Bill Richardson and
Janet Napolitano sincere in their declarations that
New Mexico and Arizona are in an "emergency"
because of illegal aliens? That`s the question that is
on everyone`s mind.
My answer: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES
Whether Richardson and Napolitano
are motivated by a sincere desire to protect their
embattled residents or whether the two governors, up for
re-election in 2006, are driven by a
devious Democratic Party ploy to fulfill their
venal political ambition is of no concern.(Email
It does not matter.
The important thing is that
Richardson and Napolitano have become firm critics of
lax border control and that they identify federal
non-enforcement of immigration law as the cause for the
social havoc in their states.
Consider that we now have the
governors of New Mexico and Arizona loudly declaring
that because of relentless illegal immigration, their
states are now under siege. How much sweeter for us that
Richardson,—constantly puffing himself up as the
only "Hispanic" governor—and
Napolitano have been up until now visible, vocal
proponents of illegal immigration.
Both governors have large dossiers
of ugly pro-illegal alien statements and actions. Here
from dozens of examples are two:
Richardson, during the infamous 2003
Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, told a busload
of aliens in Santa Fe:
"New Mexico is your home." "We
will protect you." "You have rights here."
"Viva la raza."
also in 2003, addressed the
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed
Officials to trumpet her veto of a bill
requiring voters to show valid I.D. at polling
booths. The bill would have prevented illegal aliens
But if you press me for an answer
about Richardson/Napolitano`s motivation, I`ll give them
the benefit of the doubt. I think
reality has forced their hand.
Richardson and Napolitano must see
exactly what I as a resident of
California`s San Joaquin Valley see.
In the last decade, the
Hispanic population in Lodi has increased 125%. A
week ago, I walked a one-mile radius around the
Lodi Adult School where I have worked for
nearly twenty years. In the late 1980s, it was a
solidly middle class neighborhood of mixed ethnicities.
Now it is Hispanic enclave where
English is rarely heard. And the neighborhood is
made up of mostly
poor people who rely, in varying degrees, on social
The governors, who are witness to
the same trends in their states, have to come up with
the money to underwrite
alien populations like Lodi`s. And finding the funds
is a growing challenge.
To understand just how pressing the
need is to immediately cut off illegal immigration, read
the ominous Pew
Hispanic Center report that found that nearly 50% of all
Mexicans want to live in the U.S. With no end in
sight, Richardson and Napolitano are compelled to act
now rather than later. Why wait?
An indirect benefit of Richardson/Napolitano`s
public catharsis might be to give courage to notorious
Republican immigration wafflers
Texas Governor Rick Perry and
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. They too
are up for re-election in 2006. Both did well among
Latino voters in their last elections. Hence, both
tiptoe around illegal immigration.
Perry and Schwarzenegger know the
score. But they have said that they are
not considering a "state of emergency" declaration
at this time. Nevertheless, they have given abundant
clues that such an announcement might not be far off.
California certainly warrant it.
fully understand and can appreciate the frustration that
many Texans and others across the nation have with
illegal immigration, its potential impact on our
national security and the unacceptable burden it is
placing on taxpayers, and state and local criminal
justice, education, and health care systems." [Gov.
Perry Responds to Congresswoman Jackson Lee Concerning
the Minuteman Project ]
And Schwarzenegger, in a story
reported on San Diego`s News 10, speaking about possibly
declaring a state of emergency said:
talking about that right now. If we see a need for that,
we definitely will do the same thing. We all have talked
about the importance of really
securing the borders.
not just the flow of illegal immigrants that are coming
over here, but it is also the drug trafficking that is
going on, the violence that is going on on the borders
and the human trafficking. [Governor
Considers Declaring Border Emergency]
Schwarzenegger ended his remarks by
disingenuously and incorrectly claiming that there is no
need to declare a state of emergency at the moment since
"things are somewhat under control". However, his
human trafficking echo those of Richardson and
Adding the voices of Republicans
Schwarzenegger to those of Democrats Richardson and
Napolitano is critical. Once prominent state leaders
from both parties speak out, then any suggestion that
illegal immigration is being used as a partisan or wedge
Rush Limbaugh said that Richardson
and Napolitano`s move on illegal immigration was an
"simply for show" by the Democrats to beat the
immigration brain-dead Republicans to the punch. But
Limbaugh and the like-minded
Wall Street Journal say if Perry and
Schwarzenegger declare emergencies?
Illegal immigration is a national
issue worthy of the full attention of Republicans and
Democrats alike. As Limbaugh said, noting that
illegal immigration is the number one social issue
in the nation,
American people are concerned about the fate and future
of the country."
In the meantime, while Perry and
Schwarzenegger ponder, I repeat that whether Richardson
and Napolitano are the real deal or phony baloneys, the
bottom line is all the same to us.
Their apparent conversion to our
side is the greatest triumph for the immigration reform
movement that I can remember.
Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.