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.
Hmmm. The issue is...you have a problem
w/ both parties wrt/ immigration reform.
Doesn't leave you much, does it? I guess
you can whine and cry.
I am convinced that immigration reform will
be taken care of in time.
Let's address your issue. What do you
think should be done and how should it be
Thats it? You decline to point out where I am incorrect? Now you want to start asking questions? Hehe. Oh and it's now the what's your solution thing eh? What utter BS.
You are out of your realm Fred. I suggest you find a thread about Scott Peterson, or some other earth shattering issue.
When will all of you realize that nothing will be done about this?? There will be no sealing of the border, no increased security, no cut off of illegal benefits. The GOP has already made a done deal with the FTAA and its headed in the other direction. THAT is why nothing is done and this isn't discussed by our "leaders". We complain and complain and not a peep from the GOP. In fact when Bill O'Reilly asked Bush about troops on the border he looked shocked as if he had never heard of the idea. He said "No, no, family values don't stop at the border".
What does that tell you? We are in for a Meximerica and we seemingly have NO say in it all.
We will follow like good little sheeple and elect another RINO in the next election because we are afraid of the crazy liberal the demoncats run. Same old story.
Speak for yourself.
Funny, I was just about to say the same thing about
you. Perhaps wrt/ UFO cover-ups and Kennedy
assassination conspiracy theories.
My candidate won last Tues! Deal with it!
Go stew w/ the libs!
I have no problem with someone obeying the rules and coming to America to try to make a better life for themselves.
Coming here illegally is another batch of fried fish altogether.
Politicians should listen, or ignore the growing tumult at their own risk.
No, this last election cycle was proof enough he's correct.
Why should America be careful of hurting the feelings of a country who has invaded us? Why should we care what this parasitic, corrupt country thinks? Who are you, Karl Rove?
I agree and I don't think anything is going to change unless some of the folks in the grassroots legal reform movement can figure out a way to make these politicians personally liable for violating their oath of office to the people.
It has to do w/ alienating a nascent republican
voting block. That was what I was getting at.
I wasn't talking about Mexico! Read the entire
Gee, if I were Karl Rove I would have my ticket
punched for my asking price.
I think we are way past that possibility. Everyone in the "game" knows that to play in the big leagues you have to go along and get along. So...no one wants to stick their neck out. You have Tancredo and a few others who dare to speak on this, aside from that nothing. We have zero chance of getting a real conservative in the White House. The party has been hijacked by big business RINO's.
Sometimes when I put on my tinfoil hat I think its possible that Kerry was a stool pidgeon to allow Bush re-election. Sounds crazy but who knows nowadays. I can almost imagine Ted Kennedy and Bush working out a deal. In you're best drunken Mass accent:
"Ahh Bushie, I got ya a great candidate to run against, he hasn't got a chance! just pass these bills for me and you're in there for another fooouur yeeaars!! hiccup.."
OK but seriously, don't you get the feeling we are all screaming and NO ONE is listening? Ever wonder why that is?
He's a party boy, light weight. Don't waste your time Janet.
MEXICO CITY - Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said Tuesday that President Bush (news - web sites) will place a high priority in his second term on granting legal status to millions of migrants who live illegally in the United States.
Contact every congresscritter and demand that they force every Fedaral Agency to enforce the 1996 Welfare Reform Act passed overwhelmingly by Congress and (un)willingly signed by the Slickster Himself.
These guys run every 2 years so they are somewhat accountable to the voters but they get their really big money, and therefore loyalties from businesses who insist on replacing their legal employees by illegals, where they can.
These turncoats need to be brought to their knees by the electorate and don't forget WE CAN DO IT!!!
About 30 percent of Americans of Hispanic origin voted for Prop 187 -- that after months of clever, lying TV ads screaming Racist! Racist! at Prop 187.
47 percent of Americans of Hispanic origin voted for the Arizona initiative.
Some one please tell that mule Karl Rove to stop insulting Americans with his Mexipandering!
When FTAA gets cranked up agian watch, and see who is pushing it. I have been in Grijalva's local office speaking against FTAA, the aid couldn't find anything on Grijalva's position, but he thought Grijalva would oppose it, he usually opposes free trade agreements, which is true.
Add one more. Real estate. How many mortgage lenders are pandering to ILLEGAL aliens? No social secuity number required for a loan.
Ms Malkin's government source told her that there may be 40,000 ILLEGAL alien homeowners in the Denver area alone.
Does President Bush's (it ain't amnesty) guest worker program allow "guest workers" to own homes?
From what I hear FTAA is due to be in effect early next year....don't know if it's a treaty or a free trade agreement. One thing I'm watching closely is what type of effect it will eventually have on our Constitution and legal system. If they attempt to mirror the EU, I know there are now serious concerns among people in those countries about how much national sovereignty was relinquished as a result of signing on to the EU. New commissions created to govern the EU supposedly have the power to hammer any country that does not toe the line on their initiatives which will be interesting considering they're working on a new EU constitution.
Soon, I expect to see the usual mainstream "mediots" to start their standard mass conditioning process replete with their unending numbers of "experts" who will have a laundry list of reasons why our Constitution is too outmoded for the new paradigm as well as the need for a "modern" legal system to replace our current one.
I do know what the answer is, and it's the government doing its job and providing for a common defense by securing our borders, instead of trying to do good with all kinds of stupid entitlement programs.
But it'll be cold day in hell before we shut down the borders. Until the government does do its job, I'm all for the vigilantes. At least someone is defending the country.
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