Graham: Change of mind or change of emphasis?

On the one hand, on the other hand... Lindsey Graham, 2007 file photo. / by Brad Warthen

Seeing the story about Lindsey Graham and immigration in The Stet Peppah today reminded me of this release I got from the senator yesterday:

“Illegal immigration is a nightmare for America.  Giving a pathway to citizenship without first securing the border is an inducement to encourage more illegal immigration.  This is nothing more than a political game by the Democrats to try and drive a wedge between the Hispanic community and Republicans.

“Today’s cynical vote on the DREAM Act, along with a series of other votes, convinces me that the Democratic leadership in the Senate does not get the message from the last election.  They care more about politics than policy in a variety of areas, including illegal immigration.”

Now truth be told, the senator isn’t really being two-faced on this. Only if you believe in the misrepresentation of his critics do you think he’s changed his mind on the overall issue. He ALWAYS wanted to secure the border. To him and John McCain, this was first and foremost a national security issue — you need to know who’s in your country. That’s why you would both secure the borders and regularize the people who have already gotten in. Big Brother (and you know I love Big Brother) doesn’t need folks running around off the grid.

So basically what we have here is a change of emphasis. And that change really started as soon as 2007, when the debate over the previous attempt at serious, comprehensive immigration reform was still going on.

The one thing that Sen. Graham has said lately that really seems a departure for him was when he went out of his way to say that children born here to illegal parents shouldn’t be citizens. If anything indicates that he’s running scared and trying to head off a primary challenge from Mark Sanford or someone four years from now, that would be it. But senators, particularly this one, don’t run that scared that early. There are other explanations. And next time I speak with the senator, I hope to hear it. I doubt I’ll hear it through the MSM between now and then.

12 thoughts on “Graham: Change of mind or change of emphasis?

  1. Doug Ross

    Gee, compromising his principles in order to remain in office. I would have never expected that of our fearless Senator.

    The power and the privilege are even more seductive than a Wal-Mart open for business on Sunday morning in Lexington county.

  2. Ralph Hightower

    Mark Sanford’s political career is toast, or at least I hope it is.

    Anyone who votes for Mark Sanford for any political office, would, well, vote for Sarah Palin for president.

  3. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    Well, plug in your toaster, ’cause a lot of people would vote for either of ’em in a heartbeat….

    which is why I’m thinking this democracy thing is over-rated.

  4. Brad

    Doug, I didn’t say he compromised anything. I said he already held this position; he’s just emphasizing it more.

    The only thing that SEEMS a departure (and I say “seems” because I don’t remember him saying it before, but then my memory isn’t perfect) is the thing about the citizenship of children born here. I’d like to here an extended explanation of that.

    I can think of a number of legitimate, rational reasons why someone would take that position. I’d just like to hear why HE says it.

  5. Ralph Hightower

    I have heard that marijuana is a gateway drug to heavier drug use such as cocaine and heroin.

    After I heard Lindsey Graham expound on his suggestion to repeal the amendment that grants citizenship to immigrants born on American soil, it makes sense!

    The United States is rewarding criminal behavior by granting automatic citizenship to new borns of those that entered the country illegally.

    But Graham does have a point to make. The major problem is with the Mexican border, a country that offers few opportunities to its citizens and will do what it takes to work illegally. There are probably also breaches on the Canadian border. But Mexico is the primary gateway.

    I am not advocating the denial of healthcare for illegal aliens, but once they are identified, deport them back to their original country.

    The current right of citizenship in the 14th amendment encourages illegal immigration. Like Graham, I support repealing the automatic citizenship and also want the borders secured.

  6. Doug Ross

    Anything that rewards the criminal act of crossing into the U.S. illegally will encourage more of the same behavior. Stop the incentives and the problem will go away.

  7. bud

    Let’s work out an agreement with Canada and Mexico to eliminate the borders and grant everyone dual membership for all 3 nations. Problem solved.

  8. Brad

    That’s an idea, if we could come up with a workable plan for preparing Mexico for the merger. That country’s pathologies, which have a lot to do with why people risk all to come here to get away from them, have to get under control. Of course, if those problems were solved, the immigration issue would go away.

    I’m thinking what a burden the DDR was to West Germany after the reunification — and being a police state, the DDR didn’t have a lot of the problems Mexico does.

    Or for a less dramatic example, look at what’s happening to the EU — first Greece, then Ireland, next Spain and Portugal. It’s really remarkable that any commitment remains to that union in light of these bailouts and collapses. In this country, we get all upset because a few Mexicans come here and work. Suppose you were a middle class resident of Bonn — how would you feel about your successful economy being weakened by a Greek (or Irish, or perhaps Spanish) millstone around its neck? There’s gotta be some significant nostalgia for the Deutschmark.

  9. William Tucker

    @bud, or we could enforce our borders like every other country does and not worry about dual citizenship.

    @Brad, What about the more than few Mexicans who come here and commit crimes clogging our legal systems and jails/prisons? What about the more than few Mexicans jump the border just to use our medical facilities knowing that the legal citizens will be footing the bill? What about the more than few Mexicans who are clogging our schools and require already broke school districts to hire translators? I don’t have a problem with the more than few Mexicans who are here legally or on work visas, but those who skirt the rules and laws need to have their butts and their children’s butts kicked all the way across the border.


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