RWN’s First Mention On The Rush Limbaugh Show
Folks, today was the greatest day of my entire political blogging career so far. I’ve been mentioned in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time. I’ve been on the air with Tammy Bruce. I’ve interviewed Senators, Congressmen, and some of the biggest names in conservatism. I’ve had really big traffic days. But, today, to the best of my knowledge, was the first time RWN has ever been mentioned on the Rush Limbaugh show.
This is a big deal to me and not just because Rush is such a popular talk show host or the most important figure in the conservative movement over the last 25 years other than Reagan. I first listened to Rush during my college years, when I was essentially apolitical, but looking to learn more about politics. And it was Rush Limbaugh, as much as anyone, who was responsible for why I became a conservative. Furthermore, it was his example that helped inspire me to create a political blog in the first place. If Rush Limbaugh had never been born, Right Wing News probably wouldn’t exist.
So, it was very sweet indeed to be in the car, listening, when Rush mentioned the Answering 13 Frequently Asked Questions About Illegal Immigration post, that I made earlier this week, on the air today. It’s even sweeter that the transcript made it onto his website tonight.
Here’s are the relevant portions (You can also listen to this at the link above):
I’ll tell you, I’ve printed a story today from a blog. As soon as it loads I’m going to print it out to you. I learned some things. By the way, Mansoor, I want you to keep your radio and listen to this. It’s called “Thirteen Frequently Asked Questions About Illegal Immigration,” and in answering one of the 13 questions, the people that put this together provided information that I didn’t know, and it will… I don’t know. Some of you may know it. If you don’t, it will shock you. The website, is having trouble loading up there, but give it time (Hawkins Note: My host was having technical problems. That’s why it was so slow to load).
Well, let me see if I can remember it. It’s something like this. One example involved the meat packing business in Nebraska, and I forget the other one. The meat packing business in Nebraska, what was happening was that INS agents were tracking down illegals. They had a system. They developed a system to find all of the illegal immigrants that were being hired in the meat packing industry in Nebraska. They did sweeps every two or three months, and after two or three of these sweeps they had identified and found 4,000 illegal immigrants, and they forced the meat packing companies in Nebraska to fire them.
The execs at the meat packing industry, various companies, called their congressman, and the congressman called the INS, and the INS commissioner was told to resign and to go quietly, which he did — and basically INS has been told by members of Congress to stand down and not enforce the law. A law that Congress passed, oftentimes members of Congress, members of the Senate are calling the INS on behalf of constituents and saying, “Don’t enforce this law.” There are a couple other examples of this, too. I’m having trouble having that website print out.
…All right, that web page finally loaded, and I was able to print the relevant passage. The web page is a blog called Right Wing News, and it’s 13 frequently asked questions about illegal immigration. It’s question three: So, if the American people oppose illegal immigration, why does Congress seem so reluctant to do anything about it? Let me cut to the relevant paragraph provided by Mark Krikorian, who is a blogger.
“In ’98, the border patrol noticed that the work force picking onions in the vidalia onion fields of Georgia appeared increasingly to be illegals, so they did some raids, arrested a few dozen illegal aliens, and all the rest of them ran off. So the farmers were there stuck with onions in the ground and no one to pull them out. It was all their own fault, they knew what they were doing, but nonetheless, they were outraged. They called their Congressmen, and by the end of the week, three of Georgia’s Congressmen and both Senators, Republicans and Democrats, wrote a joint letter to the Attorney General demanding that the Immigration Service stop enforcing the law,” this is 1998; it was called the INS then, “‘because they said the INS does not understand the needs of American farmers.”
You can’t just go north and run these people off that farm! You’re going to have onions that aren’t picked! That “in ordinary English means, ‘let them pick the onions, then arrest them. Preferably before we have to pay them.” Well, the INS got slapped down and stopped,” any law enforcement. “So what they tried as an alternative to raids [the INS] was something called Operation Vanguard in Nebraska. It was sort of the first effort at something like this to see if it worked. They didn’t do raids anywhere, all they did was subpoena personnel records. And they didn’t just pick one or two employers, they did all the meatpacking plants in all of Nebraska, so that no one of them would be inconvenienced while the others benefitted [sic].
“They took the personnel records back to the office, checked the Social Security numbers, and came back with a list of people who seemed to be illegal, who did not have authorization to work. They said ‘we know some of these people are legit and the records are wrong. We want to fix those people’s records and the ones that are illegal, have to leave…. They came back with four thousand names. One thousand people showed up and got their records fixed and three thousand were never heard from again. They were illegal aliens. It worked really well and it was intended to be repeated every two to three months so as to wean the whole industry off of the use of illegal aliens.”
“After one effort like this, the political and business elite in Nebraska went insane. The ranchers and the meat packers teamed up with the governor. The governor’s predecessor, now Senator Nelson, was hired as a lobbyist to put an end to this initiative. Senator Chuck Hagel made it essentially his mission in life to see that this was never repeated and it wasn’t. And the Senior INS official who thought it up in the first place was invited to retire early — and he did. If you’re a bureaucrat and you have kids in college, you’re going to take the hint: Congress doesn’t want you to enforce the law. So the Immigration Service essentially gave up enforcing the immigration laws inside the country,” back in the late 90s.
“They focused on the important, but narrow, issues of criminal aliens and smugglers. I’m all for tha…but there’s a lot more to the issue than just that.” But if you’re just “going after those parts of the issue doesn’t get you in trouble politically…” So basically, Mansoor, the reason I wanted to tell you this is because your idea was to give businesses one year amnesty to get their houses in order? If that ever happened… Based on this, it won’t. If it ever happened, if that proposal ever gets made (scoffs), can you imagine the phone calls that are going to be made to Washington, DC, and the results that are going to be demanded?
So you wonder why the laws aren’t being enforced? It’s because members of Congress have seen to it themselves. Now in both of these cases, members of Congress are responding to their constituents, the farmers in Georgia and the meat packing industry in Nebraska. In these two instances I don’t think it has anything to do with propping up illegals. These are contributors; these are donors; these are voters, and that’s where the concern was. The most amazing thing is that you send the message to the INS: Look, you’re going to get in trouble. You’re going to be asked to retire early. You get the message real quick. If you got kids, you got a family to support, you want to keep the job, you only investigate the smugglers, the dope smugglers, the people smugglers and this sort of thing but you don’t go after businesses who have already hired the illegals.
I’m almost certain Rush isn’t a regular reader, so he’ll never see this, but thanks! Not just for the mention, but for everything! This country is a better place because of Rush Limbaugh and it’s truly an honor to have been mentioned on his program.