President George W. Bush addresses the press about immigration policy (White House photo.)
It seems my post below on immigration and national security has ignited a pretty good debate in the blogosphere. An excellent blog, Polipundit, has weighed in. In essence, Polipundit's plan is to make it difficult, if not imposible, to have a fake Social Security number (SSN) and then require anyone who gets a job to have a valid SSN. Michelle Malkin calls Polipundit's approach "humane."
Well, if Polipundit's approach is humane, I'd hate to see what is considered inhumane. Here's Polipundit's reponse to my question, Do you really think the American public has the stomach to see 10 million people deported, many of whom have been here all their lives?
Polipundit cites polls at 70%, and I am deeply skeptical. Better come up with a link to some sources on that one, Polipundit! I also wonder whether people would simply fade back across the border once they are unable to find a job. Indeed, I wonder about a lot of aspects of Polipundit's very simple plan.
Absolutely! Polls usually show 70 pecent or more Americans want all illegal immigrants deported. Among conservatives, the numbers are even higher.
Besides, the key advantage of my plan is that there won’t need to be trainloads of immigrants being carted across the border by government guards. They will “deport” themselves because they will be unable to find work.
My view on this is that of a 25-year Los Angeles resident who also spent several years of my young adulthood living in Central America. I speak Spanish and now work regularly in volunteer and professional affairs with the Hispanic community. I'm pretty comfortable with that community and its culture. I'm also a solid Republican conservative.
The Bush plan requires those who are here already to earn their way to legal status and someday to citizenship. It is not amnesty, nor is it heavy-handed. It requires people to get serious about becoming Americans if they want to stay here and enjoy the benefits of living in the USA. That plan will sell. If the Republican party were to be seen as pushing a plan to kicking real people out of the country, separating children from families, and so forth, we will see a public relations nightmare of epic proportions. In a comment below, my fellow conservative Republican Angeleno Wagonboy speculates, with heavy irony, on what it would be like:
There won't be a single court order from any circuit court ordering a halt to such an operation. As well, the general public will be universally in favor of spending tens of billions of dollars on such a practical exercise. All should go rather swimmingly! Why hasn't any sober person thought of this before?Wagonboy continues the debate on his blog.
First, we'll need to double the number of lawyers in this country. That should take a minimum of 5 years so we better get started. There's going to be much for them to do.
We'll have to implement internment camps with tents and barbed wire to process and clarify the illegals from the legals before shipping/busing/marching them back where they came from. This could take months so don't forget to earmark a ton of cash to compensate for lost wages and collateral expenses those legally here who couldn't immediately prove their citizenship to the nice men who dragged them to the internment camp. Food, sanitation and medical services will also be provided of course.
Once processed and fingered as an illegal we'll just send them back to Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, and, don't forget the southeast Asian illegals. It shouldn't be too hard logistically or diplomatically. By the way, do we send newly arrived illegals without their children born on U.S. soil or with their children born on U.S. soil?
We'll have to process and redistribute much of their property, too. Things they can't carry on the long journey home. Houses, furniture, cars, tools, machinery, etc. These huge auction wherehouses could possibly fund a small fraction of a small percentage of the whole operation.
The world community won't be bothered by this operation, either. They'll gladly go along and won't take any punitive measures against us in the arenas of trade, finance, law, intelligence or hosting our military and defense bases and structures around the globe. They'll all understand and look the other way. And don't forget the cancer of socialism and communism creeping it's way into the governments of South America... sending all these illegals back to their home countries with a good working knowledge and foundation of our democratic principles should turn that commie tide right around.
We need a name for this operation. How about Operation Feverish Lunacy?
Are we over-stating the political problems here? Just ask Pete Wilson, who got re-elected Governor of California by supporting Proposition 187 , an anti-immigrant measure. Since then California Republicans have found themselves wishing they had taken a different tack. Our state is going to be majority Hispanic before too long, and if we are going to be a viable party we need Hispanics with us.
Full disclosure: I voted for Prop 187. I was enraged by photos from anti-187 rallies showing hundreds of Mexican flags flying. Those photos alone ensured the passage of the ballot measure.
In hindsight, I now believe 187 was a mistake. I understand why it passed, but we have to learn from the experience. We need to make Hispanics into Republicans. They won't come our way if we are seen as anti-immigrant. Hispanics naturally tend to be inclined our way-- their culture is that of a hard working, opportunity-seeking people.
Here's a link to what President Bush said when he first introduced his plan. It amazes me that so many conservatives immediately came unhinged. As the former governor of a border state, Bush gets this. We all should get it too!