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There are enormous rallies taking place across the United States today in opposition to the House GOP sponsored immigration bill (the so-called Sensenbrenner bill), which would make illegal immigration status a felony and lead to a deportion of an estimated 11 million people thought to be illegally in the United States.  I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around all of the issues involved in this, and frankly it is a huge mess. 

The thought of rounding up and deporting 11 million people is daunting and logistically impossible, considering the manpower shortage we already have in local police forces who are stretched thin by national guard deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.   On the one hand, we clearly need to have a better handle on what happens with our national borders — there are obvious security concerns about having porous borders in the wake of 9/11 and with the rising level of threats and animosity toward this country around the world.  How to best do that, though, is a process that deserves a lot more consideration than simply saying "let’s build a wall around the country and shut everyone out."  (NOTE:  And just so we are perfectly clear here, I think the Sensenbrenner bill is utter crap.)

On the other end of this are families — some of whose members are legally here, some who are not.  The compassionate side of me can sense their terror over this latest GOP proposal.  When perhaps mom is here legally, but dad and the kids are not, how terrifying would that be to consider that the family would be split up and part of it shipped back to the politically oppressive or economically gutted nation they originally fled?  A lot of these folks pay taxes, work jobs, raise their kids just like the rest of us.  And this is not just an issue that touches on hispanic families, it also touches the lives of Asians, Africans, Southeast Asians, Middle Eastern — you name it.

It’s a tough call — you don’t want to encourage lawbreaking, but at the same time I keep coming back to the "lift my lamp beside the golden door…give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free."  There’s a lot of news coverage on this today, including here from the WaPo, here in the NYTimes, DMIBlog, Crooks and Liars and New America Media, just for starters.  C-Span will have live coverage of the DC rally beginning at 4:00 pm ET.

If these poll numbers keep dropping, Holden’s going to have to buy himself a whole new pasture.  The WaPo/ABC news poll drops Bush to 38% approval — down 3 points.

Jack Abramoff may not be the only person in his family under scrutiny.  And the "Wives Club" looks like it might have a bit of a spotlight going through it as well.

Berlusconi?  Outta there.  (UPDATEOr maybe not.  2004 flashbacks, anyone?  h/t to Minnesotachuck on this find.)

Early voting starts today in the New Orleans primary and other elections in the battered region.  Keep your chins up, folks, we are thinking about you all.

For some well done snark, might I suggest Sebastian Mallaby?  It won’t cheer up your day, but it will be amusing as it depresses you about the state of the nation.  So I suppose that is something…

This NYTimes Magazine article on El Salvador’s antiabortion laws is a must read. 

…and this is not good news for the long-term health of the Army.

Via Atrios, this is just painful to watch.  Why oh why….oh, never mind. 

Plus, Georgia10 has started a "failures thread" for the Bush Presidency and the GOP.  Feel free to wander over and add your list to the growing pile.

UPDATE:  Reader Margot also points to this piece by William Arkin on the Iran issue.  Good reading, and some serious things to think about in the context of the Hersh article and other questions that have been raised over the weekend.

UPDATE #2:  Mwahaha.  Tom DeLay’s suckers donors want their money back now.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com