The Shamelessness of Current Year Immigrant Special Pleading
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One little-remarked change over the decades has been the growing shamelessness of special pleading by immigrants. They’re barely even trying anymore to phrase arguments in anything other than Us Good, You Bad, We Deserve Your Money terms. For example, from the New York Times opinion page:

The Immigrant Grandparents America Needs

By Stacy Torres and Xuemei Cao
Aug. 20, 2018

If you strolled by the playgrounds of Flushing, Queens, this summer, you would have seen throngs of Chinese immigrant women tending to their American-born grandchildren.

The moms and dads were at work, all through these long summer days. For those who cannot afford expensive day care and camps, in a country that does almost nothing to help working families care for their kids, grandparents are a lifeline. And increasingly, these grandparents are immigrants.

One of us, Xuemei, recently spent time with a Flushing family who moved here from rural China years ago. Each day the mother, father and grandfather board buses arranged by their employers to take them to work at Chinese restaurants. They leave their home around 10 each morning and return around 10 each night. In their absence, the grandmother performs all of the housework and cares for the couple’s two American-born children.

Maybe the capitalists who own the Chinese restaurants should pay their labor more?

Oh, I’m sorry! That would be racist! The Zeroth Amendment says that capitalists from everywhere and anywhere should come here, get rich paying their labor a pittance under the table, and you should pay for the workers’ mother-in-law’s health care out of your payroll deduction for being so foolish as not getting paid in cash.

The Trump administration is now threatening those care-taking arrangements.

President Trump has been pushing for a law that would end family-based immigration — what he calls “horrible chain migration.”…

In June the House defeated a plan by Representative Bob Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia, that would have restricted legal immigration through the family reunification program so that only the spouses and minor children of American citizens could immigrate — barring grandparents. … But Republicans haven’t given up.

The Trump administration’s determination to separate families has formed the backbone of its immigration policy since Day 1. These proposals reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of 21st-century American families and contradict the principle of family unity that has guided American immigration policy for the last 50 years. …

According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, the number of legal permanent residents admitted as parents of United States citizens rose to about 174,000 in 2016 from about 56,000 in 1994, an increase to 15 percent from 7 percent of all admissions.

America needs these late-life immigrants.

After all, they are obviously going to pay in huge amounts in taxes to compensate for all their Medicare.

Immigrant elders also help transplanted families maintain a sense of continuity. They may serve as cultural intermediaries by teaching grandchildren about their home country’s language, religion, food and cultural traditions. Their accounts of family histories can serve as a source of ethnic pride and personal empowerment for younger generations searching for their identities as racial and ethnic minorities.

America needs more Ethnic Pride! After all, racial resentment is a job Americans just won’t do, so we need more immigrants to keep the fires of race anger burning bright for us.

Instead of narrowing our conception of what a family is, we should broaden it. When one of us — Stacy — was 16 and the oldest of four children, her mother died. Her father wanted to bring his niece from Chile to help the family out. But nieces didn’t count as eligible family members under the reunification program. So the family struggled along. …

Stacy Torres is an assistant professor of sociology at the University at Albany, where Xuemei Cao is a doctoral student.

I wonder if either of these two scholars could pick out the old-time, rapidly being forgotten meaning of the word “disinterested?”

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