Monday, September 10, 2007

Elvira Arellano vs. Rosa Parks.

It strikes me as I have gone back and re-read my post about Elvira Arellano that it sounds less sympathetic than what I actually feel. I feel badly for her and I feel guilty, as an American, because it is primarily the U.S. government's failure to enact and enforce a rational immigration policy that is the cause of both her anguish and America's undocumented immigrant problem.

I also should probably explain why I find preposterous the claim that she is "the Rosa Parks of the immigration rights movement." If the comparison merely means that both are the personification of their movement, then although the jury is still out on Arellano, I'll say okay, maybe, but so what? I believe they want it to mean more than that. They are trying to borrow some of Ms. Parks' aura of righteousness, and that is the part that falls somewhere between preposterous and offensive. Rosa Parks stood for the proposition that an oppressed people should not be complicit in their own oppression, regardless of the risk. What does Elvira Arellano stand for? Put kindly, perhaps for the proposition that if you want something badly enough you can convince yourself that you are entitled to it.

Maybe Arellano's supporters are guilty of nothing worse than the modern tendency to overstate just about everything, the subject of one of my first blog posts.

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