Editorial: Americans won’t be blackmailed

That’s the message from Monday’s less-than-rousing

May Day boycott of the U.S. economy called by the radical fringe of the open-borders immigration movement.

Americans are reasonable people, but threatening them with an economic boycott won’t persuade them to accept demands for ill-advised proposals such as amnesty for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now in this country. That 11 million, by the way, is growing by 10,000 every day, according to some estimates.

Other than Chicago, which saw a crowd of demonstrators generously estimated at half a million, the turnout fell far short of what organizers needed in order to reach their pre-May Day goal of shutting down the economy for a day in order to show how dependent we allegedly are upon immigrant labor. There were small blips in the restaurant, prepared food and construction industries, but otherwise the boycott simply wasn’t felt.

It is a fiction, of course, that the $12 trillion U.S. economy cannot function without illegal immigrant workers, so the avowed aim of the May Day boycott organizers was doomed from the start. But then, making factual arguments isn’t the forte of ANSWER, one of the main organizers behind Monday’s


For those unfamiliar with the acronym, ANSWER stands for “Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.” ANSWER is interested in the immigration issue only to the extent that it can be used to advance the group’s radical agenda. That is why the strike was called for May Day, the old Communist International’s favorite holiday, rather than the more logical Cinco de Mayo, and why so many pictures of Che Guevara were seen in the crowds Monday.

The news must not have reached ANSWER that the Berlin Wall fell, the 1960s are long gone and American freedom defeated Soviet totalitarianism in the Cold War.

To put these issues in further perspective, imagine if U.S. teachers, doctors, employers and Food Stamp Program administrators boycotted illegal immigrants for a day.

The illegal immigrant demanding a free education for his kids in our public schools would find classrooms shuttered. The sickly illegal immigrant expecting free medical care at the emergency room would keep sneezing and coughing for another miserable day. The illegal immigrant expecting to be hired at a comparatively generous wage would have no money to send back home. And forget the government-paid food stamps for at least a day.

Americans don’t do things like that, because we are a generous and caring people — the most generous and caring in the world.

But there are limits, practical and otherwise, to our generosity and patience. Threatening us with a strike if we don’t do this or that for people who should be thankful for the privilege of being in this country in the first place is not a smart strategy.

Now, let’s get on with the hard work of securing our borders, upholding the rule of law by not granting amnesty in any form, and establishing a reasonable and manageable process through which the huddled masses who genuinely seek liberty and a new life can become Americans the right way.

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