Senate Sellout: Did You DO Anything In The Great War For Immigration Sanity — Or Just Bitch?
Last Wednesday, May 16, I eavesdropped on the
Treason & Anarchy Lobby`s weekly conference call.
(OK, that`s my name for them!) The dominant theme was
horror at the harshness of the Senate`s
bill. (If they`d try to
dysfunctional, Balkanized mess the country will turn
into if they get their wish, one wonders if they`d have
second thoughts—or, as
Thomas Sowell would say, "perhaps
While noting the speaker`s conflation of
"anti-immigrant," I thought to myself, "Oh,
sure". After all,
poll after poll shows that Americans want
immigration to be, in
Brenda Walker`s words, "legal,
controlled, and reduced". (For the results of
last fall`s comprehensive poll commissioned by the
Center for Immigration Studies, see
“Many Senators are
telling staffers and other Senators that they are
inclined to vote for the giant Kennedy/Bush amnesty bill
(S. 1348) next week [i.e. the week of 5/21]
because they say they have been surprised at how few
phone calls of protest they`ve gotten during the last
two months of highly-publicized negotiations to create
“They are concluding that
the citizens of their states just
aren`t all that worked up about granting an amnesty.
And they`re interpreting that as a green light to give
corporations the huge new supplies of
legal foreign labor they desire.”
In short, most of our beloved senators seem
to have a death wish for our country. By now we`re used
to this kind of nonsense.
But it`s still startling to reflect upon: Why should
they need massive phone calls from the
grassroots to do the right thing? After all, the
U.S. Senate is often described as the "world`s
greatest deliberative body". They deliberated on
Anyway, it`s the kind of
nation-wrecking irresponsibility that advocates of
immigration sanity are familiar with and that we must
compensate for with the power of our numbers. But in
that same email, Roy went on to say,
“I know that most of you
have never made a phone call. Your faxing totally
dominates the written communications in offices. But our
phone presence just isn`t powerful enough. We need far
more phoning to give more weight to the piles of faxes
they are getting.”
So where are all our missing-in-action troops? In
these days of peril for the American future, we want the
forces of immigration-sanity to be functioning smoothly,
all cylinders firing.
Note that if those 320,000 Numbers participants are
divided uniformly among 435 congressional districts,
that`s 735 per district. (Uniform distribution probably
is a reasonable first approximation — recall former
Dennis Hastert`s announcement last summer that "Every
state is a border state, and every town is a border town
… everywhere I travel around this country, illegal
immigration is a top concern".)
Senator Kyl, who`s apparently leading the
capitulation cadres, should be hearing from about 5,900
people, since the state has nine districts. And 24,000
faxers/phoners from 32 districts should be hammering
Texas`s wishy-washy-or-worse Senators
John Cornyn and
Kay Bailey Hutchison. And the staffs of Georgia`s
senatorial weasels Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson
photo—I apologize to all
genuine weasels for this odious comparison) should
be begging for surcease from the attentions of about
8,800 enraged NumbersUSAers.
So we in the immigration-sanity movement are big in
number. But, per Roy Beck`s plaint, apparently we`re
Well, yes. And Roy`s is distressingly far from being
the only example. Here`s another: A good friend is
active in one of the San Diego Minutemen groups. Every
Saturday for many months, he and about
half-a-dozen other stalwarts have been picketing at
day-labor pick-up sites and generally "showing
the flag," in an area where the atmosphere is
becoming increasingly hostile and tense for such
"It`s always the same six or eight of us", the
friend told me. "People drive by and give us thumbs
up or toot their horns in approval. But do any of them
stop and join us? Almost never. Yet having
merely another half-dozen people with us would make a
Patrick Cleburne has
remarked on the "articulate ferocity" of
online comments that attend spineless op-eds on
immigration in venues like Townhall.com and
OpinionJournal. Indeed, the phenomenon is
widespread—though not universally "articulate"!
Any article having to do with immigration in, say, the
Billings Gazette spurs a barrage of readers`
input, with the vast majority of it on our side. For
example, Saturday`s article on the capitulation bill (Senators
take dubious view of immigration bill, [ By
Noelle Straub] scroll down for comments) had attracted
54 comments by 6 p.m. Sunday. Even if the article has
nothing explicitly to do with immigration, immigration
comments appear. See the second comment
But when our cause needs bodies or bucks, where
are all these people?
“If you will not fight
for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed;
if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and
not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will
have to fight with all the odds against you and only a
small chance of survival. There may even be a worse
case; you may have to fight when there is no hope of
victory, because it is better to perish than live as
Los Angeles talk-radio host
Terry Anderson says it in his own way: "There`s
no practice, America. This is not a drill".
And Terry practices what he preaches, big time.
In the fray since his
south-central Los Angeles neighborhood became an
illegal-alien magnet in the early 1990s, he`s been
doing his one-hour Sunday night radio show [Listen to it
here]on the immigration invasion since the fall of
2000. Closing in on 350 shows, he`s never missed a week
(so never had a full week`s vacation in all that time),
through sore throats, allergies, and existential
tiredness. Doing the hour-long shows can be physically
draining, and that`s on top of 40-plus hours per week
spent preparing, assembling materials and thoughts,
emails from listeners, and on and on.
But Terry`s famous now and makes big bucks doing all
this, right? Ha ha. He and helpers burn a lot of energy
raising funds to keep the show on the air, and they`ve
never taken a dime in recompense. Not even gas money for
the weekly drive to KRLA`s studio in Glendale.
So Terry`s independently wealthy? Ha ha, again. He
used to do body and fender work, until
illegal aliens flooded the Los Angeles market,
driving jobs that had paid $20/hour in the early 1980s
below $10/hour today. He`s now self-employed — spottily
— doing custom electric work on classic cars.
Of course, Terry`s sacrifices on behalf of a livable
American future, while heroic and exemplary, are far
- Glenn Spencer has been a Paul Revere about mass
illegal immigration since the late 1980s, when he
started by placing informational flyers on
windshields in his San Fernando Valley neighborhood.
Subsequently the creator of
American Patrol, he moved to the border in
Arizona in 2002 to be
on the front line.
- Then there`s Barbara Coe, fearless colleague of
Glenn and Terry, in the fight since the early 1990s,
leader in 1994`s campaign for Proposition 187,
founder of the
California Coalition for Immigration Reform.
(For 19 sound clips that ought to get your pulse up,
this CCIR web page and scroll down. Most of
these were recorded, undercover, by
Spanish-speaking, retired school teacher Evelyn
Miller, one of Barb Coe`s lieutenants, who joined up
during the Proposition 187 campaign and never looked
- You can read about these heroes and others in
Dan Sheehy`s book
Fighting Immigration Anarchy: American Patriots
Battle to Save the Nation. The
story behind the book: Dan spent two years
writing it—including a
terrifying encounter with the FBI—while living
off modest savings. So the book was Dan`s own huge
contribution to fighting immigration anarchy.
In a recent conversation with a NumbersUSA registrant
who teaches in a southern California public school, I
learned that while she`d done some faxing, she`d never
made any of those phone calls:
PN: Let`s see. Offices in
DC are open from about 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. California time.
T: My work starts before
8 a.m. and runs until about 3 p.m. …
PN: They`re open from
about 5 a.m. though …
T: But that would mean
I`d have to get up earlier.
PN: Well …. yes.
Several years ago, Roger Clegg, in one sentence,
explained most Americans` habitual complacency. In a
brief article (Madison
Memory) about our Constitution-writing Founder,
James Madison, Clegg wrote:
“[P]erhaps it is a
measure of Madison`s success that he helped create a
republic in which most people don`t have to worry much
about politics, and can take freedom for granted, and
don`t worship the authorities.”
freedom for granted. We are a very spoiled people,
probably unique in human history. Will enough of us get
"unspoiled" in time?
So, reader, what was it you were saying about being
unable to get up early to make phone calls to
Capitol Hill or about being loath to use a few hours
of accrued vacation to make an in-person impression in
your senators` or representative`s district offices or
about sending (say) $100 to (say) Terry Anderson to fund
five minutes of airtime?
You object that you did make some phone
calls and donate some money a few years ago, but now
you`re wearied by the struggle? Sorry, but that`s not
going to cut it, either. We`re all weary.
Or perhaps your weariness is intellectual: When are
enough other Americans going to get it?
Here I draw on some pithy wisdom, third-hand, from—of
Nixon. In a long New York Times Magazine
article (Master of the Game, 10/31/1993,
pay archive) about political chameleon David Gergen,
Michael Kelly wrote
the importance of saying the same thing, over and over
and over: `Nixon taught us about the art of repetition.
He used to tell me, “About the time you are writing a
line that you have written so often that you want to
throw up, that is the first time the American people
will hear it.”`"
Alright, so what can you do?
First, forget about fix-it-in-a-day blitzkriegs for
immigration sanity. This is a LONG struggle. Instead of
cooking up grandiose plans that can never amount to
anything — like boycotting every company that does
business with Mexico –- do something real, like
attending a public meeting and
speaking out, even though you don`t feel comfortable
doing so. Do so, especially, if it involves
standing up to cowardly bullies like John McCain. Go
put your body on the line with the
Minutemen, locally or at the southern border. Cough
up some bucks, even if it means a bit of sacrifice.
And, darn it, make Capitol Hill`s switchboards melt
down with your phone calls.
Tom Tancredo laid it out clearly in his Lincoln Day
speech on April 14th in Des Moines:
“People say to me: `What
can I do now, you`ve got me all riled up about this
issue. What can I do?`
“And I always say, `Well
… everything! Everything that you can do.`
“If it`s the people you influence around the watercooler, if it`s the people you influence when you
write a letter to the editor. Or if you run for city
council. Or anything. Whatever you can do is
what you have to do.”
Congressman Tancredo, first elected to Congress in
1998, has been at it for a LONG time, too. A
correspondent recently wrote to me:
“A few years earlier (in
the late 80s), I had met Tom Tancredo at a school choice
conference at the Mackinac center in Saginaw, Michigan.
We walked the mile back to the hotel together. I wanted
to talk about my great cause:
introducing market competition in K-12 schooling.
“Tancredo said words to
the effect: That`s a big issue all right, but there is
an even bigger challenge: out-of-control immigration.
Even then he could see the trouble coming.
“I thought he had his
priorities mixed up, to get sidetracked on a secondary
“I would learn.”
To close, I`ll remind you of what`s at stake with
more words from
"We must recognize that
we have a great inheritance in our possession, which
represents the prolonged achievement of centuries; that
there is not one of our simple, uncounted rights today
for which better men than we have not died on the
scaffold or the battlefield. We have not only a great
treasure, we have a great cause. Are we taking every
measure within our power to defend that cause?"
… and with this
startling rumination from Thomas Sowell in his May 1
“When I see the worsening
degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators,
and our intelligentsia, I can`t help wondering if the
day may yet come when the only thing that can save this
country is a military coup.”
OK, you want to know what
do, besides writing occasional pieces, gratis,
we`ve tried to pay him!]
Last year I donated more than $11,000 (tax
deductible) to the
various organizations fighting for us and more than
$5,000 (non-deductible) to political candidates who were
focusing on immigration sanity. I`m on track for similar
levels in 2007. No, I`m not rich, and I content myself
with driving a trashed-out 1984 Mazda truck.
This year I`ve made half a dozen 200-mile round trips
to Helena to testify on Montana bills aimed at combating
Since the start of 2006, I`ve submitted about 85
letters to newspapers (with about 25 published),
ghostwritten several published op-eds and letters, and
had two op-eds published under my own name.
I also send every NumbersUSA fax (n.b. after
customizing them) and make most of the
requested phone calls—the latter being a distinctly
I`d much rather spend my time thinking about physics!
But Madison`s creation has been undone. Today—and
especially this week—patriotic Americans are being
forced to worry about politics.