. . .with the anti-illegal immigration movement doesn't lie in the fact that they oppose illegal immigration. It is undeniably a problem that has to be dealt with. For months, I've been advocating ways to combat the problem, albeit on a different forum
. One way is for Congress to pass legislation that cuts off applicable funds to states and municipalities that grant non-essential, non-emergency benefits to illegals. Nothing stirs lower level governments to action like the prospect of losing federal monies, whatever form they take.
Another is to increase workplace enforcement and implement heavier fines against employers who knowingly, or through willful ignorance, hire illegal immigrants. This removes a good deal of the incentive for people to cross the border unlawfully by reducing the likelihood they'll be hired.
No, the problem I have with the anti-illegal immigration movement is its outright refusal to countenance the notion that it has racists, nativists and yahoos in its midst. To even bring up the undeniable fact that these people exist elicits howls of indignation from folks like Michelle Malkin, Michael Savage, Mark Krikorian, and other like-minded pundits and talkers. They (at least in the cases of Malkin and Krikorian) prefer to pretend that these folks exist only within the imaginations of open-border radicals and closeted LaRaza members. Michael Savage makes no real pretensions at being anything other than a racist, nativist yahoo. Come to think of it, he makes no real pretensions at being anything other than a world-class dirtbag with a doctorate from UC-Berkeley. But I digress. . .
When the Wall Street Journal tried to inject this point into the debate, Malkin responded by putting on a gorilla mask
and mocking the editorial board. I suppose she thought that pretty clever, and no doubt, her fans greeted it with hoots, cheers and huzzahs all-around. But what she didn't do was address the fact that these people do exist in considerable numbers on her side of the debate and that they're the folks who have set the tone in the entire conversation. Having witnessed this phenomenon since well before the issue caught the nation's attention, no amount of gorilla-mask mockery can persuade me otherwise.
If you have any doubt that these people exist, and that they're cloaking their despicable agenda behind such high-minded concepts as the rule of law, have a look at the responses to the story of a father who faces deportation after his 20-year-old son laid down his life fighting the terrorists in Iraq (here
If you think the left won't exploit this kind of ugliness in the upcoming election year, you're as delusional as the folks who seem intent on denying its existence. Anti-immigrant pundits can go on making wiseass remarks about people building clay models
in depopulated Mexican towns. It's about as persuasive as spelling his name, MarK K
In the meantime, the GOP will be steadily losing whatever Hispanic support it had, which was considerable, if not quite as great as some have stated. But, whatever it was, the GOP can't afford to lose it, particularly considering its importance in crucial states like Florida. If there's to be any hope of regaining any of it, it's going to require some leading voices in the anti-illegal immigration movement to decry the kind of crypto-nativism that drives some conservatives to denigrate the service of a fallen war hero by labeling him an anchor baby and kicking his dad out of the country.