A lesson for GOP panderers

Posted: May 08, 2002 12:00 AM
The Republican Party needs to hire Andrew Smith to help shape its message on immigration. At 18, this senior at Novato High School in Marin County, Calif., has more common sense and cojones than the hapless panderers in the GOP who have thrown their principles to the wind. Smith made headlines last week after blowing the whistle on school officials who attacked an article he wrote about illegal immigration for his student newspaper late last year. His message was simple: Illegal immigrants are law-breakers who should be sent back to their native countries, where they should wait in line like everyone else. "Our country is extremely generous and possesses some of the greatest opportunities in the world," Smith wrote. "For these reasons people from all over the globe have come here in order to better themselves through the freedoms that only America provides. To insure that our generosity and opportunities aren't wasted by those that seek refuge inside our borders, certain laws must be enforced. These laws are there to protect and benefit the citizens of our country." He continued: "In order for a person to become a citizen they have to comply with a few very reasonable requirements. The first and most obvious is that you have to speak, write, and understand simple English. Second, you cannot have any felony convictions. You must also show that you are not an immoral person. . . . You must pass a test on American history and culture, and you must be patriotic. . . . There should be no tolerance for anyone to be an illegal immigrant. If you can't comply with our requirements, then stay out of our country." The day after the article was published, the principal and district superintendent sent a letter to Novato High parents and students stating that Smith's opinion piece "negatively presented immigrants in general and Hispanics in particular." (Notice the omission of the word "illegal." Welcome to the smear tactics of ethnic mau-mauers, Andrew.) Student letters called Smith "ignorant" and "racist." He was publicly reprimanded at two school forums. "I am not a racist," Smith responded calmly. "I am a journalism student who wanted to stimulate thought and discussion among the student body." Smith took the school to court last week for chilling his free-speech rights. He refuses to back down from his opinions in the face of ethnic interest group pressure. Republican leaders, on the other hand, continue to bend over backward to appease the pro-illegal alien crowd: -- Last month, chief White House strategist and Hispanic vote groveler Karl Rove lambasted immigration reform advocate Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., for criticizing the administration's open-door Mexican border policies. -- Last week, New York Gov. George Pataki announced his support for legislation to permit illegal immigrants to pay lower in-state tuition rates at the state's public universities. -- This week, Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot announced a $1 million television campaign in Spanish designed to woo Hispanic voters. The 30-minute newsmagazine will air on the nation's two largest Spanish-language TV networks in Fresno, Calif., Miami, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fla., and Albuquerque, N.M. In addition, nearly 1,400 GOP "team leaders" have been assigned as chief Hispanic panderers, and many more are undergoing Spanish language training through Berlitz courses. -- And over the weekend in his weekly radio address, President Bush again pushed Congress to pass Section 245(i), a mini-amnesty that rewards tens of thousands of aliens who illegally crossed the border or overstayed their visas -- while millions of law-abiding people around the world wait patiently for green cards to become available. Are Republican leaders so afraid of being labeled "racists," and so desperate for votes, that they'll continue to sell out their commitment to the rule of law -- and our national security with it? If an 18-year-old boy can stand up and communicate a sensible and unapologetic message to foreign residents -- speak English, respect our laws, love our country, or stay out -- why can't the GOP?