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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Slight Lack of Proportion

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that this comment, by a NY assemblyman regarding some of his peers' noncompliance with a suggested government shutdown showing support for yesterday's immigrant strike, may lack just a little in the way of perspective:
Although Mr. Rivera and Mr. Silver said there had been a consensus to cancel the day's session, several other Democratic lawmakers said privately that they opposed the decision, and dozens remained in the chamber after the walkout.

Assemblyman José R. Peralta, who represents Jackson Heights in Queens, said he was disappointed in the members who chose not to support the protest.

"Today is a historic day, and we are united under one banner that is the immigrant banner," he said. "To those who stayed behind, remember this — There is a very famous saying during the time of the Nazis: First they came for the Jews, and I said nothing because I was not a Jew."
I fail to see how the battle for immigrant rights in any way compares to genocide. Just a thought.

Update: A commenter points out that the always timely Ben Smith beat me on this by quite a bit, but has a similar take to my own.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch. Holocaust comparisons for this type of thing are so not cool.

12:25 AM  
Blogger The Town Crier said...

not to condone a holocaust analogy, he obviously was nto comparing immigration and genocide - he was using the quote to highlight the "its not me so why should care" atitude which he obviously is taking issue with.
ie, your own ppl might be next...

(BTW, Jackson Heights Rocks)

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crier, I think it was pretty inane a comparison, even if he wasnt making a direct analogy.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben Smith over at Politicker felt the same way you did...and posted about it first, too.

9:34 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

amused said...

Ben Smith over at Politicker felt the same way you did...and posted about it first, too.

You mean Ben Smith at his new blog, The Daily Politic. And I see that now, thanks. Don't know how I missed that over at his site - I read him every day.

9:53 AM  
Blogger The Town Crier said...

I have heared many a jew - especially educators use the same line to make incomparable points all the time.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

There IS a connection between the Shoah and immigration, although not the one Assemblyman Peralta made: Had the 1839 immigration laws been in force in the US in 1939, or had the 1922 immigration laws been in force in 1939 in then-British-controlled Palestine, there would have been no Shoah.

And I don't see what the big deal is regarding the Assembly not being in session. All decisions in Albany are made by the triumvirate of Pataki, Bruno, and Silver. We could let both the Assembly and the Senate stay home for 364 days a year and come to Albany for one day to ratify the decisions of the trioka.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's even more ridiculous is his complete lack of history. That expression was not said during the Nazi era by anyone. It's an invention that came after people knew what happened. This assemblyman is an idiot and clearly has idiots working for him, too.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd also point out that nobody's saying we should murder immigrants. The worst anyone is saying is that to disincentivize illegal immigration, being in this country illegally will be a felony, instead of a misdemeanor.

Two further points: First, this isn't about immigration. It's about illegal immigration. There's a huge difference.

Second, if we really wanted to disincentivize illegal immigration, lock up the employers who make it attractive to come. Let's put Tyson's in jail, and Purdue, and the CEO of every large corporation that hires scores of illegals. It's simple supply and demand. Dry up the labor markets and they'll stay in their own countries.

3:48 PM  
Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

Exactly what CH said. Gut gezugt.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'Let's put Tyson's in jail, and Purdue, and the CEO of every large corporation that hires scores of illegals.'

And don't forget Wal-Mart and its contractors -- along with a zillion suburban parents.

I'm not even sure entering the US is a misdemeanor today; it may be simply a civil violation. In any case, the idea of making illegal immigration a felony is a complete non-starter: The total number of inmates in all US prisons and jails, federal, state, and local, is just over two million, with less than 10% of them in the federal system.


Say there are ten million illegal immigrants (probably a low estimate). We would have to increase the prison capacity by a factor of six -- and nobody likes prisons built in their backyards. That would cost billions. And at an average of over $20,000 in operating costs (again probably a low estimate) per inmate in the federal system, that would be 200 billion dollars a year added to the federal budget.

11:26 AM  
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