The Corner

On Nazi Parallels

So I keep hearing this Nazi comparison brought up in regard to the Arizona law. Here’s Linda Greenhouse:

So what to do in the meantime? Here’s a modest proposal. Everyone remembers the wartime Danish king who drove through Copenhagen wearing a Star of David in support of his Jewish subjects. It’s an apocryphal story, actually, but an inspiring one. Let the good people of Arizona — and anyone passing through — walk the streets of Tucson and Phoenix wearing buttons that say: I Could Be Illegal.

Maybe someone could explain this to me.  In Nazi Germany Jews were not permitted to leave the country (at least not when it really mattered). Jews in fact begged to be deported or expelled. In Denmark Jews were deported — to Germany. So how does America end up the Nazi-like country here? If the Denmark example applies, it would make Mexico the Nazi-like country and America the modern-day Denmark. Except the illegals don’t want to be deported and Mexico isn’t killing its own repatriated emigrants.

So what am I missing? Well, some might respond that I don’t get it. You see, we’re (actually just Arizona) treating illegal immigrants like second class citizens with fewer rights than everybody else. But, not to be rude, aren’t illegal aliens already a different class of people within our legal system and isn’t it obviously true that they have fewer rights than American citizens?

So other than meaning “really, really bad” what do people like Greenhouse and Cardinal Mahony mean when they invoke the Nazis? Is it just the image of cops asking for papers? I don’t like that image either, but if we’re reducing Nazism to checking paperwork we’re really defining it down — particularly since legal  immigrants have been required to carry around their paperwork since 1940, when FDR and the Democrats made it a law.

Update: Well, give SNL points for honesty.


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