My esteemed co-blogger, John Hitchcock, a now-former Buckeye who lives in the Lone Star State, isn’t particularly enamored of his Governor, Rick Perry, and Mr Perry’s campaign to become our 45th President:
I’m not so sure. I think Rick Perry is, at best, going sideways and not up. Allahpundit goes on to quote MSNBC.
“We have, for decades, had a federal government that has absolutely failed in its constitutional duty to defend our border,” Perry said.
“I’m a governor. I don’t have the pleasure of standing on the stage and criticizing. I have to deal with these issues,” he later added.
Perry continued, “In 2001, we had this choice: Are we going to kick these children over to the curb and say you cannot have access to college? Because the fact of the matter is there’s no way they could pay the out-of-state tuition. And are we going to have them on the government dole over here because they’re not educated? Or are we going to have them in our institutions of higher learning, paying in state tuition, pursuing citizenship?”
How about we quit enabling illegal aliens in their illegal activities? Ever think of that, Governor Perry? Allahpundit notes Rick Perry opposes E-Verify, his wife has framed the question of either tuition subsidies or welfare payments — to illegals — a Left-wing Big Government false dichotomy fallacy, not only do illegals get in-state tuition subsidies (paid for by the tax-payers) but also tax-payer funded financial aid.
Rick Perry’s tuition troubles have a lot to do with the difference between politics in Texas and politics everywhere else.
His support for in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants — and the fact that he’s sticking with it — started a political tornado. It was enough to make Herman Cain say he would vote for Mitt Romney for president but not for Mr. Perry.
In Texas, there was almost no controversy when the law passed in 2001 with nearly unanimous support from lawmakers of both parties, and it hasn’t been much of an issue since — or wasn’t, until that twister touched ground. Earlier this year, an effort to undo it died in the halls of the Capitol.
Much more at the link. The article notes that John Sharp, the new chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, said:
Here’s what you’ve got, the federal government is allowing folks to come in — granted, allowing folks to come in that ought not be allowed to come in. O.K? The governor, the Legislature, the 174 members who voted for that piece of legislation did not get the choice of whether or not those kids were there. Their choice is whether or not those kids are going to become productive citizens or become one hell of a drag on the Texas economy, and that’s it. It seems that common sense dictates that maybe, from a Texas point of view, we need to make sure they’re not that kind of a drag on the Texas economy.
According to the article, Steve Murdock, the former director of the United States Census Bureau, who is now teaching at Rice University in Houston, said that 6.7% of the state’s population is composed of illegal immigrants. Considering that some of those illegal immigrants certainly have had children after getting here, there must be a fairly significant number of young American citizens living among the illegal immigrant population, and that some people call them “anchor babies” — and I note here that Mr Hitchcock did not use that term — makes no difference: they are still American citizens and cannot be deported, nor can we up and deport their parents and break up their families.
Mr Hitchcock is not so naïve as to suggest that we simply round up and deport the illegal immigrants; he knows that we just flat won’t do that. Instead, he suggests:
And that Left-wing Big Government false dichotomy fallacy? How about we don’t subsidize the education of illegal aliens? How about we don’t give tax-payer funded Welfare to illegal aliens? How about we don’t allow businesses to hire illegal aliens? Do you know what that would do? It would save the tax-payers lots of money and it would stop enabling the illegal aliens and their illegal behavior. That would be the Small Government Conservative approach, and that would encourage the illegal aliens to return home.
Well, it might be, and it makes perfect sense, but it has nothing to do with the way we conduct our lives. It’s been a while since I’ve addressed the topic, but I’ve written previously (here, here, here and here) that the reason we have illegal immigration is that we want illegal immigration. Why do I say that? Because while we might vote at the polls, once every two years, for politicians who promise to “do something” about illegal immigration, we vote, every day, with our wallets, to support illegal immigration. If employers hire illegal immigrants, it is because the public do not choose not to patronize businesses which do hire illegal immigrants. If you walk into a Seven-Eleven, and you see a clearly Hispanic clerk, do you simply assume that he is here legally, and continue on with your business, or do you decide, he might be here illegally, and I’ll take my business elsewhere? The answer is obvious: almost no one forces a confrontation, and virtually all of us assume, for our own convenience, that the clerk is here legally, and continue on with our business. If you go to the grocery store, and you happen to want to buy chicken, do you check to see if that chicken was processed at a legally-compliant company, or do you give a rat’s ass that a company like Perdue, which has frequently been the target of illegal immigrant hiring claims, might have been the one which provided the chicken? When you go to the grocery store and buy a head of lettuce, do you really take the time to check to see if it was harvested and brought to market by entirely legal labor, or do you just buy the lettuce?
And the truth is that we both need and want the immigrant workers. We want them to do the jobs that Americans don’t want, and want them to do them at an acceptable price. We don’t particularly want them speaking Spanish or changing the culture or adding expenses for educating their children; we’d much rather that they did the work and then didn’t bother us the rest of the time, but that can’t happen. And Congress will never come up with immigration laws and reforms that actually make any sense and are enforceable until we tell the truth to ourselves.
Unemployment is now 9.1%, and while there are plenty of good Americans who say that they’d do the work, I haven’t seen any rush of American citizens to try to rush the fields and meat processing plants to take those jobs away from foreigners. Nor would it make much difference if there were such a rush: we invited those illegal immigrants here, by our deliberate economic choices, and they’re here now, and that won’t change.
For Governor Perry, whose candidacy I support, he and the state legislature and the local governments and school boards all have to deal with the situation at hand. They are hamstrung by the federal government, which has control of immigration law and enforcement, as well as by the choices of the people to accept and encourage illegal immigration by their economic choices; the illegal immigrants are here, period, and are part of our society, whether we like it or not.
One of the Republican candidates I like the most — though I am not currently favoring his candidacy — is Herman Cain. Mr Cain is the former Chief Executive Officer of Godfather’s Pizza, and that makes him the only candidate who has ever run a significant business. So, I checked Mr Cain’s issues stance on immigration:
Americans do resent, however, the willingness of some to circumvent our laws and enter our nation illegally. While many, if not most, illegal immigrants are peaceful people simply seeking to provide for their families, some are not. In fact, some are quite dangerous, jeopardizing the safety and well-being of American citizens.
Illegal immigration has only exacerbated illegal activity, such as the horrendous crimes of drug smuggling and human trafficking. Illegal immigrants who are repeat offenders are harder to track, making it difficult for law enforcement to prevent crime. Further, weak borders have caused a compounding problem of terrorists assimilating with illegal immigrants, crossing the border with them and entering the U.S.
Illegal immigration also puts a tremendous strain on America’s entitlement and health care systems. Illegal immigrants are typically uninsured and cannot afford to pay for their medical care, driving up costs for all Americans, even those actually insured. In fact, several hospitals in the U.S. have declared bankruptcy as a result of the costs of caring for illegal immigrants.
We must secure our borders, enforce our laws and promote the existing path to citizenship. Protecting our nation’s sovereignty should be a paramount concern of those elected to lead us, not an afterthought or a reaction once the problem becomes even worse. Further, taking a stand on the issue does not mean one lacks compassion, but instead, that one respects the rule of law and the importance of not becoming a lawless nation.
One has to wonder: did Godfather’s Pizza, when Mr Cain was its CEO and part owner, have zero illegal immigrant employees? When Mr Cain, then head of the National Restaurant Association, helped defeat HillaryCare by telling President Clinton, face-to-face, that the President’s statement that his universal health care legislation would not harm American business owners and their employees was incorrect and that business just did not work the way Mr Clinton thought it did, was he busy making sure that none of the National Restaurant Association’s members had any illegal immigrant employees?
We all know that the answer to both of those questions is no. CEOs may be responsible for all of the decisions in a corporation, but they certainly don’t control them all or even know about them all, and a corporation with over 600 restaurants spread over 40 states is doing things at the store level the CEO knows nothing about, period. The chances that Godfather’s Pizza had zero illegal immigrant employees while Mr Cain was the boss are virtually nil. Yet Mr Cain said that, if he was not the nominee, he could vote for former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA), but not Governor Perry if one of them won the nomination.
Like it or not, illegal immigrants are simply part of our society and our economy today. We can fuss about that and we can pontificate that such is wrong, but, in the end, we have to be realistic about it, and tell ourselves the truth.
That is what Governor Perry and the Texas state legislature have done: they have told themselves the truth about illegal immigrants, that they are here, and that they will mostly stay here, and that simply will not change. Our governments, at every level, have to recognize the truth, have to tell themselves the truth, and have to deal with the truth as it is.
One of the reasons I support Governor Perry is that he is a real conservative — though perhaps not one who will pass every conservative’s litmus test on every issue — who has actually run something, who has actually been responsible for the government of a large state, and has been successful at it. In doing that, Mr Perry had to deal with the situations that exist in Texas, and did so.