"They come to be part of the American Dream." This liberal "analysis" about the presence of millions of illegal immigrants in our midst is an irritating way to defend such immigrants against the constant assaults on their human rights carried out by self-righteous American nationalists who are clearly clueless about the roots of the problem. Rather than provide clarifying context, liberals prefer to call their opponents "racist" (which they sometimes are, but usually not), which leaves the social and economic roots of illegal immigration unexplained.
In any event, legitimizing appeals to the American Dream are particularly foolish, as it is now fading very quickly. For the last two generations it has been sustained by easy credit and vast expansion of female labor in the paid labor market, both of which have reached their limit. Meanwhile, the increased wealth from productivity gains are channeled almost exclusively to the top of the economic pyramid, to the kind of people whose cynical speculation crashed the economy into disaster in 2008, and from which we still have not recovered four years later. So as Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told us 33 years ago, "The standard of living of the average American has to decline." Given that this is so, how cheerfully can we be expected to greet the news that millions of desperate immigrants are here to illegally enjoy the dream that has been increasingly placed beyond the reach of millions of legal American citizens?
Fortunately, another world is possible, and that premise is now giving rise to a Latin American Dream that seeks to put an economic floor beneath the poor that will make it unnecessary for them to uproot themselves and seek employment thousands of miles away in the United States. It is quite revealing that the people who are most vociferous in condemning "illegal aliens" do nothing to support this movement to the South, so intent are they on punishing the victims of savage economic austerity rather than solving the problem they say they want solved. Sheer hypocrisy.
But the liberals don't offer anything much better. They prefer to exploit our emotions in relation to the admittedly tragic consequences of ripping families apart to deport "illegals," rather than challenge the enormous concentrations of private wealth that induce millions of people to migrate to the developed countries in the first place. This leaves them open to the charge of opposing legality itself, an obviously untenable position.
Until we challenge capital, especially its grotesquely lopsided distribution and supposed right to deny hundreds of millions of people access to a dignified existence, mass illegal immigration will continue all over the world.