In an emotional burst, Bill O’Reilly condemned Dick Wolf and NBC for the “Law and Order” episode portraying a mentally disturbed person who turned his anger to killing the children of illegal immigrants, so-called “anchor babies” in the jargon of anti-immigration fanatics. In particular, Bill O’Reilly was outraged by a brief conversation where one of the characters blamed the main media outlets, including the Bill O’Reilly show, for creating an anti-immigration atmosphere, in which sick minds come up with ideas like killing immigrant children.
Within the last three years, I studied our immigration crisis, wrote on it extensively, and consider myself an expert on this subject. I am troubled by the magnitude of hatred against illegal immigrants that have accumulated in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. It is likely that in this environment someone of a disturbed mind could start killing illegal immigrants or their children. Especially, among those responding to my writing, Charles (I know this man’s last name and email address) wrote to me (original spelling): “since the government says we have to many illegals to send back across the border why don’t we borrow Hitlers ideas, forced labor camps and crematoriums?”
I grew up in Poland in the shadow of World War II, and among lingering questions about how it could happen that, as a famous Polish writer phrased it, “people setup this fate for other people”. Barbarians did not commit the atrocities of WW II. They were carried out by the nation-leading civilization’s progress for centuries. Nobel Prize-caliber scientists supported them. Concentration camps were built with the same perfection as Mercedes. One can reasonably conclude that any civilized nation has the potential of turning itself into a monster of the same magnitude as Nazi Germany.
This is where the difference between Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Wolf becomes clear. The creator of the “Law and Order” episode sees the potential of this danger here and now, hence he prefers to be “better safe than sorry” over waiting for the possibility of things becoming worse in the near future. Mr. O’Reilly believes that Americans – just by the virtue of being Americans – are immune from the dangers of turning into political extreme. In my eyes, Mr. Wolf scores in this disagreement as the plot of the questioned “Law and Order” episode sounds probable and many Americans share opinions expressed in the conversation that upset Mr. O’Reilly so much.
Obviously, The O’Reilly Factor does not deserve as much credit for the spreading of anti-immigration hatred as, for example, the clearly fascist ALIPAC (Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee). Nevertheless, Mr. O’Reilly gave antenna time and the honors of a voice of real Americans to the ALIPAC leader, William Gheen. In his vicious critique of the “Law and Order” episode, Mr. O’Reilly showed many video clips from his previous shows with the purpose to prove that he always had had compassion for the situation of illegal immigrants. Then he says, “My beef is with the federal government not controlling illegal immigration and violent criminal illegal aliens.”
Let us start with “criminal illegal aliens.” It is true that among the several millions of immigrants without legal status, some commit crimes. The O’Reilly Factor meticulously reports every single one, creating an impression that this is a serious threat to Americans, and urges for action to stop it. Therefore, everybody knows that a few round sentences about his human feelings for illegal immigrants, which Mr. O’Reilly drops here and there, are just a tax of political correctness that he has to pay in order to stay in business, but this is not the core of his message. The core of his message is asking for a greater government role in controlling migration. For the first 210 years of the Union, every American enjoyed the freedom of hiring anyone he or she pleased, regardless if this person came from across the street or across the ocean. It was legal to hire any foreigner one wanted without permission from the big government. What was wrong with that? Only in the last 23 years has one needed to ask the government for permission.
This country was established on the concept that the well-being of the nation would be achieved best when individuals would be granted the freedom to pursue their best economic interests. Our current immigration laws, supported by Mr. O’Reilly, are based on the opposite, clearly socialistic concept that there is some abstract common good and that the freedoms of individuals need to be compromised in order to comply with this ideal. To be precise, this concept surmises that some bureaucrats in Washington know best how many foreigners should be allowed to come and work in the U.S. If we accept this theorem, it is logical to accept that the government knows best what health insurance one should have, what the price of bread we buy every day should be, and what the largest square footage of a private residence that one family should be allowed to occupy should be. I remember laws like this in Poland under the socialistic rule.
Our immigration laws are commonly disrespected precisely because they are, in their very nature, un-American. The government cannot enforce them without creating an apparatus of compulsion comparable to that in the Soviet Union. This is unacceptable, so they came up with the concept of eVerify. It is a form of taxation for every business owner. It is a tax in kind, as it forces a business to allocate resources for performing, without pay, tasks that government administration should do. Tasks that business has no financial interest in pursuing. It is taxation without representation, another trick used by socialists, also supported by Mr. O’Reilly.
In his tirade, Mr. O’Reilly takes some credit for putting a wall on the Mexican border and the increased government role in determining who can and who cannot enter the country. This wall will be written in the history books together with the Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall. The government that is powerful enough to stop people from migrating to the U.S., if needed, can use this power to stop Americans from leaving the country. One can easily imagine that if, as a result of the socialistic policies supported by Mr. O’Reilly, our economic crisis would deepen, many scientists and engineers critical to the industrial potential of the nation might want to leave the country. In order to protect vital national interests, the government might outlaw it. Then, the well-armed wall on the Mexican border can come in handy, catching scientists end engineers from Silicon Valley, trying to escape from the country illegally.
In his outburst, while carefully avoiding using the “s” word, Mr. O’Reilly is trying to tell us that Mr. Wolf is a “despicable human being” because he is a socialist. It is irrelevant what the political views of Mr. Wolf are. What is essential it is that in his core views on immigration, Mr. O’Reilly is a hard-core socialist, but in denial. Isn’t life funny?
A version of this text was published by Huffington Post