Wednesday, August 22, 2007



Giuliani's and Romney's little hissy fits about who is more xenophobic and anti-immigrant and  a better mirror image of the Republican Party's Know Nothing base is threatening to blow up into a major brawl. A story on it in today's Wall Street Journal, begins by asking "Are Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani competing for the Republican Presidential nomination, or for the job of vacation replacement for Lou Dobbs?" And the answer, regarding these two who felt the CNN/YouTube debate wasn't dignified enough for them is that "It's hard to tell these days as the candidates attempt to one-up each other's anti-immigration rhetoric."

Uncharacteristically, the Journal damns both Republicans, although clearly tilts away from Flip Flop Mitt as the worse of two evils.
Mr. Romney has faulted the former New York City mayor for not directing the local police to harass illegal-alien janitors, cooks and bus boys, thus making the Big Apple a so-called "sanctuary city" for the undocumented. Mr. Romney apparently doesn't think the NYPD has anything better to do with its time, though given the record drop in violent crime during the Giuliani years, which coincided with an increase in immigrants to the city, he might reconsider that notion.

Mr. Giuliani has responded by slouching toward Tom Tancredo, unveiling plans to tackle the immigration problem with ID cards, physical barriers and patrols along the Mexican border. But Mr. Giuliani's previous support for these newcomers, who've helped to revitalize New York over the past two decades, makes his more recent rhetoric seem like a gambit to neutralize Mr. Romney's appeals to the restrictionist right. At least Mr. Giuliani still stresses his interest in giving foreigners more opportunities to enter the U.S. lawfully.

Both candidates, however, ignore the reality that more security measures will have limited effect if not paired with a guest worker program that gives foreign nationals more legal ways to access job offers in the U.S. The same goes for the Bush Administration's recently announced plans to step-up "interior" enforcement. Taking U.S. employers to the woodshed won't fix the illegal immigration problem, and it could do real economic harm.

Remember, despite the neo-fascist editorial page, the Wall Street Journal, in the end, is a mouthpiece for the Greed and Selfishness wing of the GOP. They represent the interests of the moneyed class and Big Business. Immigration for these folks is always cheap labor. Slavery would be preferable but too crude to speak of openly in polite society.

Yesterday's NY Times featured Romney on the rampage against Rudy over their immigration mud wrestling match. Flip Flop has a new attack ad out accusing Giuliani of "flouting immigration laws" while he was mayor. Giuliani claims Romney did the exact same thing in Massachusetts.
Lost amid the back and forth on this issue between the two camps is that both Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Romney have moved significantly rightward in their tone on the immigration issue over the years to the point that they are now trying to out-tough each other.

Back in 2005, Mr. Romney spoke positively in a Boston Globe interview about comprehensive immigration reform proposals being floated by Senator John McCain and President Bush that were quite similar to the Senate measure that failed so spectacularly this year and that he had harshly criticized.

And from his vantage point at City Hall, Mr. Giuliani often defended illegal immigrants and advocated measures to ease their path to citizenship.

But the politics of the debate has shifted dramatically, becoming one of the dominant issues among Republicans seeking their party’s nomination, and the two candidates have adjusted accordingly.

If Giuliani and Romney sound-- even unconvincingly-- more and more like Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, it's because they've watched McCain's front-runner status turn to dust, not because of his extremist position on the occupation of Iraq-- the GOP base (though no one else) likes that-- but because of his somewhat moderate position on immigration reform. In fact, the Arizona media reported yesterday that this race is likely to be his last hurrah. "A new statewide survey shows that if the Senate election were held today, the Republican incumbent would be defeated by Gov. Janet Napolitano-- that is, if Napolitano would choose to run for the seat. The Democrat governor cannot seek a third term... If they went head to head, Napolitano would get 47 percent of the vote, compared to 36 percent for McCain, according to the poll."

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At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smooth Talking Mitt Romney's Real Record on Immigration

November 2005: Romney Supports McCain-Bush Immigration Bill, Saying
They Are "Quite Different" From Amnesty. According to the Boston Globe, in
November 2005 Romney spoke "approvingly of efforts by McCain and Bush to
solve the nation's immigration crisis, calling them 'reasonable
proposals.'" In the November 2005 interview, "Romney described immigration
proposals by McCain and others as 'quite different' from amnesty, because
they required illegal immigrants to register with the government, work for
years, pay taxes, not take public benefits, and pay a fine before applying
for citizenship. 'That's very different than amnesty, where you literally
say, 'OK, everybody here gets to stay,'' Romney said in the interview.
'It's saying you could work your way into becoming a legal resident of the
country by working here without taking benefits and then applying and then
paying a fine.'" [Boston Globe, 3/16/07]

March 2006: Romney Supports A "Path to Citizenship," Opposes "Rounding
Up" Undocumented Workers. "Gov. Mitt Romney expressed support yesterday for
an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on
the path toward citizenship... 'I don't believe in rounding up 11 million
people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country,' Romney said.
'[T]hose that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits
should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would
from their home country.'" [Lowell Sun, 3/30/06]

December 2006: Romney Caught Using Undocumented Workers At His Own
Home. "A lawn service used for several years by Gov. Mitt Romney, who is
considering a run for president, employed illegal immigrants to work on the
grounds of his suburban home, according to a published report. The Boston
Globe said it interviewed in Spanish four current and former employees of
Community Lawn Service with a Heart, and all but one who said they had
worked on Romney's property said they were in the country illegally. The
employees told the newspaper the company's owner, Ricardo Saenz, never
asked them to show documents on their immigration status, which is required
by federal law." [Boston Globe, 12/1/06]

May 2007: Romney Opposes Immigration Bill, Even Though It Includes
Everything He Supports. "The record shows Romney repeatedly has demanded
stronger border security. A campaign ad calls for tamper-proof
identification cards. And in a debate last week, he said illegal immigrants
need to go back to their home country and 'get in line' before they can
become citizens. 'That's exactly what's on the table. All of those things
are part of the immigration package,' said Marshall Fitz, spokesman for the
American Immigration Lawyers Association, a nonpartisan organization of
lawyers and professors. 'Romney and the other candidates who continue to
beat their chests against this legislation are just playing to the
conservative base.'" [Miami Herald, 5/25/07]

June 2007: Romney Now Calls Bill Amnesty. "Romney's response to the
bill has varied with his audience. Most of his criticism has focused on the
so-called Z-visa, a document proposed for registering the estimated 12
million illegal aliens in the country. Last month in South Carolina, home
to the type of social conservatives Romney is courting, he said, 'I think
we should not call it the 'Z' visa; we should call it the 'A' visa, because
it's amnesty and that's what it stands for.' Yet a week later in Florida,
he said, 'There are some who get involved in whether it is technically
amnesty or not and I'm not really trying to define what is technically
amnesty. I'll let the lawyers do that.'" [AP, 6/4/07]

August 2007: Romney Launches Ad Saying "Amnesty Will Not Work." Romney
began running an ad in Iowa this week in which he says he will secure the
borders and that "amnesty will not work." [Boston Herald, 8/15/07]


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