Glowing Portraits of Illegals vs. the Categorical Imperative

By David North on June 14, 2013

The New York Times did it again Friday morning, on the front page, as it did on the op-ed page Thursday.

It trotted out glowing portraits of specific illegal aliens as part of its campaign to pass the Gang of Eight's comprehensive immigration law. Friday's heroes were people granted temporary legal status under the administration's fiat Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Thursday's heroine, Aracely Cruz, who authored an op-ed piece about her sad experiences with the help of an immigrants' rights organization that interviewed her and translated her story from Spanish, is an illegal who had lived with, but was not married to, an expelled illegal. She did not want to return to Mexico, the legal residence of both, but wanted Congress to bring her partner back to the United States.

To strain the reader's credibility, Friday's above-the-fold piece featured a new DACA beneficiary, Erika Flores, who has a master's degree in early childhood education and who is now working as a teacher's assistant with autistic children.

How many DACA beneficiaries have high school diplomas, much less master's degrees? How many of the latter are engaged in such noble public service jobs? Kirk Semple, the able Times reporter, should get a merit badge, first class, in cherry-picking.

Let's assume that Ms. Flores and Ms. Cruz are just as wonderful as the Times portrays them — should one base public policy on such anecdotes? Apparently the paper wants us to do so.

Or should we think more broadly about the long-term results of a broad amnesty probably involving upwards of 10 million illegal aliens (all prospective legal additions to the nation's population)? Should we think about an amnesty that will undoubtedly set it motion still greater influxes of more illegal aliens in the future?

If legal status is to be awarded to Ms. Flores, to Ms. Cruz, and to the latter's expelled partner, would that not mean that we should grant legal status to all in their collective shoes, all the millions and millions of them?

I am sure that the owners and managers of the Times probably agree, at least in principle, with the famous categorical imperative of the late German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, who wrote:


Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.



Or, more conversationally, in the immigration setting, if you do something for somebody you must do it for everybody.

But for some reason that sort of thinking never, never intrudes into the pages of the New York Times.