The Domestic Surge: Frank Talk On Immigration From Democrats
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Immigration-sanity — including blunt talk on the subject — is breaking out among Congressional Democrats.

The Savannah (Georgia) Morning News reports [Barrow wants to secure borders, crack down on employers, deny benefits to illegals, by Larry Peterson, November 22, 2007]:

"Back from touring border areas in Arizona and Texas, U.S. Rep. John Barrow says he is more determined than ever to 'stop the invasion.'

"The Savannah Democrat and half a dozen other congressmen spent two days near Tucson, Ariz., and El Paso, Texas. They saw border station facilities, met with border patrol and immigration officials and visited traffic checkpoints and border-crossing sites.

"Barrow said Wednesday that he is committed to securing the borders before considering any so-called 'comprehensive' immigration policies.

"He has voted against so-called 'amnesty' measures to let illegal immigrants stay in the country."

A Democratic Congressman who describes illegal immigration as an invasion! WHOO!!!!

Barrow, representing Georgia's 12th Congressional District, is in his second term and has a B+ for his immigration votes from Americans for Better Immigration. The article quoted him as saying, further, "This is not a victimless crime. The victims are workers who have a right to be here."


Two other Democratic congressmen on the same border inspection trip were Zack Space (Ohio, 18th District) and Steve Kagen (Wisconsin, 8th District). As reported by Gannett News service in a number of smaller Ohio newspapers (e.g. Rep. Zack Space calls Arizona trip 'eye-opening,' by Ellyn Ferguson in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, November 20, 2007),

"Space, D-Dover, inspected border facilities, rode with an agent and watched the detention of a man who tried to make a run across the border. Space also said he saw men with walkie-talkies on the Mexican side of a security fence in Nogales waiting with groups of people authorities said would probably try to enter the U.S. under cover of darkness.


"'There are so many people trying to jump the border we need every agent. I am convinced we can lock down the border if we get more agents,' Kagen, D-Wis., said.


"Space said his trip to the border underscores the need for Congress to pass the Secure America with Verification and Enforcement Act. The bill would require employers to verify that their workers are in the U.S. legally using a federal database. The legislation also would authorize money for 8,000 additional Border Patrol agents.

"Space and Kagen are among the bill's 112 Democratic and Republican cosponsors."

The "S.A.V.E." bill referred to here is H.R. 4088, introduced on November 6th by freshman Democrat — and former pro football player — Heath Shuler (North Carolina, 11th District). It is an enforcement-only gem. See the resources and discussion at the NumbersUSA website.

Ninth-term Democratic Congressman Robert ("Bud") Cramer from Alabama's 5th District is also a cosponsor of H.R.4088 — and, having won re-election in 2006 with 98% of the vote, he presumably doesn't need to be. Nonetheless, he's responding to what he hears from constituents, according to a recent story [Combatting illegal immigration, by Hollice Smith, November 20, 2007] in the Scottsboro Daily Sentinel:

"The congressman said, 'Illegal immigration is one of the most serious issues facing our country. I hear from hundreds of people from North Alabama who are frustrated that the government has not acted to find a solution to the immigration problem. It is critical that Congress moves forward to find sensible solutions to strengthen our border and curb the flow of illegal immigrants entering this country.'"
Cramer was interviewed as he attended a meeting with law enforcement personnel from cities and counties in his district, an informational give-and-take on what was presumably the 287(g) program:
"During the meeting and briefing, Rep. Cramer discussed his recent efforts to help ease the burden illegal [immigration] places on law enforcement. He announced that he is a co-sponsor of legislation to reinforce law enforcement's role regarding illegal immigration. Rep. Cramer said, he is also 'working with local authorities to have our local enforcement officials trained to perform anti-immigration duties.'"
Cramer's mention of "anti-immigration duties"—as distinguished from "anti-illegal-immigration duties" was probably a verbal slip. But wouldn't that be something if a Democratic congressman both realized and said out loud that the problem with illegal immigration is at least as much with the "immigration" as it is with the "illegal"!

You're not sure what I mean? See this article by Joe Guzzardi, this statistical presentation by Ed Rubenstein, and these blog posts by Marcus Epstein.. And here's a Cliff's Notes version of the same ideas from an exchange between Mark Krikorian and the Heritage Foundation's Jay Carafano sponsored by—get this!—the Council on Foreign Relations:

"I have to come back to my original point that mass immigration is incompatible with the goals of a modern society. Guest worker programs inevitably promote illegal immigration, which creates political pressure for amnesty. Large-scale immigration of any kind overwhelms our ability to screen newcomers with the kind of attention to detail that modern threats demand. People willing to leave their countries in large numbers are inevitably going to be relatively poor and less-educated, and thus place a disproportionate burden on the government services provided by a modern society."
Besides the favorable noises coming from Democrats that I cited above, it seems worthwhile to note that the headline writer for the Savannah paper used the succinct, unadorned word "illegals" to refer to illegal aliens. Frank headlines like this are also something we're starting to see with increasing frequency
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