I have such mixed emotions on this issue.
Young Chinese political leaders are briefed on the Immigration and Customs floor of the McHenry County Jail.
On the one hand, I have seen the hope in the eyes of a late 20-something mother leading her children with husband bringing up the rear to a meeting in the First Methodist Church of Crystal Lake which I am sure she thought was about learning how to become an American citizen.
I have heard from McHenry County’s chief jailer how Chinese women buy their way to O’Hare Airport, where they and men who have arrived with the help of Chinese gangs, get taken into custody and bused to ICE detention floor of the McHenry County Jail.
Statue of Liberty
I don’t know how the Chinese women get out our jail, but he told me when they do they basically become sex slaves to pay off their debts, while the men work in Chinese restaurants. (You may remember the Chinese connection to the massage parlor arrests in Crystal Lake and Hampshire, which may or may not be of any relevance.)
On the other hand, I have heard the anger in the voices of children whose parents and grandparents had to enter the country through Ellis Island.
Talk about intensity!
When we visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island this summer, I was amazed at the variety of languages. Maybe 50% were not speaking English.
The draw of freedom and opportunity in the United States clearly is alive, even vibrant.
We took a tour of the main building on Ellis Island. The big room on the second floor of the building where people who passed the “six second medical exam” coming up the steps was empty.
No wire cages where prospective residents waited to be called to the front of the room to stand before “inspectors” who would decide whether they could proceed with the immigration process or be sent back to their ship for deportation.
I tried to put myself in the place of those in later years who sat on benches (the cages having been removed at the repeated requests of reformers) for their names to be called.
Where hopeful immigrants sat in Ellis Island waiting for their names to be called.
How afraid of rejection people must have been.
But nothing above has brought me to this article.
It’s political consultants replying to questions from the National Journal about the impact of the Obama Administration’s court suit in Arizona.
Here’s the question:
On balance, do you think the Justice Department’s legal challenge to Arizona’s immigration law helps or hurts your party in the midterm elections?
103 Democratic Party consultants split
The comments (no identities attached) were interesting.
A Democrat who thinks it will help says,
- “Will further cement Latinos to the Democratic Party — those opposed would most likely not vote Democratic anyhow.”
A couple who side with the majority of Democratic Party consultants comment,
- “Good long term for Obama in 2012; horrible for those running in 2010.”
- “The Democrats need to spend August talking about the economy and jobs; instead, now we have a month of talking about immigration.”
- “The DOJ lawsuit helps Republicans in the midterms, but it no doubt is hurtful long term. The longer Republicans stand behind a plan of ‘border security first,’ the further we move away from Hispanics.”
- “The problem is what it means in the future. If Hispanics lock in for Democrats in the same percentages as African-Americans have done, Republicans could become the Whigs at the national level in the next decade.”
- “Lawyers, from D.C., suing voters, on behalf of illegal immigrants — you can’t write this stuff [any better].”
- “What Democrat in their right mind wants to debate illegal immigration in the last 90 days before November?”
Here’s who answered the National Journal’s questions:
National Journal Insiders
Democratic Political Insiders
Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Stephanie Cutter, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Eric Eve, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Don Fowler, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Bob Maloney, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Terry McAuliffe, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Scott Parven, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Bruce Reed, Mame Reiley, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Sarah Swisher, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, Bridgette Williams, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.
GOP Political Insiders
Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Charlie Crist, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Barry Jackson, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bruce Keough, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris Lacivita, Jim Lake, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Tom Wilson, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.
Local thoughts tomorrow.