Global Views
   Middle East & Africa
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 English Teaching
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
Porf. Maceri's column
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Pete Wilson II?
Special Contribution
By Domenico Maceri
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

When California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that the US should "close the border" with Mexico in a speech before the Newspaper Association of America, he soon apologized saying he meant "securing the border." Schwarzenegger blamed his faulty English and joked that he needs to go back to school.

It was difficult to apologize when he praised the Minutemen Project, an armed citizen group, for doing a "terrific job" in stopping illegal immigrants from Mexico. This is a group that President George W. Bush called vigilantes.

Both statements reveal Schwarzenegger's true feelings about illegal immigration and at the same time his political desperation.

Soon after becoming governor of California, Schwarzenegger pressured the state's legislature to repeal a law that would have allowed undocumented workers to obtain driver's licenses.

He was able to convince legislators he would support a new law that would do the same thing. That law never became a reality in part because Schwarzenegger wanted undocumented residents of the state to have licenses which would essentially identify them as illegal immigrants.

Unable to attack California's unions and restructure the government according to the wishes of big business, for which he is a stand-in, Schwarzenegger is now using Pete Wilson's tactics of attacking the most vulnerable people in California to improve his political future.

Ex-California Gov. Pete Wilson
Wilson, as is well known, was a key adviser to Schwarzenegger when the Austrian body-builder-cum actor ran for governor. Wilson has a great deal of experience in attacking undocumented workers.

Many Californians still remember his offensive commercials in which he accused Mexicans of "invading" California. Wilson used the illegal immigration issue to his political advantage and eventually got reelected.

The prejudice against undocumented immigrants is strong among Americans and Schwarzenegger is using this bigotry to show that he is a true conservative — even more conservative than George W. Bush who disapproves of the Minutemen Project.

The reaction from the Minutemen Project to Schwarzenegger's words has predictably been enthusiastic.

Grey Deacon, the administrator of the Minutemen Project, praised Schwarzenegger, calling him "the most responsible governor in the west."

The Minutemen Project plans to extend its operation to California in June and expects to have the support of the governor.

It may be that Schwarzenegger not simply does not understand the English language as he stated, but he also does not understand the law he vowed to uphold.

When the president of the United States and the Border Patrol say that the Minutemen may not have the legal right to patrol the border, you would think that a governor would pay heed.

However, supporting the armed citizen group in their patrol of the California-Mexico border could backfire. If deaths occur during the patrol of the Minutemen Project, Schwarzenegger could be considered responsible for encouraging them.

Whatever happens, there is little doubt that Schwarzenegger's diminishing political fortunes may have pushed him to direct attention away from California's substantive issues.

His approval rating is around 40 percent. California's state budget is still a disaster. Unable to cut spending or increase taxes, Schwarzenegger convinced Californians to approve a bond, which means our kids and grandkids will pay the bills.

With his political agenda stalled because of Democratic opposition and little Republican support, Schwarzenegger may have found a winning issue in attacking undocumented workers.

As an immigrant himself, Schwarzenegger says he understands immigration issues. Indeed, he has stated that he is a "champion" of immigrants.

But what Schwarzenegger understands best is politics. Politically, becoming an advocate of "closing" the border with Mexico is a winning issue. Morally, it's as bankrupt as you can get.

Related Articles
    Julián Castro's Monolingualism: a ...
    Biden's Immigration Plan: Between Trump and ...
    Legal and Illegal Immigration: A Winning Hand ...
    World Cup: Beyond the Soccer Field
    John Kelly's Fails English and History
    Trump's Tiny Heart and DACA's Repeal
    Yesterday's Immigrants: Better Than Today's?
    Trump's Alternative Reality on Immigration: a ...
    Kaine's Español: Not Just Empty ...
    Immigration: The Supreme Court Hands GOP a ...
    Trump's Tax Returns: Our Business?
    Trump's Wall is Full of Holes
    Angry Latino Voters Will Deny Trump the ...
    Bilingualism and US Presidents
    Cruz: A "Canadian" for the US Presidency?
    Spanish in the US: Just an Immigrant Language?
    US Border Enforcement Bil Too Tough, Unwise
    Freedom of Speech in English Only?
    The GOP: No Guest Worker Program?
    Tancredo: the Ugly Face of the GOP?
    Rights for Illegal immigrants?
    Healthcare for All?
    No English, No Service?
    When Language Knowledge Means Security
    Enough Undocumented Workers?
    Bilingual Principals?
    Domestic Workers: Family Members?
    Mexico in US
    Tongue-Tied Bush?
    Is Immigration a Local Affair?
    Voting Rights in Español
    Profiting from Illegal Immigration?
    Job Safety for All?
    When English Only Discriminates
    Border Control with Songs?
    Guilty Parents, Innocent Children?
    Only One Language for America?
    George Bush: Already Lame Duck?
    A Comprehensive Immigration Bill That Works
    Language as Integration
    Driving in English Only?
    Illegal Workers Saving Social Security?
    Learning Languages the Easy Way?
    English-Only Laws: Why?
    Language Fluency Means Security
    Stingy Government But Generous People

Other Articles by Domenico Maceri
    Julián Castro's Monolingualism: a ...
    Biden's Immigration Plan: Between Trump and ...
    Legal and Illegal Immigration: A Winning ...
    World Cup: Beyond the Soccer Field
    John Kelly's Fails English and History

Domenico Maceri, Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara, teaches foreign languages at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA. His articles have appeared in many newspapers including Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Japan Times, and The Seoul Times. Some of his stories won awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications.





  Other Articles by Domenico Maceri
    Immigration: Roberts' Emotion about DACA ...
    Julián Castro's Monolingualism: a ...
    Biden's Immigration Plan: Between Trump and ...
    Legal and Illegal Immigration: A Winning ...
    World Cup: Beyond the Soccer Field

The Seoul Times, Shinheung-ro 36ga-gil 24-4, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188 Publisher & Editor: Joseph Joh
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange