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The Immigration Wars By: William R. Hawkins
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, April 24, 2006


Conservative talk radio made much of all the foreign flags being waved during the first round of pro-illegal alien demonstrations in March. So when protests were staged in Washington April 10, organizers distributed thousands of American flags and warned activists not to wave the standards of Mexico or El Salvador. CASA of Maryland distributed many of these new false flags. CASA was founded in 1985 by mostly El Salvadoran leftists fleeing from the anti-communist government supported by the Reagan administration during the civil wars in Central America.

The effort to change the image of the April protest was only partially successful. The first demonstrator I encountered outside my office was holding an American flag, but was wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt. Since he had presumably dressed himself, his decision to glorify the communist revolutionary was more indicative of his outlook than the flag given to him for PR purposes. 

Some demonstrators have raised the issue of  "La Reconquista" of the American Southwest by Mexican immigrants. This is most often expressed in signs that read "we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us." It is taught in Mexican schools that what are now the states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California , and Utah, along with parts of Colorado and Wyoming, were "stolen" from Mexico between 1836 and 1848 by American imperialists and will one day be regained. Ironically, the revolt that won Texas independence was staged by colonists and "guest workers" originally invited into the territory by the Mexican government. But the threat to American independence is not limited to the Southwest, as illegals do not all stay in the border areas. They spread out across the United States. Thus, the political aim of those mobilizing the immigrants is to take national power in Washington and change the course of American destiny.

The march down 16th Street to Lafayette Park, across from the White House, passed in front of my office building. There were still plenty of Mexican and other Latin flags being waved, as well as signs written in Spanish. There were also many placards from the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism), the leading leftist antiwar group that was one of the main organizers of the march. On their website, the column demanding "amnesty and full rights for immigrants" sits next to the column boosting of the protests in March marking the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and above the articles condemning anti-terrorist operations in Gaza and the Philippines.

Casting its propaganda in terms of halting U.S. imperialism, A.N.S.W.E.R. wants to change the direction of American politics by enfranchising a Third World electorate. Its efforts should be considered a companion tactic to that of the International Endowment for Democracy (IED) which was founded in March at about the same time the marches started. Its board of directors includes Ramsey Clark, Gore Vidal and Howard Zinn, all of whom have ties to A.N.S.W.E.R. as well as a gaggle of Marxist professors who specialize in anti-imperialist studies. The aim of the IED is to help finance "progressive" politics throughout the United States with foreign money. In its "Urgent Appeal to the People of the World," IED asked for "donations, no matter how small, from all those victimized by our government's actions." The IED hopes "to use foreign monies  to help build a real democracy in the country that needs it most, the U.S.A." A democracy expanded by the influx of alien– and alienated, voters. This leftist strategy of using foreign funders and immigrants to take over American government amounts to an invasion plot.

Some proponents of amnesty argue that to oppose open borders is to retreat into isolationism. Yet, it is the left-wing groups organizing the "open border" rallies who desire to see a withdrawal of U.S. power from the outside world and a collapse of America's global influence, which they consider to be the manifestations of an evil empire.

My favorite banner was a large one carried by six marchers which read, in both English and Spanish, "For A World Without Borders And Law." It is commonly heard that "9/11 changed everything." For the large and well-organized immigrant rights community, which is heavily funded by left-wing foundations like Ford, Soros and MacArthur, this has meant a more active drive to keep the borders open, if not disappear all together. Their aim is not just to legalize the "undocumented" horde that is already here, but to make sure the flow continues.

The march went past the headquarters of the AFL-CIO. Some unions have endorsed immigrant rights in an attempt to find new recruits, and the AFL-CIO supported the cross country "freedom ride" conducted on behalf of illegals in 2003. However, the AFL-CIO's arch rival, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been the more active force behind the current wave of nation-wide protests. The SEIU, which claims to be the country's largest immigrant union with 1.8 million members, led several other unions in a walk out from the AFL-CIO in July 2005 on the grounds that the traditional unions were not playing an active enough role in politics.

The SEIU endorsed Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, and at its national convention voted to end the U.S. "occupation of Iraq" and withdraw all U.S. troops, putting the union firmly in the "anti-imperialist" camp. The SEIU has called for "the redirecting of the nation's resources from inflated military spending to meeting the needs of working families for health care, education, a clean environment, housing and a decent standard of living."

In the U.S., leftists have long believed that importing a new proletariat is the quickest way to build a mass movement to challenge a middle America that has been trending towards the right. Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy understands this, and wants illegals rushed into the voting booths via an amnesty program. This is much more radical than President Bush's original guest worker plan, which envisioned immigrants staying only a few years to work before going back home. Senators John McCain, Chuck Hagel and other Republicans supporting rapid "citizenship" seem ignorant of this larger left-wing agenda.

The April 11 front page color photo in the Express tabloid, distributed by the Washington Post to commuters, should awaken all Republicans and conservatives to the danger. The photo centered on a demonstrator holding a sign that read "Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote."

In an odd alliance with radical labor and antiwar groups, major business organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have endorsed amnesty programs for illegal workers to insure a pool of "cheap labor." But what may be "cheap" for a company can be very expensive for society. After generations of trying to alleviate poverty and expand the middle class, we are now being told that poverty is so critical to the economy that more of it must be imported.

Yet, polls consistently show that the vast majority of Americans do not want to see their tax dollars used to subsidize "cheap labor" with the welfare checks, remedial education programs, health care benefits and larger prisons that come with any expansion of a destitute Marxist-style "working class" favored in some dim-witted business circles. I say dim-witted because the business community will be the first to suffer if there is a demographic shift to the left in American politics. For business leaders to advocate the enfranchisement of millions of illegal aliens would be the perfect example of the old adage "penny wise, but pound foolish."

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William Hawkins is a consultant on international economics and national security issues.


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