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The Fly in the Immigration Ointment

What is it that’s missing from the equation?

by Paul R. Hollrah

Waking up to a National Public Radio debate between three chattering liberals, all gloating over the current battle in the Republican Party over the immigration bill, is not the way to begin a day. But that’s exactly what happened to me one recent morning.

The three liberals could barely conceal their delight as they cited example after example of how Republicans and the conservative base are at war with the Bush Administration over the issue of illegal immigration. But as I listened to their banter I experienced a strong “dog-that-didn’t-bark” moment. “Wait a minute,” I said to myself, “if illegal immigration is such an affront to our national sovereignty and the rule of law, aren’t we all in this together… as Hillary Clinton suggests? Aren’t liberals and Democrats effected the same as conservatives and Republicans by the invasion of illegals, their disrespect for our sovereignty, and their trashing of our immigration laws?”

The answer, of course, is yes.Liberals and Democrats are just as heavily impacted as the rest of us. When an Islamic terrorist sneaks a dirty bomb across our northern or southern border and explodes it in the middle of a major American city, chances are that most of the victims will be urban Democrats.

When the son or daughter of Democratic parents graduates from high school and seeks to enter the labor force, only to find that many of the entry-level jobs are occupied by swarthy-skinned people who don’t speak our language, the fact that they’re “Democrats-in-training” doesn’t matter much.

If a child is forced to sit in a classroom where the non-Spanish speaking teacher must spend an inordinate amount of time explaining simple concepts to the children of illegal immigrants, it doesn’t matter much that his or her parents are Democrats. They are just as heavily impacted as if their parents were conservatives or Republicans.

And if Democrat parents find it necessary to rush an injured child to the emergency room of their local hospital, only to find the waiting room jammed with Spanish-speaking people waiting to be treated for colds, flu, and other non-emergency ailments, their politics quickly becomes a secondary consideration.

So why are conservatives and Republicans willing and anxious to “go to the mat” over the immigration bill, fighting a life or death battle with a president of their own party, while liberals and Democrats watch gleefully from the sidelines? What is it that’s missing from the equation?


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