Monday, November 07, 2005

Jerry Kilgore's dangerous stance on immigrants.

Jerry Kilgore has been using the immigration issue in Virginia to gain ground. He's complained about how Virginians have to listen to people speaking something other than English in the Old Dominion, and he's claiming that these immigrants are using up valuable services that we native-born deserve. This is what political scientists refer to as "hogwash." It sure ain't Virginia ham, anyway.

I guess I should say that Kilgore's railing against illegal immigrants and not all immigrants. However, it's not hard to be against something illegal, and when your campaign doesn't have a heck of a lot to run on, how much substance do you need?

Indeed, as much as I favor immigration myself, I'm against illegal immigration, and solving a problem like this requires more than a smiling reactionary shouting, "Send 'em back!" But one of the most dangerous planks in Jerry Kilgore's platform is his desire to deny the children of illegal immigrants access to state colleges. This is dangerously short-sighted. To hear Kilgore say it, you'd think poor people in Guatemala and Ecuador are saying to themselves, "I'm going to move to America so that twenty years after my kids are born, they can go to college on the state dime." While I don't have the ability to read every immigrant's thoughts on the matter, I strongly suspect that they're coming here to find work in construction or service jobs that pay better than what an unskilled laborer can find in Guatemala or Ecuador but that Americans don't want because they don't pay enough. Then these immigrants come to America and have their children and raise them—and then, years later, their children, who are now Americans and Virginians, can't better themselves? Come on! These children don't have connections back in their parents' countries, and if they were to be shipped "back," they would be in worse shape than their parents were when they left those countries. Further, these children, if born here, are legal citizens, and they're going to stay, like it or not. Does Jerry Kilgore really think it's wise to pass legislation that would effectively encourage an underclass of undereducated, disenfranchised, legal citizens?

I don't think Jerry Kilgore is thinking this through. But if he is, then he's a colder, more calloused man than I previously thought. Virginia would do very well not to elect this suit who is so cavalier toward the lives and welfare of others. If there really is such a thing as "compassionate conservatism," Kilgore is not it.

Vote for Tim Kaine, Virginians—as if I really needed to say it.


At Monday, November 7, 2005 at 11:30:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without doing my research, my guess is Mr. Kilgore is trailing by a hair in the polls. This is a feeble attempt to rally the faithful troops at the last moment. Of course I believe his "announcement" is evil spirited.

Hopefully the voters will realize that no politician has the real power to curtail illegal immigration. Certainly outrageous gestures as this, will backfire. Below is a little ditty I posted on another forum, relating to our bigger issue of immigration.

Illegal immigrants are part of the economic fabric that our corporate sponsors rely on to further their financial objectives. Those who have the gold, makes the rules. This will not change.

The great spin machines that produced the RNC messages for years, have now turned efforts into having us believe that "no american wants to go up on those roofs and sweat". Or this zinger, "they can have the jobs that no american wants". Here's another, "many of the restaurants and hotels would simply have to close their doors, if forced to document all of their workers".

A friend of mine owns a successful roofing business. Very successful. He has homes (plural) in several states, all 10 times the median house price, and he even built a private school to accommodate his daughters needs. He pays for his "workers" to come here, he provides housing and pays wages. I have no idea how many of these businessmen conduct themselves like this, but change will be difficult.

It is out of control, with no answers in sight. Wish I could be more optimistic.




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