Bachmann on Immigration

Bachmann on Immigration October 21, 2011

Michele Bachmann offered this brilliant solution to the immigration problem recently:

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota vowed to make English the government’s official language, to build a “secure double fence” and to eliminate “taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens.”

Reminds me of a campaign event I attended in 2010 for all the Republican candidates for Secretary of State in Michigan. One woman stood up and asked the candidates if they could pass a law making English the official language of the state. State Sen. Cameron Brown stood up to answer it and the very first sentence was, “Well clearly English is the lingua franca of America.” I nearly choked on the drink of water I was just then taking and had to struggle not to do a spit take all over the next table. I looked around the room and couldn’t detect a single person reacting to it. Not one person noticed the irony.

After the event I went up to Sen. Brown and said, “Interesting answer to the English only question, Senator. It had a certain je ne sais quoi about it.” He said, “Thank you.” It went right over his head. Totally oblivious.

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  • ewanmacdonald

    Double secret fence!

  • Reverend PJ

    Curse you for making me question my decision to stay in Michigan. 🙂

  • Aliasalpha

    So cain wants an electric fence, bachmann wants a double fence, romney will want a double electric fence and I guess perry will go for a ‘fence times infinity squared and electrified with a squillion volts so there nyah’

  • abb3w

    "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." – James Nicol

  • Aquaria

    Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota vowed to make English the government’s official language, to build a “secure double fence” and to eliminate “taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens.”

    I have news for you Michele: Most of the illegal aliens speak better English than you do. At least they actually try to make sense.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    What irony is that? That people who use words or phrases borrowed from a foreign language (which we all do, by the way: over half the English vocabulary is from foreign sources, mostly French and Latin) persist in discerning a difference between speaking in English and speaking in a foreign language?

    A thought experiment: imagine yourself plunked down in the middle of 17th-century Rome. Does the fact that you know the phrase “lingua franca” mean that you can have a conversation with the next person you meet? Or, closer to home, what if you had gone up to Sen. Brown and spoken those two sentences entirely in French? Would he have reacted in the same way?

    (Disclaimer: this is not intended as an argument for making English the official language. It’s a reaction to a bad argument against making English the official language.)

  • Aquaria

    I’ve long told these fools that if they build a fence, that’s like an invitation for the druggies in this country to bomb the shit out of it. They won’t it to be bombed on a regular basis. The drug cartels and their users on this side of the border will make sure of it.

    Besides, didn’t someone do a report about the fence that was going to be built and some Mexicans finding ways through it, under it and over it within something like 10 minutes?

    So cain wants an electric fence

    I’m buying stock in a a door or car mat company if that idiot somehow gets elected. All you need to get over electric fences is some door or car mats, so their profits should go through the roof.

  • jesse

    There already is a border fence. Just take a trip to Chula Vista. or Nogales.

    It hasn’t been all that effective so far.

    If you go to the beaches near San Diego, where the border fence runs out into the freaking ocean, take a look at “Border Field State Park.” I think it was built in the 1950s, judging by the architecture.

    There’s a concession stand, a few benches, something that looks like an attempt at sculpture. It’s all run-down. The whole thing looks like it was supposed to be a nice little spot to go for a picnic in.

    But when I went there it had a fence running right in the middle of it. The concession stand was empty. The sculpture (if that’s what it was) broken. Grass grows through the concrete. All that was left was that bench.

    The whole scene is sad. They broke down a place that was supposed to be symbolic of friendship and good neighbors and turned it into something ugly and just plain mean.

  • bananacat

    If we’re gonna make English the official language, let’s have some fun with it. Let’s pick a fun version, like 16th century English, and require schools to teach kids about the correct use of thee and thou. Or we could go with British English and a put a bunch of Us in words. Even within the United States there are many dialects. We should select a representative from each geographical area and devise some awesome competition for them. Whoever wins gets to inflict their dialect on the rest of the country.

  • The Other Lance

    Whoahhh!!! Double secure fence all the way!

  • fduk

    Not sure why you laughed. “Lingua franca” is a perfectly good English phrase, as is “je ne sais quoi”.

  • John Hinkle

    vowed to make English the government’s official language

    [Illegal alien calls spouse in other country]

    I say, darling. Would you be so kind as to ensure the kiddies pay attention in English class? There’s a good dear. Kiss kiss. Cheers.

  • Ben P

    Not sure why you laughed. “Lingua franca” is a perfectly good English phrase, as is “je ne sais quoi”.

    What you mean to say is that they are perfectly good french phrases, the meaning of which is commonly known in english.

    This isn’t even a borrowed word or something that’s been anglicized, it’s a straight up foreign language idiom.

  • pHred

    @4 abb3w – you almost made me spit my lunch all over my computer. That quote is awesome!

  • matty1

    Nit pick

    Lingua Franca is actually Italian in origin, though the language itself had many strands, much like English.

  • If English becomes the government’s national language, does that mean a deaf person wouldn’t be able to get assistance if they stopped by a government agency?

    And if they want to allow an exception for sign-language, then why not make exceptions for other languages that are even more commonly known than sign-language (I think ASL is 4th IIRC)?

  • fduk

    Ben P

    That’s what English does, it steals from other languages. Linga Franca is a well know phrase and is as much a part of English as many words are. Its pretty common in English to pinch a whole phrase such as status quo, ad nausium, bona fide, a la carte, art deco, papier mache etc.

  • Chiroptera

    Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota vowed to make English the government’s official language…

    Good! I’m tired of Congress passing all those laws written in German!

    …to build a “secure double fence”…

    I’m holding out for the candidate who promises an electrified triple fence! With a moat filled with sharks and giant squidses! And patrolled by laser armed battle droids!

    …and to eliminate “taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens.”

    Like roads! And bridges! If illegal aliens are gonna leach off us honest taxpayers, I say eliminate them and show them who’s in charge!

  • ManOutOfTime

    Santorum: “Fuck it! I’m going for three fences, all electrified, and fucking an army of rabid mutant coyotes with fucking laser beams strapped to their fucking heads.”

    And, wait … Michelle Bachmann speaks English?

  • robb

    well, that double secure fence will be expensive if we have to enclose the whole perimeter of the US. i have a proposal. let’s take over Canada, move all good US citizens to the Great White North and *then* build the fence. it will only have to be about 1/3 the length cuz who is gonna sneak into the New US of A from above the arctic circle? wait, those fucken polar bears! thank god for global warming! that’ll kill off those freeloading ursine bastards!

  • Brain Hertz

    …like 16th century English, and require schools to teach kids about the correct use of thee and thou. Or we could go with British English and a put a bunch of Us in words.

    “thee” and “thy” are still in use in parts of Northern England (particularly Yorkshire), although usage is gradually dying out…

  • DaveL

    Exactly what taxpayer-funded benefits are available to illegal aliens?

  • helenaconstantine

    It seems to have been missed that lingua franca is Latin, not French.

  • davem

    All this reminds me of the Texan to whom I spoke for about an hour and a half. After which, he told me that I spoke ‘mighty fine English for a foreigner’, and asked me ‘What language do do speak in England’?

  • jakc

    So, davem, are you going to tell us what language you speak in England, or are you just going to leave us in suspense?

  • Also overlooked is that not only is “lingua franca” Latin/Italian in origin, but it means “French language” or “language of the Franks”, really. So it works on two levels.

  • How about a shark-infested moat?

    It would, at least, be humane — if you choose to try to cross, fine by me, but don’t come whining to us if you get shark-ate. Consider it a cleansing of the gene pool.

    Oh, and a bonus — a good number of idiotic Americans would likely see such a moat as a challenge and remove their idiotic selves from the gene pool.


  • @DaveL — they get food stamps and welfare benefits for their little fuck-trophies they hauled across the border. They get a free education in our taxpayer funded schools. Those are, in fact, BENEFITS.

  • dogmeat

    Im waiting for some Republican to ask: “Couldn’t we just do what Bugs Bunny did, and take a saw to the line on the earth and just cut Mexico loose?”

    Any odds?

  • DaveL

    @DaveL — they get food stamps and welfare benefits for their little fuck-trophies they hauled across the border. They get a free education in our taxpayer funded schools. Those are, in fact, BENEFITS.

    To my knowledge food stamps and welfare benefits are not available to illegal aliens. From the USDA:

    Which categories of aliens are ineligible for food stamps?

    Individuals are prohibited from receiving food stamps under any circumstances if they are:

    – lawfully residing in the United States in a non-qualified status and are not exemptfrom the immigrant restrictions (such as students or qualified aliens who have not been in status for five years); or

    undocumented immigrants (such as individuals who entered the country as temporary residents and overstayed their visas or who entered without a visa).

    “Welfare” is a much broader and inexact term, but this source from the Congressional Research Service shows that among federal public assistance programs, unauthorized aliens are eligible only for emergency services under Medicaid.

    And I might note that schools are largely funded by property taxes and state-level revenues including state sales tax. Illegal immigrants pay both, even if indirectly for the former as part of their rent.


    These immigration issues calls for a Congressional corrections, after the ‘2006 Secure Fence act’ is resurrected and built as planned. This was a double-layer fence parallel to each other, as signed into law by former president Bush. Currently waiting in the wings is Lamar Smith’s ‘Legal Workforce Act’ that disinclined GOP leaders who are wavering in bringing (H.R. 2885 bill) to the floor of the House. It’s blatantly obvious the usual suspects have been whining at these lawmakers door, from the Special Interest lobbyists. Mandating E-Verify could easily be the epitome of returning America to the “Rule of Law” for all law-abiding Americans. It could be foreseen as a series of steps, to curtail the foothold baby- citizenship financial dilemma, probably one of the highest costs to taxpayers. Illegal aliens unable to procure work, will pack up their possessions and leave.

    In a study by the (FAIR) Federation of American Immigration Reform, they have estimated that somewhere between 20 million and upwards of illegal immigrants have unlawful roots here, not the numbers offered by previous or today’s administrations. The investment firm analysts for Bear-Stearns claimed that the US illegal immigrant population, also agreed with this number of 20 million people.” This was prior to the demise of the company in 2008.

    Much of these illegal entries has attributed to the 49 Percent of poverty in the United States. Since 1963 the U.S. has spent over $11 trillion on anti-poverty programs, given out money, food, Section 8 housing, medical care, and assistance to the poor and near underprivileged. Since the immigration reforms of the 1960s, the U.S. has imported unsustainable poverty through immigration measures that were permitted and encouraged entry and the residence of millions of low-skill immigrants into the nation. Low-skill migrants and immigrants are liable to be poor, having babies who, in turn, are adding to America’s propagating poverty problem, driving up governmental benefits, public service, and education costs. We are now topping $113 billion dollars annually, as according to the Heritage Foundation.

    Under the Liberals, Democrats and GOP elitists nothing will ever be done, against the increasing numbers of foreign nationals coming here. The subsidizing costs are reaching astronomical unprecedented dollars, especially if President Obama passes Amnesty; if the voters offer him a second four year term a reform package would devastate any chance of climbing out this deepening recession. A 2.6 Trillion price tag as analyzed by the Heritage Foundation.

    Get in touch with Members of the Ways & Means Committee to phone or fax for free at NumbersUSA. You can also contact all these lawmakers through their Internet websites. But you insist on the Legal Workforce Act today and start putting Americans back to a job, taken by foreign nationals.

    Bombard Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) ((202-225-0600); House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (202-225-2815); House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (202) 225-2915); House Chairman of Ways & Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI) (202-225-3561).

    NEBRASKA, Rep. Berg, Rick (GOP) (202-225-2611) ; NEBRASKA, Rep. Smith, Adrian (GOP) (202-225-6435); LOUISIANA, Rep. Boustany, Charles (GOP) (202-225-2031); (202-225-2031); KENTUCKY, Rep. Davis, Geoff (GOP) (202-225-3465); PENNSYLVANIA, Rep. Gerlach, Jim (GOP)(202-225-4315); KANSAS, Rep. Jenkins, Lynn (GOP)(202-225-6601); MINNESOTA, Rep. Paulsen, Erik (GOP)(202-225-2871); WASHINGTON, Rep. Reichert, Dave (GOP) (202-225-7761); WISCONSIN, Rep. Ryan, Paul (GOP) (202-225-3031) Tell these unwilling lawmakers that you are a voter and that they will be hearing from you in 2012.

    If you want to free fax, go to NumbersUSA or please call Washington at 202-224-3121 and ask for your U.S. Senator or Representative’s office to urge action on mandatory E-Verify.

    First on the lists, a Bracero type program, to allow workers to be admitted for farm employment and agriculture legally, who can then—BE TRACKED–if they abscond from the jobs allocated to them? Between 1942 and 1964, some 4.6 million Mexicans were admitted to do farm work and despite protests from US farm labor advocacy groups there was no lack of labor, only a shortage of respectable living wages and decent working conditions. By paying a fair wage, but their conditions must include health care, schooling for their kids—not placed as a financial burden on taxpayers as it mostly is today. The Bracero project should be resurrected as with the 2006 Secure Fence Act with two fences–instead of the half–completed one fence we have now and decked with nasty concertina razor wire.

    Give a priority to highly skilled workers, with proven credentials of exceptional experiences and offer preferences to entrepreneurs, and wealthy businessman and women who can contribute to American society. Stop the travesty of the million legal immigrants a year, who are being covertly brought here by corporate owners through Department of Labor immigration loopholes. Through financial necessity we must reduce and stop illegal immigration at the porous borders, using one way flight tickets and using every tool available to seek out those already here. IF SOVEREIGNTY MINDED, PATRIOTIC AMERICANS WANT THERE COUNTRY BACK, AND THEN JOIN THE TENS OF MILLIONS OF MEMBERS OF THE TEA PARTY BRANCHES THROUGHOUT OUR NATION. THE TEA PARTY IS AN OPEN, FORUM FOR EVERY CITIZEN AND LEGAL RESIDENT, NO MATTER A PERSON RACE OR SPIRITUAL STANDING.

    Certainly in 2012 we must safe-guard our elections, as illegal aliens do vote and as it’s been predominately shown before.

  • DaveL


    Thank you for your cut-and-paste propaganda full of unsubstantiated claims. You may now go off in search of a new immigration-related article to spam.

  • bananacat

    I’m pretty WMDKitty was being sarcastic.

  • Michael Heath

    bananacat writes:

    I’m pretty WMDKitty was being sarcastic.

    I asked her that after her first provocative post where she continued to defend her position though without requested cites.

  • Chris from Europe


    It’s ad nauseam.

    Re “Illegals”

    I think it has discussed pretty often that so-called illegals actually contribute more to the US economy than they get. They actually pay various taxes, as has already been pointed out. To give them and their children such benefits is also only reasonable, as it benefits US society in the end.

    I guess the reason for these opinions is that they are seen as illegitimate competition for workers. This could be eliminated by giving them the same rights as everyone else and forcing employers to treat them equally.

    WMDKitty should notice that she is to the right of George H W Bush and Reagan on this issue. And Bush was right: It’s crazy to label human beings as “illegals”.

    Undocumented immigration should be decriminalized. You could still deport them without reason (if you’re a jerk).


    Unfortunately WMDKitty behaves like a dumb nativist, if this topic is brought up. I doubt that it’s sarcasm, but simply hate.