enforcement through attrition: a success story
The combination of burdensome and incomprehensible rules, unjustifiably high fees (e.g., $340 for a work permit, often baselessly or mistakenly denied by USCIS, and $585 to appeal the decision--over $1,000 for a bare-bones DIY green card application), race-based decisionmaking cloaked in administrative discretion, and extraordinarily punitive enforcement measures have created a climate of hate and fear. This situation didn't arise organically, nor is it an inevitable consequence of natural social and economic forces, as restrictionists would have us believe. It is the carefully planned result of years of conservative organizing and legislative action, spearheaded since 1999 by the nativist caucus in the House.
The arbitrary, unpredictable legal framework now in place bears little relation to "rule of law" as traditionally conceived. Migrant advocates should feel confident to think bigger. Nibbling at the edges of this massive failure of a policy will not deflate the insatiable demands of the hard-core restrictionists. These are the people we're talking about:
is being destroyed from within by a modern version of Genghis Khan's army," the Emigration Party of Nevada, listed by the SPLC as a hate group, said. The group's leader, Don Pauly, wants to send government "sniper teams" to the border and forcibly sterilize Mexican women after a first child. America
"If the Jew government waits, and hell breaks out here in the
USA, our citizens will not be asking to see any documentation," added Michael Blevins, the state leader of the neo-Nazi American National Socialist Workers Party. "They will go after anyone they think an illegal alien based on race first." Florida
Ceding ground by adopting "get tough" rhetoric is the political equivalent of the
off-balance fade-away jumpshot--it is inherently utilized from a position of
weakness and rarely achieves its intended effect. This approach didn't work with the War in
This approach involves multiple prongs: legislative, administrative/executive, judicial, (new) media outreach, and community organizing. And yes, conscientious civil disobedience. It should involve recognition by mainstream progressives that this is a modern civil rights struggle, in many ways inseparable from civil rights movements past and continuing. Lots of people are doing essential work on many of these fronts already. Let's tie these strands together and blow this up to change the world the way civil rights activists did in generations past.