- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The immigration debate

This is in reference to Monday’s editorial “Political debacle looming”: The Clinton-Hagel-Menendez amendment does not deal with “chain migration.”

The fact is that the amendment aims to unite nuclear families — spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents (green card holders) like me who are separated because of a lengthy waiting period of more than five years. The amendment will not change the eligibility of spouses to get a green card but will reduce the inhumane waiting period.

This is a country that places a high regard on family values. Family values begin with lawfully wedded spouses living together. Admitting spouses of permanent residents is by no means chain migration.

MOHAN BABU

Parker, Colo.

The editorial “Political debacle looming” describes a very scary scenario. The debate in the Senate on whether or not to pass immigration bill S.1348 proves that our representatives no longer represent the American electorate. The monetary price for this immigration debacle will be in the trillions of dollars and will destroy this nation’s institutions, such as Social Security and our educational and welfare systems.

This bill could not survive a rational analysis by any objective group in our nation. Perhaps that’s why the Senate is determined to rush the bill through Congress before most Americans are aware of its affront to our Constitution and the disastrous effect it will have on their lives. In my lifetime, this probably is the worst piece of legislation anyone attempted to perpetrate. Any senator or presidential candidate who supports this bill must never receive our votes again.

BOB ALLAN

Rochester Hills, Mich.

President Bush should understand that he has no credibility on immigration because he helped create the illegal-alien crisis by refusing to enforce our laws.

Why should any Americans support his plan to give millions of Mexicans legal status when the hostility many Mexicans feel toward Americans is so abundantly clear? Mexicans shout down our beauty-pageant contestants, boo our national anthem, spit on our soccer team, chant “Osama, Osama” at sports contests and parade through our cities waving Mexican flags, all the while demanding their right to be here in defiance of our laws.

These are the people Mr. Bush and Congress want to reward with U.S. citizenship. When they gain the right to vote in U.S. elections, what happens then? They’ll be a perfect fifth column for Mexico because they will be able to vote here while keeping their Mexican citizenship thanks to Mexico’s dual-citizenship law.

If Americans want to see the future Mr. Bush and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy have in store for us, they need look no further than Venezuela, a lawless dictatorship on the brink of civil war.

K.C. MCALPIN

Falls Church

Building new refineries

Richard Rahn cogently describes the considerations oil companies make regarding construction of new refineries (“Real price gouging,” Commentary, Sunday), but there is a way both refining capacity and fuel supply can be increased without our having to rely upon decisions made by oil executives.

Where practical, the government could construct refineries on closed military bases and use the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, offshore deposits or the estimated 2 trillion barrels of oil available in domestic shale deposits as the source of crude oil. This all would take about 10 years, but would provide a secure source of fuel for use by our military or to augment the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Supplying the military’s needs in this way would increase the amount of fuel available for the civilian population.

ROGER JOHNSON

Kensington

For hate-crime laws

In his latest column attacking hate-crime laws, Nat Hentoff trots out his old arguments again — hate-crime laws will be abused, they violate the First Amendment by criminalizing thoughts and confer “special rights.” He is wrong on all points (“Prosecuting hate crimes,” Op-Ed, May 28).

Hate-crime laws do not punish “biased thoughts.” Americans are free to think and believe whatever they want. It is only when an individual commits a crime based on those biased beliefs and intentionally targets another for violence or vandalism that a hate-crime statute is triggered. That’s why the Supreme Court unanimously upheld hate-crime laws against a First Amendment challenge in 1993.

Would Mr. Hentoff assert that our nation’s civil-rights laws confer “special rights”? Hate-crime laws — like anti-discrimination laws in the workplace — do not involve “special guarantees.” They are colorblind and demonstrate a commitment by our society to deter and address all prejudiced conduct.

Law shapes attitudes. The pending federal legislation has attracted the support of groups as diverse as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National District Attorneys Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Sheriffs Association, the Anti-Defamation League and 26 state attorneys general because we all believe this law will improve the criminal justice system’s response to these devastating crimes. Hate violence deserves the priority attention it receives.

DAVID C. FRIEDMAN

Regional director

Anti-Defamation League

Washington

The destruction of the middle class

A headline on Saturday’s front page stated, “Bush scolds balking GOP.” Every time I hear or see President Bush attacking the people who elected him, my blood boils.

Mr. Bush’s core supporters, the people who elected him, were not his rich oil-company executive friends or his CEO buddies. His core supporters were middle-class Republican men and women who work hard, have decent values and love this country more than they love the global economy. It is these people whom Mr. Bush has betrayed.

As Lou Dobbs has pointed out in his book “War on the Middle Class,” it continues unabated. Mr. Bush and his cohorts in Congress are determined to get the amnesty immigration bill to pass. If that bill becomes law, Big Business will rejoice because it will be able to continue to hold wages at artificially low levels and eliminate more opportunities for legal immigrants and American citizens. At the same time, energy prices continue to skyrocket while our so-called representatives in Washington watch with their hands stuffed in their pockets, doing nothing to rein in big oil or to address the coming energy crisis.

Mr. Bush continues to oversee the destruction of the middle class and the construction of a poverty-stricken underclass. As he does so, he also is overseeing the destruction of the Republican Party. Rank-and-file Republicans are dramatically reducing their contributions to the national party, and many lifelong Republicans (this writer included) have left the party to become registered independents.

If the GOP wants to avoid becoming a mere afterthought in presidential elections for the next two decades, it is time to break the chains to Mr. Bush and unite behind a candidate who will truly enhance American security and declare an end to the war on the middle class.

LAWRENCE SCHWEINSBURG

Crofton, Md.

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