Representative Gutierrez’ Rhetoric on Immigration Policy

Sometimes demagoguery can be an effective tool in politics.  Other times, it makes the orator appear silly.  At Monday’s town hall event in Virginia, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) stated that if the Senate Amnesty Bill is not passed people are going to die.  His words:

“Today, someone is going to die in that desert, trying to return to their families. Women and men are going to die in that desert. Someone’s going to lose a finger, a hand, an eye, a life today because an unscrupulous employer is going to put them in harm’s way, someone’s going to die.

There’s a woman that’s going to be raped in a field somewhere in America today because she has no rights in this country, and we need to end that.

There are children who are going to cry and there are marriages that are going to be destroyed because someone is going to be deported today, and there are going to be children that are going to be left orphaned in this country.”

This is almost as nonsensical as when former Congressman, Alan Grayson (D-FL), took to the House floor ranting that the Republicans’ idea of health care was nothing more than hoping for people to hurry up and die.  Grayson was trying to make his way onto the national scene, and it worked but not as he would have liked.  Much to his dismay, he became a political joke following his comments, and fizzled out like Howard Dean yelling “Yeahhhh”.

I am sure these Congressional members believe their words sound inspiring as they are preparing their speeches and talking points in the mirror.  After all, what better way to motivate someone into action than to make them believe a specific policy change can save a life?  Who doesn’t want to save a life?  But there is a logical inconsistency that frequently occurs when ideas are reduced to their ultimate ends.  For example, Gutierrez believes that America should be generous with amnesty and citizenship for those who have violated American immigration law.  By doing so, a life will be saved, which is the ultimate end for Gutierrez. If saving a life is the ultimate end, why not carry that to its ultimate conclusion?  Thousands more people will die in an automobile accident this year than will ever die as a result of American immigration policy.  Under the Gutierrez model we should consider banning automobiles and go back to horse and buggy or bicycles.  That would greatly reduce the number of travel-related deaths.

Congressional members on both sides of the aisle should move away from the political rhetoric and focus on serious policy solutions to serious policy problems.  Shocking people with inflammatory rhetoric or slapping them with guilt is not mature policy discussion.  It simply makes Gutierrez and those who partake in that sort of nonsense appear petty and uninformed.  Unfortunately Gutierrez’ comments seem to be more commonplace as Congress becomes inundated with members who have neither the intellect, nor the maturity, to serve.  They often win elections by the use of political rhetoric.  When they arrive in office they have a difficult time differentiating between campaigning and serious political debate.

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