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Close the Door By: Alan Nathan
Washington Times | Thursday, May 31, 2007


In successive polls over the last two years, 65 percent to 70 percent of Americans have insisted that all immigration reform accommodations be unambiguously contingent upon substantively sealing the border.

Despite these now abundantly familiar results, our national leaders recently launched a bipartisan effort to comply with their moneyed constituents over their voting constituents and have sculptured a deal to grant temporary legal status to most non-documented residents in the United States.

Helping to foment this disconnected thinking in Washington have been lower-tiered city officials like the scandal-burdened San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom. The San Francisco Chronicle was caught enabling his sloppily camouflaged agenda in their April 22nd edition: Mayor Gavin Newsom vowed Sunday to maintain San Francisco as a sanctuary for immigrants and do everything he can to discourage federal authorities from conducting immigration raids.

Now for those having the intellectual muscularity of an airborne toenail clipping, this excerpt seems perfectly fine. However, for the rest of the universe not requiring a schematic to figure out the operational challenges of a doorstop, it is clearly off the charts in its journalistic allegiance to grade school dropouts.

More specifically, reporting that Mr. Newsom is vowing to maintain his metropolis as a "sanctuary for immigrants" is like saying he vowed to make the city a sanctuary for 23-year-old teachers and 45-year-old accountants. Why? Every municipality inside this country is already a sanctuary for all immigrants of both genders in every profession.

Equally nonsensical is treating as news the mayor's promise to "discourage federal authorities from conducting immigration raids." He should discourage them. Come to think of it, if there's one single event in which the federal government is engaged in targeted raids against immigrants of any demographic, those agents should be arrested along with the bureaucrats and politicians ordering them to carry out such abhorrent behavior.

However, both Mr. Newsom and the San Francisco Chronicle are discussing illegal immigrants while referencing them only as immigrants, and this fictional renaming bestows upon these lawbreakers a type of legitimacy not yet earned.

Words have meanings, and, if you're going to use them, what you say must have something to do with what they mean. The lamest debate tactic in the arena of news and politics is the re-labeling of folks, issues, things and circumstances as a strategy for gaining the ground your arguments otherwise could not simply because you're unable to debate them on point.

Newsflash for Mr. Newsom: When they're illegally in your country, they're illegally in your city. If you impede federal authorities in their obligatory compliance with the Constitution's Article IV, Section 4 requiring that they protect us from invasion, said resistance will constitute obstruction of justice. How is that not an actionable crime?

When we allow the corporate right's thirst for exploited labor to join the collectivist left's hunger for imported votes, they both wind up entangling us in battles over the irrelevant: the jobs illegals do or do not take, the social service dollars they do or do not use and the sicknesses they do or do not bring. These are the distracting symptoms of the problem and not the problem itself -- which of course is our unprotected border.

As I've argued on my show, sealing up the border and comprehensive immigration reform are not incompatible. Enforcing the former has never been contingent upon resolving the latter -- and our leaders know it! No one has to be deported in order for us to defend those boundary lines that define where another country ends and ours begins.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, speciously and repeatedly argue that this reform is necessary because we simply can't deport 12 million people. Echoing similar sentiments May 21 was the panel on the Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Brit Hume." Pundits Fred Barnes, Mara Liasson, and Juan Williams had the most bizarre analysis of folks wanting border enforcement as a precursor to pathways to citizenship. They characterized them as people wanting current illegals rounded up and kicked out of the country.

However, what both the senators and these commentators leave out of the discussion is that absolutely nobody needs to be deported in order to begin comprehensively closing up the border to illegal crossings.

In short, it's long overdue that we require our leaders to obey that which we entrust them to enforce -- first the laws of the Constitution, and then the laws of the legislature in tandem with rulings by the judiciary -- providing that judiciary is not blatantly countering the very Constitution they're entrusted to champion.

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Alan Nathan, a combative centrist and "militant moderate," a columnist, and the nationally syndicated talk show host of "Battle Line With Alan Nathan" on the Radio America Network.


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