Herbert Dyer, Jr.

During a town hall gathering Tuesday in the Phoenix suburb of Sun Lakes, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that the border near Yuma is largely secure, according to the Associated Press.

He said smugglers instead are using the border near Tucson to bring drugs into Phoenix. He repeated the hard right’s sacred belief that “immigration reform” in terms of providing illegal immigrants with some form of legality must first and always include better border security. However, now that the Arizona border is physically secure, new and better technology must be employed to detect and deter the dwindling number of illegal border crossings.

McCain revised the idea of developing a tamper-proof Social Security card in order to help staunch identity fraud, and he said that knowing English, paying back taxes and payment of fines for breaking immigration laws all are threshold markers that must precede the granting of any legal status to anyone here illegally.

"There are 11 million people living here illegally," he said. "We are not going to get enough buses to deport them."

It was at this point that many in his audience began to grumble, and then shout their disapproval of the senator’s remarks, according to the AP.

One man shouted that only guns would discourage undocumented immigration. Another man dismissed undocumented folks altogether, saying they should never be able to become citizens or vote. And yet a third man said undocumented immigrants were illiterate invaders whose only objective in coming to America was to get hold of “free stuff” from the government, as once explained by Mitt Romney

As the attached video shows, McCain was taken by surprise by all of the vitriol coming from his constituents. Yet he urged compassion.

"We are a Judeo-Christian nation," he said.


Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that until the mid-19th century, most of the now southwestern United States was….well, Mexico. But, we’ll come back to that point, I promise.

Estimates vary widely as to how many illegals are actually in the US. Notice that when we speak of these people, we almost always first (and often only) think of illegal immigrants from south of the border. Yet, the northern border with Canada is almost twice as long as the southern border, and I suspect that an equal or larger number of undocumented immigrants enter this country from that direction. But there is no outcry or movement or campaign to secure our northern border. Why not?

There are also thousands, if not millions, of illegals here from various Europe [Unlink] an countries as well, particularly Eastern Europe. But there is no serious movement to identify and deport them. Why not?

Illegal immigrants from Haiti, however, are eagerly sought out by law enforcement, detained, and deported back to Haiti with little or no fanfare.

And, finally, illegal immigrants from Cuba gain instant legal status once their foot hits any part of dry American land (gotta fight those commies, don’t you know). Interesting.

As with virtually every other issue that Americans deal with, this one, immigration reform, is wrapped up tightly in notions of national identity and access to the national treasure chest. White illegal immigrants from Canada, Europe and Cuban illegals fit the profile of what and who those running America think America is, what it should be and certainly what it should look like. Mexicans and Haitians do not fit that profile.

The Mexican-American War officially ended in 1848. Mexico was forced to cede to the US the present day states of California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, half of New Mexico, half of Colorado, and about half of Wyoming. That’s just short of half a continent. (That same year, gold was discovered in California, and in 1849 the rush was on. Incidentally, that’s how we got Jim Harbaugh [Unlink] and the Super Bowl-losing San Francisco ‘49ers, you know).

So, look at who’s in that room with McCain making all that noise, telling him essentially that he is not being white enough. Do you see any Mexicans (legal or otherwise) in that room clamoring for border security? I know some so-called illegal Latinos here in Chicago who say that they did not cross the border illegally. The border crossed them.