Category Archives: Immigration

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

The Phoenix Suns are showing their solidarity with those belonging to the rational community.

I don’t trust those snap polls that seem to indicate that a “majority” of Americans support the Arizona law.  It looks like the numbers are based on those who self identify knowing about the law and then taking the percentage of that percentage and applying it to the whole.

Given the passage of the Arizona law and the oil spill in the Gulf, I don’t see how Congress could pass up the opportunity to get both immigration reform and cap and trade done.  Of course, financial reform has been squeezed out of the news, but I expect that to pass.

How’s that hopey changey thing going?  So far so good as far as I can see.


From the McCain Press Briefing Yesterday

Via The Campaign Spot — which is a ‘blog’ on the National Review Online:

The campaign showcased an intriguing chart that compared poll results whan (sic) Americans were asked to describe themselves ideologically and then describe McCain and Obama. McCain’s graph largely matches the public – 17 percent see themselves as “very conservative”, and 17 percent of the public describes themselves the same way, on through “somewhat conservative,” moderate, and liberal.” Obama’s chart is very discordant; very few Americans see him as very conservative, and 55 percent see him as “liberal” – a much higher percentage than the 21 percent of the public that sees themselves as “liberal.”

Taking the few numbers here at face value, it looks like Obama is *doomed* because people don’t think he is like them politically.  However, people see themselves in McCain.  I wonder if the 21% of the self-identified liberals see McCain as liberal. 

This paragraph is what caught my attention:

Perhaps most ominously to those who would prefer a Republican presidential candidate who echoedtalk radio on the issue, illegal immigration, Davis noted that McCain’s history of stands on immigration that caused him such grief in the GOP primaries “may suit to fit him in a general election.”

The reason given for why the Immigration bill failed was the public outcry and — according to some politicians — the influence of talk radio.  I thought it was ridiculous at the time.  Just as talk radio failed to derail McCain nomination, they failed on global warming and they failed with Obama’s nomination.  Why ascribe their advocacy any power whatsoever?  Republican politicians lost their nerve over a handfull of blowhards and their cranky listeners.

A Few Things

The Houston Have Your Say Program continues both at the website’s blog and on the chron blogs, Kuff, Ree-C and the Immigration blog.  There was more discussion last night after the televised part which sounded much more hopeful.

Tonight on Red, White and Blue, David Boren is the guest.  He’s got a new book out and recently announced that he is backing Barack Obama.  I heard Gary Polland, one of the hosts of RW&B this evening on KSEV.  David was criticizing Boren for wanting to bring America together but endorcing Obama, whome he characterized as not reaching across the aisle.  We’ll see if he brings that up on the program.

Later, Bill Moyers will have his interview with the WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD or so you might think if you listen to people who think they know more than voters.

Later on the blog, I will attempt to finally get a post by robin up.  It’s been a struggle but worth it.  The topic is terrorism.

My connection is crap tonight.  I didn’t get all the links in.  I’m going to try to fix it. 

I don’t know if I’ve got it fixed, but I will go with it.

Rev. Wright is on now.  His service is impressive.  I would put it up against any republican.  He is a man after my own heart.  That the journalist in this election cycle have used him against Obama is craven and just wrong.  For someone like Kathleen to call him hateful and racist is very wrong.  For Bill Bennett to promote his radio program at this man’s expense is wrong.  Fat old Bill Bennett is only hanging onto his past positions to gain a hold in the new wingnut atmosphere.  Sure he gets on tv, but that is the point.  Why?  What does he know that I don’t at this point?  He is only for promoting himself.

This is a very good interview.  I cannot see how it could hurt Obama.  But the Washington Weekly crowd disagrees, as does Bennett, Hannity, Limbaugh and Gallagher.  I’m on the right side of this.

This is the right thing for him to do.

Gary didn’t bring up his point about Obama or Boren’s endorsement at all.  So that means he was just playing to the audience.

I’m getting really tired of this. 

Houston Have Your Say

is on PBS tonight.  It’s a new ‘townhall meeting’ program.  Let’s see how it works out.

Dan Patrick is there.  Boo.  “The people who come here illegally are losers.”  He states that we are all losers.  Patrick the nativist is the most negative speaker so far.

The Texas Boarder Watch guy is the second most negative.  He’s watched these immigrants all live in one cheap apartment.  Their cost of living is almost nothing!

A second Boarder watch guy — amnesty!11111!!!!1  “We have to get a solution or this country will crumble!” 

Oh great, failed businessman and mayoral candidate Orlando Sanchez is on.

Overall, this is very interesting.  There have been many different opinions and it has all been weighted fairly, IMHO except that there were not Democratic politicians on hand (Garnet Coleman, Jessica Farrar?).

FREAKING MICHAEL BERRY.  I question his handle on the English language . . .

Back to Dan Patrick: “We’re encouraging people to come here.”  Dan sez, “I serve on Education!  Professor, you are wrong!”  “We’re going to have an emslaved culture . . .”  Dan gets smacked back.

Honestly, the anti-immigration speakers really do come off badly, especially the ‘fense first’ types.

Dan Patrick again.  He gets called out as a scapegoat and he fights it, but not successfully.

There are people in the audience fighting back.  Good for them and good for PBS for showing them.

Dan Patrick again.  YaY! Out of time. 

Here’s the link to the site.

I don’t think anything was resolved and I wonder why there were no Democratic politicians there. 

More on Immigration

Following up on what I wrote about Chris Baker yesterday, I have another example of Baker laughing at someone as he is interviewing him.  That happened on June 19th of this year in an interview with Russ Knocke of Homeland Security.  Matt Stiles, the city beat reporter for the Houston Chronicle, told me that in his experience, Knocke has always been helpful and a nice guy.

This link is to a list of Baker’s podcasts. Scroll down to the 6-19 podacast labeled “Chris Baker talks suicide bombers and border security with RUSS KANAKI (sic) from the Dept. of Homeland Security.”  At about mark 5:20, Baker says, after earlier claiming that thousands of people have contacted him about volunteering to man the border:

“If you’ve got guys who are willing to go down there and willing to stand a post, why can’t we arm them and let them kill some of those guys? I know that’s a very bold question, but why not? Screw these guys, ok? They’re varmints. They’re criminals. They’re murderers. They . . . the way that they treat these criminal aliens as they smuggle them is inhumane. So why can’t we just kill them?”

Knocke points out that what Baker has suggested is probably illegal in many ways and Baker laughs at him.

Notice how Baker always catches himself.  He starts out very general in his threats, but always mentions the *criminal* aliens being exploited.  He’s just doing cya, again.

Now, I could do exactly what Chris Baker is doing.  I could suggest that the “thousands of people” who have contacted him about “standing a post” are just like this guy (WARNING — the video in the post is disturbing and contains violent language — lots of it.  The post has enough info in it to get a good idea of what is in the video) or these guys.

The links are both about possible vigilanty activity at the U.S.-Mexican border.

Immigration — KTRH style

KTRH is a very old station here in Houston.  It’s coming up on its 78th anniversary.   I’ve listened to it for years — for news, weather, sports, and alerts.  It’s changed a great deal this year.  Now it hosts Rush, Hannity, and who knows, maybe Savage before long. 

Currently they have one reporter — Scott something —  and Chris Baker working the immigration front.  Tuesday they were all over a *story* about a supposed idea of setting up a Day Labor site — to get both those who want to work and those who need workers off the street corners — connected with the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce.  They later attacked the president,  Tomlison, and she held her own with them.  As is typical with Baker interviews, her laughed at her.

Baker is a hypocrite.  Let me explan:

Group X is by definition breaking U.S. law.  Group X includes Subgroups Y and Z.  Subroup Y includes those breaking criminal laws — smugglers, theives, gang members and the like — and is very small.   Subgroup Z includes those who are breaking civil laws and makes up the vast majority of Group X. 

Subgroup Y exploits subgroup Z to get subgroup Z into the U.S.  A third group, let’s call them C, also exploits subgroup Z.  Group C is made up of two subgroups.  One subgroup is business owners and companies who hire subgroup Z, pay them much less than minimum wage, occasionally don’t pay them at all, and clearly don’t give them any type of medical benefits.  The other subgroup is the screamers.  That’s Baker’s group.  It’s also the group that screams the most about building a wall along the border, sunk the Immigration bill and advocates killing.  (More on that second point in another post.)

Back to Baker’s show on Tuesday.  He starts off with this:

How would you like to have a Day Labor/criminal alien work center in your neighborhood?  That’s what I’m calling it.  The criminal alien work center.  Part of a criminal alien enablement (?) sydrome that runs rampid in our fair city and our county.

So, by criminal alien, is Baker refering to Group X?  Or is he refering to subgroup Y or Z?  He continues [I’m purposefully leaving out the names in this part — I refuse to exploit the situation like Baker does]:

By the way, I’d like to point out that {suspect’s name} criminal alien over the weekend is the suspect,  I’ll use this term, in the death of a family as they were driving down Interstate 10.  What a fine man this was.  Remember everybody, it’s only racism.  I mean, I’m just a racist, a hatemongerer whenever I bring this up.  But a criminal alien allegedly (said with the thickest of sarcasm) killed a family. {Baker then names them.}  Bail was set at $30K for each person.  At $90K this varmint can basically jump right back across the border from where he came.

Baker then brings in Scott to report on the day labor center.  Scott talks and Baker mummbles and echos him while Scott is talking.  Finally, before the break, Baker goes off on a major rant, claiming that blood is on the city’s hands and screaming “Shame!  Shame!”

Baker and Scott then “interview” the president of the chamber of commerce.  Baker repeatedly calls the day laborers — the people looking for work — bums.  And when she won’t say what he wants her to, Baker laughs at her.   Both Scott and Chris keep trying.  She stands up to them rather well.  Baker wraps up the interview with, “I’m stunned” and links the interview back to “how many people have to die before this city and county wake up?”

I missed the next segment because I was talking on the phone, but when I hung up, I heard this from Baker:

Until we have political leardership that is willing to sack up and enforce the law.  That’s all really anybody asks.  No one’s against immigration.  No one want . . . and you know what here’s the other side of it which I’m the only guy who even brings it up is that the way that these people are treated, these criminal aliens, the way they’re treated by the unscrupulous employers, by smugglers and all the other uhhh people who take advantage of these people. Not even to mention politicians.  But I’m the only guy that brings it up.  And I’m the racist.  I’m the hatemongerer.

This is the way Baker always tries to cya.  He brings it up.  But that’s all he does.  And in the next breath, he lumps the two groups back together again.

Related link (pdf)to a special report — which shows — surprise!  Latino immigrants represent very little of the crime commited in this country.

An Article about Tim O’Hare of Farmers Branch

I ran across this article than ran in the Chron on Sunday, and it reminded me that I had wanted to put together a time line of the research I have done on this subject.

First, there was a meeting in Farmers Branch, reported on here (I orginally linked here), and during which Tim O’Hare set out his points for ways to improve Farmers Branch.  The meeting took place in April, 2006.  He did not mention immigrants of any status in his suggestions.

Then there’s this blog entry from Angel Reyes, an attorney with whom Tim O’Hare met.  (The orginal link is in the same blog post as above.)  While it’s dated November 17, 2006, Reyes states that he met with O’Hare “in the not-so-distant past” about taking some cases.  During that discussion, O’Hare stated his ambitions:  after city council, run for mayor, and then when his term was up, he’d be “the ‘go to guy'” in Farmers Branch.  O’Hare said nothing about immigration at that time, and Reyes noted that most of the case concerned people with Hispanic sirnames and that O’Hare’s lawfirm advertised that Spanish speakers were welcome.

 Then last summer, the mayor of Haelton, PA was all over the news with his proposed ordinance called Illegal Immigration Relief Act.  The Farmers Branch ordinance, offered in  November, 2006 , is very similar to the one in Hazelton.  I wonder why?

I have several posts in my Immigration category about things that have happened since.  I find it remarkable that O’Hare still claims, after being debunked over and over again (here’s just one of many), that immigration is related to property values or crime.

Tim O’Hare is your typical hypocritical conservative.  I’m so tired of them. 

Points Post . . .

if my ISP and McAfee can stop fighting with each other long enough to let me do this.  What a pain.  Unless I get this straightened out, I won’t be able to do any links.

Immigration:  All I’ve heard is a bunch of nitpicking about things actually relating to the immigrants themselves.  What I haven’t heard in the last couple of days is anything at all relating to employers.  Chris Baker, Hegh Hewitt, Red State, Michelle Malkin, the usual suspects, are all in complete outrage mode.  Zzzzzzzzz.  I’ve always thought that immigration relates to the countries invovled and whether or not that immigration benefited both.  It does, wrt each country.  It also comes up as an issue when the conservative types in the U.S. feel threatened or powerless.  The military operation in Iraq has been less than glorious, to say the least.  (There were 14 more tonight on the News Hours — but that is a different point . . .)  So, since the 12%ers feel weak — the frustration with Iraq — they attack those among us with the least power — the easiest prey.  They demonize them — calling them criminals.  They harp on the actions of a few and generalize that behavior/attitude to the whole — a few stomp around the pond in front of city hall, marchers carried Mexican flags, so they must want the U.S. to be Mexico.  They purposefully over-simplify the entire situation — build a wall — that will stop them — even though walls haven’t stopped immigration anywhere — walls have only led to deaths.  (Two of my students documented this in their research papers.)

Something I didn’t know:  Tonight on NOW, there was a report about a bike shop — but not an ordinary one — in the 3rd ward.  They draw kids into fixing bikes when there is nothing else to do.  I think I will take the two old bikes my sister dumped on me and that I haven’t found time to fix over there. 

The Connection — when it is not Red, White and Blue — is place for true religious wingnutery on display.  I’m taping it now, and did the other Friday that it was on.  I should do some sort of transcription of the most egregious statements.  (Context!  I know, but still.  With Jerry Falwell, the excuses have been — take his words in context!!!!!!!!! )  Interesting show as always.  But it steers toward religious types talking about sex far too often.  Now it’s over.

The Green Spot is coming up.  Then Bill Moyers.  I will be distracted.

Work — I had my performance appraisal on Wednesday.  I am difficult to work with.  I am intimidating.  I am accussed of doing things I didn’t do/couldn’t have done.  I still frighten the secretary — maybe it is because she is a racist and I point it out to her. . . .  I get accused of doing things that I didn’t do again and again.  This causes me to drink in excess (not the only reason) and fret about my employment — since one wrong move could land me unemployed.   The whole process is now via the internets and so, input gets cut off.  I’m pushing the limit this year.  Not because I wanted to, i’t what was given to me.

In other work news — I difussed a potential problem/complaint for another teacher yesterday.  Will I get credit for it?  No. Nope. Never.  Now if it comes back and bites me in the ass, I will be assessed with all of the blame — to be continued. 

Back to Immigration — John Cornyn — Texas Senator up for his first re-election, was for the bill before he was against it.  Perfect Republican.   Wait, he thought about it.  Wait.  Wait. Wait, he gave a complicated answer.  Wait.  It’s complicated.  Remind you of anything?  

Farmers Branch Voting Results

So the ordinance passed.  It’s still wrong, and it doesn’t change anything as far as the lawsuits are concerned.  I’m disheartened, but I still think that this can all turn out for the best.

An Honest Argument

That sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?  Chris Baker is always asking for just that, whether the topic is immigration, voting or any number of possibilities.  Yesterday he practically begged his listeners to explain what *reform* those marching in various cities were asking for — demanding.   He has his pet names for *those* people and his pat argument.  No one who could explain what the reformed being referenced to was called in to his show — or at least didn’t get on the air.  I didn’t even try.  Baker was set on calling what they wanted amnesty.

Today was different.  Baker started today’s show with the argument that Democrats were simply playing the victim card wrt the law that just passed the House in Texas regarding photo ID’s and voting.  Here’s a little of what he wrote (quoted?) on his blog:

 Republicans say the legislation is necessary to combat voter fraud. Democrats say the bill targets a rare form of fraud and is actually designed to suppress turnout by black and Hispanic voters.

He insisted that it wasn’t a problem for anyone to either get a Texas driver’s licenses or ID card.  That’s true in most cases, even for felons and foreigners.  Yes, that’s right.  If you can prove who you are, you can get a Texas ID.  If you can prove who you are and pass the written and road tests, you can get a Texas driver’s license.  Is this news to you?  It was to Baker’s screener Chad and to Baker himself one and a half hours later when I finally talked with him on the air.  (YES, I got in early and was lucky enough to only be grilling in the backyard while on hold. More about that later.)  While I was on hold I got to listen to all sorts of speculation about what the *illegal aliens* could do to interfere with our voting system, court system, ad nauseum.  Finally it was my turn.  I’m on the second hour — toward the end — of today, May 2nd, 2007.  (Fans of fast forward will recognize Green Day as the bumper before I’m on.)  Chris claimed that Chad said I was full of it when I told him that non-citizens could get an ID or TDL.  (This has been true for years.) And when I told him about the provisional ballot being the substitute for those who only present a photo ID, I stumped him.  There was nothing on his show after that about voting.

I couldn’t get it all in, but thankfully there are astute people out there who are following this.  One is Charles Kuffner.  He has a link regarding voter fraud in Texas.  As one would expect, there is very little voter fraud and what little there is concerns mail ins and people assisting too much at the polls.  Two other informative links are here and here.  I used the info in the first with Baker.  As the writer of the bill, Rep. Betty Brown stated on the house floor, if you don’t have your voter’s registration card and only show a photo ID, you cast a provisional ballot — effectively a non-vote.

So we come full circle.  The Republicans in Austin float a bill aimed at reducing voter fraud.  The way they do it?  Require a photo ID.  Photo ID’s are readily available to almost anyone.  No known case of voter fraud involved impersonation.  Baker smeared those  who opposed this bill.  My question is: why do we need it?  With all of the holes in it and the clearly forseeable negative consequences of it, what was Betty Brown thinking?

 Baker feels free to name call without all of the facts.  I won’t.  Except for this.  Conservative talk radio is all rumors and gossip.  When you clarify anything, it goes down the rabbit hole.