Why are all nine 2004 Democratic presidential candidates (whom I won't dignify by naming—and I'm a Democrat!) in lockstep on America's mass immigration disaster?
That's the mystery. Straight down the line, the Democrats are more than happy to give away the store: amnesty, guest worker programs, in-state university tuition rates etc ad nauseum.
With all the candidates so far to the left, surely one of them could quietly move a few inches toward the center—thereby getting more in tandem with mainstream America?
If you want answers, you've got to ask questions. So I decided to put it to one of the nine:
"Why do you take your open borders stance in defiance of American wishes?"
And I chose as my target the most obvious traitor, Senator John Edwards (1977 honors graduate from the University of North Carolina law school) from the immigration-beleaguered North Carolina.
Edwards' immigration policies are from some distant planet.
I thoughtfully prepared my complete question:
1] North Carolina has experienced a nearly 300% increase in immigration since 1990 and that the state's total immigrant population—mostly from Mexico—is about 500,000; and given further that
2] North Carolina's unemployment rate is among the nation's highest at 6.1%; and finally given that
3] North Carolina is second only to Georgia in percent of urban land developed over the last fifteen years' immigration-driven growth,
—would you consider modifying your pro-illegal immigration stance to reflect a more realistic approach that matches public opinion?"
With reporter's notebook in hand, I dialed John Edwards' Raleigh campaign headquarters in Raleigh, NC. My call was given to Jeremy Vaness. Identifying myself as a journalist and concerned American, I took a deep breath and rattled off my question.
Vaness couldn't duck fast enough. He said: "I can't comment on that. I'll pass your inquiry onto our new National Spokesman, Roger Salazar."
Roger Salazar?! This was akin to saying the message would be given to Vicente Fox. A former Clinton appointee and previously a staffer with the Gore 2000 campaign, Salazar's most recent political job was 2002 press secretary to the infamous and now disgraced Gray Davis.
Pickings must be slim for National Spokesmen if you have to choose someone who worked for the Davis train wreck.
Since—no surprise—Salazar didn't return my inquiry within a few days, I fearlessly reloaded and called again.
This time, armed with additional fodder, I was prepared to ask a more probing version of my first question.
To my original query, I added:
"Given that a recent Raleigh News and Observer poll indicated that 74% of North Carolinians think the US admits too many legal immigrants and 73% think that illegal Mexican workers who otherwise abide by the law should be deported, wouldn't your prospects for re-election in your home state—should your presidential bid fail—be greater if your immigration policy were more consistent with the thinking of your constituents?" [Welcome mat not out for state's immigrants, poll shows, By Michael Easterbrook,
November 24, 2003, (Full Poll Results)]
This time, it was media representative Carlos Mojet who deferred.
Of course, it was disappointing to get no reaction whatsoever. My faith in the political process would have been restored—at least a tad—if Salazar had called back to say something like "Look, Edwards doesn't care about whether his stance on amnesty helps or hurts his presidential prospects. He feels passionately that illegal aliens are entitled to amnesty."
For what has happened in North Carolina—abetted by John Edwards and Governor Michael Easley–is a disgrace.
Years ago, when I saw the handwriting on California's wall, I considered North Carolina a potential haven. How wrong I was.
Randy Lewis, a former Californian who did actually move to North Carolina, is now the Director of Stop the Invasion, a North Carolina-based immigration reform organization had this to say about the Tar Heel State and John Edwards.
"North Carolina is California East. In the five years that I have been here, I have seen many changes. North Carolina has THE fast growing population of "Hispanics," a euphemism for illegal aliens, of ANY state in the U.S. Republicans and Democrats are doing their best to offer every incentive ($$$) to illegal aliens.
"Edwards may be a North Carolina native son but he is also a Hispandering traitor. Since elected to the Senate, Edwards has been AWOL for almost half the roll calls. He has been to Iowa so often; it might jeopardize his North Carolina residency requirement. He really wants to be president.
"During the last five years, North Carolina has gone directly downhill. NAFTA has devastated the state. Illegal aliens spread drugs, crime and disease. Because of illegal aliens, wages are down but taxes, to pay for the services aliens use, are up.
"What is the solution offered by politicians like John Edwards? We need more aliens!"
I may have been foiled in my primary goal of getting a direct answer to a straight question. But I learned something very worthwhile: the campaign staffs are extremely uncomfortable talking about immigration. They never get tough questions so they have no idea how to handle them.
The campaigns are coming soon to hustings near you. Get your tough questions ready.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.