Jun 29 2006
The results of the Utah-3 primary cannot be dismissed by the hard line immigration folks on the far right. The Utah-3 district is a highly conservative district which reflects the best the ‘punish the immigrant worker’ side could hope for. If the Tancredo diatribes were so popular in conservative circles, and if the issue was of such driving importance, the results would have shown it. The claim the far right has made that this issue is hot and trumps all else fizzled in the reality of the turnout and results. If the issue was of such burning importance, no amount of mistakes by Jacob or incumbency by Cannon would have held back such a wave. And if people were up in arms about the Bush comprehensive proposal – which includes border protection, cracking down on employers and a guest worker program to entice people out from underground and into the light of a documented (and background checked) jobs – President Bush’s support for Cannon would have been a negative.
But no such wave exists. The right is clearly not burning with a desire to deport or push people here out to make a living. They are not dying to see a series of Elian Gonzales stories every night for a decade while the US wastes time finding simple people raising a family and dumping them across our borders. And more importantly, the people know the problem is less about wage pressure and all about the fact illegal immigration is the perfect avenue and hide-out for terrorists trying to reach our shores to kill us en masse.
When the far right left us unprotected to terrorist infiltration to make what can only be seen as a petulant political statement they destroyed their cause and case. Terrorism energized interest in doing something drastic about illegal immigrants. The hard liners squandered this force behind the new interest and basically dismissed it – leaving them worse off than when it all started.
Last night on The O’Reilly Factor White House Spokesman Tony Snow identified all the efforts and results President Bush’s administration have accomplished in this area. If someone can find the transcript I would appreciate it. But the list was impressive. (1) The administration has spent more on border issues than the House proposed in their DOA felony-immigrant Bill. (2) The number of illegal immigrants crossing has been dropping steadily since 2001 (and there is clear evidence in this from reports I have seen that seasonal workers are not returning for work in California). (3) The number of cross border incursions are down. (4) The crime rate in the immigrant communities is now lower than the national average (probably because people know an arrest can lead to deportation). And my guess is the number of employers being charged is way up.
What this means is simple: the House has accomplished nothing and Bush has accomplished a lot. All talk and no results equals irrelevancy. Leaving us un-protected to show off how stubborn the far right is means we cannot trust these people to take our security seriously since they are obviously willing to play political games with human safety. This is why the far right has irreperably hurt their cause.
Results are everything. And now they are in. Bush has a plan that has broad acceptance – including inside the vast immigrant community which is key to a successful path without diverting law enforcement away from watching out for terrorist attacks. He has tamped down the flow of immigrants and enforced the laws. And the House has nothing. Not even an easy win in an election tailored made to show off how much burning support Tancredo’s Taunters have. We have open boarders left that way by a political group obsessed with fear about the possibility today’s immigrants may become US citizens in 10-15 years. Terrorists today are the issue, not who may become a US citizen in 2016 and beyond.