The debate over reforming immigration laws has brought out the ugly in people. I’m all for enforcing the law, but this debate isn’t about law. It’s not about cheap labor. It’s about class warfare, something that allows a vocal chunk of morons to launch some bigotry under the guise of defending security.
I listen to talk radio because I like to hear conversation. I tune into to NPR, Air
In standing up to illegal immigrants, I’ve heard people from the area and across the country regard the majority Mexican illegal population as vermin, accusing them of “overrunning” schools and hospitals, devouring economic and social resources, and bringing disease to the country. The leader of the Minuteman effort, for one, said this weekend that we are being “invaded” and illegal immigration threatens our national sovereignty. I’ve heard claims for over a year that Al-Qaeda are sneaking across the border from disguised as Mexicans in order to work in construction, pile up cheap explosives, and detonate a coordinated large-scale truck bombing in major cities across the country. And this is from Limbaugh and Hannity, not local crackpots. I don’t begrudge their anger at law-breaking, no matter what I might think of the intent and execution of those laws. But there’s no justification for this kind of discourse or for the hosts allowing it to air. Worse, it only encourages some dumbass to kill hisself some fer’iners.
The conservative hosts are in a pickle over immigration debate; they commonly preach self-determination to the small businessman, but they risk losing that core audience when they rail against the workforce on which many of them rely. Senator Feinstein of
The conservatives run a big risk by taking a strong stand against an open border. They need minority votes to hold onto the Congress, they risk support of even greater federalism (the antithesis of conservatism), and they inch closer to the stereotype that they care only about white folks. Democrats, likewise, want to appear string on national security without spooking the downtrodden, their poster children.
There’s a smart way to handle this problem, and it requires maturity and consideration. Unlike foreign policy, this is right up Bush’s alley. He lived and governed in
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Condi Rice on the war on terror: "I know we've made tactical errors, thousands of them I'm sure. But when you look back in history, what will be judged will be, did you make the right strategic decisions."