Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Immigration Storm Clouds Gathering

The summer months in the desert Southwest are a mixture of blistering hot days followed by the methodical rolling-in of the thunderheads in the afternoon; bringing lightning, thunder and rain to the parched earth.

As I was watching a storm roll through the city today, the immigration reform issue came to my mind. (Really...) I have a habit of googling 'immigration' in their news section to see if anything new has popped up. I've noticed an uptick of articles over the past months and was drawn again to the fact that storm clouds are gathering in the horizon.

The Republicans are searching for their next issue to divide Americans and it looks like immigration will be at the top of their list. Rumblings of thunder below the fold...

For starters, I've got Georgia on my mind:

During the last primary campaign for the U.S. Senate, the three Republican candidates - Johnny Isakson, Herman Cain and Mac Collins - each visited the Daily Post to speak with reporters and editors. At each session, the candidate was asked the following: "What is the No. 1 issue on the minds of Georgia voters?" All three candidates gave the same answer: immigration. [snip]

Immigration, it seems, has become a touchy subject in some quarters. Nothing else will have greater impact on the future of our nation. Yet when it comes time to have substantive discussion, many would rather not. Perhaps they fear not being "politically correct." Perhaps they fear being labeled "racist." Perhaps they don't want to disturb an inexpensive labor force. Perhaps the politicians don't want to alienate a voting bloc. [snip]

Adding to the frustration is that many come here illegally. Without proper documentation, they skirt the laws the rest of us are expected to follow. Some U.S. citizens see the influx as a threat to their way of life. The Post receives more letters concerning immigration than any other topic.

Clearly, U.S. immigration policy is waffling in the wind. We have laws we don't enforce. We have borders we do not patrol. We have an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants in this country. It seems we're stymied for fear of being regarded as politically incorrect.
At all levels of government, the issue of immigration needs to be outed. Leaders and citizens of our cities, counties, states and the nation should discuss problems and solutions. We need to face the problem head-on. Immigration is no place for kid gloves.

Gwinnett Daily Post - GA (emphasis mine)

Or how about this flash of lightning from my home state. Are you ready for Goldwater V2.0?:

Republican Party activist Don Goldwater announced his candidacy Tuesday for governor in 2006, sounding some of the same conservative themes once heard from his uncle, 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.

"The state is headed in the wrong direction," said the 50-year-old candidate. "We must return to the basic principles of limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom."

Goldwater said he would push for tax cuts and school choice and combat illegal immigration. He said he would fully enforce a voter-approved immigration law, including its requirement that voters produce identification at polling places.

He called illegal immigration destructive to the state's health care industry, a burden on public schools and a threat to public safety.

"No longer can we turn a blind eye to illegal immigration, hoping that it will just go away," said Goldwater, who is seeking to unseat first-term Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano. (emphasis mine)

If the Republicans have their way, especially the increasingly nasty strain of Republicans ala Kyl and Cornyn, there will be a modern-day witch hunt in this country with anyone who resembles an immigrant being a target. Mark my words, there is no tin-foil hat on my head.

The Republicans are still trying to craft their response to the immigration "problem". They aren't stupid, they know that their past antics scream of bigotry. They don't want to smell a whiff of racism in their response. It will be devastating towards any inroads they've managed to make with Latinos and other minority groups. They are clearly being careful with this issue:

Two Cabinet members were no-shows yesterday at a U-S Senate committee hearing on immigration.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao canceled their appearance at the hearing focusing on two immigration bills filed in the Senate. One bill is co-sponored by Senator John McCain and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and the other is co-sponsored by Senator Jon Kyl and Senator John Cornyn of Texas.

Aides say Chertoff and Chao will testify later.

"Later" will occur after the Rovian minions have fully calculated their response to the two competing Senate bills on immigration. Will the Democrats be ready to weather the storm? or will they step up to the plate and change the wind?

Crossposted at Booman Tribune

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