U.S. Immigration Reform: November 2007 Archives

(Picture of severe wearing of the teeth, or attrition, from smile-dr.com)

Anti-migrant advocates have been tremendously successful at labeling everything amnesty and then pushing an anti-amnesty agenda.  It's always easier to organize against something than it is to organize in favor of something.  With that in mind I've decided it's time pro-migrant advocates come up with their own anti-agenda: anti-attrition.

Attrition sounds innocent enough.  It's a clinical term.  An anti-attrition rallying cry might not seem very appealing at first.  But the same could have been said for amnesty.  Amnesty essentially means forgiveness.  If anti-migrant advocates were able to make amnesty a bad word in a God-fearing, Jesus-loving nation, then it can't be hard to do the same thing with attrition. 

What does attrition through enforcement mean?  Believe it or not, unlike amnesty, attrition through enforcement is something that leading anti-migrant organizations actually advocate for.  A dry definition of the term attrition is to wear something down, like a rock, through constant rubbing or friction.  But when applied to humans attrition has all sorts of horrible connotations.  Dictionary.com provides this definition:

A wearing down or weakening of resistance, esp. as a result of continuous pressure or harassment
To engage in attrition warfare is to wear down your enemy to the "point of collapse".  If these connotations haven't gotten you riled up yet, they should.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) recently partnered with Blue America in order to hold Rahm Emanuel accountable for his anti-migrant posturing as the representative of one of the most diverse congressional districts in the nation (Illinois' 5th Congressional District).

ICIRR began this fight with a rubber chicken campaign at YearlyKos (see left) in an effort to get Emmanuel to stand for migrant rights. 

The exact opposite happened.  After a close electoral fight in Massachusetts, Emmanuel assumed the role of Tom Tancredo of the Democrats, and issued this comment to the Washington Post:

“This issue has real implications for the country. It captures all the American people’s anger and frustration not only with immigration, but with the economy,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and an architect of the Democratic congressional victories of 2006. “It’s self-evident. This is a big problem.”
    - Jonathan Weisman - Washington Post
Democrats were running scared after the Massachusetts special election, but an overwhelmingly different picture was painted after the recent local elections in Virginia.  There Republicans failed miserably on an anti-migrant agenda and now the tides have changed.