NATIONAL REVIEW On Steve King: It Is WRONG To Resist Amnesty “On The Ground That Illegal Immigrants Are, As A Class, Bad People"
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National Review's THE WEEK section for August 19 has an unsigned item on Steve King:Sweeping negative generalizations, though, are just as untrue and more offensive.

• Representative Steve King (R., Iowa), a leading opponent of the immigration bill, said that for every illegal-immigrant valedictorian there are 100 illegal-immigrant drug smugglers. Republicans from Speaker John Boehner down denounced the comment. We suspect that Representative King was reacting against the tendency of the bill’s supporters to romanticize illegal immigrants, all of whom, to hear the paeans, are held to be hardworking and God-fearing. It is right to resist the legalization of illegal immigrants so long as we have reason to fear that it will draw more illegal immigrants here. It is wrong to resist it on the ground that illegal immigrants are, as a class, bad people; and it is politically foolish, as well, to make it appear that it is that ground on which opponents of legalization stand.[Emphasis added. Not online, unless you subscribe, which I don't recommend.]

There are a number of things wrong with this. I'll limit to two:

  • If by sweeping generalizations, they mean stereotypes, then they are generally true. See Stereotypes Aren't So Bad, published in National Review Online, February 1st, John Derbyshire. The stereotype of immigrant valedictorian is true, too, but almost never of Hispanic illegals.
  • Illegal immigrants are, as a class, bad people. That's not just a generalization about the quality of Hispanic illegals, it's a matter of definition—to be an illegal immigrant is to do a bad thing.

As i say, the item is unsigned, but I'll take a guess based on style—imitation WFB—that it was actually written by Rich Lowry, who in any case is is reponsible for it as NR Editor. More about Lowry to come.

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