- The Washington Times - Friday, May 26, 2006

Nobles: Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation fellow whose research exposed the Senate’s immigration “reform” bill.

In an immigration debate long on demogoguery, short on honesty, its end occasions a word or two about the latter.

Top honors go to Mr. Rector, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. It was Mr. Rector who, while the “world’s greatest deliberative body” staged its sideshow, published two reports on the bill’s consequences. First, fiscally, the bill “if enacted, would be the largest expansion of the welfare state in 35 years,” he found. “The long-term cost of government benefits to the parents of 10 million recipients of amnesty could be $30 billion per year or more.”

Unfortunately, not much could be done to the cost of the bill without gutting its proponents’ sanctified amnesty provisions. The attempt to do so failed.

But Mr. Rector’s second report found that “if enacted, [the bill] would be the most dramatic change in immigration law in 80 years, allowing an estimated 103 million persons to legally immigrate to the U.S. over the next 20 years — fully one-third of the current population of the United States.” A vast majority of this growth sprung from a nasty provision in the guest-worker program that would have allowed 325,000 guest-workers into the country plus a 20 percent automatic increase every year after enactment.

Mr. Rector’s report led Sen. Jeff Bingaman to introduce an amendment capping the number of annual workers at 200,000 with no automatic increase. Cowed perhaps by the media’s promulgation of the report, the Senate passed the Bingaman amendment, leading Mr. Rector to revise his 20-year estimate to 66 million.

It was a small victory, yet one Americans should remember fondly as their country’s immigration problems spin ever more wildly out of control.

For services rendered, Mr. Rector is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: The American Civil Liberties Union, for attempting to silence its members.

Rarely a day goes by without the ACLU defending one’s right to act like an idiot — er, one’s right to free speech. So it was mildly surprising to learn that, as the New York Times reported, the ACLU “is weighing new standards that would discourage its board members from publicly criticizing the organization’s policies and internal administration.”

Going over those the ACLU sees as particularly deserving of its protection on its Web site, one finds “Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor.” That leaves out heterosexual white men and, apparently, ACLU board members.

For irony too rich to ignore, the ACLU is the Knave of the week.

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