Gunfight At The Immigration Reform Corral
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Gather up the posse. Deputize every able man, woman and child.

January 1 marked the first day of the Great Immigration Reform Shootout of 2004. We aim to round up and hogtie once and for all the traitors, seditionists and ethnic identity politicians and lobbyists who are out to destroy the United States.

The Shootout of 2004 will be a classic show-down between the guys wearing black hats—the White House, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the California State Latino Caucus, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, La Raza, to name but a very few—against the guys in white hats, people like you and me who want to save America.

And (as a Californian I might modestly observe) immigrant-inundated California is once again leading the good guys.

George W. Bush fired the first shot on Christmas Eve when, through the Washington Post, he proclaimed that in early January he would submit an outline for "immigration reform" (translation: open borders) for Congress' consideration.

I view Bush's brazen attack on Americans who long for a sensible immigration policy as good for reform—real reform. Everything is now unmistakably out in the open. In an economy with 9 million unemployed Americans and another 9 million underemployed, Bush has the effrontery to enthusiastically endorse a guest worker program.

And as his re-election bid unfolds, Bush will be facing more bad news from the job front:

The arrogant assumption behind Bush's guest worker/amnesty proposal is that he's free to do what pleases him because all his Democratic opponents are on the same open-borders page.

In other words, the Bush is saying, "I know you traditional Republicans don't like this, but so what? You're too loyal ever to vote Democratic."

Bush's analysis might be too cocky. Voters have a third option: "Someone Who Isn't Either One of You."  (Interested readers should go to, "Voters For None of the Above," for a history of the ultimate protest vote.)  Or there's a fourth option: stay home. As Steve Sailer has demonstrated, it was only high turnout among whites, and not conversions among minorities, that won the 2002 elections for the GOP.

And if enough people—especially in a handful of critical states—opt for that third or fourth option, then the election outcome is a crapshoot.

Bush is betting that voters aren't angry or savvy enough to vote the Someone-Who-Isn't-Either-One-of-You ticket. But I say Bush underestimates the popular rage.

We're smoking mad in California, that's for sure. And we're fighting back where it matters the most—with our voices and our votes.

Watch the progress of California's Save Our State initiative—a likely winner—and the $15 billion bond proposal on the March 2004 ballot—a likely loser. Of special note is that $15 billion might be roughly the total amount the state spends annually on services to illegal aliens.

To be placed on the November 2004 ballot, the Save Our State initiative needs slightly more than 500,000 signatures collected by late April—a snap in the age of Internet downloading. And the required half a million total is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of outraged Californians—ten times that sum at a minimum.

BUT the same prediction for success cannot be made for the $15 billion bond that novice Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is banking on to temporarily bail out California.

In December 2003, the State Senate narrowly approved the bond issue that would include some spending caps. But guess what isn't capped? Apparently, Californians would be forced to continue to fund education, medical care and penal system costs for illegal aliens while adding $15 billion to its debt structure.

And, absent any mention of the impact of illegal immigration costs, we must assume that we'll be asked to underwrite those expenses indefinitely.

That's no way to balance a budget. Just ask Gray Davis.

And guess what else? To reduce even further the likelihood of Schwarzenegger getting his bond dream come true, Californians will also be asked in March to approve a separate $14 billion education bond issue.

Most enlightened California voters know that new school construction costs correlate directly to unchecked increases in the illegal alien/children of illegal alien student population. With California still smarting from a depressed economy and over-taxation, I think the school bond has the proverbial snowball's chance.

The entire political class will be against SOS and in favor of the bonds. That's a formidable force—but one that Californians have repeatedly proved they can defeat, with initiative votes for Official English, and against tax monies for illegals, bilingual education and affirmative action.

That's why California is the immigration enthusiasts' weak point—because we can take issues directly to the people through the initiative process.

A Yes vote on SOS and two No votes on $29 billion in bonds that fail to address illegal immigration would prove that seismic pressure continues to build for reform and against the status quo..

And what Bush or any of his democratic opponents should realize is that every time one of them opens his mouth in favor of illegal immigration in any form, he loses votes. For proof, look no further than the disastrous performance of Cruz Bustamante in the October 2003 Recall Election.

Reckless immigration policies have created High Noon in America. As in the movie of the same name, the American public is like Hadleyville's fearless Marshall Will Kane. With gunslinger Frank Miller vowing to take over the town with his henchmen, Kane knows that it's now or never.

With America looking down the gun barrel of reconquista, 2004 will be the year the white hats began to prevail.

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.

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