As a former long-time resident of San Francisco and a member of Commonwealth Club of California, I look forward to its publications. The September 15th issue (64 pages) of the Commonwealth Club Magazine arrived this week.
In all of its articles and its very detailed listing of speakers and events, I could find only one event where the speaker, Victor Davis Hanson, was going to discuss "the elephant in the living room"—the massive immigration invasion of California. Hanson, a long time resident of the Central Valley is the author of the much-praised book, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming.
There is particular irony in the derisory attention paid by the magazine to the immigration crisis. The Commonwealth Club of CA has long reigned as a powerful voice on public affairs both in SF and CA and nationally. Its magazine's cover boldly proclaims "If it's broke, FIX IT", and then lists on the cover the problem of CA it will discuss:
The magazine features political science professors and leading politicos, such as Bill Jones, Former Secretary of State, on current crises–water shortages, educational problems, etc.
But only once is there a mention "immigration"—namely the "anti immigrant proposition", with no discussion further.
Jones notes, "We are on the verge of a crisis in this state unless we get some leadership", presumably his, but so what? In California, leadership is clearly not present on either side of the aisle.
Californian opinion leaders remain "chicken" about standing up and telling it like it is. We simply have too many illegal and legal migrants coming into California. The problem isn't getting fixed and may not get fixed until California and other Southwestern states vote to secede from the US. Our federal government doesn't want to stand up either. Nobody wants to display the courage that former Governor Pete Wilson did in standing up for immigration reform, only to have Prop 187 mugged by a federal judge.
There are a couple of exceptions. Congressman Ed Royce (R-40th) and Ray Haynes, a member of the California Assembly, are supporting a November 2006 ballot initiative which would activate the California Border Police, authorized under a US Congressional law written by then Congressman Chris Cox in 1996.
The immigration invasion goes on unabated and untreated in Congress, except for the introduction of Trojan Horse amnesty bills. A model example of this sham legislation: the "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (S.1033). Introduced by John McCain and Ted Kennedy, opponents properly have dubbed it the McKennedy Illegal Alien bill. It initially anoints 400,000 "non immigrants" with work visas and then gets even worse.
The Democratic Candidate for Governor in Virginia still says immigration reform requires Federal action. But his opponent, taking a stronger position will likely get huge support if current polls are correct.
Is that helping the 10 million already here or would you ask President Fox to send more, Mr. President?
Just what we need–a plan to knock more of our poorest American citizens out of jobs. Bush's FEMA has been awarding vast no bid contracts to "experienced" contractors (e.g. read: big company Bush buddies) who can use these cheap labor slaves to make even more profits, while canceling Davis Bacon, a law that demands fair wages on government contracts.
If America's elite insist on importing cheap uneducated labor to perform menial tasks at under market wages, they are setting the stage for future disaster, just as we are now by borrowing wildly to pay for today's expenses, instead of confessing that Katrina and Iraq are our responsibilities to pay for by raising taxes.
Apparently, the power elite cares not a whit about its offspring or that of those below them in the economic scale.
The immigration invasion plainly foretells impending disaster. Our clogged highways, overstretched natural assets such as water, and the growing toxicity of our total environment, lunges forward into a situation which not even the children of our elite will be able to dodge.
Republican arrogance has clearly been at the root of present troubles: Misplays about Katrina, and Iraq, the charges against Delay and Frist, ideologizing the FDA with Plan B, no jawboning cronies over gas prices, outsourcing jobs to Asia, and the growing feeling among all of us that the Bush Administration simply doesn't know what it is doing.
But the Democrats haven't got any answers for making things better, above all on fixing our dire immigration invasion. Both parties are totally bought by the cheap labor crowd. (Help, somebody! Is it time for new political party?)
The Commonwealth Club has in the past had dialogue within its doors on the issue of immigration—even including VDARE.COM's Peter Brimelow. The Club has not failed entirely in its important educational mission.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.