are advocates for illegal aliens who’ve made absurd demands.
That said, let me offer another analogy:
Let’s say I own a house, and I’ve hired you to tend my lawn. It’s a great deal for both of us. You get money and I get a great lawn.
However, my neighbor doesn’t like you, so he forces you off my property at gunpoint, and just to teach me a lesson, he steals some of my stuff.
You and I point out that our work arrangement doesn’t involve him, and it’s none of his business, so he should stay out of it. In his imagination, however, if I hadn’t hired you I would have hired one of his friends, so he insists that you’ve stolen the money that his friends would have earned if I’d hired them instead.
Furthermore, when his wife sees how hard you work and offers you some lemonade, he accuses you of working on my lawn to make it easier for you to steal his lemonade.
When you and I point out how irrational he’s being, he responds by accusing you of trespassing on his street, ignoring the fact that it’s my street too, and I invited you.
There’s a place for reasonable immigration rules, but people who try to use the force of government to control who the rest of us are allowed to do business with are the moral equivalent of the playground bully who doesn’t like it when his friends play with kids he doesn’t like.