Social Question

josie's avatar

Why is one unknowable assertion about illigal immigrants valid, and another unknowable assertion about illegal immigrants invalid?

Asked by josie (30926points) July 22nd, 2015

Regarding illegals from Central and South America-

The President says that many of them are hard working people trying to feed their families and get ahead in the world.

This statement is regarded as true, and plus it is Politically Correct.

Donald Trump says that many are criminals and raising the crime rate in America.

This statement is regarded as outrageous, false and plus it is Politically Incorrect.

But the truth is, we really do not know much of anything one way or another about the folks who sneak into the US without real ID or a background check, other than they are here and they broke the law to get here (which may or may not be a clue).

Each statement has an equal chance to be true.

So why is one statement OK and the other not OK.

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12 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Cognitive dissonance? Insanity?

flutherother's avatar

American immigrants have traditionally come to the US to get jobs and work hard. There is no reason to believe things are any different today with those from South America.

Here2_4's avatar

Funny, I was just talking about Schrodinger’s cat on TJBM #63 a couple of days ago.
If the box stays closed, we have no way of knowing if the cat is alive or dead, so both are true, until we open the box.
If my country got so bad I had to work eighteen hours a day just to have food, and not even very good food, and random criminals broke into my house to torture my family, and some of the time they are cops I would be willing to break some laws, and even one or two morals to get my kids to a country where my work earned money I could save, buy house and car with, and send my kids to schools until they are masters of their race.
Therefore, I believe some or many illegal immigrants are decent people desperate to live like decent people. I could be wrong. Maybe the cat ate the poison.

DoNotKnow's avatar

I’ll take a guess or two…

1. The history of immigrants always follows the same pattern: they are considered scum and lazy and potentially dangerous. So, in a sense, we’ve all heard this before. And we’ve heard it about our own relatives’ journey to this country.

2. Anecdotal evidence contradicts our daily experience. When we drive through California and see our fruits and vegetables being picked by recent immigrants, it’s difficult to take seriously a politician who says that the general contribution of immigrants to this country is rape and crime. When we get a new roof put on or when we go the market and see the shelves being stocked, we see recent immigrants who are working their asses off.

3. Trump’s not a criminologist, sociologist, or social scientist of any kind. If someone is going to assert what Trump is claiming, it would best be in the form of a solid paper and credible sources.

4. We don’t require this from Obama because it’s the default – it conforms to our experience. We don’t learn anything from Obama’s statements (or even listen to them). But since they don’t contradict our understanding, his statements are the equivalent of “the sky is blue”.

ragingloli's avatar

You can say the same thing about the european settlers that invaded the american continents and nearly exterminated the natives.
Some of them may have been hard working people, but most of them were criminals.

talljasperman's avatar

@ragingloli Good point. ~Native Homeland security is still working on it. ~

DoNotKnow's avatar

5. If the crime rate among recent “illegal” (sigh) immigrants is higher than families that have been here for generations, it would be the result of the forces that influence crime rates – not an exception. So, poverty is one factor. Making sure people are without recourse, fear the authorities, can be bullied by employers, etc is the goal of keeping “illegals” illegal. When you exclude people from the legal and justice system in the country they live and work in, it would not be surprising if they were somehow able to take part in the legal system without reciprocity.

DoNotKnow's avatar

6. I was born here. I didn’t choose to be, I didn’t travel 40 miles through a desert or give up everything to come here. I don’t work my ass off with no protection only to be potentially deported back to another country and ripped from my family forever. I just slid out into a hospital here in the U.S. and I’m somehow ok. But people who have done all of these things are considered criminals for doing what I do.

7. What is the intention of the comments? Obama’s statements are inclusive and compassionate. Trump’s comments are designed to incite anti-immigrant passions and fears. The apparent intention is to focus the American public on a bogeyman that isn’t corporate. It’s to further demonize a population so that their exploitation can continue. So, have you lost your job? Are you struggling to get by or pay your mortgage? Are you wondering why you didn’t get that promotion? Did you lose your life savings due to an illness? Are you angry and scared and don’t know why the game feels rigged? Why, Trump has an answer for you: illegal immigrants. They’re stealing your jobs and cars, and raping your daughters. They are why the mythical “American Dream” seems so out-of-reach.

Lawn's avatar

I think it has to do with the ambiguity of the word “many.”

CLAIM: Many illegal immigrants are hard working people trying to feed their families and get ahead in the world.

How many is many? The claim is vague. Like @DoNotKnow said, it’s equivalent to “the sky is blue.”

CLAIM: Many illegal immigrants are criminals.

How many is many? This claim is vague too, but…

CLAIM: Illegal immigrants are raising the crime rate in America.

This is a pretty bold claim. People expect bold claims to be supported by evidence. What @DoNotKnow said in #3.

talljasperman's avatar

@Lawn Being an illegal immigrant is a crime. Hence they are criminals. ALL OF THEM. It’s basic logic. Hence the crime rate goes up.

DoNotKnow's avatar

Note: I also advise you to take the issue of “political correctness” out of this. I spend a considerable amount of my time arguing that political correctness is a cancer that is gutting liberalism in the U.S. It’s a regressive masturbation technique that keeps people believing they are affecting change, when they’re really just being assholes. I don’t think you’re going to gain much traction by playing the “it’s political correctness” card when it comes to immigration. This, in my experience, is not a relevant variable.

josie's avatar


Isn’t that sort of Trump’s point?


Thanks for the advice, but I’ll leave it in.

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