Bleeding-heart liberalism for thee, but not for me. That is the expedient philosophy of the wealthy Rockefeller family.
Last week, the Rockefeller rule was on full display at a little-noticed hearing in Arlington County, Va. There, Mrs. Sharon Percy Rockefeller vehemently objected to one of the Left's trendiest pet government projects: publicly subsidized day labor centers for illegal aliens.
Among the most vocal advocates and funders of these illegal alien shelters? None other than the New York City-based Rockefeller Foundation.
Last fall, a Rockefeller Foundation-funded day labor site for "undocumented workers" opened in Madison, Wisconsin. Last summer, Rockefeller Foundation-funded writer David Bacon published an article sympathetic to illegal alien workers and critical of federal enforcement of employer sanctions against companies using illegal alien labor. In 1993, the Rockefeller Foundation forked over $50,000 to the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art and Centro Cultural de la Raza for a private-public "art" project that handed out $10 bills to illegal aliens congregating at San Diego day labor sites.
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering underwriter of illegal alien day labor. But the Rockefellers' high-minded compassion ends at their own front door.
About Mrs. Rockefeller: She is the wife of Sen. John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV (D-West Va.), who is the son of John D. Rockefeller III, who was the eldest son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., founder of the Rockefeller Foundation, whose legendary father was the founder of Standard Oil Company. Mrs. Rockefeller is also the chief executive officer of WETA, the leading PBS station in the Washington, D.C., area—and broadcasting home to such signature programs as "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" and "Washington Week."
The Arlington County, Va., day labor site will be built adjacent to Mrs. Rockefeller's WETA studios and may take up nearly half the space of a county-owned parking lot used by WETA employees.
An alarmed Mrs. Rockefeller lambasted a local county board for approving the Arlington illegal alien day labor center, which she said would create a "pretty hostile environment" for her workers and high-profile guests (including some of the Beltway's leading illegal immigration apologists). Mrs. Rockefeller fears that Washington's movers and shakers will be exposed to potential menaces who have been seen on the streets brawling, leering, loitering, and otherwise thumbing their noses at civil society.
"I don't want the incidents to happen that will probably happen," Rockefeller said. Joseph Bruns, WETA's chief operations officer, told the Washington Post after the hearing that he and Rockefeller worry that female workers "will feel rightly or wrongly intimidated" by the day laborers. [WETA Accepts Decision On Day Laborers' Shelter, By Elaine Rivera and Miya Wiseman, Washington Post, August 2, 2003]
The fear, of course, is completely justified. Local officials openly acknowledge that their $140,000 taxpayer-funded facility (complete with a shaded pavilion and portable bathroom) will attract immigration outlaws looking for work. Male day laborers of unknown immigration status and unknown criminal histories currently gather on a corner one block from the planned new site. Driving by on a typically busy afternoon this week, I counted more than a dozen hanging around in the open.
Just down the road from this site is the Arlington Department of Motor Vehicles, where several September 11 hijackers hooked up with loitering illegal alien day laborers to obtain fraudulent photo identification. Yet, local government representatives, sworn to uphold the laws and Constitution of the United States, are promising illegal alien day labor site advocates that local police will look the other way as Arlington's border-crossing and visa-overstaying lawbreakers break even more laws and make a mockery of homeland security.
No wonder Mrs. Rockefeller's fine feathers are ruffled. Instead of giving them shaded employment centers, Arlington police should be giving them—and their employers willing to illegally recruit, refer, encourage, and harbor them—rides to jail.
Across the country, from Long Island to Phoenix to Hollywood., law-abiding citizens have lodged similar complaints against government-supported illegal alien day labor sites—which have increased harassment, traffic, and crime in their neighborhoods.
But unlike the Mrs. Rockefeller, average Americans who voice such objection are labeled uncouth, hateful, racist, xenophobic, and intolerant.
Such are the pampering advantages of blue blood over red.
Michelle Malkin [email her] is author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow's review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website.
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