Strange political days have dawned when I turn on my car radio, hear arch-conservative Michael Savage ranting about how awful it would be to give amnesty to twelve million illegal aliens, and say to myself, Right on, Michael!
Like I’ve said before, the right is right on immigration reform. And by “right,” I mean the rightest of the right. Not the Arlen Specter sort of Senate moderates, but the fire breathing House Republicans like Dana Rohrabacher who said people should be able to “smell the foul odor that’s coming out of the U.S. Senate.”
It is indeed foul when Democrats abandon their historic concern for middle class working people and align themselves with business interests eager to continue paying sweatshop wages to illegal aliens rather than hire Americans at whatever salary an illegal-less workforce would demand.
When George Bush and Howard Dean are on the same page, you know that someone powerful is running the political printing press. And that is: corporations.
Having already outsourced millions of middle class jobs overseas in a quest to fatten their bottom line, corporations are dead set on continuing to insource a limitless supply of foreign workers willing to work for less than American citizens would demand.
It’s disgusting that the Dems and moderate Republicans have sold out to political pollsters who lust after the steadily growing Hispanic voting bloc. It’s rare that I’ll say anything good about right-wing Republicans, but on this issue they’re standing firm on principles that deserve to be defended. Like…
--You don’t reward sneaking across the border illegally with amnesty and American citizenship.
--You don’t undercut minimum wage laws and normal workforce supply and demand by artificially inflating the supply of foreign workers willing to work for a pittance.
--You don’t encourage an influx of more illegal aliens by saying, in effect: “We didn’t really mean to enforce our old laws, so you can assume that we won’t bother to enforce this new law either.”
Plus, I’m an avid environmentalist. If you read the cover story of TIME this week, you’ll know that global warming is here. It’s real, it means business, and it’s no joke. The United States has the biggest ecological footprint of any country on the planet. Meaning, on average each American screws up the Earth environmentally much more than a person elsewhere does.
To save the Earth, we don’t need more wasteful Americans. We need fewer. Or at least, the fewer the better. Turning twelve million Mexicans into American citizens isn’t a good thing for the planet. If some of them are needed here temporarily, fine. A minimal guest worker program might make sense.
But not wholesale amnesty. Seal up the borders. Enforce our immigration laws. Make businesses pay big-time if they hire illegals.
Progressives, I just ask you to consider this bizarre possibility: sometimes the right is right.
[Next day update: Over on Right Democrat, "Illegal immigration and the cheap labor lobby" agrees with my position and says some nice things about my own post above. Right Democrat says that I make a "strong and well-reasoned progressive case against illegal immigration." Gosh, could I actually be one--a right democrat? Maybe. Sort of sounds like an independent to me, which I definitely am.]
Who's offering immigrants amnesty?
Cuase it sure aint the Senate....
Posted by: true_slicky | April 01, 2006 at 07:36 AM
True Slicky, there's a big debate going on about whether the Senate bill offers amnesty, or not. It's all in how you define the word.
To my mind, if you've come into this country illegally and face deportation, and the government says, "You can stay if you pay $2,000, learn English, and wait a few years," that sure sounds like amnesty to me.
The thing is, the U.S. has done this before. Several times. Illegals are told, "OK. You can stay. But this is the very last time we'll do this." Until the next time. The Senate bill puts out the welcome mat for more illegal immigration, because it rewards those who came into the country illegally.
Posted by: Brian | April 01, 2006 at 12:56 PM
Amnesty means pardon. What more discussion do we need?
Twenty years ago, as part of the concerted right-wing attack on the American middle-class and organized labor, Reagan granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
Whats being proposed doesn't match that. Yes, it legalizes their illegal actions- as long as they pay their fines, back taxes, learn English, assimilate in our country. If not, they get the frickin' boot. There is no carte blanche here, no blanket pardon.
Bush's "guest worker" program is a disgusting attack on American workers. And the option of ripping millions of people out of the communitieis that they have since become a part of- not to mention leaving their naturalized American children behind- seems heartless and cruel. Which is why I wonder why you're backing this option.
This bill coming from the Senate Judiciary Committee is mannered and pragmatic, and doesn't give into the polemics on either side.
I mean, when you start nodding in agreement with Michael Frickin' Savage, take a deep breath and gather your thoughts. It's interesting that he spews such anti-immigrant rhetoric. But if you consider that illegals make five percent of the workforce, I wonder just how many are employed at his son's Rock Star energy drink?
Posted by: true_slicky | April 01, 2006 at 06:42 PM
I agree that the borders must be closed
until a reasonable immigration system can
be put in place. Illegals should be deported
but I do not trust these Republicans who
rave on about illegal immigrants. I would
remind you that most of them have voted for
trade agreements like: NAFTA, CAFTA, and
NAFTA needs to be repealed and a mutually
agreeable agreement made-one in the interests of the majority of American
and Mexican people. The present agreement
benefits only the elites of both nations.
I am a Democrat who fought Clinton-Gore
on this and will cooperate with any sane
Americans-right, left or center who favor
Posted by: Bob Hayes | April 27, 2006 at 02:42 PM
You're independent and Right in this case. Keep it up -- we need those who aren't wedded to an ideology or set of talking points.
Anyone who's been to the U.S.-Mexican border knows what a sham the notion of protecting our borders has been -- under every president regardless of party. This border has confounded a war on drugs, a war on poverty, and now a war on terrorism. The problem of course is the Mexican government as much as lax enforcement and employers addicted to cheap labor.
On with the debate!
Posted by: AJ Pegues | May 16, 2006 at 08:32 AM