When Kris Kobach and a group of state legislators held a press conference in January unveiling their model legislation to challenge birthright citizenship, the usual riffraff of self-proclaimed "anti-fa" protesters showed up to try to disrupt the event. In addition to passing out flyers with images of Pilgrims with the caption "Who`s the anchor baby?", they demanded that Kobach reveal his "corporate backers."
These wannabe revolutionaries are unwilling to recognize that they are on the same side as the corporate establishment which does not fund any patriotic immigration reform groups, but gives tens of millions of dollars to La Raza.
I noted their disconnect immediately after the press conference. And it became even clearer on March 14, when the CEOs of 60 Arizona businesses sent an open letter to State Senate President and SB 1070 sponsor Russell Pearce stating "we strongly believe it is unwise for the Legislature to pass any additional immigration legislation, including any measures leaving the determination of citizenship to the state." [CEOs on Immigration Letter, Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (Email the President of the Phoenix Chamber, Todd Sanders)]
By the end of the week, the Republican-controlled State Senate voted down five pieces of immigration control legislation including one that dealt with birthright citizenship, made it a crime for illegal aliens to drive, and required documentation at public schools and hospitals to help set the basis for overturning Plyler vs. Doe and other federal mandates for states to accommodate illegal aliens.
Following this vote, many usual suspects already began proclaiming the death of state-level immigration control. The Huffington Post`s self-described "Hispanic Fanatic" blogger Daniel Cubias asked "Has Anti-Latino [i.e. anti-illegal immigration] Sentiment Peaked?" His gleeful answer was an astounding Si!
Cubias [Email him]says that all the screaming about illegal immigration we are hearing now is just a last gasp of the old America who are coming to grips with the fact that "they might not be the unquestioned masters of America for much longer" because "the younger generation doesn`t share their biases. And that undeniable fact means that the old vision of America will soon be relegated to ignominy." [Has Anti-Latino Sentiment Peaked, by Daniel Cubias, Huffington Post, March 18, 2011]
But a New York Times editorial celebrating the defeat was much more cautious in its gloating. While it was happy to see the bills die, it realized "it is not the end of harsh, shortsighted laws."
even the Times
relatively restrained editorial overstates how much
of a defeat the vote was for the patriotic immigration
reform movement. While it was a disappointment, the
momentum is still on the patriots` side, and they can
win again in
editorial bemoans that the bill was
defeated by business interests rather than
arguments against xenophobic anti-immigration bills."
Flinches, April 21, 2011] The reason for this is that the voters of
But while the moneyed interests are a formidable
they are vulnerable. Despite their strong grip on
the GOP, the
Cheap Labor lobby in
It is also important to note how much progress patriotic immigration reformers have made on the state level. When the Legal Arizona Worker Act requiring E –Verify for all employers in the state passed in 2007, it was by far the strongest state immigration control law in the country. Just three years ago, I would have said the idea of states challenging birthright citizenship was well-intentioned, but unlikely to go anywhere. However, SB 1070 changed the paradigm so much that it became a realistic option. The fact that it even came up for a vote would have been unthinkable a few years ago.
Within this context, the Republican Party has moved (at least in lip service) much closer to the patriot position. As Russell Pearce notes
"In 2004, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) was the
only member of the
But despite the progress immigration patriots made with the GOP, there can be no doubt that the Republican Party Establishment is still an obstacle. Even with men like Pearce in positions of power and the ostensible support of some key Republicans, real patriotic immigration reform still needs to overcome the GOP Establishment and its corporate backers.
"Washington Watcher" [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway.