WAPO EDITORIAL MISSES THE MARK
The Washington Post is having quite a week for itself. It has recklessly and irresponsibly outed the CIA in divulging on the basis of classified information obtained from unnamed sources an international "covert prison system" used to keep and interrogate key al Qaeda operatives. Now this morning it publishes an editorial charging that the Republican Party is using "the bogeyman of illegal immigration" in the Virginia gubernatorial race to fan "zenophobia" and "plant seeds of hatred and resentment in an increasingly diverse state." Really? But the hyperbole doesn't stop there. The WaPo editorial writer continues:
The proper response is to press the Bush administration and Congress to face up to the problem, not to subject immigrants to a nativist campaign of fear and loathing. Immigrant-bashing may be an effective headline-grabber.
Bottom-line, WaPo is of the opinion that illegal immigration is strictly a federal enforcement issue and where that argument fails it purports that certain issues related to it are "best left to local authorities, not the state." How convenient in a gubernatorial election!
WaPo should take the time to interview governors Perry (R-Texas), Napolitano (D-Arizona), Richardson (D-New Mexico) and Schwarzenegger (R-California), for starters.
Where has the WaPo editorial board been for the last 12-15 years and particularly since September 11, 2001? The issues of illegal immigration and porous borders are major concerns of the American people and they are not confined to border states, as many of the 11+ million illegal aliens afoot in our country move at will throughout the interior.
There are reportedly 1,500 to 2,000 members of the notorioulsy violent MS-13 gang, comprised of illegal immigrants operating in 33 states, operating in northern Virginia. Is fearing them just a needless bout of GOP-induced zenophobia?
And should the following not be of concern to Virginia's voters:
Over 100,000 illegal aliens are living in Virginia, estimates the Migration Policy Institute.24 This is an increase of 45,000, or 82 percent, since 1996 and an increase of 58,000, or 138 percent, since 1992.
Experts say that northern Virginia, with its thriving service economy and surging communities of legal immigrants, has become a magnet for illegal aliens.25 Eighty percent of the state’s illegal residents live in northern Virginia.
Before September 11, Virginia’s lax driver’s licensing procedures caused a stream of illegal aliens into the state. After the terrorist attacks, the state tightened its identity and residency requirements and will no longer accept passports with expired visas. Virginia estimates it spends $56 million per year on illegal aliens in schools. Virginia’s Medicaid program spent $3.4 million on illegal aliens in 1997, the latest year for which figures are available. Virginia authorities requested $8.9 million in compensation from the federal government in FY’99 for the incarceration of illegal aliens in state and local jails and prisons, but it received only $3.4 million in compensation, leaving $5.5 million in uncompensated costs to be borne by Virginia taxpayers.