May 11, 2011

REAGAN GAVE THEM AMNESTY AND NO ONE CARED THE NEXT DAY:

The Immigration Paradox: Americans say they want to give illegal immigrants a shot at citizenship, but their representatives aren't sure they mean it. (Ronald Brownstein, May 11, 2011, National Journal)

For years, in good economic times and bad, polls have consistently found that most Americans believe immigrants who are in the United States illegally should be provided a pathway to legal status if they take steps such as paying a fine or learning English. And yet, no matter how many times pollsters return that verdict, most Republican and Democratic elected officials alike remain convinced that providing illegal immigrants any route to legal status is a losing cause politically.

It’s difficult to think of another issue on which so many political leaders are so flatly, reflexively dismissive of a consistent finding in public opinion polling. “I have given briefings to Republican congressmen at retreats on Capitol Hill [about those numbers] and they just look at me and say flatly, ‘that’s not what people in my district think,' " says Republican pollster Whit Ayres.


Every Republican elected to the presidency the past thirty years has favored open borders.

MORE:
Neo-Nazi Father Is Killed; Son, 10, Steeped in Beliefs, Is Accused (JESSE McKINLEY, 5/11/11, NY Times)

The day before he allegedly shot his father, the sandy-haired 10-year-old boy showed off a prized possession to a visitor. It was a thin leather belt emblazoned with a silver insignia of the Nazi SS.

“Look what my dad got me,” the boy said shyly, perched on the living room stairs, one of the few quiet spots in a house with five children.

A little more than 12 hours later, the police say, the boy stood near those stairs with a handgun and killed his father, Jeff Hall, as he lay on the living room couch. It was about 4 a.m. on May 1; paramedics declared Mr. Hall dead when they arrived.

The police say that the killing was intentional, but that the motives behind it are still not fully understood. But whatever the reason, it has cast fresh light on the fringe group to which Mr. Hall devoted his life: the National Socialist Movement, the nation’s largest neo-Nazi party, whose message stands in surreal juxtaposition to the suburban, workaday trappings of many of its members.

Mr. Hall, who led a chapter of the group in Riverside, Calif., east of Los Angeles, had predicted that his political activities — in a world rife with hatred, suspicion and violence — would lead to his demise.

“I want a white society,” Mr. Hall said. “I believe in secession. I believe in giving my life for secession.”

What he could never have expected was that his death might come at the hand of his son, whom he was steeping in his beliefs of white supremacy and its obsessions with weapons, racist speech and Nazi regalia.

Over the last two months, The New York Times attended and documented a series of events held by Mr. Hall and the National Socialist Movement, or N.S.M., including virulent, hate-filled rallies as well as barbecues and baby showers in the backyard of his Southern California home.

Mr. Hall was a rising force in the party, which has capitalized on a tide of anti-immigrant sentiment to attract members — young racist skinheads, aging Ku Klux Klan members, and extremists on the left and the right.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 11, 2011 5:09 PM
  
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