I heard the story on my radio this morning and the hypocrisy blew my mind. NPR is just fine with Europe trying to stop illegal immigration from Africa. The story even used the term “illegal” more than once. It never mentions “undocumented workers.” Libya and Europe get better treatment in this story than Arizona ever did.
It seems one of the militias in Libya is hired to stop illegal immigrants from going through their country to the coast. While the story did allow some more pro-immigration views, it wasn’t nearly as pro-immigration as one would expect. Certainly the migrants were not extensively and sympathetically interviewed.
The print version of the piece doesn’t include the introduction. Here it is transcribed from audio:
Libya has long attracted illegal migrants from other parts of Africa and the Middle East—many looking to work in oil fields or to board ships bound for Europe. And now Libyan authorities say they want help to stop this flow of migrants.
Not one word of judgment. The radio announcer’s tone didn’t communicate the idea that there was anything disgusting or morally questionable about treating Africans in this manner.
What makes these Africans different than Mexican and Latin American immigrants moving further north in North America? As far as I can tell, none of these African migrants are being looked upon by European politicians as a future voting bloc. They aren’t even interested in citizenship. They are just looking for work. From what I could glean from the story, many may travel to Libya without knowing clearly whether they will end up as day laborers in that country or else go further overseas. If so, they obviously aren’t motivated by a certainty of European welfare benefits.
I suspect that many immigrants have the same motives when they come to the US. They want to find worthwhile jobs. But here it is different. Here, the welfare state is actively advertising itself and recruiting immigrant households. Furthermore, there is a political party in the US that is ardently hoping to gain new voters. The idea of allowing people to stay and work here as legal residents isn’t even being considered. No, they have to be on a “path to citizenship.”
Making citizenship a part of immigration essentially turns peaceful workers into armed invaders. It means that, merely by virtue of wanting to work in the American economy, they get to have a say in who rules the country.
So to the liberal media, when they are reporting on Europe and its relationship to Libya as a transit point for illegal immigrants, they can sound reasonably neutral, objective, and even compliant. I didn’t catch any idea from the story that it was somehow wrong for nation states to restrict immigration.
When they report on Arizona or on the conservatives who question our latest bureaucratic push on “immigration reform” they take a different tone.