So last week, John Zmirak (whose writing I typically admire) wrote a column whose title and thesis seem to have been calculated to inflame: Amnesty Equals Abortion. The idea, in a nutshell, was that if you think 11 million people who have been exploited as workers without rights should just go ahead and be integrated into American society since they are already inextricably bound to it by both business and labor, you are ipso facto supporting the Democrats and are are therefore pro-abortion. My response was, more or less, “What the WTF?” and the comboxes more or less bore out my general thoughts on the matter.
The sensible reply came from some guy named Miguel, who tried to suggest that Republicans might find it easier to get the support of naturally socially conservative, pro-life, Catholic immigrants if they stopped treating them like enemies. In other words, the only thing driving illegal immigrants into the arms of Democrats is Republicans, who inexplicably seem to loathe these natural cultural allies. Another commenter responded by calling him and his kind “invaders”.
That more or less summed up the debate and gave me one more reason to think that the thing that used to be conservatism is just kind of crazy.
Meanwhile, over at the Catholic Key, Jack Smith responded to the most inflammatory part of the proposition with a (mostly) reasoned defense that I thought carried the day. He does get “Chronicles” wrong, I think. But when you’ve just been declared “not, in cold fact, pro-life” on highly tendentious grounds you can tend to respond in the heat of the moment. Scott Richert does a good job of defending Chronicles in the comboxes. And Zmirak, to his great credit, disassociated himself from Takimag when it went nuts for racism a while back. So I hope that distraction is laid to rest and the main point is addressed: namely that it is rubbish to say somebody who disagrees with John Zmirak on amnesty is pro-abortion.
My own views remain what they have been. I think the law is made for man, not man for the law. So I think the huge burning issue that animates most conservatives on this is, well, trivial. That is, I don’t much care about immigration law. I care about divine law and see civil law as a rough tool for trying to get it done, sometimes useful, sometimes stupid and ignorable in a pinch.
The reality is, we have, as a nation, chosen to ignore the civil law for decades so that our very own native-born capitalist bosses can exploit these people as laborers by the millions. They are here, the vast majority of them, not as “invaders” but as people who are seeking a better life for their families. We take from them economically, but are refusing to give to them politically. It’s unrealistic to talk about deporting them since that would destroy the economy *we* have chosen to build on their backs. Biblically, the obligation is to care for the alien, the orphan and the widow. Since we are willing to exploit them, it seems to me only just that we treat them like citizens.
The only reason I can see that this works out to being “pro-abortion” is that, as Miguel points out, conservatives think that treating these natural cultural allies as enemies is a smart plan. I don’t get that. The only other reason it’s “pro-abortion” is that the reason these folks are here is that the 50 million people who should have been born to do their jobs were killed by us good white folk and we won’t do those jobs.