I remember back in the late 1950s when I was a little hillbilly child and the old folks wuz watchin’ civil rights marches on the TV, an’ they’d look at each other real scared like, an’ say that Martin Luther King is gonna show up here some day. And then they’d all turn whiter than they already were.
Somehow, the reaction on the Right Blogosphere to the immigration marches reminded me of that. Michelle Malkin must’ve changed her pants a dozen times today.
See, what’s got them really scared is that Democrats are talking to the marchers. Dems are even recruiting voters from among the marchers. Michelle is hollering about voter fraud, because, you know, the only people who join those marches are illegal aliens.
When Anna Salazar was first dating her husband, Roberto, it didn’t occur to her to ask his immigration status.
By the time the California native learned Roberto was an illegal immigrant, it didn’t make a difference: She had met the love of her life. Now — five years, a Valentine’s Day wedding and two baby boys later — they are facing Roberto’s deportation to Mexico and a possible 10-year exile from the country where he has lived since he was 8. …
… Sensenbrenner’s bill would build 700 miles of fencing along the border and have Anna Salazar, too, charged with an aggravated felony — “harboring” her undocumented husband. She could face more than a year in prison, loss of her children to foster care during that time and forfeiture of her assets. [link]
Oh, wait …
Righties can’t wrap their heads about the fact that huge numbers of native born Americans are personally connected to “illegals.” Dr. Atrios has photographs of the immigration rally in Philadelphia that brings this point home. Families are terrified they are going to be torn apart. Citizens of the United States are begging their government not to deport their parents or grandparents, or wives, or husbands, or siblings.
What does “liberty” mean if you aren’t free to be with the people you love?
The fact that the Dems are recruiting at these protests isn’t a surprise. It fits into their big picture of race and politics (which is why the flyer’s visual puts Texas and Mexico together [Note: the protest under discussion was in Texas -- maha]). The Democrats classify people based upon race and then work to corner the racial voting collectives.
I’ve yet to understand how the Dems manage to corner a “voting collective” without putting microchips in people’s heads. But Republicans, as you know, never use racially targeted campaigns to win votes. They didn’t do it here, either.
I haven’t written much about immigration because I haven’t seen any proposals that I’m entirely comfortable with. “Guest worker” programs were a disaster for Europe, which makes me wonder why we’re even talking about them. Certainly we have to gain control of our borders, for our own security. And Paul Krugman wrote in his March 27 column —
…many of the worst-off native-born Americans are hurt by immigration — especially immigration from Mexico. Because Mexican immigrants have much less education than the average U.S. worker, they increase the supply of less-skilled labor, driving down the wages of the worst-paid Americans. The most authoritative recent study of this effect, by George Borjas and Lawrence Katz of Harvard, estimates that U.S. high school dropouts would earn as much as 8 percent more if it weren’t for Mexican immigration.
That’s why it’s intellectually dishonest to say, as President Bush does, that immigrants do ”jobs that Americans will not do.” The willingness of Americans to do a job depends on how much that job pays — and the reason some jobs pay too little to attract native-born Americans is competition from poorly paid immigrants.
But there are undocumented workers already here, and undocumented workers are underpaid and exploited workers. I hate the fact that “The System” turns a blind eye to some portion of illegals because, you know, we need those people to pick fruit and watch the kids. I hate the fact that the burden of law falls heavier on the workers than on the employers who exploit them. And breaking up families is unspeakably cruel.
My solution would involve slowing the flow of immigration by prosecuting and severely punishing employers who knowingly hire illegals to avoid complying with wage and hour laws. But for people already here, especially people who have been here for years and who have loved ones — friends and family — who are citizens, it should be possible for them to stop hiding and to fully integrate with this nation, of which they are already a part. If that’s amnesty, then I guess I’m for amnesty.
Gebe Martinez of the Houston Chronicle reports that some Republicans are uneasy with their party’s “get tough” approach.
When the U.S. House passed a bill in December making it a felony to be in the country illegally, the ”get-tough” message became the flash point that has drawn millions of protestors into the streets.
With the Senate failing last week to finish a bill that would have rejected some of the harshest language in the House version, Republicans are expressing regret that the punitive House measure stands as the most recent congressional action on immigration.
I ‘spect there are a few who will regret it even more in November.