Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Helping out the AG

Andrew Sullivan points out the irony of Alberto Gonzales not knowing whether his grandparents came to Mexico legally or illegally:
GONZALES: Well, three of my grandparents were born in Mexico. They came to Texas. My parents — both my parents were born in Texas extremely poor. My mother…

BLITZER: When they came to Texas, were they legally documented, were they un-legally documented?

GONZALES: You know what? It’s unclear. It’s unclear... And I’ve looked at this issue, I’ve talked to my parents about it and it’s just not clear.

Huh. For a lawyer, Gonzales is somewhat unclear on the law (and I'm not referring to the torture memos or any of the other arguably tortured readings of the law he's provided as fig leafs for administration actions). He didn't need to go to his parents, he just needed to go to the law itself.

Well, let me help Alberto, Andrew, Wolf, and anyone else who's curious out. Simply by looking at Alberto's biography, we can determine that his parents, who were born in the United States, were born sometime before 1955, since Alberto himself was born in 1955. That means that Alberto's grandparents immigrated to the United States sometime before 1955. And consulting the law, we can see that the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965
"plac[ed] a ceiling on Western Hemisphere immigration (120,000) for the first time."

In other words, since Gonzales's grandparents definitely came to the United States before 1965, by definition they came here legally, since prior to that year there were no restrictions on migration from south of the border.

Glad I could help clear up your family history, Alberto.

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