Immigration and Fallacies -- Do They Belong Together?
Do They Belong Together?”
Critical Thinking (HU 101)
We didn’t talk about this topic in class, nor did I read an article which made me think of writing about this. But I heard the following conversation (simplified) about illegal immigration in the U.S. on campus: Anti: "I believe that illegal immigration is not good for our country." Pro: "Of course you would say that, you 're a racist." Anti: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?" Pro: "Those don 't count. Like I said, you 're a racist, so you have to say that illegal immigration is bad. Further, you are also a bigot and a hater as well as a racist, so I can 't believe what you say."
After we talked about fallacies in class and with just using my common sense, I was very stunned about the pro-person’s argumentation. This conversation made me think about the topic of immigration in the U.S. and Europe and somehow, the arguments pro and contra are always the same – no matter if in the U.S. or in, say, Germany. Most people just don’t have the knowledge to discuss a matter like this, thus they come up with many fallacies in order to back-up their argumentation. I shortly want to describe some basic fallacies regarding immigration in the U.S. and then quickly describe the current situation and my opinion (incl. fallacies!) on this topic.
Common Fallacies in the Area of Immigration Matters
The conversation I cited above contains an “Ad Hominem” fallacy (irrelevant conclusion). Person A makes claim X. Person B makes an attack on person A. Therefore A 's claim is false. An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the person presenting the claim or argument. Here are a few more examples of fallacies used in regard to immigration:
1. Appeal to Pity: Almost every newspaper article on
References: PewHispanic Center. 2006. America’s Immigration Quandry. Retrieved on April 4, 2008 from http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/63.pdf Wikipedia. 2008. Ad Hominem Fallacy. Retrieved on April 6, 2008 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem Wikipedia. 2008. List of Fallacies. Retrieved on April 6, 2008 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies