Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Angry Republicans

The tone of the "Immigration Reform" debate has been as ugly as any debate I remember (ok.....maybe not as ugly as the Florida recount debate...........or the Elian Gonzalez debate........or the.......Iraq War debate...or get the point). The problem is that most of the ugliness is coming from radical anti-immigration activists within the Republican party.

Elected representatives like Tom Tancredo, Steve King, Dana Rohrabacher, and J.D. Hayworth, people with whom I agree with 95% of the time, along with radio talk show hosts like Hugh Hewitt (who I greatly admire), Laura Ingrham (who I have lost all respect for) and Bill Savage (who is as an ignorant, obnoxious loudmouth all the time, but worse over this issue) have called the people who disagree with them "stupid", un-American, greedy, evil, and just about every other name they can muster up. Why? What is it that has them so riled up?

I'll tell you what it is. They believe that it would be good for America to round up 12 million illegal workers and deport them, make it a felony for them to ever return, make it a felony to employ one of them, raise wages for the jobs they do so Americans will do those jobs (but they are against increases in the minimum am I), and build a "Wall" on the southern border. The fact that a lot of Americans (most, according to a recent poll) want workers who are in this country illegally the opportunity to become legal workers has these normally sane right wing activists acting just like left wing Democrat nutcases. They are as crazy over this issue as Democrats are over anything "Bush", and they are responsible for dividing the Republican party to the point where we may lose majorities in one or both houses of congress.

It seems to me that an issue that has been with us for 40 years or more, since the end of the "Bracero" programs, would be an issue where open and honest debate takes place. The right wing anti-immigration activists do not want open debate. They label any "immigrant worker" proposals as "Amnesty". They brand as "Greedy Wall Street Moguls" those who speak honestly about the lack of American workers to fill certain types of jobs. And they hide behind their red, white and blue patriotic credentials when others speak of the impracticality of building a "Wall" along the border.

Hidden behind their rants are the facts.

Fact......Most workers who cross the border illegally are not "lawbreakers" by nature, but are doing what they have to do to support their families. They have been working here un-harassed and un-vilified for many years, and would be willing to do whatever it takes to work here legally. Mexico is our neighbor, yet we allow less Mexican workers to immigrate than we do Ethiopian

Tancredo and his allies in Congress say "No person who violated the law to enter this country should ever become a citizen.........." and "If they broke the law they need to go home". I suppose they have never driven faster than the posted speed limit or had an alcoholic drink before the legal age. I guess it's the type of deal where the type of law is what matters. When U.S. Senator Pete Domenici told of how his mother was an "illegal immigrant" and how being "rounded up" tramatized him as a boy (making the point that not all illegal immigration yields bad his case it yielded a Senator), the radicals made fun of him, religating him to the status of a crazy old uncle who everybody hears but nobody listens to.

Laura Ingraham asked a guest "what other laws are OK to break?". The guest answered that Rosa Parks broke the law when she refused to give up her seat, and blacks all over the south broke the law when they entered "White Only" institutions. Ingraham came back with........"why do you resort to branding us racist?" Right, I see how she got here from there.

Fact........There are jobs that most Americans won't do, even if wages were doubled. The agriculture industry relies heavily on immigrant workers. The low skilled but very hard working people who plant, pick, and package our food are necessary if we are to continue having a stable food supply.

Laura Ingraham and a guest on her radio program recently ranted against this fact with these stunningly deep arguments.........."My mother was a waitress for 30 years so don't tell me Americans wont serve our food......." and "When I grew up we mowed our own lawns". The depth of their arguments was underwhelming.

Fact......People can and will find a way around, through, over or under any barrier in their path if their survival depends on it.

Hugh Hewitt says that as a matter of national security we "must build the wall first, then later we can talk about the status of illegal workers". He goes on and on about how "terrorists" are infiltrating our country and the "open" border poses a great threat to America. But he only wants to build the wall on the Mexican border. I guess he thinks that radical Islamists, many who live in Canada, will only enter through Mexico. That though there is no record of (but rumors abound) terrorists entering the U.S. through Mexico. Canada is another story, and terrorists are currently in U.S. custody after crossing from Canada with plans of doing us harm.

Why are these issues above debate? What makes the other side so right (in their own minds)?
Representative Steve King (of Iowa......big illegal alien problem there I reckon) said that anyone who is for allowing illegal workers to obtain legal status should be branded with a "scarlet A" on their foreheads. President Bush says "We have differences in our ideas and should have an open debate....". Who makes more sense?

You may have figured out by now that I support the legalization of immigrant worker status for workers who are here now, doing jobs and not violating other laws. I do not see the drain on our economy that Lou Dobbs thinks he sees (I bet his bank account has really been hurt by illegal immigrants). I think that we can learn a lot about hard work and dedication to family from Mexican (Central and South American workers too) migrant workers. I also believe we need to tighten up our border security, and do not think a "Wall" is the best way to do it.

I think President Bush has been right on this issue since he first brought it up 4 years ago (yes, he was talking about it before the radicals)

I think the "Protesters" in Los Angeles and New York and other cites are wrong in their approach, which basically amounts to "Open Borders" and more Democrat voters (since the birth rate of Democrats is almost zero).

If you read this entire post you are my hero.

"Bush Was Right"

I assume that most people who read this blog also read Powerline Blog, so you've probably already seen this, but just in case you haven't, check out this music video by The Right Brothers. It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face and set your feet to tapping.........unless of course you are a leftist, then it will probably make you add more pepper to your stew.