"I'm Not Against 'Legal' Immigration," You Silly Goose
"I'm not against legal immigrants...I'm against illegal immigrants." Oh, ok, good; that clears it up (lol). How many times have we heard this argument?? As though there is an absolute, immutable distinction between legal and illegal immigration. There is not an absolute, immutable distinction between legal and illegal anything, much less immigration. And using the term "illegal immigrants" as opposed to "illegal immigration" is misleading and subtly callous and unfeeling to begin with because no person, no human being, should be deemed "illegal". Acts and actions by people are illegal, not people themselves-- or at least they never should be, in a decent and compassionate world.
And as far as illegality itself goes, acts and actions only become illegal once a law or laws are passed with such an effect. If no such law or laws are passed, then said acts and actions are, strictly speaking, legal. Now that's not to say there aren't many things that should be illegal but are not, or that everything that is legal is fine and dandy. I'm sure we could all come up with things that we think should be, but are not, illegal-- and vice versa. It's just to say that, in the same way, there have been (and without question there are and will be) over the course of our United States history countless unjust laws passed and things that should not be illegal but are made so by the caprice, whims, prejudices, or simply imperfect human nature of our state and federal legislative bodies.
The point is that there is a thin, tenuous line between legal and illegal immigration in a broad sense. What we call illegal immigration today could, with the right changes in law, be legal immigration tomorrow. But there is also a thin, tenuous line, in a more narrow sense, between being here or entering the U.S. legally and then suddenly being here illegally. For instance (as has been pointed out by many others), some who come here legally will find themselves "illegal" once their visa expires. And some who arrive illegally or become "illegal" are actually in the process of legalizing their status. So it is not clear-cut at all. Thus, the whole "I don't have anything against legal immigrants" stance is a specious and weak one, indeed, that relies on the erroneous assumption that immigration law is somehow unchanging and unchangeable; it is not.
Does any one of the great number of those who make the aforementioned statement (or some variation thereof) in favor of so-called "legal" immigrants really believe what they so proudly proclaim anyway? Doubtful. There is a simple way to find out. Imagine that our immigration laws suddenly became much more lenient, accepting and tolerant. Would those same people still not have any problem whatsoever with legal immigration then? Because if the answer is-- No, they would more than likely (I would say, "more than likely without exception") have a problem with legal immigration in such a case --well, then, it's not really "legal" immigrants they are in favor of, is it? Or, put another way, it's not really just "illegal" immigrants they're against.