Friday, September 01, 2006

Business leaders may restrain GOP immigration bashing

Supposedly GOP political strategists view immigration bashing as a short-term fix to Republicans' November electoral woes. But that tactic runs a risk: If the business wing of the GOP, the guys with the really big bucks, backlash against hard line immigration positions, what would happen?

Cracks along just those fault lines are beginning to show in Texas. Before it's over, we may find out whether the GOP's tent is big enough to encompass both business donors and activists who want to eliminate their labor pool.

The powerful Texas Association of Business stepped into the debate this week, along with some of its most important backers. Indeed, the signators on a recent op ed in the Dallas News ("Texas Business: Pass Immigration Reform," Aug. 28) read like a who's who of major-league donors to the Texas GOP, notably Bob Perry, Harold Simmons, Louis Beecherl, Bo Pilgrim, James Leininger, and other heavyweights. Their message:
As chairmen, CEOs and stockholders, we call on Congress to act – to go back to Washington and pass realistic immigration reform that provides the workers we need to keep our businesses growing.

We understand that this will include workplace enforcement. In fact, we welcome reform that gives us the tools to stay on the right side of the law. The important thing is that this vital part of the economy be brought under the rule and protection of the law.

Neither the immigrants here today nor those we will need in the future should have to live in the shadows. These are good people with good values doing work that we need done, reaching for the American Dream and helping make it a reality for all.

What will this mean in the long run? Who knows? What will it mean in November? Probably not much. But these major donors could enforce an outer limit to what the GOP's more radical grassroots base can demand of US immigration policy. Either that, or possibly provide a new funding source for candidates who support less draconian approaches. In any case, I'll guarantee the guys on that list won't be afraid to throw their weight around to protect their economic interests.


Anonymous said...

It's no surprise to see Bo Pilgrim on the list. He's been luring people illegally into the country for years to work his chicken-pickin' plants.

There are little Pilgrim-villes around the Pittsburg, TX area with Pilgrim grocery stores, Pilgrim restaraunts and Pilgrim banks to cash your measly paychecks at, and it was definately an ESL environment last time I was there.

I wonder how this will play out.

800 pound gorilla said...

It never ceases to amaze me how self righteous christian conservatives can be so easily played by dishonest politicians as fools. All they have to do is rant about how immoral "someone else" is behaving, support laws to restrict "someone elses'" rights and claim the "moral high ground". That's why abortion rights and gay marriage have been such popular issues to rally their "base".

Ironically, working people who care about their own children support foreign interventionism [War on Terror etal] and prohibition[War on Drugs] - based totally on lies. These "wars" lead to widespread worldwide terrorism and criminal violence on our own streets>higher spending on armaments and prisons>more money for big business interests and less safety for US families. They cynically play them for the chumps they truly are.

While the Constitution Party openly opposes the War on Terror and [not so openly]War on Drugs they still support abortion bans and oppose all gay and lesbian civil rights.

We have illegal immigration problems because we restrict immigration from certain countries based on racism and ethnocentrism. We have similar problems with the motivation behind the initiation of drug prohibition. Whenever you restrict something [like citizenship] you are going to have a class of unregulated and unaccountable people who can be exploited like drug addicts and prostitutes. And the solution to protecting addicts and prostitutes is not further restrictions and punishment for their activities - as proposed by GOP and Minbari Radio talk show hosts like Rush and Savage.

Anonymous said...

800 pound gorilla,

WELL SAID!!! Those who wrongfully use their " SUPPOSED " faith as a weapon against others and to seek self serving agendas, will answer to the ALMIGHTY! As will their cheerleaders and supporters to!

The war on drugs has been a lie for YEARS, those that feed off this CASH COW refuse to tell the truth!

Thanks for the honesty!!!

There Has Got To Be A Better Way!

Rusty White

Anonymous said...

"We have illegal immigration problems because we restrict immigration from certain countries based on racism and ethnocentrism."

That's a load of BS.
We allows over 1 million legal immigrants to this country a year. If anything, our laws are biased against white European immigration, and in favor of 3rd world immigration since the 1964 Kennedy written immigration bill. The levels of immigration both legal and illegal are in absolute numbers, the highest in our nation's history.

We have illegal immigration problems because we FAIL TO ENFORCE THE LAW, and because we have created incentives and amnesties galore for those who abuse the law by coming here illegally.

It's that simple.
We have to set up a system where the people we let come here legally can come here, and the ones we don't say are here legally go home.
- build fence/wall/barrier on the border and end border crossing
- get visa tracking better
- get local law enforcement to assist
- end illegal alien employment by having verified employment documentation and soc sec database (tested and works)
- avenues for legal immigration (guest worker) to end the illegal immigration subterfuge

- NO AMNESTY, which will make the problem worse by rewarding those who broke the law. The message will be sent that anyone who broke the law can just come in here and wait long enough and you'll get legalized.... say hello to another 50 million illegal aliens.

That's not the solution the cheap labor lobby wants, but it is what is best for America.