Monday, December 11, 2006

On bake sales and nativism...

I have to admit, I miss the Young Conservatives of Texas. The ACLU nativity scene brought back memories from when I was a student at the University of Texas, where occasionally I had the dubious honor of debating YCT members on campus and on local television. Like the time they held the affirmative action bakesales. Or the time when one of their members, at an event, tried to punch someone in the audience with whom he disagreed. Or maybe I just feel nostalgia for my student days because the high in Austin today is 70 degrees.

In other news, li'l old Altoona (PA) got its 15 minutes of fame in the New York Times last week (with a novel headline to boot): Altoona, With No Immigrant Program, Decides to Solve It
"If you were to look for the area for the fewest immigrant settlements in the country, you would look to south central Pennsylvania," said Steven A. Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, a research organization in Washington that favors tougher immigration policies. "There just aren't many immigrants - legal or illegal - around Altoona because there aren't many jobs."

If Hazleton, where the immigrant population grew sharply in just a few years, started the current trend for dealing with a surge in illegal immigrants, Altoona may be the beginning of the next wave: trying to prevent a situation from developing in the first place.

"We don't have a problem here with immigrants," said Joe Rieker, 40, one of five members of the Altoona City Council who voted in favor of the new ordinance. "But we want to stay ahead of the curve."

And from our own Vic Walczak:
"When you have towns like Altoona enacting a solution in search of a problem, you worry if there's a nativist impulse there," Mr. Walczak said. "There's a fair bit of politics involved here, and illegal immigrants are an easy and effective scapegoat for a small town's problems."

Lisa in Pittsburgh

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Atheism Quotes said...

Don't you just love how quotes from locals in these kind of articles always come across as something like "I'm not a racist, but I *know* it's the illegals causing this"? Yeah, you don't sound racist at all. Especially when you then go on to say that a car of Mexicans sticks out like a sore thumb because your town is so lilly-white.

I like the quote from the priest that the person responsible for the murders had been around since he was a kid. His morals and ethics were formed in their community, not in another land. So who's to blame?

1:17 PM  

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