That Cannon Caper: The Moral
The immigration reform movement is
Willie Pep, the great featherweight champion of the
If you watched the Gillette Friday
Night Fights decades ago, you may remember that Pep`s
defensive skills were so honed that he could win rounds
without ever landing a punch. Similarly, in the last few
months, the immigration reform movement has absorbed an
unusually furious flurry of body blows—and foul
Treason Lobby. And here we are, still standing, thank
you very much.
We withstood the
haymaker of President George Bush`s
amnesty proposal. We blocked all the familiar and
tedious jabs of racism and xenophobia brought by the
Sierra Club, the
New York Times, the
Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times,
Morris Dees and Utah`s U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon.
And while we were fending off the
bad guys, we continued to slug it out on the federal and
state level with our vigorous and on-going challenges to
driver`s licenses for illegal aliens, the
matricula consular card, in-state tuition and
guest worker programs.
We`re experienced and tough. We can
withstand whatever the other side throws at us.
But as successful as our defensive
stance is, we need to be on the offensive.
I don`t know about you but I want to
stop spending so much time debating whether or not
VDARE.COM is an
"anti-immigrant" site or whether U.S. Foundation`s
John Tanton is the
"puppeteer"—whatever that is supposed to mean—and
start talking about the consequences of uncontrolled
No sidebar discussions allowed!
The beauty of being on the attack is
that the facts—which we have on our side—are compelling.
So even if we can`t get our targets
to actually answer our questions (wouldn`t that be
refreshing?) we can make them look particularly
Take, for example, ProjectUSA`s
direct and to-the-point style. Executive Director Craig
Nelsen placed billboards throughout US Rep. Cannon`s 3rd
Congressional District in Utah. The billboards ask a
"Congressman Chris Cannon wants amnesty for illegal
aliens. Do you?"
Naturally, Cannon was unwilling to
admit that the AgJOBS bills that he supports could mean
amnesty for as many as 3 million aliens. And Cannon
started swinging wildly with the predictable unfounded
charges including a slur that ProjectUSA "does the
bidding" of John Tanton`s "anti-immigration
Salt Lake Tribune — Cannon grills anti-immigration
witnesses, by Christopher Smith, March 25, 2004]
But as the pressure on Cannon
generated by the ProjectUSA billboards mounted, the Utah
House Judiciary Immigration, Border Security and Claims
Subcommittee meeting on March 24th, Cannon
created a huge dust-up. Among those testifying for our
side were Center for Immigration Studies Executive
Director Mark Krikorian: (Read his testimony "Flawed
Assumptions Underlying Guest Worker Programs"),
Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America Chairman Dr.
Frank Morris (Read his
NumbersUSA Education and Research Foundation
Executive Director Roy Beck (Read his testimony:
"Occupation Collapse and Poverty Wages").
As Beck recreated the scene:
"Rep. Cannon—through a very strange set of
circumstances — wrested control of the chairman`s seat
while all the other Members went to vote and managed to
interrogate myself, Mark Krikorian and Frank Morris),
former director of the Congressional Black Caucus
Foundation and candidate for the Sierra Club Board.
Joe McCarthy types of questions of us for 45 minutes
— having to do with who we know in the
immigration-reduction movement, how long we`ve known
them, how intimate we are with them, connections of
groups, with whom we`ve had lunch and where we get our
funding." (Download the committee meeting web cast
Krikorian, on Barbara Jane Whitley`s
Salt Lake City-based "Born
On The Fourth Of July" radio show, added that he was
"taken aback and shocked that such tactics were used
(So much for all of Mark`s
triangulating against VDARE.COM!)
In a post-hearing interview with the
Salt Lake City Tribune, Cannon flailed on by
charging that some immigration reform groups are fronts
for: "an `anti-life` agenda of free on-demand
abortion, sterilization of low-income people and
euthanasia of the elderly."
And the now-totally-punch-drunk
Cannon repeated his views—and added a couple of ugly new
twists– to the
Deseret Morning News by stating that reform
population, sterilization, abortion, eugenics and
euthanasia. Most Utahns can`t stand the ideas that are
moved forward by this coherent group of organizations
that in one facet are anti-immigrant. They are
anti-immigrant because they don`t like Mexicans coming
here and having big families with babies that don`t die,
that grow up and participate in our society."
Cannon faces a primary challenge from an immigration
reform candidate, former Utah State Representative
Throckmorton. Maybe he`s scared.
And Cannon`s problem is that no matter how many foul blows he
slings, his guest worker program is a loser. As I noted
earlier, facts are compelling. Subcommittee Chairman John
N. Rep. Hostettler in his opening remarks reminded the
"From 2000 to 2003, the number of employed
native-born workers dropped by 769,000 while the number
of employed foreign-born workers increased by 1,679,000.
American workers it seems bore the brunt of the
In the meantime, the confused and
desperate Cannon even gave out his personal cell phone
number (801- 362-8300), and encouraged people to call him.
Immigration reform activist
Frosty Wooldridge actually got Cannon on the phone.
credit, he listened when I asked how come we have 13
million illegal aliens in this country? What about
`carrying capacity` being overwhelmed by importing the
Third World into our country and creating an added 200
million people? What about species extinction? What about
standard of living and quality of life being denigrated
as hordes of illegals crossed over our borders? What
about the 16,000 cases of MDR tuberculosis and 7,000 new
cases of leprosy brought into the USA in the past four
years by illegals that avoided health screenings at our
borders? What about stolen jobs and lost wages? What
about the lack of water when Colorado adds five million
and California adds 20 million via immigration? Mr.
Cannon, what about the rule-of-law illegals break?
writer was not prepared for the astounding if not amazing
lack of comprehension of Cannon`s answers. I can say
unequivocally that Representative Chris Cannon of Utah
lacks the basic common sense and mental acuity of a
bucket of water.
that America could add millions of people, which will
create even more wealth. He felt the Mexican illegal
immigrants were providing greater opportunities for all
Americans. He noted they had added $30 billion to US
coffers from their work last year. I responded they cost
US taxpayers $90 billion in our taxes to pay for their
use of our schools, ESL and medical services. I noted
that 1/3 to ½ of them work under the table. He didn`t
hear me. "He went on to say that Africa was
underpopulated. They needed more population. He further
said: `Look at France. They are underpopulated. They are
being taken over by Muslims because France has a stable
population, but immigration will make them a Muslim state
in 50 years.`
him what the French thought of their country speaking
Arabic and becoming a Muslim state? Did that mean France
would no longer be French? That France would be the new
didn`t have an answer. He felt that God would take care
of America no matter what our population."
Representatives of Congress Don`t Represent Americans.
April 1, 2004]
If the Cannon caper is any
indication of what happens when the immigration reform
movement goes on the offensive, it sure is a lot more
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.