Last week, two incidents reminded me of just how far we in the immigration reform movement have come.
When you run into people in the middle of nowhere—like a corn field through which the canals runs—who are unrestrained in their passion for bringing about true immigration reform, you know we've come a long, long way from the days when any criticism of federal immigration policy prompted charges of "immigrant-bashing."
We've all put in long days and nights to get where we are.
But what's helped us as much as anything is the staggering stupidity and bullheadedness of our opponents.
Despite having sustained repeated humiliating defeats and having encountered skyrocketing dissatisfaction with illegal immigration among Americans, immigration enthusiasts keep to their same old game plan of using assorted alien sob stories and bombast from its leaders here (La Raza's Janet Murguia) and in Mexico (President Felipe Calderon) in a futile attempt to win converts.
So far, nada—to the disappointment of reconquistas everywhere.
You may remember the so-called "Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride" in August 2003.
In my column about the silly idea of illegal aliens boarding buses at various points across the U.S. to arrive collectively at a massive demonstration in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York to demand amnesty, I predicted that it would bomb.
And it did.
Congress was unimpressed and Americans got their ire up when they saw large groups of illegal aliens demanding benefits as of right.
For the amnesty crowd, that should have been a hint of things to come.
But the message sailed over their heads. In 2007, when Congress reconsidered amnesty, the pro-alien lobbyists—forgetting their failed bus adventure— took to the road again, this time on the rails.
Thus was born the "Dream Across America Tour", in which illegals traveled in railroad cars to Washington D.C. to tell their tales of woe.
Look at this "dream" (unedited so that the full flavor comes out) told by Alfredo Rivas:
"When i came to the U.S from Mexico all i wanted was to succeed and make a better life for me and my family. When i came to this country i passed hard times looking for work and a place to stay a few months later my wife and my two daughters came, thanks to god they came safe and we were united once again. we had a hard time looking for a place to live and for work.
"my wife and i both started working in construction while we left our children with babysitters. when my older daughter was 10, my wife was pregnant and we had twins a boy and a girl. today my daughters are both attending school one is going to start her very first year as a freshman in high school and the other is going to 5th grade, and the twins are hopefully going to start pre-school soon, my wife is a house mom and i have a succesfull construction company and i own two houses.
"the reason im writing this is because i think we should keep families together and because i worked too hard in this country to just let everything go. i dont know what i would do if they seperated me from my children. right now we just want to be legal here in the united states. we want our family to be succesfull and stay together."
This fairy story may move someone, somewhere to tears. But the average American who reads it—like you and me—is enraged.
What I understand is this: first Rivas came to the U.S. illegally and then three more illegal aliens—his wife and two daughters—joined him. Rivas' wife had two anchor babies born at taxpayer expense. Now two of his children are in school at taxpayer expense and two more are about to enter pre-school.
Calculating that it costs the state about $7,000 per year for K-12 education, that comes out to nearly $100,000 per kid through 12th grade or a total education tab, assuming they remain in school through their senior high school year, of $400,000 for all four Rivas children. That aggregate sum is exclusive of free breakfasts and lunches and whatever other sundry benefits that the Rivas family can milk out of the system.
Along the way, the story continues, Rivas built a successful construction company and now owns two houses—all accomplished as an illegal alien. But of course Rivas and his wife's initial jobs in construction displaced two American workers.
In other words, while many Americans struggle to keep their jobs and make mortgage payments on a single dwelling, Rivas is enjoying the fruits of his criminal entry into the U.S. and has prospered to the extent that he owns two homes. Rivas is so flush that his wife can be a "stay-at-home mom" while millions of American two-income families are working to pay the taxes that support them.
As insulting as the Rivas story is, the final idiotic indignity from the Open Borders fanatics is another stupid demonstration. .
Despite multiple failed immigration day rallies—don't go to work, don't buy anything, stay out of school, etcetera, ad nauseum—the Treason Lobbyists are calling for yet another protest. This one will be held on September 12th— a day when America should still be grieving the lives lost in the terrorist murders on the previous day, 2001.
Using as their role models Elvira Arellano, the aspiring peace and justice ambassador, and her illegitimate son, Saul, the "Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights For Immigrants of Los Angeles" has formed the "We Are All Elvira and Saul Coalition" and is calling for a consumer boycott. [Immigration Reform Coalitions Rejoin, Call For Consumer Boycott, Associated Press, August 28, 2007]
CHIRLA, you should know, is a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization. (e-mail here)
I predict that, like all the other boycotts, the one planned for September 12th will have no impact—except to raise the temperatures of Americans already fed up and disgusted.
Although I am not in the business of giving public relations advice to the other side, I would suggest that stories like Rivas' hurt rather than help its cause.
And boycotts simply make serious minded people laugh at how preposterous the reconquistas are.
If a handful of rabble-rousers want to march with placards, let them do it. And if they truly feel that not buying a loaf of bread helps their movement, so be it. Don't buy bread.
As America has woken up to the immigration crisis, the pro-illegal alien crowd has gone in reverse. It cannot get its agenda through Congress and it cannot win support for its cause—no matter how many tearjerker stories it tells to the mainstream media or how many mindless, counter productive marches it organizes.
For our opponents, the simple truth is painful. No intelligent arguments can be made for more immigration—or for amnesty for lawbreakers.
We'll have to keep fighting, of course. But once, not that long ago, the reconquistas counted on us giving up.
Now it is clear to them that our resolve has intensified and our momentum is increasing. That's put our enemies on the defensive, a position in which they are uncomfortable.
But they better get used to it. Things for them are only going to get worse.
Joe Guzzardi [e-mail him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor. In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.