Good post, OP. I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but as many of your dissenters are pointing out, there are very tangible problems
associated with illegal immigration, and I think those problems have been pretty well-covered at this point.
Since we are digging down into the motives behind the anti-immigrant position, I think that we need to go deeper than fear. I agree that fear is a
motivating force behind the anti-immigrant sentiment, but boiling it down to fear of being out-performed doesn't account for all of the
In the OP I got the sense that being out-performed is just a blow to someone's ego, but for many people that is not the case; they fear that their
survivability is threatened. The fear that immigrants can negatively affect one's survivability stems from a worldview rooted in scarcity.
For someone thinking in terms of scarcity, resources are finite, and competition is undesirable because it means the resources must be divided, with
each new competitor detracting from his/her access to resources. In this way it really doesn't matter whether the person is immigrating legally or
illegally because either way it is "another mouth to feed."
For someone thinking in terms of abundance, resources are "infinite" (insofar as new resources can be generated), so competition makes little or no
difference for his/her access to resources. With such a worldview, immigration, both legal and illegal, represents added potential for generating
resources and therefore helps to "feed more mouths."
It seems to me that the difference between the "took our jobs" group and the "bleeding hearts" group is a matter of whether resources are scarce or
abundant. It will be fairly difficult to change such a deeply-held belief, even if a person wants to. Just watch an episode of "Hoarders," and you
will see the intensity of a scarcity-based worldview.
I see the "illegal is illegal" argument as a form of the scarcity mindset insofar as justice is a vital resource to which access is being denied. It
also tends to turn into a slippery slope fallacy, such as "if we don't uphold this law, then this will happen and that will happen until the whole
country is in anarchy."
These views obviously do not account for those who view illegal immigrants as a direct, violent, mortal threat. I think that argument is valid in
many cases, especially in border states like Arizona and Texas, but I also think it is grossly stereotypical to say that a significant portion of
illegal immigrants are violent.
edit on 19-6-2012 by wagnificent because: accounted for "illegal is illegal" argument