Two caveats come to mind before discussing the latest diatribe offered up by the Missoulian editorial board:
2) Does the RNC just mail its talking points to the editors?
Today's offering in the Missoulian suggests that states like Montana (you know, predominantly white states) lose representation in Congress and in the Electoral College because of the presence of illegal immigrants in states like Florida and California. The support for this claim comes from a group called the Center for Immigration Studies.
If that sounds like a reasonable, thoughtful think tank, their name has done the job. The truth is a bit less positive.
“Let’s be clear,” wrote Frank Sharry of the National Immigration Forum, “CIS was birthed by FAIR, the militant anti-immigration group. The CIS executive director moved from FAIR to CIS to head up the organization. Although now independent, the two organizations share the same basic agenda: an American version of what in Europe is called ‘zero immigration.’” According to Sharry, CIS masquerades as an objective, “squeaky clean” think tank, but CIS is “simply churning out high-sounding, low-credibility grist for the high-pitch, low-road anti-immigration forces in the United States.”
It seems hard to believe that responsible members of the media would just repeat wholesale what an agenda driven group says, doesn't it? Shouldn't it?
An article in the Wall Street Journal describes the group like this:
“CIS, FAIR, NumbersUSA, ProjectUSA—and more than a half-dozen similar groups that Republicans have become disturbingly comfortable with—were founded or funded (or both) by John Tanton. In addition to trying to stop immigration to the U.S., appropriate population control measures for Dr. Tanton and his network include promoting China’s one-child policy, sterilizing Third World women, and wider use of RU-486.”
And they favor sterilizing women in the Third World. Definitely a source oozing credibility. In the end, I don't mind that the editors at the Missoulian have an opinion that is different than mine; I just wish they would rely on argument to make it.
From that promising start, the editorial wanders off into wacky-land, asserting that the root of the problem is in the 3/5 Compromise of the Constitution. Brilliant insight again…
Finally, the editorial offers a tepid, baffling endorsement of a bill sponsored by Dennis "Porny" Rehberg that would count the number of citizens in a state, rather than the number of people. A brilliant plan, aside from the editorial's own admission that the Census Bureau cannot determine the legal status of people in the United States, and the crushing blow to social services in the states that do have large number of illegal immigrants.
To be fair, though, I'm sure that the editors of the Missoulian would not require these hard-working people to keep paying the taxes they pay.