Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another compassionate conservative

-- by Dave

I'd really like all those nativists and border watchers who claim that their activism is only about illegal immigration to explain this:
Disparaging remarks aimed at migrant workers got resident House rabble-rouser Douglas Bruce banned from speaking on a temporary-worker bill today.

"We don't need 5,000 more illiterate peasants in the state of Colorado," Bruce, R-Colorado Springs, told the chamber to an audible gasp.

Rep. Kathleen Curry, leading the House at the time, immediately barred Bruce from speaking at the podium, an uncommon maneuver.

"How dare you?" she asked Bruce, before House members moved back to discussion of a bill aimed at helping seasonal farm workers from other countries enter the state legally on a temporary basis.

The pilot program, which sets up liaisons in Mexico to assist foreign workers, would allow up to 5,000 laborers into Colorado
over five years.

The next day, Bruce was unrepentant, even going so far as to explain that he brought it up because he wanted to raise the issue of, yep, illegal immigration:
Bruce stood by his statement afterward, saying his colleagues are "offended by the truth" and contending the term was technically accurate. He said
he'd been planning the bill-related speech — at least two pages, single-spaced — for about a week.

"I was trying to make illegal immigration an issue for the House," Bruce said. "They just don't want anybody to disagree with a bill that they like."

The legislation in question, of course, was all about bringing in legal immigrants. Not that the nativists actually make that distinction.

[HT to Sam Smith at Scholars and Rogues.]

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