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Tamar Jacoby: The End Is Near!
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January 27, 2006, 04:00 AM
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Distortions and omissions—those are the common denominators found in every one of Tamar Jacoby`s immigration columns.

How, I wonder, did Jacoby ever come to be considered an immigration expert?

I note from Jacoby`s biography that some refer to her as a scholar. As a graduate of Yale University and a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Jacoby has no doubt met and interacted with many immigrants in New York and in her home away from home, Washington, D.C.

Those immigrants, of course, would be wealthy and well educated - the elite, if you will.

I doubt if Jacoby has ever spent much time in East Los Angeles hanging with illegal aliens on the lam or in Fresno where cutthroat Asian gangs have left their mark.

Nor has Jacoby taught, as I have, in an English as a Second Language classroom enrolling dozens of non-English speakers with uncertain futures every week.

Jacoby doesn`t travel in those rough but real circles. She doesn`t write about them either preferring instead to pretend that the influx of millions of immigrants, legal and illegal, is all for the good.

The arrogant manner in which Jacoby dismisses as "nativist" the legitimate concerns of Americans about things like double—and even triple—digit increases in the illegal alien  population in their communities sickens me.

Despite her wafer thin resume for immigration reporting, Jacoby through incredible good fortune has managed to position herself as an authority. And organizations with like open borders minds—the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, etc.—give her plenty of ink.

The disingenuous Jacoby has developed a pretty good shtick.  She writes in that Oh-I-am-so- reasonable and Join- me-on- the-immigration-high-road tone that might influence the unenlightened but nauseates those of us who know better.

Analyze any Jacoby column and you will find that she uses two well-worn tricks to deceive the reader:

  • A grudging admission that immigration is a problem without any reference to the mountain of statistics that proves just how great the impact forty years of open borders have been.


  • A string of half-truths woven together to mask as solid evidence that more unchecked immigration is the only way the nation will survive.

Let`s look at Jacoby`s latest in the January 23rd Weekly Standard, The Immigration Temptation: The Political Issue That Always Disappoints Is Back, as an excellent example of her technique.

Jacoby`s message in this particular essay is that any Republican who dwells excessively on illegal immigration in his November campaign is doomed.

Writes Jacoby:

"Neither public opinion research nor recent electoral history supports this hope. And Republicans planning to ride an anti-immigrant groundswell to victory do so at their peril—and the party`s."

Jacoby warns, ominously, that candidates must beware of "bashing immigrants" as well as the "dark emotions" and "wedge issues" generated by talking—honestly—about illegal immigration.

Utter nonsense…and Jacoby knows it!

Public opinion polls show overwhelmingly that, Jacoby`s drivel aside, citizens want illegal immigration controlled and legal immigration reduced.

And as for "recent electoral history," allow me to fill in the spaces that Jacoby purposely left blank.

Jacoby points to November 2005 defeats by California Congressional candidate and Minuteman co-founder Jim Gilchrist and Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore as examples of how the immigration issue did not carry the day.

The reality: Gilchrist won 25 percent of the vote, an amazing total for a political neophyte running on the Independent ticket. And he forced the eventual winner and well-known pro-illegal alien advocate, John Campbell, to change his tune and talk tough about illegal immigration.

And in Virginia it is important to note that Democrat Tim Kaine, endorsed by popular retiring Gov. Mark Warner, did not oppose Kilgore`s anti-illegal alien positions. Kaine preferred to take the safer route of not mentioning illegal immigration at all.

Exit polls indicate that what led to Kilgore`s defeat was not his position on illegal immigration but his vigorous stance in support of capital punishment that ultimately disgusted voters. [Jerry Kilgore for Governor, The Washington Times, October 27 2005)

Here are a couple of interesting "recent" elections that Jacoby doesn`t write about. Little wonder, since they show you how the trend is really going in our favor.

  • In 2004, the most powerful Democrat in Congress, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, a vocal proponent for amnesty, lost to Republican John Thune, a candidate who had compiled an excellent anti-illegal immigration record while he was in Congress. Thune was especially opposed to amnesties. Voters, in the meantime, perceived that Daschle had lost touch with their views and wishes.

  • And also in 2004, Texas Democrat and Congressman Martin Frost—another big booster of amnesty and guest worker programs—lost to Pete Sessions, a Republican Congressman strong on immigration enforcement.

Not only is Jacoby`s "recent" history fuzzy and selective, her take on the past history of elections involving immigration is no better.

Jacoby writes that "restrictionists" who claim that they helped defeat Michigan Senator Spencer Abraham in 2000 are wrong. According to Jacoby, a well-organized get-out-the-vote drive by the United Auto Workers did Abraham in.

But that is not how Roy Beck, Executive Director of NumbersUSA.Com remembers it:

Beck, recalling the efforts of the Coalition of the Future American Worker to unseat Abraham, told me:

"About half of the very close losing margin of Abraham was represented by Reform Party candidate Mark Forton who ran almost entirely on an immigration plank and who focused all ire at Abraham. Forton was very conservative. Those were conservative votes that almost certainly would have gone to Abraham if not for the immigration issue-pushing candidate Forton. 

"Secondly, all the conservative organizations in Michigan bad-mouthed Abraham throughout the campaign for immigration. Given the small margin of his defeat, it is easy to see that depressing the core-conservative turnout made the difference in Abraham not making it.

"The point is that if you are a Republican in a populist-oriented state and you tick off conservative voters in a major way, you run the risk of causing too many conservatives to sit out the election. Abraham ran arrogantly as a `Microsoft` candidate with a callous attitude toward the working class families who have helped Republicans maintain majority status in Congress these many years."

Finally, in a supremely lame effort to defend her indefensible immigration position, Jacoby drags out the old, misleading saw that the G.O.P. has not produced a winner in a major California election since 1994…conveniently failing to mention that Pete Wilson won on illegal immigration in 1994, but thereafter Republican candidates inexplicably dropped the issue for a decade. (Maybe they listened to Jacoby?)

Although Jacoby is unwilling to admit the truth about illegal immigration being a valid political topic that could decide a close election, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi knows the score. That`s why Pelosi declared all votes on HR 4437 to be non-party in nature thereby releasing all Democrats to vote in their district`s interests.

In other words, if Democrats felt they had to vote for strict immigration enforcement to save their hides in November, they had Pelosi`s okay.

And a surprising 37 percent of House Democrats took Pelosi up on her offer by voting for at least one of the four hard-line enforcement measures during the series of amendments on HR 4437.

Republicans who follow Jacoby`s advice do so at their own risk. At stake is losing their base if they follow her down the primrose lane. On the other hand, Republicans can gain a lot on an open-border Democrat if they maintain a restrictionist stance.

Or, looked at from another angle, Democrats can greatly protect their seat from Republican challengers if they vote with Congressman Tom Tancredo on immigration matters. Remember, Tancredo`s Immigration Reform Caucus now has nearly 100 members—proof that Congress is listening to the people about immigration and not Tamar Jacoby.

Surprising as this sounds, and annoying as it will be to Jacoby, it may not be long before we have a Democrat defeating a Republican incumbent if the former is hard-line restrictionist and the latter a Chamber of Commerce stooge on immigration.

And when that happens, Jacoby will have to find herself a new gig.

[Email Tamar Jacoby]

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.