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There’s a fascinating colloquy on immigration over at The Corner that went on most of the day yesterday which reveals both the opportunity and the danger for Republicans inherent in the debate over immigration reform.

Podhertz’s last post on the issue (from last night) hits the nail on the head:

There are really three immigration debates. There is the cultural debate, there is the economic debate, and there is the security debate. On matters of culture, I believe as everybody else here does that our immigration policy makes no sense if it is not directed at the process of turning non-Americans into Americans through the instruction of English, knowledge of civics and American history, and helping to instill a sense of pride and commitment to the country.

On economic matters, I agree that if immigrants are not of net benefit to the country, it makes no sense for us to allow newcomers to do harm in this way — and here, in my opinion, the case made by restrictionists is by far the weakest. On security matters, an uncontrolled border is clearly unacceptable, and a panoply of measures, including a border fence, is more than called for.

As for dealing with the illegals already here, there’s a sense in which this debate has been radicalized to such an extent that the Right won’t be satisfied with a policy that does not explicitly advocate expulsion — all other policies being dubbed “amnesty” and therefore illegitimate — while the Left refuses to consider any policy other than special-treatment affirmative-action line-jumping legalization. In other words, there is nothing our politicians can do, absolutely nothing, to satisfy the activists — because neither extreme will be reflected in any kind of law or policy that emerges even from a Washington energized to deal with them.

If one were to look at each of those issues separately, Republicans would seem to have it all over Democrats as far as support for their positions by the American people. The problem is, when dealing with immigration reform, the American people assign different weight to each of those issues. Some would like more emphasis on border security while allowing those already here a place at the table. Others (myself included), would like more emphasis placed on assimilation over other issues. Then there those who recognize that illegals are a huge part of our economy and that granting them legal standing in order to continue to contribute to the American economy should be paramount (Bush supporters).

Is there no reconciling the factions? Andrew McCarthy doesn’t think so. And his reasoning is sound; there is no comprehensive fix to our immigration problems:

The problem with this controversy is the seeming sense that it is essential for us to strike some kind of comprehensive solution. Although the proposed solutions are radically different, the sense of urgency for the Big Answer is common among all disputants, whether they are from the trans-nationalist, post-sovereign Left (for whom “rights” for illegals are a natural fit), the portions of the Right kindly toward illegal immigrants due to political/economic calculations, and those on the Right opposed to rights for illegals owing to cultural/economic/rule of law/national security concerns (in whose number I count myself).

I continue to be mystified by this. Government almost always resists hard choices, and thus when it occasionally tries for the Big Answer, it is virtually always the Wrong Answer. See, e.g., intelligence reform, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc., etc. Jonah will hopefully correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always thought Hayek explained the reasons for this – which lie in the inability of fallible humans to foresee and rationally regulate all downstream consequences of ambitious schemes – as well as anyone.

What then can Bush do to re-unite the party on immigration? More than the unhappiness over spending (that we’ve put up with for 5 years after all), more than taxes, or the war, or any other issue, immigration has the potential to doom Republicans in November. And the consequences down the road could be cataclysmic as J-Pod points out:

If a more sober reckoning of political reality does not intrude here, the Right will hurtle headlong toward schism, division, a third party and all sorts of other “pox on all your houses” actions. The cost of this is what I detail in the direst parts of my book Can She Be Stopped? — the easy transfer of power on Capitol Hill and the White House to the Democrats, and particularly to Hillary Clinton.

It’s doubtful the policies she will follow as president on immigration will please anyone on the Right. It’s certain that the policies she will follow on courts, on social issues, on foreign policy, on taxes, on regulation and on almost everything else you can think of will be deeply displeasing to people on the Right. And then, as a result of the pursuit of an impossible policy of purity on immigration, the country and the world will suffer the consequences.

The potential for self-destruction is terrifying. The potential for grave national harm is worse. Please, you guys, pull back from the edge.

Is there common ground to be found? Yes there is, especially if we take Mr. McCarthy’s sage advice and not seek some kind of “Big Fix” solution. Because ultimately, immigration is not a “problem” as much as it is an expression of a desire on the part of all of us for a national identity.

Illegal immigration dilutes our citizenship in ways that the de-nationalists on the left either deliberately ignore or purposefully downplay. I think a large part of the attraction of the Minutemen is that even if you are uncomfortable with some of what they are doing (like me), they are asserting their rights as citizens in a way that hasn’t been seen in this country in modern times. Not vigilantes but rather an expression of something truly and uniquely American; the recognition that citizenship is precious commodity whether one is born here or not. I like to see the Minutemen as standing up as much for legal immigrants as they are doing for those of us lucky enough to be born here. They see correctly that the illegal immigrant problem is not so much one of security as it is a symptom of a larger malaise affecting the governing class in America; a loss of confidence in average people to govern themselves.

As imperfect as the Minutemen solution may turn out to be - and given the potential for tragedy, I can’t help but fear for their future in that regard - it nevertheless should be a rallying point for illegal immigration foes who see the problem both as a security threat and a threat to the value placed on being a US citizen. For if there is no difference between being an illegal alien and a natural born citizen in America, what stake will either have in forging a national identity that expresses the will of the people? At some point, all the clashing interests that roil our politics must coalesce and some sense of nationhood emerge. And thanks in no small way to the vigorous prosecution of ideas like cultural relativism, multi-culturalism, and other aspects of identity politics, the sense of being an American is getting lost.

Make no mistake. There are those on the left and even some conservative elites who are willing this to happen. The globalization movement is not simply one that advocates free trade zones and ease of communications across national borders. There are many who see globalization as breaking down national borders in order to either increase profits or, as in the case of the George Soros’s of the world, actually facilitate a quasi-one world government. Not ruled from the United Nations, but actually loose knit groups of think tanks, foundations, and “Non-Governmental Organizations” or NGO’s who will not do away with governments as they are today as much as exercise a pernicious influence on issues such as immigration, foreign policy, and perhaps even basic freedoms like freedom of the press and speech (Don’t believe me? Read “The Colombo Declaration“)

The above is not tin foil hat stuff. One need only go to the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) on the Kyoto treaty and realize why any kind of rational debate on global warming is impossible - even among scientists. The hundreds of NGO’s that attend these meetings as well as the support they receive from foundations and think tanks has a deadening effect on debate. These groups have so much invested in the idea of climate change that, like a religion , anyone who disagrees with them is treated as a heretic.

The fact is, there are many people working to destroy the idea of nationhood. And one way to do that is to blur the distinction between citizenship and illegal immigrants. For this reason, we must work much harder to help those who are here to assimilate. By drastically reducing illegal immigration and expanding legal immigration, we will be able to mitigate our security problem while addressing the economic impact caused by a fall off in people who enter the country illegally. Increased legal immigration also helps the assimilation problem as every study ever done shows that legal immigrants are much more likely to work to become citizens than illegals.

I don’t expect the President to propose anything different on Monday night than he’s already offered. He will probably stress enforcement - more guards, more money, blah…blah…blah. We’ve heard it all before. He may drop the “guest worker” provision - for now. And I’m sure we’ll hear some fine, uplifting words about how immigrants are the backbone of the country.

What we won’t hear is anything that will unite Republicans in a way that will stop the bleeding from his base and cause conservatives to come back home. Conservatives want to hear tough talk, not platitudes.

I have a feeling we’re going to be royally disappointed.

By: Rick Moran at 10:34 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (13)


I’ve had it with the smug, self-righteous group of immigration “reform” advocates who are calling those of us who support the rule of law over rule of politics “racists” and even (irony of ironies) “UN-American.” It reflects a towering intellectual dishonesty about the issue when your opponents feel free to distort the true nature of the opposition to illegal immigration by setting up so many strawmen that one would think the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz was on a self-replication binge, dotting the political landscape with enough copies of himself to populate a medium sized city.

The truth of the matter is that the Open Borders argument is political poison unless it is wrapped in the flag, buttressed by the politically correct buzzwords “tolerance” and “fairness” with a final appeal to pity by raising the specter of legal children being torn from illegal mothers by cruel, heartless, pro-enforcement monsters. This would all be bad enough. It is the attempt by this crowd to connect pro-enforcement advocates with neo-Nazis, skinheads, radical militiamen and the like that stinks of demagoguery and proves how truly mendacious the Open Borders groups can be.

The demonstration on May 1 is a case in point. Dubbed a “Rally for Immigrant Rights,” one would have to be brain dead not to have figured out that in fact, the “Rally” was about no such thing. Instead, as every 5 year old in America who has been following this movement knows, the May Day protests were about “rights” for illegal immigrants, a fact brought out in this article in today’s Washington Post:

While a series of marches focused much of the nation’s attention on the plight of illegal immigrants, scores of other Americans quietly seethed. Now, with the same full-throated cry expressed by those in the country illegally, they are shouting back.

Congressional leaders in Washington have gotten bricks in the mail from a group that advocates building a border fence, states in the West and South have drawn up tough anti-immigrant laws, and ordinary citizens, such as Janis McDonald of Pennsylvania, who considers herself a liberal, are not mincing words in expressing their displeasure.

“Send them back,” McDonald said. “Build a damn wall and be done with it.”

The anger evoked a word that immigrant organizers who opposed Monday’s boycott feared: backlash. McDonald and other Americans were particularly disturbed by Monday’s boycott and civil action, attended in large part by people who entered the country illegally and are now demanding rights enjoyed by U.S.-born citizens and immigrants who entered the country legally.

Of course, the Post reveals where they stand on the issue by referring to the “plight” of illegal immigrants as if sneaking across the border, purchasing forged social security and/or green cards, and trying to stay one step ahead of Homeland Security represents a hardship brought upon the illegals by anyone other than themselves.

That said, the article points out a difference that the Open Borders crew refuses to acknowledge and, in fact, obfuscates in order to tag their opponents as heartless gorgons. It is the difference between those who endure the bureaucratic rigmarole and long waiting periods to legally enter this country and those who take the sometimes perilous but nevertheless easier way by sneaking across the border in defiance of the law.

In truth, this is the club used by the pro-illegal lobby to beat enforcement advocates over the head. By successfully blurring the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, they can portray those who support a rational immigration policy as ideological soul mates of the “Know Nothing” anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic party of the early 1850’s.

The anti-immigrant movement of that period was a direct response to the first mass migration of Irish to the United States. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million starving Irish left their home country between 1848-50 as a result of the almost total failure of the potato crop and the confused, heartless response of the British government to the starving millions on that unfortunate isle. So many foreigners (and Catholics to boot) overwhelmed some cities in the northeast which frightened many native born protestants into forming their own party. The official name of the movement was the American Party. The origin of the “Know Nothing” moniker came about as a result of the semi-secret nature of the party. When a member was asked about its activities, he was supposed to reply “I know nothing.”

It is a convenient whipping boy for pro-illegal advocates because many of the “Know Nothings” were absorbed into the new Republican party. Not knowing quite what to do with these nativists (Democrats of that period pandered shamelessly to the new arrivals), they were successfully marginalized in the election of 1860 by Lincoln’s “Free Labor, Free Soil, Free Men” platform.

But that doesn’t stop the Open Borders crowd from using the specter of the Know Nothings to skewer their opponents and tar them with the nativist label. The fact is, there are many in the pro-enforcement lobby who seek to dramatically increase legal immigration as well as make the path to citizenship for those who abide by the law less of a burden both bureaucratically and legally.

Almost 1 million people enter this country as legal immigrants every year. This number includes people whose temporary visas have expired and wish to stay on to work or to achieve citizenship. There are very, very few enforcement advocates who begrudge these potential citizens their rights under the law. And while there is a loud minority in the anti-illegal movement who seek to reduce or even eliminate legal immigration to the United States - the stated reason being homeland security - most pro-enforcement advocates actually support increased legal immigration.

But you would never know this if the only information you received was from the pro-illegal groups. They have successfully portrayed the anti-illegal lobby as anti-immigration - both legal and illegal - as well as proponents of a draconian “round-up” of illegals that would tear families apart and turn the United States into a police state. And while this may be the extremists view of the matter, such thinking is hardly in the mainstream.

On the other hand, how often do you read about International ANSWER and how they have expropriated the reform movement for their own nefarious ends? Those May Day protests were largely organized by the communists in ANSWER while being opposed by more mainstream immigration groups. In fact, few pro-reform websites bothered to inform their readers of this very salient point.

We will not have meaningful immigration reform until we all agree that the United States is a sovereign country with recognizable borders that must be defended. That defense includes shutting the door on people who would break the law to come here. It is such a basic concept that it is mystifying why the pro-illegal lobby deliberately ignores it. At times, they seem almost embarrassed by the fact that the United States has a right to determine who comes here and who doesn’t as well as determining its own requirements for citizenship.

In the end, this is what “sovereignty” is all about; the belief that being born an American is a privilege beyond words and that becoming an American should also be a privilege, earned by a legal immigrant’s hard work, obedience of the law, and desire to be a part of this grand experiment in self-government.

Anything less and you cheapen the idea of citizenship for everyone.


Michelle Malkin has an article about the Reconquista as well as much more information in her Vent segment at Hot Air.
I have read much on both right and left sites about whether or not the reconquista is a serious part of this pro-illegal movement or just a strawman set up by oppnents to scare people into opposing immigration from Mexico.

I find it interesting that those who subscribe to the latter view always start out by saying that the reconquista is not the goal of illegal immigrant groups and end up by saying that, in effect, it is. I don’t buy the proposition that this notion of taking back the southwest is some holdover from the radical 1960’s, not when through their rhetoric and actions, these groups show that reconquista is alive and well and is a not so subtle goal of the Mexican government as well.

Reconquista is not a strawman. And the fact that pro-illegal groups either support it or fail to oppose it says much about the ideological makeup of their movement.

Another good read on this as well as some excellent commentary about the state of the left can be found Alexandra’s All Things Beautiful.

Makes sure you wish her “Happy Birthday!”





By: Rick Moran at 10:18 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (57)


No use blaming the Democrats when the backlash comes against this ill-conceived, ill advised Administration “guest worker” program. Whatever credit Bush is going to get from his corporate supporters and the US Chamber of Commerce will be lost in an avalanche of criticism from the center-right.

In short, Republicans who vote for this mess are going to be put on notice: Make sure you have something lined up in the way of another job after November:

President Bush and a group of senators yesterday reached general agreement on an immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for many illegal aliens.
But left out of the closed-door White House meeting were senators who oppose a path to citizenship. The meeting even snubbed two men who had been considered allies of Mr. Bush on immigration — Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and chairman of the immigration subcommittee, and Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican.

Mr. Bush in brief remarks to the press said there was agreement to get “a bill that does not grant automatic amnesty to people, but a bill that says, somebody who is working here on a legal basis has the right to get in line to become a citizen.” But senators, speaking afterward, said Mr. Bush was far more specific in the meeting.

“There was a pretty good consensus that what we have put into the Hagel-Martinez proposal here is the right way to go,” said Sen. Mel Martinez, Florida Republican. “I think he was very clear [on] pathway to citizenship, so long as it goes to the back of the line, and he even opened the door here for something we’ve haggled back and forth on, that you can shrink the time for people to become citizens by simply enlarging the number of green cards.”

(HT: Malkin)

It is not an overstatement to say that this is a complete electoral disaster for Republicans. Not only are there sure to be howls of rage from the Republican base, but every single poll on immigration shows that the great political center for which any candidate must depend to put them over the top on election day is dead set against the President’s program.

Americans are a normally fair minded people as a group. And when they see special treatment being doled out to people who break the law, it sticks in their craw and makes them more likely to take out their feelings on the closest available target; in this case, Republican lawmakers.

In an irony of ironies, the President is going to have to rely on Democrats to get this bill through both Houses of Congress. I’m sure the Democrats will be more than willing to oblige the President since they correctly see the immigration issue as a winner. They can criticize the President from the right by attacking his border security measures while continuing to assault from the left by saying that Republicans are racists who want to oppress Hispanics.

Such arguments won’t impress conservatives but they will resonate with their own base as well as peel middle of the road voters away from Republican candidates. This is a recipe for defeat in November and if it occurs, the President and the open borders Republicans will only have themselves to blame.

There’s a chance that opposition can still coalesce in the House and defeat this bill when it comes to a vote. But those Republicans are going to have to be certain that we conservatives have their backs. I suggest sending an email to your Representative urging him to vote against this proposal and making it clear that how he or she votes will be a determining factor in your decision about who to vote for (or whether or not you intend to vote at all) this coming November.


Both Tano in the comments and PJ Media who linked to this piece sound a little skeptical about my analysis. Let’s go to the polls!

From Rasmussen Survey of 4/7/06:

Forty-six percent (46%) of Americans said that they prefer the candidate with the harder line on illegal aliens while 38% opt for the candidate who wants to expand legal opportunities for foreign workers to find jobs.

However, those who say the immigration issue is very important in determining their vote prefer the pro-enforcement candidate by a much larger margin, 67% to 23%. This suggests that the short-term political advantage on the immigration issue lies with those who want a tougher enforcement policy.

Fifty percent (50%) of Americans say the immigration issue is very important. Another 32% say it is somewhat important.

An earlier survey found that two-thirds of Americans believe it doesn’t make sense to debate new immigration laws until we can first control our borders and enforce existing laws. That same survey found that 40% of Americans favor “forcibly” requiring all 11 million illegal immigrants to leave the United States.

Sixty-seven percent of those who think immigration is an important issue favor a pro-enforcement (anti-amnesty) candidate. And 82% of Americans think the immigration issue either “very important” or “somewhat important.”

Disaster? What disaster?

Oh btw - I’m not one of them but that same poll shows an astonishing 40% of Americans favor “forcibly” requiring all 11 million illegal immigrants to leave the United States.

In short, a politician would have to try pretty hard to get to the right of the American people on this issue. Congratulations to the President and the open borders Republicans who support him in Congress. Not only are we going to be stuck with a nightmare of an immigration law, but you’re making it very difficult for the dwindling number of people who support you to become motivated enought to get up off the couch on election day and go vote for you.

By: Rick Moran at 10:01 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (23)


Looks like Republicans in the Senate got the message on immigration: No amnesty, dramatically tighten border control, and get serious about illegal immigrants already here. By voting en bloc to open up the bill to the amendment process, Senate Republicans have probably scuttled the process entirely:

The Senate sidetracked sweeping immigration legislation Friday, leaving in doubt prospects for passing a bill offering the hope of citizenship to millions of men, women and children living in the United States illegally.

A carefully crafted compromise that supporters had claimed could win an overwhelming majority received only 38 of the 60 votes necessary to protect it from weakening amendments by opponents.

Republicans were united in the 38-60 parliamentary vote but Democrats, who have insisted on no amendments, lost six votes from their members.

Earlier Friday, President Bush prodded lawmakers to keeping trying to reach an agreement, but both sides said the odds were increasing that a breakthrough would not occur until Congress returns from a two-week recess.

We can add a charge of incompetence to the growing list of sins committed by the Republican Senate. To even offer a bill that contained “guest worker” provisions smacks of stupidity given the backlash by their conservative base on the issue over the last few weeks. Frist and Co. should have also known the Democrats were not going to let them off the hook by allowing this “compromise” to pass with amendments (such as removing or severely modifying the amnesty program). Once again, Frist has bungled.

And this guy wants to be President?

Brietbart seemed to be asking the same question:

Frist, R-Tenn., a potential presidential candidate in 2008, sought to establish more conservative credentials when he initially backed a bill limited to border security. At the same time, he has repeatedly called for a comprehensive bill _ adopting Bush’s rhetoric _ and involved himself in the fitful negotiations over the past several days.

Some leadership.

The bill itself is an incoherent mish-mash that little resembles what the House of Representatives passed. The “guest worker” program is ludicrous:

Illegal immigrants here more than five years could work for six years and apply for legal permanent residency without having to leave the country. Those here two years to five years would have to go to border entry points sometime in next three years, but could immediately return as temporary workers. Those here less than two years would have to leave and wait in line for visas to return.

Simply handing illegals a permanent resident card who’ve managed to evade capture for more than 5 years by hiding in enclaves where they remain undocumented and unassimilated will only encourage others to try and emulate them. After all, the immigration issue comes up in Congress every decade or so. Might was well amble across the border and wait for the next opportunity for politicians and businessmen to come up with one more plan that they won’t call amnesty but will for all intents and purposes be exactly that.

It gets loonier. All we ask of immigration scofflaws who’ve been here between 2-5 years is to show up at a border crossing and get a “temporary” workers’ permit.

That permit will be about as “temporary” as the insanity that seems to infect our lawmakers when they try and deal with immigration issues.

Let’s hope that Senate Republicans come to their senses and deal with illegal immigration as it should be dealt with; as a matter of national security and as an issue of fairness to the tens of thousands of legal immigrants who play by the rules only to see their honesty rewarded by being slapped in the face by their elected representatives.


In “The Definition of Amnesty” Michelle Malkin nails it:

Guess what? None –not one—of those amnesties was associated with a decline in illegal immigration. On the contrary, the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. has tripled since President Reagan signed the first amnesty in 1986. The total effect of the amnesties was even larger because relatives later joined amnesty recipients, and this number was multiplied by an unknown number of children born to amnesty recipients who then acquired automatic US citizenship.

And as I’ve noted before, there is no such thing as a “temporary” amnesty.

This entire debate is eerily reminiscent of campaign finance reform. Every time we muck with federal election laws governing political contributions, bigger and better loopholes are discovered by the army of lawyers who cater to the campaign contribution industry. It’s ridiculous.


Slightly off topic, here’s Mickey Kaus on Mexican irridentism quoting a prominent Mexican-American author who is seeking to mainstream the idea of reconquista.

I got a chuckle out of both Taylor Marsh and C-Span host Steve Scully during my appearance last Sunday when I brought up the resistance to assimilation by some Mexican illegals and how that has led to a growing movement to “give back” portions of US territory to Mexico. I said at the time this was nothing to laugh at. The quotes from this author prove me correct.

By: Rick Moran at 10:47 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (8)


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“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

(Emma Lazarus, 1888)

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“. . . . [W]e declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlan. Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.” (”For the race, everything. Outside the race, nothing.”)

(From El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan)

A land of dreams. A land of myths. America began as a rumor, a subject of court gossip in the great halls of 15th century Europe where it was whispered that some Genoese navigator had discovered new lands across the ocean sea. In the ensuing 500 years as tens of millions flowed to her shores, America swallowed the new arrivals with relative ease, assimilating them with a combination of brutal exploitation and wondrous opportunity - powerful forces that stoked the fires of the melting pot and imprinted American values, customs, and ideals on the peoples of every race, color, and creed.

But something has gone horribly wrong. Not just with immigrants from Mexico although currently being the largest group of new arrivals, they come in for the harshest criticism. It is the same with Russians, Poles, Slavs, Balkanites, Africans, Asians and many more who make it to our shores and then disappear into the great morass of bureaucratic ineptitude and inertia. The fact is, it is ridiculously easy to skirt our immigration laws.

Overstayed your visa? No problem. A huge underground industry has grown up that supplies illegal immigrants with documentation so that they can live and work in the United States as well as apply for benefits related to everything from health care to unemployment compensation. No one knows how large this illegal document industry is but estimates are in the 1-2 billion dollar range. This doesn’t include the monies stolen from the American taxpayer in illegal benefits.

With 96% of illegal immigrants able to procure these documents and become part of the workforce, this unprecedented outbreak of lawlessness has had predictable consequences; fewer and fewer of these illegals are on a path to citizenship and assimilation. The various schemes put forth to rectify this situation including the latest “guest worker” program have had no impact on solving the problem and may, in fact, encourage more people to illegally enter the country.

With no stake in the future of America, no need to learn English, no desire to make America their adopted land, there is no compulsion to inculcate American ideals in their children who are automatically citizens by virtue of being born here.

Anyone who doesn’t think that this aspect of illegal immigration doesn’t have consequences I would direct your gaze to the picture above of the upside down American flag being deliberately flown below the flag of Mexico. Is anyone seriously making the argument that this one image, so wrenching in its implications for our future, doesn’t accurately reflect the feelings of those children, most of whom are citizens? They are future voters. And I shudder to think of what they would be willing to vote for if the growing reconquista movement is able to successfully play upon and manipulate the current coalition of greedy businesses, weak politicians, diversity crackpots, multicultural tyrants, and guilt-ridden leftists who have made it plain that America is a land without recognizable borders and that citizenship, in the end, doesn’t mean squat.

John Fonte, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute:

We have arrived at a tipping point in American history. Make no mistake about it, these demonstrations are a challenge to what Aristotle and Straussian political theorists call a “regime” or “way of life.” We are witnessing the assertion of raw power (from and on behalf of non-citizens) that challenges our own citizenship and our very constitutional order. Illegal aliens who are here without the “consent of the governed” (aided and abetted by amoral corporate and ideological elites) are demanding that the views of the overwhelming majority of the American people (for border control and immigration restrictions) be ignored. This is an attempted social coup; war by other means.

A “social coup” indeed. The image of that upside down American flag is a declaration of war not just on the citizens of America, but on our values, our ideals, and our most cherished hopes that have sustained this country for more than 200 years.

It should go without saying that the reality of America has rarely lived up to its promise. Slavery of Africans, ethnic cleansing of the native Americans, and especially the way newcomers have been treated in the past upon their arrival have made the words contained in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution ring hollow. But almost important as this reality is the promise that our society can and does work to constantly better itself. The “No Irish Need Apply” signs in the days of our great grandfathers have disappeared along with similar disdain for subsequent waves of immigrants from Europe. The forces of assimilation worked their magic on those peoples to transform their progeny into citizens who are indistinguishable in all the important ways from the native born.

For others, the transformation was more painful but was made nonetheless. Overcoming the obscenity of racism (as well as other cultural obstacles), Asian-Americans and recent African immigrants have proven that the melting pot model of assimilation can be stretched to include those whose cultural values were vastly different from the Europeans who came before them.

The drive to assimilate has done more to make the words “All men are created equal” resonate with meaning than all the Supreme Court decisions, civil rights laws, racial pressure groups, and crusading journalists put together. By standing up for and exercising their rights as citizens, ethnic groups in the past have changed the American social and cultural landscape. By becoming citizens and taking part in the grand experiment that is American democracy, they have fought for and won important battles to make their vision of America - not their native land - a better place to live.

That is the stake that assimilation gives new citizens; the future happiness of their children. But today’s illegals, while wanting the same happiness for their offspring, don’t care about the context in which that goal is achieved. Hence, infusing their children from birth with the values of American society takes second place to maintaining their separateness from the rest of us. Part of this has to do with their status as illegal immigrants. But it has more to do with a belief that America is not a place to dream but rather a place to milk. The opportunity afforded those willing to work is seen as a means to take and give nothing in return.

This is why the image above is so disturbing. It shows that their children, despite many being citizens, have taken the same attitude as their parents toward American opportunity. Many apparently see themselves as the vanguard of a movement to “take back” California and the American southwest for Mexico. At the very least, it shows a lack of understanding of what America is all about, a failure of education both at home and at school. At worst, it presages a period in American politics that could lead to civil unrest and a fracturing of the American polity.

For 120 years, the Statue of Liberty has been the image of inclusion and opportunity for immigrants. It is sad almost beyond words that the image of the upside down American flag displayed in an inferior position to the flag of Mexico could become modern shorthand for the feelings and even the hopes and dreams of immigrants today.


Cao has an excellent round-up from the passionate right on the flag issue as well as the immigration bill before the Senate.

Michelle Malkin has dozens of pictuers of the illegal, forged, and fake documents used by “undocumented” workers. Quoth Malkin:

Next time you read or hear reporters mindlessly refer to the “undocumented,” send them here and ask why they continue to use such an inaccurate, biased, loaded, and plain annoying term.

I eagerly await their reply.

By: Rick Moran at 9:39 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (16)


They came down the exit ramp of the plane and stepped on free soil for the first time in their lives. A little three year old girl, her father and mother, and nothing more but the clothes on their backs and the terrifying memories of an escape that to this day, proves the existence of God so miraculous it still seems.

It was October, 1956 and their homeland of Hungary was in chaos. A reform government had been formed headed up by Irme Nagy, whose purging from the Communist party had been rescinded less than a month earlier. Nagy took restrictions off the press and called for free elections, free speech, and economic reforms.

A group of students took the Prime Minister at his word and protested in the streets for more academic freedom. Police opened fire on the demonstrators killing dozens and wounding many more. The next day, members of the police and army joined the demonstrators and confronted Soviet tanks in Parliament Square. The tanks rolled over the crowd, firing indiscriminately killing 12 and wounding 170.

The next day, Nagy threw down the gauntlet to the mighty Soviet empire. He went on the radio and called for “the far-reaching democratization of Hungarian public life, the realisation of a Hungarian road to socialism in accord with our own national characteristics, and the realisation of our lofty national aim: the radical improvement of the workers’ living conditions.”

Nagy wasn’t finished. In a matter of weeks, he freed the imprisoned and tortured Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty, took control of the Hungarian Communist Party, and formed a coalition government that included some non-Communists.

This was too much for Nikita Kruschev who sent in the Red Army and all hell brook loose. There was fighting all over the country as the Hungarian army bravely resisted. But the Hungarians were quickly defeated and Soviet tanks, in a scene that was to become familiar, rolled into Budapest. That’s when the round-ups began. Thousands were executed. Many more thousands arrested and jailed. Nagy himself, after being promised safe passage out of the country from his refuge in the Yugoslavian embassy, was kidnapped, summarily tried, and executed.

The little girl’s father was an officer in the Hungarian air force. One night, hearing that the secret police were down the block arresting a neighbor and knowing that he was probably next, the father took his wife and daughter and began to run. On foot.

They somehow avoided the Soviet patrols and made it out of Budapest. Alternating between walking, hiding, and getting rides from strangers, the trio made their way slowly toward the Hungarian border with Austria. After nearly 3 weeks of exhausting travel, the family showed up at the border tired, hungry, but free of the pursuit of their tormentors.

Austria was only a waystation for most of the nearly 200,000 who fled the nightmare of the Hungarian Uprising. That’s because their ultimate destination was America - a place as far removed from their experience as the surface of the moon. They had been told that America was an evil place full of grasping capitalists and slavemasters who used workers to enrich themselves while keeping them in abject poverty. But they had also heard whispers that America was a wonderful place where it didn’t matter where you came from or who your father was. And that there was opportunity for those willing to grasp it.

From Austria, the family took a train to Berlin where the father got very nervous when he glimpsed Soviet troops patrolling in the Russian sector. But now under the protection of the Americans, the little family could finally begin to relax. In Berlin, they took another train to Bonn where they were issued a visa and residency documents. After a wait of several weeks, they were able to board a plane for the New World. They arrived in Newark on the 17th of December, 1956, officially welcomed into the United States as legal residents.

Today as I write this 10,000 people, mostly from Mexico, are walking across the border as if it didn’t exist which, of course, it doesn’t. The fact that they are Mexican is irrelevant. The fact that American businesses in their desire to keep wages low will welcome them is irrelevant. What matters is the double standard.

The above story is about the family of Zsusanna, the love of my life, who has been in this country now for almost 50 years. For one reason or another - raising her family, being busy with work or one of her many hobbies and causes - she never went through the process to become a citizen. She has now started that process because of what happened yesterday.

Yesterday, I had to comfort her as the Senate Judiciary Committee slapped her in the face by retroactively granting people who willingly and deliberately broke the law, the right to stay in the US without fear of prosecution. What the Senate is saying to millions of people is that they are more deserving, more worthy, than people like my Zsu-Zsu whose horrific escape and flight to freedom was validated when, after going through a torturous bureaucratic process, she and her family were allowed to emigrate. She is not any better than those who sneak like thieves in the night to cross the border. She is upset at what she sees as the injustice of the situation.

Is her lament justified? Most would think probably not. But when she compares what she had to go through to get here legally with today’s immigrant scofflaws having the same thing handed to them on a Congressional platter, she weeps.

What is happening with this flexing of muscles by illegal immigrants is the beginning of a struggle for the soul of this country. Unless something is done to stem the tide now, the kind of rhetoric coming from those who carry signs claiming that California is not United States territory anymore will continue to escalate. And once it goes mainstream, the diversity nuts, the multicultural tyrants, the starry-eyed open borders loons, and guilt-ridden left will coalesce to make that nightmare a reality.

Laugh if you feel the need. But anyone who missed the message at those demonstrations from people who celebrated their separateness from America rather than their solidarity with it should have a bucket of cold water thrown on their pretentious heads. Maybe then they’ll wake up and realize that this battle is not about race, or creed, or ethnicity. It is about the essence of America and whether the country we have known and loved in the past is going to survive another generation.


Daily Pundit:

Would Congress or a Republican administration ever endorse irredentism? The White House and elements of congress already have. The disastrous Akaka Bill aims at creating a race-based, sovereign, territorially-endowed entity in Hawaii, and its precedent would threaten the mainland’s cohesiveness. That Akaka stands a real chance of being enacted is proof Americans need to get a two-handed grip on Washington before the White House and Congress wreck our nation. (HT: Maggies Farm)

Gee. Anyone else want to laugh about giving California back to Mexico?

Bryan Preston has a thorough and superb round-up of student agitation on the issue. The revelation yesterday by Michelle Malkin that the school district was paying for busses to pick kids up who demonstrated off campus was an eye opener. Our tax dollars are being used to agitate for separatism.

By: Rick Moran at 2:15 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (28)


Is there really anything we can do to solve the illegal immigration problem in the United States?

Asking that question is un-American. We are, after all, a nation that prides itself on its ability to “solve problems” even if many such attempts have met with abject failure. We’ve spent a trillion dollars on public housing in the last forty years and still have almost a million homeless people huddling on park benches and subway grates trying to keep warm during the winter not to mention millions more living in slavish dependence on government to keep a roof over their heads. Ditto for all the monies spent on anti-poverty programs which most objective observers agree has made the problem of poverty worse.

Even conservatives are guilty of trying to solve these problems that may have no solution by fiddling with budget numbers and offering more in the way of free-market alternatives to government intervention.

I find it interesting that all sides in the immigration debate seem to feel that their solutions will somehow “solve” the problem. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, especially to the “open borders” crew who in something of a sanctimonious fashion continue to remind us that we are a “nation of immigrants” and that opposing the entry by millions of people who are more loyal to the government of Mexico than they are to the US government is somehow racist. But the fact is, the only “solution” to the problem of illegal immigration is flinging open our borders and letting everyone who desires to live and work in America to come on in and make themselves at home. Thus would the problem of illegal immigration disappear overnight.

Of course we can’t do that which means that instead of concentrating on fixing the problem - building gigantic walls manned every few feet by border guards and rounding up millions of people - we should be working to improve the situation. This means fewer people crossing the border, more enforcement of the law regarding illegals already here, stiffer penalties for companies that employ illegals, and a decidedly less sanguine outlook toward one of the least reported and most dangerous aspects of the illegal immigrant issue; the agitation by Mexicans living in America to return a sizable portion of the United States to Mexican control.

As Michelle Malkin points out in this post:

These sentiments, as I’ve noted before, are not limited to ethnic fringe groups–but also mainstream Democrat politicians and campus chapters of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MEChA.

Most of the members of the open-borders media won’t dare breathe a word about this militant phenomenon, lest they be accused of…racism. Oh, the irony.

Welcome to reconquista.

Where are all the assimilationists now?

Lest anyone think that this is not a serious movement or that it has absolutely no chance of succeeding, I invite you to read this piece from Maria Hsia Chang of the University of Nevada-Reno on the attitudes of many Mexicans who come here and, even more of a shock, the hugely significant demographic changes that are rapidly taking place in the southwestern United States as as result of illegal immigration and what these changes bode for the future. A sample:

Mario Barrera, a faculty member of U.C. Berkeley’s Department of Ethnic Studies, admitted that multiculturalism “would help prepare the ideological climate for an eventual campaign for ethnic regional autonomy.” In January 1995, El Plan de Aztlan Conference at UC Riverside resolved that “We shall overcome…by the vote if possible and violence if necessary.” The rise of Mexican irredentism as a serious political movement “awaits only the demographic transformation of the Southwest.”

That “demographic transformation” is almost here and it is unstoppable. Much higher birthrates among Mexican immigrant women means that by 2050, there will be more than 100 million Hispanics in the US comprising more than a quarter of our population. The current trend has more than 40% of Hispanics in the US living in California alone. That would mean more than 40 million Hispanics in California, the overwhelming number of them from Mexico, who would be a formidable bloc if Mexican irredentism becomes a truly mainstream goal.

This does not take into account a Mexican government who would see the tipping point coming and could possibly engineer a mass migration into the desired states ballooning those numbers even more.

This kind of scenario is being laughed at by some but given the present emphasis on “diversity” and multiculturalism over the out of fashion “melting pot” model of assimilation, I don’t find much humor in the situation. The fact is that immigrants from Mexico have little pressure on them to assimilate into American society. Instead, we have created a situation where two separate cultures exist side-by-side. We have encouraged this by not requiring that English be learned as an entree into American society. The fact that there are now several generations of Hispanics living in America who have had no need to learn English has accentuated the separateness of these immigrants thus keeping them from fully participating in and living the American dream.

In the past, as each successive wave of immigrants hit our shores, they would gravitate toward the communities in our major cities where their countrymen had already established a toehold in America. In those communities were support groups, some of which preyed upon the new arrivals by exploiting them for a variety of purposes, but which nevertheless offered ways for the immigrant to assimilate into society at large through a variety of activities. Local churches were important as were schools, fraternal organizations, and even sports leagues. At bottom, the goal was to become a hyphenated American by adopting English as a second language while learning the customs, mores, and habits of Americans.

The goal of the overwhelming majority of these immigrants was citizenship. Is that the case today? I have not seen any hard evidence that would answer that question one way or another but anecdotal evidence would seem to indicate the answer to be no. Also, according to this immigration attorney, only about 50% of people who receive Green Cards eventually become US citizens. That is a far lower number than in the past where that number exceeded 70%. These numbers do not include the children of those born to immigrants since they are citizens by birthright.

You cannot force someone to assimilate. But the way things are today, the system virtually assures an illegal immigrant that there is no downside to not assimilating. Unless a way can be found to stir the melting pot for these new arrivals, they will drift farther and farther away from the American mainstream thus making the dreams of the separatists more of a reality than any of us would want to admit.

The current reform proposals do not address these issues. But someday, we’re going to have to get serious about confronting the fact that today’s new arrivals are different from those in the past and that failing to integrate them into American society could have consequences down the road that are almost unthinkable.


My friends at Maggies Farm have an excellent round-up of Bush double-speak on immigration including my favorite:

“Comprehensive Approach/Reform:” A phrase often on the lips of Bush and co., this is the current “hip” way to refer to a mass amnesty of illegals, without actually saying so.

Whenever a politician talks about “comprehensive” anything, grab your wallet and be afraid…be very afraid.

By: Rick Moran at 1:44 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (19)


I’ve never written about immigration reform before largely because the subject barely interests me as a policy issue and also because I have nothing new to add to the debate over what to do about it.

But 500,000 people in the streets of Los Angeles (and tens of thousands in the streets of other cities) is politics. And regardless of where you come down on the issue of immigration, the political implications of such a large group of people feeling strongly enough about something to turn off the TV, get up out of their easy chairs, and march are huge, so big in fact that where the majority of American people come down on this issue may indeed decide the fate of the Republican majority in Congress.

Since there exists the probability that the loss of Republican dominance would mean the almost certain attempt to impeach President Bush as well as some kind of limit or even a cut-off of monies to fund the War in Iraq, the stakes couldn’t be higher. (Doubters of the latter will please note that both Presidents Nixon and Ford never believed for a moment that the “Class of ‘74″ Congress would cut off aid to South Viet Nam and allow the regime to fall. They were wrong).

Despite what many Republicans think, the immigration issue has numerous pitfalls for the party. It’s an easy issue to demagogue as well as being as divisive as many social issues. Ezra Klein:

I’ve argued before that immigration is to the GOP as trade is to the Democratic Party. The base is strongly in favor of quasi-xenophobic crackdowns while the party’s intellectual and business elite is overwhelmingly internationalist, focused on the coming electoral power of the Hispanic bloc and the cheapness of immigrant labor. And when it comes to elections, the political crosscurrents grow even more violent than that. On immigration, what’s good politics in the primary is often deadly in the general. Ask Pete Wilson, whose support of Proposition 187 (which denied undocumented immigrants government services) proved initially popular but demolished the Republican Party in California for the next decade. A Republican candidate who demagogues the issue to win the primary will find himself screwed in the general, as even slight swings in the massive Hispanic electorate can easily toss an election, and an anti-immigrant push could, as it did in California, activate the heretofore underperforming Hispanic electorate. As Mike Buttry, spokesperson for Chuck Hagel, complains:

“The short-term politics of this are pretty clear. The long-term politics are pretty clear. And they’re both at odds.”

That just about sums it up. Any issue that highlights the fissures in the party between “Main Street” conservatives represented by groups like The Chamber of Commerce and “movement” conservatives whose spokesman at the moment is Representative Tom Tancredo means that it will be that much harder to maintain Republican majority status come November. Main Street congressional candidates could find activist money and shoe leather either being denied them as a result of their stand on immigration or even transferred to a primary challenger.

The Democrats seem intent on making the issue a moral choice between “justice” and “racism.” My oh my, where do you think we should come down on the immigration reform measure currently before Congress given that choice?

Senator Hillary Clinton has called H.R. 4437 a “mean-spirited” piece of legislation which “literally criminalizes the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself.” The “Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005″ (H.R. 4437) is a Republican piece of legislation which would not only makes felons out of the millions of undocumented immigrants already in the United States, but it would also make it a crime to provide any assistance to those immigrants, if you know they are undocumented. “Mean-spirited” doesn’t come close to describing this bill.

Does anyone else find it just a little bit absurd that the left, who have been ranting for 5 years about Bush placing himself above the law, now wish to put millions of people not only above the law but beyond the law as well?

I am 100% for legal immigration. And I would hope that we triple the number of people who could legally emigrate from Mexico and other places. But the idea that anyone who can sneak across the border is automatically granted a special class of citizenship replete with a shopping list of goodies courtesy of the American taxpayer is just plain wrong. It isn’t a question of “criminalizing” illegal immigrants because they are already criminals. That’s why the demonstration in Los Angeles yesterday was so perplexing; just what were the marchers demonstrating for?

Jose Alberto Salvador, 33, came here illegally just four months ago to find work to support the wife and five children he left behind; in his native Guatemala, he said, what little work he could find paid only $10 a day. “As much as we need this country, we love this country,” Salvador said, waving a stick with both the American and Guatemalan flag. “This country gives us opportunities we don’t get at home.”

A fine and noble sentiment worthy of any immigrant who has ever come to America. To my mind, the question is not whether he should come here or whether he has a right to come here, the question is how he gets here. Any nation that can’t control its own borders in the age of terror is asking for trouble of the cataclysmic kind. And what Mr. Salvador represents - as badly as we need that kind of spirit and willingness to take advantage of the opportunities that America gives the rest of the world - is a denial of our sovereignty.

I am not enamored of the idea of placing a wall up to keep Mr. Salvador and other illegals out of the country but the sad fact is we are in a crisis situation. Desperate measures are called for. Here are some of the grim statistics:

* By historical standards, the 33.1 million immigrants living in the United States is unprecedented. Even at the peak of the great wave of immigration in the early 20th century, the number of immigrants living in the United States was only 40 percent of what it is today (13.5 million in 1910).

* Immigrants account for 11.5 percent of the total population, the highest percentage in 70 years. If current trends continue, by the end of this decade the immigrant share of the total population will surpass the all time high of 14.8 percent reached in 1890.

* Immigration has become the determinate factor in population growth. The arrival of 1.5 million immigrants each year, coupled with 750,000 births to immigrant women annually, means that immigration policy is adding over two million people to the U.S. population each year, accounting for at least two-thirds of U.S. population growth.

And, there is little evidence that the bulk of these immigrants who come illegally are making any effort to assimilate. The very fact that they are illegal places them outside the channels that immigrants have historically used to adopt the United States as their homeland. Instead of assimilating, an entirely separate culture complete with government services, benefits, and a support system has grown up around the idea that people here illegally should be coddled and stroked, largely for their votes.

You cannot force people to assimilate. But you can make it easier for those who want to. And by setting up enclaves of illegal immigrants where the rule of law is made a mockery of and people are rewarded for not integrating into society, the government assures that there is no incentive to add one’s unique and fascinating cultural qualities to the great American melting pot. When “diversity” rules, “unity” suffers.

All of these issues go to the heart of immigration reform. President Bush’s proposal - cribbed from the playbook of the US Chamber of Commerce - is a mish mash of enforcement propositions and a “guest worker” program that many experts believe would do nothing to stem the tide of illegal immigration and may in fact encourage it. The Republicans are split on how draconian the enforcement provisions should be. The Democrats are united in opposition to the entire plan, seeing an easy way to demagogue some votes. Given that the President’s plan would do the least amount of damage to the GOP’s image with their growing number of Hispanic adherents, it seems likely that some kind of a guest worker program along with a few enforcement bones thrown to the Tancredo faction in Congress will emerge from Committee.

What kind of law that would make seems to be lost in all the political calculations both sides are making this election year.


Michelle Malkin:

We are not a “nation of immigrants.” This is both a factual error and a warm-and-fuzzy non sequitur. Eighty-five percent of the residents currently in the United States were born here. Sure, we are almost all descendants of immigrants. But we are not a “nation of immigrants.”

(Isn’t it funny, by the way, how the politically correct multiculturalists who claim we are a “nation of immigrants” are sooo insensitive toward Native American Indians, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians, and descendants of black slaves who did not “immigrate” here in any common sense of the word?)

Even if we were a “nation of immigrants,” it does not explain why we should be against sensible immigration control.

And if the open borders advocates would actually read American history instead of revising it, they would see that the founding fathers were emphatically insistent on protecting the country against indiscriminate mass immigration.

Also, here’s an Op-Ed from today’s Washington Post that makes the case rather well that guest workers are a very bad idea.

Dan at The Glittering Eye is making sense today (as usual):

Almost everything I’ve seen in the blogosphere today on the subject has been romantic claptrap. The fact is that illegal aliens have broken the law. That many come here seeking a better way of life is irrelevant. All criminals want a better way of life and see their crimes as a means to that end. It’s no excuse.

By: Rick Moran at 7:34 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (13)