The two op-eds I read for this week’s assignment addressed the topic of immigration, however one focused on the role played by the Supreme Court, and the other was a more generalized overview of the immigration issue as it is being approached by members of the more conservative side of our nation.
This op-ed from the New York Times titled The Supreme Court’s Silent Failure on Immigration written by Linda Greenhouse was the more persuasive of the two articles. It was well organized and focused on one very specific instance in recent history, backing up all opinions with just the right amount of facts for me to feel like there was a sufficient amount of evidence while also not feeling bogged down by excessive data. It made an emotional appeal by showing how the decisions of the Supreme Court affect real people, and it quoted one other article, titled “Giving Reasons” by Frederick Schauer, which was poignant enough to stick with me: “Announcing an outcome without giving a reason is consistent with the exercise of authority,” he writes, while giving reasons is “a sign of respect,” “a way of opening a conversation rather than forestalling one.”
The other article I read came from the National Review and was titled Fishtown Needs Less Immigration, written by Mark Krikorian – the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. The article focuses on Charles Murray’s changing views about immigration, broadly stated as switching from a typically Libertarian perspective of supporting high levels of immigration, to a more conservative Trump-supporting view of setting high restrictions on immigration. I tried my best to go into this with an open mind and not have a negative attitude toward the article before having even read it, however I have to say that an article that is openly biased and unapologetically partisan does not lend itself to being “persuasive” per se. It immediately put me in a mindset where I was not even willing to consider the author’s opinions as legitimate. Aside from that, I had a hard time following the article due to the excess of other works and authors quoted throughout. It ended with “Welcome to the fight, Charles. This time I know our side will win” which just felt gauchely immature. (I’m a little ashamed that a fellow Armenian wrote this!)