El País de la Raza

Yesterday I had cause to be near the part of Atlanta that houses all the government buildings—the place where, if you were taking part in the immigration protests, you'd be stationed. I saw plenty of people there, and plenty of flags. Every flag I saw was a U.S. flag.

I know that opponents of immigration really tend to focus on people waving Mexican flags at this kind of protest. Even if 99% of the crowd's flags are red, white, and blue, alarmist news sources show the handful of red, white, and green.

The implication, of course, is that "they" hate America and are just using "us" for their base, selfish wants. I didn't buy it then and I especially don't buy it now.

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Oddly enough, I DID see a

Oddly enough, I DID see a Red, White and Green (and black) flag at the MayDay protests in Sacramento - that of the Palestinians. It even made the front page of the town paper.

Every protest against any

Every protest against any government policy brings out its share of moonbats and radicals with old axes to grind. Two Hispanic communities with their fair share are the Mexican-American and the Puerto Rican communities. No doubt each march thus had its quota of "Atzlan" and "Albizu vive" idiots. I noted a few Che Guevara flags being waved in some of the news clips, along with a wide variety of Latin flags. Going to the American flag was a good idea, and some responsible Hispanic groups were urging the marchers to do just that. Immigration needs to be fixed, and the protests will perhaps pressure Congress to get on with it. But no one who has entered this country illegally should be allowed to jump ahead of those who've obeyed the law and remained outside pending adjudication of their immigrant visas. We do need immigrant man (and woman) power, but we must ensure that it is brought in to this country in accordance with the rule of law.

lirelou: Every protest

lirelou: Every protest against any government policy brings out its share of moonbats and radicals with old axes to grind.

Are you claiming that carrying a Mexican tricolor in an immigration protest qualifies you as a "moonbat" or "radical" with "old axes to grind"? If so, do you feel the same way about Italian-Americans carrying the Italian tricolor on Columbus Day, or about Irish-Americans carrying the the Irish tricolor in St. Patrick's Day parades?

lirelou: Immigration needs to be fixed, and the protests will perhaps pressure Congress to get on with it. But no one who has entered this country illegally should be allowed to jump ahead of those who've obeyed the law and remained outside pending adjudication of their immigrant visas.

The simple solution to this "problem" is to decriminalize all immigrants immediately without requiring any further paperwork. Then there won't be any queue to "jump ahead" in.

lirelou: We do need immigrant man (and woman) power, but we must ensure that it is brought in to this country in accordance with the rule of law.

Why?

Rad Geek- The why is because

Rad Geek-

The why is because we respect the rule of law. Otherwise I totally agree with your post.

Brian, Whom do you mean to

Brian,

Whom do you mean to refer to by "We?"

Whoever that may be, do they "respect" the careful, systematic enforcement of unjust laws? Or only the just ones?

This is an issue of some consequence, after all, since there happen to be an awful lot of unjust laws at the moment. Immigration law among them.

Radgeek- The we in

Radgeek-

The we in particular referred to liberals such as the folk here at Catallarchy.

And it is respect for the rule of law in general. Sure there are many unjust laws but that doesn't seem particularly relevant to whether or not we should respect the rule of law per se.

The liberal tradition

The liberal tradition incorporates both respect for the rule of law and refusal to comply with unjust laws. Unjust laws are themselves offenses against the rule of law, as they diminish the just authority of good rules.

Conscientious refusal to obey certain laws can be done in the name of respecting the rule of law, since it's important to us that laws be just--there doesn't have a be a conflict between these two.

Brian: And it is respect for

Brian: And it is respect for the rule of law in general. Sure there are many unjust laws but that doesn't seem particularly relevant to whether or not we should respect the rule of law per se.

lirelou was explicitly using "accordance with the rule of law" as a grounds for restricting the decriminalization of immigration, apparently because the restrictions under which immigrants have been suffering up until this point must continue to be enforced, just to be fair, or something. It does seem to me that this is one thing that people sometimes mean when they talk about respect for the rule of law -- that is, systematically and carefully enforcing the terms of actually existing laws, whether or not they are just. The idea is that if you refuse to enforce a law based on your substantive disagreement with it, you are corrupting the legal process by inserting arbitrary discretion into what should be an impersonal mechanism. If that is what is meant, then it ought to be clear that "the rule of law" deserves respect only to the extent that, and in such cases as, the laws being enforced actually are just laws: consistency in justice is a virtue, but consistency in evil is only relentlessness. Where the promulgated law is unjust it should be ignored or defied, as openly, in as many cases, and by as many officials, as possible, since scrupulous enforcement of unjust laws just means scrupulous criminality against the innocent, and to hell with anything that says otherwise.

It may be that you have something different in mind when you say that you respect the rule of law. The phrase is a pretty fluid one, and more than one meaning has been assigned to it. For example, maybe you mean the (perfectly respectable) idea that the grounds for an act of legal force should be public, consistent, and general. Or maybe you mean something else. But if that's the case, then given the argumentative context in which lirelou was using the phrase, I doubt that (s)he and you mean the same thing by it.

Randall: The liberal tradition incorporates both respect for the rule of law and refusal to comply with unjust laws.

Well. The fact that a tradition incorporates two claims does not guarantee that the claims are actually compatible with one another. Maybe the tradition is making incoherent demands. Lots of traditions do.

That said, I'd need to know more of what you mean by "the rule of law" to say anything substantial here, for reasons similar to the ones I outlined above. If it means that you should comply with just laws and ignore or defy unjust ones, then I wonder whether you're using "the rule of law" as anything other than another name for political justice as such.

Rad Geek, You caught me

Rad Geek,

You caught me using sloppy speech, which in turn conveys sloppy ideas. Let me restate:

The liberal tradition incorporates doing things within the law as much as possible, even if the law is unjust (leave the methods of the nihilists to the nihilists!), and refusal to obey unjust laws. This is a possible source of tension. I think people have tended to err on the side of the first point a little too much, and that they'd be justified in erring on side of the second point a little more, given that it can be done in the name of respect for the rule of law in your second, better sense.