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Shallow Virtue Signaling: When the Left Complains about the Illegal Immigrants it Voted For
The American political Left wing has championed illegal immigrant issues. Oftentimes, white liberals have shown less concern on matters of illegal immigration than Hispanics with 67% of Hispanics indicating they worry a great deal about illegal immigration along with a sizable chunk of Hispanics wanting increased security of the southern US-Mexico border.
It is an easy inference to make that illegal immigration is something Hispanics believe should be disincentivized - a fact that exists in stark contrast with sanctuary cities in blue areas and Democrat politicians regularly demonizing those who oppose illegal immigration and presenting themselves as virtuous in wanting to help those seeking better lives in America. The question naturally arises: what happens if the goodwill of the Left and Democrats is tested?
An amusing phenomenon has occurred in recent months: Republican states, such as Florida and Texas, have begun sending illegal immigrants found within their state’s boundaries to left-leaning areas such as Martha’s Vineyard, New York, and Washington DC. The residents of these areas are typically left-leaning and vote for candidates that legislate looser policy regarding the United States border with Mexico. Despite years of virtue signaling, the left-leaning areas have reacted negatively to the idea of having an influx of illegal immigrants enter their areas.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California put out a statement urging DOJ investigations regarding the moving of the illegal immigrants across state lines. This stance is odd for a simple reason: why shouldn’t these illegal immigrants be sent to blue areas like California where they are welcome rather than keeping them in red areas where they are not welcome? Many areas in California have advertised themselves as Sanctuary Cities that are welcoming of illegal immigrants. It’s quite indicative of how shallow buzzwords like ‘sanctuary city’, ‘diversity’, and ‘inclusivity’ are given the reaction of Newsom and others on the political left to the illegal immigrants sent to their areas despite having promoted policies like using American tax dollars to cover illegal immigrants health coverage. Newsom’s hypocrisy is not a recent development but rather a pattern of behavior as observed during the COVID-19 pandemic where he was seen eating out and sending his children to private school while many regular Californians were denied these basic rights. “Do as we say, not as we do.”
Ultimately, the American Left’s thought process in regards to illegal immigration can be summarized as follows:
Step 1: Advocate for lax border policy.
Step 2: Establish sanctuary cities to welcome illegal immigrants.
Step 3: Illegal immigrants get sent to sanctuary cities.
Step 4: Complain about Republicans sending illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities.
The above meme captures the self-sabotaging nature of the Democrat’s virtue signaling on illegal immigration. It is easy to advertise yourselves as ‘diverse’ and ‘inclusive’, but hard to lead by example when it comes to these values.
The Left’s reaction to illegal immigrants being sent to Martha’s Vineyard resulted in some Twitter users editing a Martha’s Vineyard poster with ‘immigrants’, ‘refugees’, and ‘all are welcome here’ crossed out, as shown above, to emphasize how hypocritical the Left has behaved when forced to lead by example when it comes to moral virtue signaling on matters of race and immigration.
A deleted tweet from NBC News linked to an article comparing illegal immigrants to trash: “It’s like me taking my trash out and just driving to different areas where I live and just throwing my trash there.” The Freudian Slip from NBC News shows the disdain with which media elites view the most impoverished. Despite the Left’s attempts to pain Republican governors, it does not seem that the migrants setting to Martha’s Vineyard are particularly upset with some praising the decision to be sent there. Unfortunately, the residents of Martha’s Vineyard did not share this sentiment and the migrants were removed shortly after their arrival.
Although this is not the first time Democrats have reacted negatively to illegal immigrants, this situation is particularly potent due to the horrified reaction left-leaning areas have had to the idea of sharing their communities with illegal immigrants. This is despite having voted for candidates supporting lenient border policy and spending years decrying President Trump as a racist for his various proposals to enforce security along the southern border. In the past, President Clinton had placed restrictions on the immigration laws that granted American citizenship to Cubans escaping tyranny in their homeland resulting in the Wet Feet, Dry Feet policy which was fully ended by another Democrat president, Barack Obama:
The wet feet, dry feet policy or wet foot, dry foot policy was the name given to a former interpretation of the 1995 revision of the application of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 that essentially says that anyone who emigrated from Cuba and entered the United States would be allowed to pursue residency a year later. Prior to 1995, the U.S. government allowed all Cubans who reached U.S. territorial waters to remain in the U.S. After talks with the Cuban government, the Clinton administration came to an agreement with Cuba that it would stop admitting people intercepted in U.S. waters. For two decades thereafter, any Cuban caught on the waters between the two nations (with "wet feet") would summarily be returned to Cuba or sent to a third country, while one who made it to shore ("dry feet") got a chance to remain in the United States, and later would qualify for expedited "legal permanent resident" status in accordance with the 1966 Act and eventually U.S. citizenship. On January 12, 2017, Barack Obama announced the immediate end of the policy.
“Do as we say, not as we do” encapsulates Democrat hypocrisy on illegal immigration. Those on the political left will virtue signal about being welcoming and inclusive when it’s convenient for them and reject the idea of sharing their spaces with the same illegal immigrants they voted for. Ultimately, illegal immigration is a complicated issue and the Left placed itself in this current situation of actually utilizing their sanctuary cities for their advertised purpose by recklessly virtue signaling and morally bullying their political opponents. Now the time has come to see if the Left has any substance beyond pleasantries and evaluate its ability to lead by example.