A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Favoring legal immigration over demonizing illegal immigrants

This guy is completely out-of-bounds. Actually, given his family connection, for some reason the catchphrase "In Your Guts You Know He's Nuts" comes to mind....
A Republican gubernatorial candidate's call for creation of a forced labor camp for illegal immigrants drew rebukes Friday from two GOP lawmakers, who labeled it a low point in the immigration debate.

Don Goldwater, nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, caused an international stir this week when EFE, a Mexican news service, quoted him as saying he wanted to hold undocumented immigrants in camps to use them "as labor in the construction of a wall and to clean the areas of the Arizona desert that they're polluting."

The article described Goldwater's plan as a "concentration camp" for migrants.

Goldwater, a candidate for governor in Arizona, said in a statement Friday that his comments were taken out of context. He said he was calling for a work program for convicted nonviolent felons, similar to "tried and tested, effective and accepted practices" used by state and local jails.

But two Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) and Rep. Jim Kolbe (news, bio, voting record), called Goldwater's comments "deeply offensive" and asked state Republicans to reject his candidacy in the Sept. 12 primary.

"That Mr. Goldwater is either unaware of or indifferent to the loaded symbolism, injustice and un-Americanism of his 'plan' to address the many serious issues caused by illegal immigration reveals his flaws as a candidate and a stunning lack of respect for the basic values of a generous and decent society," McCain said in a statement.

Kolbe said that if the comments are true, Goldwater "has demonstrated his complete unworthiness for public office, and I am confident he will be soundly rejected by Republicans from the party of Barry Goldwater, who consistently demonstrated his compassion and respect for all people. This is a sad day in the national debate on immigration policy."

McCain and Kolbe favor a guest-worker program for illegal immigrants.

Goldwater made a similar comment at an April anti-immigration rally.

"Build us that wall — now!" Goldwater said, referring to a proposal to add 700 miles of fences along the U.S.-Mexico border. He promised then that if elected, he would put illegal immigrants in a tent city on the border and use their labor to build the wall.

Barry Goldwater, the former Arizona senator, was the Republican presidential nominee in 1964.

First, let's note that the comments were printed in a Mexican paper, an the obvious agenda here must be noted. Nonetheless, he has made these statements in public previously.

I understand why illegal immigrants want to come to this country. Unfortunately, I also understand why many business leaders support their quest: to pay them substandard wages and have them endure sustandard conditions where they can't complain for fear of being unceremoniously dumped back home. And there are laws on the books that make it illegal to hire illegal immigrants. These laws are unenforced.

Increasing the supply of workers drives down wages, which makes it more difficult for workers to fulfill their real role in the economy: as consumers foolishly enslaved to rampant use of credit.

The last time our country faced this kind of labor problem was the turn of the 20th century. Native born workers attempted to form unions, but employers turned to immigrants to keep labor divided and to keep wages low. This then caused a very emotion-laden backlash against immigrants. The problem of workers being unable to earn a living wage was only solved in the ensuing era of immigration restriction, which was unfortunately also caused by the kind of rampant nativism espoused by the younger Mr. Goldwater here.

I believe we have to encourage people to come to this country legally. Providing amnesty only encourages further waves of undocumented, unprotected immigrants who, whether in this country or their home country, are treated as less than pawns by the governments in question. Is it the duty of our country to decrease the righteous demands within other counties to attempt to ensure economic and social justice for their people? Vicente Fox seems to think so.

But to use concentration camps? Not only is it morally indefensible, but it's attacking the problem from the wrong side. It's the people who illegally hire these workers and encourage the breaking of our laws who are damaging our country and our economy. Perhaps they should be ponying up for the increased costs of monitoring our nation's borders.


At 6/27/06, 5:42 PM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

Michelle Malkin famously endorsed the forced internment camps of the 40s, and neocons adore her. I don't see how concentration camps is such a large jump, aside from the fact they'll have a harder time selling it right now.

At 6/27/06, 11:05 PM, Blogger elementaryhistoryteacher said...

I came by to say "howdy" and your thoughtful prose sucked me in. Goldwater's idea is just too far to the right. It's so right is's wrong. It's a step backward. :)

At 6/28/06, 9:10 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Yeah, you know, politics really isn't a spectrum-- it's a circle. And Goldwater junior is going the route of Le Pen in France or Tito in Yugoslavia.

Michelle Malkin frightens me, but at least her writing is better than David Brooks. Just what the HECK was he trying to say yesterday? Did he never learn about mixing your metaphors?


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