A “Gotcha” Argument Used Against Asian-Americans Defending Undocumented Immigrants
Here is an argument I sometimes hear when an immigration issue is in the news:
You’re so sympathetic to “illegals,” but look at what they do to them in Japan and Korea. Such racist countries. Checkmate, Asian woman!
(Ok, that last sentence is made up, but you can almost hear them thinking that in their heads.)
I don’t live in Japan or Korea and never have. I’ve lived in the US my entire life. Even if I did, it doesn’t mean I would automatically agree with every law there. It’s safe to say the person making this argument doesn’t agree with every law in the US. This also tells me that the person likely sees Asian-Americans as foreigners, regardless of our situation.
And yes, there are a lot of racists in those countries. There are a lot of racists here. It doesn’t mean I agree with it. What’s it called when you assume I hold an opinion because other people of my same race or ethnicity do? 🤔
And trying to justify unfair actions in the US by bringing up laws in other countries is whataboutism. The same people making this logical fallacy are often ones that talk about being a proud American and how the US is the best. If we’re better, then we should be better and do better than the countries that are being compared.
My Two Cents on US Immigration Policy
I think that the laws ultimately need to be changed to make it easier for immigrants to come here legally. Most undocumented immigrants would like to come here the proper way, but the current laws are complex and unjust. Unless one comes from the “right” countries, has certain connections or ties to citizens, has high social or economic status, or has “special” work skills, it is near impossible.
Many simply lack these qualities because of where they were born, which is not something one can choose. There is so much talk about whether or not to be tough on undocumented immigrants and little talk about more realistic and reasonable pathways to legal residency and citizenship. Even if someone is xenophobic, they should realize that immigrants are coming here anyway, so we might as well make sensible laws.