Playing Political Football with Security: the Immigration Debate

By Terry Turchie

Since she signed the sweeping immigration bill into law recently, Arizona’s governor has enjoyed a rise in her popularity ratings of over 20%. This, at a time when other politicians of every stripe, color and banner are trying to ignore the fact that their own ratings are in the cellar, and headed down from there.

Those few who’ve bothered to read the new Arizona law instead of just holler about it are the only ones who aren’t oblivious to to fact that it’s closely modeled after Federal immigration laws, and does not give local police and other law enforcement officers the right to stop people indiscriminately to check their immigration status. That didn’t stop diehard Democratic opponents from giving the President of Mexico a standing ovation when he included indignant remarks about the new law in a speech to the U.S. Congress last month.

Border security is a serious issue for the United States as a whole, related directly to U.S. National Security. The fact that one political party is overwhelmed by the dogma of the left, and the other by the rhetoric of the right, has made immigration more of a hot button issue than ever since the last election – and not in a good way.

In our 2008 book Homeland Insecurity, we wrote:

With a future age of terror looming, such wide disparities in thinking and deep political divides among elected leaders set the stage for a critical national disaster that has the potential to test the survival of American democracy itself.

In this instance, an ideological fever from the far left that is rampant in those running the country today is no less dangerous to our democracy than hysterical slogans from the hard right were when the last administration held sway in Washington. Both sides have been deafened by their own bombast, and are consequently unable to hear – or understand – the public will, and to translate it into rational action.

During the last election, the electorate wanted Republicans out of office because they demanded a change of course. Democrats are adamant they won’t be in for a “course correction” this November, but they should brace themselves.

Regardless of how you feel about the Arizona law, the message from Arizonans and Americans who are exasperated with the endless jockeying for political power in the national government is: Do your job and fix the immigration problem. If you don’t, some border states will take whatever action they deem necessary to fix it themselves.

And while they’re at it, the Feds might want to apply the same reasoning to the Gulf oil spill disaster, now its in third month. Instead of playing political football with anti-business rhetoric on one side and anti-government hysteria on the other, they might concentrate on fixing the problem.

As we’ve said before, terrorists commit violent acts to damage our economy and social systems. They don’t need help from the far left or the far right in U.S. politics to do that. Thinking moderates from both parties need to get that if they intend to be effective, and to stay in their houses at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue for more than one election cycle.


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