Villains abound in the great immigration scam, now playing out in Congress, and not all of them are Democrats. Some are fat cats of the Republican persuasion, and the satisfied smiles on their faces suggest Cheshire blood lines.
An endless supply of poor, hungry and illiterate peasants, preferably from the Mexican interior where poverty grinds so exceedingly fine that crumbs and scraps look like Christmas dinner, is crucial to keeping the scam going for the corporate and personal elites. The illegals have fastened onto them like fleas on the belly of a blue tick hound.
This has created unlikely allies in the campaign to rush President Obama's immigration "reform" through Congress, joining not only Republicans with Democrats and conservatives with liberals, but including nice liberals who want to keep the illegals coming to make their beds, clean their swimming pools, change their babies' diapers, cook their meals and do all the jobs beneath the dignity and standing of an elite.
The Republicans in the service of the elites, beginning with the four senators in the "Gang of Eight", are feeling buff and buoyant now. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the reliable appendage of Sen. John McCain of Arizona, giddily predicts that Obama immigration reform will pass the Senate with 70 votes, 10 more than necessary.
If so, President Obama will get another "signature" victory to spin not as a bipartisan triumph, but as the high-hanging fruit of his own wonderfulness. The senators, who thought they were under the tutelage of Harry Reid, the leader of the Democratic majority, actually act under the whim and wham of the White House. "No decisions are being made without talking to us about it," a White House source told Ryan Lizza for an article forthcoming in the New Yorker magazine.
"This does not fly if we're not O.K. with it," said the official, referring to the Gang of Eight negotiations. "If a Gang of Eight-style bill is signed into law by the president it will probably be one of the top five legislative accomplishments in the last 20 years. It's a huge piece of business."
The beauty part for the Democrats is that they get the credit and the Republicans who join them will get only cries of "sell-out" from their own. There's a lesson for the Republicans. Gangs tend to crack and split when they fall under strain. No offense intended to gangs by the comparison, but Jesse James and Frank Younger parted ways in the wake of their disastrous Great Northfield Minnesota Raid of 1876; Bonnie and Clyde came to a bad end when they were betrayed by one of their own. Loyalty, in crime as in politics, is often sold short.
Sen. Marco Rubio irritated some of his gang by conceding the futility of trying to fix what's wrong with a grand master plan. "There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can't cut it," his aide, presumably conversant with what the boss thinks, told the New Yorker. "There shouldn't be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can't get it, can't do it, don't want to do it. And so you can't obviously discuss that publicly."
This was meant to be an argument against raising the pay many thousands of new immigrants would get if they took lower-paying jobs that Americans presumably don't want. But some unions argue there are plenty of Americans willing to take those jobs, who are undercut by the flood of illegals. Mr. Rubio's office angrily decried the use of the "background quotes," but did not deny that someone from the Rubio office said them.
The exploitation of cheap, easily abused labor is something neither side wants to talk about. A porous border is good for business. "There may be an unemployment rate of over 15 per cent in many small towns in the Southwest," says Victor Davis Hanson, a scholar and essayist. "American businesses may be flush with record amounts of cash, and farm prices may be at record levels. But we are still lectured that without cheap labor from south of the border businesses simply cannot make a profit."
He observes that as the tide of illegals that Mexico doesn't want washes up to the super-affluent, super-liberal neighborhoods of Palo Alto and Menlo Park, private schools "in the fashion of the Southern [segregationist] academies that popped up in the 1960s during court-ordered busing" are exploding across Silicon Valley." They can run, but they can't hide.
• Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.
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