Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What motivates F. Jim on immigration?

The San Francisco Chronicle profiles Rep. F. Jim Sensenbrenner, the suburban Wisconsin Republican who is leading the charge against illegal immigrants. It seems to ask what motivates him on this issue, but doesn't find an answer. He declined to talk to the reporter, who spent several days in his district last week. Maybe he bedevils immigrants just because he can.

Germantown, Wis. -- Sensenbrenner has become a new verb in Spanish. Not a polite one, either.

It's an odd turn for Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who for 28 years has represented the suburbs that ring Milwaukee, where most last names are German and the closest border lies north, with Canada.

The old dairy barns that still dot what is left of farmland stand as signatures of the not-far-removed immigrant forebears of the affluent suburbanites who live there today. Their curved Gothic roofs and fieldstone walls were built by peasants who fled famine and poverty in Germany, Norway, Wales and Ireland, or merely sought a better life in the rolling green dairy lands of Wisconsin. They were soon followed by Poles and Italians who worked in the factories that still turn out Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Miller beer.

Today they live in tidy villages on the shore of Lake Michigan or in the booming suburbs to the west. Some still wear Bavarian jackets to Sensenbrenner's town hall meetings, and applaud his defense of the bill he wrote that would fence out Mexicans and make felons of illegal immigrants and those who help them.

They are affluent, overwhelmingly white and deeply Republican. They are Midwestern, plain-spoken, patriotic and friendly. They invite strangers to stay for meat loaf. They are fond of rules and order. They don't like lawbreaking. They respect hard work.

They now find themselves in the unlikely position of supporting the man who has made himself the bulwark against efforts to expand legal immigration.
Read the rest.

3 Comments:

At 4:48 PM, Blogger tosa voter said...

I consider myself a moderate leaning Democrat who absolutely supports Cong. Sensenbrenner on the issue of illegal immigration and for that amoung other reasons he has earned my vote come November. The idea of losing one of the most powerful chairmanships in Wash. DC to elect what likely would be a representative with the least senority in Congress strikes me as counterproductive. You may not like F. James politics but one must respect his principled stands on the rule of law and quality representation he gives his district.

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger Xoff said...

Sensenbrenner will be giving up the chairmanship at the end of the year, just FYI. He is term-limited by House rules.

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger Troy Fullerton said...

Speaker Sensenbrenner?

 

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