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.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association