President Obama is facing two situations that could badly damage his administration: the oil spill disaster in the Gulf and the illegal alien controversy in Arizona.
Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of pro-illegal alien demonstrators gathered across the country. Most of the protests were peaceful, but there was some violence. The worst was in Santa Cruz, California, where at least 18 businesses were damaged.
Apparently, the far left is using the new alien law in Arizona to vent its anger, but what is the truth behind the law that allows local and state authorities to investigate immigration status?
Governor Jan Brewer has ordered Arizona police not to question anyone unless the cops are already involved with the person. That is, investigating a violation. If police cannot prove their questioning is lawful, they can be sued.
All foreigners in the United States are required by law to carry identification, but the Arizona police cannot question them simply because of that. There has to be another reason.
Nevertheless, the far-left media in America has defined the law in Nazi terms:
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JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": We're going to judge you on how you look. We are going to throw you in jail. And also, they're going to throw these people in jail for six months?
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I think it's a result of a bunch of bigots in the Republican Party of Arizona. That's what it's the result of. And it's sad that they're behaving that way and it makes the rest of us look bad as Americans.
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Nonsense. But that kind of propaganda is spreading quickly, and some folks believe it.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You cannot discriminate against people and pull them over because they look illegal. How do we know who's illegal?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People with my tint of skin, they are going to be subject to criminalization just because of that. All because of personal appearance. And that's not right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By targeting people of color in general, it's a racist piece of legislation that should not exist.
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There is no question that Hispanics in Arizona will be affected by the new law, and that makes many people uneasy. Understandable. Whenever one group is a target of anything, there will be controversy. But with more than 10 million illegal aliens currently in the USA — most of them Hispanic — there is no way to avoid the ethnic issue.
Arizona had to do something. In the capital city Phoenix, crime is totally out of control. For example, last year New York City — with six times as many residents as Phoenix — had just 16,000 more reported crimes. San Diego is the same size as Phoenix. It has 60 percent less crime. The recent murder of an Arizona rancher by a suspected illegal alien and the shooting of a deputy sheriff by alleged alien drug dealers have made the situation almost desperate.
Arizona has almost a half million illegal aliens on the ground, costing the state about $1.3 billion a year — money Arizona does not have. So a reasonable person can understand why the state instituted the crackdown.
But the liberal press is having none of that. Led by some Washington Post columnists and NBC News, cries of racism fill the air. Post writer Eugene Robinson calls the new law "racist, arbitrary, oppressive, mean-spirited, unjust." Post writer Richard Cohen says: "One thing is certain: Some cops will abuse their power — such is human nature — and the Hispanic minority will come to see the police as oppressors."
But the majority of Arizonans support the law and that includes a number of Hispanics who understand the situation must be controlled.
Obviously, the federal government has not secured the border. Remember, President Bush had eight years to do that, and now President Obama has the power. But the border remains porous, and Arizona, as well as California, New Mexico and Texas, continues to suffer.
While the left-wing media exploits the issue, they offer no solutions. Also, they often equate legal immigration with illegal. Even President Obama is falling into that trap:
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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If you are a Hispanic-American in Arizona, your great-grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now suddenly, if you don't have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you're gonna be harassed. That's something that could potentially happen. That's not the right way to go.
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But what is the right way to go, Mr. President, with all due respect? Why can't you use federal power to seal the border against criminal enterprise? There is danger for the Obama administration here.
"The Factor" has been investigating just who exactly is supporting the pro-illegal alien lobby, and we have zeroed in on two main organizations, both extreme left.
America's Voice, founded by a man named Frank Sharry, is driving anti-Arizona sentiment through the mail and by petitions. America's Voice receives millions of dollars from the far-left Carnegie Corporation. On the board of Carnegie are former U.N. chief Kofi Annan and Janet Robinson, the president of The New York Times. It takes money to organize protests and boycotts, and America's Voice has money.
Also, the Center for American Progress, John Podesta's left-wing organization, is hammering Arizona in a number of ways. The point person here is Angela Kelley, and the effort is funded in part by the Ford Foundation, one of the most radical money enterprises in the world. For example, the Ford Foundation has given La Raza more than $3 million. Last year alone, Ford gave Podesta's outfit $1.3 million.
So you can see there is big time radical-left money behind the campaign to marginalize Arizona, and if President Obama gets tied in with these people, it will hurt him. Already, the Obama administration is making noise that it will not accept illegal aliens detained by Arizona. If ICE does not take them, the state will face chaos in its justice system.
Now, there is no question the USA needs a fair immigration system and tough new laws to control abuse. It is President Obama's job to get a fair new law on the books.
But if the debate over Arizona's action is any indication, the situation will become yet another polarizing exercise full of racist charges and hatred.
"Talking Points" believes America is basically a fair country, but the illegal immigration debacle is anything but fair. It's not fair to law-abiding Hispanic-Americans; it's not fair to the aliens themselves who are often exploited; it's not fair to the people of Arizona and other states who are seeing their localities veer out of control; and it's not fair to the police who, believe me, do not want to be chasing down house painters.
Enough is enough with this brutal situation. The media is flat-out dishonest in reporting it, and our political leadership is largely cowardly in solving it. We the people have to demand the federal government, not Arizona, control the dangerous border problem. And if they don't, we're going to have to throw them out with our votes.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
First of all, thanks to Laura Ingraham and Juan Williams for filling in for me last week. They are patriots, of course.
I was down in the Caribbean, underwater most of the time, scaring the fish. A couple of islands impressed me. Saba, a small Dutch island, is an interesting place. We saw lots of turtles swimming around. If you go to Saba, ask for Wayne to give you a tour of the island. He's the man.
We were based on Anguilla, a great place, nice people. And the CuisinArt Resort is top notch, so we met plenty of patriots in those places.
On the pinhead front, St. Martin is a disaster, the Dutch side especially. Chaos doesn't even come close to describing the governmental situation down there. The resorts are OK, but the authorities who run the island are largely pinheads. You'll like Anguilla better.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.