DC Trawler

Today Is The #DayWithoutImmigrants, Where We All Pretend The Word ‘Illegal’ Doesn’t Exist

What do you do when you want to argue that it’s okay to break the law? Well, you could assert that the law is wrong, and make an argument for why that’s so. But that’s a lot of work. Why not just pretend that the words “legal” and “illegal” don’t exist, and that people who obey the law are no different than people who break it?

Richard Pérez-Peña and Katie Rogers, NYT (emphasis mine):

In a city where expense account meals are a central part of power players’ lives, some of Washington’s best-known restaurants will close their doors on Thursday in solidarity with a national campaign to draw attention to the power and plight of immigrants.

The campaign, spread on social media and messaging apps, has called for a “day without immigrants.” It asks foreign-born people nationwide, regardless of legal status, not to go to work or go shopping in a demonstration of the importance of their labor and consumer spending to the United States’ economy.

“Regardless of legal status.” That seems like a pretty big caveat, doesn’t it? The legality of it is the whole point. That’s why they’re called, y’know, laws.

But if people who’ve obeyed the law want to protest on behalf of people who are breaking it, they have the right to be stupid. Ain’t that right, dummies?

Most Americans are either immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. Nobody’s claiming otherwise. If you don’t like America’s immigration laws, work to get them changed. But pretending those laws don’t exist isn’t helping anybody. It certainly isn’t convincing anybody.

“Oh no, I have to go to a different restaurant tonight. This really changes the way I see everything!” Yeah, good luck with that.