Comment immediately below lifted from Stephen Frank
Yesterday, the Governor [Schwarzenegger] in an L.A. Times Op-Ed piece said this, "As our nation begins a national debate on immigration, I propose that we lower our voices and lift our sights. We need a debate that attacks the issue without attacking individuals. And we need a comprehensive new law that respects immigrants and protects our nation. Frankly, the debate in Congress thus far has focused too much on politics and too little on principles. Ever since I first ran for office, I've talked about the importance of having a comprehensive immigration policy. Now the moment has arrived."
The truth is, the debate in Washington has nothing to do with immigration policy. The debate is what to do about those who have violated our immigration laws--illegal aliens. Few are talking about ending legal immigration, few are talking about totally open borders. The legislation, Frist, McCain-Feingold, Kyl, Sensebrenner, all deal with the disposition of those who have entered our nation illegally and now take jobs from honest citizens, employers that use illegal aliens as a means to hold down wages and the overcrowding of our schools and health care facilities by the illegal aliens.
The Governor is mixing two separate, and important issues. The issue today is about those violating our immigration laws, period.
He goes on to say, "Criminalizing immigrants for coming here is a slogan, not a solution. Instead, I urge Congress to get tough on those illegal immigrants who are a danger to society. If an illegal immigrant commits a serious crime, he must leave the country ? one strike and you're out. No excuses, no delays."
No one, not a single GOP or Democrat member of Congress, not a single member of the Minutemen or the ACLU has even suggested that immigrants be criminalized. That is just a silly statement. No one wants those who have played by the rules, like the Governor himself, to be considered a criminal. Instead, those who have violated our immigration laws, by their own voluntary actions, have become criminals. Let's not allow these straw man arguments to hide a simple fact: sneaking into the United States, in violation of our laws, is a criminal offense. These folks know they are breaking the law. If they were abiding by the law they would come through the border at legal border crossings, not in the middle of the night, in tunnels, paying coyotes huge fee's to outsmart our border guards. These people know they are breaking the law, and the governor knows it.
Then the Guv writes, "Granting citizenship to people who are here illegally is not just amnesty -- it's anarchy. We are a country of immigrants, yes. But we are also a nation of laws. People who want to be citizens will want to do it the right way." He is absolutely right, amnesty is anarchy. Yet, he steps on his own message by then advocating amnesty! Just before the above statement he writes, "I support efforts to ensure that our businesses have the workers they need and that immigrants are treated with the respect they deserve. We should pass a common-sense temporary worker program so that every person in our nation is documented."
Clearly, he is saying that if you can sneak into the country, find an employer willing to pay you under the table, then you can be eligible for a "common sense temporary worker program". This would be for those who violated our laws and it would be called amnesty--or anarchy as the Governor does.
The bottom line is that the Governor is trying to appeal to those who support strict enforcement of our laws and those who support any and all law breakers who can steal and bribe their way into the United States. This is so transparent a political stance, that he will make enemies of both camps. In fact, he will cause Minutemen and the ACLU to join together in a statement that the Governor "wants votes, not consistent policy".
This is an issue that is difficult. Don't make it more so by opposing amnesty, then proposing it--in the same article! That just takes away your credibility. The Governor doesn't believe that if a bank robber could sneak into a bank, steal lots of money and get 50 miles away, the robber should keep the money? Nor does he believe that if a student fails his exit exams he should still receive a diploma. So, why are his advisors telling him to say that if you sneak into this country and can get a job, you should get documents that legitimize your legal violations?
Debra Saunders in a column in the San Francisco Chronicle reminded us of this:
The Los Angeles Times duly reported, "Some Republicans fear that pushing too hard against illegal immigrants could backfire nationally, as with Proposition 187 (the 1994 ballot measure that sought to deny benefits for illegal immigrants, that) helped spur record numbers of California Latinos to become U.S. citizens and register to vote. Those voters subsequently helped Democrats regain political control in the state."
Call that the Backlash Myth. In fact, Prop. 187 passed with 59 percent of the vote and GOP Gov. Pete Wilson, who championed the measure, was re-elected in 1994. In 2003, when Democratic Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to get drivers' licenses, he so enraged voters that he sealed his political demise. After Davis was recalled from office, the heavily Democratic California Legislature repealed the bill.
She also noted, "While some in the media may think all Latinos vote alike, the Los Angeles Times poll found that 38 percent of Latino voters in California strongly opposed giving driver' licenses to illegal immigrants."
Some say this is an economic issue, that we can not afford to pay real wages to these menial workers--that is why we need illegals. It may be true that the cost of food and services would go up. At the same time we would save billions in tax dollars (net of taxes paid by the illegals) for the cost of education, welfare, health care and law enforcement costs by ending the free reign of illegal aliens in our nation. We are already paying lots more for that head of lettuce--in taxes, if not at the check out counter. Our schools would not be overcrowded and we wouldn't need $11 billion in General Obligation bonds to pay for new schools. The Emergency Rooms would be more plentiful, allowing the saving of lives of legal residents and citizens, instead of squeezing them out so illegal aliens could receive medical care.
While I am writing this about our Governor, he is not the only Republican or elected official suffering from "illegal alien schizophrenia". In the Senate Brownback, McCain, DeWine, Specter and Graham also suffer from this disease. Hillary wants our borders closed and amnesty for those already here.
Another phony "protest": "The leftist media have tried to portray this weekend's massive protests against House measures to curtail illegal immigration as the uprising of "The Other America": forgotten, humble, hidden Hispanic members of the working poor simply demanding their "rights." As events spanned from California to Detroit, Phoenix to Washington, D.C., the media kept up its anti-enforcement drumbeat. Although some have credited Latino DJs for the 500,000-strong illegal immigrant turnout in Los Angeles alone - and some credit is deserved - the real legwork was done by a more eclectic group of organizations: leftist labor unions, George Soros-funded agitators, Open Borders lobbyists, Roman Catholic clergy, and teachers unions.... Latino organizations did not act alone. The media has failed to report that organized labor directed the illegals and minors. The L.A. Times revealed the rally's "security" was handled by a union identified only as "Local 1877." That would be local 1877 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the far-Left union founded by New Left radical Andrew Stern"
Immigration backdown in Senate: "The Senate Judiciary Committee approved sweeping election-year legislation today that clears the way for 11 million illegal aliens to seek U.S. citizenship, a victory for demonstrators who had spilled into the streets by the hundreds of thousands demanding better treatment for immigrants. With a bipartisan coalition in control, the committee also voted down proposed criminal penalties on immigrants found to be in the country illegally. It approved a new temporary program allowing entry for 1.5 million workers seeking jobs in the agriculture industry."
Radioactive matter gets into US in test : "Undercover investigators slipped radioactive material -- enough to make two small 'dirty bombs' -- across U.S. borders in Texas and Washington state in a test last year of security at American points of entry. Radiation alarms at the unidentified sites detected the small amounts of cesium-137, a nuclear material used in industrial gauges. But U.S. customs agents permitted the investigators to enter the United States because they were tricked with counterfeit documents."
Canada's new Conservative government gets tough on illegals: "The federal government has no plans to follow in the footsteps of the United States, which appears ready to give as many as 11 million illegal workers a chance at U.S. citizenship, Immigration Minister Monte Solberg says. Solberg bluntly rejected the U.S. proposal as a solution for Canada, saying that letting illegal workers remain in this country would send the signal that it's okay to slip in the back door. "The ideal, of course, is for people to play by the rules and to get in line like everyone else is forced to do," he said after a cabinet meeting. "If we don't emphasize that . . . you are sending the message that the way to get in here quickly is to come illegally. We don't want to send that message," he said. A U.S. Senate panel just this week approved sweeping election-year legislation that clears the way for 11 million illegal aliens to apply for citizenship without first having to return home. "We're not looking at the American model," he said. "We have our own ideas on that."
For more postings from John Ray, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here). I also post several times a week on "Tongue-Tied". There is an archive of my "Tongue-Tied" posts here or here