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Items filtered by date: Thursday, 14 June 2018
Finally, after agonizing procedural wrangling that is only a preface to even more agonizing floor debate, the House in the next several days will take up the immigration issue.
But the truth is that debates about immigration are even older than the United States itself, built as it was by 17th-century Colonial immigrants who, when they landed on these shores, encountered Native Americans who were likely the original immigrants.
From the earliest debates on the issue, the character and content of the American immigration discussion has changed little. Many want to come in; some want to keep them out. They refresh American culture; they alter American culture. They are the engine of economic growth; they are the enemy of the worker.
Pulitzer Prizes have been won on the immigration issue (Oscar Handlin, "The Uprooted," 1952); reputations have been soiled by immigration (Sen. Pat McCarran of Nevada, whose legislation was passed by Congress over Harry Truman's veto); a political party was formed around immigration (the Know Nothings of the mid-1850s).
Throughout all of this, what often is missed is an unusual congruence of opinion by two men with the same initials, one a Democrat now identified with the liberal wing of his party (President John F. Kennedy) and the other a Republican once considered to be on the leading edge of conservatism in his party (Rep. Jack F. Kemp).
Kemp, who represented the area around Buffalo, New York, a center of 19th-century immigration from southern and eastern Europe, worried that the Republican Party was veering from its roots and embracing immigration restrictions that could, in his words, "turn the party away from its historic belief in opportunity and jobs and growth and ... inward to a protectionist and isolationist and more xenophobic party."
Kennedy, in a small book written in 1958 as Congress was considering immigration legislation, took a similar view, arguing that:
The interaction of disparate cultures, the vehemence of the ideals that led the immigrants here, the opportunity offered by a new life, all gave America a flavor and a character that make it as unmistakable and as remarkable to people today as it was to Alexis de Tocqueville in the early part of the nineteenth century.

That book was reissued a few years ago under the title "A Nation of Immigrants," and though the 35th president was serious about protecting American borders -- one of his last acts in the White House was to propose a major overhaul of the country's immigration policies -- he also believed that much of the heroic nature of America was based on the immigrant experience:They huddled in their hard, cramped bunks, freezing when the hatches were open, stifling when they were closed ... Night and day were indistinguishable. But they were ever aware of the treacherous winds and waves, the scampering of rats and the splash of burials.

That was part of the Kemp creed as well. He argued that "immigrants are among the most hard-working and industrious of all persons who reside in this society. They are far less likely in their working years to -- despite poverty -- rely on welfare programs."
This debate has often been spurred by emotion. Kennedy was the first Catholic president (1961-1963), but not the first Catholic presidential nominee. That was Al Smith (1924); Rose Kennedy dismissed the Smith precedent because one of the New York governor's grandparents was Italian and the other German, while all four of Kennedy's grandparents were Irish. But Kennedy knew that immigration meant disruption, and he wrote this of the immigrants:
They brought with them a bewildering variety of language, dress, custom, ideology and religious belief. To many Americans already here who had grown accustomed to a common way of life, they presented a dismaying bedlam, difficult to understand and more difficult to respond to.

Kemp was an extemporaneous speaker of great ebullience who, in accepting the 1996 Republican vice-presidential nomination, said: "We are a nation of immigrants. We must close the back door of illegal immigration so that we can keep open the front door of legal immigration."

Kennedy's 1963 immigration bill would eliminate the quotas baked into American policy for decades. In an address to the convention of the American Committee on Italian Migration, he said: "We have this situation which has become nearly intolerable, where you have thousands of unused quotas in some countries while you have members of families, close members of families, in other countries who are desirous of coming to this country, who can become useful citizens, whose skills are needed, who are unable to come because of the inequity and the maldistribution of the quota numbers."

That speech was delivered on June 11, 1963. Hours later he gave a nationally televised address following the fractious admission of the first black students to the University of Alabama. In that speech he said, "Today, we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free." Two speeches on the same day, reflecting and asserting the same values.

David M. Shribman

Published in News Around The Bay
Thursday, 14 June 2018 21:26


Now that Trump has solved Northeast Asia's problems, maybe he can get to a problem in our country -- in fact, within 10 miles of the White House. For some reason, The Washington Post recently ran an article on something important -- the MS-13 gang presence at a public school on the outskirts of our nation's capital, William Wirt Middle School in Prince George's County, Maryland.
The media's usual approach to the diversity being inflicted on us is: Don't report this! It's better if no one knows. Maybe the left has decided it's too late to do anything about the transformation of our country into a Third World hellhole, and Trump couldn't stop it even if he wanted to.
The Post reported that, like many schools up and down the East Coast, MS-13 has turned Wirt into a battleground. There have been near-daily gang fights, rampant drug dealing, one reported rape, gang signs on the walls, one shooting -- more in nearby schools -- and teachers afraid to be alone with their students. At least two students are required to have security officers assigned to them, walking them from class to class and watching them during lunch hour, on account of MS-13 threatening to kill them. 
How many different categories of immigrants require special law enforcement officers devoted to them? Thanks to mass Muslim immigration, the FBI has terrorist watch lists in ALL 50 STATES. That's why whenever there's a terrorist attack, the FBI says, Oh yeah, we were watching that guy. And now we have police bodyguards for kids at schools wherever "unaccompanied minors" have been dumped by our government.
In addition to the free school lunches, transportation, housing and health care to pay for all this wonderful diversity, immigrants are also massively ratcheting up law enforcement costs.
It would be enraging enough if bad things were happening to our country and the immigrants were paying for it. But we're paying for it. Wait -- you are offering to bring gang warfare, drug cartels and terrorism? We'll go top dollar for that! Put your wallet away! Your money's no good here!
Having made the odd decision to report factual information about immigration, The Washington Post was careful to include the gigantically irrelevant, painfully idiotic cliche: The "vast majority" of poor Latin Americans pouring into our country "enroll in school and stay out of trouble."
Yes, and the vast majority of boa constrictors stay out of trouble too. Let's put them in our schools! In fact, far fewer boa constrictors kill Americans each year than Latin American immigrants do. Less than one a year. And boa constrictors don't undercut you at the construction site.
We never hear that "vast majority" argument about the policies that liberals like. The "vast majority" of gun owners never shoot up a school. The "vast majority" of smokers will never get lung cancer. The "vast majority" of Americans do not benefit from Wall Street profits. 
Why are we subjecting ourselves to mass immigration at all? Hey, everyone, let's all get an HIV injection! Don't worry, the vast majority of us won't get AIDS!
We're certainly not doing it to be nice to Hispanics. They've been polled and polled and polled, and it turns out they DON'T want more people being brought in to take their jobs and drive down wages. Recent immigrants probably don't want their useless brother-in-law from Chiapas sleeping on the couch either.
In the 2012 presidential campaign, Obama's Spanish language ads didn't make a peep about immigration. Instead, he bragged about giving everyone free health care. (Sidebar: Unmentioned were the millions of people who lost their health care, thanks to all that free health care for immigrants.)
Less than two years ago, Republicans watched the most anti-immigrant politician in a century be elected president, with every major institution in America against him. Trump won more of the Hispanic vote than any Republican in a generation.
The Chamber of Commerce knows that Hispanics didn't come here to have their wages driven down by an unending stream of unskilled workers just like themselves. Republicans and Democrats know it. The only people who don't know it are Americans who don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by opposing the constant importation of unskilled, poverty-stricken immigrants.
The reason for this transformation of our country, our culture and our politics is to flood the market with low-wage workers and Democratic voters. Obviously, those are losing arguments, so the beneficiaries of mass Third World immigration lie. They claim that anyone who doesn't want to supply the rich with cheap labor must hate Hispanics.
Trump thought North Korea was hard? With immigration, we have all of the most influential forces in our culture on the same page. Immigration is a great unifier of the rich and powerful.
The rich are like sharks -- all appetite, no brain. With their cheap labor voting 7-3 for the Democrats, it won't be long until Democrats have a lock on government. What do you think they'll do then, Business Roundtable? Answer: Make it impossible to do business. Google "California."
With the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the Koch brothers' incessant lobbying for more and more cheap labor, we see exactly what Lenin said about the capitalists: They will sell us the rope with which to hang them.
The rich don't care. They can't think beyond next quarter's earnings. 
Published in National

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