Politics & Policy

This Is Democracy

Upsetting the elite.

With the White House, the leaders of both political parties, and the media all solidly behind the “comprehensive” immigration “reform” bill, how could it be stopped in the Senate, as it was last week?

The people stopped it. That is what democracy is all about.

When members of Congress began to be deluged with angry letters, phone calls, and e-mails from their constituents, they knew the game was over — and that their careers could be over if they didn’t pay attention to what the voters were saying.

This bill was an insult to people’s intelligence from start to finish, and the elites are continuing to insult people’s intelligence after being defeated.

Fraudulent arguments were followed by fraudulent procedures to rush this bill through the Senate without committee hearings, with restrictions on debate, and with the specifics of this huge bill being sprung on the Senate at the 11th hour, so that senators would be voting on something they barely had time to read.

Among the fraudulent arguments was that illegal immigrants were taking “jobs that Americans won’t do.” What that really meant was that they were taking low wages that Americans wouldn’t take.

Another fraudulent argument was that “We can’t find and deport 12 million people.”

A much bigger problem than these 12 million people are the tens of millions of additional immigrants who are virtually certain to come in, legally or illegally, if amnesty is extended.

After all, there were only 3 million illegal immigrants the last time an amnesty bill was passed, back in 1986. That’s how we got to 12 million.

Research at the Heritage Foundation indicates that tens of millions more people can be expected to come over the border from Mexico in the years ahead unless something is done to stop them.

These tens of millions would include not only Mexicans but also people from other countries entering the United States from Mexico because that border is so poorly guarded. Terrorists would find that very convenient.

The “comprehensive” immigration “reform” bill offered nothing that was likely to stop them.

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III exposed how little this bill added to border security laws already on the books, in a June 7 column in the Wall Street Journal.

Now that the elitists who wanted to rush the immigration bill through Congress before anyone could examine what was in it have been defeated, they tell us, with great condescension, how foolish we were to leave the problem unsolved.

There is now a continuation of “silent amnesty” they say.

Clever, but no cigar.

There is no inadequacy in our existing laws on border security that the new bill would have remedied. But no law is adequate if it is not enforced.

Non-enforcement of existing laws by the federal government and active sabotage of these laws by state and local officials who forbid the police from reporting illegal aliens to the authorities suggest that existing laws could be effective — if enforced.

When the new immigration bill gave the government just 24 hours to “investigate” each illegal immigrant before rubber-stamping him into legality, it is clear that there was no serious intention of investigating or enforcing the new law.

You can’t get a credit-card application approved in 24 hours. But Congress was prepared to fling open the borders to millions of people on the basis of 24-hour investigations.

Talk about investigating illegal immigrants was just window-dressing to fool the gullible public. When the public turned out not to be as gullible as the politicians and other elites thought, the answer has been to insult their intelligence some more.

Now the elites tell us that the protests were generated by conservative talk radio programs, and there are implications that this was due to xenophobia, if not racism.

Anyone who actually listens to conservative talk radio or reads those who opposed this immigration bill will know what a crock that is. Elitists should at least come up with some new smears, instead of repeating the same old tired insults.


Thomas SowellThomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author, whose books include Basic Economics. He is currently senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.


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