The O’Malley Insult

I understand that Martin O’Malley is a panderer. Everybody knows that. I understand that Martin O’Malley wants to make sure that he appears as somebody who “understands” the immigration issue. Somebody who wants to look like he cares. I understand that Martin O’Malley was buying Delegates off on promises of drivers licenses for illegal immigrants in order to get his Constitutional Amendment on slots passed.

But Martin O’Malley’s using the term “New Americans” as a term to describe illegal aliens is a gigantic insult to a pretty large swath of Maryland’s population.

So many Marylanders are descended from recent immigrants, families who came to the United States in droves from Ireland, and Italy, and other far flung locations. Many of them just in the last century. It is in no way hyperbolic to say that we are indeed a national of immigrants, those who have come to the promised land in search of the best of all possible lives.

But most of those folks came here legally.

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What Martin O’Malley does by calling illegal immigrants “New Americans” is to attempt to legitimatize illegitimate and illegal behavior. There is nothing American about one’s first act in the United States to be breaking the law. Nor is then anything legitimate and proper about our state’s Governor trying to turn a blind eye to such behaviors.

But this goes far, far beyond Martin O’Malley turning a blind eye to and helping to fund illegal behavior. What O’Malley said was thoroughly insulting. It is insulting to the families who came here through legal means so many years ago. It is doubly insulting to those immigrants who are living and working with us right now who are applying for citizenship through legal means. Those are the folks who we should be encouraging. Those are the folks who are truly inspired to become “New Americans” in the tradition of the millions who have come before them.

Martin O’Malley was trying to score a cheap political point with the members of his base who support such illegal behaviors. What he really did was stick a thumb in the eye of millions of Marylanders who see through the cheap political stunt it truly was…

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