Republicans' defense of President Bush's immigration bill is more enraging than their defense of Harriet Miers. Back then, Bush's conservative base was accused of being sexist for opposing an unqualified woman's nomination to the highest court in the land. Now we're racists for not wanting to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.
I don't know why conservatives like Linda Chavez have to argue like liberals by smearing their opponents as racists. Oh wait, now I remember! Their arguments are as strong as liberals' arguments usually are.
Apart from abortion, no subject produces so much disingenuousness as America's immigration policy, both legal and illegal. For nearly 50 years, Americans have been intentionally lied to about our immigration laws.
In 1965, Teddy Kennedy overhauled immigration law with the specific purpose of effecting a dramatic change in the nation's demographics. Bobby Kennedy had civil rights, so Teddy needed something big: He would preside over a civil rights bill for the entire Third World! My word, but that man could drink in those days.
With his 1965 immigration act, Kennedy embarked on entirely transforming American culture for no good reason. (You know how people always say the same arguments against illegal immigrants today were once made about the Irish to show how silly those arguments are? If only the U.S. Senate had had an "Irish Need Not Apply" sign!)
Until that point, immigration law basically took a laissez-faire approach, with country quotas attempting to replicate the traditional immigration patterns. Most immigrants to America had historically come from Great Britain, Germany and Scandinavian countries. Consequently, immigration quotas roughly reflected that balance, with smaller numbers of immigrants admitted from other countries.
But in an angry, long-awaited payback to WASPs, Kennedy decided he was going to radically transform the racial composition of the country. Instead of taking 15 immigrants from England and three from China, America would henceforth take three from England and 15 from China. Payback's a bitch, Daughters of the American Revolution!
Some of those hardworking immigrants who just want a chance to succeed were arrested in a plot to blow up JFK Airport last week.