May 12, 2011

Obamigration: Walls, Windows, and Empty Words

Hatched by Dafydd

We start Sgt. Friday style, with just the facts, ma'am. President Barack H. Obama has suddenly discovered that the United States shares a longish border with Mexico on the south. Or at least this is the first time he has visited there; so if he knew about it before yesterday, it didn't make much of an impression.

The president, during his 2008 campaign, assured activists for the illegales that he would find a way to extend amnesty to the estimated twelve to twenty million illegal aliens. But of much greater weight than merely keeping his word, he evidently is sniffing wavering support among American Hispanics for the perpetuation of his atrocity administration: Perhaps the formerly steadfast Obamic Hispanic cadre has grown perturbed by the lousy economy, unconscionable unemployment, staggering spending, metastasizing debt -- and the daily assaults by his administration on the small businesses that might raise Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants from hardship to ownership.

American Hispanics could even decide, God forbid, that the very socialism and "Progressivism" they fled from in Latin America might still be just as wicked and unacceptable here in the land of the fee and home of the rave. Therefore, the AHs might conclude that Barack Obama has had his innings; and now it's time to return to fiscal sanity by voting for Tea-Party Republicans.

Or at least, so President B.O. appears to fear; for he has marched to the border to proclaim border-security utopia:

[Obama] made the case that with more Border Patrol agents, a border fence and falling crime rates, he has checked border security off the to-do list, and it’s time for Congress to write a legalization bill -- an issue that has stalled since 2007, when it failed in a dramatic bipartisan filibuster on the Senate floor.

“We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done,” he said.

“But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I’ve got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us.”

Yes... move them back where they were a couple of years ago. (This source shall hereafter be known as "the story.")

Out of 1,969 miles of border between the United States and Mexico, some 873 miles -- 44.3% -- are under "operational control," according to the Border Patrol. Operational control means "the Border Patrol has the capacity to deter illegal crossers and pursue them when they’re spotted;" of course, under that definition, violent crime in Juarez is likewise under operational control, because the cops are free to chase suspects through the streets. (Whether they catch them is another question.)

(This source shall hereafter be known as "the editorial".)

But it seems that even such a loose standard is too tight for the Obamanistas, as Homeland Security Secretary Janet "Bonaparte" Napolitano was dispatched to Congress to enunciate a new measuring stick for border security; from the story:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last week told Congress that she is scrapping the “operational control” yardstick and will come up with a new definition to measure border security that does not require the border to be entirely sealed - something she said is not achievable.

The editorial goes into somewhat more detail:

The Obama administration has cooked up a novel way to calculate what a great job his Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been doing in stemming the flow of aliens flooding over the border from Mexico. In March, Ms. Napolitano stood on a bridge connecting El Paso to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and proclaimed border security to be “better than ever.” In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee last week, Ms. Napolitano claimed that the meaning of “operational control” of the border is “archaic” and that she intends to devise a “more quantitative and qualitative way to reflect what actually is occurring at the border.” She said she wants an index that would include a measure of how many persons have been deterred from even attempting to jump the border.

By counting these theoretical illegals - as opposed to real ones - Ms. Napolitano’s border-security mission becomes much easier. While hundreds of thousands actually cross over annually, compared to, say, Mexico’s entire population of 112 million, they represent a tiny fraction. Preventing border crossing in a computer model or a spreadsheet allows Ms. Napolitano to proclaim “mission accomplished” without having to actually crack down in a way that would offend left-wing open-border advocacy groups.

Describing the projected deterence of millions of phantom Mexicans who might (or might not) have contemplated entering the U.S. illegally, but who chose in any event not to do so, as a great "success" of Obamic border control -- and then using that suspicion of success to argue for immediate legalization of illegals -- takes a proud place among the miraculous verbal confabulations of this administration:

  • "Leading from behind." (Not to be confused with bleeding from the behind.)
  • "Spending reductions in the tax code." (Not to be confused with reductions in spending.)
  • And of course, who could forget the most obvious parallel: all those jobs that were "created or saved" during the period that crass Republicans refer to as a recession: Sure unemployment skyrocketed when Obama took the oath of office; but imagine how many millions, billions, of fictional jobs would have been lost had Canal-Zone immigrant John McCain won!

Take Obama at his word: He has achieved a stellar but imaginary victory over invisible lawbreakers who didn't jump the border when they very well could have, had they actually existed. Perhaps those phantom illegals just stood in bed because, with our current 9% unemployment, not enough jobs have been created or saved for them.

So those are the facts: Mohammed came to the mountain, lest the mountain vote Republican. But what's the real issue here beyond mere fact-mongering? Only this; here are the elements of Barack Obama's dream immigration bill -- or so he claims:

While the president was speaking, the White House released a blueprint for a four-part plan to address immigration: maintain border security enhancements; phase in mandatory electronic checks for all employees; revamp the legal immigration system; and grant a pathway to citizenship to illegal immigrants who go through a background check, haven’t committed crimes, pay fines and back taxes and wait at least eight years before getting a green card.

Sound familiar? It should: The "blueprint" appears to have been essentially Xeroxed from McCain's Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, which George W. Bush pushed heavily (as the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007).

Of the blueprint items above, the most important was the least discussed: "Revamp the legal immigration system." I have written extensively about this issue; alert readers will discover that I fall into precisely none of the usual categories.

I am guided by two aphorisms that I have eructated over the years:

  1. First, there is no wall so strong that a million people cannot knock it down.
  2. But equally true, invited guests don't sneak through the window; they knock on the front door.

The corollary to (2) above is that anyone who is trying to sneak through the window is crashing the party, and he deserves everything he's got coming to him. He's a no-goodnik.

Link them together and you get this: Enforcement alone cannot solve our problem with illegal immigration; there simply are too many illegals entering daily for the beleagured Border Patrol to find and process. The only real and lasting solution includes both enforcement and also drastic reform of the legal immigration system, so to accomplish two main goals:

  • Giving would-be legal immigrants a path to citizenship that is predictable, just, and biased in favor of those immigrants who already have American values.
  • Thus relieving the pressure on the enforcement policies.

We have no great interest in keeping out immigrants who want to come to America because they believe in the American creed of liberty, Capitalism, "In God we trust," and "E pluribus unum;" in fact, those are precisely the immigrants we want, because they add to the melting pot of assimilation, rather than the salad bowl of "diversity."

Right now, the vast, vast majority of those crossing over illegally are thoroughly Americanized, and would pose no threat and violate no laws, but for the arbitrary, arcane, and insane rules of the USCIS and the INS before them. But because we treat those illegals the same way we treat mules for Chihuahuan drug cartels, slave traders, and radical Islamist terrorists, we have no resources left to catch the real bad guys sneaking in among the sea of desperate good guys just trying to do what's best for their families.

And because the legal immigration system is unjust, unpredictable, and arbitrary, we drive into the desert those who would ordinarily be invited guests -- whence they do their best to sneak through the window, after the front door is slammed in their faces without a word of explanation, a morsel of consistency, an inch of a safe pathway, or a shred of hope.

So far, no politician for or against an immigration reform bill has told me exactly what reforms would make us safer and what would make us more vulnerable; and until that communications task is complete, none of us can have any idea whether the bill du jour is worth buying or not.

Alas, I do not believe the Obamunist really gives a rat's hoot about immigrants, legal or il-; he cares only about the people who choose to vote for Obama come 2012. Legally or il-.

Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 12, 2011, at the time of 3:29 AM


The following hissed in response by: snochasr

I can't disagree with you, as far as you've gone. But you have left out that part where we separate out, from among those uninvited guests who are already HERE, those that are really nice folks who are the good friends we haven't yet met. For that, amnesty is not the answer, nor is any kind of "earned" amnesty. I like the solution once proposed in Congress which, to use your analogy, would tell all of them that they would be expelled in the next 60 days (i.e. would lose their jobs, then be deported) but that they could "climb back out the window" and would be welcomed at the front door as if we had never seen them before. Sort of "Hello, there, stranger. I don't know how, but it appears there is a job opening in Chicago being held open specifically for you, for which you are qualified. Would you like to register here and take that job?"

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 12, 2011 6:08 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


I'm with Hugh Hewitt on this: I'm not really worried about the current 15 million illegals; I want to prevent the next wave of 15 million illegals. The only way to do that, I believe, is to reform the immigration model to allow in all the good ones as legal immigrants... and use any means necessary to interdict, capture, or kill the few really bad ones, whether criminals or terrorists.

Any path to legalization acceptable to the lion's share of conservatives for those already here is fine with me.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 12, 2011 1:29 PM

The following hissed in response by: mdgiles

I think all that's needed is a little thing called political will. Something as simply as not allowing money transfers except through an official site, which requires that you be here legally would destroy one of the most attractive reasons for coming here illegally. Not much use coming here to work, if you have to keep your money in a mattress until you return to your home country, is there. Or actually punishing businesses for hiring illegals is another thing. And by punish, I mean PUNISH. Something along the lines, of fines that equal a percentage of the income you made during the period that you were employing illegals. I think part of the problem, is too many of our "leaders" are looking for some kind of method that doesn't "hurt" anyone. Some method that awards someone for "good behavior" and overlooks the original crime. The "they're mostly good people looking for a better life" meme. It occurs to me that I don't care. Make a better life in your own country and stop screwing up mine.

The above hissed in response by: mdgiles [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 12, 2011 3:19 PM

The following hissed in response by: seePea

I'm all for throwing the book at companies that use illegal aliens - as long as they can not show any documentation that lead them to believe that the person was here illegally.

But it is not just companies, it is also consumers. After all, how well would a landscaping company in the SouthWest do if it advertised that they confirmed the legality of all there workers and charged 50% more to cover all the legal wages and taxes?

The above hissed in response by: seePea [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 12, 2011 7:10 PM

The following hissed in response by: mdgiles

I'm all for throwing the book at companies that use illegal aliens - as long as they can not show any documentation that lead them to believe that the person was here illegally.
IOW, You're all for throwing the book at them - unless of course they actually get caught. Any loopholes - and I do mean any - will be used if they are left open. Fine them if they've been found to employ illegals, no exceptions, no excuses. Now that may present problems for Hispanic citizens, but any problems are caused by the illegals and the illegal coddling politicians Hispanics elect to office.

The above hissed in response by: mdgiles [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 13, 2011 5:39 AM

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

AFAIK, there are already two or three states which have some variant of the law which says, roughly, that if you do not run your new employees through the federal e-Verify system and are found to employ an illegal, you lose your business license for six months. Do it again, and you're out of business. Obviously, if e-Verify clears the employee but they are found later to be illegal, the company is off the hook.

Now to me, that falls short because we don't run EXISTING employees through the system, but it is a good start and, apparently, has resulted in waves of people "self-deporting" to... somewhere. Couple a national version of that with the open-arms and open-front door approach Dafydd is proposing, and I think you have a compassionate AND sensible "comprehensive" reform. Of the two, of course, the latter is more difficult. The former is already in place and working.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 13, 2011 5:56 AM

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