Illegal Immigration Politics in Arizona

Carolyn Lochhead, an SF Chronicle reporter working out of DC and a Reason contributing editor, calls in a story from Arizona, where anti-illegal-immigration sentiment is high but not working any mojo for the Republicans there:

With Tuesday's election days away, in districts where illegal immigration is Topic A, Republican hardliners are the candidates in trouble here. As many as three GOP House seats are in jeopardy, including that of six-term incumbent J.D. Hayworth, whose race has slid from shoo-in to toss-up.

The fire-breathing Hayworth, a staple of conservative talk shows and author of the border-security tract "Whatever It Takes" (Chapter One: "Overrun"), is in the battle of his career for the Phoenix suburbs against mild-mannered Democrat Harry Mitchell, an avuncular former mayor of Tempe who supports a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country.

In Tucson (Pima County), the open-seat district that spans the nation's busiest corridor for immigrants and drug trafficking, card-carrying Minuteman Randy Graf is expected to lose to pro-guest-worker Democrat Gabrielle Giffords.

Two-term Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, a key opponent of the Senate's expansive immigration bill, is blanketing the airwaves with anti-amnesty ads as the challenger Jim Pederson's poll numbers show him trailing by only single digits.

Even GOP Rep. Rick Renzi, a presumed safe incumbent who employs "red-zone defense" football metaphors on immigration, has a race on his hands, said Fred Solop, a political scientist at Northern Arizona University's Social Research Laboratory.

Why ain't it working? The short answer is that the Dems' are super anti-illegal in Arizona, too, though they've been stressing, a la John McCain, some sort of guest-worker legalization route. The long answer? Read it here.

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  • ||

    Immigration is not going to buy the Republicans anything in this election. The public has completely given up on either party doing anything about immigration. Doing something about illegal immigration is enormously popular among the electorate and enomorously unpopular among the elite. The Republicans have long since wasted any credibility they had on the issue. George Bush is too cut off from reality and too in love with his illegal Mexican help at his ranch to ever take the issue seriously and the Republican Congress is too in love with money from industries that benefit from cheap labor to ever take do anything. The Democrats are just as hopeless. If you don't think either party is going to do anything about immigration, why would the issue change your vote regardless of how passionately you felt about it?

  • ||

    Predition: even if the Democrats only take the House, something very close to Bush's guest worker bill will pass Congress and be signed next year.

  • ||

    Interesting to me is that the article portrays Arizonans as being just babysteps away from figuring out the best solution to their problems: opening the border. That is, if they could just get their heads around to the notion about the US being all about freedom...

  • ||

    Would you want to do your own yardwork if you lived in Arizona?

  • ||

    What yardwork? Mowing the rocks?

  • ||

    slapping a new coat of paint on the desert.

  • ||

    Carolyn Lochhead wrote, "for undocumented immigrants " they are not. They're illegal aliens. There is no such thing as "undocumented immigrants". If that was a problem the solution would be simple, get them documents, so simple, it wouldn't be a problem.

    Carolyn is either lying through her teeth or to herself, or is ignorant or both. Either was its a disgrace she is part of "Reason"'s staff.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    They're illegal aliens.

    Only if you believe in borders.

  • ||

    Terry,

    Did they credit you for the canceled subscription yet?
    or
    GCRICMS

    (That's just for you, Shannon Chamberlain!)

  • ||

    If that was a problem the solution would be simple, get them documents, so simple, it wouldn't be a problem.

    You are exactly correct. The lack of paperwork is the sole problem.

    Do you know of an office these people can visit to get documents? Because I don't.

  • ||

    They're illegal aliens.

    Yeah, and potsmokers are illegal drug users.

    They're illegal aliens because of a completely arbitrary (and ridiculously low) quota on the immigation of unskilled workers.

    Just in case you haven't figured it out most everyone at this site thinks it's a bad idea to criminalize harmless behaviour, especially behaviour connected to the fulfillment of essential human needs.

  • ||

    Terry,

    The people at Reason do not believe in borders or that any government or community anywhere has any right to control who lives within its boundries. I know that to most of the world that is insane, but there is no argueing with the reasonites on this issue. One of these days I am going to suggest that the sollution to Iraq is to grant U.S. citizenship and plane tickets to the entire population of Iraq. If they all move here, what is there to fight about anymore over there? Further, since anyone has a right to live anywhere and certainly 90% or more of Iraqis would move to the U.S. given the opportunity, why not just give them the rights we all agree that they have? I think the Reasonites heads might explode at the thought.

  • ||

    John,

    Wouldn't it be easier to just make Iraq the 51st state?

    Then the civil war would REALLY be a civil war and we could cut through those treasonous bastards just like Sherman through Georgia!

    Hoo Rah!

  • ||

    The people at Reason do not believe in borders or that any government or community anywhere has any right to control who lives within its boundries.

    I believe the argument is that market forces will do a better job of controlling the influx and outflux of the population than the state will do. This argument is always accompanied by the statement that border controls with identity checks are still necessary.

    One of these days I am going to suggest that the sollution to Iraq is to grant U.S. citizenship and plane tickets to the entire population of Iraq.

    Making Iraq a US Protectorate and granting limited citizenship rights to the population may be a positive way to influence events in Iraq. However, they must buy their own tickets.

    Further, since anyone has a right to live anywhere and certainly 90% or more of Iraqis would move to the U.S. given the opportunity . . .

    Do you have some poll data to support that?

    . . . why not just give them the rights we all agree that they have?

    I think the most important rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are granted by the creator. So I don't think we can actually give them to the Iraqis. However, recognizing that they have those rights, just like we do, would be a good start.

    I think the Reasonites heads might explode at the thought.

    Can't say that I feel any impending pressure at this point

  • ||

    Isaac suggests: "They're illegal aliens because of a completely arbitrary (and ridiculously low) quota on the immigation of unskilled workers."
    Catagorically wrong. They are electricians, carpenters (both rough & finish) machinists, pipefitters, mechanics, roofers,painters, electricians, tin knockers, masons- ie, all the jobs that couldnt be exported. And they have driven the wages into the basement for all these trades.
    Furthermore, tax money extracted from citizens subsidizes the corrupt oligarchies & murderous militaries & police those folks are fleeing from.
    But Im sure a lot of nitwits call this the "free market".
    About the only good news here is that gasbag Hayworth (I used to be his constituent, now Im Duncan Hunters. Jeez) might get tossed.
    Seems to me if our loons-in-charge stopped playing Redcoat in Latin America, the flood of desperate people fleeing "the Central American Democracies" as they are called with a straight face might stat home, & develope thier own nations. It would mean violent revolutions. So what? The oligarchies that rule these damn near slave states will richly earn whatever befalls them.
    But that would mean working people here wouldnt have thier wages depressed, a Good Thing to many, uh, serious thinkers here.

  • ||

    I don't have any polling date, but I don't think it is going out on much of a limb to say that most people in a worn torn country would love come to the U.S. Certainly, the Iraqis I knew there would have taken U.S. citizenship in a minute, as would most of the world.

    I don't think you could make them the 51st State, they would have to do that themselves. Further, granting them citizenship would not make them a protectorate since there would still be a sovereign government in Iraq for anyone who was left there.

    Of course 90% is probably a high figure. Certainly, a large percentage of the educated and people who geniunely desire to live a better life would move to the U.S. with its better economic prospects. The local thugs would stay in Iraq since it is easier to be a thug in a war zone than in a peaceful country. The true fanatics whose so goal in life is to kill Sunis or Shias or Kurds would stay. No doubt a few would come to the U.S. and continue their war here. Do the thought experiment in your head and think about what kind of a society would be left behind in Iraq and then wonder how much of a favor we would be doing ourselves and other countries if the U.S. had truly open borders.

  • ||

    Seems to me if our loons-in-charge stopped playing Redcoat in Latin America, the flood of desperate people fleeing "the Central American Democracies" as they are called with a straight face might stat home, & develope thier own nations.

    Sounds more like an argument against Yankee imperialism. Suppose the gov't does stop meddling in their affairs. What if their country remains a shithole with no opp'ty for a living. You will hold that against these fine folks when there is plenty of opp'ty here and we can all make a living. Doesn't seem fair since their only crime was being born on the wrong side of an arbitrary line.

  • ||

    . . . I don't think it is going out on much of a limb to say that most people in a worn torn country would love come to the U.S. Certainly, the Iraqis I knew there would have taken U.S. citizenship in a minute, as would most of the world.

    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    Further, granting them citizenship would not make them a protectorate since there would still be a sovereign government in Iraq for anyone who was left there.

    That's not what I said. I said make Iraq a protectorate (e.g. the philipines post WWII). So there would be a US imposed government for several decades at least.

  • ||

    They are electricians, carpenters (both rough & finish) machinists, pipefitters, mechanics, roofers,painters, electricians, tin knockers, masons- ie, all the jobs that couldnt be exported. And they have driven the wages into the basement for all these trades.

    Isn't that the purpose of the free market?

    It's why I went to college with a wife and two kids, then spent a decade paying off student loans.

    No one is guarenteed a job at a guarenteed wage for life.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    No one is guarenteed a job at a guarenteed wage for life.

    Sonofa...

    Simple, clean, and complete. Mind if I steal that?

  • ||

    No one is guarenteed a job at a guarenteed wage for life.

    Sonofa...

    Simple, clean, and complete. Mind if I steal that?


    I'd correct the spelling first if I were you. ;)

  • ||

    They are electricians, carpenters (both rough & finish) machinists, pipefitters, mechanics, roofers,painters, electricians, tin knockers, masons- ie, all the jobs that couldnt be exported. And they have driven the wages into the basement for all these trades.

    If that's the case, then why not mandate minimum wages for those trades, in order to keep all those jobs American and English speaking-prop up those wages? I know I'm having a hell of a time making a living as a blacksmith and wheelwright, damn internal combustion engine!

    Certainly, the Iraqis I knew there would have taken U.S. citizenship in a minute, as would most of the world.

    The problem with that would be? Let's assume that you are right and everyone wants to come to the US. There isn't much stopping them right now, if they really want to come. The US has endured high rates of immigration, legal and illegal since it's inception, and it has experienced remarkable growth and prosperity, despite having more people than ever before.

  • ||

    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


    Yeah, very nice - except our laws are made by the legislature under the authority of the Constitution, not from inscriptions on pretty statues, no matter how inspirational they might be.

    Call us back when Congress ratifies your statue for you.

    I'd like to be able to buy my dope up at the 7-Eleven along with my beer - what kind of a statue do I have to carve to get that?

  • ||

    Carrick- the point is its not a "free market", if indeed such a thing exists. Its an artificially created market: otherwise resource rich countries riven by corruption & repression, propped up at taxpayer expense by the USG, which causes thier own citizens to flee here because they cannot provide for thier families in these oligarchies (a form of Gvt which seems to be popular here)
    You might look at the trickl;e, then flood, of people fleeing Nicaragua & El Salvador, as in El Sal Reagan dumped 6 BILLION into the militaries there- a country as large as Mass. In Nicaragua, after finally throwing out our vile "ally in the region", Samoza, & running out his dispised Guardia & Becats, what did we do? We rounded up said militaries, rearmed them, & provided unlimited funds to wreck whateverthe Nicas tried to build. Dont try me on this, I lived there a year- 84-5, & traveled widely thru the country.
    As for the smug clown who mentioned his college loans- I dont know how you pay you bills, college boy, but we could find some desperate, educated refugee who'll do it a lot cheaper. As much as Id like to hear you snivel, Id as soon you keep you job & not be a burden on people.
    Free market, my ass. What crap.

  • ||

    I'd like to be able to buy my dope up at the 7-Eleven along with my beer - what kind of a statue do I have to carve to get that?

    In offering an example of an unconstitional abridgement of rights, ... were you being intentionally ironic?

  • ||

    John | November 2, 2006, 3:55pm | #

    Terry,

    The people at Reason do not believe in borders or that any government or community anywhere has any right to control who lives within its boundries. I know that to most of the world that is insane, but there is no argueing with the reasonites on this issue. One of these days I am going to suggest that the sollution to Iraq is to grant U.S. citizenship and plane tickets to the entire population of Iraq.


    Right after we implement my suggestion that the best way to control illegal immigration from Mexico is to unite the two countries?

  • Lonewacko says: Read this shoc||

    there is no argueing with the reasonites on this issue

    Indeed. But, what we can do is point out to non-koolaid drinkers how Reason is wrong:

    1. I just got off the phone with a Giffords staffer after three phone call attempts to get her opinion of specific legislation. Her dodge is that she can't support or oppose a specific plan because the Senate scheme didn't pass the House and because the various plans are up in the air. That tells me not that she's just being cagey, but that she doesn't know what she's talking about and is just following the stock Dem line. She does support a "guest" worker plan, we just don't have any idea what type that would be.

    2. The libertarians at Reason support *current* illegal immigration, which is *currently* a huge subsidy to employers. They do not support open immigration if and only if welfare services are eliminated, they support illegal immigration under the current state of welfare services.

    3. What they support would allow stronger, more cohesive countries to take territory from the U.S. If we opened the borders, a country like Mexico would send us even more people and would have effective control over the Southwest. They would establish a new, stronger government to replace the liberatarian "government" that had previously administered the Southwest. Those who support open borders are not patriots and do not support the U.S. Constitution; they aren't yet traitors because that has a specific legal definition.

    Read my link (PDF file) for more on what Reason supports.

  • ||

    what we can do is point out to non-koolaid drinkers how Reason is wrong

    Actually we're drinking margaritas. It's quite nice. Come join us.

  • ||

    As for the smug clown who mentioned his college loans- I dont know how you pay you bills, college boy, but we could find some desperate, educated refugee who'll do it a lot cheaper.

    They already are. I work for an international company that has engineering staff in the US, England, France, and Russia. We make extensive use of sub-contract engineering from India and China.

    So now I spend lots of time writing requirements and doing project management for projects heavily staffed with foreign nationals.

    I saw that coming too, so I prepared for it.

    Engineers that whine about jobs going offshore are no different than tradesman that whine about cheap labor ruining their lives.

    Mutt, your argument that free markets can't work because we don't have free markets is specious at best.

    I can't say that I've been to Central America, but I have been to Ireland, England, France, Germany, Russia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. The capitalistic countries that sort of approximate free markets do much better than those that don't.

  • ||

    Lonewacko, your name says it all.

  • ||

    The real point, that the article makes, is that there's not a lot of divergence on immigration in Arizona. Mitchell (the fairly liberal Democrat running against incumbent JD Hayworth) is running ads claiming Hayworth supported amnesty!

    The issue has effectively been neutralized because Democrats are anti-immigrant here. Gabby Giffords in Tucson is winning because Pima County is more liberal than Maricopa across the board. It has little to do with her more enlightened stance on immgration.

    Curiously, as you get further away from the border, the anti-immigrant sentiment increases, although you can find some real anti-immigrant mouth-breathers down in Tucson. Hayworth is 300 miles from the border. Renzi more, and they're some of the harshest.

    Hayworth will win, unfortunately. He's the worst kind of demagogue, but it's such a lopsided area that his buffoonery will not lose him the election.

    Renzi will also win. And his problem is, in large part, corruption and the fact that he's a carpetbagger.

    One need only turn on the local ClearChannel station to see how idiotic people are about this issue here. When it's not running Limbaugh and Hannity, its local hosts bash immigrants, along the lines of Terry's comments above.

  • ||

    Engineers that whine about jobs going offshore are no different than tradesman that whine about cheap labor ruining their lives.

    Well, right now- you got yours. And unless you are a oligarch family member, you , someday, wont. And you will "whine" about it. Of that I have no doubt.

    Its beyond curious what sort of insular world you live in, that sees the degradation of others lives as a good thing. You know, as its said, the price of everything and the value of nothing. Well, you certainly arent alone here, are you.

  • ||

    Yeah, very nice - except our laws are made by the legislature under the authority of the Constitution, not from inscriptions on pretty statues, no matter how inspirational they might be.

    Pig, we are a nation of ideas as much as a nation of laws. I am particularly found of:

    "We hold these truths . . . "

    "I have a dream . . . "

    The laws frequently lag far behind the emergence of the ideas. But that is no reason to give up on them.

  • ||

    Its beyond curious what sort of insular world you live in, that sees the degradation of others lives as a good thing. You know, as its said, the price of everything and the value of nothing. Well, you certainly arent alone here, are you.

    I see a world in which many with nothing struggle to improve themselves. I also see a world with many who have much who fear losing it. The problem is when those who have use the power of the state to prevent those who haven't from moving up the ladder.

    That tendancy is not limited to the wealthy.

  • ||

    vaporings: I see a world in which many with nothing struggle to improve themselves. I also see a world with many who have much who fear losing it. The problem is when those who have use the power of the state to prevent those who haven't from moving up the ladder.

    That tendancy is not limited to the wealthy.

    I been where folks with nothing struggleled to improve themselves. Remedy: call em commies, and kill them in wholesale lots. For thier own good, of course. Resultant refugees: free market labor! Its like the creme filling in a Hostess cupcake.....
    Ive yet to meet a powerless p[erson who could keep me from doing anything.
    you certainly made my point about smug, tho........

  • ||

    I been where folks with nothing struggleled to improve themselves. Remedy: call em commies, and kill them in wholesale lots. For thier own good, of course. Resultant refugees: free market labor!

    This is not libertarianism. Libertarians for the most part oppose military meddling in foreign lands for any reason other than direct self-defense. To say that libertarians promote the wholesale slaughter of peasants in foreign lands to provide cheap labor for big business is insulting.

    You are clearly hear to rant not discuss. So bye bye.

  • Jim Walsh||

    Hayworth is a serious horse's ass; his demeanor is downright cartoonish. What really bugs me is the number of libertarians who buy into his rhetoric...

  • ||

    I am going to lock myself in my room and get in my bed under the covers so that all the scary brownskinned people won't hear me.

    Waah, mommy!!

  • ||

    I am going to come on this thread and constantly insult the posters here and misrepresent their positions.

    I am also going to present a zenophobic nationalistic quasi-racist sense of entitlement and claim that it is concern for the well being of peasants in Central America.

  • ||

    What Mutt said at 4:31!

  • ||

    I take that back. You are all a bunch of loones, but at least you know everything so you are smart loones.

  • ||

    So much for the idea that people living in one of the areas most impacted by illegal immigration might know something about the issue.

    I wish everyone would visit Organ Pipe National Monument on the AZ-Mexico border before making up their minds on this issue. It used to be one of the most beautiful stretches of Sonoran desert, now it might as well be a landfill.

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