Accusations of racism are standard fare in any debate involving immigration, and they always seem to go one way: right at anybody who dares oppose open borders, amnesty, or a free Wal-Mart gift card and a pat on the back for every criminal sneaking into America.
Of course, the only blatant racism I’ve seen has been entirely from the other side of the debate, and this has taken two distinct forms. One consists of ethnic solidarity groups like “La Raza” (Spanish for “The Race,” if you had any doubt regarding their central motive) and the other is composed of white liberals condescendingly out to help their little brown brothers as a sort of “pet” project in feel-good paternalism.
And there is no better example of Big White Daddy syndrome than Peter Schey, a “human rights” lawyer and President of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Los Angeles. Mr. Schey (esq.) collects fashionable causes and clients the way some children collect baseball cards or stuffed toys: The Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, The Palestine Aid Society, the American Indian (and one delusional white guy) Movement. The gangs are all there. You can see Mr. Schey’s, esq., complete curriculum vitae here, but he is best known for his role in the 1982 Supreme Court edict of Doe v. Plyler, which ordered American taxpayers to provide free education to illegal alien children.
Now Mr. Schey has taken up the cause of immigration criminals being prosecuted under a new Arizona law against human smuggling. The law is being used to prosecute both professional alien smugglers, or “coyotes,” and the illegal alien clients that pay them to be smuggled across our border. Both parties are being charged with a conspiracy to commit human smuggling, mostly because they have conspired to smuggle humans.
A conspiracy charge would be uncontroversial for any other crime in which one person pays another to facilitate his illegal goals. But this is illegal immigration we’re talking about here, so all the rules are out the window, and clearly the Great White Father figures must intervene.
Among those filing suit to stop the prosecution of illegal aliens (many of whom are victims of Cortez or the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, after all) is Mr. Schey, who explained why the paying-half of a smuggling conspiracy cannot be charged with conspiracy: “You cannot charge someone with conspiracy to violate a law that inherently involves two people, because then you could just charge every single person involved with conspiracy.” “Say you have an adult participating in consensual sex with a 16-year-old. You can’t charge the 16-year-old with conspiracy to commit statutory rape.”
And there you have it. In Mr. Schey’s mind, adult illegal aliens cannot possibly be held responsible for the conspiracies they commit or the laws they break, because they are the moral equivalent of children: incapable of giving consent or being involved in big-boy crimes like conspiracy. They’re just victims, innocently lured into a tryst in El Norte by the wily coyotes.
Yes, Virginia, there is racism in the immigration debate. But it is what a talented speechwriter once called “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” You can’t expect illegal aliens to obey most laws. They’re just not capable of such discipline. But that’s OK, because Mr. Schey (esq.) is here to take care of them. And that is what makes him such a good person.
But you, you’re a racist.