- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 16, 2006

Don’t cave on immigration

All I can say of Deborah Simmons’ Friday Op-Ed column, “Immigration talking points,” is “Amen.” The only part with which I would take exception is the second half of the last sentence in the column: “Republicans will likely cave first since they have the most to lose.” I contend that staying the course is the safer option. If the Republicans cave, rank-and-file Republicans will stay home in great numbers in the November election.

If the party doesn’t cave, I believe it will pick up a majority of Americans of Hispanic descent. During the 2004 election, there was a ballot initiative in Arizona to deny state-funded benefits to illegal aliens. It passed by an overwhelming margin, including support from 47 percent of Hispanic voters. Arizona is a hotbed of the reconquista movement and still 47 percent of the Hispanics voted to deny the benefits. The Democratic governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, campaigned against it and even went to court to get an injunction against its implementation.

Less than a year after she lost the injunction attempt in court, she declared an “emergency” on the border, as did the Democratic governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson. The chiefs of virtually every sheriff’s department along the border, most of whom are Americans of Hispanic descent, have testified before Congress saying they need immediate assistance, in both manpower and funding, to stem the tide of illegal aliens. Legal immigrants to the United States do not want to compete against those here illegally who will work for substandard wages.

Notwithstanding the rhetoric of race baiters such as Jesse Jackson, there has been a groundswell among blacks against the amnesty/open-borders proposals. No one, regardless of race, creed or color, wants to compete against those who will accept substandard wages. If the Republican senators stand tough and pass an enforcement-only bill, the party will see a significant increase in black support

The large illegal-alien demonstrations of the past two weeks should be ignored. Many of the participants were young people who, the Democrats found to their dismay, did not go to the polls in 2004 and won’t go in 2006. The participating illegal aliens can’t vote, except maybe in California, and even in that state, there are many Democrats who are viscerally angry about the invasion of illegals.

I think the Republican politicians are completely misreading the mood of every segment of the electorate. If they cave, it could spell complete disaster at the polls. If they stand tough, I think they will be shocked how many additional voters they will pick up.

JOE FARRELL

Alexandria

Distorting the record on horse slaughter

Jan Frye proved my point perfectly in her Thursday letter to the editor (“Stop horsing around”) responding to my April 7 Op-Ed column against horse slaughter.

Instead of pointing out facts, as I did, she resorted to attacks and rhetoric. Ending horse slaughter is not about “childish views” or an animal-rights agenda. One look at the list of organizations supporting the ban will show that her claim is ludicrous. I have a feeling that lots of meat will be served during the upcoming Kentucky Derby. In addition, my organization works with more than 500 farms humanely raising farm animals. However, we are not talking about livestock industries that make up the backbone of the American economy. We are talking about a foreign-owned industry that is not wanted in this country by a majority of Americans.

Sadly, the pro-slaughter people try a little sleight-of-hand trick by deflecting us from the topic at hand to something they feel can stir up fear. There are many things that are acceptable in other countries that we don’t allow here. So if the public wants to ban horse slaughter, why can’t we? This is America, isn’t it?

Thankfully, the American people and Congress are smarter than that. If Miss Frye wishes to eat horsemeat I suggest she do so in countries where it is acceptable. It isn’t here.

CHRIS HEYDE

Society for Animal

Protective Legislation

Washington

Universal health care in Massachusetts

The pioneering state of Massachusetts is leading the nation on the issue of universal health care, which has been elusive and controversial, to say the least (“Universal health care law enacted in Massachusetts,” Page 1, Thursday). Instead of talking — and talk is cheap — the state took a bold action to incorporate a nearly universal health-care plan for all its residents.

In a New York Times article last week, Stuart H. Altman, professor of health policy at Brandeis University, called it a pretty moderate approach that blends a lot of different ideas. “It is not a typical Massachusetts-Taxachusetts, oh-just-crazy-liberal plan,” said Mr. Altman, who is impressed by the health-care bill that whizzed past the Massachusetts legislature. Gov. Mitt Romney signed the bill to seal it. The bill achieves its universal health care goal by distributing costs among businesses, individuals and the government.

“It’s definitely going to be inspiring to other states” said Paul B. Ginsburg, president of the nonpartisan Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, in the same article. The governments of the other 49 states are watching, and this health bill by Massachusetts should inspire them to follow suit.

Mr. Romney, a Republican, and his team should be commended with a pat on the back for taking such an initiative.

DAVE ANAND

Trumbull, Conn.

The reconquista movement

Although many Mexican “rights” activists argue that the Aztlan or reconquista movement (which aims to reclaim most of the Southwest as Mexican territory) is a small fringe movement, one nevertheless must wonder if it is gaining acceptance among Hispanics (“Mexican aliens seek to retake ‘stolen’ land,” Page 1, yesterday).

My guess is: yes and no. Yes, because fringe movements can be effective at capturing wavering minds and becoming more than fringe movements. Most of the world’s best-known 20th-century dictators and tyrants started in the fringes. And no, because many Mexicans are coming here to get away from the politics and economics of Mexico; turning America into what they worked so hard to leave is not appealing to such people.

Still, any group that openly and aggressively claims American territory as its own is a cause for concern; such claims are dangerously close to a declaration of war.

ROSS KAMINSKY

Boulder, Colo.

Rumsfeld and his critics

Although retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste avers that the clamor for Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to step down is “happening for a reason” (“Generals defend Rumsfeld,” Page 1, Saturday), Gen. Batiste and his cohorts in dissension speak only for a microcosm of the U.S. general officer corps. Included in this group is one who was bypassed for a promotion and also a general whose toes had been stepped on, much like those of retired Gen. Anthony Zinni, who hopefully may have both eyes on Mr. Rumsfeld’s job in a Hillary Clinton administration.

It is now mid-April, and as America faces elections in November, and with the Iraqi struggle not going as well as expected, generals are popping up all over on cable channels, expressing their belated views about how the Iraq war should have been fought — rather than doing so when on active duty, when they had the duty to voice their criticism of Mr. Rumsfeld to his face. These officers speaking out now against the secretary of defense — whom the commander in chief strongly supports — serves only to affect the morale of our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fortunately, in 1942-43, when this nation endured significant setbacks in the war to depose Adolf Hitler — to whom Saddam Hussein has been compared — there was no such Monday-morning quarterbacking about the deficiencies of Chief of Staff George C. Marshall.

HOUSTON SMITH

Topeka, Kan.

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