Immigration -The debate continues and a Plea to the Hardliners
Called as Seen has two great post. First a Post on Pat Buchanan's new book about the problem. That post is called aptly in my view: The Right's "Earth in the Balance". I thinks it is apt because some of the scare theories I have been having hearing from the extreme hardline folks is much like what I hear from Al Gore on the environment.
A second important post Called As Seen has done this today again shows why the arguments against President Bush's plan are misleading. I think it poinsts out some important truths.
Also I urge you to examine this post on the consequences of this no compromise approach. You see besides the 200,000 Irishmen that are here illegally there are ton of people from China. Many overstayed visas because of the obvious problems of living under that regime. Well China will it appears will not accept any of the illegals here unless we turn over the people that are politcal dissidents too. Go to Wild Turkey's Forum for the article and the discussion. Again, this problem is complex.
I agree with all of these post 100 percent.
A couple of points. I am a subscriber to several email blasts that the hardline uses to get their message out. I keep hearing it is the House Bill versus the Senate bill. Of course this is misleading. There are things in the Senate bill that of course need to be taken out. Everyone knows though that the legislators will not have such a stark choice just between the two bill as in present form. The key was to get something to a conference committee. What comes out of there will look nothing like the Senate bill. That is reality and this current argument that is going around saying otherwise is pretty false and misleading. At the end of the day the House as well as the Senate have to give an up and down vote on what comes out.
Second we must look at the political considerations. I have always said that the hardliners are playing this immigration poker game with a extremely weak hand. It seems their is a view that the Republicans and conservatives will hold the House forever and thus be able to stall this forever or be able to get what they want once they have their people in the Senate. This is folly. There is a reasonable chance that the House will change hands this year. I didn't say likely but it is the wind. What happened down in Texas regarding Delay's seat this past week didn't help matters.
If people don't like dealing with House Republicans on immigration then they are going to hate what a House controlled by the Dems will actually produce. In other words, by refusing to compromise, a bill that is way too liberal on immigration reform could get out. Right down, the House Repubs have leverage to have their concerns heard. That leverage will disappear if the House Dems take over. That is the natural consequence of a "My way or the Highway" approach". The question is if that happens what will the President Bush do in this situation? I suspect that the way he has been treated by the hardliners, there is a good chance he will tell them to go take a flying leap in the lake. If they don't like it they can take it up with him at his Presidential Library in the near future.
Lastly, Republicans and conservatives must now look at the long term political cost of the moves we are about to make. Most hispanics and Latinos in this country believe in border security and ending the illegal immigration problem. However, as I feared the message and the marketing of the "hardline" approach has gotten out of hand. Hispanics and Latinos that actually shared the concerns of many of the hardliners are starting to turn against conservatives and Republicans. Who can blame them. There are many illegals that of course need to be deported. For instance the criminals and the people that leach off the system etc. However, the anti Hispanic and Mexican rethoric has just gotten out of hand. They are all called invaders, parasites, diseases carriers, not loyal, are involved in secret plots to take over, don't share our values etc. What once was said by the extreme is now becoming part of the mainstream debate. In a word a whole culture and ethnicity seems to be under attack. There have been warning signs of this. Hispanic Republicans have voiced concerns that they don't seem to be wanted anymore. When politicians listen to those concerns it is arrogantly called "hispandering". That is nonsense. I am a big supporter of Israel. I think it is prper to listen to concerns of the Jewish community. Should we call that "Jewpandering"? Of course not, and again shows that the term is both insulting and incorrect. The Republicans and conservatives need to show desperately that they can listen and be reasonable on this immigration issue.
The point is that we are not dealing with a people that is similar to a tribe of people that have been isolated from the modern World like we find in jungles of Brazil. We are dealing with a people that are products of Western Civilization. I find it shocking at times that decendants of Italians and Irish as well as the Eastern Europeans do not look at the state of affairs of the countries that their ancestors came from. In my view it was not much different.
In the end is this fact. Conservatives and Republicans will not hold the Government forever. If we are seen as uncompromising on this issue and refuse to listen to valid concerns then the democrats will take advantage of it in the future. What shall be produced will make the Senate bill look like Nivernia in retrospect.
There are valid concerns about such issues as wages, border security, assimilation ,etc. I share those concerns. However those valid conserns will not be listened to in the future by other parties if this "My way or the Highway approach" that is embraced by the Tancredo faction is allowed to continue. Again some conservatives are playing poker with a very weak hand. The Democrats know that the typical hardliner on immigration will never be their voter. I think that is pretty apparent. If they take power there will be no listening to the valid concerns that groups like the minutemen have such as I listed above. Republicans and conservatives must act now and get a bill passed this year.
In essence it comes down to this. Many Republicans both elected and just average folks that believe in a comprehensive approach have had many false charges leveled against us. We have been accused of being involved with some open borders lobby, of being involved in secret neo con plots, of being shrills for big business , etc. The problem is that many now seem to believe the propaganda that they have been promoting . Most people like myself want the illegal immigration problem to be ended. We want real border security border. In this post 9-11 world who doesn't? We have concerns about a orderly immigration process and assimilation. We have concerns about the local communities that are struggling with social services that relate to this issue. However, we also have concerns that countless millions of familes that will be broken up. That familes will have absent fathers and mothers. Those are real problems that the extreme fails to look at. A situation that could cause real social and economic problems for the future. For those that follow the Tancredo approach, the choice is clear. Deal with us or deal later with people that might be in control that will be a lot less receptive to listening your views and concerns. We in effect are not going away. We have valid moral , economic, and social concerns. I shall not sell my soul and agree to a massive deportation or starve familes till the illegal member of that family unit leaves. Thus still creating dire economic straits for those family members that are American. To my fellow conservatives and republicans. We believe in 80 percent of the same things on this issue. Compromise on the other 20 now or risk getting nothing in the future. That is the political reality.
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