Fitz column mug

David Fitzsimmons, Tucson’s most beloved ink-stained wretch.

Steven Meckler//

The law is the law. That is what my conservative friends say when they defend President Trump’s rescinding of DACA, President Obama’s executive order deferring action against the children of illegal immigrants. For them this act was the power grab of a left-wing tyrant.

I saw it as the act of a Constitutional Law Professor forced to protect the innocent children of undocumented Americans when a feckless Congress lacked the moral courage to so.

The critics of DACA swoon over the demagogues who have the backbone to stand up to the hordes of criminal illegals who are destroying this country. My partisan pals can’t give one inch to the “America-hating liberals” because the next thing you know you’ll have open borders.

I never favored open borders and I never will.

The fabrications my furious friends have been fed by right-wing anti-immigrant groups have nourished their belief there is simply no room to budge. I’m the realist, not you pro-immigrant saps living in la-la land.

They’re taking our jobs. False.

They’re all criminals and disease carriers. Demonstrably false.

Rapists! False.

A drain on our economy. False.

They don’t pay taxes. False.

Mexico will pay for the wall. Laughably false.

Immigration reform is amnesty! False. And tiresome.

The multi-billion dollar wall will be effective. False to anyone who bothers to read investigative journalism.

But none of that matters because in the era of Trump the truth takes a backseat to emotion. Leaving the fate of the dreamers to a hostile Congress is a tough love approach that makes our seal-the-border-citizens proud of their firm conviction. They knew what they were getting into by staying here. They’re playing you for suckers.

The numbers of apprehensions may be down and the wall may be a boondoggle but it doesn’t matter. Can’t you see the Mexican devils under your beds and the taco trucks on every corner? And those poor ‘innocent’ kids? They’re lawbreakers.

They’re right. One hundred-percent. They’re lawbreakers.

And so was Rosa Parks, Liu Xiaobo, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, and a peasant from Nazareth. Lawbreakers all. Lawbreakers like the American revolutionaries who defied a king, and created  a republic that would become the melting pot of the world.

The Nazi propagandists of 1944 demonized us for our diversity, calling the American liberators “mongrels” as if it were an insult. The master race failed to understand it was our greatest asset. America is great because of its diversity, not in spite of it. Ask the half-breeds, mongrels and mutts from Brooklyn, Birmingham and Boise who fought side-by-side and crushed the Aryan bigots of Berlin.

It is this richly varied DNA that moves Americans, the children of immigrants themselves, to favor immigration reform. Our current immigration law is convoluted, cruel and counter-productive and every American knows it.

"But,” one of my friends said,”Allowing these young people to stay will just create an incentive for more to come here.”

Let’s assume you’re right, my friend.

What better reason is there to encourage our leaders to pass meaningful immigration reform that encourages legal immigration, and secures the gaps in our border as we do the right thing, the American thing, by welcoming the dreamers to pursue the American dream free from the shadows.

Contact editorial cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons at tooner@tucson.com