To Jay Leno: Happy Trails and Thank You

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

February 3, 2014

Jay Leno, you will be missedI’ll miss Jay Leno. After Leno’s last show airs on February 6, his replacement Jimmy Fallon is unlikely to get off as many zingers about the nation’s out-of-control immigration policies. Leno’s quips occasionally included an aside on how over-immigration contributes to U.S. population growth.

Federal immigration law and the lack of its enforcement often provided Leno with good comic fodder. From my archive, four of my Leno favorites follow.

Here's a good one from 2005 when Mexico’s President Vicente Fox was urging President Bush to make immigration easier for his citizens. Leno:

According to a poll in USA Today, 40 percent of Mexicans say they would move to the U.S. if they had a chance. The other 60 percent are already here.

Fox was a frequent Leno target. Also from 2005:

President Vicente Fox visited Arizona and demanded that we make immigration easier. How? By installing moving walkways?

The Department of Homeland Security also came in for its share of verbal Leno fun-making. One evening Leno commented that many of the 9/11 terrorists entered the U.S. on legal visas but hung around for years after they expired. Leno compared that unfavorably to Blockbuster which follows up within a couple of days if renters don’t return videos.

Suggested Leno:

Let’s put Blockbuster in charge of immigration.

Leno’s idea is timelier than ever considering the open borders advocacy of newly confirmed DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Then in September 2003, I was in the audience when Leno got off one of his most prescient jokes. Referring to the Recall Gray Davis election candidates he had invited to his show, Leno said:

The people sitting in the back row are the gubernatorial candidates. All the rest of the audience is illegal aliens stopping by on their way to DMV to get their driver's licenses!

Ten years later, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that will let California’s illegal immigrants get licenses. Leno, a California resident, had a keen awareness of where the state was headed, a decade before it got there.

Every night, Leno’s audience numbered in the tens of millions. Even though Leno was kidding on the square, he must have enlightened thousands of non-border state residents about unchecked immigration and unending population growth’s ramifications.

Good luck to Leno. Here’s hoping he keeps immigration's flaws front and center when he hits the road for a four-day Florida swing that starts February 7 and during his continuing stand-up comedy career which should be long and successful.

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