More Truth-Challenged Arguments
Candidates and advocates are told to stay on message.
Such advice is sound only if the “message” contains a modicum of truthfulness or at least believability. Both of these qualities have been noticeably absent from the speeches and rhetoric of those who oppose the Governor’s executive order on illegal immigration and related bills. Friday’s rally followed form.
Members of the state’s Hispanic community yesterday gathered at the State House once again to protest Governor Carcieri’s recent order cracking down on illegal immigration.
* * *
“The anti-immigrant sentiment that swept across this state and this nation is going to cause a lot of families to be broken up,” said the Rev. Eliseo Nogueras, 46, the pastor of Pawtucket’s House of Prayer Gethsemane. He is also chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs.
The call has been for the enforcement of existing immigration laws, not their removal from the books. Only the latter would constitute “anti-immigrant sentiment.” Note also the phrasing of that sentence: not “anti-immigration” but “anti-immigrant.” This is presumably to personalize and emotionalize a statement that is false to begin with.
Secondly, the reference to the breaking up of families is not just untrue, but insulting in two ways. It is insulting to everyone’s intelligence to suggest that immigrant parents would leave their children in another country. And it is insulting to immigrant parents themselves to imply that they would do so.
In view of the emotion-rich and fact-poor arguments put forward from the beginning against the anti-illegal immigration measures implemented by the Governor and pending on Smith Hill, I am beginning to share the doubt of those who question the actual number of people who do not support these reasonable measures. They may count in their ranks not too many more than those who rally or testify on Smith Hill and a percentage (but not all) of undocumented immigrants.