<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Al Giordano

Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
¡Bienvenidos en Español!
Bem Vindos em Português!

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Narco News is supported by:
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The trademarks "Narco News," "The Narco News Bulletin," "School of Authentic Journalism," "Narco News TV" and NNTV © 2000-2011 Al Giordano


The US Immigration Reform Bill Brings Civil War Between Right Wing Radio, Bloggers, and the Republican Party

But Radio Hosts and Bloggers on the Left Are Silent, or Worse: Unable to Stand Up to Bigots, They’re Missing the Opportunity of a Lifetime

By Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

June 18, 2007

The world is smaller now. From “somewhere in a country called América” and outside of the United States I can listen to and observe what goes on in that land more closely than when I lived there. Having a high speed Internet connection is like having a stethoscope up against its very chest. And the new heartbeat that I hear is interesting. It’s the most fascinating story there since this new century began: The permanent fracture of the once-dominant Republican Party, led by its own right-wing radio hosts and celebutard bloggers-turned-suicide bombers.

In their hypocrite’s crusade against the immigration reform bill, now under deliberation in the US Senate, the well-heeled wing nuts have outed themselves as a cadre of spoiled-brat ingrates, disconnected from the American soul and from even that of their own ancestors.

In their overreaction to the inevitable legalization of millions of new immigrants, the anti-immigrants have whipped themselves into a trance-state and impaled themselves on their iPods, keypads and microphones. It’s like watching a slapstick snuff film. Except that they’re so self-absorbed with the din of their own voices that they don’t notice their self-inflicted mortal wounds.

Have you somehow missed the chaos over on the far right, kind reader? Not to worry. I’ve been waiting for this day a long time, and have been archiving it all for posterity.

And yet: their counterparts on the left side of the dial or in the liberal blogosphere remain silent, stunned, immobilized, disinterested, clueless, or worse: some echo the same un-American class-bigotry that is evident on the right.

For many progressive bloggers and radio hosts, immigration was never “their” issue (unlike, say, opposition to the war in Iraq), they thus have little interest in it, and cannot see their obvious stake in welcoming millions of new Americans to their land. They apparently don’t monitor the right-wing media as they once did; otherwise the historic proportions of the immigration debate would have already hit them in the face and they’d be blogging enthusiastically in favor of it. Nope, when the history of this titanic battle is said and done, it will not be the self-described vanguards of “net roots politics” that will have saved the United States of America from right wing domination, but, rather, the same valiant sector that saved it in the 1930s and 40s: the new American immigrants.

The turning point on this road to more democracy was “The Great American Boycott,” when, on May 1, 2006, millions of Mexican-American and other immigrants put down their shovels, hammers, kitchen utensils, schoolbooks and steering wheels to hold the largest General Strike in American history, demanding to enjoy the inalienable rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness on US soil. It only lasted for a day, but it scared the panties off the right-wingers, and set in motion the Death March of the Overreactionaries.

The new American immigrants ought to receive, collectively, a national medal of honor: For with their courage, their skill at organizing, and their heart, they have already proved themselves more American than those that want to hurt them, destroy them, jail them, deport them and lock them out of the nation.

A nation, now and forever, belongs to those that work it.

Say it out loud: A nation belongs to those that work it.

The Immigration Bill Roars Back to Life

On the 7th of June, 45 US senators, among them only seven Republicans, voted for cloture of debate on the sweeping immigration reform bill, short of the 60 votes needed, and the mass media pronounced the immigration reform bill dead. US News & World report said “Bush Strikes Out on Immigration.” The Washington Post: “Bush Comes Up Empty.” MTV: “Bush Can’t Stop Immigration-Reform Bill from Falling Apart.” So on and so forth.

But last Thursday, the Senate Democratic and Republican leaders announced that the debate will resume, as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) told the senators that, gasp, they’re going to be in session all next weekend. They’ll have to show up to work on Saturday, and again on Sunday. Everybody say “awwwwwwwww.”

The bill – a product of intense negotiations between senators of both parties, and the backing, at least in word, by President George W. Bush – has something for everyone to like, and something for everyone to dislike, as is in the nature of bipartisan compromises. The core of the bill is what its opponents call an amnesty for twelve million undocumented workers and their family members currently in the United States, opening a path to attain citizenship. (In many cases, the same voices opposing this amnesty, yapping disingenuously against “law breakers,” are leading the call for a presidential pardon for former Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, on his way to prison: It occurred to your correspondent that maybe a trade ought to be on the bargaining table: Scooter Libby’s freedom for that of twelve million new Americans.)

The other provisions create new rules for a limited number of “guest workers” and, something for the anti-immigration crowd, too: $4.4 billion dollars to complete the new Berlin Wall along the US-Mexican Border and to beef up border policing. That’s something that the Bush administration had already promised to do (but without new immigrants, who are they gonna get to, um, build it?)

The central purpose of the bill – legalizing twelve million people that some call “illegal” – is the point of greatest conflict. Mexican-American organizations and other proponents of the bill are willing to swallow its less attractive measures in order to gain that victory. But they, too, are on guard: The latest compilation of press releases by pro-immigrant organizations makes it clear that, in the words of The National Council of La Raza, “workers must have an avenue for putting down roots and earning their way to U.S. citizenship over time.” If the congressional negotiations lead the bill astray from that core principle, the bill’s biggest backers will walk away from it, and the battle will wait for another day.

And yet that is the one thing that the bill’s opponents can’t bear: Amnesty. They say it as if it’s a bad word. And amnesty is what has them up in arms. Why? Because a path to citizenship for twelve million people that they and theirs have treated so badly in word and in deed, they fear, will lead to those new Americans gaining the power of the vote.

What the leading opponents of immigration reform fear is democracy itself.

The Anti-Democracy Crusade

“It’s a whole bunch of new voters out there,” radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh told his audience on June 6, in reference to the new American immigrants:

“This is a built-in expansion of the Democrat Party, and as I called it earlier, it’s ‘The Comprehensive Destroy the Republican Party Act of 2007.’”

On June 11, Limbaugh revealed a related fear: that workers, if legalized, will have the right to organize for better pay and working conditions.

“If this bill were to be signed tomorrow and all of a sudden these 12 million, 20 million illegals are legal, the next thing that’s going to happen is (AFL-CIO president) John Sweeney and his boys from the unions are going to be in there and they’re going to trying (sic) to unionize as many of these places and people as possible, start collecting dues from them, get their wages up…”

By June 12, Limbaugh cut straight to the quick:

“The political class wants to change the electorate, folks. They want to deemphasize or reduce your power over them at the ballot box. This immigration bill is an assault on us. It’s an assault on the American people.”

In other words, the fact that others might vote is, in their minds, a threat to their own right to vote? That others might become successful is suddenly a threat to their own success? That is conservatism turned inside out. After all, isn’t that what the talkers on the right have said about their rivals all these years: that “liberals” don’t want others to succeed?

Another national talk radio host, Laura Ingraham, has gone even farther than Rush, screeching, “Save Our Country Now!” and urging listeners to call and email 15 Republican Senators that she and other opponents fear will vote to make immigration reform law. “Tell them you will not vote to reelect anyone who ties the issues of border enforcement and legalization together in one bill,” the Connecticut-born spoiled brat Ingraham tells her audience. “Border enforcement first! When we as Americans verify over a number of years that this has been done, we can consider plans for those who have lived here illegally for several years.”

Ingraham, truth be told, doesn’t have as much impact on the debate as Limbaugh. Her program is less listened-to, and she doesn’t even have a fixed national day-part: different stations run her show at erratically different hours, often at night, as filler, after most listeners have tuned out. More likely, she’s just trying to get her face in the photo that is conjured when, for example, Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott (R-MI) said last Thursday, about the anti-immigrant campaign: “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with the problem.”

Still, as with other bottom-feeders swimming in the anti-immigrant stream, Ingraham’s more blatant, less polished, form of bigotry provides an example of what really terrifies them: It’s the voting, stupid!

Last Election Day, in November 2006, Ingraham gave us all a window into her ugly brain, urging her listeners to jam up the phone lines of a Democratic Party hotline set up to help voters that had been denied entrance at the polls. Here’s an illuminating part of the transcript:

INGRAHAM: Wait a second! So – (Laughter) you call 1 888 DEM VOTE – otherwise `Dim Bulb Vote’ or `Dumb Vote’ – and all you do is get transferred to music, then they cut you off. This is what I’m thinking. Tell me if you think I’m crazy. This is what I’m thinking. I think we all need to call 1 888 DEM VOTE all at the same time. And, by the way, when you call, when you call the number – and remember, it’s `Dem Vote’ not `Dumb Vote’ – when you call the number, as we did, and we got transferred, transferred, then we just got hung up upon. You know, we’re supposed to have these election teams within a matter of minutes, they’re supposed to be coming to the polls. Can you imagine what those people look like? Halloween all over again. So if you have trouble with the poll, you’re supposed to call, via 1 888 `Dumb Vote,’ and this is what you get.

OPERATOR: Thank you for calling 1 888 DEM VOTE. To continue in English, press 1. Para continuar en español, oprima el dos.

INGRAHAM: Oh, and if you’re Saddam Hussein, no problem. Vote absentee in Maryland or Ohio.

An assistant US Attorney General compared Ingraham’s actions to a “voter fraud scheme” – but claimed that he had no jurisdiction to prosecute it.

I think we all know what she meant when she said: “Can you imagine what those people look like?”

And yet immigration and democracy have always walked hand in hand. The last president to advocate and sign an amnesty bill was the supposed spiritual father of these “conservatives”: Ronald Reagan, who in 1986 legalized an estimated 2.7 million new immigrants. But Limbaugh, Ingraham and comrades have bought him a tie of betrayal this Father’s Day. It’s a Biblical sign that the end is near for their era of domination of the airwaves.

A similar phenomenon occurs, simultaneously and in lockstep, among certain self-promoting “celebrities” on the right-wing blogosphere.

The Unbearable Lightness of Blogging

Right-wing blogger and Fox News celebutard Michele Malkin is so infuriated that the Republican president and some of her party’s senators support immigration reform that she’s urging GOP donors to boycott the party’s fund appeals. Foaming at the mouth against newer immigrants has also been a great career move for this child of Filipino immigrants that were in the US on work visa when Malkin was born in Philadelphia. After all, what better poster girl can Fox News (also owned by an immigrant: the Aussie Rupert Murdoch) find to front the anti-immigrant crusade than a 37-year-old child of immigrants?

It reminds me of that gospel song that goes:

“If you get to heaven before I do
Throw me a line, and pull me through
But if I get to heaven before you do
I’ll look back down and spit on you!”

The “I forget who brung me” mantra seems to be catching on as a career move in right-wing media: 47-year-old Canadian immigrant to the US, Mark Steyn, is also out there putting his mug into the anti-immigrant photo. There really ought to be union wages paid to those of us that have to read this American newcomer’s treatises on “the very concept of citizenship” that he’s been peddling in his syndicated column.

Of course, the Malkins and the Steyns were welcomed to the USA without much problem. And they’ve found great economic opportunity here in the work of… keeping other immigrants and their children out.

Most right-wing celebrity bloggers are lined up in opposition to the immigrant rights bill. Slate’s Mickey Kaus has become a bit of a Johnny-one-note on the topic, while Ed Morrissey, Paul J. Celia, and various ghouls over at the National Review Online all warn of the doom and gloom that will befall America if those that work in the US are allowed citizenship.

The extent to which the GOP relies on these propagandists to carry its water was recently revealed in a memo from the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee to its 2008 candidates about how to avoid media scandals, or dig themselves out of them when, as is wont to happen, one of them opens his mouth and says what he really thinks! The aforementioned Morrissey summarizes its instructions:

“Always assume you’re being recorded, and always record your opponent. The blogs—oh, scratch that—the Republican blogs are your friends, so use them for rapid response in good times and bad…

Remember the top blog dogs. Speaking of which, get in good with five of the best-read national conservative bloggers. The guide names names: Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Captain’s Quarters, Power Line and Hugh Hewitt. Do the same locally. Do an interview with ‘one friendly blogger,’ and interest from other local bloggers should follow.”

Oh, so that’s what’s been happening in America? Crusading bloggers are part of a political party machine and haven’t disclosed that to their readers? Has it all been one big scam of top down manipulation and back-room circle jerk posing as grassroots muckraking? Maybe until now, but a messy divorce is brewing in that once happy home, and we can also thank our newest American immigrants for causing it.

CNN took notice on Friday, heralding: Conservative bloggers in full revolt over immigration. This band of right-wing pundits and bloggers have created their own echo chamber, and seem to believe their own fantasy that, while typing away at keypads in their underwear, they somehow represent the American people.

But the latest Wall Street Journal-MSNBC poll shows a very different situation out here in public opinion land: 45-percent of American citizens believe “immigration is a good thing” and only 19-percent say it’s a “bad thing.” Here’s more from that poll: Only 22-percent of the public would be “pleased if Congress does not pass an immigration bill,” whereas 51-percent would be “somewhat upset” or “very upset” if immigration reform does not become law. A whopping 85-percent of Americans know that deporting all illegal immigrants “is not a realistic or achievable goal.”

The numbers are closer but still tip pro-immigrant on the question of whether immigration “helps more than it hurts” (46-percent) or “hurts more than it helps” (44-percent). But guess who isn’t included in this polling sample? The undocumented workers that are the objects of the bill. If you add those twelve million opinions to the mix, the balance of opinion shifts substantially, and not only on the issue of immigration policy. Again: that’s what the right-wingers fear, and why they have marched into internecine Civil War within the Republican Party. They fear – and are against – democracy itself.

Not all the conservative bloggers are drinking from the same Kool-Aid vat. A.J. Strata, for one, is having none of it:

“The ones running away are those who oppose the bill so much they would rather see Hillary President than the immigration bill pass. Let’s just say those far right of Bush are mad as hell and those center-right moderates who line up with Bush on issues are standing by him. So it is not the center folding, it is the fringe.”

So, enough already from the blogging celebutards and radio blowhards about how they supposedly represent “the people.” After the immigration bill failed to achieve passage they crowed in unison about how their power was ratified. But there are two sides to that sword: This coming week’s debate in the Senate could mark the climactic moment when the whole world can see that these aspiring emperors and panderers have no clothes. And even if the bill implodes again this round, it will be back soon enough: they’re up against the natural tide of history in a nation that has always, after recognizing and rejecting xenophobic demagoguery, legalized every new wave of immigrants. Each and every time, the nation has been made stronger for it.

The Silence on the Left

Another major conservative blogger, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit noted last week:

“I HAVEN’T BEEN FOLLOWING THE IMMIGRATION BILL’S ONGOING WRANGLES but Mickey Kaus and Michelle Malkin have been blogging up a storm. What’s interesting is that there’s no comparable pro-bill passion visible in the blogosphere.”

With some very few exceptions, he’s correct. The lefty bloggers have by and large been AWOL on the immigration bill. For once, the politicians are ahead of the bloggers on a major issue.

Over on MyDD, liberal blogger Matt Stoller wonders aloud why that is, noting that a friend of his has been…

“…encouraging me to blog about immigration, but I’ve been reluctant because I don’t really know that much, and because I don’t understand the strategy of the left.

“So anyway, why did this bill die?

“The left needs to show up on this one, and the immigrant groups haven’t been in the fight with moral arguments that we can understand and get behind.”

That friend of his, Rick Jacobs, posted the last substantive immigration entry we could find on the Huffington Post, on June 12, answering Stoller. He notes that while the immigration reform movement…

“…has brought lots of unions and people of color (read: Latino and Asian) together, it has not inspired the online activists who write blogs and checks or the white political elite who write checks to take action….

“…They (on the right) have an easy and simple message: send ‘em home. What is the progressive online answer to that? Ringing silence.

“We care about the war, about stem cell research, about impeaching Gonzales, about a free Internet, but we don’t know what to think about immigration.”

To be fair, some lone voices on the left have cracked through the void. Writing in The Nation on June 12, Barbara Ehrenreich issued a virtual call to arms with her essay, “What America Owes its ‘Illegals.’” And on the Daily Kos, WayneNight offers a nuanced pitch on the need for reform.

But when Daily Kos participant McJoan posted a somewhat neutral blog entry noting that the immigration reform bill is coming back, it set off an absolute food fight with more than 250 comments, filled with much of the fearful language that can be heard coming from the far right wing.

Let’s string some of these comments, by different people, together:

“I do not want this travesty of a bill passed… unless this is made more US worker friendly the Dems could end up out of power real soon… This is a bill that only a corporatist could love. Shame on Ted Kennedy… if this bill passes, we may see a real civil war right in our own nation of Amerimexa… The ‘You hate brown people’ card is being played because I don’t support giving amnesty to illegal aliens who break the laws of our nation… Granting amnesty to millions of people who broke the laws of this nation to get in here from a third world nation is an attack on the sovereignty of the United States of American and it’s citizens…

“Amerimexa is exactly what is going to happen. Go look at the border states and ask yourself what nation are you in? …It could be your job that is taken. What about healthcare reform? How does that work with millions more thrown into the mix. They broke the law, Mexico needs to deal with them, America needs to deal with Mexico… If this bill passes, we officially establish indentured servitude, not to mention rewarding illegal immigrants for their crime… I do not consider protecting American jobs for Americans as being ‘xenophobic’…”

This particular trail of vomit, to be fair, was interspersed by more enlightened arguments by immigrant rights proponents. And there’s no real way to tell, with anonymous commentators, how many of those immigrant-phobic comments were in fact made by right-wing provocateurs and trolls. But see how the attempt to get a discussion going on the merits gets derailed by the haters? That’s what happens when the bloggers that have the visibility and moral leadership to set things straight instead remain mute.

Also thrown into the debate mix are the provisions of the immigration bill that don’t impact the twelve million current immigrant laborers: a different part of the legislation would allow 200,000 guest workers, many of them computer programmers and other high tech workers. US computer programmers are part of the liberal and conservative blogospheres alike, and have particular weight in both communities and as donors to both Democrat and Republican candidates, and some clearly fear an increase in members of their trade: they seem willing to keep twelve million undocumented workers in a form of slavery in order to protect their own special interest group of well-paid technicians from work-force competition.

Here’s a big fat megabyte of a clue: The genius computer programmers have nothing to worry about. It’s the slow-class among them, collecting a paycheck that averages $60,000-a-year for the strenuous, backbreaking work of keypad typing, that don’t want to have to compete with other programmers – and a relatively small group at that – from India and China. But guess what? If US high tech companies can’t import more of these workers, they’ll be outsourcing soon enough to those other countries, and the American computer programmer will go the way of the telemarketer. To those in the Silicon Valley and other high tech meccas, there is another path out of being squeezed by your employers that doesn’t involve killing America’s destined reunion with its newest Americans: Unionize, and make sure that “guest workers” in your field are paid the same wages that you are. Other sectors of workers have done so. Why not yours?

In any case, there are few if any voices that grace the online left that have taken up the counter-crusade to the right wing extremists. And neither the Daily Kos nor the Huffington Post – the two most widely read liberal blogs – seem willing to feature those voices anyway. So what has happened is that the pro-immigrant argument hasn’t been made coherently, while the Internet’s right wing is in full jihad mode.

This, when Arianna Huffington is herself an immigrant and Markos “Kos” Moulitsas Zúniga, born in Chicago to immigrant parents, if he has an opinion on the immigration reform bill, he hasn’t said so on his personal blog while the debate’s been raging. In any case, without immigration amnesty, neither of these big liberal blogs would have ever been born. They’re not unique in that: None of us would have citizenship either.

It reminds me of the time, back in 2004, when so many of the same sectors were insisting at the top of their lungs, wishfully, that Howard Dean would be the inevitable Democratic candidate for president. One or more of us suggested they had missed the story (James Wolcott dixit.) Can an entire liberal blogosphere be so wrong again? You bet.

They’re missing the fight of our lives, and the one that will shift the balance of US politics as forcefully and favorably as when the early 20th Century immigration wave entered the voting pool, making possible the New Deal, the end of alcohol prohibition, and an authentic democracy renaissance.

The Whole Truth About “La Raza”

Much ado has been made on right-wing talk radio and among the other anti-immigrant scoundrels about one of the leading pro-immigrant organizations: The National Council of La Raza.

“La Raza.”

“The Race,” right-wing blogger Dale Franks mongered: “How’s that for a nice inoffensive name?”

Only a complete ignoramus of why the term “La Raza” is so popular among Latin Americans and immigrants – or someone that intentionally wants to mislead and stir up race hatred – could interpret it that way. Here’s what it really means, and where the phrase “La Raza” comes from.

In 1925, while some notable and since-disgraced European fascists were preaching about a (white) “master race” Mexican intellectual José Vasconcelos wrote a diametrically-opposed essay titled La Raza Cósmica, or “The Cosmic Race.” It was not about racial purity, but its antithesis.

The first sentence of his book reads:

”It is the central thesis of this book that the different races of the world tend to mix ever more, until forming a new human type, composed of the selection of each of the existent peoples.”

Mexicans, in particular (and in part due to the influence of Vasconcelos, a presidential candidate and educator that led one of the most successful mass literacy campaigns in human history), view “La Raza” as a banner for all “mestizo” or mixed-blood people, and that line of thinking is evident throughout Latin America.

The Latin American countries and their indigenous populations, over the past five centuries, received immigrants from Europe, Asia, Africa… from all corners of the earth. The “mestizaje” that resulted was a combination of white, brown, black, red, yellow, and any other hue that has been assigned to pigmentation, as well as the healthy cross-pollination of cultural accomplishments. If there are any Caucasian-Americans or African-Americans or others that have been led to believe that “white people” or “black people” are excluded from “La Raza,” they’ve been badly suckered by the race-baiters.

La Raza is more a state of mind, and a shared common history, than a “pure” genetic concept. Talk of it being otherwise is particularly idiotic in the United States, which has benefited from the same trend: the mixing of bloods and traits from every land lets freedom ring from every park bench where young lovers hold hands and wink across ethnic and other previous divides.

And since The National Council of La Raza might therefore include you, too, whoever you are, wherever your immigrant ancestors came from, it has something special for you: La Raza has made this handy way to contact one’s US Senator available to all, to advocate for amnesty (it’s not a dirty word) and a path toward citizenship for new immigrants.

The great immigration debate will dominate deliberations this week in the US Senate, and go through next weekend. And it’s not just the Republican Party that is divided. Some Democrats, too, even some so-called liberals, and one so-called “socialist,” are on the wrong side of history and all that is right and just. Either they will see the dawn’s early light in time, or a reservation in hell awaits them alongside Laura Ingraham.

Here is the roster of those Democrats and Independent that voted in favor of 21st Century Slavery in June 7th’s roll call of shame: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Senators Jay Rockefeller and Robert Byrd (D-WV), Sen. Mary Landreiu (D-LA), Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AK), Sen. John Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) failed to join with 38 of their Democratic Colleagues in voting for cloture (to bring the bill to a roll call vote) in the last round of the immigration reform bill, on June 7. The betrayal by Senators Tester and Webb has to be particularly embarrassing for the “net roots” enthusiasts on the left side of the screen, since they’re the two Senate poster boys of that sector of the Democratic Party.

Some of them (notably Sanders, Dorgan, Boxer and Rockefeller) were so distracted by the bill’s provisions about 200,000 guest workers that they walked away from the twelve million undocumented workers whose status is at stake here. Maybe they (and the silent liberal bloggers and talk radio hosts out there) should be forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh prattle on about “The Comprehensive Destroy the Republican Party Act of 2007.”

And here’s another ironic part of the story: Although “his” anti-immigrant crusade’s big showdown comes this week in the Senate, Limbaugh will be on vacation (taking a dive in the title fight, Rush?), according to his web site, playing golf:

Limbaugh: Taking a Dive?

“Rush apologizes for forgetting to mention his annual northeast golf trip next week with some buddies, but don’t sweat it. Great guest hosts will fill in behind the Golden EIB Microphone.”

A nation belongs to those that work it!

Not many North Americans have had the privilege that your correspondent has had to live mainly among Mexicans – in Mexico – for the past decade, and to know so thoroughly that the USA has everything to gain, and nothing to fear, from welcoming those willing to cross into it.

The prospect of twelve million Mexican-American and other recent immigrants finally gaining a path to citizenship – and the right to vote that would invest – could so positively change the direction of the United States of America, getting it onto a more optimistic track while breaking the current political logjam, that it gives me another thought: one that could really send the anti-immigrant demagogues and the timid liberal bench-warmers over the lemming cliff in spasms of exasperation.

If something that good were to happen – finally, the inclusion of this generation of new Americans in the decision-making processes of my native country – I might even consider coming back.

After all, there is apparently work to be done there on the left side of the dial that no “American” wants to do. And if you’ve left that seat vacant for so long now already, please, if one day I repatriate, don’t complain later that I crossed the Rio Bravo to take “your” job away.

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