Jewish World Review Oct. 29, 2009 11 Mar-Cheshvan 5770
Voting Present on Illegal Immigration
By Victor Davis Hanson
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Immigration activists and Hispanic groups are demanding that President Obama deliver on his promised comprehensive package of immigration reform.
Already, House Speaker
Yet expect the public to oppose any so-called comprehensive immigration reform even more vehemently than it did
Conditions on the ground have changed drastically in the last two years
First, the nation's unemployment is now over 9 percent. It may be peak beyond 10 percent. In many western states, such as
The old notion that "illegal immigrants pick the lettuce that Americans refuse to" is an ossified stereotype. In fact, today less than one out of 20 illegal aliens currently do farm labor. Most are engaged in construction or the service industry, or are homemakers with childcare responsibilities. While plenty of unemployed American citizens may still not yet wish to pick oranges, the jobless might consider taking jobs like hammering nails or working in restaurants.
Second, many states are broke. Taxes are rising. The public is questioning all sorts of government entitlement expenditures. In
Yet illegal aliens who receive government help somehow can send money back home to
Of the 11-12 million illegal aliens believed to be residing in
Americans have never minded helping the poor in their midst, even during hard times. But it's fair for us to wonder whether our own rising taxes go in part to pay for those who are subsidizing the Mexican government's inability or unwillingness to provide basic care for its own citizens.
Politically, Obama administration is between a rock and a hard place -- under partisan pressure to go further than any past government in easing immigration enforcement while the wider public increasingly wants the border strictly enforced and illegal immigration ended. Polls of all sorts reveal consistently that the public believes illegal immigration is a serious problem and that government is not doing enough to stop it.
Apparently a hesitant Obama hopes that the crisis over illegal immigration will just go away on its own -- despite his now forgotten April vow to enact "comprehensive immigration reform."
The economic slowdown, together with beefed-up security and the border wall, have cut down the number of illegal entries to the lowest number in recent years. Privately, Obama must be happy that the pool of illegal aliens is shrinking, allowing the formable forces of American assimilation to work on smaller, more integrated populations, without politically charged talk about amnesty and deportation. Publicly, he can lament to his Hispanic base that Bush, not he, was responsible for the wall and increased security.
In other words -- like his positions on the need for more troops n
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
© 2009, TMS