Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Anti-immigrant strategy: Lie as much as possible

Woe, the Republic. We already knew that the anti-immigrant zealots are so successful because they are incredibly vocal. It's becoming increasingly clear that they are also successful because they lie.

There's no disputing it. Mayor Barletta rode stereotypes about immigrants and crime all the way to his ordinance, now to the 3rd Circuit of Appeals, and maybe even to a run for Congress. Of course, never mind that we blew up his crime argument in court by presenting- get this- the facts.

Now there's word that the anti-immigrant crowd is gearing up to use blatant nativism- factual inaccuracies be damned- to paint their political opponents. This today from the WaPo's Ruth Marcus:
Bashing Democrats on immigration -- accusing them of doing everything but carrying illegals' luggage across the border -- is a GOP mainstay. But the accusations that Republicans started to peddle last week reached a new low in dishonest nativism.

The first salvo involved the House version of the measure to extend the children's health insurance plan, SCHIP.

"What we do is take, at the cost of seniors who get . . . choices of their own health-care plans, we take it away," former speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) claimed during the House debate. "We wipe it out, and we give it to people who are illegal aliens."

"That bill, if it becomes law, would take $197 billion out of the Medicare trust fund, from our seniors, to give to illegal aliens," charged Rep. Ron Lewis (R-Ky.).

Leave aside the inflated numbers. Leave aside the scare talk about "our seniors." (AARP, the seniors' lobby, supports the bill.)

The provision at issue would repeal a 2006 requirement that everyone applying for Medicaid provide proof of citizenship -- passports or original birth certificates. That might sound sensible, but it has been a cumbersome, expensive solution to a non-problem.

In 2005, when he was overseeing the Medicaid program for the Bush administration, Mark McClellan noted that an inspector general's investigation did "not find particular problems regarding false allegations of citizenship, nor are we aware of any."

Because many Medicaid applicants don't have such papers easily at hand -- they're not the passport-carrying types -- the requirement has resulted in tens of thousands of eligible children being denied coverage or kicked off the rolls and has cost states millions of dollars to administer.

The ACLU, of course, has no position on SCHIP. But we do have a big problem with people using nativism, xenophobia, and racism- all neatly tied up into a package of lies- to advance their causes. It's wrong.

But I said, "Woe, the Republic," at the top because people will buy it. The nativists wouldn't use this line of attack if it didn't work. We and our allies have to answer the misinformation and answer it with fervor and strength.

Andy in Harrisburg

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How horrible! What a terrible thing it is to assure that those who would receive benefits that by law are only intended for citizens are received only by citizens. What a price it is for a resident to pay, to have to provide simple proof that he his who he says. I have to prove that I'm licensed to drive if I'm caught speeding. I have to prove that I am a resident of a specific community to enroll my kids in a local school. I have to provide a Social Security car to my employer to become employed. We have to proved identity and status all the time in our society. It is all too obvious to every thinking person that these arguments against a requirement to prove legal residency are just more resistance from illegal alien advocacy groups to maintain the embedding of their constituents in our society. These people will lie, commit fraud and use our laws against us to prevent or delay their deportations and to gain benefits not entitled to them. And they've been very successful at it. Take for example, Plyler v. Doe, a ruling by the Supreme Court that not only legislated that education is a right under the Constitution (which it in fact isn't), but made Texas (and consequently the rest of us) provide illegal alien children with an education. This is in spite of the will the people to have them deported, as dictated by our immigration laws. The ACLU is in full support of such attacks on the will of the people.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it kind of funny how Mayor Barlette looks Like he's Mexican?

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In support of my friend anonymous, I concur with his argument against the Court ruling on Plyler v. Doe. It was a 5 v. 4 decision with the minority opinion given by Chief Justice Burger, who stated:

"The Equal Protection Clause does not mandate identical treatment of different categories of persons. The Equal Protection Clause guarantees similar treatment of similarly situated persons, but it does not mandate a constitutional hierarchy of governmental services. Without laboring what will seem obvious to many, it simply is not “irrational” for a state to conclude that it does not have the same responsibility to provide benefits to persons whose very presence in the state and this country is illegal as it does to provide for persons lawfully present. By definition, illegal aliens have no right whatever to be here, and the state may reasonably, and constitutionally, elect not to provide them with governmental services at the expense of those who are lawfully in the state."

Furthermore, Chief Justice Burger emphasized in his dissent:

The Court makes no attempt to disguise that it is acting to make up for Congress’ lack of “effective leadership” in dealing with the serious national problems caused by the influx of uncountable millions of illegal aliens across our borders. … However, it is not the function of the Judiciary to provide “effective leadership simply because the political branches of government fail to do so. … The Court employs, and in my view, abuses the Fourteenth Amendment in an effort to become an omnipotent and omniscient problem solver. That the motives for doing so are noble and compassionate does not alter the fact that the Court distorts our constitutional function to make amends for the defaults of others. [xvii] … If ever a court was guilty of an unabashedly result-oriented approach, this case is a prime example. [xviii]

Plyler v. Doe can never stand as settled law, as it has no sound basis in the 14 Amendment that it purports to have as a foundation.

The last sentence of the Chief Justice’s dissent sums up:

“The solution to this seemingly intractable problem is to defer to the political processes, unpalatable as that may be to some.”

Instead of ruling on the Constitutionality of Plyler v. Doe, the Court usurped political power that is the prerogative of Congress and the president and wrote its own legislation and couched it in the guise of a judical ruling. Moreover, the minority opinion passes the smell test, while the majority's does not.

Note of attribution: I pilfered most of this from You may hate that blog, but as they say, the truth is not the sole provence of the universally beloved.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your arguments will go nowhere in this blog, as Andy is accutely welded to his dogmatic view that the ACLU's positions and the Supreme Nine rulings of the past are holy and inviolate. I, for one think that Plyler v. Doe is ripe for reversal. I can hardly wait for the fireworks.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not fair, fellow citizens. You're abusing the handicapped, a favorite ACLU constituent. Andy would have to have surgery first, to extract that hand that's up his ass and controlling his tongue.

10:34 PM  

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