Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gary on Immigration and Soldiers

The Good And The Bad
This past Memorial Day weekend in Washington D.C. provided many images of patriotic remembrance for all the fallen heroes of our nation. Thousands of motor cyclists poured into town as part of the annual “Rolling Thunder” event to honor the dead and missing. Driving back into D.C. after a trip to Quantico Marine base, my wife and I were surprised and moved to see every overpass jammed with Americans waving flags to greet the long line of patriotic cyclists heading into the city. At church later in the morning we heard from retired Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell, a member of our congregation who was grievously wounded at the Pentagon on 9/11, suffering 3rd degree burns over the great majority of his body. But today, after 30 reconstructive surgeries, he is a strong voice for love of America and for the sacrifice at the Cross.

But there were disgusting signs, too, of the “rot” that has spread from some of America’s cultural elites into the general population. Filmmaker Michael Moore and loud mouth Rosie O’Donnell aren’t the only ones who have a hard time distinguishing the good guys from the murderers we are battling. In Orcas Island, Washington vandals twice burned American flags decorating veterans’ graves, the second time replacing them with hand drawn swastikas. Get it? America is Hitler’s Germany – an analogy that is routinely made and defended on leftwing websites. The Washington Post ran a front page story highlighting the dissenters and quoting a young woman, a 20-year-old congressional intern no less, who imparted the “wisdom” that she had a hard time seeing U.S. soldiers in Iraq as “heroes.” She admired them and didn’t want them to die, the Post assured us, but she added, “I guess I don’t see the people in Iraq as villains.”

So, how can a 20-year-old congressional intern, the “crème de la crème,” be this stupid? Many of the people of Iraq are not villains – they are fighting alongside us. But has this young woman not seen or heard of the beheadings, the massacres, the suicide bombers killing women and children, the dismembering of bodies – the raw unmitigated evil of the death-loving movement we are facing? I am so glad the young intern doesn’t actually want U.S soldiers to die, but many will to keep this clueless young woman safe and free to utter such nonsense.

Bad And Getting Worse
As more information becomes available about the massive immigration reform bill currently pending in the United States Senate, it is increasingly obvious that this is a bad solution to our immigration mess. Moreover, it's unlikely to get better as the amendment process goes forward, simply because those favoring border security and enforcement lack the votes to improve the bill in any meaningful way. As proof, an amendment was offered in the Senate last week by a moderate Republican aimed at ending the practice of “sanctuary cities,” where liberal enclaves refuse to enforce federal immigration laws by explicitly prohibit local law enforcement officers from inquiring about the legal status of individuals they stop or arrest. This is not a minor issue, and the failure to deport criminal aliens is costing Americans dearly.

More importantly, however, this would have been a useful tool in combating terrorism, including the very recent plot to massacre our soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Believe it or not, the three Duka brothers involved in that plot, who had been here illegally for more than 20 years, had scores of arrests and police citations -- 75 in total. And yet not once did local New Jersey police take the time to inquire about their immigration status and report them to federal immigration officials. We’ve seen this before: Two of the 9/11 hijackers, including Mohammed Atta, were stopped for local traffic violations in the months prior to that attack.

For those insisting that this “grand compromise” contains serious enforcement provisions, the amendment to end sanctuary policies was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to a skeptical public. As today’s Washington Times notes in its editorial, “With all the talk we’ve heard for close to six years from politicians on the right and left about the importance of being able to ‘connect the dots’ in order to thwart terrorist attacks, [this] amendment should have passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.” However, the amendment to strengthen the hand of local law enforcement in defending our homeland was defeated on a largely party-line vote of 48-to-49. As they like to say in Washington, “Politics is the art of the possible,” and some times compromise is necessary. But last week’s vote in the Senate was an unconscionable compromise, undermining our security in a time of war.

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