ALPERN AT LARGE - Whether it’s forcing us to declare we care about the homeless, criminal punishment, and affordable housing before we are “allowed” to decry illegal homeless, criminal punishment, and affordable housing practices, it’s the same with immigration issues…to which we must always demand those gaslighting us to KNOCK…IT…OFF!
KNOCK IT OFF!
We ALL want wonderful new immigrants to add to our wonderful United States—but because this is a nation of laws and values, doing it illegally (even if enabled and sponsored by local, state, or federal governmental agencies) is NOT acceptable to anyone reasonable.
Ditto with legal versus illegal homeless initiatives, humane versus inhumane incarceration and rehabilitation practices towards criminals, and legal versus illegal affordable housing initiatives…we all want to do the right, compassionate, and moral things to make our world better, so when the straw-man arguments get thrown our way, we should all proclaim:
KNOCK IT OFF, to those who make US have to play defense when THEY are the problem.
1) Enter the Los Angeles Times, which reports—not without some balance and veracity—that immigrants are overall much more optimistic about American opportunities and institutions than native-born Americans.
Well, that is pretty much known to be true by EVERYONE.
But as much as immigrants are appreciated and respected by everyone with a heart and a brain, it’s the LEGAL versus ILLEGAL aspects of immigration that make native-born Americans either appreciate or disparage any newcomers.
What is NOT mentioned in this article is WHY the immigrants—presumably legally here, or even not here legally—find optimism in this nation, and why domestic/native-born Americans of all racial stripes feel ever more pessimistic:
1) Immigrants are rightfully fleeing government corruption and a lack of law and order.
2) Native-born Americans of all stripes are rightfully witnessing a worsening of government corruption, and a worsening of law and order.
Do we all not see this difference? Is it not this blatantly obvious?
To proclaim Americans of any ethnicity, age group, region, or political background to be anti-immigrant is both false and cruel, and both inappropriate and gaslighting.
Because NO ONE wants to be accused of something they’re absolutely not, and NO ONE wants to have to apologize for something they should not have to apologize for.
AND NO ONE WANTS BE GASLIGHTED.
2) Enter the Associated Press (AP), which proclaims that illegal crossings from the U.S.-Mexico border rose in July 2023 but is still down from last year year..
Unlike the aforementioned L.A. Times article, which only mentions half of the truth (but half of the truth is still part of the truth), the AP is REALLY gaslighting us in a manner similar to those of us seeing the cost of gas, groceries, and health still be too damned high…
…but at least it’s only slightly horrible.
Not just SLIGHTLY BAD, but SLIGHTLY HORRIBLE!
Meanwhile, the Texas Tribune, more close to the action notes that border arrests surged in July 2023, so is the AP really saying that border crossing went down because the U.S. Customs and Border Patrols are doing their jobs?
Not exactly much to crow about, despite the AP obviously being the apologists for a Biden Administration gone amok with respect to letting the United States lose virtually all of its borders due to the hopes of new generations of Democratic voters.
Oh, but not to worry, as the Washington Post (hardly a right-wing paper) reports illegal immigration reaching an all-time high in August 2023.
3) Enter again the L.A. Times, which reports a 14th bus of “asylum seekers” from Venezuela and El Salvador) arriving in L.A. from Texas.
While New York City is being blamed by U.S. officials for “bungling” its over than 100,000 “migrants”.
While Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson warns that the cost of the “migrant crisis” may exceed $300 million.
And of course we see President Biden and his cronies do everything they can to restrict the red states at our southern border from “sharing the joy” of the illegal immigration explosion, an explosion enabled by Biden, to blue states and cities up north who’ve been previously watching the immigration crisis with political and economic glee.
Because now it’s the cadre of blue states and cities who now get to confront the violation of law by the U.S. government…and just because the government is allowing that violation of its laws doesn’t mean it’s right…
…and it’s probably the sort of government-supported lawlessness that’s making these “migrants” and “asylum seekers” run and flee to the United States…
…and it’s probably the reason why so many Americans—even migrants both illegal and legal, and their children and grandchildren, fear that the U.S. might become what those migrating here are fleeing from.
4) Finally, we witness L.A. Mayor Karen Bass reporting the aforementioned bus migrants as humans, while Texas Governor Greg Abbott see them as pawns…which, of course Cal Matters opines Governor Abbott is “overstating”.
Illegal immigrants, here for whatever reason, are BOTH humans as well as pawns.
In fact, they’re human pawns. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS.
And EVERYONE knows there is gaslighting aplenty from a Biden Administration who is trying to somehow prevent this from ushering in a second Trump Administration.
There WILL be political and economic blowback.
Because Americans WANT legal immigration.
Because Americans also want our homeless, our native-born prison population, and our youth without affordable housing and job opportunities to come first, and BEFORE those here illegally are catered to.
Because while Mayor Bass and President Biden can underscore this reality all they want, Americans of all stripes, backgrounds, ethnicities, and geographies are wondering why those of us struggling to make ends meet are now being asked to prioritize those here illegally in an era where we are NOT in a thriving, tax-rich, low-debt economy.
And it just HURTS so bad when we have to keep swallowing the gaslighting narratives that have never been, are not now, and will never be, true.
KNOCK IT OFF WITH ALL THE GASLIGHTING, ALREADY!
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father. He was active for 20 years on the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) as a Board Member focused on Planning and Transportation, and helped lead the grassroots efforts of the Expo Line as well as connecting LAX to MetroRail. His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)