June 9, 2007

Hot Air Calls Out WSJ’s 23-Year Break from Reality on Illegal Immigration

Filed under: Economy,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:45 am

Longtime readers of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages know three things:

  • The paper’s editorials and opinion columns are usually among the best anywhere — and not just on business and economics.
  • The Journal has for years had every reason to be proud of the fact, as the late Robert Bartley noted, that it is one of the few papers readers would buy for its opinion pages.
  • The Journal has, for 23 years, held an uncompromising “liberal” viewpoint on immigration that almost all conservatives have long since abandoned. The Journal’s point of view can be summed up in five words it used in a July 3, 1984 editorial — “There shall be open borders.”

A copy of that editorial, posted for fair use and discussion purposes only, can be found here (the title is “In Defense of Huddled Masses”) in a post about Journal columnist Peggy Noonan’s effective break on June 1 from The Journal’s doctrinaire stance.

The 1984 editorial’s defining sentence is:

If Washington still wants to “do something” about immigration, we propose a five-word constitutional amendment: There shall be open borders.

That editorial was not a onetime journey into starry-eyed idealism. The Journal specifically repeated its “There Shall Be Open Borders” mantra in pre-July 4th editorials in 1986, 1987, 1989, and 1990. Those editorials made it very clear that The Journal didn’t even like the idea of having border guards, and was an early player in calling out the race card, as this sentence from 1990 indicates:

Yet other, less noble images lurk in the background of our July 4th celebrations: the guards who patrol our 2,000-mile border with Mexico or reports by government agencies that the nation’s immigration law has indeed caused widespread hiring discrimination against non-whites.

As late as July 2, 2001, three months before 9/11, the late Robert Bartley, who got so many things right but had this issue so terribly wrong, thought that “open NAFTA borders” would be perfectly acceptable, and derided even the fitful border-enforcement efforts taking place at the time. On July 3, 2000, Bartley wrote that “There is reason to hope that the anti-immigration wave is ebbing before reality.”

In sum, since the 1984 editorial cited above, The Journal has never visibly budged from a “principle” that, in the face of the past 23 years of intervening reality, is hard not to see as both incredibly naive and dangerous. The Journal still appears to believe, despite nearly overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the indisputable contributions and nobility of so many legal immigrants throughout this country’s history are equally present in those who come here illegally.

The canyon-like fissure between the paper and conservatives recently came to a boil. The Journal produced a brief video (I do not know what the original broadcast venue was) showing discussions its editorial board had about the immigration bill that has so dominated the headlines and political discussions during the past few weeks.

Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air finally had enough, and produced a must-see video on Thursday that exposed the editorial board’s contempt for the bill’s conservative opponents and nuked the pro-amnesty arguments. Among the gems she included in the video are these quotes from that editorial board meeting:

  • “The right isn’t even rational about this any more.”
  • “The activists at the National Review are just foaming at the mouth on this.”
  • “Their objection is fundamentally cultural — … and they can’t say that — … It’s the biggest unspoken truth at the center of this debate.”
  • “They don’t even want legal immigration” — … “and when we call ‘em on that, they go crazy.”

In 23 years, no amount of reality has moved the Journal’s editorial board from its incredibly stubborn stance, including but not limited to:

  • Downed 100-plus story towers mere miles from where they work, and the distinct possibility that others arriving here illegally are plotting to commit similar and worse attacks.
  • Rampant drug- and gang-related crime.
  • A steadily eroding social fabric.

In the meantime, the Journal’s own video shows that its contempt for conservatives who disagree with it on this issue has only grown.

I shudder when thinking about an epochal event that might — might — cause the Journal to reconsider.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


UPDATE: The “truck trailer abandoned by coyotes” comment by Porkopolis below (#2) is supported by this tragic story from 2003. There have been several similar stories since then.

Positivity: Quick-thinking kid saves family

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From New York City:

Bronx boy foils armed break-in by sneaking out to call cops

Saturday, June 2nd 2007, 4:00 AM

ust before he stepped into the shower, a 12-year-old Bronx boy was startled by a crash downstairs, the loud voices of men he didn’t recognize and the panicked cries of his grandmother.

Edwin Alamo did the only thing he could think of: He grabbed his cell phone, crawled out a second-floor window and shimmied down to the ground.

He knew he was his family’s best hope to survive.

“I felt like Spider-Man,” the intrepid boy told the Daily News after cops responding to his 911 call rescued his family, arresting the three suspects, shooting two of them behind the home.

Edwin didn’t even have time to get dressed before he made his daring dash out of the Edenwald home about 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

“I heard them break down the door and scream, ‘Get down!’” Edwin said of the gunmen. “I heard my grandma scream. I knew I had to get out, get help. I just jumped out the window. I didn’t want anything to happen to anyone.”

As he crawled naked through the window, the masked gunman kicked the locked bathroom door and broke into the room where the boy had been seconds earlier.

“I was scared,” Edwin said. “But I jumped out. If I didn’t, they would have caught me.”

The seventh-grader crawled across the roof – something his mother, Maria, has scolded him for doing in the past – and dropped to the ground. He then ran into an abandoned house down Edson Ave. and dialed 911.

“I called the police and I told them, ‘There’s guys in the house! They’re armed and they are robbing us!’” the Little League shortstop recalled.

Edwin’s uncle was in the house’s basement apartment when he heard the crash at the front door. He raced upstairs and was immediately confronted by one of the gunman.

“I jumped him and I tried fighting with him. And he hit me on the head with a gun,” Eddie Melendez said.

Edwin’s grandmother Ella Melendez, 61, who was upstairs in her bedroom, heard the ruckus and then saw one of the suspects.

“There was a man coming at me with a gun, pointing it at my face!” she told The News. “He told me, ‘Just be quiet and follow me!’ He put me in my daughter’s room and said, ‘Don’t move!’ I was scared for my daughter and my grandsons.”

Amid the chaos, Edwin’s older brother, Jose Rodriguez, 21, jumped out another window. He borrowed a cell phone from a passerby and also dialed 911.

Responding to the emergency calls, plainclothes officers from the 47th Precinct crept around the back of the home and confronted two of the suspects as they attempted to flee with their guns drawn, police said.

….. Edwin Alamo was thrilled after he saved his family from gunmen. But the Bronx boy got even more excited yesterday when he learned he’ll be honored by the Yankees – and may get to meet Derek Jeter.

George Steinbrenner lauded Edwin, a die-hard Yankee fan, for staying calm under pressure when the gunmen burst into his family’s home late Thursday.

“I’m glad not only for what he did – I’m glad he loves the Yankees,” Steinbrenner said yesterday in a statement. “We love him.”

Steinbrenner said he will treat Edwin to a home game at the House that Ruth Built as a reward for his heroism.

Edwin plays shortstop in the Bronx Astor Little League and says Jeter is his hero.

“To meet him – wow!” Edwin said. “I’m a shortstop, too, like him. Well, maybe not so like him.”

Go here for the rest of the story.