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Saturday, June 30, 2007

 
Still more on immigration. US Republican party General Chairman Senator Mel Martinez reportedly


lambasted Democrats and Republicans who helped kill an immigration
bill in the Senate and challenged them to come up with a solution beyond
"just build a fence along the border."

"The voices of negativity now have a responsibility to come up with an answer. ... How will you fix the situation to make peoples' lives better? How will you continue to grow the economy? How will we bring people out of the shadows for our national security and for the sake of being a country that is just?" he demanded.

Martinez was one of the architects of the failed immigration bill. There is a movement to attempt his recall, but there is no provision in either the Constitution or any other law for the recall of Senators. A more proper course of action would be wait until the next election, and on the meantime remove him from leadership of the Republican Party. By that time, the immediate outrage should have faded, and the decision could be made on his overall merits. When he ran for office, he said:

Our immigration policy, however, must first and foremost ensure the
security of our great nation and its citizens. Especially during these
treacherous times, our focus must be on preventing those who would harm us from
entering our country and in providing the resources our border agents need in
order to accomplish this. I oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. I support a plan
that matches workers with needy employers without providing a path to
citizenship. Immigration to this country must always be done through legal
means.

Now, however, he has apparently changed his mind, and considers the 3/4 of the Senators in his own party plus the thousands of constituents who overloaded the Senate phone lines opposing the bill as "voices of negativity". Instead of selling the bill to his colleagues, according to Senator Reid he cooperated in an attempt to ram the bill through without giving other Senators a chance to properly examine it.

An article on the Daily Kos suggested:

The bill had plenty of built-in reasons to wish for its failure, including
increasing demands for ugly impractical barriers along the border, the
institution of a second-class citizenry, and little to nothing to address the
underlying problems. Ironically, the bill's defeat was ensured by
Republicans who were convinced that none of these measures were tough enough.
They (as suggested by host Michael Feldman on the radio show Whatd'ya
Know), want to build a Great Wall of Mexico, looked over by the Colossus of
Dobbs.

If the Democratic Party doesn't continue to put forward solutions -- say a package that includes higher rates of immigrations, sharply higher quotas for Central America, a clear path to citizenship, and enforcement that focuses on industries flaunting the current law -- this issue may fade into the background of a political season that's bound to be, once again, dominated by concerns over Iraq.
Both Martinez and the Democratic left are caricaturing the opposition to the immigration bill. While there are some opponents of the bill who are indeed racist, there are others who believe that a fence is necessary but not sufficient. There are other reasons to oppose the bill as it was proposed. Many citizens remember the 1986 "one time" amnesty program enacted under Ronald Reagan, and have seen that it did not solve the illegal immigration problem. Many have observed that the Border Patrol is undermanned, undermanned, and unsupported; legal immigrants have a hard time getting their paperwork through; and laws prohibiting the hiring of illegal immigrants are poorly enforced. There is a widespread impression that a border fence already approved and funded by Congress is not being built As a result, they do not trust that a shiny new government program to give the illegal immigrants a fast track to citizenship will be either fair or workable. Furthermore, as opponents struggled against the bill, there were claims circulating that the votes of some proponents were essentially bought and paid for by businessmen who benefit from illegal immigrant labor. The effort to identify them and who their sources were has apparently (and unfortunately) been dropped.

I also ought to mention, concerning the war in Iraq, for anyone who remembers hearing of "Tokyo Rose" from World War II, that US Soldiers fighting in Iraq are hearing the same things ... from our own media.


Comments:
Thank GOD for the Republican Party and talk radio. I've always voted democratic in the past. Never again. I am now a Independent and will vote for Republican candidates in future elections. I know in my heart there are a lot more people making changes. Your party voted the hearts of the American people.
Comm0n sense Americans know our legal immigration quotas are generous. If AMNESTY is given, the year 2027, 50 million will be in line.
If terrorism is real, build the fence/secure the borders. Enforce the 1986 law, on Legal Immigration. Millions have died protecting this country from the outside. Let's not destroy it from the inside.
 
Although I am generally politically conservative and tend to align with the Republican party, one might be surprised to find me agreeing on some issues with those who are more politcially liberal. Neither party has a monopoly on truth or justice.

I've mentioned the so-called one-time amnesty in 1986. I suspected then that it wouldn't solve the broblem, because illegal immigration would continue and in a few more years, there would be pressure to declare another amnesty, and so on, and so on.

Race has nothing to do with it, in my view. Willingness to respect and abide by the laws of the country in which you live does, and those who enter illegally already have one strike against them.
 
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