Like the war on terrorism, progress in the immigration war is also mixed.
A federal judge in San Francisco has temporarily prevented the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration from using mismatched Social Security data to penalize employers who hire illegal aliens. The decision came as welcome news to the AFL-CIO, various "immigrants' rights" groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who are behind a lawsuit that claims the federal government's actions are a violation of the law.
Judge Charles Breyer, a Clinton appointee like his brother the Supreme Court justice, said the federal crackdown would likely impose hardships on businesses and their illegal workers, causing "serious irreparable harm." What about the prospect of irreparable harm to the country if what amounts to an open-border policy is allowed to continue?
In Oklahoma, the toughest immigration law in the country was allowed to take effect when U.S. District Judge James H. Payne refused to accept arguments from Hispanic and immigrants rights groups who tried to block it. According to the Washington Times, the measure, House Bill 1804, "prevents illegal aliens from getting driver's licenses, denies them every possible public service or benefit not required by federal law, gives state and local police the ability to enforce immigration laws and beginning next year, requires employers to check new employees' identities through a federal database. Š The judge allowed the law to take effect while the case proceeds."
Local and state elections this week are expected to further contribute to the controversy, as voters decide on ballot initiatives and candidates that favor or oppose the protection of illegal immigrants. In Prince William County, Va., which has one of the country's largest illegal immigrant populations, local filmmakers Annabel Park and Eric Byler feature the ugliness of the debate on YouTube.
As reported by the Washington Post, on one video "a man furious about hearing Spanish at a hardware store berates a group of Latino families with a lecture on American history, telling them Œmy ancestors were here before the Constitution.' A little girl shyly reminds him: ŒThe Indians were here before the Americans.'"
In another posting, frustrated residents denounce a "foreign invasion" and warn of "civil war," to which one scowling young man taunts: "Bring it."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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