Great take by Debbie Schlussel on the controversy in Utah , which involves the public disclosure of the identities of 1,300 illegal aliens living in the state.


I tend to agree with her assessment, especially this part:

And that’s the thing here:  it’s an embarrassment–an embarrassment to Utah and an embarrassment to the federal government.  In a matter of minutes, two lowly state employees put together the list of illegal aliens sucking Utah dry and notified police and the public.  And if it takes only two people to do this, why does it take 300 million taxpayers to pay for a giant bloated federal agency to enforce the law . . . and we still can’t get it done?

Maybe it’s just me, but the fact that this information was compiled by two conscientious state workers makes the assertions by the open-borders crowd that deportation isn’t a realistic option ring rather hollow.

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We Like Brian Bilbray

And this, my friends, is why:


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Immigration In Popular Culture

The eternal lure of migration and the appeal of the immigrant story writ large is something that Hollywood knows how to exploit with some degree of panache. American popular culture is filled with stories of exile and struggle and the Horatio Alger path to success that we presume most immigrants to this country want to emulate.

From the cartoonish charm of the Russian mouse in Feivel: An American Tail, to the glamor of New York City embodied in director Jim Sheridan’s coming-of-age story, In America, to the much more inaccurate-bordering on propagandistic-open borders fantasy Under the Same Moon-which is purportedly based on a true story-Tinseltown realizes that this subject has an enduring appeal among a public that sees itself as coming from immigrant stock.

Perhaps the most accurate portrayal of this subject is, ironically enough, the exaggerated, tale of Anglo-Irish conflict in 19th century New York depicted in  Martin Scorcese’s The Gangs of New York. Notwithstanding the temporal compression, conflation of certain historical events-and invention of others-and the slightly absurdist portrayal of “Bill the Butcher,” a marginal figure in the American Nativist movement and successful bare-knuckle boxer, as the WASP equivalent of Moqtader al-Sadr, the movie nevertheless conveys some elemental truths about the subject that are missing from other films that try to address the emotionally freighted topic of immigration. Whether it’s the sedulous exploitation of Irish newcomers for political and material gains by Boss Tweed, or the greatly ambivalent attitudes native Americans-in this case, New Yorkers-feel towards the boats streaming into our city’s harbors, the film captures a highly complex, volatile situation that we see even today, over a century and half after the events depicted in the course of the film.

The changing internal dynamics of the city, and by extension, the country, are sketched out over the course of the movie, whose plot-line spans two generations. And while the dramatic arc of the film captures some deeper truths that are absent from the maudlin presentations of other immigrant-focused cinematic works, it still suffers from Martin Scorcese’s  irrepressible desire to draw parallels to the situation we face today. Right now we have a comparable wave of immigration-although, the actual percentage of the population that is foreign-born is larger than it was in the mid to late-nineteenth century-and with it a large number of immigrants forced to cope with the challenges of adapting to their new country.

Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to drawing analogies between the large, successive waves of immigration that occurred in the nineteenth century and the immigration that we’ve seen since the passage of the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, as well as subsequent amnesties, e.g. the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. While the reasons someone might emigrate remain remarkably similar, e.g. seeking political refuge from a hostile regime, or perhaps greater economic opportunity and mobility, there are several consequential differences between the immigrants of today and our ancestors.

The tools of assimilation that bound first, second, and third-generation immigrants to their adopted country have largely been done away with, and the negation of English as the default common language in official proceedings has meant that communication among Americans has gradually, but inexorably, attenuated. This, in turn, has frayed the social bonds both among and within communities, something even the liberal sociologist Robert Putnam-the acclaimed author of “Bowling Alone-has conceded. The speed of communication with and travel to the immigrants’ homelands has made their ties to their adopted country even more tenuous than it might otherwise have been. This is to say nothing of the technological revolution that has made the skills offerred by many immigrants-especially those from developing countries-superfluous, if not detrimental, to functioning in our society, or the vast social welfare state that, while not a primary inducement, does offer tangible disincentives that did not exist in previous generations.

The problem with the nostalgic, glossy, Hollywood interpretation of this issue is that all of the aforementioned problems are swept under the rug, and we are not afforded the opportunity to debate whether or not a nineteenth century immigration policy-implemented at a time when our nation’s interior was a vast, sparsely settled breadbasket and not an economically depressed rust belt-makes sense in today’s twenty-first century world. Sadly, that debate will not be engendered by our current crop of directors, screenwriters and producers, who seem to be stuck in amber.

Posted in Hollywood, Immigration, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

How’re We Doing?

One of the first big-city mayors to embrace the concept of sanctuary city laws has a change of heart.

Read about it here:


Posted in amnesty, Arizona, Ed Koch, Mexico, SB1070, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Blog Roll

I’m in the process of creating a links’ section. Initially, it will only contain immigration-related weblogs and websites, but that might change in the future.

Stay tuned.

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Toughest Sheriff In Town

No explanation necessary.


Posted in Arizona, Barack Obama, David Axelrod, lawsuit, SB1070 | 2 Comments

Political Exploitation

From one of my favorite bloggers comes word that the amnesty coalition in Congress is trying a new tack in its bid to enact “comprehensive immigration reform.”


The legislation appears to be part of an effort to strengthen support on the left, rather than the right, by targeting a constituency that has yet to be heard from in the immigration debate — the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered community.

While most of the public might not be aware of this, there has actually been a concerted campaign to link the issues of gay and lesbian rights and the wants of pro-immigration, pro-amnesty political activists. A vivid illustration of the at times perplexing attempt to ride on the coattails of the LGBT movement can be found in a speech delivered by the president of MALDEF to a prominent, national gay-rights organization.


A critical part of MALDEF’s heritage and history is collaboration and partnership with other communities. It has been one of my goals, as the new president, to deepen or collaboration and partnership with the LGBT community.

Bear in mind, it is not until his speech is nearly a third completed that he even acknowledges the ostensible purpose of his visit, i.e. to collaborate with a gay and lesbian rights organization on a joint project. Interestingly, the remainder of his speech is devoted entirely to lobbying this group to campaign for changes to immigration law that have nothing to do with the lives of gay men or lesbians. It’s the same method employed by Representative Luis Gutierrez. Namely, profess sympathy for what’s perceived as a beleaguered sexual minority, when in fact the sole purpose of your bill is to broaden the depth of support for your primary goal, i.e. complete amnesty for 10-25 million illegal aliens.

2) People assume that our communities are single issue–immigration reform and marriage equality.

Perhaps people assume that you represent a single issue constituency because that is the only issue you make speeches, issue press releases, or initiate lawsuits on behalf of-it’s possible that you are concerned with other issues, but strangely enough, you decided not to expatiate on any of them during the course of your speech.

This would be a clever strategy, if the goals of the people pursuing it were not so transparent and easy to identify by anyone with even a somewhat critical, skeptical mind. And it doesn’t take much critical analysis to see that someone who’s never voiced the slightest interest in gay-lesbian political progress has not become a gay rights crusader simply because he’s found a wedge to exploit in his ceaseless campaign for amnesty.

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