Friday, June 29, 2007

Mexico's Viiew of the Foreign-Born 

During all the ado about the US Senate's throes attempting to pass a "comprehensive immigration bill," I just happened to notice this interesting article in the San Diego Union Tribune on Thursday.

It seems that Jorge Astiazaran, a candidate for Mayor of Tijuana (the second-largest city on the West Coast of North America) has a bit of a problem. He's a physician, and a son of a prominent Tijuana family. He's active in the city's Red Cross and a member in good standing of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)--in short, a pillar of the community. Unfortunately, he was born in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Under the laws of the State of Baja California, a foreign-born candidate for political office must present a "Certificate of Nationality" attesting to his or her Mexican citizenship at least 10 years (yes, 10 years) before running for public office. His candidacy was challenged by the National Action Party (PAN) and earlier this week an electoral tribunal in Baja annulled Astiazaran's candidacy.

The circumstances of Senor Astiazaran's birth are far from typical, and except for the first week his entire life of 45 years has been centered in Mexico.

Well, it's their country, and the Mexicans certainly have the right to enact and enforce their own citizenship laws.

As do we

I can't help but wonder what the reaction in the press and Democratic Party, not to mention the federal judiciary, would be if the State of California enacted a law like Baja California's requiring certification of nationality no less than 10 years before seeking public office.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Immigration Reform Senate Doings 

I haven't read the bill, and frankly, I doubt whether too many of the Senators "debating" it have, either. But I gotta say if the accounts of how the proponents of this bill are pushing it through are true, my opinion is that it deserves to be defeated.

Up front, I believe that Job #1 is to get control of the Nation's borders, including the border with Mexico, certainly, but also the border with Canada and all of our seaports and international airports. There's a lot more than illegal immigrants coming over those borders and through those ports, and as a matter of national security we need to get a handle on that problem. That said, I think we ought to make it easier for people who wish to become citizens to immigrate legally to the US, whether they come from Mexico, Asia, Africa or South America. But I think we need to stick with the "melting pot" paradigm rather than the multi-culti thinking that has led to so many problems in Europe and even Canada with its Quebec separatists. Multi-culti is, in the end, divisive and tends to balkanize, and that's not what this country is about.

As for the 12 million or so illegals that are already here, why is it so imperative that we do something about them right this minute? The problem has existed since at least the Reagan administration, and our elected representatives (I hesitate to use the term "leaders") have been sitting on their hands with this issue for a couple of decades. Nothing new has occurred that justifies passing a bill that was negotiated in secret and has been ramrodded through the Senate without so much as a single committee hearing and with extremely limited opportunities to amend it. I hope cloture is defeated, and the Senators are voting as I write.

This whole episode has me thoroughly disgusted. Last fall I changed my registration from Republican to "Declines to State" because of the GOP's inanity in the off-year elections. The Republicans have been going downhill for years, and, frankly, they haven't had an attractive candidate for President since Reagan. Bush 41 campaigned for his second term like he didn't really want to keep the job, and we got Clinton. Bob Dole didn't do much better and we got Clinton again. Bush 43 won only because Gore has the personality of the giant robot Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still. No, I take that back--Gort is more lovable. Bush 43 won again because Kerry is downright repulsive to a lot of people. But my point is that the Repubs don't campaign with any fire in the belly, and they are beginning to emulate the Dems in not coming up with any new ideas.

Both parties, in my opinion, are approaching vast problems with half-vast solutions, and the public knows it. Hence the abysmal approval ratings for nearly everyone at the federal level. I don't know what we can do about all this, because we only have the candidates that run to choose from, and third parties don't do well in this country.

Update 20070628:0936PDT: What Captain Ed said.

Update 20070628:1421PDT: What Dean Barnett said.

Update 20070628:2239PDT: What Glenn Reynolds said.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

How History Shapes Attitude 

When I first heard about this incident this morning, and before I learned any details other than a lot of people had been hurt, and maybe killed, the first thought that crossed my mind was, "I wonder if it was an elderly person who shouldn't have been driving." A few seconds later, I was thinking, "I wonder if it's some crazy Muslim like that guy i North Carolina last year."

Both of those reactions follow directly from reports of similar events in the past, carried prominently in the media. As it turned out, the perpetrator was a 30-year-old woman who apparently was high on something, or had a severe psychological episode, or both.

My prayers are going out for the injured and their families.

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