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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Irish Immigrants & Bad Birds

Speaking of language, the meaning of words is not subject to the laws of democracy. If 100% of the population want green to mean orange, it doesn't; we're all wrong. Persuasive though.

However if we all believe green is orange, well then it is. That's language. You just don't want to be the last person knowing green is not orange. Or admitting you know it.

Birds migrate. It's what they do. Come autumn and the weather's warmer in Florida than Minnesota, they move. We call it migration. People do this too. They've been doing it for centuries. They might do it because of a change in the environment, or for economic reasons, or because Andrew Jackson told them to. But they move.

People are movers. To avoid confusion with shakers we call them migrants. If they cross international boundaries in their movements they become emigrants to the country they leave behind and immigrants to the country they settle in.

If an emigrant/immigrant kills his family while moving, he's still an emigrant/immigrant, just so long as he moves. Those are the only qualifications; migration and an international border. It's quite possible to be a criminal or an Irish musician, and at the same time, a migrant.

Whatever your opinion in the current debate on Immigration Law, you don't get to say They not immigrants - they're criminals as if membership of one group excludes you from the other. If it did then you would have the legal defense I can't be guilty - I'm an immigrant.

None of this passes judgment on the law actually being an ass, or on whether or not you should be an emigrant/immigrant. If a bird lands in the wrong country it's still called migration. And if it's not the migrating kind, but somehow it flies, walks, hitches, and cycles, five thousand miles, then it has migrated even though it shouldn't have - and even if it has killed on the way, or played Irish traditional music. Or both.

Most Irish people in Kansas City have been illegal at some stage. Most are now legal. Legality came at the stroke of a pen. At all times they, well okay - we, have been emigrants. It's just that at times some of us have also been illegal immigrants. We have been bad birds.

Phil Dillon at Another Man's Meat, a Democrat transpanted to the Flint Hills, expresses his opinions on the matter more gracefully than most. They are not my opinions, for I feel democracy is over-rated and the Flint Hills under-rated.

My favourite quote in the discussion so far was when the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform lobbied Washington DC and were met by a Senator's aide who replied Legalize the Irish in what respect? Have they done something illegal?

Related Posts:
Green, White and Red Apples
Irish Flags in US Political Demonstrations
Irish Place Names & Illegals
Nobody Gets Upset with the Irish on St Patrick's


At 6:57 AM, Bridget said...

I'm with you.
I know this topic is complicated, but I just can't get past the fact that most families in this country immigrated here relatively recently. My family, who immigrated here a few generations ago, has received so many blessings in this country. How can I say that others shouldn't get the same opportunity? Also, I've watched how hard immigrants and refugees work in America just to keep their heads above water. If that's the definition of a criminal, then we should all strive to be crooks.

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous said...

The only answer for this country and every country in the world may be labled "legal immigration". Legal immigration is a good thing. It is a legal thing. It is not effected by how hard somebody works. Illegal immigration is a bad thing. It goes against the Law which is in place to maintain Order. You know countries must have and maintain order. Look around at the ones that do not have order.

Since the dawn of time people have been immigrating to new territories, new lands, new places and new countries. At one time or another the people which claim a particular place as their own establish rules for outsiders coming in. These rules are called Laws. Laws are an absolute necessary part of keeping Order. It's hard or maybe impossible to have one without the other. Laws do not work either because they are wrong or they are not enforced. In my opinion, Both are the case in America.

As an American, try going to Ireland and being an illegal immigrant. You will not get a job, you will get no education or government assistance and worst of all... most (not all) of the native Irish will tell you to go home in a most rude and vulgar manner.

Good luck.

The definition of a criminal is one who breaks the Law. If you strive to be a criminal, break the law.

If you do not agree with the US immigration laws, do something about it. Making comments like "we should all strive to be crooks" is no help to anybody and sounds very silly and unrealistic to me.

At 9:41 AM, Irish KC said...

Now now anonymous, I think taking half-sentences out of context and elevating them to full comments is unhelpful.

Bridget didn't simply say "we should all strive to be crooks", she actually said "If that's (working hard just to keep their heads above water) the definition of a criminal, then we should all strive to be crooks".

So if you want to shorten it you can paraphrase as "we should all strive to work hard to keep our heads above water" which strikes me as very realistic, and not at all silly.

By all means disagree with that equation, but disagreeing with something nobody said is quite pointless.


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