He’s comparing the situation in the US to the situation in France, where unassimilated Muslim “youths” rioted in 2005 and 2006. There as here, politicians looking the other way while illegals flooded in were catalysts to the problem, but the similarities largely end there.
Or not. In Europe, the generous welfare state acted as a magnet to pull in immigrants, legal and illegal, from all over North Africa, the Middle East and western Asia. Multiculturalism forced defenses down there and is being used to mau mau opponents of unbridled illegal immigration here. Jobs have been more of a magnetic pull for illegal immigrants coming here, but the welfare state plays a role here too, there’s no denying that. Sanctuary cities flouting federal immigration law play a major role in attracting and keeping illegal immigrants here. I don’t think that France has a similar problem with cities just flatly refusing to go along with national law.
There’s also the religious difference: France is nominally Catholic but mostly atheist; its unassimilated immigrants are largely Muslim and susceptible to jihad radicalization. The mostly Mexican illegals coming here are presumably Catholic. They might be susceptible to some kind of racial identity politics or reconquista fervor, but it won’t be of the same character as radical Islam.
So with all of that in mind, here’s McCain arguing that it’s either adopt the reform that’s on the table now or we might see no-go zones in US cities and riots in the suburbs of Washington DC. It’s a very mob-like pitch, given the federal government’s own role in fostering and abetting illegal immigration.
Oh, I almost forgot. There is one other major difference between immigration law enforcement in France and the US: In France, the president is cracking down on the problem. And he seems to mean what he says.
Update (AP): Here’s a snippet from St. John’s immigration speech yesterday. This passage came four or five paragraphs after he said of his anti-amnesty opponents, “I do not question the sincerity of their convictions or their purpose in proposing other ways to address the problem.” Emphasis mine:
I would hope that any candidate for President would not suggest doing nothing. And I would hope they wouldn’t play politics for their own interests if the cost of their ambition was to make this problem even harder to solve. To want the office so badly that you would intentionally make our country’s problems worse might prove you can read a poll or take a cheap shot, but it hardly demonstrates presidential leadership.
Update (bp): Well, it looks like we’ll get riots anyway. According to the CBO, the immigration compromise will only reduce illegal immigration by 25%.
The bill’s new guest-worker program could lead to at least 500,000 more illegal immigrants within a decade, said the report from the CBO, which said in its official cost estimate that it assumes some future temporary workers will overstay their time in the plan, adding up to a half-million by 2017 and 1 million by 2027.
“We anticipate that many of those would remain in the United States illegally after their visas expire,” CBO said of the guest-worker program, which would allow 200,000 new workers a year to rotate into the country.
And in a blow to President Bush’s timetable, the CBO said the “triggers” — setting up the verification system, deploying 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents to duty and constructing hundreds of miles of fencing and vehicle barriers — won’t be met until 2010.
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