Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Si Se Puede

The Moose suggests that Congress achieve at least one thing this year.

Yesterday's immigration protest only assisted one group - the Republican right. It inflamed the fever swamp and it was not a good thing. Those who are here illegally should not flaunt a sense of entitlement. Yet, there is a need for a comprehensive reform bill, and whatever backlash that might develop shouldn't dissuade Congress from acting.

The GOP's right fixation on the "immigrant hordes" is ludicrous. Sure, there is a problem, but it is nowhere as immense as some Republicans suggest. These illegal immigrants generally come to America not to be on the dole but to work and work hard. Yes, they speak a foreign language and observe customs from the old country - and so did many of our parents and grandparents. English should be the preferred language for the national anthem, but even if it is sung in a foreign tongue it is better than not being heard at all.

Ironically, these immigrants are likely more socially conservative than native born Americans. As the Washington Post pointed out, there is a revival of Pentecostalism among new immigrants. Indeed, the native tongue may be speaking in tongues!

Nativists back in the twenties were probably offended just as they are today. But is this really the number one issue facing the country? You would think so by the amount of attention the right wing noise machine is devoting to the issue. And the Republican Senate even diverted funding from the war for the border issue.

Fortunately, there is a vital center in the Senate on immigration issue. The McCain-Kennedy legislation offers a comprehensive solution to the problem. Yet, before the Easter recess, Senate Democrats obstructed its passage. And even if it is adopted by the Senate, the bill faces an uncertain future among the nativists in the House.

Passing the immigration bill may afford the President one legislative success this year - if not for his entire second term. But it can only happen with significant Presidential involvement

Mr. President, si se puede - in your heart, you know it's right.
-- Posted at 8:20 AM | Link to this post | Email this post