default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Politicians pave way for more tragedies

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2001 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:50 pm, Mon Mar 19, 2012.

Wouldn't it be grand to be Mexican President Vicente Fox?

All you'd have to do is just sit back and wait for the big, important American pols to come a-courting.

Look at the impressive list of congressional supplicants who have paid their respects within the last few months: Sens. Jesse Helms , R-N.C., Phil Gramm, R-Texas, Pete Dominici, R- N.M., Jim Bunning, R-Ky., Zell Miller, D-Ga., Larry Craig, R-Idaho, John Ensign, R-Nev., Joseph Biden, D-Del., Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.

All were following the example of their boss, President George Bush, who made Mexico his first international stop.

California Gov. Gray Davis could not beat a path to Fox's door fast enough. Davis attended Fox's inauguration, hosted Fox two months later on a feel-good trip through California and proclaimed Mexico "our most important neighbor."

And Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes took a contingent of 50 corporate tycoons to Mexico to talk it up.Joe Guzzardi

Even municipal leaders are joining the parade. Recently elected Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn told Fox, "Los Angeles is a Mexican city."

What an amazing remark for a man who owes his election entirely to Los Angeles's white, Anglo population and the Asian communities. Hahn, who lost the Mexican vote to his opponent, Antonio Villaraigosa, might have included his supporters in his demographic analysis.

The most recent congressmen to take time off from America's business to go south of the border on a taxpayer junket are the two top Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt.

But Daschle and Gephardt, like all who went before them, are on fool's missions.

Of course, the official patter is that these visits with Fox - and Fox's multiple trips to the U.S. - are about tightening the border, combating drugs, relationship building, and working on "areas of mutual interest."

At a time when every poll indicates that most Americans overwhelmingly want less immigration, more protection of our borders and are foursquare against amnesty in any form, what agenda did Daschle and Gephardt bring to Señor Fox's table?

The No. 1 and 2 subjects were "immigration reform" (translation: More immigration) and amnesty.

Ipso facto that if the U.S. allows more immigration and grants amnesty, protecting the borders becomes virtually impossible.

To say that our "leaders" are whoring for votes is a harsh but accurate statement. The most important thing for today's politicians, no matter how transparent the gesture, is to appeal to the Latino - and especially Mexican - voter.

How else can you explain the remarkable comments made by Daschle and Gephardt?

Consider these two Daschle corkers:

"We want to ensure that those people who have come from Puebla to the Northeast and want to stay in the U.S. as citizens can do so." (Translation: "Come one, come all. Just get here and we'll see to it that you become a U.S. citizen by hook or by crook.")

"We wanted to make as strong a statement as we could that our mutual agenda has not been lost in the aftermath of the disaster of Sept. 11. Our agenda regarding our mutual relationship is every bit as important and our commitment every bit as strong." (Translation: Latino votes are key for us. We cannot fall behind the Republicans in our pandering.)

Not to be outdone, Gephardt came up with this doozy:

"The United States and Mexico are best friends and we always will be."

That must come as news to British Prime Minister Tony Blair. While America's "best friend" Fox was conspicuously absent in the weeks immediately following Sept. 11, England rallied to our defense that same night.

Daschle and Gephardt, through their press offices, said they went to Mexico to get a lesson on immigration.

Fellows, you could have gotten a much better lesson staying at home. Come on out to California and I'll show you first hand the impact of immigration on schools, wages, population growth, urban sprawl and social services.

Immigration policy represents the biggest disconnect between what Americans want and what Washington is shoving down our throats.

Now the Bush administration has reopened negotiations with Mexico to liberalize existing immigration law.

In other words, Bush wants to give Fox what Fox wants. And that, in case you have forgotten, is the freer flow of people across the 2,000-mile border, guest worker programs, and the legalization of 3 million Mexican illegal aliens working in the U.S.

What Americans want - apparently of no concern to anyone in Washington - is a sensible and thoughtful immigration policy.

In these post-Sept. 11 days of heightened immigration awareness and with the economy reeling, such a policy would include - but not be limited to - lower levels of legal immigration, no amnesty and no guest worker programs.

Bush et al should be wary of pushing their open borders agenda too hard.

The consequences might be graver than they imagine.

When government consistently goes against the people's will, democracy ceases. That's a heavy price to pay in exchange for promise keeping to Fox.

Let's not forget that Fox has no domestic or foreign policy successes to point to.

On Sept. 11, 4,000 people died because of our lax immigration laws. In their memory, shouldn't the government dedicate its time to protecting citizens from future calamities instead of paving the way for more?

Joe Guzzardi, an instructor at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly opinion column since 1988. He can be reached via e-mail.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Recent Comments

Posted 5 hours ago by Gary Maurer.

article: Letter: Leaders to blame for police dea…

Hey Thomas, I am with you on this one. This kind of balderdash is always about the writer's jaded views of the world and never, never abou…


Posted 6 hours ago by Ed Walters.

article: Letter: Leaders to blame for police dea…

I`m off being bad, at least till after New Years, Merry Christmas to all you happy posters. [beam]


Posted 7 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Letter: U.S. suffers from total lack of…

Former contributor alex recently emailed me. He wants everyone here to have a wonderful and merry holiday season and wishes everyone a ver…


Posted 7 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Letter: Leaders to blame for police dea…

"All those who voted for this petulant little man should be ashamed." ...I'm not. "If any police officers are hurt as a res…


Posted 12 hours ago by Ed Walters.

article: Letter: U.S. suffers from total lack of…

Time for a change: Everything that can be said has been said in many forms concerning Ferguson, along with the latest shooting. Simon, …



Popular Stories


What was the biggest local story of 2014?

It has been an eventful year in Lodi, from the antics of a wild turkey named Tom Kettleman to the announced closure of the General Mills plant. What do you see as the biggest story of the year?

Total Votes: 203


Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists