- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 31, 2007

The U.S. government is on the verge of approving a mass amnesty to millions of illegal aliens — a plan pushed aggressively by meddling Mexican officials who reap billions of dollars in remittances (illegal aliens’ earnings sent back to Mexico) without having to lift a finger to clean up their own country. And the thanks we get? Internationally televised public humiliation.

Monday night, the beautiful young woman who represented America in the Miss Universe pageant was booed and mocked as she competed in Mexico City. Rachel Smith, 22, did her best to respond with grace and dignity during the Top Five finalists’ interview segment as the audience disrupted the event.

As soon as co-host Vanessa Minnillo invited Miss USA to pick a judge’s name from a bowl of index cards, widespread howls broke out at the mere mention of “USA.” The verbal derision continued as judge Tony Romo asked Miss Smith to pick one moment in her life she would relive. Definitely not this one.

Miss Smith soldiered through her answer, describing an educational trip to South Africa. Catcalls and whistles nearly drowned out he reply until she wrapped up with “Buenos noches, Mexico.” I wouldn’t have been so polite.

None of Miss USA’s fellow Americans participating in the interview segment — neither Miss Minnillo, nor macho co-host Mario Lopez, nor the dashing Mr. Romo — came to Miss Smith’s defense. Instead, Miss Minnillo pleaded briefly with the unruly mob: “OK, una momento, por favor.” Mr. Lopez stood mute with a dumb grin on his dimpled face. Pathetic.

In fact, Miss Smith was subjected to anti-American hatred throughout the weeklong event. Last week, during the contestants’ national costume fashion show, Miss Smith smiled bravely as a rowdy outdoor crowd hissed and booed at her. Pageant observers said no other contestants received such treatment.

Pitifully, Donald Trump and his Miss Universe officials are downplaying Miss Smith’s experience — ignoring the fact that the last time the pageant was held in Mexico, Miss USA was abused in similar fashion. Kenya Moore, 1993 Miss USA, was infamously heckled when chosen for the semi-finals that year. Just a tiny minority of America-haters, right? How quickly we forget.

Do you remember what happened in Guadalajara in 2004 during an Olympics qualification soccer match between the U.S. and Mexico? The stadium erupted in boos during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Fans yelled “Osama, Osama” as the United States was eliminated by Mexico.

The following year, in March 2005, Mexican soccer fans again cheered the al Qaeda mastermind’s name at a World Cup qualifier. ESPN reported the audience again booed and whistled during the U.S. national anthem, and plastic bags filled with urine were reportedly tossed on American players.

One Mexican fan told the Christian Science Monitor: “‘Every schoolboy knows about 1848. … When they robbed our territory,’ referring to when Texas, California and New Mexico were annexed to the U.S. as part of a peace treaty ending the war between the two countries, ‘that was the beginning.’ ”

This bitterness is longstanding, deep-seated and stoked by top Mexican government officials and elites. But pointing this reality out in the context of our crucial national debate over sovereignty, immigration, assimilation, border security and the rule of law will get you labeled a bigot. Our leaders have concluded it is better to pander, hide, pull out a friendly Spanish phrase like Miss Minnillo did, and pray the hatred will go away by giving the pro-amnesty lobby its legislative goodie-bag.

Meanwhile, Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald notes the White House continues to attack opponents of the Bush-Kennedy amnesty package as “nativists.” Conservative columnist Linda Chavez accused amnesty critics of “not liking Mexicans.” Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff suggested enforcement advocates wanted to “execute” illegal aliens. Sen. Lindsay Graham, South Carolina Republican, trashed immigration enforcement proponents as “bigots” in front of the ethnocentric, open-borders group La Raza. Yeah, we’re the nativists.

Next, they’ll tell us the mob at the Miss Universe pageant was simply “doing the booing Americans won’t do.”

Will President Bush speak out against the treatment Miss USA received in Mexico? Will any amnesty peddler in Washington? Imagine if Miss Mexico were booed, heckled and subjected to chants of “USA, USA” if the pageant had been held here.

Miss Smith can hold her head high. Those who are selling out our country, on the other hand, should hang their heads in shame.

Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.”

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