Edward Abbey: “Immigration and Liberal Taboos”
In 1988, the New York Times commissioned, then rejected an op-ed on illegal immigration from Edward Abbey (1927-1989), the acclaimed novelist and radical environmentalist. Abbey`s “Immigration and Liberal Taboos” remains excellent reading today:
The only acceptable euphemism, it now appears, is something called undocumented worker. Thus the pregnant Mexican woman who appears, in the final stages of labor, at the doors of the emergency ward of an El Paso or San Diego hospital, demanding care for herself and the child she`s about to deliver, becomes an “undocumented worker.” The child becomes an automatic American citizen by virtue of its place of birth, eligible at once for all of the usual public welfare benefits. And with the child comes not only the mother but the child`s family. And the mother`s family. And the father`s family. Can`t break up families can we? They come to stay and they stay to multiply.