GOP's Low Road On Immigration

APRIL 11, 2011

Republicans in the state Assembly, still high-fiving each other for stopping Jerry Brown’s one proposal that actually made sense (ending redevelopment agencies), congratulated themselves last week for their tough stand on illegal immigration, another foolish decision that flies in the face of the GOP’s free-market rhetoric. Several Assembly members stood on the Capitol steps to embrace a watered-down version of Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal-immigration law.

Predictably, Assembly Bill 26 failed the next morning in the Judiciary Committee, but the Assembly members were able to preen before the TV cameras and play to their base voters. I found the news conference to be crass, illogical and counterproductive. During the rally, the Republicans featured families who were victimized by illegal-immigrant criminals, thus making the not-so-subtle suggestion that Mexican immigrants are a danger to us all. Never mind that crime among Mexican immigrants is lower than crime among the general population – it’s not until the second generation, after the newcomers’ kids are exposed to American values, that the crime rates soar.

The lawmakers at the news conference called for more government spending, tougher police crackdowns, broader forfeiture measures (i.e., the cops can impound your car if you are here illegally), and more punitive regulations targeted at California’s already hard-pressed businesses.

The rally, attended by OC Assembly members Diane Harkey of Dana Point, Don Wagner of Irvine and Allan Mansoor of Costa Mesa, along with Steve Knight of Palmdale, Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks, Shannon Grove of Bakersfield, Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga and Brian Jones of Santee, had an old-fashioned feel, and not in a good way. It was if the state’s massive demographic changes had passed by these lawmakers, and they had no sense of how their rhetoric might sound outside the small world of GOP voters.

AB26 never included the most noxious provision of the Arizona’s SB1070 – and which was blocked by a federal judge – the requirement that police ask for immigration documents if they suspect that a person they stop is here illegally. That would encourage racial profiling for obvious reasons – people of Latino background would be suspect, whereas others won’t be. Police will either engage in profiling or adopt the TSA approach of stopping and harassing everyone. Either tactic is bad.

I’m tired already of all the checkpoints, police cameras, official paperwork, X-ray machines and ID checks. None of this protects any of us, but it does make Americans more sheep-like as government agents exert more control over our lives. Should conservatives, who claim to value freedom and limited government, be pushing this agenda?

While the really bad stuff isn’t in AB26, that doesn’t matter. This proposal was about symbolism. No one thought the bill had any chance of getting to the next step. This was about sending a message to Republican voters. Unfortunately, it broadcast the wrong message to everyone in California.

I was annoyed by the sign, held by an official rally participant, stating that she was happy to show her papers anytime. The featured speaker was Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce, the main backer of SB1070. His involvement made it clear that these Republicans support that law.

Pearce’s rhetoric was harsh, as he hammered businesses for putting “profits over patriotism.” He couldn’t understand why the law was controversial, and said the law separated us into two camps: law keepers and law breakers. It’s clear what category he would put me in.

Despite the Assembly members’ insistence that the state needs more legal immigration, the law they supported did nothing to advance those empty words. It doesn’t address any of the points that defenders of the free market ought to understand.

For starters, the legitimate problems of human trafficking and crime that AB26’s advocates discussed are exacerbated by restrictive immigration laws. Poor people want to come to the United States, mostly to work. It takes so many years to do it the right way that they opt to violate the law. The tougher the U.S. authorities become, the more lucrative it is to smuggle people across the border, which means that the drug cartels and other certified bad guys become more brazen and violent. This is how all black markets work.

Believers in the free marketplace would propose reforms that provide a legal and easy path for willing sellers (laborers) to connect with willing buyers (businesses), either through expanded immigration quotas or a guest-worker program. Believers in limited government would not want to erode civil liberties or expand government power. They would know that business owners can’t control everything that happens in their midst and would not want to make them subject to fines and arrest. They would know that this law imposes more regulations, lawsuits and government inspections.

Latino voter registration is 18 percent Republican, and the state GOP has about 31 percent of all voters statewide. This is a huge problem. I’m not arguing that Latino voters want open borders. But the tone of the news conference highlights what is wrong with the party these days. The GOP needs to express its views in a manner that doesn’t, as the former party chairman recently put it, tell Latino voters that it wants to send their grandmothers back to Mexico.

Republicans – the only serious alternative to a Democratic Party that wants to expand government and raise taxes – need to express a positive agenda that connects with the hopes and aspirations of all Californians, immigrants included. They have a good case to make given how the Democratic agenda of regulation, control, union power, taxation and excessive environmentalism is making it hard for working people to move their way up the economic ladder. It’s OK to make a case for border reform, but who in their right mind thinks that it helps to champion the divisive Arizona approach as the model?

It’s frustrating, but what do you expect from officials who just recently sided with redevelopment bureaucrats who abuse eminent domain and against small property owners?

–Steven Greenhut

No comments

Write a comment
  1. Brittanicus
    Brittanicus 11 April, 2011, 15:10


    In 1986 the Simpson/ Mazzoli bill gave a mass amnesty to every illegal immigrant who settled in America. The need for Guest Workers is one of the most predominant issues allied with the invasion that has taken place in the last thirty years. The Guest Worker has never been obedient with the Dept of Labor regulations since it’s been inundated with fraud. Even after the volume amnesty signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, the opportunists in businesses used their influence to crush the immigration obligations assigned to them. In other words they kept on hiring foreign nationals that was in violation of the law;, the administrations have intentionally overlooked this major problem. The 1986 amnesty allowed the rough figure of 3.5 million, scatter to the four winds leaving the designated farms deserted and the workers joining the main stream work in the cities and communities.

    Even the original process was nothing more than a travesty of the “Rule of Law.” The numbers of the final immigration tally that was given amnesty was around 6 million, with illegal’s coming out of the woodwork brandishing bogus pre-dated utility bills and fraudulent documents accepted by the (INS) Immigration and Naturalization service; that has become (ICE) Immigration & Customs Service on September 11, 2001. All evidence that an foreigner was in the U.S. for a certain amount of time, or performed a certain number of days of field labor, was abridged to guarantee that all persons could qualify. INS offices were told to accept little more than scribbled copies of handwritten receipts and affidavits from so-called “people” (Not family members) who could attest that the applicant lived or worked for a certain amount of time somewhere in the US. Businesses and their lawyers have colluded with in killing any oversight of the majority of Guest Worker processes that have imported less capable, less skilled into America. Annually without public knowledge at least a million and a half semi-skilled workers (six stealth amnesties) come legally to America, which is a sell out to our own people.

    Document mills sprung up countrywide, offering receipts and affidavits to help demonstrate your eligibility for amnesty and eligibility for a green card; this was one of the biggest contradictions to our laws, which should never have happened, nor happen again. Farms and agriculture by law are supposed to provide for the Guest Worker and the family, but instead when sick or injured the burden falls as usual on the taxpayer. For the children of Guest Workers born in the United States they become instant citizens and the American taxpayer only has to read the Pdf file “Illegal Aliens and American Medicine.”

    Even more than Medicare for seniors, Medicaid has become a giant financial anvil around taxpayers’ necks that new citizen children of illegal parents use. Somewhere between 200.000 and 250.000 children of illegal alien parents receive citizenship annually. This is outside the fiscal nightmare of mandatory education that is cramming our classrooms of these children having no conception of English. The neglect of American students is happening nationwide, because teachers are forced to fritter more attention to their learning of non-citizen foreigners. The consequences of that are thousands more teachers must be hired, with means more taxes extracted from us all. This procedure is habitual of dumping illegal alien workers in the emergency rooms, that has become a uncontrollable expenditure, adding to the near 15 Trillion deficit and yet another burden on US taxpayers. We can alway use exceptionally talented workers, but what we don’t need is the push of other governments poor and desperate who end up in our welfare lines.

    Certainly not something the Liberal press will release to the public at large. Technology today has far surpassed the copy machines and document mills of the late 60’s. Any new immigration amnesty which includes Senator Harry Reid’s “Dream Act”, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, would be hard to control without state of the art innovations. The 20 million plus who are already illegally here would place America’s future in jeopardy, because of the Liberal Democrat agenda or Republicans ravenous need for cheap labor, crushing even more the legitimate lower income US job seeker. Hundreds of thousands of American less educated manual jobs have been displaced by illegal aliens. Not racial prejudice that Liberals cry out continuously, but a genuine need for jobs for Americans born here or legitimate permanent residents. For the two principle parties it’s about votes and profits.

    This is where the TEA PARTY of the American people step up to the dais, and no more Club Republican elite or Liberal Progressives using “Political Correctness” tripe to divert the laws of this country. No matter what the majority Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says or Sen. Reid, the TEA PARTIES influence attributed to the lowering of the debt ceiling by 38 billion dollars. Not enough for sure, but better than nothing at all. Now the TEA PARTY will demand that a new mandated E-Verify becomes a main enforcement tool, followed closely by policing law 287 (g) and Secure Communities. E-Verify would used in audits to detect illegal workers, already working and those about to be hired. With extreme pressure on businesses that try to avoid the law, with chronic penalties of fines, business assets and licensing evoked and prison;

    The TEA PARTY is no longer a few loosely unorganized groups as tired, Sen. Harry Reid wheezes-out, but a giant mobilized machine of propagating power. Next to keep the Republican on its tracks is the budget of 2012, beginning with cutting government agencies, stopping the shadow Liberals overspending, not retreating from re-analyzing the unfair treaties of NAFTA and CAFTA for the American consumer and above all else, to enforce all requirement of National Security. Which means the–REAL–fence to protect America from people and drug smuggling? THIS IS THE PEOPLE’S WAR, THAT WE ALL MUST DEFEND AGAINST THE GREED, CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON AND THE ROT THAT IS DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY FROM WITHIN. Illegal Immigration effects jobs of the lowest paid, taxes, our schools, health care and growing irreversible OVERPOPULATION.

    Immigration news: Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would increase border security and strengthen interior enforcement. The Keeping the Pledge on Immigration Act of 2011 (H.R.1274) requires the US Government to deploy national guard troops to the border and includes the CLEAR Act that requires cooperation between the federal government and state and local law agencies in the enforcement of immigration laws. Learn more from NUMBERSUSA. Start calling your federal and local politician to be found in the blue pages of your phone directory and demand they co-sponsor H.R.1274. Don’t let illegal aliens spend your taxes anymore?

    Immediate Red flag news: The 9th circuit court in the Sanctuary city of San Francisco that is hated appeals court by patriotic Americans, as its overrun by activist judges (Liberal Progressives) has blocked major sections of the strict Arizona illegal immigration law. Throw out all the pro-illegal immigrant politicians, Governors, Mayors, Police Chiefs and councilors and city managers in the streets.

    ATTN: Rising gas prices are not the main cause of this issue. Speculators are having a great deal to do with insidious problem. We can aid in stopping these incorrigible hikes, by cutting back usage; if not a priority DO NOT DRIVE! My relative in Los Angeles says he cannot afford the $4.11 cents at the pump, so he is joining a group of men driving to work and sharing the ride. He has joined “Netflix” for watching movies, instead of the outrageous price at the box office. He earns good money as a graphic artist, but says with a family of three, he needs to cut down on his driving habits.

    NO Copyright, ever! Distribute freely.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

In Memory Of A Budget

Katy Grimes: Since the new Legislature received Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal on January 10, many have been expecting legislators

Auditing the state of our government

Feb. 21, 2010 A new report from the California State Auditor should throw cold water on those who believe that

Californians fleeing our lovely state

Oct. 1, 2012 By Steven Greenhut SACRAMENTO — Not long ago, I penned a case for staying in California, arguing