Troubling talk about amnesty

The immigration problem is creating quite a bit of dissonance. There is little disagreement about the idea that the US is plagued with illegal immigrants. What to do about this problem is another matter. The manner of argument is making the point that disreputable tactics are not isolated in any corner of the political spectrum.

A key word in this case is “amnesty” spat out in dismissive manner. That takes a disagreement about the degree of punishment and makes it into a yes or no morality issue. That is not an honest tactic and taints all of the other arguments that may follow it.

Big Lizards’ Bride of Picking a Blog Feud – Power Line provides a critique that highlights other logical fallacies in the debate.

Please pardon my puzzlement, but isn’t this a raging non-sequitur? Nothing facially in the immigration bill would increase illegal immigration, or even increase it relative to legal immigration. John makes an attempt to find a logical connection; but he relies upon a logical fallacy called “begging the question,” or assuming that which was to be proved: “further illegality, which, having been forgiven once again, will no doubt be encouraged.”

There is an ugly tone from quarters not usually associated with it. When hubris raises its ugly head then the skeptics eye should also go on alert. We do not need to poison debate about political issues yet that is what has happened to the immigration problem. Solutions offered are castigated and maligned. Differences of opinion are elevated to moral judgments. Priorities are not discussed and clarified. Complications and implications are not allowed on the table. We have some difficult problems to address and they are being given only troubling talk about black and white, all or nothing, solutions such as in the bandying of the word “amnesty.”

Comments are closed.