I agree with David D. Murray, Esq. and R.L. Ranger. Editorials and
articles are far more effective without language used purely for insult,
like "Communist," "Fascist" and "Nazi." I lost family to each of these
movements and when a writer uses these terms to dismiss something they
clearly do not apply to, I lose faith in the article.
Yes our immigration policies are getting more harsh. They almost approach
Swiss, Mexican or Greek levels of arbitrariness and harshness. This is
generally a bad thing. However, I have yet to see or even hear of any
indications of mass brutality. Those who would argue the point ought to
live abroad in a normal, non-university setting for a few years.
Ashcroft's policies are clearly questionable and may sometimes be highly
objectionable. He has not even begun to approach the policies of the
Gestapo, the Mukhabarat or any revolutionary secret service. Yes immigrants
are sometimes, perhaps even often mistreated in custody. The difference is
that few Americans take pleasure in that and no one in authority wants us
to routinely break the limbs of detainees or expropriate property from
large classes of heretofore legal residents, much less work them to death
in radium mines, Arctic labor camps or death factories.
There are more effective ways to criticize policies or people whom we
dislike than calling them Nazis. It is my experience and hope that those
who agree with an editorial will learn little from name calling and those
who do not will become more adamant in opposing it. That certainly has been
my experience with judges who read briefs telling them that the opposing
brief is "obviously incorrect" or "manifestly insane." Language like that
reflects a lack of confidence or introspection on the part of its user.
If registration were such an obviously bad idea for security purposes, why
does every police state or nation at war I can think of require it? It may
not be the best policy, but it is not manifestly stupid on it's face. The
argument for and against it is much like the argument for and against gun
control. We all know the arguments that registering all guns guarantees a
criminal monopoly on gun possession and that enforcing gun controls lowers
the number of guns overall and thus limits criminal possession too. These
track the anti-registration and pro-registration arguments. One of the many
ironies here is that the advocates of immigrant registration will most
likely oppose gun control and its opponents will most likely support them.
Honza J. F. Prchal, Esq.
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