[tweetmeme source=”stephenanuno” only_single=false]Like the health care debate, the goal is not to debate, but to reaffirm misconceptions about the debate that harden the resolve of your base. For the GOP in health care, the goal was to convince old folks that health care would literally murder them. For immigration, the meme is that the federal government simply refuses to do anything about border crossings. Matt Mayer of Heritage feeds this meme and as a result we get folks from Arizona passing SB1070 as a response. Problem is, he is wrong. Deportations under the Obama administration have been going up compared to prior administrations, and personnel on the border has doubled since 2004. Of course, immigration control is not the goal of hard right conservatives, its cultural purity. If we wanted to control immigration, a comprehensive reform bill that addressed the economic and social incompatibilities our current laws have with reality would be the best solution. Instead, the folks at Heritage want to focus on the results of this incompatibility, the undocumented, so that they may isolate their ability to assimilate, while at the same time using that isolation as proof that these folks don’t want to assimilate, further justifying their draconian measures. Racism and bigotry is obviously part of this and there are certainly those among our leadership where this is the overlying incentive, but in general, I think the problem is that most folks genuinely want a fair immigration system, but they also don’t like people cheating the system. The missing piece here, however, is any measure of familiarity with how our immigration system works. The Heritage Foundation’s goal is not to illuminate, but make sure people remain in the dark on this issue.