Wednesday, April 12


Is that a word, felonizing? If it's not, it should be.

This is some spin cycle.

The top Republicans in both the House and Senate indicated Tuesday they don't support language in an immigration bill that would make entering the country illegally a felony.
Frist and Hastert also criticized House Democrats, who, they said, opposed efforts by Republicans to strip the provision from the bill before it passed.

"Instead, they voted to make felons out of all of those who remain in our country illegally," their statement said. (Watch the politics of immigration -- 2:28)

Oh, that's good. Blaming the Democrats for their own bill. This is a good example of why the nouns spin, cycle, whitewash, are all so appropriate to Rethuglican speech.

The provision making illegal immigration a felony was part of a bill pushed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican. It passed the House in December by a vote of 239-182, with only 36 Democrats supporting the final version of the measure.

Responding to Tuesday's criticism of Democrats by Hastert and Frist, Jennifer Crider, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, said "no amount of spin can change the fact that Republicans wrote and passed the Sensenbrenner bill, which criminalizes an entire population."

Crider also said Republicans "are feeling the heat" after demonstrations that brought out hundreds of thousands of protesters Monday at rallies in at least 140 cities in more than 39 states.

Sensenbrenner, who sponsored the provision making illegal immigration a felony, said last week that he tried to remove it from the bill in December and remains open to making the change as the House and Senate try to reach an agreement on a final bill.

Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, a leading advocate of cracking down on illegal immigration, has accused Democrats of trying to keep the felony provision in the bill as a "poison pill."

But Sen. Edward Kennedy on Tuesday dismissed such characterizations.

"Actions speak louder than words, and there's no running away from the fact that the Republican House passed a bill and Senator Frist offered one that criminalizes immigrants," the Massachusetts Democrat said.

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Anonymous Crusader said...

"Actions speak louder than words, and there's no running away from the fact that the Republican House passed a bill and Senator Frist offered one that criminalizes immigrants," the Massachusetts Democrat said.

Uh, no Ted. This country is chock full of LEGAL immigrants--*none* of whom would have been effected by the bill in question. The bill would have "criminalized" ILLEGAL immigrants. Why is the left (in general) afraid to address the core issue, and instead attempting to imply (subtly and not-so-subtly) that this is an issue of race?

2:32 PM  
Blogger Motherlode said...

Excuse me, crusader, but how exactly do you expect our legal immigrants to react if ILLEGAL immigration is criminalized? Do you expect them to turn in their relatives, husbands, fathers, mothers, nephews, grandmothers? Do you expect them to kick them out of their homes, deny them sustenance? If they don't, THEY TOO will be felons.

You're pretty good at catching the misstatement, the incorrect language, but do you ever grasp the spirit behind the words? What exactly do YOU think is the core issue that the left (in general) is afraid to address? What's YOUR solution?

Put up or shut up.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Crusader said...

"You're pretty good at catching the misstatement, the incorrect language, but do you ever grasp the spirit behind the words?"

I do indeed--that was what I was complaining about. The "spirit behind the words" seems to be to misdirect the public in regard to what it is that we're even discussing. The topic, properly titled and presented to the American public, should be "ILLEGAL Immigration". Instead, there's a very eager attempt by many to pretend this is about the big bad Republicans and how they don't like brown people.

It is true that we are a "nation of immigrants", but that phrase harkens back to the roots of Ellis Island and people who came to this country *legally* and with every intent to make the United States their new home. In a post 9/11 world, *legal* immigration is the only kind that we can tolerate for the long term safety of our shores. This debate should have never been allowed to drift into a mindless arguement over which party is more committed to "the little guy"--instead it should refocus on safety and security issues.

Further missing from the discussion is long-overdue reform in the process of bringing *legal* immigration up to speed. What is the point of discussing a "guest worker program" (as both parties have) when the Federal agency handling *legal* immigration is backlogged and sometimes takes YEARS to even respond to (much less, process and approve) attempts to change one's legal status? Further still, what's the point of pretending that "guest workers" can be tracked and monitored when 9/11 and events subsequent to it proved that that we were unprepared to monitor and track those that were already in the system?

You asked questions in the reply to my post, and I'll attempt to keep the answers to them short brief:

1) I expect legal immigrants in this country to obey ALL of the laws in this country or face prosecution just like the CITIZENS of this country are expected to do. (A comparable example: we prosecute the citizen-families of those who shelter relatives who are wanted by law enforcement for non-immigration related charges).

2) Any proposed "solution" has to address the current lack of available resources to track existing "legal" immigrants. To tack up a new law without adequately funding it just further misleads the public that the government is concerned about defending our borders when in practice the commitment is lacking.

Also, any real solution will stop pretending that people living in our neighboring countries are allowed to "cut in line". There are fine and productive people all over the world who would love to come to our country and embrace it as their new (and only) home--we are settling for second-best if we short change those folks merely because the Mexican government has historically mismanaged the vast resources available to them.

Finally, those that are here illegally already should be treated as a seperate discussion. The continual linking of "how do we go forward" with the issue of "how do we handle those that slipped in previously" is muddying the waters and hindering a solution to either question.

5:27 PM  

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