Earlier this week, Eric Holder had this to say to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund:
Creating a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country is essential. The way we treat our friends and neighbors who are undocumented–by creating a mechanism for them to earn citizenship and move out of the shadows — transcends the issue of immigration status. This is a matter of civil and human rights.
I understand that “civil rights” rhetoric extends far and wide these days. But by what reckoning does a civil right exist to obtain American citizenship by virtue of being in the United States illegally? As Mark Krikorian says:
To equate amnesty for breaking the nation’s immigration laws with civil rights betrays an incoherent and ahistorical understanding of the civil-rights movement. Law-abiding black citizens of the United States were not seeking exemption from U.S. law; they were seeking the application of such laws in the same manner they were applied to whites.
Assume that the Schumer-Rubio (et al.) immigration bill passes. What else will be deemed a “civil right” 20 years from now when, say, 20 million former illegal immigrants have been enfranchised?
And, in the shorter term, what kind of border enforcement can we expect from those for whom law enforcement and sovereignty concerns have morphed into a civil and human rights imperative.