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Friday, May 28, 2010

Obama's Keystone Kop-outs

The recent Arizona law allowing police to look into the immigration status of a a person already arrested or under investigation has popped open the follies of the current U.S. Government. Eric Holder, the nation's top lawyer, it now appears, does not read. In accepting Mexican President Felipe Calderon's chutzpah in criticizing the Arizona law, Mr. Obama and the honorable members of the House and Senate who applauded him show an appalling lack of perspective. Undersecretary of State Michael Posner's tinny apologies in the face of China's criticism of the Arizona law show him--and perhaps Hillary Clinton, his boss--a mere ninny. Or, perhaps, the issue reveals a government that would rather accuse other Americans of bigotry and racism than face up to a host of serious international problems.

Felipe Calderon's performance before the US Congress was chutzpah ranking with that of the man who murdered his parents with an axe and then pleads for mercy on the grounds that he is an orphan. The Mexican government has long regarded emigration to El Norte as its own safety valves; yet at the same time, its own ambassador to the United Nations has admitted that Mexico cannot lecture the USA on how it treats Mexican illegals in view of Mexico's own treatment of Guatemalans and Salvadoreans who enter Chiapas illegally. Further, given that illegal entry is a misdemeanor in the USA and a felony in Mexico renders President Calderon's speech all the more fatuous, and the applause given by American Senators and Representatives all the more craven.

China's lecturing the USA on the Arizona law is an inexcusable insult, and Undersecretary Posner's tinny apologies and mea culpas are worse. Even within China gives no welcome to desperate North Koreans who cross the Yalu and Tumen Rivers. This population, like American illegals, lives in the shadows, only with no access to public education for its children. Far from allowing debate on how to treat such people, the Chinese government offers bounties to Chinese who turn them in, and gives its law enforcement discretionary authority to shoot them. Whereas Arizona could not deny illegals the protections of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments even if it wanted to, Communist China regards such protections as extreme cases of irrational bourgeois sentimentality. China's leaders, observing Posner's performance, probably now see America as all the more contemptible.

Illegal immigration is indeed a complex problem. It reveals serious problems inherent in the society and government of America's neighbor to the south. It does indeed raise a host of humanitarian issues. The Arizona law does have the potential to unleash discriminatory actions. When police chiefs from several western states express concerns over the Arizona law, the nation should listen. But the law should spark a common sense dialogue about national interest and the character of America's international partners and rivals--not polarization that is geared only to short-term political gain. The Obama government has now shown the world America the Inept.

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