These two groups tend to be on opposite sides. I'll give you the details below.
First, I want to share a couple of thoughts about this whole disaster in the nation's financial industry. It seems to me that the Bank Bail-Out Crisis should teach us two very important things relevant to the immigration debate:
(1) Not all economic growth is good (that is, it doesn't necessarily serve the public good). Economic growth that comes from an unhealthy addiction (to insecure mortgages or to foreign labor) is not sustainable. And lots of innocent people get hurt when the addiction gets out of control.
(2) It's a whole lot less painful to act when a problem is festering than after it becomes a full-blown crisis. That brings me quickly to a favorite hobby horse and that horse is the SAVE Act.
Our immigration system is not a full-blown crisis nationwide (although it is in many locales). But it could easily become one in the not-too-distant future. Some day, no matter what, this nation will have to take away the jobs magnet from illegal immigration. Even Sen. Menendez will agree that is true. So, why not start now with a phased in, moderate program of workplace verification as represented by H.R. 4088 of Rep. Shuler (D-N.C.)?
Just as our financial industry -- and economy in general -- became addicted to the overinflated housing industry and needed some air to be released from that bubble gradually over time before it exploded over all of us, we need to start weaning our economy from its addiction to illegal foreign labor.
But Speaker of the House Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid absolutely refused to let Shuler's bill come up for a vote, even though it surely would have passed by large majorities -- far more support than the bail-out bill they rushed to the floor Monday.
WHAT WAS ROLE OF MORTGAGES TO ILLEGAL ALIENS?
Don9868 of Indiana responded to my first short posting before midnight with this:
"I have suggested to my Senators and Representative that they need to look into how much of the housing failure and resulting financial problems were due to homes being sold to illegal aliens. "I think the american taxpayer and voters deserve nothing less than a factual accounting of these figures. All this needs to be made public and those that provided false documents to illegals and trumped up financial figures so these loans would be made held accountable. My elected members of congress need to know and be continually reminded that it is by their non-action on illegal and too high legal immigration that has caused a big part of this problem.Sadly they either don't learn or care by refusing to pass a clean e-verify or the SAVE act. Did any of Representative Tancredo's request make it into any of this legislation? He will be sadly missed. "
The aggressive efforts by banks and even federal institutions to give mortgages to illegal aliens is exemplary of the recklessness in the financial industry that led to this mess. Many of you pleaded with your own banks to stop risking money on illegal laiens, especially when they were given mortgages with no money down. Others of you have led lonely fights to stop your banks from giving large donations to the National Council of La Raza, helping it to fight for more and more illegal immigration.
Tom Tancredo has asked that there be guarantees that none of the bailout money be used to help people who are in this country illegally. I've heard no response (see our news story).
MYSTERY OF HISPANIC & IMMIGRATION REFORM CAUCUS CONVERGENCE
I honestly can't figure out a storyline to explain this yet.
When the votes for the Bail-Out had been tallied in the House Monday, 52.6% of the Members had voted NO.
But the opposition was much higher among these two large blocks of Members:
- 63% NO in the Hispanic Caucus (12 of 19, all Democrats)
- 80.4% NO in the Immigration Reform Caucus (90 of 112, mostly Republicans)
Both groups voted against their Party leadership. Both voted significantly differently from the rest of their Party.
I have a feeling the reason for the NO votes was quite different in each group. What do you think was going on?
Updated: Wed, Oct 15th 2008 @ 10:42am EDT