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A Pathway to Citizenship -- and Political Extinction By: Don Feder
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, June 09, 2006

Politicians who want to put illegal aliens on a pathway to citizenship may soon find themselves on a pathway of their own – the high road to political extinction previously trod by Federalists, Whigs and others who lacked the courage to confront reality.

A special election in California and the outcome of the Utah Republican state convention are the first shock waves of what promises to be the electoral equivalent of the bombs that took out Al-Zarqawi.

The Democrats were expected to win Tuesday’s congressional election in a district 30 miles from the Mexican border. The vote was to fill the unexpired term of Republican Randy “Duke” Cunningham, convicted of bribery.

Voters were angry over Cunningham’s greedy betrayal of their trust and ready to send a proverbial message to Washington.

In the first round of balloting, Democrat Francine Busby (a school teacher and member-in-good standing of the National Education Association) led a multi-candidate field with 44% of the vote. Republican Brian Bilbray had an anemic 15%.

But on Tuesday, Bilbray shot up 30 points to win the seat with 49.5%  to Busby’s 45.2% -- after the latter gave a big, wet kiss to illegal immigration.

Just 5 days before the vote, Busby was campaigning at a senior center in Escondido. A man who spoke Spanish said he’d really like to help the teacher, but he didn’t have “papers” – meaning he was in the country illegally.

No problemo, Busby enthused: “Everybody can help, yeah, absolutely, you can all help …. You don’t need papers for voting.”

If you’re an open-borders candidate urging illegal aliens to commit voter fraud, best be sure a Minuteman volunteer isn’t in the audience taping your comments.

Sadly for Busby, one was. Her remarks were reported in the San Diego Union. The tape ran on local talk shows.  Busby claimed she had “misspoke.” (How’s that for originality?)

Bilbray stressed securing the borders and came out strongly against a guest worker program. Senator John McCain cancelled a campaign event for the Republican – which might also have boosted Bilbray’s standing with supporters of American sovereignty.

Now, Busby can go back to mis-educating America’s youth, and Congressman-elect Bilbray will go to Washington.

In Utah, 5-term Congressman Chris Cannon lost the endorsement of the Republican state convention to political newcomer John Jacob (52% to 48%). Do you know what it takes for the regulars who dominate state conventions to reject an incumbent Congressman of their own party?

Cannon is now forced into a primary for his party’s nomination. Should he lose, the political seismograph will be registering 8 on the Richter scale.

Again, immigration was the issue. 

Cannon has the distinction of making McCain look like Tom Tancredo. Libertarian Grover Norquist says Cannon is helping to maintain a “pro-immigration GOP.”  As with Islam, on immigration, Grover is given to silly euphemisms.  He’s not talking about Republicans who welcome newcomers who follow the rules, but those who pander to Hispanics by winking at the alien invasion.

Cannon is, as they say in news stories, haunted by a speech he gave in 2002 while accepting an award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

“We love immigrants in Utah,” Cannon roared. “And we don’t make the distinction very often between legal and illegal.” Give us your law-breakers, your cheap labor and those who wave Mexican flags and pictures of Che Guevara at amnesty demonstrations.

But the big gun of the open-borders brigade wasn’t through. “In fact, I think Utah was the first state in the country to legislate the ability to get a driver’s license based on the matricula consular (the IDs for illegals issued by Mexican consulates) and I’m proud of that,” Cannon told his amigos.

And if an illegal from the Middle East used one of those driver’s licenses to say board a plane, would the Congressman be proud of that too? The question isn’t rhetorical. A number of those involved in the 9/11 attacks did.

Unfortunately for Cannon, C-Span caught his remarks on tape. Soon, Republicans in his district will have an opportunity to spike the Cannon, so to speak, in a primary election later this month.

His opponent has somewhat of a different take on the alien onslaught. Jacob told a June 2 district forum:  “The whole concept of illegal immigration is wrong. The concept that businesses cannot exist without illegal immigration is wrong.”

“When we have 12 million illegal immigrants to 20 million illegal immigrants, we are already in pain. We’re losing schools. We have hospitals that say, ‘If you come in and it’s an emergency, we have to treat you.’ What does that do to your insurance?”

Jacob asks rhetorically if politicians who refuse to control the borders are lighting the fuse on social dynamite. (“Why are we creating this subculture that, like in France, will burn out cars?”) If he wins the primary, the canary in the mineshaft will be gasping for air.

There’s a lot of pragmatic soul-searching going in Washington nowadays.

In a May 30th. article in the we-don’t-need-no-stinkin’-borders Wall Street Journal (“Is Cannon Fodder?”), John Fund notes that of the 17 House Democrats facing the toughest re-election campaigns, 13 voted for the no-nonsense, security-first House immigration bill.

Running in Tennessee to succeed Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Rep. Ed Bryant recently took his campaign to the U.S. Mexican border. Says Bryant, a former federal prosecutor, “The three biggest issues I’m hearing about is immigration three times.” (In a May Zogby poll, immigration came in a close second to the war on terror as the top issue facing the nation.)

Even Republican squishes are starting to get the idea. Representative Chris Shays (R-sorta, Connecticut) told Fund that town meetings in his district convinced him that supporting a “pathway for citizenship” for illegals would be a route to retirement for him.

Listen to talk radio to gauge the rage over illegal immigration.  When the Senate votes to provide Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants, most in Middle America feel like they’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and are sipping tea with the Mad Hatter and Dormouse.

Sometime this summer, the House and Senate will try to craft a compromise on their respective bills – which couldn’t be further apart.

Perhaps the worst part of the Senate bill is the so-called temporary guest-worker program. They’re not guests and they won’t be here temporarily. Estimates on how many of them will be admitted over the next 20 years ranges from a low of 20 million (Congressional Budget Office) to a high of 66 million (the Heritage Foundation). But that doesn’t include the spouses, children, siblings and parents they can eventually bring in.

Ordinary Americans look at a nation that’s losing its language and identity, where blue-collar Americans are losing their jobs (a friend on Cape Cod tells me painters and carpenters there can’t find work, because illegals from Brazil are undercutting them), and wonder if the politicians who ask them to be compassionate have lost their minds.

In Vero Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, Noe Lorenzo Moran, an undocumented worker from Honduras, was arrested for molesting a 12-year-old girl at a swimming pool.

Moran is alleged to have forced the child against a wall, removed her bikini bottom and fondled her. A researcher at the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta conservatively estimates there are 240,000 sex offenders in America’s illegal immigrant population. Hey, maybe they really are taking jobs most Americans don’t want – like child molestation.

The enablers of illegal immigration share the blame for this, too.

If Moran had been in California this week, he could have voted for Francine Busby. If he resided in Utah, Chris “love them illegals” Cannon would have seen to it that he got a driver’s license.

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Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.

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