Skip to comments.Arizona Calling: The brewing immigration backlash.
Posted on 11/09/2004 9:19:58 AM PST by xsysmgr
Slate recently featured an article on the "unteachable ignorance" of the Bush red states, in light of the dismaying (from its perspective) election results. On immigration, we should talk about the "unteachable ignorance" of America's political and media elites. Nothing will convince them to take the issue seriously.
The latest sign that the public wants the kind of immigration enforcement that politicians simply won't give them comes out of Arizona. Proposition 200, a measure to tighten up enforcement of existing laws relating to illegal immigration, passed with 56 percent of the vote. It requires that someone provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote and valid ID when voting or applying for public benefits. Since it is already against the law for illegals to register and vote, and illegal for them to receive welfare, it is astonishing that Proposition 200 became as the media always puts it "controversial."
What Proposition 200 exposed is this: Our elites have very little intention of enforcing immigration-related laws, and they are outraged at the notion that they should. All the great and good in Arizona lined up against the proposition. Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano, Republican Sen. John McCain, the Service Employees International Union, the Catholic bishops and the Chamber of Commerce all opposed it.
They were universally outraged at an initiative aimed at getting the public officials among them to do their jobs. "We haven't changed any law," says state Rep. Russell Pearce, a supporter of Proposition 200. "We're changing the verification process to make sure that the current laws are enforced."
Opponents took to complaining that the proposition would unfairly burden state and local workers with verifying the citizenship of the people they deal with. But is asking for an ID really such a burden? The clerks at Blockbuster somehow manage to do it. Proposition 200 backer Rusty Childress recalls that within an hour of publicly announcing the initiative, opponents held a rival press conference denouncing it as what else? racist. "All they can do is name-call on this issue," says Childress, "because we are on the right side of the law." And the racist argument didn't wash. Childress explains: "Most people said: 'Showing ID? That's not racist. I show ID all the time.'" According to exit polls, 47 percent of Hispanics voted for the initiative.
Thanks to tightened enforcement elsewhere along the border, most illegal immigrants now come across the Arizona-Mexico border. Proposition 200 won't have much effect on that flow, but might have a mild deterrent effect if illegals were to realize that the laws on the books won't be ignored, according to Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies. Proposition 200 gets at an enormous part of the illegal-immigrant problem, which is the welcoming environment created for illegal immigrants by lax enforcement. So long as illegals know they can live as quasi-citizens here, they have every incentive to keep coming.
Special interests want to keep it that way. "There are two groups who benefit from illegal immigration," says Pearce. "Those groups who benefit politically because new immigrants vote Democratic. And those business groups that benefit from the cheap labor." The public in general is the loser. Estimates of the costs to Arizona of illegal immigration go as high as $1.3 billion a year. "People say to me, 'Immigration is a federal responsibility,'" says Pearce. "But I say, 'It's our health-care system, it's our schools, it's our neighborhoods.'"
That populist sentiment is very real, and elites ignore it at their peril. President Bush recently said that he wants to spend political capital in his second term. If he tries to spend much of it on his misbegotten proposal for a quasi-amnesty for illegal aliens, he will risk political calamity. The message from Arizona and elsewhere on Election Day, when immigration-skeptics picked up strength is to try increased enforcement first. Who knows? Once we begin to enforce the law, we might even learn to like it.
Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years.
Cuz the demoncraps know their grip on power
is slippin' away...
JMO, these people intimidate more people than they help. I have that opinion of the BP too. If they were out there doing their job they wouldn't have to harass American citizens constantly. I have been harasssed by these bullies more than once because I live near the border although they leave me completely alone since some rookie pulled his gun on me. BTW, I'm a 100 lb, blond, American woman who has never been in any trouble with the law.
I don't know what the answer is but vigilantism isn't it.
Well, looks like passage of Prop. 200 has given us our opportunity to take a place on the national stage. Hopefully our Congresscritters are listening. But I'm not relying on just this, the letters are still being sent to Kolbe, Kyl, and Rino McCain.
It's disheartening that a full 44% of the electorate thinks - or "feels," I should say - otherwise. (Kerry received around 44% of the vote in AZ, not coincidentally). Only hopeless socialists or illegal aliens themselves would be against providing proof of citizenship and valid ID when voting or applying for public benefits.
Isn't it interesting how we're now seeing some mainstream publications and commentators have become suddenly aware of the illegal immigration problem? Their silence over this issue has been deafening despite the displeasure voiced by Americans across the country the last few years over this issue. The lack of media attention to this situation has allowed a number of problems to fester under the radar screen for the vast majority of American taxpayers, some of whom are in a football-Kobe-M. Stewart-S. Peterson induced stupor and in the meantime giving cover to politicians bent on sacrificing our sovereignty on the altar of open borders/ free trade / FTAA.
BS. The Republicans are up to their butts in aiding and abetting this epic lawlessness.
Its a natl issue; not a state issue at this time.
The point wuz if the demoncraps were in agreement
wrt/ something needing to be done re the illegal
immigration, ie, a bipartisan approach, then
somethign would likely get done. The Dems
however believe that flooding the country w/ immigrants,
legal or otherwise, is their ticket to coninued
power. And they may be right esp as 2010 demographics
look to be favoring a transfer of EVs to the
south and maybe the western areas as well as house reps.
See #10. This bull sh*t don't fly anymore.
No it isn't, but that's what you end up with when government officials won't enforce the law.
Read up on the FTAA.
Yep, I'm a bit surprised that the "neocon" Rich Lowry/NRO expressed these thoughts in public.
Maybe, given that GBush had fairly solid, widespread support among Hispanics.
Bull sh*t. The Republican are as responsible as the leftist for this never ending flood of lawlessness.
Do you always feel the need to repeat yourself?
If these folks are looking for illegals,it sounds like they just wanted a closer look. ;)
What are you saying? Bush has wide spread support of criminal illegal aliens? Are you referring to American citizens? If so, that aint the issue here Fred.
And your going to sit here and say the Republicans are not guilty of this very same thing?
Wake up and smell the coffee.
Point 1: Bush drew widespread support from Hispanic
voters throughout TX, AZ, NM and esp FLA.
Point 2: The majority of the illegals you are
talking about are hispanic.
The point I was trying to make was that even if
the Bushies attempt to unilaterally resolve your issue,
if the Dems elect to paint it as a racist move,
you could potentally see alienation of a large segment
of folks who went republican. I really don't think it
is as easy as trying to erect a wall, electronic surv
or simply shooting to kill. The demoncraps live
for this kind of stuff.
Hmmmm. So you are saying that republicans want
to flood the country w/ illegals because they
want the illegals to enter democrap voter rolls?
A natl immigration policy is just that.
You seem to miss the point. If the demoncraps
can push a general amnesty for all illegals,
guess what??? Duh!!! They have gained the
potential to add millions to their voter rolls.
I posted this earlier.
See post #22.
Are you kidding? Get real. The Republicans are backed by all the damn greedy business owners that sit in their back offices counting the &$#* profits on the backs of the tax payers, as the tax payers watch their class rooms bust at the seams with the kids of illegal aliens, watch their hospitals closing due to non paying illegals, their jails full them at higher costs, crime, fraud etc. We are paying for all this sh*t!
Hello?? Who the hell has been in power the last four years??
See #22 above.
Its not a question of looking bad. Its a question
of what looking bad, or more appropriately,
what someone can spin as looking bad can do to
your efforts to garner addtl power that will
one day put you in a position to do something
about the situation that will be more than cosmetic.
What would happen if Hispanic voters decided that
you are indeed racist per the demoncrap smear
machine? Do you think it might swing FLA, NM?
What about AZ?
As I said before, Bush was supported by Hispanic
voters in a number of states. These included his
own state as well as NM and AZ.
WTF has that got to do with this epic invasion of millions that President Bush and the Republicans are pandering to?
I have put up w/ your retarded mindless meanderings.
At this juncture, I see no amnt of reason will
get thru to you.
Legal vs illegal. They are hispanics and treading
lightly on a spin of racism is what I am getting at.
I am not in disagreement w/ you. I simply am saying
the issue has to be broached carefully.
Dems import voters. Republican interests get cheap labor. Cheap labor is a very powerful interest. We had a war a century or so ago about cheap labor. Like slavery, illegal immigration is a "peculiar interest".
No, they want to flood the country with cheap labor, so they can increase their profit margin.
"Hello?? Who the hell has been in power the last four years??"
Who was in power for the previous eight years?
The 12 before that?
The four before that?
The eight before that?
Both parties have behaved exactly the same. No big deal. Zero interior enforcement.
Several big studies conclude the majority of cotizens want something done, and both parties refuse.
"Service Employees International Union"
Why does the union favor illegal immigration? Seems like they would be one of the groups strongly opposed to it.
Do the illegals join the union and pay dues?
We don't need the Dems pushing a General Amnesty, we have Bush doing it.
I'm convinced that the only thing that will force some BLA's (Bush Lovers & Apologists) to fully understand this march to national suicide is to have one of their loved ones'attacked, raped or murdered by some cretin who shouldn't even be in this country.
In California it has become increasingly necessary to use propositions to do what the elected politicians won't do.
Prop. 187 a few years ago was mostly the same as Arizona's Prop 200. But corrupt Gov. Davis let it go in the courts...quit fighting to keep it, as his job.
Enough of this will get the attention of federal elected politicians.
Perhaps the two parties can be made to have a bidding war over who will do MORE, to enforce immigration laws.