Thursday, September 6, 2007

Brother vs Brother

In the Civil War, often brother fought against brother. Families were split up over the politics of the war, just as the Union was split in two.

Similarly, the debate over illegal immigration has split a family in to two opposing sides: The Lonegan family.

Mayor Steve Lonegan and his brother, Bryan, an immigration lawyer.

As the Mayor of Bogata, Steve Lonegan is very conservative and very libertarian. He ran for governor in 2005, finishing behind Doug Forrester and Brett Schundler. His group, Americans for Prosperity, is a very conservative organization that advocates “limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels.” His run for mayor in 2003 was profiled in the documentary, Anytown, USA.

Last year, Mayor Lonegan demanded that the McDonald’s in his town remove a billboard written in Spanish and then advocated making English the town's "official language".

Ironically, if Mayor Lonegan was actually a supporter of limited government and free markets on the local’ level, it would seem that he would defend the right of McDonald’s to put up a billboard in Spanish ----as a business decision made in a free market.

Also, he would not try to use his local government to control what language people may speak, read or conduct business in. Under Mr. Lonegan's philosophy, one would think, local governments should not be in the business of controlling culture.

This kind of hypocrisy is what makes that philosophy an empty headed idea.

But I digress.

The younger Lonegan brother is Bryan. He was an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of New York’s Immigration Law Unit, and works hard to expose abuses in detention and deportation cases.

Furthermore, Bryan is planning to establish an immigrant workers’ legal clinic at Seton Hall University School of Law.

Their mom, the 74-year old Mrs. Lonegan, observed, “I personally respect them both for sticking to what they believe, which may sound crazy.”

Does not sound crazy to me. Guess their holiday family gatherings are just too much fun.


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