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  • Immigration problem? For whom?

    Immigration problem? For whom?

    Sunday, Sep 23, 2007

    By John Brummett

    Illegal immigration is no problem for me. My taxes haven't been raised to provide medical care to undocumented people. My only tax change lately is that the state cut my grocery tax in half.

    Speaking of that, I buy a lot of chicken. If undocumented immigrants are among those processing and packaging this product - and I'm not saying they are - I sure do appreciate it.

    I like chicken, and it's good for you if you cook it right. My kinfolks in Southwest Arkansas who worked in what they called "the chicken plant" always told me it wasn't the best work.

    Most of the crime where I live seems to be committed by native-borns, assuming the police are rounding up the right guys.

    To be fair, I cannot actually say who it was who came into my yard and up to my storage shed, apparently in the middle of the night while one of my vaunted watch dogs slept peacefully on the floor at my bedside while the other got her z's at my feet at the foot of the bed, and absconded with my lawn edger.

    It is possible, I suppose, that this was perpetrated by a band of undocumented landscape workers.

    Perhaps I'd think differently about all this if I lived near the Mexican border. But crime and property damage in those regions would seem to be localized law enforcement issues, like those in most major urban areas. I regret them, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do in the way of public policy. It's police work, not policy work.

    But I will tell you this about illegal immigration: It's sure enough a political problem for somebody, by which I mean Republicans.

    Their corporate masters include some who do not wish to mess up the cheap work force. Their president, not that they still claim him, wants to bestow guest worker status on gainfully employed and otherwise behaving illegals, since law enforcement people who can't enforce a few border areas couldn't possibly round up 11 million, or 13 million, illegal aliens.

    The Republicans' strongest presidential candidate for the general election, John McCain, has pretty much been destroyed with his own party primary's base because he shared the president's practical view.

    The most conservative among Republicans like to ask what part of illegal we don't understand, and they want to round up anybody looking Hispanic and to relocate the Berlin Wall to the southern borders of Texas and Arizona and California.

    Then there was the ironic and not uncomical little dust-up that happened last week right here in Arkansas.

    Republican state legislators were leading the way with hearings at the Capitol on how to clamp down on illegal immigrants. Meantime, the Arkansas Times' blog came into receipt of an apparently forwarded and reforwarded e-mail sent initially by the state Republican executive director, Karen Ray, to a freshman Republican legisaltor from Springdale.

    In it she said she was inclined to go along with those in the state's business and farm communities who don't want new restrictions on illegal immigrants.

    She said Republicans need to be about luring business, not getting in the way of it. She said Republicans beating their chests about illegal immigrants run the risk of appearing racist.

    She was right, of course.

    Name an Arkansas Republican getting elected in recent years to a statewide office. That's Mike Huckabee. He was always tolerant on illegal immigration.

    Name an Arkansas Republican getting swamped for statewide office in recent years on account of seeming extreme. That would be Jim Holt, who always wanted to round them up and send them back, especially if they came in for medical care.

    Name the front-running Republican presidential candidate. That's Rudy Giuliani, who once touted his New York City as a haven for illegals.

    Name the Republican presidential candidate most adamantly against illegal immigration. Can't do it, can you? His name is something like Tancredo. He's at zero-point-zero in the polls.



    -------

    John Brummett is a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock. His e-mail address is jbrummett@arkansasnews.com; his telephone number is (501) 374-0699.

  • #2
    Immigration problem? For whom?

    Sunday, Sep 23, 2007

    By John Brummett

    Illegal immigration is no problem for me. My taxes haven't been raised to provide medical care to undocumented people. My only tax change lately is that the state cut my grocery tax in half.

    Speaking of that, I buy a lot of chicken. If undocumented immigrants are among those processing and packaging this product - and I'm not saying they are - I sure do appreciate it.

    I like chicken, and it's good for you if you cook it right. My kinfolks in Southwest Arkansas who worked in what they called "the chicken plant" always told me it wasn't the best work.

    Most of the crime where I live seems to be committed by native-borns, assuming the police are rounding up the right guys.

    To be fair, I cannot actually say who it was who came into my yard and up to my storage shed, apparently in the middle of the night while one of my vaunted watch dogs slept peacefully on the floor at my bedside while the other got her z's at my feet at the foot of the bed, and absconded with my lawn edger.

    It is possible, I suppose, that this was perpetrated by a band of undocumented landscape workers.

    Perhaps I'd think differently about all this if I lived near the Mexican border. But crime and property damage in those regions would seem to be localized law enforcement issues, like those in most major urban areas. I regret them, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do in the way of public policy. It's police work, not policy work.

    But I will tell you this about illegal immigration: It's sure enough a political problem for somebody, by which I mean Republicans.

    Their corporate masters include some who do not wish to mess up the cheap work force. Their president, not that they still claim him, wants to bestow guest worker status on gainfully employed and otherwise behaving illegals, since law enforcement people who can't enforce a few border areas couldn't possibly round up 11 million, or 13 million, illegal aliens.

    The Republicans' strongest presidential candidate for the general election, John McCain, has pretty much been destroyed with his own party primary's base because he shared the president's practical view.

    The most conservative among Republicans like to ask what part of illegal we don't understand, and they want to round up anybody looking Hispanic and to relocate the Berlin Wall to the southern borders of Texas and Arizona and California.

    Then there was the ironic and not uncomical little dust-up that happened last week right here in Arkansas.

    Republican state legislators were leading the way with hearings at the Capitol on how to clamp down on illegal immigrants. Meantime, the Arkansas Times' blog came into receipt of an apparently forwarded and reforwarded e-mail sent initially by the state Republican executive director, Karen Ray, to a freshman Republican legisaltor from Springdale.

    In it she said she was inclined to go along with those in the state's business and farm communities who don't want new restrictions on illegal immigrants.

    She said Republicans need to be about luring business, not getting in the way of it. She said Republicans beating their chests about illegal immigrants run the risk of appearing racist.

    She was right, of course.

    Name an Arkansas Republican getting elected in recent years to a statewide office. That's Mike Huckabee. He was always tolerant on illegal immigration.

    Name an Arkansas Republican getting swamped for statewide office in recent years on account of seeming extreme. That would be Jim Holt, who always wanted to round them up and send them back, especially if they came in for medical care.

    Name the front-running Republican presidential candidate. That's Rudy Giuliani, who once touted his New York City as a haven for illegals.

    Name the Republican presidential candidate most adamantly against illegal immigration. Can't do it, can you? His name is something like Tancredo. He's at zero-point-zero in the polls.



    -------

    John Brummett is a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock. His e-mail address is jbrummett@arkansasnews.com; his telephone number is (501) 374-0699.

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