By Joe Guzzardi
April 11, 2014
The dubious distinction for the week’s most outrageous immigration-related comment goes to House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Fending off stiff competition from possible 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush and the Virginia Republican Party’s Executive Director Shaun Kennedy, Pelosi compared the deportation of illegal aliens living in the United States to the forced internment of ethnic-Japanese Americans during World War II.
Pelosi edged out Bush who called illegal immigration “an act of love” and Kennedy who suggested that any Virginia Republican opposed to reform as defined by granting amnesty to illegal aliens should be driven out of the GOP. Kennedy defined enforcement-minded Republicans as “nativists.”
Pelosi’s offensive remark ignores, among other things, the fact that many of those Japanese interned were American-born or naturalized citizens who lost their homes and businesses. On the other hand, a significant percentage of illegal immigrants have payroll jobs, drive legally, and enroll their children in taxpayer funded K-12 schools. To suggest that illegal immigrants’ status is in anyway similar to the approximately 110,000 interned Japanese is outrageous and an insult to those Japanese families who endured the ordeal. Nevertheless, Pelosi is currently on a nationwide road show through Miami, Laredo and Los Angeles to push her agenda.
As for Bush and Kennedy, their misguided drivel can’t be excused but can be attributed to foolishly pandering for Hispanic votes that Republicans will never get.
Gallup polling that shows only 3 percent of Americans consider immigration a priority, and most would rather see Congress resolve the jobs shortage, healthcare, the economy, education and the deficit. A similar 2012 Pew Research Center poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans agree that the U.S. should restrict and control people coming into the country more effectively than it does today. In spite of those facts Congress, insisting that legalizing 12 million illegal immigrants and tripling legal immigration is urgent when it isn’t, has irrationally gone into advocacy overdrive.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, wandering far from his field of expertise, predicted that immigration reform would happen soon because “it’s the right thing to do.” And last week several members of Congress including the omnipresent Pelosi, and California’s Zoe Lofgren, Grace Napolitano, Judy Chu and Lucille Roybal Allard visited fasting women on Capitol Hill, political theater at its best.
The group’s goal is to support the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ recent demand that illegal immigrants who would have qualified under the Senate bill which passed in June 2013 be “shielded” from deportation. In its six-page memo, the CHC urged the White House to use “all legal means available” to end deportations for millions of aliens in the U.S.
The irony is that deportations for most illegal immigrants have already ended. Despite the brouhaha about President Obama’s alleged record numbers of deportation and the National Council of La Raza’s Chief Executive Janet Murguia’s mislabeling of Obama as the “deporter-in-chief,” few non-criminals who reach the interior are sent home. John Sandweg, until recently Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s acting director, told the Los Angeles Times: “If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero — it’s just highly unlikely to happen.”
Throughout the strident open borders lobbying for amnesty, the indisputable fact remains that the U.S. has the most generous immigration policy in the world. America accepts about 1 million legal immigrants annually and issues visas to about 650,000 guest workers. At the same time, roughly 20 million Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. Workforce wages are at the lowest point in 63 years when measured against the nation’s annual income.
The last thing the U.S. needs is more foreign-born workers who would expand the labor pool and put unemployed Americans at further risk.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]