GOP Revisionism: AZ’s immigration law contradicts Bush

Perhaps Jan needs God's help
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Poor W., Jan doesn't love you.

It seems the GOP, in its quest to distort the racist realities of Arizona’s immigration reform law, is forgetting about W’s ill-fated attempt at pushing his own immigration reform legislation in 2007.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, would have provided legal status and an opportunity for citizenship for almost 20 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. Not only would it have provided amnesty, it would have increased border security dramatically by providing 20,000 more border patrol agents among other increased security measures.

I hope no one believes that W vigorously supported this bill because he’s an altruist, quite the opposite. The main reason for his support was to protect the interests of large businesses who depend on the cheap labor of illegal immigrants to maintain their profit margin. This legislation also would have allowed the government to keep tabs on all undocumented workers and collect more taxes from the workers and the businesses employing them.

This attempted legislation was, in every sense of the word: amnesty. If one can remember way back to 2007, the GOP was up in arms over this. W was essentially portrayed as a traitor to the GOP for not continuing to propagate the thinly-veiled racist tactic of scapegoating dark-skinned immigrants, blaming them (when blaming ‘liberals’ got tiresome) for all of the social, moral and economic ills of the nation.

As one can imagine, the Democrats — being the political wimps they always have been — capitulated to the GOP and backed away from supporting this bill even though it was a win for their historical rhetoric of taking on immigration reform by enacting logical and rational legislation that takes into account the reality of the situation rather than right-wing reactionary hyperbole. Of course the bill never even made it far enough to get voted on, thus ending a chance at real and rational immigration reform.

I’m never one to back a Republican in any matter, let alone immigration reform, but this bill supported by W, despite some pro-business aspects, was actually the best thing W ever attempted to do. What is even more interesting to me is the current outcry from the wing-nuts that the protest over Arizona’s Immigration bill by the left is nothing more than a master plan of a future attempt at instituting amnesty for illegals. If they studied their History books — going all the way back to 2007 — they might realize that their leader, a GOP President, tried to push for amnesty.

Of course, it does little good to point out hypocrisy to the wing-nuts as they seem impervious to actual facts and logical reasoning.  While the tea-baggers and noise machines are screaming from the mountain tops that Obama and the Dems are fascist socialists who want dirty illegal Hispanics to be given amnesty, leading to a meltdown of American society as we know it; they are a little slow to remember back to 2007 when Bush actually did push for amnesty while Obama and the Dems have not shown one inclination that amnesty is an option.

So much effort is being made by the right to justify Arizona’s new immigration reform law as being necessary to protect our borders and jobs. What they leave out is the fact that the federal government has never tried to stop Arizona from enforcing the federal laws that give them the right to detain and deport illegals. The federal government does not require law enforcement to question and ask for documentation anyone suspected of being here illegally as the Arizona law does because they know that is a constitutional violation that leads to nothing other than racial profiling.

It’s not only the fact that the right has selective memory on this issue and is defending racist and reactionary legislation in Arizona, it’s the fact that they refuse to engage in any real discussion of how we can actually address immigration reform in a realistic manner. Businesses are going to continue to hire illegals and illegals are going to continue to come across the border illegally in order to escape poverty and provide for their family. The W supported bill in 2007 actually did address these issues and would have strengthened our economy with the increased tax revenue that could be collected.

Now, crazy wing-nut legislators in other states — including my state of Pennsylvania — are pushing for new immigration laws similar to those of Arizona’s recent law. I would hope that the Democrats suddenly develop a backbone and stand up to this lunacy, but given their tendency to capitulate to the right on every single issue I find it unlikely that real and rational immigration reform will come about and that racist, unconstitutional laws will go unchallenged. I hate to admit it, but W — as horrible and despicable as his administration was — might have had the solution three years ago.

Todd Curl is a 44th degree Free-Madman with a passion for psychiatric pharmacology. When he is not in his padded room, he writes The Todd Blog.

17 Replies to “GOP Revisionism: AZ’s immigration law contradicts Bush”

  1. Immigration Reform – where is the Black Congressional Caucus?

    Hispanic activist groups and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus appear to be garnering support from African Americans under a racial predicate. LULAC (League of Latin American Citizens) and MALDEF ( Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) and many other groups comprise a well funded Latin American immigrant lobby, are aggressively pursuing immigration benefits for Latin Americans, but conspicuously absent from the dialog are the Congressional Black Caucus and other African American groups.

    Where there might be a danger of infringement on the enormous interests at stake for African Americans (equal rights/discrimination) that were earned with blood, sweat, and tears, extreme prudence is right, just, and essential

    Our immigration system needs reform. However, any immigration reform must

    – address the inequities of the past to peoples of African ancestry, and
    – embody principles of fairness and protection for people of African ancestry.

    The large majority (75-85%) of persons that benefited from past immigration amnesty programs were not persons of African ancestry. (See statistics from Homeland Security on the beneficiaries of Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99-603 and FY1995 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations Act, Pub. L. 103-317 (adding Section 245(i) to the Immigration and Nationality Act) and the former Bracero program).

    Instead, the majority that benefited were people of Latin American ancestry. While largely attributable to a geographic advantage not available to people of African ancestry, it was unfair.

    The people of Africa and Caribbean nations are deserving; and have suffered post European colonization difficulties on a scale that exceeds that of Latin America. Recent examples are the people of Darfur (Southern Sudan), Rwanda, Congo, or Haiti.

    America and its citizens have developed and matured with the Civil Rights movement. Latin American has not. There has been no significant civil rights movement in Latin America. There is a real concern that racism might be inherent in Latin American societies.

    A large influx of Latin Americans, who carry a culture not refined by civil rights beliefs, may present a potential for African American political marginalization and other concerns.

    It is possible to mitigate any potential marginalization of African Americans as well as address past, and possibly future, inequities.

    Before any legislation is acted upon, it would be appropriate to quantify the impact and/or inequities on African Americans. To do this Congress should commission a Congressional Research Service Study on the numerical immigration benefit differences during the last 100 years of persons of African ancestry, as opposed to European, Latin American, and Asian ancestry as well as the political and cultural impact on African Americans.

    Some provisions could be added to the proposed legislation that can ameliorate immigration inequities. For example, provisions that provide for:

    – the clearing of the Sub-Saharan immigrant visa backlog to at least 12 years,
    – the establishment of a permanent Diversity Visa program for Sub-Saharan Africa,
    – prohibition for State Department to apply “retrogression” to Sub-Saharan Africa immigrant visa priority dates, and
    – the addition of a provision that clearly reflects that racial prejudice is not acceptable in the United States can address the fundamental unfairness of proposed legislation.
    – This can be accomplished by the enactment of a ground to remove aliens that have been adjudicated (by a competent court) to have discriminated on account of race,.

    The enactment of any amnesty without some specific protections for African Americans, and persons of African ancestry, will predictably injure political and cultural equities that have been struggled long and hard for, as well as leave prior immigration inequities unaddressed.

  2. Thanks for bringing up the issue of the further marginalization of Afro Americans through any immigration amnesty. But I think you might be a bit reactionary in assuming that amnesty, if it occurs (very doubtful in my mind), will automatically give preference to Latinos. As far as many right-wing white Americans are concerned, Latinos are to be equally hated and oppressed — perhaps even more so — than blacks. It also seems like you are trying to throw the black civil rights movement into a discussion of immigration. While there is relevance in a round about sort of way, I think that the platform of immigration will further marginalize what is left of the “modern” civil rights movement.

    I also think you are dismissing Latino history — or do not know of the similarities between Latino race antagonisms and American race antagonism. Mexico, for instance, is controlled by the very fair-skinned descendants of Spanish colonialism. The majority of its citizens are “Mestizo,” or of mixed European and Native blood. There is definitely a racial schism at play — not only in Mexico, but the rest of C. and S. America — that isn’t so different from the black american experience when class is thrown into the discussion as well. You bring up some great points, but I think you are using the wrong forum and need to understand Latino history to a greater extent — and perhaps even read the article to which you are commenting as mine relates almost solely to GOP hypocrisy and does not advocate one way or the other how amnesty could or should work

  3. @Todd Curl, Great post, but I think that you are missing a key point. You seem to think in terms of history, consider the politics of the issue for the Dems. It is not that the Democrats are being wimpy. This is an issue that divides both parties.

    The reality is that every Democrat in every border state would be against reform as you suggest. The politics of this issue would split the Democratic caucus to make passage impossible. As far as the GOP is concerned, you are right on.

    They are playing base politics, which is driving Hispanic voters into the arms of Democrats. Politically, why should the Democrats touch the issue now until they have a comprehensive plan and the votes to pass it? As Hispanics become more active in the Democratic Party, immigration reform will move up on their platform.

  4. @Jason Easley, That is a good point. The Dems tend to be divided on a number of issues — not the least of which being immigration reform. The Republicans, despite some minor divisions, at least put up a united front to anything the dems propose, a divisive tool, yet a beneficial one if the dems ever adopted it (although the mainstream media would lead one to believe that it is the other way around — truly revisionist and bass ackwards).

    As far as Hispanics being active in the party, I find that difficult to swallow. Considering they have traditionally supported Republicans due to the “social conservatism” rhetoric, I don’t see them switching to the Dems in droves, perhaps just not supporting Republicans and further removing themselves from the politics of both parties. I could be completely wrong — but sometimes my historical perspective is a useful tool; I don’t get too caught up in the moment.

  5. The construction, landscaping, hotel, restaurant, etc businesses were happy using illegal Mexican immigrants in Arizona, and the owners of these businesses, democrats and republicans alike, were more than happy to pocket the profits made by using the cheap labor these immigrants provided. Once the economy tanked however, these same immigrants became bogeymen, especially to the tough-talking republicans. It’s typical republican hypocrisy; use someone until they are used up (or the economy turns to $hit) then demonize them.

  6. @Todd Curl, There has been a moving trend since after the Bush reelection of Hispanics moving to the Democratic Party, but I think the question is, even if they become a force in the party, can they wrestle leadership positions away from a party apparatus that is still very white and quite male?

  7. Liberals, time to suck on some more truth!

    This law in AZ is the most logical legislation our great nation has seen since Bush rounded up American citizens of Muslim descent and railroaded them all to Gitmo after 9/11.

    Let’s just round up all the illegals and ship them outta here! They don’t contribute anything useful anyway. Cheap labor? Beh! We can get all the cheap labor we want nowadays by simply outsourcing all of our jobs, menial or not, overseas. And that saves big corporations on paying taxes too! They already pay too high a percentage at 1%.

    We are all Arizonans now! And we all know Arizonans are the only real Americans!

    They aren’t afraid to speak truth and act upon truth. And the God-spoken truth is that America was meant for real Americans and illegal brown people need to get the hell out!

    We don’t want them stealing our jobs, we don’t want to learn about them in our schools, and we don’t need to be learning nothin’ from any of them who can’t speak a lick of English.

    Arizonans rock! Keep on partying with the truth, fellas!

  8. I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

    I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, housing, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!

    Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.

  9. @Conservative Heart, Wow, I’m glad a godless communist like myself is a “Real American” considering the many years I lived in Arizona; and my family that still lives there — I’m sure they’re glad to be part of the righteous and chosen few. God bless you conservative heart, you are the true American Hero.

    Thanks for the laughs, though I’m sure many think you are being serious.

  10. @Benito, Thanks for adding a rational and human plea to those who embrace hate. But the problem is, the majority does not support this. Polls are so easily manipulated, and the ultra-right has turned that manipulation into an art form.

    You are correct in asserting that we can never comprehend discrimination until it happens to us. Though most of are discriminated by class, though we are unaware as we have been programmed to believe in the lie that we will transcend class if we work hard enough.

  11. giving amnesty to 20 million(or 12 million depending on who you talk to) all at once would have buried this country in Social services

    It was right that the hue and cry to stop this bill was from the majority of Americans. As it would be today.

    The republicans and Dems are no different. Both will get their amnesty sooner or later. Thats obvious by the fact that neither will secure the borders. They just need separate arguments to look different.

    Business and votes. Both rate higher than the people. legal or illegal.

  12. @Shiva, You are indeed correct in asserting they use different rhetoric to appear different. I’m not sure I agree with you when you state they will get amnesty sooner or later. Amnesty and Immigration reform in general are very useful tools of divisiveness to keep both sides yelling and screaming while the Dems and Repubs continue to let the Corporations plunder our democracy.

  13. I applaud Arizona’s new legislation, requiring police to help with immigration enforcement. This country is overpopulated, and fifteen million Americans are out of work.

  14. @Don, “All Men are created equal”! The founders had it right, when attempting to form a perfect union and they also knew that they were not there yet but knew we one day would get there. Lincoln moved us forward as did JFK and LBJ. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

    It is my contention that this AZ law is not constitutional and will fail when challenged (unless, of course, they keep adding more amendments), pretty funny for this so called perfect law.

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