Folks who don't live inside the immigration-policy debate probably aren't familiar with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). But for those of us here in the trenches, they're inescapable. FAIR was founded by an actual white supremacist, is funded by eugenicists, and was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center; FAIR is also taken very seriously as a 'nonpartisan research group' by Republican state governments across the country, and is a major force behind the recent slew of SB1070-copycat bills.
And, apparently, FAIR also has a sweet op-ed gig at FoxNews.com.
Of course, Fox News and FAIR have been buddies for a while -- for example, back in March, they got together to push the 'anchor baby' myth on live TV. But this article by FAIR's Bob Dane and Kristen Williamson, titled "An Illegal Alien's Guide to the Top Five Best Places to Live In America," is noteworthy if for no other reason than that it's a comprehensive list of the logical fallacies of FAIR's criminalize-everything approach to legislative racism. It is, essentially, a list of places that haven't adopted FAIR's proscribed suite of immigration-and-then-some laws. And it is bizarre. An excerpt:
New Haven is what its name implies - a haven for illegal aliens. You won't need to fuss with legal documents like driver's licenses, social security card, Green Card, visa or passport; there is a card just for you. In 2007, this town became the first in the country to offer ID cards to residents, "regardless of age or immigration status."
The most useful aspect of having one of these cards is that it allows you to open a bank account and deposit money from the job you're working -- without legal authorization.
Interestingly, the New Haven ID card has embedded holograms so that no one can ever steal your identity. Yale's hometown has thought of everything right down to making sure no one in town ever has a phony illegal alien ID card.
Oh no! Holograms! Actually, the municipal ID movement is the result of alliances among advocates for the homeless and for transgender people, as well as immigrant rights advocates; members of any of these groups, barred from opening bank accounts and made to carry cash, became known as "walking ATMs" because they were such primo mugging victims. Letting these folks open bank accounts is a big deal. But hey, undocumented immigrants deserve to be victims of violent crime, right? Since they, y'know, worked. And since violent crime is an acceptable stand-in for due process.
That's a recurring theme of this piece: Dane apparently subscribes to the idea that 'criminals' (convicted or otherwise) forfeit all human rights and can be punished in any way by anyone -- at least if the crime is immigration-related. How dare New Haven take steps to make sure people's identities aren't stolen! C'mon, think outside the box -- not being allowed to drive legally could totally be an extra-judicial punishment for living in the United States! What a wasted opportunity to uphold American values.
The real kicker is that, in addition to being morally Möbian, FAIR doesn't even have an economic argument. As my coworker Julianne Hing said in conversation, the Latino Policy Institute just released findings showing that states see a direct economic benefit from allowing college-bound undocumented residents to receive in-state tuition rates. And as Political Correction's Salvatore Colleluori points out,
... in 2010 California received $2.7 billion in tax revenue from undocumented workers and that comprehensive immigration reform including a legalization program would add $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP over 10 years.
Georgia has found out the hard way what a draconian immigration policy will do farmers. Crop losses due to the shortage of migrant labor after to the passage of a new anti-immigration law could cost Georgia over $1 billion, and the parolees Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA) sent in to replace the migrant workers stopped working hours before the migrant laborers they replaced, leaving produce to rot in fields. Contractors in Alabama, which also passed a anti-immigration law, are having difficulty finding workers to help rebuild tornado-ravaged Tuscaloosa after a "mass exodus" of Hispanics from the state. Overall, it's been found that if all undocumented workers were kicked out of the United States, economic activity would decrease by over $500 billion, coupled with an overall reduction of $245 billion in GDP.
The laws that FAIR fights for aren't ones that were carved into tablets with a divine chisel. They're invented laws -- invented by FAIR and its terrifying network -- that criminalize an offense already dealt with by civil law. And they sacrifice the well-being of the economy and the community, in the name of an utterly transparent agenda.
If you make a brown person "illegal" and then act mad that all these "illegal" people are suddenly around, sensible people will see through you and push back. And, according to this list, us sensible people are making progress! Thanks for the encouragement, Fox News and FAIR!