same difference

Senator Obama to the National Council of La Raza:

That’s what’s at stake this November. This election is nothing less than a test of our allegiance to the American Dream. And it’s a test of our commitment to all those who are counting on us to keep that Dream alive – the people you serve every day.

The 12 million people in the shadows, the communities taking immigration enforcement into their own hands, the neighborhoods seeing rising tensions as citizens are pitted against new immigrants…they’re counting on us to stop the hateful rhetoric filling our airwaves – rhetoric that poisons our political discourse, degrades our democracy, and has no place in this great nation. They’re counting on us to rise above the fear and demagoguery, the pettiness and partisanship, and finally enact comprehensive immigration reform.

There’s nothing wrong with requiring local, state, and federal governments to enforce existing immigration laws.  While there will always be those who oppose all immigration due to their own racial prejudices, that doesn’t represent the majority of those who support border enforcement and the rule of law.  Both McCain and Obama tend to blur the lines here by using the word immigrants instead of illegal immigrants. Those two terms are not the same.  I’m all in favor of legal immigration.  Most Americans support legal immigration.  We oppose people breaking the law to enter this country.  No apology should be necessary for that.

He continues:

Now, I know Senator McCain used to buck his party on immigration by fighting for comprehensive reform – and I admired him for it. But when he was running for his party’s nomination, he abandoned his courageous stance, and said that he wouldn’t even support his own legislation if it came up for a vote.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time for a President who won’t walk away from something as important as comprehensive reform when it becomes politically unpopular. And that’s the commitment I’m making to you. I marched with you in the streets of Chicago. I fought with you in the Senate for comprehensive immigration reform. And I will make it a top priority in my first year as President. Not just because we need to secure our borders and get control of who comes into our country. And not just because we have to crack down on employers abusing undocumented immigrants. But because we have to finally bring those 12 million people out of the shadows.

Yes, they broke the law. And we should not excuse that. We should require them to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for citizenship – behind those who came here legally. But we cannot – and should not – deport 12 million people. That would turn American into something we’re not; something we don’t want to be.

Both John McCain and Barack Obama are skilled at telling groups like La Raza what they want to hear about comprehensive immigration reform.  McCain may have fooled Barack Obama when he said all that stuff about securing the borders first, but everyone who was paying attention knew McCain didn’t really change his position on this.   You don’t co-sponsor a comprehensive immigration bill with Ted Kennedy, knowing the political fallout from that, without buying into the concept.

We can’t deport 12 million people.  No one is saying that we can.  But we should start by strengthening existing laws and tightening employer verification rules.  Those are good first steps.  Which of these men would support these provisions without adding the path to citizenship part to their new comprehensive immigration plan?  My guess is that neither man would.  If Senator Obama is serious about making enforcement of current laws part of his strategy to combat illegal immigration, then he might want to lay off some of his own derogatory rhetoric toward ICE — who he accused of “terrorizing communities” earlier in his remarks to La Raza  — because he will need their help with that.

i agree

Rich Lowry on the immigration deal:

It might be the fate of President Bush to be remembered as the emblem of an Age of Cynicism, when — despite many encouraging economic and social indicators — we experienced a deep public funk, driven by the feeling that government couldn’t be trusted to do anything, at least not well.

This is the spirit that more than anything else brought down (for now) the Senate’s Grand Compromise on immigration. It wasn’t Bush’s declining clout or raging xenophobia so much as the collective grassroots reply to the White House’s detailed explications of the enforcement provisions in the bill: “We simply don’t believe you.”

His administration had made no appreciable attempt to enforce immigration laws until recently. A government can’t ignore its own laws without creating deep suspicions about its motives. Then there was the question of capability. At the same time the administration was maintaining it could process at least 12 million illegal immigrants into a complex path to citizenship, it couldn’t even manage to issue passports in a timely manner when new regulations passed in 2004 came into effect.

It’s just that simple — if we are not enforcing current laws, why should we believe that any new laws would be enforced? There were some tough measures in the immigration bill that we could point to and admit that they were a step in the right direction. But words without action mean nothing. That’s what we are seeing from the Senate and the White House. They say that we are all wrong and that all these triggers will ensure that nobody gets amnesty (whatever the current definition of that word is). I don’t really see how that Z-visa amounts to anything else, when it can be renewed indefinitely.

Let’s assume for a minute that they were serious about enforcing the new laws. Even with the 10-12 million illegals already here, we don’t have the resources to do anything about those people. Yet we want to dump millions more on another overworked and overstretched bureaucracy. This makes absolutely no sense to me. We don’t have to deport them all, but we have to start somewhere. The madness must stop, and Congress can begin winning our trust back by sending up an enforcement-only bill first. Otherwise, we will remain skeptical of the need for the kind of comprehensive immigration reform the President and his Senate accomplices want to sell us.

mostly dead

Thanks to the conservatives who cared enough to tell the Republican minority how they felt about this immigration bill (and thanks also to the non-clueless senator from SC), the Republicans summoned enough votes to kill this bill. This battle is over for now, but we have to keep our eyes open, because this won’t be the end of proposals like this. John McCain is lucky to have such a loyal friend in Lindsey Graham, but they are both going down with this ship. It’s difficult to be angry with someone who votes on principle, even if they have a position totally different than yours.  However, it is never smart to vote in opposition to a large majority of your constituents (as Graham did) and expect anything good to come of that.  Like I said before, Lindsey Graham is a reliable conservative vote on most of the issues that are important to South Carolinians. But the way he and some of his colleagues have handled criticism on this legislation is unacceptable, and we really need to think about whether he deserves our continued support.

The incredible arrogance of the President of the United States, Trent Lott, John McCain, and others supporting this comprehensive immigration bill is stunning. It shouldn’t be.  We shouldn’t need any more proof that the Republican leadership doesn’t care what we think most of the time, and it takes a massive effort on our part to get them to pay attention. In a way, this is a good thing, because we need to care more about where Congress is taking our country. 

This is not about wanting to deport 11,12 million illegals.  Everyone knows this is impossible. What we can do right now is enforce current laws and finish that border fence. If there is a proven continuing commitment to border enforcement, then maybe we can talk about guest worker programs — but there is no reason to believe that the federal government or Congress has any intention to secure our borders.

There is a huge disconnect between D.C. elitists and the conservative base in the Republican party, which was highlighted by this struggle over immigration. They have decided that they know what’s best for all of us, and if we don’t agree with them, we must be uninformed. If they keep up this arrogant attitude, they shouldn’t expect our money, our support, or our votes.  But they don’t need us, right?


that didn’t go very well

This hasn’t been a good week for Senator John McCain and his pal Senator Lindsey Graham.  After McCain’s stronger showing at the 2nd debate, his campaign was on the rebound.  The timing of this announced deal on “comprehensive immigration reform” couldn’t be any worse for him, and standing next to Ted Kennedy and Arlen Specter talking about how wonderful bi-partisan deals are isn’t the best way to win over that already suspicious conservative base. It’s a great example of how out of touch with the conservative base McCain is, and how out of touch our senators and congresspeople are that they would not realize that there would be strong opposition to this immigration proposal.  Here in South Carolina,  we had an chance to voice that opposition directly to one of the senators responsible for trying to push this proposal through before we have a chance to examine it carefully.

I give Senator Graham credit for being willing to show up on Saturday at the South Carolina Republican convention and attempt to explain why he supports this legislation. But I believe he’s wrong on this, and so do most of the conservatives in attendance Saturday. That’s why he got such a negative reaction. Some of them consider this issue so important that there has been talk of finding a primary challenger for him when he’s up for re-election next year.  I’m not ready to sign on to that effort just yet, but that’s how seriously Republicans here take this issue.  I emailed Senator Graham Thursday to let him know that I was opposed to this bill, and I must not have been the only one, because he was noticeably on the defensive Saturday. He shouldn’t act so surprised that we booed him when he tried to convince us that this was the best deal we could get on immigration. If he didn’t completely understand the extent of our opposition when he walked into that convention hall, he understands it now.

We can also credit the “comprehensive immigration bill” with doing two other things: causing a minor scuffle between our senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham and providing an opportunity for Romney to indirectly hammer McCain, which he did.  Senator DeMint, to his credit, has called for further review of this bill and wasn’t afraid to challenge supporters like Senator Graham directly in his remarks to the convention.  That made for some awkward moments, since DeMint spoke right after Graham. On some levels, it is unfair to tag John McCain and Lindsey Graham as RINOs or apostates simply because they defend this flawed legislation.  On most issues of importance to South Carolinians, they are two of the most reliable conservative votes.  However, the problem with illegal immigration is one we take very seriously.  We see the lack of border enforcement now, and we can’t help but notice that only lip service is paid to current laws.  Supporters of this bill may very well be correct that there are penalties for law-breakers in this immigration bill, but when current law is not being followed, how can we possibly believe the government is up to the challenge of enforcing all these new restrictions? The short answer is: we don’t.

Continue reading


If we really want to see the Republican party become more responsive to conservatives, we can’t jump ship. We have to stay in the party and work to keep them accountable for their actions. Conservatives haven’t won a lot of victories from the fighting we’ve been doing with Republicans in Congress and with the Bush administration. But we won’t get any more victories, even of the minor variety, if we give up and stop fighting for what we believe is the best direction for our country. Even the smallest spark can start a fire. We got the immovable to move when we stopped the nomination of Harriet Miers. Another “success” of the conservatives could be the furious debate we had about the Dubai ports deal. If we get enough people to care enough about the direction of this country and the direction of our party and to speak up about it, eventually Washington politicians will pay attention.

The leadership of the Republican party knows that there is no place for social conservatives in the Democratic party. They are confident that small-government types won’t find much to like about the Democrats’ approach to social programs and spending. They also know that what conservatives find lacking in the Republican party can’t be found in the Democratic party right now. They take us for granted, because they can. If our senators do not understand that a majority of Americans want a commitment to border-enforcement first before any concessions to illegal aliens are made, then they need to start paying more attention to what their constituents have been telling them. Maybe this immigration debate will cause more people to start paying attention to what Congress is trying to do, and at least some good will come out of this flawed legislation. Speak up. Speak louder. We have the attention of Congress at this moment. Let’s see what we can do with it.

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amnesty for illegals

Like it or not, it’s going to happen. President Bush is going to get exactly what he wanted from the very beginning. Congress authorized a border fence which isn’t even close to being completed. If that doesn’t prompt questions as far as the level of commitment to border enforcement, it should. This is one of the consequences of staying home or voting for Democrats last election. I realize that Republicans didn’t deserve to win, but I also know that a Republican majority would be less likely to cave on this bad immigration reform bill.

We will also find out that this kind of immigration reform doesn’t solve the problem, if we didn’t already realize that from the ’86 amnesty. How can any candidate be serious about national security if they do not recognize the need to secure our borders? This is a real problem for McCain and Lindsey Graham around here, and it will hurt both of them if this bill passes. McCain must know this. Maybe he just doesn’t care. There’s no virtue in being consistently wrong. I hope he recognizes this, or he’s got bigger problems that he will have to deal with in future debates.

More at Townhall.

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crumb battered pork

note: occasionally i will be cross-posting posts on illegal immigration from other bloggers as part of the coalition against illegal immigration. feel free to comment as usual, but for responses from the original author, i suggest visiting the linked blog. otherwise, read and enjoy.

Crossposted from Common Sense America: Crumb Battered Pork

That’s all we seem to get out of Washington these days. They throw taxpaying Americans a few crumbs – like H.R. 6061 to build 700 miles of fence – while they pass the pork we paid for to illegal aliens – the 2006 McCain/Kennedy Amnesty Bill.

Yesterday, I stated that I am not excited about the House Bill to build a 700 mile fence at our border. Why? Because it will do nothing to protect this nation if our immigration laws are not enforced.

All the tough-at-the-border talk, perfected by the Bush administration, is fooling nobody. It has become code for “we’re not going to do anything to inconvenience companies that hire illegals.”

Build a wall two miles high along the entire border with Mexico, and illegal aliens will dig under it, fly over it or sail past it into New Orleans or Newark. They will enter as tourists and overstay visas. They will come if they think there’s a job for them in the United States. The story is that simple, and everyone in America knows it, including the politicians who pretend otherwise.

But there is another, more sinister, possible outcome of the lack of enforcement of our immigration laws, and this too is known by both American citizens and politicians alike.

“I wonder how if there is another event of some great magnitude, which we all anticipate, which we hear every single day is a distinct not just possibility but probability, and if this is perpetuated by someone who has entered this country illegally, and/or people who have been recruited into a terrorist network by people who have come here illegally, I wonder what we will tell the spouses, the sons, the daughters of those people who are killed in that event.

We will make many, many speeches about how heroic their loved ones were, how heroic the efforts were of the people who tried to save them. Will we also say, I wonder, that there were political and cultural reasons why we could not protect them? I do not know how anyone could look into the faces of the people whose loved ones have been lost in an event of that nature and say those words. But say them we would have to if we follow the path we are on today.”

~ House Representative Tom Tancredo on our lack of border security, September 9, 2002 ~

Our border security and immigration enforcement is directly related to our national security. Let me repeat that. Our border security and immigration enforcement is directly related to our national security.

I’m weary of hearing, “We need to fight this war in Iraq, so we don’t have to fight it here at home” as our borders remain porous. Security is no better here than it is in Iraq, where terrorists are streaming across the Iraqi borders to fight our military men and women.

Why can’t our politicians seem to ‘connect the dots’?

But while our elected officials seem unable to pass the pork for American citizens in terms of securing our borders and enforcing our immigration law to provide for our security, there seems to be a huge ham-fest going on to please pro-illegal alien groups as our Senators stumble all over themselves to give away free citizenship, free healthcare, free education, social security benefits, welfare, in-state tuition, etc.

A puny fence is of no avail if you are not willing to shut down our borders AND enforce ALL of our immigration laws.

Since the tax dollars of American citizens are paying for the entire pig, I have one request;

I’d like a lot more crumbs on my pork.

See also:

Red Hot Cuppa Politics: Of Sobbing Violins Playing Mariachi Tunes

A Lady’s Ruminations: I don’t celebrate “Mexican Independence” …

Take Back Georgia: I Went To Jail Last Night…

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.**

buchanan slams the neocons

The Bush democracy campaign brought stunning electoral gains for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Moqtada al-Sadr in Iraq. Our ally Hamid Kharzai is today little more than mayor of Kabul, as the Taliban roam the southeast and coalition casualties reach the highest levels since liberation, five years ago.

North Korea and Iran remain defiant on their nuclear programs. Vladimir Putin is befriending every regime at odds with Bush, from Tehran to Damascus to Caracas. Neocon meddling in The Bear’s backyard has gotten us bit.

Unless we grade foreign policy on the nobility of the intent, which is how the liberals used to defend disasters like Yalta, it is not credible to call Bush’s foreign policy a success. The Lebanon debacle, once U.S. complicity is exposed, is unlikely to win anyone a Nobel.

Bush’s trade policy has left us with annual deficits of $800 billion with the world and $200 billion with Beijing. Once the greatest creditor nation in history, we are now the greatest debtor. U.S. manufacturing has been hollowed out with thousands of plants closed and 3 million industrial jobs vanishing since Bush took office.

As for Bush immigration policy, the nation is in virtual rebellion. Six million aliens have been caught at the Mexican border since he took office. One in 12 had a criminal record. In April-May, millions of Hispanics marched through U.S. cities demanding amnesty and all rights of citizenship for aliens who are breaking the law by even being here. Bush and the Senate are in paralysis, appeasing the lawbreakers by offering amnesties and by opposing House demands that the president seal the border before the invasion brings an end to the America we once knew.

pat buchanan (real clear politics)

it is troubling what has happened in afghanistan with karzai, but that is a result of not completely finishing what we started there, and not as a result of having elections. democracy doesn’t always produce the desired results. it doesn’t automatically make citizens more free simply because they can now cast a vote for the leaders of their choice. there are cultural and societal changes that have to take place before democracy and freedom work in concert with each other. look at the united states for an example. where does our freedom come from? it certainly doesn’t come from the ability to vote, or from our government. freedom is individual. it’s personal. the same theory applies to other countries as well.

worry about iran first. then we can deal with north korea. i wish the president would wake up to the fact that putin is not our friend, and that we need to pay closer attention to what he’s doing.

i’m not going to address buchanan’s comments about trade policy, because i don’t know enough to dispute him on that point. he is dead-on about immigration, and i hope president bush gets the message that we are trying to send. however, i share buchanan’s pessimism about this.

pat buchanan knows where all the problems are. what he doesn’t seem to have is a solution to deal with all of these problems.

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this is what we are talking about

being opposed to illegal immigration is not a racist position. neither is being opposed to giving non-citizens the same rights and privileges as american citizens. it doesn’t matter what the original nationality of a person is. if that person is not willing to obey our laws, then they shouldn’t be here. what’s hard to understand about that?

what seems to be lost in america’s current melting pot is a sense of national identity. this national identity was something that made us different from the rest of the world. it was something that inspired people to come to this country in the first place.

the following letter was originally posted on cao’s blog, with the request to pass it along…it inspired me. i hope that it will do the same for you.

From: “David LaBonte”

My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to “print” it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined.

Dave LaBonte (signed)

Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:


Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statute of Liberty because the people now in question aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today’s American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer.

Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them.

All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from.

They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans.

And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country’s flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in t he early 1900s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to reate a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statute of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn’t start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.


Rosemary LaBonte

P.S. Pass this on to everyone you know!!! KEEP THIS LETTER MOVING!! I hope this letter gets read by millions of people all across the nation!! ~~ r.p.

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tell ’em what you really think!

so now the republicans care what the rest of us think. it’s about time. apparently they have this survey. here’s the sales pitch. (h/t- california conservative)

The goal is to help the Leadership of the Republican Party gain an on-going and in-depth understanding of the issues which are of greatest concern to Americans like you.

Please take a moment to complete the ASK AMERICA national survey online at

As we enter this all-important election year, we need to know exactly how you feel about America’s War on Terror, and how secure you feel here at home. We need to know your direct views on many of the most important issues facing our politically divided nation: the economy, national defense, overhaul of America’s tax system, health care, strengthening Social Security, illegal immigration reform, government spending, and much more.

It addresses issues important to every concerned American who cares about the future of this country. It is time that we find out what you, the hard-working American taxpayers, really want.

good idea. so…take this opportunity to share your opinion with them. they asked for it. here’s what i said in the comments:

Border security should be first and foremost in any immigration reform proposals. Current laws must be enforced. The American people are reasonable, and would consider allowing a temporary worker program IF AND ONLY IF the first two conditions apply to any proposed legislation. We just don’t believe either party is serious about controlling our borders. Speaking only for myself here, I would add that we need to be just as serious about securing our country as we are about securing Iraq. There’s quite a bit of anger out there about illegal immigration. I hope that all of you will take our concerns seriously.

if there’s any advice/criticism you have for the republican party, you can also add it here in comments, or trackback from a post on your own blog. just keep it clean, please. 🙂 notably absent from this survey…direct questions about their reckless spending habits. maybe they know the answer to that question.