Thursday, February 23, 2006

Generalissimo Bush-Gonzales reviews his troops

Generalissimo Jorge "El Tigre" Bush-Gonzales at a ceremony welcoming undocumented migrants.

El Presidente Generalissimo Jorge Bush-Gonzales is one "compassionate" conservative, all right. He is especially compassionate toward Latin Americans who are in the United States illegally or "temporarily." (I find it harder and harder to write about Generalissmo Bush-Gonzales without using lots of quotation marks to indicate irony.)

The Bush-Gonzales junta has just announced that it will extend special temporary U.S. residency for hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans and Hondurans for another year. They were granted extra-legal "citizenship" following natural disasters in their homelands in 1998 and 2001. That is, some have been here temporarily for the past eight years while their countries were being patched up.
… Central American leaders and several members of Congress have been pushing for a renewal. Immigrants and their advocates say allowing the special status to expire would devastate not only these individuals but also their families — and the Central American nations — who count on the billions of dollars the immigrants earn in the United States and send home.
The beat goes on.

I sympathize with those who suffered losses from an earthquake and a hurricane, and would be surprised if the United States didn't dole out gazonga bucks to help make the stricken countries whole at the time. But this isn't about humanitarianism. It's about crass political opportunism by a loco presidente who is so infatuated with Latin America that he will undermine immigration control in any way he can, and use any pretext he can, to Hispanicize the country whose laws he swore, with a straight face, to uphold.

I wouldn't like it any better, but I'd feel like I was living in a somewhat rational world, if any discernible political benefit could accrue to the Generalissimo and his junta from the devolution of a rich and successful country into a Third World barrio. But I am at a loss to figure out what he imagines he is gaining. Does he really think that millions of Mexicans and other latinos will pledge their fealty to the Republican party? That those millions sending most of their paychecks to be spent in other countries are an economic benefit to the United States? That in the future a committee of reasoning-challenged pinkos in Stockholm will vote him a Nobel Prize?

The standard explanation, that the Generalissimo is currying favor with business interests who want lots of cheap immigrant labor, doesn't seem to make sense. The captains of industry surely realize that the Democrats would be equally happy to see that the vast peasant migration continues without let or hindrance — not because of overflowing compassion for the wretched of the earth, which might not be reliable in a pinch, but to buy votes.
[Representative] Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement that without a renewal of the special residency, the Central Americans would "face deportation back to a country where they may encounter violence, civil unrest or a homeland still recuperating from natural disasters."
As I say, I sympathize, living as I do in the United States, a country where I might encounter violence or civil unrest, and which is still recuperating from natural disasters. Let's see … where can I emigrate to so that I need never run any such risks again, and where they'd never dream of deporting me back to my homeland and exposure to the perils of living?

I'm having trouble figuring this one out. Help me, please.

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