1/15/2006

Fighting Immigration

To J.D. Hayworth, conservative Republican congressman from Scottsdale, Americans are acting like "a bunch of defeatist wimps," unwilling to stand up for the country's culture, its borders, its security and its own laws.

But in Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and the War on Terror, a new book authored by Hayworth and his chief of staff, Joe Eule, the 47-year-old lawmaker declares that he won't be among those "cowed into inaction" by "namby-pamby" editorial writers or even presidential adviser Karl Rove.

In fewer than 200 pages, Hayworth levels a full-scale attack on illegal immigration that he seems confident will draw wide attention.

Predicting that he will be pilloried by "the media elite" for what he has written, Hayworth takes on President Bush's plan to establish a limited guest-worker program, as well as the left, the right, the country of Mexico and political correctness.

Hayworth's own prescription for a more-secure United States calls for such things as putting active-duty troops on the border to help stop illegal crossings and, "as a last resort," building a border security fence from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

"Sympathizers of illegal immigration," Hayworth says, may argue that it is unfeasible to seal the border. But the $4 billion to $8 billion cost of such a security fence would be "a bargain when considering what illegal immigration is costing the country" in health care and education, higher crime, and perhaps even the eventual balkanization of parts of the country, he writes.

Hayworth challenges Bush

The underlying message in the book from conservative publisher Regnery ($27.95; publication date Jan. 16) is that Americans have at least one brave, bold voice from what he calls the gateway of an illegal invasion that is not afraid to tell it like it is.

"I consider this book a wake-up call," Hayworth said in an interview Wednesday.

Hayworth writes that Bush has been giving the United States the verbal equivalent of a sedative whenever he talks about illegal immigration.

"President George Bush's leadership in the War on Terror has been bold and inspiring. But when it comes to illegal immigration, he has been uncharacteristically and disturbingly vague and indecisive," Hayworth writes.

"Instead of the moral clarity we've come to expect, we get such politically correct buzz phrases as, 'If an American employer is offering a job that American citizens are not willing to take, we ought to welcome into our country a person who will fill that job.' That's not policy - it's a verbal tranquilizer meant to soothe the nerves of Americans who have had it with rampant lawbreaking on our border."

Hayworth also recalls a remark from Rove after the congressman suggested to Bush about a year ago during a GOP retreat in West Virginia that it would be a mistake to hand Congress an agreement with Mexico coordinating the two countries' Social Security systems.

"The president thanked me for being candid and said he would consider my views. But Rove became somewhat exasperated and spluttered, 'You just don't want to help Brown people, do you?' "

"Was this the president's right-hand man, or had I stumbled into the Twilight Zone?" Hayworth writes. "One thing is certain: we don't need Republicans playing the race card when there are so many liberals who are so good at it."

And therein lies a main theme of Hayworth's book: He says that much of what this nation has done with regard to border security and illegal immigration, or has failed to do, is driven by "rampant political correctness and multicultural sensibilities."

And although Sen. John McCain, a fellow Arizona Republican, and Arizona GOP Reps. Jim Kolbe and Jeff Flake are expected to be among those pushing hard for an expanded guest-worker plan for foreign workers when Congress reconvenes, Hayworth will be among those opposed to it, Hayworth writes.

Such a program, among other things, would give millions of undocumented workers already in the country the ability to apply for temporary guest-worker status and eventually citizenship after paying fines.

Rewarding illegal behavior

Hayworth acknowledges that he once did support the idea of a temporary-worker program. But he says he has since determined it would do nothing but reward illegal behavior and encourage more illegal immigration.

The former sportscaster likens such a program to someone getting caught sneaking into the Super Bowl, only to be allowed to stay and watch the game if he pays a small fine.

He also scoffs at those who warn of the economic repercussions of plugging this source of willing, low-wage labor, and includes some of his fellow Arizona Republicans in Congress as among what he calls these "lettuce liberals."

"At a meeting in the Capitol with several members of the Arizona congressional delegation and Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, one of my guts-up conservative colleagues made the case for a guest-worker program. Without it, he asked, 'What's going to happen to the price of lettuce?' " Hayworth writes.

But Hayworth says national security should not be lost at a cost of appeasing businesses that want cheap labor.

"Al Qaeda is looking to ship a nuke across our southern border and we're supposed to wring our hands over the price of lettuce? Not this congressman," he writes.

A White House official said Wednesday that Rove recalls the conversation recounted by Hayworth but that the quote as published is inaccurate. Rove was simply trying to encourage Hayworth to be sensitive to all citizens, the official said.

On Wednesday, Hayworth stood by the quote. He also said that he does not know if book sales ultimately will turn a profit but said he hopes so. He said that he already has received word that House ethics rules permit him to keep the money.

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