Immigration has beocme the left's piggy-back issue
In the United States, immigration has become the ultimate hot-button issue; perhaps more than ever previously.
In states bordering Mexico, crime rates -- including violent crime -- have been drastically inflated by the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. Among the desperate men and women who simply want to come to the US to work and prosper, criminal gangs and drug cartels frequently sneak across the border to set up shop.
In a fit of desperation, the state of Arizona passed legislation that would allow state law enforcement to enforce already-existing federal immigration laws, albeit with a higher standard of jurisprudence.
The Barack Obama administration promptly moved to prevent the Arizona immigration law from being enforced. Democrats have since confessed that Obama won't secure the border in order to keep support for comprehensive immigration reform alive.
But the political tolerance for illegal immigration goes much further than that. The far left has long realized that they can use the immigration issue to piggy-back their agenda onto the institutions of the state.
In Canada, a case in point is provided by a recent article published in the Tornto Star, in which a key element of the left's agenda -- universal child care -- is demanded by an immigrant group, and described as a "fundamental right".
“It is medieval to think that child care is just a sop to some special interest group,” says self-described "community activist" Uzma Shakir. “It’s a fundamental right. You can’t have rights as a woman if you don’t have child care.”
“This should be our priority as a group when we are talking to the government about poverty reduction,” she continues. “You cannot reduce poverty if women can’t work.”
The subject of the story is the South Asian Women's Rights Organization and their campaign for universal child care.
The group aruges that many immigrant women in Canada are prevented from working by child-rearing responsibilities, and that the only answer is for the government to impliment universal child care.
Interestingly, their test case is an accountant from Bangladesh, who apparently never considered telecommuting or working from a home office in order to ply her trade while still being able to care for her five-year-old son.
It's a sobering reminder of the attitude such groups take toward individual responsibility -- their clear preference is for government action, and their tactic is to exploit the vulnerability of recent immigrants in order to expand government activism.
As the example of the United States shows, the best way to do that is to expand the number of recent immigrants to Canada. Moreover, the more desperate those immigrants are, the more likely it is that they'll be able to provoke the kind of public sympathy needed to justify such a broad expansion of government activism.
A current Canadian case-in-point is that of a boatload of Tamil refugees recently arrived in Canada.
In a paragraph-long statement passed off as an article by Rabble.ca, Shakir declares that "our best strategy is to follow our humanitarian principles and due process."
For leftists such as Shakir, the best-case scenario is that Canada would accept as many of these Tamils as possible.
Yet there's a dark spectre underlying the matter: among the legitimate refugees from the violence and chaos that continues to reign in Sri Lanka are, almost certainly, Tamil Tiger terrorists.
Vic Toews, Canada's Minister of Public Safety, has suggested that the Sun Sea may be a "test boat", and that more vessels like it may follow.
Kevin Libin has raised a possibility worthy of consideration: that Tamil Tigers may be attempting to set up a "government in exile" in Canada.
The probability that Tamil Tiger terrorists are among the Sun Sea's passenger manifest is remarkably high. Less than one year ago, two dozen of 76 Tamils arriving under similar circumstances were suspected Tigers.
Shakir is right to note that humanitarianism and due process are key watchwords in matters such as these.
The problem for Canadian due process is that it's far too lax; vessels such as the Sun Sea are attracted to Canada because the number of migrants Canada is likely to accept is far higher than in any other western country.
This indicates that if these Tamils were to attempt to claim refugee status in Britain, France or the Untied States, they would be screened much more vigorously, and more Tigers would be separated out and marked for deportation -- not that Canada's deportation processes aren't fraught with issues of their own.
In the meantime, the Tamil Tigers are known to terrorize and intimidate law-abiding Canadian Tamils into financially funding their efforts in Sri Lanka.
It's details like this that make the far left's tactics in regards to immigration all the more irresponsible.
Simply put, the far left attempts to adopt immigration as a bullying tactic against conservatives. If conservatives decline to support out-of-control government activism, they are accused of being anti-immigrant, or racist. If conservatives campaign in favour of stronger immigration controls, they are accused of the same.
This despite the detail that it was conservatives -- under Prime Minister John Diefenbaker -- who ended the consideration of race as a decisive factor in immigration decisions.
From Arizona to Ontario, the far left is attempting to use the immigration issue to piggy-back their agenda onto a deeply divisive issue and bully conservatives out of the debate.
Unfortuantely, this is often to the detriment of the immigrant communities they claim to be supporting.