MICHAEL CUTLER: THE RACISM OF ” ETHNIC POLITICS”
I have decided to focus today’s commentary on an opinion piece rather than a news article that appeared in the Tuesday, August 17th edition of the Washington Times.
The author of the article is Tom Garcia. I have spoken with Tom a number of times including when I recently spoke with him on my internet radio program “Bordering on Insanity” that airs on Friday evenings. (I hope you had the opportunity to listen to what he had to say.)
Tom is currently a pilot for American Airlines and was previously a naval aviator, flying fighter aircraft for the United States Navy. Certainly no one can challenge the commitment to our nation of someone who has, as a matter of routine, placed his life on the line for our nation!
In his article Tom has raised a number of issues that I have also given some thought and, on occasion, became involved in discussions about- the idea that it is appropriate to think of our citizens as belonging to certain “blocks.” Terms such as the “Hispanic vote,” the “Jewish vote,” the “Black vote,” etc., anger me beyond words. The idea that people of common ethnicity, religion or other such factors will think and hence vote the same way is at the root of prejudice!
The idea that once you figure out what ethnic, racial or religious group someone belongs to can enable you to predict how they think and vote is, in my opinion how bigotry rears its ugly head. Put this idea in other terms- imagine what it sounds like when someone make the statement, “You know how Jews are!” (I am using this example because as a Jew, I have heard such insanity on occasions when I suspect the people making those outrageous remarks did not realize that I am, in fact, Jewish.)
This is a form of stereotyping that should have been eliminated long ago. Apparently, for Karl Rove and other people in powerful positions, stereotyping is a part of their bag of “tricks” to enable them to attempt to manipulate voters by pandering to what they expect will motivate them.
Tom’s describes how Rove decided that there were votes to be had from the “Hispanic voters” if amnesty was provided for millions of illegal aliens. This was extremely wrong-headed on so many levels. First of all, the idea of providing amnesty for unknown millions- likely tens of millions of illegal aliens whose true identities are unknown and unknowable would create an unparalleled national security nightmare for our nation. Incredibly this was being proposed even as the then President, George W. Bush was hammering away at the “War on Terror” on an almost daily basis and was so fixated on this issue that he created the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
I have testified before a number of Congressional hearings about my disagreement with the creation of this bureaucratic monstrosity that melded dissimilar agencies together and, in so doing, crippled any serious efforts to secure our nation’s borders and enforce the immigration laws of the United States by merging what had been the United States Customs Service with what had been the Immigration and Naturalization Service along with other agencies.
The effective enforcement and administration of the immigration laws was further hobbled by dividing the mission of the special agents of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) from the inspectors and Border Patrol agents by placing them in a separate agency, that of Customs and Border Protection. “Rather than secure our nationâ€™s borders,” I opined in a number of venues, “the government created a barrier between these two missions that should have been more closely coordinated.”
I testified before several hearings about this issue including the one at which I testified on May 5, 2005 when I was called to testify before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims of the House Judiciary Committee. The title of that hearing was:
“NEW â€˜â€˜DUAL MISSIONSâ€™â€™ OF THE IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES”
You can read the transcript of that hearing in its entirety here.
Rather than engage in a discussion about my misgivings about this issue, I would urge you to take the time to review the transcript of the hearing.
What I hope you will take away from this is the way that national security was compromised. This happened because of an ill-conceived political decision that was wrong headed on so many levels. This sort of madness must stop!
And so we come back to the article written by Tom Garcia. He has made it abundantly clear that he is utterly opposed to the way that the Bush administration attempted to curry favor with American citizens who happen to be Hispanic. His statements echo my own philosophy as to just how wrong-headed this sort of thinking is. The idea of pandering to an ethnic group as Mr. Rove attempted, presumed that all Hispanics think and hence vote the same way.
Tom also made it clear that he shares my concerns that providing amnesty to unknown millions of illegal aliens would do serious harm to the citizens of the very ethnic group that the politicians were pandering to. The bottom line for me is that it is encouraging that Tom Garcia truly “gets it” where the politicization of the immigration issue is concerned.
While immigration is often described as a “single issue” it is, as I have often noted, the most serious challenge that confronts our nation today because it impacts nearly every other challenge that confronts our nation today. We cannot protect our nation and our citizens from the threat of terrorism until and unless our borders are secure and the immigration system has real integrity. We cannot protect our nation and our citizens from the Mexican drug cartels and the members of other transnational criminal organizations from all over the world until and unless our borders are secure and our immigration system has real integrity. These decades-old failures also hammer our economy, our educational and healthcare systems. It is also important to note that our borders do not only include the Mexican and Canadian borders but also include all ports of entry- this means international airports and seaports- any place where aliens may seek to gain entry into our country.
Our nation and our citizens need representatives who understand just how important the various aspects of the immigration system are.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Michael Cutler is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and a recognized authority who addresses the implications of immigration on national security and criminal justice. His website can be read here. Each Friday evening from 7 till 9 pm EDT, he co-hosts a radio show called â€œBordering on Insanityâ€ on RePatriot Radio. The audience call-in numbers are: 940-825-1041 940-825-1041 and 940-825-104.
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