By DEXTER DUGGAN
PHOENIX — As Arizona’s August 26 primary election approaches, Republican candidates know the public wants a firm stand against illegal immigration. GOP hopefuls don’t dare send campaign mailers bragging that they support the lax border policies of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
And, regardless of their party, few candidates want to go into November’s general election boasting of favoring massive unauthorized entry. This is increasingly true around the nation, too.
One would hope USCCB officials finally sit down seriously and acknowledge they need to back away from their “comprehensive immigration reform” policies that give illegal immigrants false hope, encourage massive border violation that includes violence and death, and immerse the bishops year after year into futile politics.
No matter how good the original intentions of a political strategy that has produced damaging results, the USCCB needs to make its overriding priority the advocacy of justice and reform in immigrants’ home countries, not lawbreaking focused on forcing entry into one country alone, the United States.
Nationally, the illegal immigration issue shot to the top of voters’ concerns recently when the latest astounding wave of illegal aliens began sweeping into Texas, forcing their presence into news coverage and onto an overburdened U.S. public sector.
In one such incident, various news sources on August 5 reported the murder of an off-duty Border Patrol agent in Texas, Javier Vega Jr., on a fishing trip with his family when he allegedly was shot by Latino illegal aliens who previously were deported.
An August 1 report in London’s Daily Mail about unauthorized immigration into Texas was headlined, “‘A lot of people die out here’ and ‘all this blood…is on [Barack] Obama’s hands’.”
For Arizona residents, border dangers long have been on their minds, knowing they share a lengthy frontier with Mexico that’s violated daily.
Also, a message started to get out in national media, from the liberal New York Times and Washington Post to conservative talkmeister Rush Limbaugh, that it doesn’t hurt Republicans to oppose illegal immigration.
Limbaugh even said on August 4 and repeated on August 5 that he doesn’t think Obama actually intends to make good on his threat to issue an executive amnesty soon for millions of illegal immigrants.
However, Limbaugh said, he thinks Obama hopes to goad Republicans into taking his bait for “comprehensive immigration reform” and thereby hurting themselves with voters.
Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich explained on the August 5 Laura Ingraham national radio program that Democrat politicians are deeply worried that the effects of Obama’s threatened impending amnesty will hurt them in November. Gingrich said he thinks there’s “a growing panic on their side that this could be a disaster” electorally.
Some Arizona politicians like Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake may be open-borders enthusiasts, but they avoided campaigning that way.
Flake’s 2012 campaign for a six-year term included a mailer showing a big border fence and border agents arresting illegal aliens to deport. Referring to Mexican lawlessness and drug cartels, Flake dissembled in a personally signed statement: “Such a situation calls for an exclusive focus on border security. Comprehensive immigration reform is a dead end.”
It’s the voters’ fault for having short memories that send such fakers back into office. However, this kind of political deception only stokes public frustration and distrust in government.
Perhaps one of Arizona’s more intriguing current Republican races is for state representative in Legislative District 28. A mailer from candidate Shawnna Bolick has two photos of defiant illegal immigrants arrogantly swarming over a border fence, and a third photo of a long line of illegals obstinately marching through the desert.
A fourth photo in the mailer shows Bolick standing next to a border fence, “learning firsthand about the immigration crisis,” a caption says. The mailer says four times, “Fix the immigration crisis.” Still unsure of her message? Bolick is quoted that she wants “to make our state safer by securing our borders and fixing the immigration crisis.”
You may have heard of Shawnna Bolick’s husband, New Jersey native and current Arizonan Clint Bolick, a national free-market advocate who supports open borders. In 2013 he co-authored the book Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution with none other than open-borders champion and former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush. Partnering with Bush on the book made Clint “so proud and excited.”
Observers can only wonder about this apparent political disagreement between the Bolicks.
Another Arizona GOP candidate, State Treasurer Doug Ducey, running for governor, went so far as to secure an endorsement in the current campaign from Kelly Terry-Willis, sister of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, murdered in December 2010 near the international line by criminal aliens with weapons from Obama’s secretive “Operation Fast and Furious.”
Ducey’s gubernatorial campaign website (dougducey.com) underlines his stated opposition to illegal immigration.
Another GOP gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Thomas, proved his dedication to fighting illegal immigration so much while he was chief prosecutor in Phoenix’s Maricopa County that the outraged local establishment had Thomas disbarred in a carefully stage-managed disciplinary hearing — a warning to everyone else to keep their distance from Thomas.
Like the national elite’s determination to impose amnesty, the Arizona open-borders elite will stop at little to achieve their dreams, no matter how much the damage to their own state.
As for national implications, on August 5 talk host Limbaugh pointed out that White House spokesman Josh Earnest was reminded by a reporter the previous day that Barack Obama promised this in 2008: that by the end of his first year as president, he’d have “comprehensive immigration reform” passed into law.
But Obama did no such thing, even though his liberal Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress for not just one but two years at the start of his presidency. Obama could have won the victory for what he repeatedly proclaims to be a pressing moral priority, and moreover could have done it constitutionally with Congress’ consent, instead of threatening to act unilaterally in 2014.
Earnest lamely told the reporter on August 4 that Obama just had a lot of other things on his plate back then.
Contrary to the frequent theme in the media that Republicans doom themselves by opposing “immigration reform” and thereby offending Hispanics, some acknowledgments started to show up that the GOP can be expected to score victories, at least for the foreseeable future.
Liberal Washington Post blogger and reporter Chris Cillizza posted on August 3 that because more whites are moving into the GOP, Republicans can still do well. He cited a California political-science professor, Marisa Abrajano, calling attention to some interesting statistics.
Cillizza wrote: “The past two elections suggest that Abrajano may be on to something. Not only did [presidential candidate Mitt] Romney hit a near-historic high in the white vote in 2012, but Republicans won the white vote in the 2010 midterms by 23 points — a massive margin considering that whites comprised 77 percent of the overall electorate.”
In the non-presidential election year of 2014, with voters across the nation simmering against Democratic Party arrogance, it may well be possible that the public again can deliver what Obama confessed was a “shellacking” against him in 2010.
Or maybe not, if one fears that an administration that can monkey with everything else, including luring tens of thousands of faraway Latino minors into the U.S., may have learned something about monkeying with voting results, too. November will tell.
Meanwhile, at the liberal New York Times’ “Upshot” blog on August 4, Nate Cohn called attention to how the concentration of Hispanic voters in certain districts dilutes their power overall. Cohn wrote:
“The small number of Hispanic voters in the Republican House electorate is a reflection of today’s congressional districts. Because Hispanics generally live in the same areas, congressional mapmakers can easily draw heavily Hispanic and heavily Democratic districts. As a result, half of all eligible Hispanics live in just 65 of the nation’s 435 congressional districts. Most of these districts are noncompetitive.”
Moreover, the assumption by pundits and the consultant class that U.S. Latinos demand “immigration reform” fails to distinguish between different Latino groups. On August 1 a caller named Pedro in New Jersey told a national radio audience that Republicans need to stop focusing on the liberals and instead think of connecting with conservative Hispanics.
Pedro was calling the Laura Ingraham program, on a morning when Los Angeles host Brett Winterble was filling in for Ingraham. Winterble applauded his observation and said the media have skewed this debate.
In the same way, one might add, that liberal media skew various other debates. While Republicans repeatedly are warned to please liberal Latinos, liberal Democrats never seem to get warned to please pro-lifers or traditional-values voters.
Winterble, as a southern Californian, told the Ingraham audience that he knows the massive influx of illegal aliens has hurt California, contrary to claims it’s beneficial.
Internet News Coverage
Barbara Simpson, a veteran big-city California electronic reporter and commentator, told The Wanderer in an email that she sees sympathetic newspaper coverage of illegal aliens, although those who oppose them — such as residents of Murrieta and Escondido, Calif. — are portrayed as racists.
“My newspapers carry the expected big feature articles, often on the front page, which are designed to elicit sympathy for illegals living in the U.S.,” Simpson said. “Sorry, it’s still illegal for them to be here and to avail themselves of the generosity of our welfare programs.”
If she didn’t follow Internet news coverage, she said, she’d have no idea there were any problems of consequence with the presence of alien minors in California.
California Gov. Jerry Brown “just returned from a highly touted trade mission to Mexico — initially for economic and environmental purposes, but it morphed into support for the illegals,” she said. “He signed a nonbinding agreement for a pilot program to educate Mexican temporary farm workers in California about their rights.
“He refrained from directly criticizing Texas for requesting the National Guard at the border, but said that when children are involved, that ‘is never justified.’ In a news conference, Brown referenced people who want to keep ‘immigrants’ out and added ‘. . . and here we are, on the side of bringing more people in’,” she said.
“. . . I loved the change in coverage of his trip. Before he left, the headlines said Brown was avoiding the immigration issue as he headed to Mexico on his ‘trade mission’,” Simpson said. “At the end, when he returned, it all changed and the headline was that immigration was a focus of his trip.”
Another topic that surfaced, she said, was the open-borders political policy of the U.S. Catholic Church.
Like U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Brown defiantly opposes the Church on foundational moral issues like abortion and homosexuality, but they both frantically start flipping through their Bibles to say Jesus loves illegal immigration.
“Brown was quoted in the Sacramento Bee as urging politicians to heed the ‘religious call…to welcome the stranger’,” Simpson said, adding that he “had a private meeting with Los Angeles Archbishop [José] Gomez and other religious and diplomatic leaders of Central America to discuss immigration. Brown said churches can play an important role in this humanitarian issue, and he advocates more shelters for the illegals.
“As for the hierarchy of the Church, bishops are glib in their comments about caring for the stranger and now say that amnesty is ‘pro-life’,” she said. “This smacks of too much politics for me.
“On top of that, they ignore the millions of dollars Catholic Charities collects on contracts with the feds to house and care for illegals in locations across the county,” she said. “I attend church regularly and have never heard that Catholic Charities in the state has a fund to care for immigrants and many churches are offering temporary housing,” thus the dependence on federal largess.
“I think their whole attitude is beyond disingenuous and hypocritical, and is, quite frankly, politically motivated,” Simpson said. “As someone said, ‘What would Jesus say?’”