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Back to Reality

I'm back at work and so is the U.S. Senate. The question is whether it will now take up where it left off before going into recess and finally pass a decent immigration reform bill? President Bush, under pressure from anxious and poll-afflicted Republican lawmakers, waded directly into the debate Monday, saying he opposed deportation of undocumented workers already living here. With public opinion shifting in favor of some sort of practical compromise, and with the GOP facing a possible political Waterloo this fall, the President has reportedly been asked to try to urge his most recalcitrant fellow party-members to reach some sort of legislative resolution. There's much criticism that could and should be levelled at Bush on this issue -- mostly that the President will not be specific in spelling out what sort of deal he wants from Congress. But even some major Latino groups are applauding some of the general principles he put forward. Say what you will about Bush -- and that could take days or even months-- but, fortunately, he's no Pete Wilson on this issue:
''I know this is an emotional debate,'' Bush told the Orange County Business Council. ''But one thing we can't lose sight of is that we are talking about human beings, decent human beings.''
That's light years' progress from the "they keep coming" mantra of last decade -- one chanted incessantly not only by the likes of Wilson, but also by many Democrats including Dianne Feinstein. Indeed, writing over the weekend in the Orange County Register, Tamar Jacoby concluded that "no matter what happens now" we have been witnessing a year of "historic progress" on demystifying and de-stigmatizing the realities of immigration reform. For the first time that many of us can remember, there are now measurable voter majorities in favor of reform. Says Jacoby:
Both Democrats and Republicans face a moment of truth. In the best of all worlds, GOP reformers - Sens. John McCain, Chuck Hagel, Mel Martinez, President Bush and others - would continue to push for change that puts their party on the right side of history. And Democrats - the strongly pro-reform Sen. Edward Kennedy, but also others like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who until now has seemed determined to block Republican-led progress at all costs - would come together to join the fight. The Republicans would bring momentum, and the Democrats would keep them honest, making sure that whatever passes isn't just a package that looks good on paper, but one that actually works to solve the problem on the ground. The main obstacle will be the prospect of having to reconcile whatever comes out of the Senate with the unrealistic and unworkably punitive House bill - a prospect that could convince reformers, particularly Democratic reformers, that stalemate in the Senate is the safest option. These doubters aren't wrong about the House bill or the dangers lying in wait in a House-Senate conference. Still, the changing political climate is affecting the House, too. The White House would have powerful cards to play in any conference. And given the political forces aligned for change, it would be a bitter shame if stalemate turned out to be best the Senate could do.
What Jacoby ask for is a tall order -- a Congress, a White House and the two major parties acting to do the right thing instead of what any of them sense to be politically expedient. It's important we all remember what is at stake here; not just the scoring of this or that partisan point but rather the lives and futures of millions of hard-working human beings. Ordinary people just like you and me.

52 Responses to “Back to Reality”

  1. TLB Says:

    Public opinion hasn’t been shifting towards a compromise (aka amnesty). Every single poll I’ve ever seen has had the majority of Americans opposed to illegal immigration, and in some cases a majority even want to reduce the legal variety.

    Some recent polls have featured biased, complex questions that are basically lies. For instance, asking if people support a “guest” worker program, without informing those replying that those “guests” would never leave.

    Recent examples of misleading polls:
    Field and Time magazine polls

    Zogby says majority oppose amnesty
    Rasmussen says two-thirds want border security before any sort of amnesty scheme.

    Shouldn’t politicians fear a backlash from those they purportedly represent when they find out that those they were told were “guests” turn out to be here as long as they want?

    And, won’t millions of prospective illegal aliens around the world see any sort of amnesty as a capitulation and as a green light to come to the U.S.? They’ll know that in order to get legal status all they’ll have to do is start marching in our streets and making demands.

    What sort of American would put this country into that position?

  2. GM Roper Says:

    MC: “Ordinary people just like you and me.” Well, not quite JUST LIKE you and me as you and me are here legally.

    Any house bill that says round-em-up, ship-em-back is not only doomed to failure, it would be stupid in the extreme. Too, without a less porous border, announcing amnesty will only encourage a significant influx, just like the last time an amnesty was done.

    If we declare being here a Felony it would be stupid but it would also mirror Mexico’s law. Fox would no doubt scream bloody murder but we could always tell him that we’ll change our law when he changes his.

    There is no easy solution unless and until there is less corruption in Mexico and better opportunity for it’s own citizens to the extent that they would look for opportunity in their own country and even then the solution won’t be perfect.

    Improve the border so that fewer come in illegally, then work on some sort of program that while not amnesty, will encourage participation in the economy on a legal basis.

  3. GM Roper Says:

    I might add that Pro-immigration groups/individuals talking about taking back the southwest, reconquista and Azatlan aren’t doing themselves any good with the powers that be.

    Oh, wait, if they scream loud enough the powers that be will back off just like they have with the cartoon jihadists.

  4. reg Says:

    Here’s Jacoby supporting another good idea that’s absolutely essential if immigration reform and some form of legalization/amnesty is going to work and not produce a long-term backlash if current reform doesn’t deal with both major aspects of the issue effectively – resolving the status of “illegals” and bringing them into the system AND restricting illegal labor markets that hurt those Americans who can least afford it – including recent immigrants who are, or are becoming, legal.

    (Of course, inevitably given her allegiances, Jacoby links a good idea – an effective ID system for verifying legal status for employment – with one of the worst – “guest workers”. But most of this op-ed is reasonable and addresses the need for enforcement as well as amnesty, which has been the persistent failure in the past and is linked to the fact that business interests are driving much of the “reform”. Not all of their interests are necessarily negative. For example, Wells Fargo – who I happen to be very familiar with via work – have pioneered opening bank accounts on the basis of a single document from the Mexican embassy and see “border banking” as a major growth opportunity. They have made openness to immigrants – with not too many questions about status asked other than basic ID to open accouts – part of their corporate culture. This is excellent, because it offers folks lower cost ways to transfer funds to families, allows them to establish credit and encourages people to rise out of the cash-only economy, which among other things makes them more susceptible to losing everything by theft.)

  5. Woody Says:

    reg: …who I happen to be very familiar with via work….
    Wow! This is the first time that I have seen reg’s name referenced in the same sentence as the word “work.” Maybe he does have worth rather than simply being the old and bitter curmudgeon, as he tries to portray himself (quite well, I might add) here.

    To no one’s suprise, I agree with G.M. Roper’s statement that people who break laws intentionally (and repeatedly) are not “ordinary people” like us. I do respect the rule of law, which is there for a purpose.

    For Bush to say that we can’t deport 12 million illegals addresses absolutely none of the proposals by either side. Nothing should me made of that statement. No one has proposed that because it isn’t practical.

    However, controls can be put into place to discourage more movement towards our border and to encourage others to go back. The recent arrests connected with the German company hiring illegals here is a good first step.

    That action doesn’t really do anything with those here illegally, but it sends a message to company executives that they will be charged if they hire these people. In Georgia, there is a new law taking away business deductions for wages paid to illegals.

    Maybe this is like our drug policies–if you can’t stop the suppliers (Mexicans) then go after the users (businesses.) I can go for that.

  6. Lynn Says:

    Reg: “a single document from the Mexican embassy”

    You are speaking of the matricula consular card. A truly great idea from the Mexican government to legitimize sending their citizens into this country illegally, assuring them they are protected with only this card. Of course the banks love them too, and most law enforcement agencies accept them, as though thorough background checks had been run before they were issued.

    Rammed from the back, as I sat in my car at a red light, a young woman confidently handed me her “matricula consular” card. I asked, in Spanish, if she had a driver’s license, or any type of insurance to which she said “No.” But she was obviously quite proud of her Embassy card. I shrugged, she shrugged — the international language. Should I have called border patrol? Hah! Maybe I should have called the police? Well, there wasn’t that much damage, and my back and neck seemed to be okay. I just wanted to get home from work, and so did she. I just hope she didn’t truly injure herself or someone else, as she was just learning to drive in the overcrowded streets of Los Angeles. At least the bankers are smiling when they see those cards. I’m not much of a fan of the “document issued by the Mexican embassy.”

  7. Woody Says:

    Lynn, if she had been injured in the wreck, she could have gotten medical care courtesy of the taxpayers and hospital owners (which I might add drives up our medical costs.) Where do I get one of those cards?

    Here’s more on how to lower the numbers of illegals without the “made for politics” slogan that we can’t send them back.

  8. Lynn Says:

    From Marc: “It’s important we all remember what is at stake here; not just the scoring of this or that partisan point but rather the lives and futures of millions of hard-working human beings. Ordinary people just like you and me.”

    I assume you are speaking for the future of millions of hard working human beings, regardless of their place of birth — including those born in the U.S. and those patiently waiting in line to get here? Because I’m not sure our legislators, (or those who give them the big checks) do have ordinary people like you and me in mind, but I can promise you I will remember what is at stake here.

  9. Randy Paul Says:

    Say what you will about Bush — and that could take days or even months– but, fortunately, he’s no Pete Wilson on this issue

    Agreed, but that’s certainly setting the bar low.

  10. Michael Green Says:

    I’m all for Jacoby’s comments, but it’s time for all of us on the left to wake up and smell the coffee on the question of Harry Reid and “blocking progress.” I’ve known Reid a long time. He doesn’t oppose progress. He does oppose Republicans playing games, and that’s the reason–repeat, THE reason–he blocked the vote before the recess, because he knew (so does everyone else who stops to think about it) that allowing amendments to the previous bill would have enabled the Senate’s less tolerant Republicans (as in almost all of them) to kill the bill.

    But the problem here isn’t just the issue itself. It’s taking on a controversial issue in an election year. I don’t pretend to know the solution to that, other than courage and honesty … which are indeed in short supply.

  11. Mark York Says:

    “Where do I get one of those cards?”

    In LA from the County medical centers. It’s called ValleyCare. If you make $17,000 or less, and yes you have to prove it, it costs nothing. However illegals can get care and do every day. Just go down and take peek to see what the folks waiting in line look like and how many can’t speak English. It’s just a fact that’s unpleasant for some to consider: uncontrolled numbers of hominids from somewhere. Hospitals have closed in poor areas of town for lack of funds and over 3 million legal residents of LA County have no insurance. Until someone deals with this reality, and having too many kids, there is no plan except a hole in the sand to stick one’s head.

    Lynn, uninsured motorist coverage. Don’t leave hom earound here without it.

  12. reg Says:

    Lynn – I’m kind of all over the map on this issue, because I try to be pragmatic. Given an almost total lack of interest by the government in enforcement of laws at the demand side, i.e. the workplace, my gut tells me that stuff like not issuing drivers licenses to illegals doesn’t make any sense because it just pushes the problems down further. If somebody can be here and work without any very serious obstacles, better they have a bank account and a drivers license with an insurance requirement. I’m also going to get on my soapbox for the sanest and simplest way to enforce basic auto liability insurance for each and every driver – pay for the legally mandated coverage at the gasoline pump w/ a tax that funds a liability insurance pool that covers every licensed driver and provides some basic protection for the licensed against the unlicensed. The current system that’s tied to periodic proof of insurance with auto registration has too many holes and allows for stuff like what happened to you.

  13. Lynn Says:

    Few citizens in this country would be satisfied with the quality of medical care received by those who hold metricula consular cards. But with overcrowded medical facilities we are experiencing here in SoCal, we will all eventually be given the same level of care: bad.

    I have uninsured motorist coverage. I pay a fortune, but that’s not really the point, is it?

  14. Lynn Says:

    Mark: “Until someone deals with this reality, and having too many kids, there is no plan except a hole in the sand to stick one’s head.”

    And isn’t that “reality” what is in dispute in this country? I mean really. People in the border states, within a 300 mile distance of said border are really feeling the impact of ” uncontrolled numbers of hominids from somewhere.” You and I know a different reality than someone in, say Maine, where they’ve only just started to notice that some people who speak another language are bussing tables here and there. Their kids are still making money from mowing lawns, and raking leaves. The hospitals are not closing emergency rooms, and they aren’t hiring bilingual teacher’s aides in every classroom. How can we, as a country, deal with a “reality” that doesn’t exist in other areas yet? And is that what we have to do? Wait till everyone is suffering, and SoCal, and southern Arizona are living in 3rd world reality?

  15. reg Says:

    “pay for the legally mandated coverage at the gasoline pump w/ a tax that funds a liability insurance pool that covers every licensed driver”

    Oh…and just to make it clear that this modest proposal is consistent with my views on national health insurance and the rest of it…each driver will be then be issued an insurance identification card – in French and with Joseph Stalin’s picture stamped on it.

  16. Michael Turmon Says:

    Reg, not that I’m trying to find reasons not to like the idea of paying for insurance at the gas pump … but what about electric cars? (A tiny category now, but guaranteed to grow.) Given your love of France and Stalin[*], I suppose you’re content to let electrics get the subsidy?

    [*] In some kind of winger wonderland, France, Stalin, and electric cars all go together. If you can’t see that, you’re blinded by the MSM.

  17. Lynn Says:

    At the risk of having to show my own CP card, I’ve always thought that gas tax insurance was a good idea, but now I’m not sure it isn’t putting a bandaid on the real problem: lack of enforcement of existing statutes. Still, it does make those using the roads, regardless of their status, responsible. Omigod! I’m arguing with myself.
    I’m going back to work — walking.

  18. Rich Says:

    “in French and with Joseph Stalin’s picture stamped on it”

    I just had to print that again–I’m still laughing…

  19. GM Roper Says:

    What Rich said. Reg, when you want to be, you can be hillarious. Most of the time you are not.

  20. Mark York Says:

    Yeah I’m from Maine where lawn mowing and snowplowing are the two top careers and it’s true, but wood harvesters are increasingly illegal too so it’s showing up even there, and moreso other parts of the country like Iowa. Here it’s an inundation.

  21. richard locicero Says:

    I still want to know what you feel about open borders Marc? Is everyone allowed to come? Or do we have any right to control the borders? And what about employers? Can they hire anyone and not have to worry about conditions of employment? Do they get to be subsidized by taxpayers? Should Wal-Mart be able to counsel new hires on how to get food stamps and medicaid thereby shifting wage costs to the commonweal? And what about native born Americans without much education who no longer have a bottom rung? And what jobs won’t Americans take? Enquiring minds want to know!

    Dosn’t Tamar Jacoby believe in PRIVATE roads, medicine, schools etc like a good Libertarian? Really if you have to go to the REGISTER Op ED page you have some problems! Why not the WSJ while your at it? They want a constitutional ammendment calling for open borders. Just be done with it!

  22. jake Says:

    These must be the La Raza polls or others I haven’t seen. Uniformly, the American public opposes amnesty by 70 to 85 percent and a clear majority want all 12 millions deported immediately.

    Frankly, any senator or representative who votes for this insanity probably will lose either this election cycle or the next one.

  23. patrick neid Says:

    after the fence is built most of these other problems will take care of themselves. while on their two week easter break a general consensus has thankfully formed around a complete fence–not the standard border enforcement crap of the last 30 years. the next fun episodes will be if the minutemen start building a fence on private property starting may 25th……….

  24. jake Says:

    ” the next fun episodes will be if the minutemen start building a fence on private property starting may 25th………. ”

    That will be priceless. I wonder if the Bush Administration, the ACLU, La Raza, or the United States Chambers of Commerce will be the first to seek an injunction to stop the Minuteman fence? Give those folks at the Minuteman Project one thing: they are PR geniuses.

  25. jake Says:

    A postscript to the post preceding mine:

    My congressman tells me that his telephone calls and letters–and he didn’t include emails and faxes–ran about 40 to 1 against the immigration reform package over the Easter recess, and further reported that the opposition has been much greater than that over the Dubai Ports. From what I gather, this is the rule rather than the exception.

  26. George Williams Says:

    I’m tired of those who dance about the English language and are averse to calling illegal aliens what they are, illegal aliens. I believe a synonym for alien in the above context is foreigner. Maybe we should resort to the illegal foreigners. Some would say undocumented foreigners, or undocumented aliens. Unfortunately for the supporters of illegal aliens, there is no good way to make a crime sound like a virtue, except to obfuscate and use the term undocumented. Undocumented is a nice word because makes the illegal alien’s crime sound as if by some oversight they had left their documents at home, or had absent-mindedly failed to pick them up at the border. Semantics and the truth can be so cruel.

    Marc calls illegal aliens, hard workers, and that has been used to justify a claim of right to citizenship by illegal aliens and their advocates. However, we are a nation of laws, not men. Those that use the argument that illegal aliens have come here and worked hard as a justification for granting amnesty completely ignore the fact that that is not legal or debatable criteria for granting amnesty or citizenship. I put emphasis on the fact that nowhere in the due process of making an alien a citizen does it require that a person work hard. You won’t find it on the application. This probably seems like a minor point to advocates trying to force the amnesty of millions of hard working Hispanics, but it isn’t to those who believe in rule of law. If there was an honest debate on the issue, free from the histrionics of race card players, or the hyperbole of special interest groups, those who believe that this country should be run by enforcement of Constitutionally enacted law would be winners. Believe it or not, it is still a virtue to know right from wrong.

    I suspect that most of you have seen the polls that say that some naturalized citizens are supporters of the current wave of illegal immigrants. However, we’ve never heard from those who have been waiting years, and will continue to wait patiently until their names are called. What would those of you who support amnesty say to those unfortunates? Maybe they’ll understand what’s happening, because they have had to lie and cheat in the home country, as that’s the system of government that they’re use to. There’s a serious cost to abandoning law and order and treating people inequitably.

    Do any of you have any opinion on whether illegal immigrants should be given the right to vote? Some activists have advocated giving illegals the right to vote, so the nucleus of a movement for that sentiment exists. It’s so easy to register to vote. All one needs is a driver’s license, maybe a birth certificate and a utility bill. The former two can easily be forged and the utility bill only indicates residency in a community. Illegal immigrants could very well tip the balance in local and national elections if they so choose. Why not? Illegal immigrants are apparently not adverse to conspiring with forgers in obtaining false documents for employment.

  27. jay Says:

    This column is reality-challenged. The polls have consistent results: most Americans want the border closed, and do not want amnesty. This goes for Democrats and Republicans, blacks, whites and even a slim majority of Hispanic citizens.

    Why the party elites have decided to anger so many of their constituents is amazing, and even a puff piece like this one can’t hide the fact the voters are mad and likely to settle that score on a case by case basis come November. As a matter of fact, any senator who wants to be president and votes for this legislation likely will not make it past New Hampshire. Most American citizens and lawful permanent residents don’t look at illegal aliens and see hard-working “immigrants;” they see criminals, and this is just as common among liberals as it is among moderates and conservatives. This is political insanity, and if the D.C. and New York actually believe drivel like this column they are further removed from reality than even I realized.

  28. reg Says:

    “what about electric cars?”

    Excellent question – don’t know the answer. Luckily there are people a lot smarter than me who could probably come up with a way of corraling them into the system.

  29. reg Says:

    Maybe, since there are still so few, we allow them to follow the current system of showing proof that they’ve paid a base rate into the system when they register an electric car at the DMV. Would probably work for the time being.

  30. Randy Paul Says:


    Public transportation ridership is up. Necessity is the mother of invention.

  31. reg Says:

    There was an article in today’s Chron (“Comical”) about more commuters taking BART in response to gas prices. Of course as a BART regular, I’d rather that they rot in their SUVs, burning up gas at $3.39 a gallon, waiting for the Bay Bridge traffic to move along at a snail’s pace. I’m as selfish and shortsighted as the next guy when it comes to getting a seat on a train. (Yeah, we actually can still get seats. When they built the system, they didn’t even have handrails, because the idea was that everybody would have a seat. Crazy California.)

  32. reg Says:

    “Maybe, since there are still so few, we allow them…”

    Please excuse me for imagining that anybody gives a shit what I think about stuff like this. Frankly, I’m glad I’m not Arnold Schwarznegger…

  33. Randy Paul Says:

    Reg, when I was going to SF State, I use to study on BART. It was one of the few places I could get any peace. One dollar enabled you to ride the whole system as long as you exited at the station you got on.

  34. Marc Cooper Says:

    RLC: My position is crystal clear so I dont understand ur bitching. Ive said repeated times on this blog that I think the McCain-Kennedy approach is most sensible. That means an expansion of LEGAL immigration slots from the current approx 1 million per year to 1.5 million via a guest worker program. It means a pathway to legalization for illegals already working and established here. It means much tighter workplace verification. It means much tighter border enforcement. It might mean some sort of national right-to-work card. Whose talking about open borders? Ur beating a straw man.

  35. Tom Grey - Liberty Dad Says:

    Reg, both funny French/ Stalin line AND a good gas tax insurance line.

    I’m sure if higher gas taxes were added to the immigration bill, it would pass! — not!! But I actually think it’s a great idea.

    Marc, on the Guest Worker issue, I suggest you look at my Return Fund
    Where the GWs get stuck in a progressive- tax- like forced savings plan, but will get that $20 000 or whatever they’ve saved when they get home.

    If back to Mexico after 5 years, maybe only $5000, but likely enough to start a small business. And ex-pat Mexicans returning to Mexico will help reform the broken, corrupt, Mexican economy.

  36. Rich Says:

    Here’s something that won’t surprise you, if you’ve been paying attention: workplace enforcements are DOWN 97 PERCENT (yes, you read that right) under Bush compared with during Clinton’s presidency:

    “For instance, the period 1995-1997 saw 10,000 to 18,000 worksite arrests of illegals a year. Some 1,000 employers were served notices of fines for employing them.

    Under the Bush administration, however, worksite arrests fell to 159 in 2004 – with the princely total of three notices of intent to fine served on employers. Thus, worksite arrests under President Bush have fallen from Clintonian levels by something like 97 per cent – even though 9/11 occurred in the meantime.”
    (via Kausfiles)

    My experience confirms this. During my tenure as an employment trainer for the Hispanic social service organization, I witnessed a relatively large rash of social security number verifications from mid-1996 until I left in 1999–compared zero crackdowns pre-IIRIRA. Bush returned us to the unserious “look the other way” approach, thereby encouraging employers to hire undocumented workers with impunity (I’m being generous in that characterization). Conservatives should be outraged at Bush for this, if they are honest with themselves.

    (Or, to put it in FOX-speak, “Bush supported illegals!!” After all, we shouldn’t pussyfoot with PC-speak when the shoe’s on the other foot, right?)

  37. reg Says:

    Makes perfect sense. That’s the “modus” for this gang.

  38. Lynn Says:

    What? Stop the presses, Bush is pro-business! Did we really think he is sincere in his caring about hard working, decent people? Because this country has a lot of those, and they didn’t all sneak across the border in the last 5 years. Those guys with their campaign checks have made a pact with this administration, and the citizens of this country have been busy waiting for WMDs to be found, and cringing in fear of more terrorists attacks. Meanwhile our infrastructures are breaking down, the middle class is disappearing, and the wages for unskilled labor have been depressed to unlivable limits. Great homeland security!

  39. George Williams Says:

    Marc is wrong in his support of McCain-Kennedy. It is patently unfair to allow illegal immigrants to stay here, let alone have a path to citizenship, merely because they are here in unmanageablely large numbers. Prosecuting employers under the RICO Act can eventually reduce the presence of illegal immigrants to a manageable level. There is a case before the Supreme Court that my result in the prosecution of a large corporation for actively recruiting illegal aliens under RICO. If the citizens that brought the case win, it may make McCain-Kennedy moot and send a lot of illegal aliens back to their countries of origin.

    McCain-Kennedy fails to address the huge cost of separating illegals by how long they’ve been here. And it may not be possible, as the government has already tried this and failed, mainly because much of illegal alien documentation is bogus. Until the true social and economic costs of establishing and maintaining a guest worker program have been told to the American people, we’ll remain ignorant of a possible economic catastrophy in the making. And don’t count on Congress to do all that’s necessary to avoid disaster. Remember the failure of the 1986 immigration reform act? It could very well happen again. That fiasco was the unintended consequence of politicians ill considered legislation. I for one do not wish to subsidize the employment of one guest worker, let alone millions.

  40. George Williams Says:

    Jay, I have one fear about the impending political retribution in November, and that is the demographics of the political landscape. If we abandon the Republicans entirely, that means that the Democrats may have majorities in Congress, something much worse than the weakkneed politicians currently in power. If Congress fails to pass an immigration bill before November, an amnesty bill may be a sure thing. I thought that I’d never say this, but we’ve got to assure that we kick out the incumbants and replace them with Republicans, hopefully competent ones. A Democrat control of Congress is my worst nightmare.

  41. Julia Stein Says:

    George Williams,

    Do you know that in the first years of World War II a lot of countries in Europe occupied by the Nazis made distinction between legal Jewish immigrants whom they would protect from the Nazis and illegal Jewish immigrants they would let them Nazis have. After all, the illegal Jewish immigrants had broken the laws of the land by trying to stay in the country illegally. And the populations of their country supported this distinction except for Bulgaria and Denmark.

    Deporting all those illegals back to their home countries now where they can just starve to death makes about as much sense as letting Nazis have illegal Jewish immigrants. As you clearly point out, illegals have broken the law.

    As Marc Cooper pointed out in a wonderful recent LA Weekly article, after NAFTA U.S. agribusiness imported beans & corn into Mexico, destroying the livlihood of 2 million Mexican farmers. Thanks Marc for that statistic. The George Williams of the world take about laws in this country but don’t talk about what our country is doing to small Mexican farmers by destroying their way of life. What are they supposed to do? All 2 million sit down & starve?

    Yes, there’s law, but there’s also ethics. If our country destroys the livlihood of 2 million Mexicans, what should we do? Ignore it? Say they can’t come here because they broke the law? Cite opinion polls? Close the doors? Say there’s no room in our rowboat and we’re throwing you out to the sharks?

  42. Jim Russell Says:

    “Nazis made distinction between legal Jewish immigrants….”

    It was just a matter of time before this card was played. All the other cheap ones have been already.

    Sounds like Julia is beginning to worry our immigration laws just may begin to be enforced. I don’t think she needs to be. Republicans want slaves and Democrats want their votes. They win, we lose.

  43. reg Says:

    Common sense, Bill Clinton and why Republican partisans are so full of shit…

  44. Jim Russell Says:

    Thanks for that link Reg. Reads like I could have wrote it myself. With Bush continuing to insult American workers with his stupid “jobs Americans won’t do” and “matching a willing worker with a willing employer” crap, is it any surprise to anyone our immigration laws are not enforced? Quite frankly, I’m surprised any were. These three must have turned themselves in and begged for punishment.

    What is a surprise is Democrats and Unions have joined in the love fest to screw us too, and it has helped Hillary find Jesus. Hallelujah… and pass the mandatory donation plate to us all.

  45. Lynn Says:

    Julia Stein says: “Yes, there’s law, but there’s also ethics. If our country destroys the livlihood of 2 million Mexicans, what should we do? Ignore it? Say they can’t come here because they broke the law? Cite opinion polls? Close the doors? Say there’s no room in our rowboat and we’re throwing you out to the sharks?”

    Touching. Let’s ignore the poor and struggling already in this country. Let’s throw THEM out of our rowboat, then we’ll have room for the ones you and President Bush choose. You have so eloquently stated your point, you should submit it to the White House communications staff.

  46. George Williams Says:


    I find you comparison to the Jewish immigration tragedy hyperbole. You assert that the deported aliens would starve in their home country. I see no evidence to that effect. They may be impoverished, but not subject to starvation. However, if that is indeed the case, then this is an issue for the United Nations to address, as they have done for many nations other than Mexico. If we were to begin taking in the millions of others in the world who are in desperate poverty, we would probably find way of life destroyed as well.

    I will not surrender my nation’s sovereignty to foreign nationals, regardless of the ill considered opinions of those who feel a compelling need to do so.

  47. reg Says:

    Lynn, I think the bizarre comparison Klein generated in the first paragraph kinda frames just how serious that argument was…

    Unless and until people who make those kinds of arguments are running a hospice in the spare bedroom and have homeless people camping in their yard, I can’t really take their “good intentions” at face value.

  48. Lynn Says:

    Reg, You’re right of course. I just couldn’t stop myself. You’ve got to find that place between the rabid wingers on both sides, and keep some sense of balance, so it is important, sometimes to take these race baiters and name-callers on, I think. Ick!

  49. George Williams Says:

    We’ve all heard of the Mexican boycott of U.S. goods scheduled to occur on 1 May. I suggest that we Americans begin a boycott of all Mexican goods until Mexico takes action on the illegal immigration issue. We don’t need Mexico as much as they need us, so I think that might work.

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