Americans are fed up with rhetoric on immigration

Rich Thurlow
News Editor

If you're part of the minority and caught a network newscast 10 days ago, you may have been surprised to learn in the lead-in, paraphrasing here, that "if the U.S. Senate can't pass this law, they can't pass any law." That was a reference to the immigration bill that had been scuttled earlier that day.

With reporting like that, it's no surprise, according to the ratings, that fewer than 30 million Americans (less than 10 percent of the population) watch ABC, NBC or CBS evening news regularly.

And last Sunday on National Public Radio, listeners learned that if talk radio and the Internet had been around in the 1960s, the first Civil Rights Act probably would never have passed. The topic, again, was the immigration "reform" bill that has since been resuscitated.

It would appear there is a wide chasm between what the mainstream media is telling us and what roughly 75 percent of the American public actually wants and believes. And the statement by NPR's reporter takes us back to the incredibly simple-minded "if you don't support this you must be a racist" argument.

At this point, regardless of how much it might disgust you and me, it appears up to 20 million illegals can become citizens with an absolute minimum number of hoops to jump through. And the process will be cheaper for illegals than the costs imposed in fees on Kingman businesses that want to put an awning on their buildings.

We are being told the immigration bill is not an "amnesty." Right you are. It should be called the legalized raid on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid funds, plus any number of other programs designed to help Americans. That's because the bulk of these illegals are poorly educated and will be entitled to benefits above and beyond what they will contribute in taxes.

And along with the amnesty that politicians insist isn't an amnesty, the other major points of the bill are cracking down on businesses that are hiring illegals and securing the border.

Border security falls into the category of broken promises leading to a complete and utter lack of trust in our elected representatives. A fence along a good portion of the border was promised last year but was never funded.

Now we're supposed to believe the Senate will take care of it in the current bill? I don't think so.

And many of us, in my opinion, are tired of hearing that illegals do the work Americans won't do. Who did the farming, cleaning and construction before the illegals arrived?

Along that same vein, some of you may recall the story in Wednesday's Miner about the raid of a Del Monte Produce plant in Portland, Ore., that led to 165 suspected illegals being detained.

Del Monte may have to rethink its salary guidelines, but I'll wager there are Americans who will gladly work there in exchange for a fair wage.

Then there is the issue of border security and the fact that some radical Muslims want to kill us. How difficult would it be for 100 terrorists to cross the border if thousands of poorly prepared illegals accomplish the same feat every month?

And please, no hand-wringing about illegals who have children born in the U.S. The precedent is already established with Elian Gonzalez. Send the parents back and their children have to go with them.

A common sense approach to comprehensive immigration reform, it seems to me, would be to focus on border security (fence, fence and more fence, and boots on the ground) and law enforcement first. Amnesty without a wall invites millions more in.

The fact is the U.S. is in a position to pick and choose who is allowed in. I'd prefer English-speaking doctors, engineers, scientists and teachers, and I don't care where they come from or what color they are. An unlimited supply of cheap labor may sound like good economic policy, but look how much good it has done in Africa and Central and South America?

President Bush and key members of the Senate continue to push this ill-conceived law, and the fear here is that they will succeed. You can do your part, though. If you know how to get around on the Internet, you can figure out how to contact senators Jon Kyl and John McCain.

Or you can call them. Kyl's Washington office number is (202) 224-4521; McCain's is (202) 224-2235.

Tell them what you want, but if you're open to suggestions, you might say something like this:

I like the idea of better border security and a wall, and I like making businesses accountable for the people they hire. And I see absolutely no reason why Congress has to make new rules for people who are here illegally. What's the emergency?

Enforce federal laws and let states enforce their own laws regarding illegals.

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