This being the holiday season, a time of brotherhood and good will, I’ve been searching my progressive soul for any political common ground that I have with the right-wing in America.
I’ve been listening more than I usually do to Tony Snow, Sean Hannity, Lars Larson, and Victoria Taft (a local Portland rightie) as I cruise around in my progressively pure Toyota Prius, wishing that I could harness the hot air emanating over the radio waves for even greater mileage.
There’s one issue—only one—that makes me nod in agreement when I hear it discussed on the conservative talk shows: immigration reform. Not Bush’s weenie guest worker version, but the hardass lock up the borders and send illegals home variety.
When I read, “Republicans ready to turn the screw on immigration,” I say “Go for it!” One group of House Republicans wants, among other things, to build a 2,000 mile fence along the Mexico-U.S. border, stop granting citizenship to U.S. born children of illegal immigrants, and require employers to verify that their employees are legal workers.
Sounds good to me. Sometimes the right is actually right. Progressives should support this tough immigration reform legislation, even if most on the left will have different reasons for liking it.
I agree with the folks at the Carrying Capacity Network who say that immigration reduction is key to stabilizing our country’s population, which in turn is the foundation for solving our environmental, energy, and social problems in a sustainable fashion.
The Center for Immigration Studies recently released a study which found that more immigrants came into the United States since 2000 than in any other five-year period in the nation’s history. And almost half, 3.7 million, entered illegally. That’s scary.
SUSPS, a network of Sierra Club activists who disagree with the Club’s blasé attitude toward population growth, say “no to racism, yes to environmentalism.” Their desire to drastically reduce immigration, like mine, stems almost entirely from ecological concerns.
I don’t like Michael Savage’s Borders, Language, and Culture jingoish mantra. I’m not interested in keeping America pure. I want American to be livable. I want America to consume a smaller percentage of the Earth’s non-renewable resources. I want America to embrace a philosophy of sustainability rather than mortgage the future for current economic growth.
None of those wants is going to happen unless this nation’s population growth gets under control. And SUSPS points out that immigration is the largest factor contributing to that growth.
So for once I agree with the most rabid right-wingers in Congress on an issue. Miracles do happen.