Friday, August 19

Democrats try to outflank the GOP on immigration.

It seems the Democrats have started to find a voice on an issue. Laura Ingraham had this linked on her site, and her comments are worth reading.
Just as we have been telling you all year long, Democrats are now waking up to the power of the illegal immigration issue. (Okay, except for Howard Dean's typically off-the-mark comment a few weeks back, that the GOP will scapegoat "immigrants" in the next campaign.) Now the proof is in the pudding--it's not enough for Hillary to talk about border enforcement in Iowa, then ignore it altogether at La Raza conventions. And we have seen plenty of Republicans talk about the problem of illegal immigration with no action to back it up. The WSJ's John Fund has an interesting take on the maneuvering.
The truth is that the illegal immigration problem is a problem for all conservatives. Illegal immigration affects security, crime, and the economy. Unlike other, though, I am not advocating reducing the quotas or closing our borders. That would go against the very values on which this nation was founded upon.

First, we need to take steps to help and motivate South and Central American countries to curb corruption. This should be up at the level of human rights issues. After all, if a government cannot provide a secure environment where it's citizens can pursue prosperity and happiness, then these citizens are being denied a human right endowed by their creator. Second, we need to put sanctions in place for those countries that refuse to do anything on their side of the border for the illegal immigration problem. Countries that help control illegal immigration should receive certain benefits and support. Finally, we need to get rid of laws and quotas that prevent a wife to be with his legally immigrated husband, laws that divide hundreds of families, and laws that blindly prevent law abiding, hard working individuals from seeking a better future in America.
The politics of immigration are changing. On Friday Bill Richardson, the nation's only Hispanic governor, declared a "state of emergency" in four New Mexico border counties due to "a chaotic situation involving illegal alien smuggling and illegal drug shipments." His office has pledged $1.5 million for stepped-up law enforcement and also asked Chris Simcox, the president of the volunteer border patrol group Minutemen, for a meeting. Mr. Richardson, a man who wears his ambition for national office on his sleeve, has apparently decided he has to reposition himself on border issues.

He's not the only Democrat to do so. Sen. Hillary Clinton made headlines when she embraced high-tech measures to control the border with Mexico and fines for employers who hire illegal aliens. "Democrats clearly sense frustration on immigration among Bush's base voters and are trying to outflank him rhetorically on the right," says Martha Montelongo, a talk-show hostess in California.

President Bush is vulnerable on immigration. Earlier this summer House Republicans bluntly told him that his proposal to admit guest workers would be dead on arrival unless accompanied by more border enforcement. "All my constituent town meetings want to talk about is immigration and why Washington is still spending so much money," Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas told me. Indeed, 17 of the 37 GOP House and Senate members who responded to a National Journal survey last month identified immigration as the issue "most on the minds" of their constituents. One Republican identified immigration as the issue on which "the mismatch between the federal government's inaction and the realities at home is the greatest."
To the current administration and to the Senators and Legislators, I want to see more action and more results, and less talk and rhetoric.

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