June 19, 2006

Immigration Man

Hatched by Dafydd

I have been thinking a lot about the hard-line, anti-illegal-immigration crowd, especially in the House, but also in the conservative blogosphere. I start to wonder about the defensive claim that they're just opposed to lawbreaking -- not immigration itself.

Let's leave aside those who nakedly oppose immigration, calling, e.g., for a "moratorium" on new immigrants for five years or three years or any other length of time. Those bloggers and pundits are simply being honest about their dislike; and while I fervently disagree with them, I always prize honesty and clarity in political debate (it's a rare and valuable commodity).

I begin to become quite skeptical of those who say "I'm not opposed to legal immigration; but these illegals are criminals and lawbreakers, and they should not be rewarded with amnesty."

For weeks, we at Big Lizards have focused on the tail end of that statement: not only the misleading misuse of the word "amnesty," which doesn't mean what the hard-liners pretend it does, but more generally the question of what balance to strike between security, the needs of businesses for cheap and acquiescent labor, and a just resolution for those who bypassed the immigration system to come here illegally.

But all along, I have taken at face value the first part of the argument above: that the opponents of comprehensive immigration reform actually have nothing against legal immigration. Clearly, however, if I'm misinformed -- if they do have a deep-seated distrust of immigration in general, whether they recognize it or whether it is subconscious -- then there is little hope of ever crafting a compromise of any sort. As Ronald Reagan often said, you cannot rationally argue someone out of a position that he was never rationally argued into in the first place.

So forgive my brashness, for I am only an egg; but I would like to see some reasonable evidence that any of the "hard-liners" against compromise on normalization actually supports legal immigration, or has the slightest concern about the arbitrary, capricous, and often discriminatory way that completely legal immigrants (and would-be immigrants) are treated in this country -- earlier by the Immigration and Naturalization Services and today by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

We have quite a few readers here; can anyone show me even one, single post by an anti-Hagel-Martinez hardliner about the troubles faced by legal immigrants? Can I see a post where a hardliner argues that we should reform immigration law to make the system more rational, fair, and comprehensible, less time-consuming, and less likely to induce despair or even the very bypassing of the immigration laws that hardliners fear? May I please see some evidence that the anti-illegal-immigrant hardliners care much -- or at all -- about government maltreatment of legal immigrants and potential immigrants?


I believe that the vast majority of those who are anti-affirmative-action (including myself) are at least equally concerned about racist laws that hurt blacks: just as I would march against affirmative action, if any such marches were planned, I have also in the past marched against the Klan. But on the other hand, I believe that nearly everyone who is anti-Israel just uses it as cover for being antisemitic -- so these sorts of things can swing either way.

I would love to find out I was right in my original assumption, that the anti-illegal hardliners actually do care about the unnecessary tribulations cast in the paths of legal immigrants. Not only would it make rational discussion possible, but I like to think well of people I respect. But danged if I can find any evidence so far.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 19, 2006, at the time of 6:12 PM

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» Immigration Man 2: "No Reason" from Big Lizards
Yesterday, I posted a piece called Immigration Man, noting that none of those who so readily call normalization "amnesty" had yet posted -- at least that I have seen -- a blog article that recognized the hell that so many... [Read More]

Tracked on June 20, 2006 6:07 AM


The following hissed in response by: Ben Pugh

In P.J. O'Rourke's fabulous book, "All the Trouble in the World," he lambasts Clinton's change in the "immigration" treatment of Cuban escapees. Those regulations, shamefully kept by Bush 43, lead us to the silly "dry land" rule and court cases deciding whether a bridge counts as such "dry land."

P.J. argued, and I agree, that anyone who risks his or her life on a flimsy raft to escape a communist totalitarian state to come to the USA should be granted American citizenship on the spot (the "spot" being whenever, and whoever, picks them up, whether at sea or on dry land).

I personally believe that the USA's legal immigration policy should ideally include lots and lots of openings. Human capital is the most valuable asset any nation has. Even unskilled immigrants have the capacity to learn (their children certainly do). Unskilled immmigrants from countries as horrible as Cuba more likely than not come here to improve themselves and live in freedom. It is no surprise that Cubans are generally Republican and the former Warsaw Pact countries are the USA's strongest allies in Europe.

The practical reality I've got to deal with is the welfare state. It shouldn't exist, but it does, so when unskilled immigrants come to the USA I have to pay for them. In California, we've tried sensible things like denying public assistance to illegal aliens only to have the Ninth Circus strike it down as unconstitutional. So not only do we have the welfare state, we have to completely abolish it even for Americans in order to deny illegal immmigrants (or legal immigrants) welfare. Here we have the conundrum in a nutshell.

In an ideal world, I think most conservatives who fall into the rabidly anti-immmigrant side of the debate would craft an immigration policy with the following substantive aspects:

1. Lots of immigrants are allowed and encouraged, especially skilled immigrants.

2. Legal immigration should be far less burdensome, bureaucratic and lenghthy.

3. No public assistance benefits to immigrants, even legal ones, for some set period of time from their arrival (or not at all, ever).

4. Violation of our immigration laws gets you banned from immigrating legally (either forever or some set period of time, say 5 years, thereafter, with increasing lenghths of time for each violation, with a quick trigger on being banned forever).

We cannot have number 1 without number 3. Number 4 makes much less sense without number 1 (which can't happen without number 3). Number 2 should be fixed regardless of any other reforms, but I also think some of the emotion from the conservative side comes from illegal immigrants getting such a better deal than illegal ones. But the bottom line is that number 3 cannot come to pass without a massive revision of our legal culture and political will. This makes any sensible immigration policy impossible.

Let's also get to another fundamental point here - if conservatives favor lots of immmigration, like I do (the low-immigration wing is probably from the Ross Perot/Anti-NAFTA/protectionist crowd) why do we care so much that it is legal? Is it really just a respect for laws that gets under our craw? What is it about legal immigration that makes it so much better than illegal immigration if the result - a new person living in the USA - is the same?

Well, obviously security is a major benefit to legal immigration. This is the prime concern, I think, of the "control the borders" crowd. If we're going to let in lots of immigrants, we better be able to screen them, rather than just open the doors. Any other reasons for favoring legal processes over swinging the doors wide open?

Think back to your high school history classes and Ellis Island. What did you learn about the immigration process? What I hope you learned and remember is the screening process for disease. Oh, I know it's uncouth to talk about screening for diseases in the AIDS generation but it really is the heart of the matter. We don't want an outbreak of ebola, or SARS or influenza caused by immigrants from other parts of the world. Similarly, and I have no qualms about saying this, we don't want to let HIV positive immigrants (or carrying any other STD) into the country. This is a very important part of monitoring immigration.

That's my two cents, anyway.

The above hissed in response by: Ben Pugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 7:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

So forgive my brashness, for I am only an egg; but I would like to see some reasonable evidence that any of the "hard-liners" against compromise on normalization actually supports legal immigration, or has the slightest concern about the arbitrary, capricous, and often discriminatory way that completely legal immigrants (and would-be immigrants) are treated in this country -- earlier by the Immigration and Naturalization Services and today by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services

Hmm let me see last week I didn't get much sleep before going to work, Monday I got off that shift at 3 AM ran by the house picked up a bag made it to the airport flew to chicago, checked into a motel took a four hour nap went back to Chicago O'Hare, met a young girl coming in on a 3 month Work Travel Visa so she would not get stranded alone in a strange land in a Big City over night, picked up one other waif in the same boat and put both of them up in a motel room , made certain they made their bus connections, I have also written two formal letters verifying marriages were legitimate to Immigration and help mentor several other men through the marrying foreign national maelstrom,

Does that qualify me as NOT a definite anti-immigrant bigot?

As for posting on the problems of Legal Immigration. Nope haven't done much of that have done a fair amount of discussion on International forums over the years on the subject,

NOW Daffyd the BS definition of terms aside explain to me WHY I should trust legalising 12 million Illegals when the last time we legalised 3 million we ended up in the fix we are in now.

BTW did anyone notice those little girls I met at the airport last week were here on

Work Travel VISAS??????????????
PS I don't think they get paid all that much, but their main goal is improving their English so they can get better jobs back in Russia.

PPS I KNOW about the arbitrary and capricious nature of the inteviews at the POE, I didn't want to worry the girl or her mother, but I will tell you when it got to be almost 2 hours after landing and she still had not come out I did start to sweat it, I did NOT want to have to make an international phone call to her mother and say I could not find her daughter.

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 7:31 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

PPPS 12 million is about the same number of naturalisations for the last quarter century, maybe a tad more, someone please explain why those who came into this country in violation of our Laws should be given preferential treatment and placed ahead of millions of others who have waited for years to enter legally?

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 7:39 PM

The following hissed in response by: mckreck

Illegal immigration is a sore point in my household as my wife is a legal immigrant from Russia. She is of the opinion that if she was capable of suffering through the interviews and bureaucracy to come here, and if she was capable of learning English, then every other immigrant is capable of doing so also. Even her grandmother, in her late 70s when she came over, was willing to sit through English lessons and civics lessons out of respect for the Americans who had welcomed her. And mind you, her emigration to the United States was smoother than for most, as she had refugee status as a Jew from the remnants of the Soviet Union.

I have sometimes argued to people that I will consent to as much legal immigration as is desired provided it all passes through legal channels, that no illegal immigration is tolerated. That I propose any requirements at all is usually sufficient to end the conversation. Of course, when I make this argument it is not so much the expression of my own preference as it is a test of whether a person's devotion to immigration is a function of libertarianism, a desire for economic growth using cheap labor, or simply a distaste for America as it is.

My true position is that a primary obligation of the government is to control the borders so that citizens can determine for themselves the character of the society in which they live. That little control of the border exists merely represents the failure of the state to live up to its obligations. If it is necessary to shut the borders down entirely to regain control, then I am willing to shut down the borders entirely. If it requires a significant portion of the nation's wealth to repatriate the illegals who are here, then I am willing to spend it: we are a big, rich country; we'll manage. It is control of our borders that is paramount. Until control is regained, any decision to allow a particular group of people into the country is merely a justification for another group to claim the right to enter illegally.

Should control of the borders ever be gained, then I at least am one conservative who would open immigration to most who would apply, with preferences not simply for skilled labor, but for any who come from oppressive states and are willing to learn English and adapt to American values. In fact, it is my opinion that sufficient numbers of people would be willing to come here from places like Zimbabwe and Venezuela that this economy would hardly notice the sudden repatriation of millions of illegal immigrants from Mexico.

That the bureaucracy an immigrant must contend with is grotesque is obvious, and I don't think many conservative would argue with streamlining what is required for a person to come over, with limiting those steps to that which is essential to show a person is willing to take up an American way of life. Cutting bureaucracy is to conservatives what tackling is to linebackers: even when the play doesn't call for it, they still want to get their licks in.

I am fairly new to blogging, so the closest I have come thus far to making an argument regarding immigration is here, and admittedly it is more an opinion than an argument, so take it for what it's worth.

The above hissed in response by: mckreck [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 8:10 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Life on Earth is a *LOT* like Life in a Prison...

Simple enough of a statement; however, very few humans understand or even care about it's rather factual simplicity.

Here's another simple statement, or in this case, a definition:


How hard is the following to understand?!?

: the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals

In Prison, pardons are not usually granted to *INDIVIDUALS*, and there has been only a few instances in human history where large group of individuals weren't slaughtered simply because they had asked for a Pardon. Mobs usually takeover, or they are slaughtered.

Life on Earth is a *LOT* like Life in a Prison...

Humble Low and Ignorant Insane swamp hermit me has volunteered for many positions and 'Thangs during my life in the flesh, and Prison was just one of them.

Now, this may be difficult to understand...sorta like trying to figure out North Korea, Iraq, the United Nations, and Iran here in the "Free World"...so to speak.

However, Mobs are all the same, and at least two choices are offered in both Prison and in the "Free World". Live or die (get f*cked whilst waiting for death). America is under attack from all sides, and has no clue as to how to fight 'Da *MOB* which confronts them. In Prison, i would go for the Leaders...like China, Russia, France, America's Leftists, and the "Old Europe"...etc.; however, since i am back in the "Free World", then taking out the so-called Leaders' Dogs of War would work best. Heck, the Leaders screamed about Afghanistan, and screamed even louder about Iraq.

North Korea wants to test a missile...fine, blow it up within seconds after launch, and watch China sit on its hands whilst Kimmie cries.

Iran wants a nuke...fine, *NUKE* Iran, and give them a taste of such. All will scream, but so what, since they will do nothing but sit on their hands.

At the rate that America is going, i suspect that legal and/or illegal immigration doesn't really matter that much. Think and do and react like America has been doing since Viet Nam, in *ANY* Prison on Planet Earth...

Enough said...

PS. Heck, far too many Americans now want to throw our own Troops in 'prison', or before a firing squad, for killing whilst trying to survive.

The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 8:51 PM

The following hissed in response by: BigMediaBlog

It's interesting how this site - perhaps following the lead of the MSM - characterizes those who want to enforce our laws as "hardliners". Presumably those who don't want to enforce our laws are liberals.

Can I see a post where a hardliner argues that we should reform immigration law to make the system more rational, fair, and comprehensible

I'm not going to bother searching, but I'm sure I could find something like that. Perhaps it would be from one of those "hardliners" who came here legally, such as The Derb.

Say, would Barbara Jordan qualify as a "hardliner"?

Regarding amnesty, I have a very simple definition that should be our controlling definition: if all the tens of millions of prospective illegal aliens in other countries think it's amnesty, it's amnesty.

I'm pretty sure that no matter how many lies within lies our representatives spout, if they pass anything similar to the Senate's bill all those millions upon millions of people in other countries will see it as an amnesty, and untold millions of them will try to come here in order to take advantage of it.

The secondary definition of amnesty is: a few years down the line, will most Americans consider it amnesty?

Likewise: if anything like the Senate bill passes, most Americans are going to see that they were lied to by those who didn't have their best interests in mind.

The only good thing about that would be that all the politicians, pundits, and bloggers who supported "reform" or otherwise opposed enforcement of our laws will most likely be considered completely untrustworthy.

The above hissed in response by: BigMediaBlog [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 9:17 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

My beloved Mrs. hunter is an immigrant from Sur America. I ahve helped various members of her family come here and get settled. One came as a refugee after a polite local terorist slipped a note under her door mentioning to her she would be assasinated if she continued her work as a judge.
Mrs. hunter is very much against our lack of enforcement of immigration laws and borders. She does point out that in Mexico, the laws are much harsher than here and are enforced.
I, being a supporter of legal immigration and legal immigrant participation, totally agree with Mrs. hunter: enforce the laws we have.
I think that while your motives are quite good inthis, it is a dead end to try and link concern over illegal immigration to anti-immigrant crypto bias. And I think it puts you in the inaccurate light of not truly wanting to discuss this topic.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 9:20 PM

The following hissed in response by: ira

I usually agree with you but in this case, I must strongly disagree. My father was one of 11 children whose family was destroyed by the Germans in Poland during WW2. Only 2 brothers made it out alive and to the US. I recall the stories he told about coming here and finally becoming a citizen. Every day I wake up and thank god that I was born here, a citizen, and thank the immigration process for allowing that. I find that generally, immigrants are hard working, honest and looking for a better life for themselves and their family. I have gone out of my way to hire and help immigrants, maybe as a sort of karma inspired payback for my lucky birth.

Illegal immigration denigrates the efforts, struggles and dangers those honest immigrants went through. There must be a process. I agree with you that the immigration process can be convoluted, even tortureous. WTF do you expect? It's the government, you don't expect it to work smoothly, do you? Should it be fixed? Of course. But good luck, with the Dems fighting tooth & nail for every loophole they have stuck into the system for the past 6 decades.

Bottom line: Shut down the flow of illegals. Install a employer verification process. Expand & repair the LEGAL immigration process. END OF STORY. We OWE these illegals no more than we owe the millions of imigrants waiting in line, following the process legally, to become citizens.

Keep up the great work.

The above hissed in response by: ira [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 9:42 PM

The following hissed in response by: mckreck

Big Media Blog,

Derb did not immigrate legally, though he tries to justify his present "hardline" attitude despite this fact.

The above hissed in response by: mckreck [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 10:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: Jim,MtnViewCA,USA

I've seen posts about a shutdown in moving paperwork for people trying to bring in spouses, does that count?
But let's move back to your initial assumption. The illegal immigrants themselves are a tough issue. Mostly nice people. Some with kids born here. Should they get preference over others playing by the rules? Kinda tough. Can we agree they are mostly "sinned against" and exploited rather than "sinners"? Which doesn't mean they automatically get to move to the front of the line. Simply that their situation is morally tough to get right.
So let's take a while to figure it out.
On the other hand what do you say about Repub businessmen who hire illegals to get a docile underpaid workforce? What do you say about Dems who claim they support a living wage but are plenty happy to get cut rate workers to clean their toilets and cut their grass? How about these exploiters dumping social troubles (medical care, education, uninsured drivers, the minority of illegals who go to jail, all the social services), I repeat dumping these troubles onto the rest of us and making us pay so they can prosper?
Where is the fairness in that?
Can we at least agree that having controlled borders is a good thing? Why not work for that?
The argument you've made in the past has been "the Dems won't let us" do border protection first, and then "Repubs will lose elections".
I confess I have not grokked the logic of that position. But as a bona fide knuckle-dragging, mount-breathing, xenophobic Amurrican, I guess it just goes with the IQ....

The above hissed in response by: Jim,MtnViewCA,USA [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 11:30 PM

The following hissed in response by: JSchuler

Here's one from Wizbang, which I'm surprised you never ran into because it links right to this site.

And if cheap labor is so necessary to our economy, how come Mexico is mechanizing things like agave harvesting? If only we were as technologically sophisticated as our neighbors south of the Rio Grande... oh wait...

The above hissed in response by: JSchuler [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 11:42 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

On the other hand what do you say about Repub businessmen who hire illegals to get a docile underpaid workforce?
That's why my tax dollars go to build prisons.

PS I wonder if all those business men doing this in say California are exclusively Republicans?

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 1:04 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

We OWE these illegals no more than we owe the millions of imigrants waiting in line, following the process legally, to become citizens.

I figure we owe them less, let those who tried to play by the rules as crazy and cumbersome as they are take precedence,

Unless of course the bleeding hearts want to start sponsoring some of the Illegals by signing
Affidavit of Support, Form I-864 I have no problems with the Alien entering under those terms

"Affidavits of support (Form I-864) filed on or after December 19, 1997, are legally enforceable. Sponsors who fail to support the immigrants they sponsor can be sued by any Federal, State, or local agency or private entity that provides means-tested benefits, as well as by the immigrants they sponsored."

Oh it expires when they die, marry someone else besides you, become a citizen or pay 40 working quarters into SSSI

Warning that is NOT 10 years it is AFTER they pay in 40 quarters, they never work 40 quarters, die, marry someone else, become a citizen or leave the Country, you are never relieved of the financial obligation.

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 1:21 AM

The following hissed in response by: Davod

Legal migrants have to have a police background check and a medical to ensure they do not have things like TB. Illegals are here without any checks and I doubt whether the senate legislation addresses the health aspects. We already have a disease from South America (no I cannot remember the name) becoming prevelant in the border states.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 2:40 AM

The following hissed in response by: Fritz

Dafydd, you are trying to approach the problem in a reasonable and logical manner. Sadly those are qualities which most of those talking about it are not willing to use.
I have yet to hear any honest discussion on the subject from our elected representatives. Instead I hear such subjects as security used in the argument, and yet they only seem to want to apply it to the southern border. Well sorry, those with that idea are nothing more than bigots and should be thought of and treated as such. If it is truly a security matter, then all borders need to be strengthened, not just the southern one.

The problem is actually one of economics and should be dealt with as such. The actual question is how much cheap labor should we allow into the country and under what conditions? We need to figure out the number of cheap laborers we need, and then set up a way to insure that only that number is admitted.

That problem is quite easily solved as far as admission, but the problem of how many is quite complex. However, once the number is decided on, it should be a fairly simple matter to enforce it.

Ah yes, I can almost hear people saying if you are so smart, what is the means of enforcement you are thinking of. It is really quite simple. I would make it a crime to hire illegal workers and enforce it with such things as putting the people who hire them in jail or having any wages paid them not be a deductible business expense. There are likely other things one could do which would also be effective.

Ah, but how is business supposed to know who is legal and who is not. Simple, require a National Identification card and have an easy means for business to access the system and see if the card matches the person. Those companies who follow the rules of checking will be cleared, and the others can be prosecuted.

The second part would be that those without cards are not entitled to any assistance programs. Those two things should pretty well eliminate illegal immigration. After all, if there are no jobs or benefits, why would they come?

Of course that wailing and gnashing of teeth you hear over the idea of a National Identification card is equally as silly as those who claim security and only talk of the southern border. Truly think for a few minutes. Do you actually believe that the government does not know about you? Good Lord, there are birth certificates, school records, Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, income tax forms, and the list goes on and on, so to think the government does not know you exist is simply ludicrous. As I see it, about the only ones to whom it would make any difference are those with criminal intent. So as long as the government knows about us, I see no reason not to use that to the nation’s advantage. It has the side benefit of helping clean up voting, but that is another subject. I’ll be perfectly honest and say I’m not thrilled about the government having all those records, but they do so we might just as well accept it and move on.

As for what to do about those already here illegally, that is a difficult question and requires several different solutions. Those who have not been here long probably should be sent back. Those who have been here for a number of years and shown that they are law abiding except for being here illegally probably should have a means to convert to legal status. What the exact details of such a program would be will have to be worked out, but only will the whole thing work when we come up with a way to stop the flood of illegal immigrants and about the only reasonable method I see for doing so is to come up with some way to assure there are almost no jobs or benefits for them. Certainly they can be slowed down with fences and guards, but not stopped.

The above hissed in response by: Fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 3:35 AM

The following hissed in response by: pedro

Don't go wobbly on us, Liz'. I'm clean. Check http://happycarpenter.blogs.com/the_happy_carpenter/2006/05/what_i_want_imm.html



but most of all this one: http://happycarpenter.blogs.com/the_happy_carpenter/2006/04/medved_asks_wha.html

The above hissed in response by: pedro [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 4:13 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

George Bush is in the majority on this issue. The hardliners who made it an issue in the first damn place with their efforts to make illegal entry a felony have decided that if they can not have exactly what they want to hell with the rest of us. They could have gotten their tougher border measures without dragging the whole country through all this, they are the ones who insisted on making this a big big deal and now they have refused to come up with a bill.

Just enforcing the laws sounds great. Do it. Who is stopping you? Who ever was? This has been ongoing problem for decades and rather than come up with a comprehensive compromise we get arrogant, simplistic, pompous, narrow minded posturing from the hardliners which results in nothing. No bill. No compromise. No solution. Just stab the president in the back, ignore the will of the majority, make some self righteous comments about laying down the law and after months dragging the whole damn country through yet another hissey fit they say...never mind. on second thought screw this.

The hardliners appear to be under the impression that elves and fairies pick lettuce and fruit and that people who come here illegally are no different from Charlie Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer. Of course that view is not shared by 80% of the population who now know that Republicans can not govern as a majority party because, like their counterparts across the aisle, they are enslaved by a vocal minority who think compromise and consensus are signs of weakness.

What a waste. Let's see we have had the tantrum over Miers and the meltdown over Dubai and now the complete collapse of immigration reform...what will the next hissey fit be about?

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 4:22 AM

The following hissed in response by: rightonq

Wow, this post certainly opened up the can! I guess it's no lie that this is THE topic right now in election debates. It's also clear that neither side is finding the "sweet spot" for their constiuents.

Personally, I'm not sure what a hard-liner is: those that want to seal the border, those that want the current illegals expelled or both? I'm probably a maleable hard-liner.

I side with those that feel that the borders have to be managed first. There may be times when we let everyone in that wants in and there may be times when we really need to shut the border down. At this point, we have NO control.

I think most would agree that as a country, we have a right and responsibility to manage who we let into this country based on factors that we deem important. The difference between illegal and legal is just that - we can make an informed decision about a legal immigrant whereas with an illegal immigrant they make the choice for us.

While I think the current process may be cumbersome, by virtue of my parent's immigration status and my work I know A LOT of legal immigrants. I've never heard too may complaints about how hard it is to get in, but I believe it to be not only inefficient but also more burdensome than it should be.

Last, we are in this position because people want to come here - that's a "good" problem to have. While we want our appeal to remain high as a great country to live in, we don't want that appeal to extend to coming here illegally. We need to reduce the desire to be here as an illegal.

So, given that all that it seems clear that 1) we need better border enforcement so we can exert controls as defined by our policies and 2) we shouldn't reward people that got here illegally because it INCREASES people's desires to circumvent any rules (even if we ease them) to be here. We know this to be true based on the flow of illegals dating back to the 80s amnesty which made no positive impact on illegal immigration.

I could be convinced though to be less hard-line on #2 if we could do #1

The above hissed in response by: rightonq [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 4:41 AM

The following hissed in response by: JGUNS

One of the reasons I arrived at my position on immigration reform is due to my knowledge of how the system works. I have 2 friends that I watched battle through the process of immigration. Both of them well educated, both of them hard workers and it is a process that at least for the single, non married friend, has been arduous, full of close calls (where he was nearly sent home), complicated, and has taken over 10 years and he STILL only has his green card. The other friend got married to a US citizen and even that requires constant supervision by the government for a number of years. People don't seem to understand how daunting our immigration process must look to many immigrants. FOr those mexican immigrants that don't have the barrier of an ocean, it must be mighty tempting to be able to walk right across the border.

It is true that those who speak the loudest about "enforcement" and ultimately are really about punishment don't seem to have any real desire to reform the immigration plan. I understand the reality of the immigration problem and that is why I fully support the President's plan.

The above hissed in response by: JGUNS [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 5:59 AM

The following hissed in response by: Davod


The reason the legal Americans are becoming infected is two fold. The illegals bring the diseases and everyone catches them. The curtailing of innoculation programs by the feel good Clinton era CDC. Don't forget the rush to attach autism to vaccinations.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 8:17 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye


I work in health care and there are people getting these diseases who have never been near an illegal.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 1:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: BigMediaBlog

Terrye utters the hilarious comment that: George Bush is in the majority on this issue... Just enforcing the laws sounds great. Do it. Who is stopping you? Who ever was? ...What a waste. Let's see we have had the tantrum over Miers and the meltdown over Dubai and now the complete collapse of immigration reform...what will the next hissey fit be about?

Only the most dishonest polls show Bush in the majority. Every honest poll shows that his position is that of a small minority.

As for enforcing the laws, the Bush administration goes out of its way to a) avoid enforcing the laws, and b) encourages illegal immigration. Yes, that's right, they encourage illegal immigration through things like fighting to allow banks to accept Mexicn ID cards that are basically only of use to illegal aliens. The only time they had a high visibility immigration sweep that wasn't just a political stunt, they reassigned the agents.

As for the last sentence, your post is satire, right?

The above hissed in response by: BigMediaBlog [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 8:33 PM

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