Monday, February 11, 2008

To what extent is "illegal immigration" code for racism?

Before the Indiana State Legislature is a bill by Carmel's Mike Delph that would penalize Indiana business operators that hire "illegal immigrants." His bill and his perspective has been labeled racist by some Latino advocates. In today's Indianapolis Star, Delph tries to make the case that he and his efforts are not racist or based on racism.

Reading Delph's comments, it seems to me that he does not realize the extent to which he is immersed in the rhetoric of racism, surrounded by associates and fueled by self-justifying influences that, in the name of upholding the law, nonetheless foment suspicion, division, and bias based on race. He may not see himself or his efforts as racially biased, but he has engaged the perspective and language in which racial bias is embedded and inherent. The trajectory of "illegal immigration" as it is being used in current public discourse, moves toward alarming impacts.

So, I'm wondering: To what extent is "illegal immigration" code for racism?

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