"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"Cheap Votes" for "Cheap Labor"

How can you justify marginalizing 70 percent of the electorate who don't want this?

Some weeks ago the White House held a meeting with potential supporters on the hot topic of immigration. It was promoting its "comprehensive" reform package, which combines enhancement of border security with a "guest worker" program that would admit as many new legal immigrants as the market will bear plus an amnesty for illegal immigrants already in the country. (President Bush denies that allowing illegal immigrants to remain and work here is an amnesty, but if it quacks like a duck . . .)

The amnesty and guest workers programs are so unpopular with the public that a skeptic at the White House meeting wondered how this problem would be handled. "We'll marginalize our critics," replied an apparatchik. "Well, it's a little difficult to marginalize 70 percent of the American people," replied the skeptic -- and so it is proving.

Monday's "Washington Post" reported that the White House was suffering anguish because the Republicans in the House, responding to their constituents, intended to vote for a bill that contained measures to improve border security without the guest worker/amnesty parts. The RNC chairman, Ken Mehlman, lamented that such a bill would endanger the GOP's outreach to Latinos.

How can it possibly be electorally disadvantageous to adopt a policy supported by 70 percent of voters in order to win more support from Latinos who constitute less than 8 percent of voters? Even that question understates the absurdity of his argument because, as numerous polls show, Latinos are almost as divided as other Americans about legal and illegal immigration.

A recent Pew survey of Latino attitudes shows most Latinos rank immigration as not a very important issue. But 23 percent of them -- and 34 percent of Latinos born in the United States -- think illegal immigrants hurt the economy by driving down wages. Most surprisingly, a majority of Latinos think legal immigration from Latin America should be reduced (13 percent) or stay the same (43 percent) as opposed to increased (31 percent.)

Almost certainly, those Latinos who either oppose or are indifferent to higher levels of immigration and amnesties are those most likely to vote Republican. So the political effect of Mehlman's argument, if it were to carry the day, would be to dishearten both the potential Republican voters in the Latino community and the non-Latino voters, white and black, who in polls consistently oppose guest worker/amnesty programs and equally consistently support enhanced border security...

The Latino argument provides cover for a policy of giving corporate America and Republican donors what they want -- cheap labor. This smuggling operation is failing, however, because the GOP is divided. GOP donors may want "comprehensive" immigration reform but Republican voters oppose it bitterly.

A bill to enforce immigration control is now making its way through the House. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner's bill was approved last week by the Judiciary Committee. It not only improves security on the border, it also enrolls employers in a system of Social Security verification that will curb illegal employment and makes it easier to deport illegals.

And what will the Democrats get?

Unfortunately for the White House, the Democrats will exact a high price. In effect, they will vote for a "comprehensive" bill only if it allows guest workers and "illegals" to stay indefinitely, get "green cards" and citizenship in a relatively short time, and eventually vote Democrat. They want cheap votes as compensation for giving the GOP and its business allies cheap labor.

Unfortunately big donors have more clout than the average guys that are losing jobs and benefits, whose children are forced to go to increasingly more crowded schools and who have to use a degrading health system in order to benefit those who profit by the tsunami of immigrants pouring unchecked through every point ingress. One does not need another study to feel the effect. Look around at our city streets, emergency rooms, crowded classrooms, and workplaces to grasp the magnitude of the sellout.

End of rant; sorry, I can't help but be outraged!!!


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