October 30, 2007 [LINK / comment]

"Task force" on alien crime

Three Republican U.S. Representatives from Virginia, Eric Cantor, Thelma Drake, and Randy Forbes, are taking the lead in an "Alien Criminal Enforcement Task Force" that is intended to expedite deportation of illegal immigrants who commit crimes. It's an outgrowth of controversies in Prince William County (see Oct. 19) and other parts of the state. See Washington Post. From what I cant tell, it is an appropriate initiative by lawmakers to address a critical failure on the part of the Federal Government, and does not seem to be geared toward electoral politics. (I tend to be wary of policy moves on sensitive issues such as immigration just before election day.) Coincidentally, a human rights delegation from Mexico canceled a planned visit to Prince William County because they did not want to be used for political advantage by incumbent Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, whose main campaign platform is getting tough on illegal immigrants. That story was also in the Post Metro section. It is striking how a country that is so hyper-sensitive about defending its own sovereignty -- for example, refusing to consider selling the PEMEX state oil monopoly to privatize investors -- sees no problem in intruding upon the internal affairs of its neighbors. The idea that an American delegation would meddle in Mexican local politics is almost unthinkable.

Davis to stay put

As expected, Rep. Tom Davis announced he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by John Warner next year. See Washington Post. It's a bit disappointing since I admire Davis, but given the bleak prospects of any Republican overcoming Mark Warner's huge lead in the polls, I suppose it's all for the best. Rep. Davis has his hands full trying to help his wife Jeannemarie Devolites Davis keep her job in the Virginia State Senate. Her district is becoming more Democratic in terms of demography, forcing her to appeal to new constituent groups. She was caught in a big flip-flop on the issue of taxes last month, and mistakes like that one cold cost the GOP control of the upper chamber in Richmond. The ads put out by her campaign and by her opponent "Chap" Peterson on the Washington-area TV stations are getting pretty ugly...