July 11, 2006


General Speaks of Immigrant Father: Congressional Hearing Turns Personal (Glenn Frankel and Daniela Deane, July 11, 2006, Washington Post)

A congressional hearing on immigration came to a dramatic pause Monday when Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, choked up as he talked about his Italian immigrant father and the opportunities that America had given to his family.

A hush fell over the auditorium at Miami Dade College as Pace, a Marine who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up in Teaneck, N.J., was overcome with emotion and struggled to continue reading from his statement as the opening witness at the field hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Pace was explaining his family's origins to the committee and the opportunities he and his three siblings enjoyed in America when he lost his composure, much to the surprise of the 150 people gathered in the hearing room and to the five senators, who sat riveted as the general paused.

After he composed himself, Pace described his older sister, who went to law school, and his older brother, who, like himself, attended the Naval Academy and was a Marine.

"There is no other country on the planet that affords that kind of opportunity to those who come here," Pace concluded. The audience burst into applause. [...]

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who was at the hearing, said Pace made an "enormously moving comment and statement" and added: "We just hope our colleagues in the Congress can hear it."

Seventy years ago this is who the Tancredos of the day were trying to keep out (including, of course, the actual Tancredo family).

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 11, 2006 8:25 AM

I'm sorry, but I don't remember anything about Gen. Pace's parents entering the US ILLEGALLY. I'll go back and read your piece again, but I'm fairly confident Rep. Tancredo would have no problem with the General's parents.

Sometimes I wonder about y'all...

Posted by: carl davenport at July 11, 2006 9:00 AM

"Pace, a Marine...was overcome with emotion and struggled to continue reading from his statement"

Oh sweet Jesus, we're now reduced to listening to blubbering Marine Generals justifying ignoring the law.

Posted by: h-man at July 11, 2006 9:00 AM

Not ignoring it, intentionally violating it. The law is immoral. To follow it would be unAmerican.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2006 9:50 AM

Mr. davenport:

Of course not, they're Italian. Tancredo hates Mexicans. It was nativists 70 years ago who hated Italians. And everybody hates the Jews....

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2006 9:52 AM

An good post Mr. Davenport. One question. Your post was political in nature and of course falls under the new CFR laws. If you could just post a link to the authorizing paperwork, so we know you are not posting here ILLEGALLY. It's so important to follow all the laws, and I'm sure you are leading the way, so we'll forgive this one. In the future, try to follow the law.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 11, 2006 10:43 AM

It's disingenuous to have a system that effectively prevents new immigration and then say, "But we're only upset about illegal immigrants. Oh, and those anchor babies. We don't like that. And economic refugees. And family members of immigrants. We're too lenient there. And people who come into the country legally and then overstay their visas. They're scum."

Posted by: David Cohen at July 11, 2006 10:46 AM

Poor naive me; it never occurred to me that the general and the representitive were Paisan. That must be it, all right.

As to CFR rules, I am, at worst, only slightly illegal(your apparent inference of a political intent), of advanced age, unemployed and surely therefore more deserving of amnesty than your run-of-the-mill border jumper, don't you think?

Posted by: carl davenport at July 11, 2006 12:14 PM

Mr. Davenport, thanks for responding. Slightly illegal? Is that like "a little bit pregant"? I see we are off ILLEGAL and on illegal. This is a good start. Do you think the "Illegals" are committing a felony? If you don't, why are you upset that some skip the 15+ years of bribes, paperwork, pleading, and tears? Free men do not do fifteen years of "Mother, may I?". I want citzens, not slaves. What do you want?

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 11, 2006 12:35 PM

It's to Mr. Davenport's credit that he wants to think well of Rep. Tancredo, but Tancredo's insistence on an 'enforcement-only' immigration bill -- which can't pass the Senate or the White House -- and opposition to an enforcement + more legal immigration bill, which would pass -- logically implies that he is hostile to legal immigration. In fact it implies that he is more opposed to legal immigration than he is in favor of stemming illegal immigration.

It may be easier to see this if we put prices on them. Suppose he would pay $100 to get enforcement against illegals. If he was indifferent to an increase in legal immigration, of if the maximum amount he would pay to block an increase in legal immigration is less than $100, then he would accept a bill increasing legal immigration and reducing illegal immigration.

Posted by: pj at July 11, 2006 1:24 PM

Clever how they disguise their bias in incompetence:

“Pace, whose last name means "peace" in Italian, is a 1967 graduate of the Naval Academy and has served in Thailand, Korea and Japan.” [Washington Post, July 11, 2006].

Funny, I thought the defining event for the general whose "name means peace" was Hue City in 1968. To be fair to Frankel, Deane, and their editors Pace's service in Vietnam seems to be a little known fact.

Posted by: Chicago Station at July 11, 2006 1:30 PM

Anti-immigration is always and only about hate.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2006 1:54 PM

Mr. davenport:

No. They work at any job they can find. They deserve it more than you.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2006 1:58 PM

Tancredo, as well as the rest of the house and the majority of Republicans in the Senate support border enforcement BEFORE the amnesty in the Senate Bill. So therefore it is not accurate to say he or other Republicans merely oppose increased legal immigration. They would like assurance that the amnesty does not inspire even greater illegal immigration in the future.

Posted by: h-man at July 11, 2006 2:26 PM

Yes, they want to shut off immigration. No, they don't support amnesty. It's simple racism. No need to dress it up.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2006 2:29 PM

They do not want to "shut off immigration" and actually most do not oppose amnesty, if they can be assured that the border will be secured sufficiently in the future. I'm not dressing anything up.

Legal immigration will proceed under the present law regardless. There is no bill under consideration to lower those limits that I'm aware of.

Posted by: h-man at July 11, 2006 2:40 PM

What's the point of this or any other similar testimony? I've never heard anything suggesting that there is any prospect of changing the level of legal immigration, so the whole political debate misses the point and won't change anything fundamental. Just another example of the deeply unserious nature of our political & media elites...

Posted by: b at July 11, 2006 2:43 PM

Just to clarify, I think that the level of legal immigration should be vastly increased. I also think that dual citizenship must be eliminated and that American values must be instilled in the schools (this doesn't even relate specifically to immigration)--can you imagine the outcry if some state compiled a "Manual of Patriotism" similar to that used in the New York public schools a century ago? But these sorts of things aren't even a part of the discussion for whatever reasons.

Posted by: b at July 11, 2006 3:02 PM

What b said.

Until we stop employers from hiring illegals, it's all window-dressing.
It's also especially unserious to be nattering on about illegal immigration, when what America really ought to be doing is opening up the way for legal immigration for anyone on Earth who has a skill.

To deny engineers and accountants a green card, while effectively letting in all of the unskilled labor that wants to come, is the second-worst of all outcomes.

Worst case, of course, would be if nobody wanted to come.

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at July 11, 2006 3:02 PM


Sure they do. It's easy enough to gert the remedy you claim they want at the border. Just allow everyone in through a few central processing stations and no one will sneak in. But it isn't about illegality, just immigration.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2006 4:14 PM

To be against "illegal" immigration is not racist. I don't care what country they come from, if they are here illegally they need to be deported. To call on the race card every time a subject comes up you don't like is up for debate is ridiculous and degrading.

We have laws. These laws should be upheld and enforced. Any employer that hires and illegal should be heavily fined and the illegal deported never to be allowed to become a U.S. citizen.

Posted by: jrich at July 11, 2006 4:40 PM

What you're describing is fake border security and unlimited immigration. You're right that is not what Tancredo or the majority of Republicans or majority of Americans support.

Posted by: h-man at July 11, 2006 4:43 PM


So as long as the racist limits are lifted and the immigration legal you have no problem with it. Right?

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2006 4:45 PM


Bingo. It's the immigrants you oppose, not the illegality. It's just racism.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2006 4:47 PM

oj: Clearly, so long as Congress passed a law allowing 1,000,000 Mexican immigrants every year they would be fine with it.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 11, 2006 4:48 PM

oj, do you see racist behind every tree? It really gets old when you are trying to carry on a conversation and that is the only response!

I believe in the laws we already have on the books should be enforced. I believe our borders should be secured (which I don't believe is happening), I don't believe we should sell our ports, airports, military contracts and other assets to foreign companies.

No, I do not believe we should open our borders to 1,000,000 anybody every year. I believe we should make effort to secure our nation. Otherwise, there is no need for a Homeland Security or any laws whatsoever.

Posted by: jrich at July 11, 2006 5:40 PM

No, I see racism behind policies that only make sense from a racist perspective.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2006 6:17 PM

Mr. Jrich, would you prefer to be called a Communist? Your desire to turn this country into a prison and your desire to nationalize assets point in that direction. Your longing for the Jim Crow laws to be enforced to the fullest extent of the law will be seen as racist by most of the posters here....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 11, 2006 6:35 PM


Opposition to "unlimited immigration" equals racism, doesn't seem logical for a "proposition" nation since that would necessitate the acceptance of immigrants who reject the American proposition.


Good communist comparison in the response to jrich, but it should be noted that the Dubai entity purchasing the port management company was a "state" entity thus confusing your comparison to state socialism. (however I will grant his statement was any foreign company).

However your reference to Jim Crow Laws and America as a prison blew right past me.

Posted by: h-man at July 12, 2006 7:53 AM

Why? Everyone who accepts the proposition is an American. There can be no limit.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2006 8:10 AM

Sorry, I did not make myself clear. I have no problem with foreign companies doing private business such as Toyota etc. I am referring to foreign companies buying into our most secure areas such as ports, airports, military bases and contracts etc. These are security concerns.

I stand by my "illegal" immigrant stance. Enforcement first, then we can discuss reform. Right now, I do not believe our government has the will to enforce any immigration laws present, past or future.

Posted by: jrich at July 12, 2006 10:19 AM

They're not significan concerns, which is why we spend so little on security for them. But to the extent they are Dubai provides better security than we do.

Yes, we're too decent to enforce racist laws. That's why we're reforming them.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2006 10:30 AM

Thanks for responding H-man and Jrich. My "Jim Crow" statement was tweaking Mr. Jrich for his "I believe in the laws we already have on the books should be enforced.". It made him sound like a mindless enforcer of law. I have talked to people like him before, and I have never found one who would enforce the Jim Crow laws. They may talk tough, but they don't mean it(which speaks well of them). As to the prison comment, free countries don't have border checkpoints. If the borders are to be secure, then people will pass into and out of the country as the goverment allows. A captive audience allows the goverment to get "special" quickly. I can't think of any country which has closed the borders to good effect.
Mr. Jrich, I understand your feelings, but the British did what you wanted. Steel, Coal, Electricity, and other security industries were controlled by the goverment. It turned out badly.
It always does.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 12, 2006 10:59 AM

I did not say that our companies should be owned by our government, I do not believe that for one minute. The government makes a mess of everything they try to organize. Just look at our healthcare and school system.

I do believe that our security risk facilities and contracts should be in the hands of American owned companies. Foreign owned companies are welcome here in other capacities as far as I am concerned.

There is no debate with you guys on "illegal" immigrants and our borders. You can't seem to distinguish between "legal" and "illegal".

I have immigrants in my immediate family. German, Puerto Rican and Mexican. They all know the difference between "legal" and "illegal" immigration.

Posted by: jrich at July 12, 2006 11:54 AM

Thanks for your thoughts Mr. Jrich. The problem is there is no America to own companies. The closest you get is the goverment. Other then that, you are stuck with public traded companies. How much stock are foreign people allowed to own before it stops being an "American" company? What if it's an "American" company owned by a foreign company? What about "special stock", like you see at the New York Times? I can't see a way to write the regulations without giving the bureaucrats so much leaway that they aren't in charge of the company.
As to "Legal" vs. "Illegal", I understand the difference. I am familiar enough with the INS to know there is no "Legal" immigration going on. The difference between immigrants is now between those who jumped the border and those who bribed their way in. Shoot all the INS people first, and then we'll talk about "Legal" vs "Illegal".

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 12, 2006 12:30 PM

I am not quite so pessimistic. I believe there are a lot of good American companies that have America's best interest in mind. I know there are some that are not so minded. We have seen that in the last few years of get rich quick CEOs. An American company is no longer an American company if it belongs to a foreign company.

The INS has to be reformed too. They get their orders from our government. When our government "wants illegal immigration" we get it, when our government wants "legal immigration", we will get that too. Right now the big business wants "cheap labor". That is so wrong on so many levels and especially to the "illegals" who are risking their lives. It will stop when our government wants it to stop.

Giving the 11 mln+ amnesty is not going to solve the problem because then the business will not want to hire them because they would have to abide by the law because they are then legal. So then they would encourage another big influx of "illegals" to take their place. It is a vicious circle.

Posted by: jrich at July 12, 2006 1:13 PM

Taxpayers won't waste the money you want to. They're the optimists.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2006 1:56 PM

Mr. Jrich, why is it wrong for business to want cheap labor?

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 12, 2006 5:25 PM