Ellen Evolving? Ratner's Tough Talk on Immigration
You can thus imagine my surprise when, on this morning's 'Long & the Short of It' segment on Fox & Friends Weekend, Ratner offered up some tough talk on immigration. Ratner's remarks were simpatico with the take of Jim Pinkerton, the Newsday and Tech Central columnist who represents the conservative side of the equation.
An aside: Pinkerton is one of the rare conservative commentators willing to roll up his sleeves on government reform. Have a look at his recent TCS column regarding a radical cabinet re-organization proposal by former GOP congressman Bob Walker that would shrink the number of cabinet departments from fifteen down to five.
But back to Ellen's surprising stance on immigration. Here was was her opening salvo:
"Here you have an administration claiming law and order and of course they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar as they are bending to Mexican-Americans and business interests of the United States. And [now they are saying] we are going to get tough on the border. It will be a bunch of PowerPoint presentations about how many arrests they made. A lot of catches and releases and ultimately nothing will change."
Check the tape! Was that Ellen Ratner or Tom Tancredo? Pinkerton had a topical take on the surprising consensus: "it sounds like April Fool's when both Ellen and I are agreeing on this, but I think we're both saying the same thing."
The sharpest disagreement occured when host Julian Phillips offered up the conventional wisdom, citing NYC Mayor Bloomberg to the effect that it is "absolutely ridiculous" to believe we can deport 11-12 million illegal immigrants.
Pinkerton gave a refreshingly simple reply: "I think actually you could if you wanted to. So there's your answer."
I would argue that deporting illegal immigrants is much more feasible than the elaborate process the amnesty crowd proposes. Under the amnesty plan, the same 11-12 million illegals would have to be identified and located. They would have to be tested to determine if they had attained English proficiency, monitored for over a decade to see that they sought and maintained jobs, paid their fines, etc. If we can do all that, why couldn't we put the same people on buses to the border or planes to overseas locations?
Full disclosure: at Ratner's invitation I attended the Radio & TV Correspondent's Dinner in DC this past week. For those who might be concerned that this might cause me to drift to port, if anything the apparent upshoot is that Ellen . . . has tilted to starboard!
Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle'. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org