The president and his supporters in the immigration debate have argued their cause by abusing their opponents. That’s dishonest.
President Bush did not intend to single out his conservative supporters for criticism in a speech on immigration reform last week and was “surprised” that his remarks angered Republicans, White House spokesman Tony Snow said yesterday…
“Those determined to find fault with this bill will always be able to look at a narrow slice of it and find something they don’t like,” Mr. Bush said in the May 29 speech about the legislation being debated in the Senate.
“If you want to kill the bill, if you don’t want to do what’s right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it, you can use it to frighten people. Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all.”
In fact people who oppose amnesty are angry, not frightened. And that’s because they believe the president’s proposals undermine the rule of law on which their nation is based, not because some rabble rouser misinformed them.
And since the bill starts by granting amnesty to over 12 million lawbreakers and only later closes the border that the president has until now chosen to leave open, he needed to convince people to trust him.
But his comments reveal he’s either completely out of touch or playing games – so he’s foregone that trust.
The Wall Street Journal, a supporter of amnesty on (I think) economic grounds similarly demeans its opponents -here’s the deputy editor of its editorial page (my ellipsis and emphasis):
The problem for many people with the illegal workers, no matter how hard they work, is that they exist entirely outside the complications of civic life for an American citizen. And they appear to do so more or less permanently. For many, this makes the illegal-worker status quo a rebuke to the idea of dutiful citizenship.
That is an understandable and even defensible point of view…
There are at least 12.5 million illegal Hispanic-origin workers in the U.S. now. If the opponents want at least 6 million of them out of the U.S., they should write up legislation that will achieve that goal, tell the American people that this is indeed the explicit purpose and then let voters convey their desires to the Members of Congress.
But the American people already have expressed their view – they expect to live in a country where the law is enforced.
And Congress has passed laws and put in place enforcement systems that – for example – take 10 fingerprints, credit card details, and full itineraries of all visiting Brits and hunt them down and eject them if they overstay their tourist visas.
The American people who disagree with the president simply want the laws Congress has passed to be uniformly enforced. Since the president has taken an oath to do just that, it’s to his discredit to decline to do so and then claim the folks who object are frightened fools.
The editorial board WSJ uses argumentative dirty tricks to support a handful of big employers who profit from exploiting illegal labor, and gives not a fig for the law.
Shame on them.