September 7, 2006
In the Wall Street Journal, June Krumholz describes the nasty consequences of Congress's failure to address the immigration quandary. Local communities such as Riverside, NJ and Hazleton, PA are taking things into their own hands, passing ordinances that require proof of legal status, which is fueling outrage among immigrant rights groups. Of course, this provides the perfect opportunity for racist groups to stir up even more trouble. Ms. Krumholz calls attention to various candidates in both parties who seem to be tapping into anti-immigrant sentiment in order to gain votes. It makes me ill just thinking about it. It's too late to get any legislative action done this year, but there will be huge pressure on the next Congress to act quickly -- whichever party wins the November elections.
Meanwhile, nineteen people were arrested in northern Virginia and are being charged with facilitating as many as 1,000 bogus marriages between U.S. citizens and illegal aliens who were seeking permanent resident status, i.e., "green cards." Interestingly, most of the immigrants in this case were from Ghana. The fraud came to light thanks to an alert court clerk in Arlington County who noticed that a lot of marriage license applicants didn't seem to know each other. Most bureaucrats probably just don't care, so if that clerk doesn't get a big bonus, promotion, and commendation for taking the initiative to tell his or her bosses, heads should roll. See Washington Post. If they were really looking hard, or if they had enough personnel and resources to investigate, that is, they could probably find ten times that number. This is another example of how any real reform in immigration is going to require a major boost in Federal spending for more bureaucrats, computers, and assorted equipment. That will mean higher taxes. Sorry, folks.
Staunton City Councilman Dickie Bell has opted out of a weekend retreat at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at University of Virginia, on the grounds that the $2,400 cost is unjustifiably high. The "two-day program [is] designed to teach goal-setting and team-building techniques." See the News Leader. Good for Mr. Bell! He is the only Republican on the city council, and this is just the kind of common sense, economy-minded deed by an elected official that make me proud to be a Republican. Insider's perspective: You could probably cut the average university's total budget by ten percent or more by simply axing all the silly feel-good seminars, workshops, and other busy-work created by professional "consultants." Doing so would give professors more time for what they are supposed to do -- teach and research!
Lowell Feld at Raising Kaine lashed out in a very ugly fashion at George Allen's campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, accusing him of lies, ad hominem attacks, and more. Wadhams had earned a reputation as a hardball politico helping John Thune to oust Tom Daschle in the 2004 senate race in South Dakota. (!) More recently, he drew attention by profanely dismissing a reporter's query about his boss's "Macaca" gaffe. For the record, the words in the heading of Mr. Feld's blog piece leave me unconvinced that he is really concerned with elevating the tone of this campaign. (Hat tip to Chris Green.)