Author Who Asked 'What's Wrong with Kansas?' Shows What's Wrong with Democrats

For those of us who tended to identify with the Democratic Party before being driven away by its capitulation to the post-national, multi-cultural, Martha's Vineyard left, Thomas Frank's latest book, Listen Liberal, is a passionate and even entertaining jeremiad about the party's failure. Published early this year, it is even more relevant after last month's jaw-dropping election.
Topics: Politics

How Sen. Sessions Helped Close an Absurd Loophole in Border Enforcement

I don't know anything about the accuracy of claims that in the 1980s Jeff Sessions, then a U.S. attorney in Alabama, "demonstrated gross racial insensitivity". But I can report on the time in 2005 when Sessions' rapid response to a newspaper story demonstrated that he was one of a handful of U.S. senators who were determined to correct flaws in the federal government's enforcement of immigration laws.

The story, which appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune, described an absurd situation that was playing out in the Rio Grande Valley. Here is the top of the story, which was published under the headline "Loophole to America: Migrants exploiting border law for non-Mexicans". It had a McAllen, Texas, dateline. It also had my byline:

Open Letter to the NY Times on Its Epic Failure in the Presidential Election

Dear New York Times:

I am writing in response to the epic failure of your coverage of the presidential election. I should make it clear at the outset that I am no Trump apologist. I voted, reluctantly, for Hillary Clinton. I write as a former immigration reporter whose respect for the Times has long been diminished by the ideological bias that pervades much of your immigration coverage and commentary.

Mexico's Castaneda: Take a Hard Line Against Trump

Former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda, a likely candidate for the Mexican presidency in 2018, is calling on his country's government to take a hard line against potential large-scale deportations of Mexicans in the administration of U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump.

"I think Mexico should draw its line," Castaneda writes in a column for El Financiero that is also published on his website. In blunt language he outlines a plan for Mexico to paralyze deportations by declaring that it will accept deportees only if the United States presents documents to prove that they are Mexicans.

In the Election Aftermath, Media Observations on the Need for a Civil Discussion of Immigration

I opposed Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, but welcomed his success in making immigration policy a centerpiece of the campaign despite efforts by leaders of both major parties to avoid it. It is good to see that this discussion has been an important theme in the aftermath of an election that may be remembered as the most stunning in American history. Here are some of the comments I have come across. Immigration is not explicitly mentioned in all of them, but I think it is part of the subtext.

Topics: Politics

Tweedledum and Tweedledee Assure Diane Rehm that Illegal Immigration Is Not a Problem for American Workers

The Diane Rehm Show, a public-affairs program carried by many public radio stations around the country, has a deserved reputation for sophistication and fair-mindedness in presenting competing points of view. But Wednesday's program, where Rehm and her guests discussed the roots of political alienation in the American working class, badly missed that mark.

Instead of an informed and lively discussion of an issue that is reverberating across the electoral landscape, the program gave a forum to an immigration-policy version of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They were conservative economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum and liberal columnist David Leonhardt of the New York Times.

IRCA's 30th Anniversary: Looking Back at October 10, 1986

Thirty years ago, on October 9, 1986, the House of Representatives passed a major immigration reform bill, putting it on course to be signed a month later by President Reagan. Today this blog begins an occasional series to take a look back at the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the political circumstances from which it emerged. Here is the top of the Washington Post's report on October 10, 1986: