It's beginning to dawn, even on American politicians, that you cannot have something like 34 million immigrants in the country and not expect immigration to become a major political issue.
The latest politician in whose brain this insight has blossomed is the junior senator from New York and very possibly the next president of the United States: Mrs. William J. Clinton, popularly known as "Hillary."
The Washington Times reports that "Hillary goes conservative on immigration," [by Charles Hurt, December 13, 2004] which means, in case you're the kind of "conservative" who thinks mass immigration is a good thing, that she is opposed to immigration.
Or at least that is what the noises she is making about the issue would suggest.
Mrs. Clinton, widely suspected of being the next Democratic presidential nominee in a year when the incumbent Republican leaves office, has a pretty good chance of being the next president, and it's interesting she's making the noises on immigration she is.
In 2002, Mrs. Clinton won the New York Senate race with some 85 percent of the state's Hispanic vote.
That by itself would suggest that Hispanics are a major constituency for her, at least in the state and probably nationally, and that she really doesn't want to alienate them by being against more immigration.
Then again, maybe Mrs. Clinton is just a little smarter than a good many of the Republicans who adhere to the Open Borders lobby propaganda lines that
(a) all Hispanics are necessarily for immigration and
(b) being against immigration or some of it will lose you the Hispanic vote.
In short, Mrs. Clinton, unlike some Republicans, might actually have looked at this year's election returns.
Maybe so, but even if she's thinking about making immigration control a major part of her future political strategy, she seems to have a ways to go before she figures out how to do it. Consider, for example, some of what she's been saying, as the Times reports it.
Almost everything Mrs. Clinton has said about the issue centers on illegal immigration. That's fine as far as it goes, but most experts and political leaders who are serious about the issue understand that illegal immigration is only part of the problem. The even more massive legal immigration causes the same problems as the illegal kind.
In a recent interview on WABC radio, the Times reports Mrs. Clinton as saying, "I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants."
Yes, but you see, no knowledgeable person who's really against illegal immigration would say he's "against illegal immigrants." It's immigration, not the immigrants, that's objectionable. Being "anti-immigrant" is in fact a canard the Open Borders lobby uses to claim that supporters of immigration control just dislike the immigrants themselves.
In the same interview, she also said,
"Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we're going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let's have a system that keeps track of them."
Yes, well, that's more or less what President Bush claims he's proposing in his "guest worker" program that is really an amnesty for illegals. The problem with the kind of guest worker or "entry and exit" programs they're proposing is that they're all entry and no exit. Once the immigrants come in, no one will be able to make them go back.
Mrs. Clinton may or may not be serious about her new noises against immigration. Personally I hope she is and that she learns more about it and thinks it through a bit more than she seems to have done.
But what's really significant about her immigration control posturing is that it's happening at all.
"She's not a dumb woman," a spokesman for immigration control champion Tom Tancredo told the Times. "She's got a great liberal base, and she realizes there's no better way to draw in more conservative voters. She has really come out to the forefront on that."
After years of trying to explain to the leadership of the Republican Party that mass immigration is not only a danger to our national security and identity, conservatives may now be on the eve of finding that the person who has really paid attention is someone whom most conservatives loathe.
In fact, that outcome was probably inevitable.
As libertarians and neo-cons badgered the Republicans into ignoring the immigration issue totally, it was probably only a matter of time before someone not at all a conservative perceived what the immigration issue could gain him (or her).
If Mrs. Clinton lights her path toward the White House with the issue of immigration control in a serious way, the Open Borders Republicans may find they merely dug their own political graves.
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Sam Francis [email him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection of his columns, America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available from Americans For Immigration Control. Click here for Sam Francis' website. Click here to order his monograph, Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future.