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The beat goes on – and on – and on.

The echoes through Washington grow louder and longer. From the sound of it, you would think all the problems of the country would be solved if we had (are you ready?) – comprehensive immigration reform!

Sorry to be repetitive, but what does that mean?

The Republicans natter ad nauseam about the need for such and blame Romney’s loss to Obama to not getting the so-called Hispanic vote.

By the way, just exactly what is a “Hispanic”?

People don’t call themselves that. They’re Mexicans, or from whatever Central or South American country they originate.

It’s the lunatic, multi-culti, politically correct liberals in this country, ever eager to put people in their proper little category boxes, who came up with that one.

Of course, in their litany, if you’re in a particular racial or other group, you’re defined a certain way and can never change.

Just like blacks. According to the category identification, they’re all the same: black skin, slave history and will always follow the lead of self-identified “black” leaders – think Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

But it’s not always racial. Women have their own category, as do gays and all the sexuality variants. Then there are the age groups – college students, young families, the middle class, boomer retirees, elderly and, of course, the various levels of education and – never forget the religious groups, organized or not.

To make matters worse, people in categories are treated like little puppies that need to be properly trained.

Think this way. Act this way. Live this way. And, above all, vote this way.

This kind of thinking and manipulation of people for political purposes isn’t part of the traditional playbook of Republicans and certainly not of conservatives, but the Democrats have backed them into a corner.

They’re told the election was lost for not catering to those ethnic and other categories, and so desperate and lacking in courage and imagination is the party, that they believe it and are willing to sacrifice their beliefs on the gamble they might win next time.

If there ever were a time to re-evaluate party leadership, this is it.

While the headline topics are the deficit, the budget and taxes, the issue of illegal immigration is just behind the curtain and a bit below the radar. That’s where real damage is done, because no one pays enough attention.

By the way, it’s intentional.

While Washington and the GOP focus on the Dream Act and enabling green cards for college-trained aliens – as well as giving away citizenship opportunities to people brought here by their parents – the battles are being fought on other levels.

Los Angeles proposes ID cards for illegals. Wait a minute, are these the same people who refuse to have voter ID?

Illinois wants to give driver’s licenses to illegals. What kind of ID card will that be?  What will it get them?

Obama has ordered that young illegals have deferred deportation and enables them to get work permits. But Arizona refuses to grant them driver’s licenses.

So naturally, the usual gang is suing the state: the ACLU, MALDEF and the National Immigration Law Center.

Did you know that illegals under 21, who are unmarried and who are dependents of the state, can apply for special status that enables them to get a temporary work permit but a permanent visa?

There’s also a program for illegals, between 16 and 31, working in low paying jobs, never graduated from high school and who will enroll in adult education.

All that, and Santa Obama gives them a work permit.

Just in case all this red-tape is too confusing, CNS News reports that Montgomery County, Md., officials voted to spend $100,000 in public money to help illegals sign up for Obama’s giveaways.

The capitulation by elected officials has empowered organized groups of illegals to make outrageous demands.

They’re not shy. An outfit called United We Dream refuses deportation and demands total amnesty for all illegal Hispanics in this country regardless of age.

You may recall that last summer, a group of illegals marched across country openly declaring their status and shouting “no papers, no fear.” They said they wanted “equality.”

Too bad they don’t realize that they would get that “equality” if they entered this country the legal way, as the law requires.

The most regrettable part of this is that such flouting of the law is permitted by both Democrats and Republicans, and that American citizens allow elected officials to get away with supporting and encouraging lawbreakers.

It doesn’t help that many religious officials support the illegals rather than the law. They make people feel guilty.

Illegals are enabled by the media and by the entertainment industry. Just last weekend, Geraldo Rivera interviewed young people, here illegally, as to their concerns about their status.

Were they informed they were lawbreakers? No.

Were they taken into custody? No.

Does that teach a lesson that our immigration laws are toothless? Yes.

Last Friday, Republicans in the House approved a measure allowing green cards to college graduates with technology degrees. It also eliminated the diversity visa program.

As though that will make any real difference in the drain illegals place on our economy.

People who hold tech jobs are not on welfare, getting free housing, food, medical care, and putting a drain on the justice system. But those are the bulk of the millions of illegals here. Any Republican who refuses to see that and do something about it, ought to resign his office and get out of the way of those who value American citizenship.

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