Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tombs of Unknown Immigrants

WARNING: This post contains a link to a gallery of graphic images of corpses in various states of decomposition. The images will be disturbing to many, as they should be. You have been forewarned.

ACK is using the news of another Nashvillian killed by an intoxicated illegal immigrant driver to beat the drum that enforcement of immigration laws would have kept that Nashvillian alive.

I'll not pursue the argument as I have in the past that his logic is fallacious in so far as lots of conditions beyond illegal immigration could have prevented that Nashvillian's death, too. That argument has merits, but it is generally ignored by ACK and other fervent immigration critics.

The news of the tragic death has whipped up the usual round of hostility toward immigrants--with the predictable characterizations of foreign lives as meaningless--as if all illegal immigrants live to drink and then drive around killing Nashvillians. To the contrary, there are bad illegal immigrants, but there are also good illegal immigrants.

But the underbelly of illegal immigration generally goes ignored by the deportation rhetoric focused on undifferentiated immigrants (and particularly Hispanics) as a group. There is tragic loss of life on both sides, and the zealots who write about illegal immigration focus on the death of Americans, of Nashvillians, without regard for the death of immigrants who risk everything they have to reunite with family members in America or who are fleeing squalor for a better life here.

If you care to look hard enough, you can find those traces of tragic deaths of immigrants (men, women, and children) whose stories, unlike those of the deceased Nashvillians, will never be told and will never be used to beat a political drum with the passion that critics do.

The Texas Observer, in an online supplement to a recent story they did on the killing fields in Brooks County, Texas, provides a gallery of the corpses of unknown, weak and unlucky immigrants caught in the machinery of black market human trafficking, a market that will probably grow even more lucrative and more deadly when and if mass deportations begin.

I offer the link not to minimize any innocent killed by the vicious behavior of some illegal immigrants. I offer it to balance out the nativist vitriol and thirst for vengeance.


  1. Where is the picture of Jocelyn Gardiner? Does her life not have meaning?

    She was a wonderful young lady, a good student, and a great athlete who is no longer with us.

    And the man responsible was here illegally and conitnued to show no respect for our law.

    Is he another of those immigrants here to do a job that Americans won't do (or aren't permitted to do, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU).

  2. You apparently failed to read the last two sentences in my post.

  3. Thank you for linking that story. It is unbelievable the hatred that is spewing forth at an entire ethnicity of people. At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with money and head counts. It has to do with the sick mentality of one race feeling superior to another.

  4. Jocelyn was an amazing person...I am upset with the twist your article gives. I understand that people have a problem with illegals, this incident increases the feeling. If they want to come to america, good for them. Just learn to live by our laws. Drunk driving may be OK in Mexico, but not here.

  5. You are entitled to be upset if you choose, but like a previous commenter, you ignore my final two points. Without taking anything away from anyone's death, there are amazing people who die on both sides of this issue.

    All people, immigrant or not, should learn to live by our laws. Even if we returned every immigrant, good and bad, to their original country, we would still have loads of nationals who have no respect for law.

    And if you believe that all Mexicans believe that it is okay to drive drunk, then you live under a delusion.