June 20, 2006

Immigration Man 2: "No Reason"

Hatched by Dafydd

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 legal immigrants must pass through like a kidney stone.

No anti-normalization blogger that I've read has called for reform of a system that shattered long ago, which is now run by career "civil" "servants" who have as much concern for immigrants, legal immigrants, as cock fighters have for their roosters.

I finished by begging to be proven wrong:

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 will define a "hardliner" as anyone who opposes what he calls "amnesty" so much, he will even give up the border fence, if that's the only way to stop normalization.)

After nineteen comments (to this point), only one person so far has linked to a blogpost by a hardliner who has published a post agreeing that our legal immigration system is in dire need of overhaul to make it more rational, predictable, and just. And that post linked Big Lizards as its source!

Instead, commenters have been answering quite different questions. Several seem to think I'm arguing for more immigration; I'm open to the possibility, but I never argued the point in Immigration Man. Others are convinced I oppose the fence; in fact, I'm 100% behind it.

Still more seem to think I said that all conservatives are anti-immigrant: no again; read the post closely.

What I point out in Immigration Man is that I've yet to meet even one person who refers to normalization as "amnesty" -- yet who is concerned enough about the insanity of the current legal immigration system that he's written a blogpost about reforming it.

Maybe people really don't know; here are the two examples closest to me:

Sachi

My wife was a legal immigrant; she jumped through all the hoops, did everything by the book. She got a green card; she went through the whole citizenship procedure, satisfying every requirement save one: her swearing-in ceremony.

Along the way, she was bullied, threatened, shouted at, belittled, insulted, and once made to wait from 3:30 am on the sidewalk outside the INS... only to be told at 9:00 that they were only seeing twenty people that day. She was number 27 -- and there was a very long line behind her. (I waited with her that day; she had to forcibly restrain me from strangling the moron who didn't bother putting a sign up the night before.)

But in the end, she satisfied all the requirements and needed only to be sworn in... and they simply wouldn't give her an appointment.

No reason. She wasn't missing any papers, she had passed all the tests, she had been here for years and years, she spoke excellent English, she was perfectly legal. They just didn't give her an appointment... for years.

It finally took the direct intervention of our then Republican representative to finally get the damned INS to set a date for her to get sworn in; she went, raised her hand, and finally became an American.

Please don't brush this off by saying, "oh, the government is always bureaucratic." This goes far beyond mere bureaucracy into despicable abuse.

Takao

I've told the story of our friend Takao here several times. He came from Japan legally, but the most he could get was a work visa. He lived here, worked here -- all legally -- paid his taxes, bought a condo and a car, had health and auto insurance, learned English, got a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from an American university, never got in the least bit of trouble with the law... yet in all that time, he was never even able to get a green card.

Not in sixteen years.

He hired an American attorney, but it made no difference. No matter what forms he filed, the INS simply never bothered responding, beyond sending a receipt of the filing. They never told him what he lacked, what he had to do, why he couldn't get a green card.

That is because there was no reason: there is no reason why some breeze right through in five years; no reason why others get stuck in a holding pattern for three times as long.

In the end, Takao was laid off from the Japanese hotel where he had worked for so long; it was shortly after 9/11, and Japanese were afraid to travel to America... so the hotel got into financial trouble and had to lay off many workers.

Takao's work visa specified that hotel; he filled out the forms for the INS to apply for another job. Instead of granting it -- they ordered him home... that's it, sayonara, it's been a slice having you.

Because he would not break the law, he found himself on an airplane back to Narita Airport. He lives in Tokyo today, but he still loves America... even after what America did to him. God knows why. He still hopes that someday, he will be able to come here as a permanent resident.

Random Chaos

I hear about others who come here and have no problems: they get on the green-card track right away, they get residency, they're given an appointment for being sworn in... no problem. Others live through the nightmares depicted above.

There is no rhyme or reason, no logic why one is waved through at a trot while another is thrown to the ground and made to crawl. It's entirely random -- or worse, the caprice of the interviewer -- who gets a pass and whose paperwork is lost for two and a half years on somebody's desk, with nobody at the INS (now the USCIS -- same car, different plastic) caring enough even to go look for it.

The system is entirely arbitrary. It is the most unpredictable agency in the United States government, except in one respect: immigrants are routinely treated like animals. That they can expect.

People are told what is happening; people are told what they need to do. People are treated with respect, even when they have to fill out eighty-five forms in triplicate.

Immigrants, legal immigrants, are not people... not as far as Immigration is concerned.

What I Want for Christmas

I will wait until I see a hardliner finally understand why this is a vile betrayal of the American promise. I long for the day when he spends at least a tenth as much time arguing for reform of the legal immigration system as he does calling illegals "lawbreakers" and "criminals."

(I wonder how many of these "lawbreakers" were just like Takao, except, having a family, they made the decision that rather than be arbitrarily sent back to whatever blot they left, they would stay -- and perhaps their kids could have the life the "lawbreakers" could only experience vicariously.)

I eagerly anticipate the hardliner's insight that a system that is unpredictable, uninformative, unconcerned, vindictive, and that is run by petty tyrants who have life-and-death decision-making power over immigrants who have played by all the rules, is in urgent need of reform.

Not to bring in fewer immigrants, nor more immigrants, but simply to have a system where someone who follows every law scrupulously can actually be told what he must do to become a permanent resident and eventually a citizen.

For God's sake, even a horse is taught what commands it must obey; it doesn't have to guess.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 20, 2006, at the time of 6:06 AM

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Tracked on June 20, 2006 2:54 PM

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Tracked on June 21, 2006 7:59 AM

Comments

The following hissed in response by: drdoct

I am a beyond hardliner as far as building a wall, etc and full enforcement. I wrote on April 7 this..."First, congress should steer clear of wanting to create new laws. There isnt a new law that will control the problem we have. There are plenty of Immigration laws on the books, what we need is actual enforcement. Congress should draw up a statement demanding the president hold the Border control/INS accountable and make them start doing their jobs. That's all there is to it. In just doing their jobs you've controlled the border, cracked down on businesses hiring them, and sped up the process for legal immigration. Only after all this happens can we start to talk about the millions that are already here. We dont need new laws when we cant inforce the ones we have already. Legal immigration should be streamlined and cleaned up."
I also wrote about how horrible INS (ICE) treats people and how inefficient they were. I dont know how you link to a blogspot post but it's at the bottom of my page (I dont do much).

The above hissed in response by: drdoct [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 6:48 AM

The following hissed in response by: Evilned

My wife is an immigrant and just got her green card. the who process only took three years and the intervention of two U.S. Senators. I have written about it so I won't post the whole thing here.

The URL is:
http://www.angry.net/immigration/editorials/editorial.html

Yes I am a hard liner. I want the illegals gone. I have zero problem with those who have jumped through the hoops to get here. More power to them and welcome aboard.
Just my $.02

The above hissed in response by: Evilned [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 7:31 AM

The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH

Evilned, the previous commenter as I type this, is typical of the hardest of the hard-liners I run into: legal immigrants and their families. They respond to their mistreatment at the hands of the INS by becoming angry at the illegal immigrants who take the easy road into the country which only requires wading a river, climbing a fence and hiking fifty miles through the desert to get that job flipping burgers or nailing shingles in the hot sun.

The fact that you and Sachi seem to have avoided that temptation and directed your indignation where it belongs is admirable.

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 7:50 AM

The following hissed in response by: BigMediaBlog

I'm surprised this is continuing as it is:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance
"The two most common forms of the argument from ignorance, both fallacious, can be reduced to the following form... Because there appears to be a lack of evidence for one hypothesis, another chosen hypothesis is therefore considered proven."

Anyhoo, the GAO has determined that the USCIS - the bureacracy legal immigrants deal with and the bureacracy that would administer any sort of non-amnesty amnesty or "guest" worker scheme - is severly backlogged and won't even have fraudmanagement in place until 2011:

washingtontimes.com/national/20060306-123558-4971r.htm

And, some people have pointed out that those illegal aliens who will receive the non-amnesty amnesty will not go to the back of the line, but will actually be put ahead of those waiting to immigrate legally:

weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/215orrme.asp

That's from a supporter of the scheme. When even the supporters realize there's a huge problem, you have a problem.

---
http://lonewacko.com/illegal-immigration-introduction.html

The above hissed in response by: BigMediaBlog [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 9:39 AM

The following hissed in response by: L'Supreemo

You have overlooked a very important fact of life in the story of your wife's trials with INS.

Her experiece differs not at all in quality from an ordinary citizen's dealings with the IRS or the local zoning department or the Commerce Dept. or the DMV.

This exercise is important for new immigrants to acculturate them to the endless BS of Official American Bureaucracy.

If you're angry about it, you should be just as angry on behalf of your fellow citizens jerked around on an hourly basis by your various governments.


The above hissed in response by: L'Supreemo [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 11:27 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Evilned:

Excellent post! This is what I'm looking for; I want to see more of this.

A person can be in favor of normalization and believe the laws for legal immigration still need to be reformed; a person can oppose normalization and still believe that the legal immigration laws need to be reformed.

There is no logical requirement that reforming the legal immigration system means you must favor increased immigration, guest workers, and "amnesty." Yet we so rarely see a blogpost by someone who supports border security over normalization -- yet who believes, as you and I do, that the legal immigration system is an absolute disgrace and desperately needs to be reformed.

By "reformed," I don't mean immigration becomes easy; I don't mean it becomes harder: I mean it becomes a predictable and comprehensible process.

If the Department of Motor Vehicles were run like the INS was (and alas, as the USCIS still is), then 40% of the applicants would never get a driver's license, even after passing all the tests (which itself would take twelve years, just to get the DMV to respond), until they could find a congressman or senator to vouch for them.

And there would be no way to predict in advance which 40% that would be. It's random.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 1:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: yetanotherjohn

I understand and sympathize with your point. But I am not sure I understand your stance on the issue of immigration.

1) We treat legal immigrants shamefully.

2) We have an almost open border that is allowing a great deal of illegal immigrants into the country.

3) We have a great number of illegal immigrants in the country so we need to decide what we are going to do about them.

Those are three seperate issues. There is a range of solutions that can be applied to each of them, including no change from the status quo. While a change in one may impact the other two, they are to a fair degree independent of each other.

The clear priority to me is to control the border. We can then look at the other solutions without worrying about the impact on bringing more illegals in. If the illegal immigrant advocacy groups were highlighting the plight of the legal immigrant, I suspect that they would get a lot of sympathy from the right (I'm not going to try to pretend I understand the mind of the left). Instead they prioritize the plight of the illegal alien which is in my mind much lower on the priority list that controlling the border or improving legal immigration.

I would prioritize the problem of cleaning up our legal immigration process over the problem of dealing with the illegal immigrant. I would recommend the criteria be changed from being related to someone here and instead look at that along with the contribution made to our country as a whole. This would mean an engineer would have a higher priority than someone's third cousin. I would advocate a larger legal immigration number in return for assimilation as part of the legal immigration path (speaking English is part of assimilation).

My grandfather immigrated (legally) to this country. My father grew up speaking a language other than English around the breakfast table. But my grandfather also made sure that all his children learned English. My grandfather preached in a languag other than English on Sunday to other immigrants and children of immigrants. He had one son who became a pastor and two daughters that married pastors, all of whom preached in English (though they might participate in a special non-English service once a year). A few years back I was at a friends wedding. My friend's family had been in this country since before the revolutionary war. The bride's family was recent immigrants and had people in the wedding party from the old country who didn't speak English. I was able to stand up and make an extemperanious toast in both languages (providing my own translation). You can keep your heritage and language, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't assimilate and learn English also.

The biggest problem I see with the proposals is their priority is in exact reverse of what I (and I think most Americans) would prioritize them. They worry about amnesty first, then about changing the legal immigration rules (the current proposals changes are not to address the abuses you mention, but to allow more in and a gust worker program) and finally the may or may not worry about the border.

The above hissed in response by: yetanotherjohn [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 1:46 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

L'Supreemo:

Her experiece differs not at all in quality from an ordinary citizen's dealings with the IRS or the local zoning department or the Commerce Dept. or the DMV.

If you think that, then you really don't know how bad the INS/USCIS is. I have dealt with the DMV since I was fifteen and first got my learner's permit; while it's a hassle ever to deal with bureaucracy, the fact of the matter is that dealing with the DMV is predictable:

  • You know what the rules are, what you have to do;
  • You know that the tests you take will be judged fairly;
  • You know how long it will take, and it's a reasonable length of time;
  • You know that if you pass the tests, you will get a license... it's not up to the lady behind the counter, and she won't say "sure, you passed the written test and the driving test; but I just don't feel like processing your license. Come back next year."

And I have dealt with the IRS -- as a small business owner -- for the last quarter century. I've had occasional problems with them, but everything has been resolved.

Of all the people I know, only one couple has had extensive problems with the IRS... and in that case, they had failed to file their tax forms for many years (though they sent in payments).

The INS/USCIS is the most capricious and vindictive agency in the United States federal government. It's not even a contest.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 1:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

When my people came here immigrating required getting off the boat. There is no way a lot of our ancestors would have tolerated going through a system like the one Dafydd is talking about, in fact it was that kind of treatment somewhere else that drove a lot of them here in the first place.

Most the hardliners I deal with are so obsessed with punishing undocumented workers that it takes precedence over everything, including border security. I have lost all patience with them. That might not be fair, but I just can't help it.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 1:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Papa Ray

Some of you know about VDAR, a far right wing, racist, anti- immigration group.

Here is what a search of their site pulled up for:
reform legal immigration.

I didn't try other search arguments, but you can see where their focus is.

Papa Ray

The above hissed in response by: Papa Ray [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 1:54 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Justanotherjohn:

Those are three seperate issues.

I don't believe they are so separate. Each supports the other. As I have intimated and also stated directly, I believe that the great majority of those illegal immigrants here already are ordinarily honest people who despaired of coming in legally... not because there was something in their pasts that prevented them, but through sheer incompetence or personal dislike by some bureaucrat.

They may have tried to enter on a work visa, just to work here for a while and then return; they may have tried to enter as honest-to-goodness immigrants. Either way, they see some get in, others (including themselves) rejected, and no reason or logic behind it.

People talk about how the illegals would be "cutting in line" in front of those who "waited for years to get in legally;" but many of these illegals did wait for years to get in legally... only to find that they couldn't, even though they were as well qualified as, or better qualified than others who were let in immediately.

There are racist laws governing how many can come from which countries; but typically there isn't even that much explanation: some Mexicans breeze right through, others are never allowed in... even though both have identical backgrounds, education, and desire to be American.

Arbitrariness and individual tyranny lead to widespread contempt for the law. And that leads to massive circumventing of it.

If the system of legal immigration were more predictable, rational, and comprehensible... then I believe that alone would dramatically reduce the number trying to get in here illegally. Even if the same number of immigrants were allowed in, if the outcome (whether you're admitted) actually depended upon some rational set of criteria, then would-be immigrants would know what they had to do to become Americans.

It wouldn't be an unfathomable mystery... leading to immigrants or migrant workers throwing up their hands and saying "fine, I have no clue what I'm supposed to do. So I'll just pay a coyote to take me across the border."

Muling across the desert is a heck of a lot harder than simply satisfying rational requirements that are published in advance -- and actually adhered to by the USCIS.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 2:13 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Papa Ray:

I didn't try other search arguments, but you can see where their focus is.

Well, yeah: their focus is to change the laws to admit more engineers and technicians.

While that may well be a good idea, I don't think it's the most important reform: what they don't seem to argue is that the system has, in fact, no focus whatsoever -- beyond the obvious, that you have a better shot if you're married to an American or you're related to someone already here.

Here is my challenge: consider a young, Mexican man who hates socialism and loves capitalism, has always loved America, wants to come here because it's the land of liberty and opportunity, has no criminal record of any kind, has a degree in accounting and restaurant management, speaks (reasonably) good English -- but has no relatives living in America.

He knows someone else who also has no relatives north of the border... but who is a welfare baby even in Mexico, runs with a gang but hasn't been convicted of any crime yet, has contempt for America and laughs at the immigration laws, and speaks not a word of English.

When the first person tries for years and cannot get even a work visa, while the second guy breezes right on through and gets fast-tracked for a green card... what will the response of the first guy be?

What would your response be?

VDARE seems to be saying that the purpose of immigration is to give us workers to make up for shortfalls among Americans; a lot of people argue this. I would much prefer to see people admitted based upon some measure of their "Americanness," rather than primarily upon their education.

Mohammed Atta, let's remember, was a trained pilot... and Osama bin Laden is trained as a civil engineer.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 2:31 PM

The following hissed in response by: FredTownWard

I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head, Dafydd. The performance of the bureaucrats involved in processing immigration status changes for my wife and my mother-in-law has just floored me, whose expectations were pretty low going in.

The NICE people were incompetent, and the mean people were Evil Incarnate. Worse, it is now much, much harder for your local Congressman or Senator to, figuratively speaking, grab these people by the lapels and question their sanity.

The fact that the response of most immigration hard-liners is something on the order of "Good!" sadly tells us all we need to know about their true motives: either braindead nativism or "I had to put up with it so you can, too!" legal immigrant envy.

The above hissed in response by: FredTownWard [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 4:25 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

If calling what is planned for the 12 million or so aliens in this country illegally

"amnesty" is BS and not accurate, calling it
"normalization" is equally so much sophistry.

It's rather like your former label of them as "uests"

Now as I recall you objected to my labeling them as the equivalent of someone who breaks into a house, so beit,they are at LEAST the equivalent of Party Crashers, and Party Crashers are NOT guests.

Words MEAN certain things and misuing a word outside it's real definition to make things look better results in distortion.

Amnesty? OK No. Normalization? No again,

Legalisation maybe. We are going to forget that you have broken the Law and make what is Illegal ie your presence in this country now Legal.

As for this sudden emphasis on the CF that is our immigration system, I stipulate that it is a mess.

But as I recall "Pointing to Another Wrong" used to be a Classic example of an invalid argument.

Or is it your contention that under the Rule of Victimhood it is OUR fault that these people are forced to Break the Law?

It's true that there is more emphasis on Illegal Immigration than on Fixing our Immigration System. Few Americans are affected by or know about the latter, but ALL Americans are affected by the former and since the rash of in your face demonstrations, almost all Americans are now more aware of the situation.

You can insist on calling them "guests" you can insist on calling these plans "normalization" that will not change the meanings of those words

and no one has yet to justify in my mind
giving Illegal Aliens almost a quarter century of naturalizations.

That to me is not Justice to the millions who have been trying to enter this country Legally.

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 5:00 PM

The following hissed in response by: Jay Tea

This is embarassing. I thought of my own piece linked to yours when I first read your challenge, but thought it was a smidgen arrogant to cite myself. I'm glad someone did.

But as they say, in for a penny, in for a pound. I haven't blown my own horn around these parts before, so lemme toss a couple more pieces out as examples of this hard-liner taking a stand for legal immigrants:

The right and wrong way to deal with immigrants

A Fair Trade

An Open Letter To Non-Americans In This Country

"A Nation Of Immigrants?"

Immigration reform: a modest proposal

OK, enough raving ego for one day...

Seriously, it is very easy to get caught up in the outrage over the illegal aliens, and to forget that the system is pretty seriously messed up for the legal ones. We really ought to do something for them while we deal with the criminals, and truly make it "immigration reform," not just "illegal alien management."

And Sachi, my thanks for putting up and suffering through my our government's idiocy. We are a better nation for having you.

J.

The above hissed in response by: Jay Tea [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 5:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: Jay Tea

Dang, there shoulda been a strike-through of the "my" in that last sentence... my apologies.

J.

The above hissed in response by: Jay Tea [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 5:03 PM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi

Dafydd,

I don't suppose I fit into your definition of a hard liner but i'd thought i'd comment anyway.

You wrote;


Not to bring in fewer immigrants, nor more immigrants, but simply to have a system where someone who follows every law scrupulously can actually be told what he must do to become a permanent resident and eventually a citizen.

Ive been working for the Federal Government in Immigration for the past 10 years. My job used to be called Immigration Inspector, now it is called Customs and Border Enforcement Officer. While I havn't worked in the area that you had to deal with (My job is enforcement) ive worked with those people and know exactly the frustrations and troubles you are talking about.

In San Diego they used to line up every morning outside and if you wanted to get in at 0900 you had to start lining up at 0400.

What I hope you realize, which i'm not sure you do from your frustrated post above, is that the problem with our legal immigration system is illegal immigration.

You see Dafydd for every immigrant coming here trying to do things the right way, there are probably ten coming here trying to take short cuts. Because we are such a loving, caring, thoughtful nation, we don't want anyone to be left behind, so we make a way for everyone who wants to come in, get in. This means those people who are following the rules get the shaft because those people who are not following the rules jump to the front of the line.

Let's see if we can look at it from the perspective of an immigration officer who you call any number of names.

If they are like me they joined the service initially because they wanted to do some good for this country. They wanted to help those who are coming here legally while stopping those who come here illegally.

So with good intentions we came into our jobs hoping to do something good and wholesome while making a living. We were naive.

We quickly learned that if we took our time to examine a case to look for clues of foul play, we were threatened by our supervisors. We were threatened by our supervisors because they had backlog and needed the job done quickly. They were getting pressure from Washington telling them, "Get your job done or we'll find someone else who can do it!"

So, they devised a rating system based on how fast you can get through your workload. This lead to all the workers who could get through their workload quickly being the good employees and those who didn't, the bad employees.

This is what lead to our 9-11 attackers being approved. There is no time to check who is a legal immigrant and who is an illegal immigrant. There is no time to check for fraud. You have to get your work done quickly, period, no excuses.

What happens when you have a system in place like this, Dafydd? Everyone starts to look like an illegal, instead of the opposite. And one day you wake up and realize that you are simply rubberstamping a bunch of illegals into the country.

It's a tough pill to swallow. But its either that, or its quit the job and earn a living doing something else. And this leads to bitter employees who believe that everyone they are dealing with are frauds but that they aren't given the time to check it out.

Hope my ramble made some sense. If not, please ask for clarifications and try to understand where i'm coming from. Yes, those legal immigrants you know had it tough because you knew they were legal.

How are we supposed to know they are legal? The sad fact is we cannot.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 6:32 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Jay Tea:

You are encouraged to link to your own blog in a comment here anytime you think it fits the subject. If blogs are internet conversations, then we need access to all the voices.

I by and large agree with your posts, though not completely (I certainly agree with the flogging part, however).

But to me, the problem isn't that we admit too few or too many immigrants; nor that the system is "very complicated and time-consuming." I have no problem with complicated or time consuming... I just want it to be predictable and just.

Here is another analogy: when you attend university, you expect it to be complicated and time-consuming; I went for seven years, getting a BA and an MA in mathematics.

But imagine that you go through four or five years at university... and when you finally finish all the courses, and despite having a great GPA, you're told "sorry, we don't feel like giving you a degree."

Imagine that happened to 30% - 40% of the students: they go through all the same classes, pass the same tests, have the same bell curve of GPA -- but at the end, they're not given the degrees they earned. What's worse, they're never told why not, nor are they told what they must do to get them.

Instead, the administrators say, "try us again in a few months; maybe we'll be in a better mood." But when they do, most of them still don't get degrees. In fact, years pass, and they still don't get degrees -- except for those lucky few who happen to be friends with trustees of the alumni fund, who finally get their degrees promptly upon threat of financial devastation of the university.

My crusade is to make residency and citizenship as predictable as getting a college degree:

  • If you do the work, pass the tests, and keep your nose clean, you will get the green card and eventual citizenship.
  • But if you screw around, fail to do the necessary work, fail the tests, or get into trouble, you will be bounced out, and adios.

If that were the policy, and the criteria were as well explained and understandable and logical as it is for a typical university, then I think there would be a huge drop in illegal immigration: just knowing "if I do A, B, and C, and I make sure I never, ever, ever do D or E, then I'll get permanent residency!" would dissuade any honest immigrant from crossing the border illegally.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 6:37 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Baggi:

So, they devised a rating system based on how fast you can get through your workload. This lead to all the workers who could get through their workload quickly being the good employees and those who didn't, the bad employees.

This is what lead to our 9-11 attackers being approved. There is no time to check who is a legal immigrant and who is an illegal immigrant. There is no time to check for fraud. You have to get your work done quickly, period, no excuses.

Ah, but there is another response to such a rating system, Baggi: you can get through your workload quickly by rubber-stamping everyone... but you can get through it equally quickly by randomly denying half or more of the applications.

Both methods make for terrible -- and very dangerous -- public policy.

The reasons for the horrific nature of the legal immigration system are many, and they are important to consider in designing a better one.

  1. Some immigration officials are actually rat bastards; if you've worked for the federal government, you must certainly have encountered a few of those; these likely constitute 10% of the whole.
  2. Some are just unconcerned chairwarmers, looking forward to retirement in a scant fifteen more years; these constitute 50%.
  3. Some are conscientious workers, just trying to do the best job they can under difficult circumstances; maybe 35%.
  4. And a few are virtual saints, somehow able to make the right thing happen as if by magic... perhaps 5% of the total USCIS workforce.

The problem is that the 10% who are (1) coupled with the 50% who are (2) are so infuriating and enraging that they become the face of the agency to those who have suffered through its tender mercies -- just as a bunch of indifferent cops plus a few really bad apples become the face of the Man for anyone who has ever run afoul of them.

I think the solution is many-headed:

  1. Completely separate citizenship and immigration services from border enforcement. The Border Patrol and related enforcement arms (including investigators) have much more in common with the FBI than they do with the rest of the immigration side. Call them "Immigration and Citizenship Services" (ICS) and "Border Enforcement" (BE) for the moment; completely separate agencies.
  2. Loosen civil-service protection for the ICS drastically (this should actually be done across the board for all government employees in every agency). This will allow supervisors to fire the jerks (1) and scare the bejesus out of the chairwarmers (2), while rewarding those in (3) and especially (4).
  3. Include a "comments" section on forms that immigrants fill out, and make those comments important in the evaluations of the employees of ICS.
  4. Exempt those here on work-visas from all minimum-wage laws in every state. This should solve the "guest worker" problem without having to import sullen, alienated, temporary laborers from the hellholes of the Earth.
  5. Automate the system as much as possible, and make it rational, predictable, and just. This will reduce the pressure of illegal immigration.
  6. Build a big, fat, thick, high wall; this will also reduce the pressure of illegal immigration.
  7. Use a new "smart ID card" with biometric information, and make one giant database with links to the NCIC database. This will make BE's job easier.
  8. Build more prisons.
  9. New policy: any illegal convicted of committing a crime is first incarcerated for the duration of his sentence, and only afterwards deported. Better yet, institute Singapore-style caning for all but the most serious offenses; the latter get both caning and also prison time. (Pain can be a better deterrant than free room and board.)

Those are off the top of my head; what do you think of them, Baggi?

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 7:31 PM

The following hissed in response by: ira

Dafydd - "Those are off the top of my head; what do you think of them..."

I know the question was not directed to me, but since I commented in the previous item, and upon review, appeared a little testy (at least to myself) I can only say one thing to your comment above.

If this is the kind of stuff that comes off the top of your head, WOW! I agree 100%.

Although I must admit that at the beginning of this item, I had my locked-in impression of you as "I agree with him on everything except immigration". When you express it like this, I think most, if not all of the "hard core" anti illigal immigration folk, would nod their head in agreement.

Maybe add a few minor points, such as employment verification to assist in controling the demand side, increased boots on the ground & technology on the border to backstop the thick wall, but all in all, I think you have nailed it.

Why not expand this comment a bit and make it a new post. I bet it will change a LOT of minds.

The above hissed in response by: ira [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 9:03 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

First, apologies for missing the first post and getting back to blog speed late this week... been sick, busy, and sick of being busy.

I'm one of those people you want to hear from Dafydd, even if I'm not a blogger. I mentioned this problem my first time back in April in a comment to your post here:

http://biglizards.net/blog/archives/2006/04/breaking_senate.html#comments

I called the Senate plan Amnesty (still do) and brought up the subject of the legal immigrants still waiting in line.

Now, I didn't address the specific mechanics of the system, since I don't know it well enough to comment on it, but I do make a call to address those who are in line legally before we even CONSIDER addressing those who are here criminally. Like many Americans I have freinds who wish to emmigrate and become Citizens and have not been able to. Had a few 'pop over' to Victoria BC on a weekend of forgetfulness and who got sent 'home' to England for forgetting the Status they were in when between permissions to stay.

I'm in full favor of your plan. Healthy advocate, even.

My main problem with the Senate Plan is that it addresses the illegal aliens by rewarding their lawlessness and attempting to explain the 'reasoning' by pointing out thier rough situation. Meanwhile, we do NOTHING to fix the backlog of LEGAL immigrants; in fact they are set back a FURTHER step by being told they will be gotten to as soon as we process the folks we already have here. ARRRRRGH! Wrong wrong wrong!

My priorities: 1) Build the Wall. We voted for an amnesty in the '80s on the premise that border security would be updated and enforced, so this isn't a new requirement, just finishing the old one before we introduce new ideas to allow the criminals access to our Country. It doesn't have to be complete, but it DOES have to have some positive impact on the drugs, terrorists and slavers who slip across it without any real trouble beyond what the terrain puts out. 2) Deal with the folks in line legally. I don't have enough knowledge of the problem to recommend a solution, so I hereby adopt your plan as a starting point. 3) Put the folks already here at the END of that line, add them one-for-one with the new applicants from overseas so that we can make room for more legal applicants as time goes by. Yes this will punish the lawbreakers.

I would have other changes to make to the system as well, but just adding 12 million people to a line that is already millions long is obviously NOT a solution!

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 9:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: L'Supreemo

Daffyd claims that

the fact of the matter is that dealing with the DMV is predictable --
You know what the rules are, what you have to do;
You know that the tests you take will be judged fairly;
You know how long it will take, and it's a reasonable length of time

And in what galaxy might this be?
You couldn't live in such naivity if this had happened to you instead of me:
Drive 40 miles to a smog station, where they hook the equipment up wrong, and fail your car. Visit three shops who claim there is nothing wrong with the car. Revisit smog shop, who fails the car again after I say I've made no repairs, since they think I'm an undercover agent, trying to get them to pass a faulty car. Drive 50 miles to another smog test, where it passes just fine.

Meanwhile, the registration sticker has expired, requiring a visit to the DMV each time the car is driven, since they won't issue a temporary permit for a "failed" car.

Score: 5 trips to DMV, three trips to smog tests, $$$$ in cash, gas and time, for no reason other than incompetence compounded by lame bureaucracy.

Wanna hear about the time the zoning authorities cited me for an illegal hedge that was actually 12 feet on the next property over? They required an expensive survey to prove it wasn't mine, in spite of previous survey stakes still clearly visible?

Repeat: this is no different in quality to your wife's experience with INS, only the quantity of disruption to YOUR life.

The above hissed in response by: L'Supreemo [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 10:33 PM

The following hissed in response by: SallyVee

Well sir, I admire your clinging to rational and sane questions with the intent to find honest and workable solutions. But I think the Body Snatchers of the Hardline Right are so intent upon this kill that your attempts at holding up a mirror those hard faces may be futile.

I had a couple nasty shocks in the family over the last week. Two close relatives have been body snatched by the Lou Dobbs & Talk Radio crowd. They're incoherent. They are suddenly filled with visceral racist hatred, and both are obviously convinced that the hardline "solution" on immigration is the only thing standing between America and Armageddon before Christmas.

Looking around the blogosphere tonight, have you seen the AP report that the bill is dead? Oh, and this is a great victory for the GOP doncha know, because the hard line is so obviously, plainly what the American people want.

This sick thing that's happening to "conservatives" won't be cured by reasonable discussion or common sense. The thing has gnawed its way down to the soul I'm afraid.

The above hissed in response by: SallyVee [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 11:11 PM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi

Dafydd, you wrote;


Completely separate citizenship and immigration services from border enforcement. The Border Patrol and related enforcement arms (including investigators) have much more in common with the FBI than they do with the rest of the immigration side. Call them "Immigration and Citizenship Services" (ICS) and "Border Enforcement" (BE) for the moment; completely separate agencies.

You know they already did this, right?

We used to be called the INS. The Immigration and Naturalization service included the Adjudication officers (Those are the folks you had to deal with in order to obtain either a Green Card or Citizenship), Border Patrol (Those guys in green you see on the border riding horses, motorbikes or in vehicles) and Immigration Inspectors (We were the guys you would see along with Customs Inspectors) at the Airport, Seaport, or Land Border when returning to the United States. Plus we had our Deportation Officers (They wear plain clothes and work the interior) and the Detention Officers (They wear green like Border Patrol and work in the Federal Jails/Prisons where we keep the aliens). We were all one big happy family in the INS.

Then 9/11 came and they abolished the INS. All of those above groups in the INS were a part of the DOJ (Too many acronyms!!). Also, those U.S. Customs Inspectors I mentioned who worked at the border were not a part of the INS but were a part of the DOT (Department of Treasury).

So, they abolished the INS. The created the DHS and under DHS they created CIS, CBP and ICE. Is your head ready to explode yet with the acronyms?

Under CIS they put all the office jobs. So now there is one chain of command for the Adjudication officers and that chain of command does not include enforcement.

Under CBP they put the old Immigration Inspectors, the Border Patrol, the Customs Inspectors and the Detention Officers.

Under ICE they put all the Special Agents from both U.S. Customs (They had their own plain clothes special agents) and INS (The Deportation Officers).

Alright, its late and i'm tired and I probably didn't make any sense, but they've already followed your suggestion.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 12:44 AM

The following hissed in response by: Towering Barbarian

Dafydd,

One thing I would add to your proposed program...

10. Nuke most "bilingual" or "multicultural" programs until they glow in the dark and then sow salt in the fields where they had been. Too many of these, in my opinion, only serve to impede the natural forces of the Melting Pot and I consider *that* a lot more of a threat than illicit immigration itself could ever be.

11. Make a point of encouraging prosperity in Mexico. Perhaps a lot more than people opposed to foreign aid would normally be. Happy people don't leave their homes.

I remain dubious of any wall for several reasons apart from cost and misallocation of resources (Potential serious trouble though I think that):

1. I suspect such a wall is pretty much going to be the same sort of boondoggle that the Great Wall of China was. Easy to circumvent or tunnel under and requiring of maintenance that won't be there.

2. I also believe that any "border control" good enough to keep people out is going to be good enough to keep people in when they would like to flee and I am not so confident in human nature as to give any government such additional power if I can prevent it.

3. If we don't have the gumption to enforce the laws without the wall what makes us think that we'll have what it takes to man it and keep it in good repair? Those set of problems occurred with the Great Wall as well. In general if we are willing to do what needs doing then such a wall is not needed and if we don't such a wall is going to be utterly useless (or else *worse* than useless!).

Mr. Michael,
In an earlier comment, you'd answered my observation about the potential costs of an unpriced wall by questioning shrewdly whether such a wall would be cheaper than the welfare, social security, medical care and education of illegal immigrants and I still owe you an answer. Thinking it over, while I am willing to consider the possibility that you may be correct on most of these public services, I have to disagree in the case of education. As with our own children, I think that educating the children of illegals is a lot cheaper in the long run then *not* educating them. (With the obvious caveat that I don't consider the bulk of bilingual/multicultural programs to be much in the way of genuine education to the extent that they discourage the learning of English).

The above hissed in response by: Towering Barbarian [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 12:47 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dick E

Dafydd-

Gee, I’m glad I’m not a “hardliner”. For me, border security is definitely the first priority. And, as I’ve posted here before, I could be persuaded to be very lenient with the illegals who are already here if the border can really be adequately secured. Whew! That’s a load off my mind.

First, a point on terminology: I’m just dealing from memory here, but I think when you have talked about “normalization” before, you were referring to reform of the legal immigration process, not the handling of illegal immigrants who are already here. If I’m wrong, just say so. (Although a reference would be appreciated.) I think “normalization” is a euphemism when discussing what to do about 12 million border jumpers. They can be “normalized” by giving them a Path to Citizenship, by deporting them, or by any number of processes between these two extremes.

I sympathize with Sachi’s case. I’m not as sure about Takao’s.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my wife’s naturalization went relatively smoothly, taking, as I recall, about a year. My wife and I have had extensive experience dealing with government bureaucrats, through obtaining services for our special needs daughter and from my dealings with the IRS on audits of complicated corporate tax returns.

Government employees (sorry, Baggi) tend to be prima donnas. They know that your life (or at least the issue that is crucial to you at the moment) is in their hands. They don’t take well to boat rockers. So when we applied for my wife’s citizenship, we proactively adopted a posture of “yes sir, boss” whenever dealing with government workers. Whatever they wanted, we provided quickly, without question. It worked.

It would obviously be impossible for you to provide a detailed, step-by-step narrative of what happened during Sachi’s naturalization. (I know I couldn’t for my wife’s.) But without it, we don’t know whether you pissed somebody off during the process. Now, I know, this shouldn’t matter. But bureaucrats are humans too (believe it or not). If you get ’em mad, your application goes to the bottom of the pile. If they work for the DMV, that costs you a week. If they’re processing a naturalization application, well, who knows?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not accusing you of misbehaving during Sachi’s naturalization. But maybe -- just maybe -- something happened, whether it was your fault or not, that put you on some bureaucrat’s s**t list. Is this the way it should be? Of course not. But there are subjective elements in evaluating immigration and naturalization applications that can, if you’re not careful, make you end up on the bottom of the pile.

Frankly, the point in the process that seems to cause you the greatest anguish -- the swearing-in ceremony -- makes me suspicious. Why in the world would a bureaucrat, whose main working goal is avoiding problems (sorry again, Baggi), choose to delay Sachi’s naturalization ceremony? They must be either abysmally incompetent, sadistic, or angry -- presumably at the applicant. None of us who read your site know which it is. (Try to be objective about this, Dafydd. You are, after all ... uh ... opinionated. There! I said it!)

* * * * *

With respect to Takao’s situation, he, presumably, accepted his work visa in good faith. That is, he agreed to work in the US for a period of time, then return to Japan. If, on the other hand, he intended from the start to use his work visa as a way to gain permanent residency, I have no sympathy for him at all. If that is the case, he merely tried to jump to the head of the line of all the other Japanese folks applying to become residents. Frankly, you seem to imply that that is what he did by saying, “He came from Japan legally, BUT THE MOST HE COULD GET was a work visa.”

I would hope, rather, that he lived here for a while and eventually decided that the country he was working in temporarily would make a good permanent home. Fine. But why should he be given any preference over his countrymen standing in line in Japan? The system is INTENTIONALLY set up to discourage temporary workers from changing status to permanent residency while here. And I, for one, think that is appropriate. Otherwise we would be encouraging people to get temporary visas as a leg up on the immigration ladder.

Takao knew when he came here that his status was TEMPORARY. He should have arranged his life accordingly. If he didn’t, that is HIS problem.

If there’s anything wrong with the law and/or government processes, it’s the fact that we allow a company to keep a temporary worker here for 16 years. And what kind of a company would allow this to happen to their employee? (But before you grab onto this thought too tightly, Dafydd, would your thoughts be any different if Takao had been here for just 5 years? Where do you draw the line?)

The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 2:07 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Baggi:

Alright, its late and i'm tired and I probably didn't make any sense, but they've already followed your suggestion.

Uh... no; they're all three under the Department of Homeland Security. I'm saying the immigration and citizenship functions should not be under DHS but some other, completely civilian agency.

The functions are too different: DHS's job is to protect our security; the criminal enforcement and border patrol functions fit well into that box, since enforcing the border is certainly a matter of security for the homeland.

But walking immigrants through the labyrinth of even the best-run immigration and citizenship program is not a matter of homeland security... no more than is the IRS, the Department of Education, or the Department of State.

Just because both the quasi-military function of border enforcement and the legal process of determining who is a resident or citizen both deal with foreigners entering the United States doesn't mean they should ever have been bundled together.

I think CIS (is that Citizenship and Immigration Services?) should be under, say, State, while Customs, Border Patrol, and Criminal Enforcement should remain under DHS. I mean totally divorce them.

Which they haven't done, but should do, I think.

Dick E:

And, as I’ve posted here before, I could be persuaded to be very lenient with the illegals who are already here if the border can really be adequately secured.

Dick E., if you're saying that you would be willing to tolerate some form of legalization of the illegal immigrants already here if in exchange you could get significantly increased border protection, including a real fence, then you are correct: you don't qualify as a "hardliner" in my nomenclature.

I specifically mean those who would be willing to give up everything, including the fence and every other increase in border protection, if the only alternative were to legalize even some of the illegals already here (what they call "amnesty," since they know that's a fightin' word that will provoke an intense emotional reaction... and shut down the critical faculties of the brain).

You would be amazed at how many such "hardliners" there are -- beginning with a majority of Republicans in the House.

I mean those people who have a one-word description of any program that doesn't begin with mass deportations or starving them out or some other method of driving the illegal immigrants out of the country by force.

If a fellow says, as you appear to say, "I don't like the idea of legalizing the illegals... but if that means I can get a fence, vehicle barriers, and more border enforcement, I'll hold my nose and go along with it" -- then he is actually negotiating a compromise, thus he is not a hardliner.

By definition, hardliners (a.k.a. "bitter-enders") are the ones who will not compromise under any likely circumstances.

Readers:

I don't want to mislead you into thinking my entire "package" is the previous, long response to Baggi; that was just my idea of what should be done with what used to be called the INS and is now the USCIS.

I support other elements, too... including some form of legalization. I'm open to any reasonable way of doing so that is not a "poison pill."

Demanding that they leave the country and apply for entry as if from scratch from their country of origin is a complete non-starter... because they'll never do it. For heaven's sake -- would you? Would you really abandon your entire life in the United States, just on a promise from Congress that they won't treat you any worse than they treat other would-be immigrants?

Make them wait an equivalent length of time, but in their homes in America; that's fine with me. Make the system difficult and time-consuming; no problem. Fine them, force them to learn both the English language and also American history, run criminal background checks.

But don't offer a fake "compromise" that is actually nothing more than an efficient, low-cost way for illegals to deport themselves... because that simply will not happen. They won't do it, and I'm intelligent enough to see through the ruse.

The Democrats would never allow such a bill to pass the Senate anyway; and there certainly are insufficient Republicans, let alone conservatives, to force cloture and ram it down the president's throat.

As I've said before: the only way we shall ever get a fence is to make a grand deal that includes legalization in some fashion.

That is the truth; you can recognize it or reject it, but it's truth nonetheless.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 4:57 AM

The following hissed in response by: Harold C. Hutchison

Dafydd, you have nailed it.

I've discussed this on my blog - and I think that until the system is reformed, it will continue to invite defiance and scorn from people.

The above hissed in response by: Harold C. Hutchison [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 6:38 AM

The following hissed in response by: Harold C. Hutchison

Dick E,

Who shouldn't people with a track record of being here already be given a leg up? Particularly for someone in Takao's case?

The above hissed in response by: Harold C. Hutchison [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 7:06 AM

The following hissed in response by: Sachi

evilned

Your experience is terrible, but so typical. My case was a lot easier than yours. But I had my fingerprints taken twice. They delayed the process so long, that the fingerprints expired. (That's what they said. Don't ask me how fingerprints can expire.)

Readers, if you have not done so yet, you should read evilned and his wife's story.

The above hissed in response by: Sachi [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 7:44 AM

The following hissed in response by: Watchman

I'm probably a hard-liner by your definition, and I definitely think the Senate proposal (thankfully now on life support) is amnesty by any meaningful definition of the word. But here's a quote from my post back in April describing my brother-in-law's struggles with the immigration system that addresses your search at least in part:

I am not opposed to immigration--legal immigration. In fact, although many on "my side" of this issue do not agree, I support both an increase in the number of legal immigrants, and a streamlining of the process for citizenship.

The above hissed in response by: Watchman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 8:43 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dick E

Harold C. Hutchison-

“Who (sic) shouldn't people with a track record of being here already be given a leg up? Particularly for someone in Takao's case?”

In an ideal world, I might very well agree with you. People like Takao have probably met all the prerequisites for residency, maybe even for citizenship, except for standing in line in their home countries. But the world of immigration is far from ideal -- just ask Dafydd and Sachi.

The work visa program allows employers who can’t find qualified US residents to fill certain jobs, to hire foreigners temporarily. You may not like the way the program works. I, for one, think allowing a company to keep someone here on a “temporary” visa for 16 years is absolutely ridiculous. And the company that did that to Takao should be ashamed of its behavior. But the work visa program is definitely NOT an immigration program.

If we were to grant holders of work visas an easy way to gain legal residency, maybe even allowing them to remain here after their visas have expired while they apply for permanent status, imagine what would happen. Every application for a work visa would have to be treated as the equivalent of an application for permanent residency. We already know the bureaucracy, delays, quotas, etc. involved in that process. So an employer with a legitimate need for a temporary foreign worker (no, it’s not always a really legitimate need, but work with me here) might have to wait years for the work visa to be approved, rather than weeks or months as is now the case.

And yes, the above focuses on the needs of the employer, rather than the worker. But that’s the whole point of the program. It’s designed to allow US employers to fill legitimate employment needs. It’s not set up for the benefit of foreign workers who want to come here.

The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 4:47 PM

The following hissed in response by: James H

Great post, I was going to introduce you to my blogroll this week but these articles have moved that up. You are not alone out there. There are plenty of us conservatives that are yelling the same things. The funny thing is that this whole issue has little to do with illegals. The main groups that are spreading this garbage FAIR CIS, NUmbers(whose former spokesman is now writing at National Review and the Corner) are all anti immgration period. One can go to their web sites and see that. They believe in some radical agenda that includes reducing the population of the US to 150 million. Keep on spreading the truth. There are a few of us out there that will be getting our voices out there. The big question I would like to ask social conservatives IS if anyone is concerned about who we are getting into bed on this issue. Does it concern you that major contributors to the anti illegal immigration side are supporters of planned parenthood, the abortion program in China, and Euthanasia. Good Grief ,Former Governor Lamm of Colorodo is involved with these groups.

The above hissed in response by: James H [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 4:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dick E

testing

  • testing

  • testing testing

    testing

    testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing

    testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing
    testing testing testing testing
    testing
    testing

    The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 5:00 PM

    The following hissed in response by: Dick E

    (Sorry, Dafydd -- I was just trying out your funky new buttons. Neat, but not in the hands of a fool such as I. Please feel free to delete.)

    The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 5:08 PM

    The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

    Dick E:

    Please feel free to delete.

    Ha ha, you don't get to skate that easily! I'm leaving it up forever.

    I think "pre" is like "code" on some systems --

    (posts it as is, including extra     spaces     and suchlike)

    ...and in a smaller, monospace typeface, so you can line it up. Could also be useful for typing in a table, since I don't let people use div tags or imgs or tables in comments.

                      Col 1          Col 2
            ------------------------------
            row1 |      12      |      23
            row2 |       7      |     117
            ------------------------------


    Cool, in a geeky sort of way.

    Dafydd

    The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 5:28 PM

    The following hissed in response by: Dick E

    Dafydd-

    Oh, the humiliation!

    You cad, sir -- I'm branded as a non-geek for life, nay for eternity!

    The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2006 11:01 PM

    The following hissed in response by: The Hedgehog

    Thanks for this post, Daffyd. I'm blogrolling you.

    Reading this stuff is like water to a man dying of thirst. I blog about immigration all the time and am amazed and repulsed by the responses I get from the VDARE crowd. What's more disappointing is how the mainstream conservative blogosphere (MCB) and conservative talk radio all hew to the extreme hard line of guys like Tancredo. Polls show those people are in a minority, but that doesn't stop the likes of Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Power Line from referring to those minority views as the views of "The American People."

    Keep up the good work.

    The above hissed in response by: The Hedgehog [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 8:28 AM

    The following hissed in response by: Linh_My

    My wife zipped through the process. Admittedly she had been a civilian employee of the US Navy in Vietnam, was married to an American, had two children with American passports and we left Viet Nam on a USAF C-141 during the evacuation of Saigon. So she might have gotten special treatment. Like they were going to deport her to Viet Nam or something.

    Admittedly the process was long and tedious. But we ran into no obstructions. Exactly five years after arriving at Travis AFB she was sworn in as an American citizen.

    The above hissed in response by: Linh_My [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 11:11 PM

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