Saturday, March 12, 2005

Illegal Immigration: The Issue The GOP Simply Must Get Right

Link

Give me your tired, your poor . . . but legally, please!

I'm impressed, as I listen to conservative talk radio, by the depth of anger expressed by both callers and hosts (for example, Laura Ingraham) about the Bush approach to illegal immigration. This is an issue we must get right without splitting the Republican Party and its base of support. Our overriding goal should be to forge a Republican consensus on what to do. The blogosphere can help achieve that.

That won't be easy. As my blogfather Hugh Hewitt notes:

There's a small, hard-core nativist, anti-even-legal-immigrant group that seeks to hijack every conversation and comment thread about border security, and you can usually identify its members pretty quickly. But the venom among this small, off-putting group should not disguise the fact there is widespread, across-the-political-spectrum worry that there isn't enough effort being put into border security. And that concern could become Hillary's path to the right in 2008, though it is hard to see how, if the issue is border security, the answer could ever be a Democrat in the White House. (Emphasis added.)
You can see some evidence of that nativist fringe in action on the comments to my posts below on immigration, here and here. You'll also see the fierce nature of the debate among other reasonable people who disagree.

Glenn Reynolds (the InstaPundit) adds a little more in an MSNBC column here (hat tip to Hugh). Take a look also at the other links Hugh has compiled.

I support the Bush plan, but we can't forget that plan involves both carrots and sticks. As Hugh notes, the porous nature of the borders continues, and leaves many of us worrying about whether there is enough "stick" being used right now.

I'll say again that the key principles at stake are:
  • The rule of law
  • National security
  • National cohesion
  • Preservation of traditional values
I also continue to believe that the Bush plan addresses every one of those. Before anyone gets too worked up about the president's proposal, please review it, as outlined here. Remember, what I call the Bush "plan" is really an outline of principles. We can debate those. But if we start talking about deporting 10 million people to Mexico and other Latin American countries, the debate is no longer serious, because that will never happen and efforts to make it happen will destroy the GOP's appeal both to moderate voters and many Hispanics, and we need them in our party.

This debate is culturally and racially charged. We must admit that. As I've stated before, I recognize that my views on these matters are colored by my experience, but I think I have some credibility. I'm a solid Republican conservative whose first ancestors came to America in the 1670's with William Penn. I'm also a 25-year Los Angeles resident who also spent several years of my young adulthood living in Central America. I speak Spanish fluently and now work regularly in volunteer and professional affairs with the Hispanic community. I'm pretty comfortable with that community and its culture. I love Hispanic food, the music, and the sound of the language.

I understand how others who haven't got that perspective think only of illegal immigrants (and they are illegal, not "undocumented," for heaven's sake) as gang members, criminals, or barely-literate manual laborers. In part, they are those things; but that's a narrow perspective. At least in my experience, in much larger part they are folks looking for a decent chance to feed themselves and their families. They're hard workers and come from the Judeo-Christian tradition. They'd make great Republicans. There are just too darn many of them here all at once!

Even so, we can't allow them come here at the expense of the rule of law, or of our national security in these perilous times of jihad, or of our national culture and language. All those concerns are real, and need a sober, vigorous, serious national debate. President Bush is trying to lead that debate. His plan addresses every one of those concerns in a manner that balances a tough approach to policing the border with humanely allowing those who want to earn their way to permanent resident status (and later citizenship) to do so, without rewarding their illegal entry. He does not deserve the bashing he has received from the Tom Tancredos and Laura Ingrahams of the right. (I love Laura Ingraham and what she's doing on every other issue, by the way.)

The problem needs a serious solution, not angry and unrealistic demands to throw millions of people out of the country, or for Mexico to improve its economy overnight. Maybe the Bush outline is not perfect, but it is a serious attempt at a solution. Let's debate it. Nativists need not apply!

77 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ask us to look at the White House proposal, and when we do, the President's Principles of reform ignore every one of the Key Principles you list above which I agree with 100%. Instead it reward criminal behavior, has no provision to further restrict the illegal invasion across the borders, and creates an un-American lawless horde of entitlement seekers and foreign nationals with no respect for American Laws or the liar we have in the White House. Oh Yes, it guarantees Compassion from us abused and maligned Americans.  

Posted by pat

Saturday, March 12, 2005 3:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't have to round up illegals to get rid of them. All it would take is cracking down on the business owners who hire them to get most of them to self-deport. If they have no job, then they have no reason to be here. At least that would be the case for most of them.

As to Bush's plan, it's a non-starter. Anything that allows illegal to become citizens or makes it easier for them here in there US is a bad idea. That's not something we're going to be able to compromise on either because we've already gone so far over the line in the way we coddle illegals that they're practically treated like citizens in some parts of the country as it. They work here, their kids go to school here, some of them get welfare because their kids was born, they get driver's licenses, some of them are even allowed to vote in our elections.

We don't need to work out a compromise in our policy towards illegals, we need a radical correction. 

Posted by John Hawkins

Saturday, March 12, 2005 3:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But if we start talking about deporting 10 million people to Mexico and other Latin American countries, the debate is no longer serious, because that will never happen and efforts to make it happen will destroy the GOP's appeal both to moderate voters and many Hispanics, and we need them in our party. "

I disagree that we should begin by granting that all illegals already here will never be deported. That is an open invitation to further massive incursions. After all, seriously -- if your starting point is that illegals won't be deported, what, honestly, is the point of any reforms at all? The heart of any effort at stiffening the protection of our borders (and our language and society as we know it) has to be the principle that people who break the law to get here will not be rewarded by being allowed to stay.

Or are you saying that we should deport new arrivals, but not those already here? Then you are proposing another massive amnesty. We did that in the 1980s and because of it we have millions more illegals here.

It may be the truth that we can't deport all 10 million illegals that are already here. But that's my starting point in the negotiation, and the goal I want us to aim for. If we only partially achieve that, while stopping the influx of additional invaders, I will be satisfied. But I'm not willing to start by granting all those here already an amnesty. That approach is a proven failure. 

Posted by MarkJ

Saturday, March 12, 2005 3:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could go along with a guest worker program if some changes were made.
1) Any children born to non-citizens would not received US Citizenship automatically
2) Applications for the guest worker program would only be accepted in the country of origin of the applicant and paper work would be issued in that other country.
3) The guest worker status would only be good for 12 months with a 3 month hiatus before re-applications would be accepted. Again only in the country of origin and only if the guest worker could show that he exited the US on schedule and turned in his permit on leaving the country. 

Posted by JB Kramer

Saturday, March 12, 2005 4:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an American in spirit I want to quote from my post, The Land of Opportunity :

"My long-range goal is to return to the freest country in the world. I am glad that Bush is giving the opportunity for more individuals to come to America and work, but I think it should be open for anybody to live in the United States of America as long as you don't infringe on the rights of other individuals, or you are a potential threat to the safety of the country." (EGO, 01/09/04.)

Best Premises,

Martin Lindeskog - American in spirit.
Gothenburg, Sweden (a.k.a the socialist "paradise"). 

Posted by Martin Lindeskog

Saturday, March 12, 2005 4:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a nativist. I too lived in Central America for a short while and love the culture.

20 years ago, I was taking the architectural exam in Miami where I was working at the time. Most people were taking the exam in Spanish. I feel this is wrong because an English speaking engineer literally probably couldn't get a job there if he didn't speak fluent Spanish. I think this is wrong.

I do not want to be a divided nation like Canada.  

Posted by Ann

Saturday, March 12, 2005 4:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a moderately conservative Republican, I'd offer a modest proposal for immigration reform. My own plan would parallel that of the President in a number of ways, but here are the essential points:

1) Control the border. We have the same right to control our border as Mexico does hers. If that means a fence, build it. Institute the necessary (and painful) reforms in our Border services.

2) Institute a true guest worker program. Protect the workers from the avarice of employers who would otherwise mistreat them. Match workers and employers. Provide an ID card. Individuals outside the USA who want to come have to match up with an employer who needs them. Illegals currently in the USA have to do the same or risk deportation. The goal is no illegals: you are here legally or you are not here. Provide a reasonable time frame for current illegals to get matched up in the legal guest worker program or leave. Provide transportation for those who need to find the border. Since most illegals here today are working, getting a matchup done means making the employers become honest as well. That's good for our legal and tax system. If a household employs an illegal as a gardener or a nanny, they can darned well come clean and start paying the appropriate taxes.

3) The guest worker program has time limits -- 7 years or so at the outside. No welfare benefits -- if you're here to work and you have a job, you don't need welfare. If you don't have a job, you need to leave. I WOULD provide for some sort of coverage for catastrophic illness, since guest workers are not likely to receive great health care benefits. We're a compassionate society.

4) The guest worker program has a safety valve -- if you're here, keep your nose clean, learn English, etc., you can enter a program that eventually leads to permanent residency and citizenship. My ancestors, like that of the Hedgehog, came from elsewhere. The number of slots open to citizenship for guest workers would be set by law and would be frequently reviewed. Permanent residency would be granted much in line with current law.

5) Children of guest workers would have the right to be in American schools. Children belong in schools, not on the streets. Since the guest workers have jobs and thus are paying taxes, they have the right the send their kids to school. The Federal govt would subsidize school districts that have a high percentage of children of guest workers. Along the way, the kids learn English.

6) Guest workers get the same minimum wage and legal protections as any American citizen.

7) Children of guest workers who are born in the U.S. are not automaticallly American citizens. Redefine the citizenship law accordingly.

8) No amnesty. If you're an illegal now, you get matched up or risk deportation. As a practical matter, there will be relatively few deportations, as under any scheme it's tough to deport any large number of people. But any law needs a hammer, and this is the hammer.

Just a thought. Like your blog. 

Posted by Steve White

Saturday, March 12, 2005 4:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, March 12, 2005 4:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One angle I haven't heard much about is mainstreaming immigrants so that they become productive, patriotic citizens. I certainly believe in proper border integrity and immigration law enforcement. Yet, there are 10-12M illegal immigrants in the US now and mass deportation is problematic. Providing an integration path with the help of faith-based/community-based organizations and visionary businesses could help alleviate the problems associated with illegal immigration. Check out my recent blog  on this topic for more info.  

Posted by TexasTommy

Saturday, March 12, 2005 4:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fool me once, shame on you. We had an amnesty in 1986, with a big stick: a crack down on employers. 18 years later, name two times it has been applied. (Just to skip the WalMart incident -- which shouldn't count anyway since apparently no sanctions were ever levied).

Fool me twice, shame on me. No amnesty, Mr. Bush. When the speaker says "But if we start talking about deporting 10 million people to Mexico and other Latin American countries, the debate is no longer serious" while the speaker ADMITS that those 10 million are ALL LAWBREAKERS...I agree the debate is not serious. Not if the "rule of law" actually means a damn.

 

Posted by Chuck

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bush program is amnesty on the installment plan and is, at its core, a bad idea. As is mentioned by others, it does nothing to prevent more border crashers. In the southwest, particularly in an around Los Angeles, the quality of life for out CITIZENS is steadily declining due to the hordes of illegals. Our medical infrastructure is buckling with hospitals closing and patient wait times in ER's approaching 8 or more hours.

The schools are also buckling under the pressure of up to 50% of students who do not speak English. With our own CITIZEN children being deprived of a quality education as the ESL students must be provided...all through a burgeoning population and a shrinking tax base.

There is a severe scarcity of affordable housing and entry level home buyers are excluded from the market.

Bush and the open borders wall street crowd are once again trying to screw the US citizen. Why on earth we aren't prosecuting white fat cat businessmen for illegal hiring practices is beyond me. In cities like Compton, CA, unemployment is in excess of 25%. The reason for this is simple, the illegal aliens are undercutting wages for our poorest citizens. Jobs high school kids used to take are unavailable as illegals are attempting to make careers out of them.

As Pat posted above, start throwing fat cat white business people in jail for illegal hiring practices and the job market dries up...most will leave on their own, they won't need to be deported. 

Posted by Lee

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This conservative will not be supporting Bush's amnesty plan. 

Posted by La Shawn

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bush program is amnesty on the installment plan and is, at its core, a bad idea. As is mentioned by others, it does nothing to prevent more border crashers. In the southwest, particularly in an around Los Angeles, the quality of life for out CITIZENS is steadily declining due to the hordes of illegals. Our medical infrastructure is buckling with hospitals closing and patient wait times in ER's approaching 8 or more hours.

The schools are also buckling under the pressure of up to 50% of students who do not speak English. With our own CITIZEN children being deprived of a quality education as the ESL students must be provided...all through a burgeoning population and a shrinking tax base.

There is a severe scarcity of affordable housing and entry level home buyers are excluded from the market.

Bush and the open borders wall street crowd are once again trying to screw the US citizen. Why on earth we aren't prosecuting white fat cat businessmen for illegal hiring practices is beyond me. In cities like Compton, CA, unemployment is in excess of 25%. The reason for this is simple, the illegal aliens are undercutting wages for our poorest citizens. Jobs high school kids used to take are unavailable as illegals are attempting to make careers out of them.

As Pat posted above, start throwing fat cat white business people in jail for illegal hiring practices and the job market dries up...most will leave on their own, they won't need to be deported. 

Posted by Lee

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bush program is amnesty on the installment plan and is, at its core, a bad idea. As is mentioned by others, it does nothing to prevent more border crashers. In the southwest, particularly in an around Los Angeles, the quality of life for out CITIZENS is steadily declining due to the hordes of illegals. Our medical infrastructure is buckling with hospitals closing and patient wait times in ER's approaching 8 or more hours.

The schools are also buckling under the pressure of up to 50% of students who do not speak English. With our own CITIZEN children being deprived of a quality education as the ESL students must be provided...all through a burgeoning population and a shrinking tax base.

There is a severe scarcity of affordable housing and entry level home buyers are excluded from the market.

Bush and the open borders wall street crowd are once again trying to screw the US citizen. Why on earth we aren't prosecuting white fat cat businessmen for illegal hiring practices is beyond me. In cities like Compton, CA, unemployment is in excess of 25%. The reason for this is simple, the illegal aliens are undercutting wages for our poorest citizens. Jobs high school kids used to take are unavailable as illegals are attempting to make careers out of them.

As Pat posted above, start throwing fat cat white business people in jail for illegal hiring practices and the job market dries up...most will leave on their own, they won't need to be deported. 

Posted by Lee

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This conservative will not be supporting Bush's amnesty plan. 

Posted by La Shawn

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its too bad that Laura Ingram doesn't live in my neighborhood. People's attitudes would be much different if they lived in Sunland or Lake View Terrace or Sylmar CA. My wife and I moved here from Santa Monica 4 years ago. We are professionals that wanted to be near our horses so we moved to a neighborhood that is very mixed. My attitude has completely changed being in contact on a daily basis with Latino's of every background, from those that can't speak english to those who have advanced degrees. My grudging attitude which was "why do we have to put up with these people who don't speak english or who speak spanish at the check out lines has changed to admiration. Five years ago I would have been screaming about get those illegals out-- why do we have to put up with them taking our jobs, with people not speaking English, etc. Now I have to turn the radio off when Laura starts talking about illegals. I prefer to take my work to Latinos when I have a choice and it isn't about cheap. My truck work is done by a Latino mechanic, my plumbing by a latino plumber, my house is being resided by a Latino General Contractor, our wiring was done by a Latino electrician. AFter each transaction I am always so surprised by how gracious I have been treated as compared to what I was used to in Santa Monica. It is just a different world and I must say a much more pleasant one.

Instead of complaining I think we should be happy that Latinos are in the market place putting some competition into the market for skilled service jobs. I remember Paul Samuelson saying in 1965 that he thought that our biggest future problem was that there wouldn't be anyone to do house repair work, we would all want to be college professors. He was complaining then how much a plumber cost and that he couldn't get one.

I think George Bush is being informed by his contact with the Latino community. He sees what a contribution they are making. I think a lot of what we are seeing in the posts on this question today are in part coming from a point of view that the Latinos are making this a worse country, are taking something from us. Are a burden. Therefore, how can we tighten this up. How can we restrict the flow. It's clear that we need to tighten up border security. But that is a separate issue from trying to restrict immigration.  

Posted by Doug S

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a program that would get the illigals to leave voluntarily. Here is how it might work:

Congress passes a law that states:

a) Illegals in the country 90 days after passage of the law will be summarily deported and the courts shall not rule on the constitutionality of this law

b) Sixty days after the passage of the law US consulates will begin processing guest worker applications.

c) The application must be made by the guest worker in person in the country of origin.

d) The applications would be processed strictly on a first come first served basis.

e) The guest worker permit would permit the applicant to leave the country for one month in any given calendar year and return during the life of the permit.

f) The permit would be for three years in the first instance with an extension for five more years if the person has behaved as a law abiding taxpaying citizen and learned the English language.

g) The person would be eligible to apply for a green card in the second year of the five year extension and be put on the path to full citizenship.

The knowledge that they have a path to citizenship is the carrot.

The first come first served provision provides incentive to go home within the first sixty days to be first in line for the permit.

The summary deportation of illegals without court review provides the stick. The congress can refuse the court permission to review the constitutionality of a law and showld use this power since this is necessary to prevent our present load of idiot judges from carving holes in the law. The ninth circuit is a prime example with the supremes bucking to knock the ninth circuit off its perch. 

Posted by Zainuddin Banatwala

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug: You said better than I did what I was trying to say about the Latino community. They will make great Americans if we can assimilate them. That's why we have to get this right. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what to make of Bush's amnesty plan yet. If I had to make a decision at this very moment, like vote for example, i'd have to vote no. I'm very skeptical.

With that being said, ive worked on our nations border for 9 years now as an Immigration Officer. Ive learned to communicate in the Spanish language, have learned a lot about Mexican culture, and can honestly say that I understand the desire for Mexicans to immigrate to the United States.

The one thing that gives me hope for Bush's plan is Bush himself. Not since Reagan have we had a President who has every intention of doing what he says he will do. Perhaps this time we can believe that there really will be a stick and not just a carrot? 

Posted by Eric

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any policy that regularizes the status of current illegal immigrants inherently  undermines the rule of law. Both the '86 amnesty and the Bush plan (where current illegals with jobs get work permits) reward lawbreaking on the grounds that it's too hard or too politically dangerous to actually give a damn about the law.

I have no problem with issuing 10-12M work permits in the first year—to those who apply in person at a U.S. consulate in their home country. I wouldn't ask them if they'd been in the U.S. before; I'm mostly interested in making sure they're not actually rewarded for breaking the law and getting a job in the U.S. My list of ineligibles would, however, include anybody who'd ever been deported. 

Posted by Warmongering Lunatic

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Machiavelli, Bush, Republicans, and immigration.

When I think of immigration I see the mine field for Republicans. Machiavelli would say that Republicans have to use immigration or stay away from it. The problem for the Republicans is that they cannot do either. The President, because of his Texas roots, wants to have a guest worker program. This guess worker program is only popular with big agriculture and others who want some kind of real politic answer to the problem of the need for agricultural workers. For most Republicans, including the rank-and-file, the issue is one of national security, the kind of country we are, the rule of law, and our ability to regulate our borders. As Lowell Brown, writes today in Hedgehog.com,

“I support the Bush plan, but we can't forget that plan involves both carrots and sticks. As Hugh notes, the porous nature of the borders continues, and leaves many of us worrying about whether there is enough "stick" being used right now.

I'll say again that the key principles at stake are:
• The rule of law
• National security
• National cohesion
• Preservation of traditional values”


I see this as the contradiction in the Republican plan. When Pete Wilson lost California after Proposition 187 the Republican Party in California was decimated. It was only been with the pro-immigration Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that the Republican Party has begun to recover. All this being said here are the problems. 1. The majority of the Republicans will not support the President on immigration. 2. If the President pushes the immigration policy the Republicans will publicly split and the President’s reputation will suffer in the short run. 3. In the long run the Republicans will be hurt like the Republicans were in California. 4. The only way the Republicans cannot be hurt by this issue is it goes away.


I posted this on my blog. 

Posted by Mark

Saturday, March 12, 2005 6:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just the economics, although that's horrific enough. The uncontrolled influx of people from the third world is coming too fast for assimilation; therefore, we are headed most certainly for a bilingual country: Welcome, Quebec! It's not as though this country doesn't have enough to separate us. I'm mystified as to why the black leaders aren't raising cain about the illegal immigration problem. After all, it's the black youth more than any who are punished by the driving down of wages. Remember, the only thing an unskilled worker has to sell is scarcity of labor. Fred Dickey 

Posted by Fred Dickey

Saturday, March 12, 2005 6:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just the economics, although that's horrific enough. The uncontrolled influx of people from the third world is coming too fast for assimilation; therefore, we are headed most certainly for a bilingual country: Welcome, Quebec! It's not as though this country doesn't have enough to separate us. I'm mystified as to why the black leaders aren't raising cain about the illegal immigration problem. After all, it's the black youth more than any who are punished by the driving down of wages. Remember, the only thing an unskilled worker has to sell is scarcity of labor. Fred Dickey 

Posted by Fred Dickey

Saturday, March 12, 2005 6:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night, someone from LGF posted a link to this article at the Tucson Weekly...one of the most frightening things that I've read in a long while.

http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Cover/index

I left Tucson almost three years ago, and I'm thinking it was a wise move.  

Posted by rorschach

Saturday, March 12, 2005 6:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it amusing to observe all the consternation concerning our southern border, in particular since the United States has been unable to control it for the last 150 years. Does anyone in his or her right mind really believe that the situation will drastically change in the near future? As far as I'm concerned, the horse has already left the barn. Too many people are already here and more are arriving every day. The time to block the flow was decades ago. Politicians can propose any combination of solutions they like - deportations, guest worker programs, amnesties, whatever. Workers have been crossing the border for generations, whether legally or illegally, and I believe it has become a permanent part of our cultural landscape. We would all do well to embrace the changes and begin the slow process of reimagining what the United States will look like in the next 50 years. I, for one, am working on my Spanish. 

Posted by Alex

Saturday, March 12, 2005 6:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read the comments here, at Wizbang, Hugh's comments, Glenn Reynolds, Michelle, etc. The Majority are against Amnesty, and want our ILLEGAL ALIEN Laws ENFORCED. I do not buy that this issue is splintering the Party, but that the Party is not in step with it's constituency. From all of the posted comments by readers, only a few are against ENFORCING EXISTING LAWS that are on the books. Why is it considered to be on the fringe if we want our border protected? Why is it considered to be bad for the Party that Illegals are taking jobs away from Legal residents. I don't buy the line (and many don't) that they cross the border to do the jobs Americans will not do. Since when? My Grandparents came here at the turn of the Century Legally, and did the work Americans wouldn't do. Legally. We need migrant farm workers to pick the grapes, fine, legal work permits. But I do not think we need illegals to come here and loiter outside every Whloesaler (Plumbing, Lumber, Home Centers, etc.) to undercut every legitimate Construction trade. In San Diego, Drywall has gone fron 14 cents per foot to 3 cents per foot. The new illigals are taking jobs from the older illegals. Restaurant, Hotel, and Food Industries are now overtaken with illegals. These are jobs Americans won't do? I am disheartened when half of the Major Blogs are in step with the President's weak stand on Immigration, and blame the reader's comments on being out of step with the party line, when if you take all of the comments and some of the Popular Radio Hosts such as Hannity, Limbaugh, Ingraham, and John and Ken, and Blogger Michelle Malkin who gets it, that a porous Border and weak policy on Border Patrol are not in the best interest of this Country. The Dems are taking over this issue, and will now sit back and wait for the inevitable attack and will have the upper hand on National Security. It is time for the Members of both Parties to do something for it's Constituents and protect our Borders and Enforce the Laws on the books, and forget trying to appease their Corporate Donors and forget appeasing to the Latino Lobby for votes. This Carrot and Stick analogy is for third world dictators, not the American people. 

Posted by BurbankErnie

Saturday, March 12, 2005 6:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've noticed many alleged conservatives sound amazingly like environmentalists while talking about immigration. They can only see the downside of increasing population but not the fact that each human being has "one mouth but two hands." 

Posted by Joseph Hertzlinger

Saturday, March 12, 2005 6:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez I am weary with this bogus argument about us not having the cajones to deport 10 million illegals. For the 10 millionth time, we don't need to deport 10 million illegals. We merely have to enforce the already-existing laws against hiring them, and then watch them melt away. We need to go after, not the slaves, but the Slave Power, and its latter-day Peculiar Institution. 

Posted by Shrewsbury

Saturday, March 12, 2005 7:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez I am weary with this bogus argument about us not having the cajones to deport 10 million illegals. For the 10 millionth time, we don't need to deport 10 million illegals. We merely have to enforce the already-existing laws against hiring them, and then watch them melt away. We need to go after, not the slaves, but the Slave Power, and its latter-day Peculiar Institution. 

Posted by Shrewsbury

Saturday, March 12, 2005 7:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Your ancestors came here in 1670 with William Penn and that gives you some cachet to condescend to those late-comers as to what to do with the millions of illegals?!

Mighty impressive that 1670 business.

But your policy is also 1670. The country had no limits then. It has today but you don't seem to care for them.

As for your loving the illegals culture, food and lanaguage, so what? I like le style Francais but wouldn't live there or want to live with them under any foreseeable circumstance.

For any plan to deal with the illegals to work we FIRST need to seal the border. Neither side can succeed without that first step. Bush refuses to fund even modest increases in the Border Patrol much less build a fence (wall) and a "no-ffly" zone on our side of it. Some attempting to breach the wall will need to be killed in order to show we're serious. The you can begin on assimilation as you have a fixed number to work with. We will be overwhelmed with Mexicans and other Central and South Americans if we don't. It's the surest way to turn America into a 3rd world country as not one of those places is worth squat as a country. 

Posted by jim sweeney

Saturday, March 12, 2005 7:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever hear of the Minutemen Project? Initially, I thought they were similar to the vigillante group Ranch Rescue. However, after reading the MMP website, I'm hoping they can do everything they've set out for the month of April.

Wish them luck. They've been threatened by thugs from the Mexican and American sides, all the way up to the ACLU. I plan to keep a candle lit for them the entire month. 

Posted by Lornkanaga

Saturday, March 12, 2005 7:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Sweeney:

Interesting post.

"Wow! Your ancestors came here in 1670 with William Penn and that gives you some cachet to condescend to those late-comers as to what to do with the millions of illegals?!"

I think you missed my point. As for condescension, what on earth are you talking about?

"Mighty impressive that 1670 business."

Your rapier-like wit is just too much for me. I won't even try to respond.

"But your policy is also 1670. The country had no limits then. It has today but you don't seem to care for them."

Typical over-the-top accusation from someone who thinks like you do. You're probably a Republican. How embarrassing.


"As for your loving the illegals culture, food and lanaguage, so what? I like le style Francais but wouldn't live there or want to live with them under any foreseeable circumstance."

Okay.

"For any plan to deal with the illegals to work we FIRST need to seal the border. Neither side can succeed without that first step. Bush refuses to fund even modest increases in the Border Patrol much less build a fence (wall) and a "no-ffly" zone on our side of it. Some attempting to breach the wall will need to be killed in order to show we're serious. The you can begin on assimilation as you have a fixed number to work with. We will be overwhelmed with Mexicans and other Central and South Americans if we don't. It's the surest way to turn America into a 3rd world country as not one of those places is worth squat as a country."

Ah, yes. Let's shoot some people trying to cross over. You know, until I got to this paragraph I was actually taking your post seriously. My mistake. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, March 12, 2005 8:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for those of you, like Shrewsbury, who think illegals will simply "melt away" once they can't work here anymore, let's just assume, for purposes of argument, that it is possible to keep them from getting work. That's pretty doubtful but we'll save that argument for another day.

Do you think the man who's lived here for 15 years, has a wife and children and owns a house, is just going to catch the next bus back to Guatemala? Or move his entire family (including English-speaking kids who know only conversational Spanish) back there with him? That will not happen. The unintended consequences of trying to purge these people from the populace will be enormous.

Like I said, the Bush proposal (which I do not believe any intelligent, fair-minded person can call amnesty) is an attempt to be serious about this problem. The purge concept is not serious. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, March 12, 2005 8:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people have been drinking the lefty kool-aid despite yourself. Bush is stupid. Bush doesn't pay attention to things. It never occurs to you that Bush might be aware of something other than your navel lint.

Deport ten million illegals and close the border. Six months later you'll have an overtly Socialist government in Mexico, with Castro and Chavez invited to the inauguration. Six months after that, there will be Cuban secret police patrolling Mexico, escorting the Islamic terrorists to the best border crossings, and el Presidente will be negotiating with Iran for an atomic bomb. The Canal will be closed to American shipping, and the Central American governments will be Chavezing. How many Border Patrol agents will you need then?

Pay some attention, people.

Regards,
Ric 

Posted by Ric Locke

Saturday, March 12, 2005 8:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One other problem with the "seal the border" nonsense that nobody's pointed out... you kick every single immigrant worker out of the country, and we'll be paying $10 for a loaf of bread and $5/pound for lettuce, and I don't mean at the local organic produce store. Face it, people. The migrant worker class is one of the biggest reasons why we have cheap produce. The chaos in both the US and Central America were we to take the deportation way out would be disastrous for the world. The problems would start in Hispanic-heavy states like CA and TX and radiate out. And where would we even get the money and manpower to do the deportations? Is the Iraq situation so calm all of the troops are coming home tomorrow and the papers neglected to mention it? 

Posted by Lysana

Saturday, March 12, 2005 8:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a lawyer, hedgehog, you must agree that the rule of law is paramount. We cannot reward law-breakers. Moreover, controlling our borders (both north and south) is both an important security as well as a sovereignty issue. Bush seems to me to be acutely aware of what is possible and what isn't. The price of our produce will not skyrocket if we limit entry of guest workers and regularize those that are here. We import too much agricultural produce. Ric overstates his case, though. Yes, the Mexican government is a tawdry, thug-ridden oligarchy that is unconcerned for its citizens. But, it's not going to collapse if we enforce our borders. We need additional political and economic pressure on the Mexicans to liberalize their country and give their people economic opportunity. We don't have to do that at the expense of our security.  

Posted by Steve Lambert

Saturday, March 12, 2005 8:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although we don't quite have the technology in place yet it is coming soon, but I would like to see a system where every illegal alien who is apprehended gets his fingerprints checked/included on a database. If its your second time being found in the USA illegally, you get to spend 60 days at hard labor. Penalties would increase for additional illegal entries. Anyone who was found to have entered the country illegally would be forever barred from residing in or entering the US again.

Also, we should look at the problem of the illegals sending money back to their families in Mexico or where ever. This is one of the primary reasons many of them come here. We should have laws that require anyone who is wiring money abroad to provide evidence of their US citizenship or legally residency to do so. And the same requirements should apply to anyone who is sending currency or negotiable instruments to a foreign country through the mail or private equivalents such as UPS. Confiscation of any such funds would help offset the costs of the system.



 

Posted by T.L. Cobb

Saturday, March 12, 2005 8:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make some good points but miss the moral angle. Illegal immigration is this century's slavery. Because a lot of illegal immigration is just like slavery. To defend one is to defend the other. Check my weblog if you're interested in hearing more. I'm either on to something or I'm farther on the fringe than I think I am, I'd like to know which. 

Posted by Jeffrey Ring

Saturday, March 12, 2005 9:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got a better idea. Why don't we take Mexico! It's a no-brainer:

1. The fence would be much shorter (300 miles vs 1000 miles).

2. All those industries that moved to MX would now be in-country.

3. Mexicans would be US citizens, and they wouldn't have to come here illegally looking for work.

4. Their beer industry would now have to produce real beer.

5. We could regulate the tequila industry and eliminate all that less than 100% blue agave crap.

The only disadvantage I can see is that we may not have enough zip codes. If we have to add another digit to our zip codes then I'd say it's a no go. Five digits is enough to remember.

Charlie (only half kidding ;) 

Posted by Charlie

Saturday, March 12, 2005 9:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the problems I see in the comments section is the notion of enforcing the existing laws. The problem is that laws are just plain being ignored. Sort of like speeding on the freeway. A large enough fraction of the population does not follow them. At that point the best solution is to change the laws, not try some draconian enforcement. If we are serious about cutting down illegal immigration we need to get far more serious about raising the standard of living in Mexico to Panana to about 50% of ours in order to cut down on those trying to come here.  

Posted by Lethal Ox

Saturday, March 12, 2005 9:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Lambert: Exactly right. A central point of the Bush outline is not to reward law-breakers. I don't think his plan does that. It's specifically designed not to. People already here illegally would have to apply for a guest worker spot, and they would receive no preference just because they were here already. If you think that's a reward, well, you have an argument but I don't think it's a good one. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, March 12, 2005 9:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush's proposal will do nothing to stop illegal immgiration, it actually doesn't even seriously
address the problem. There would remain no real border security. Employers would continue to be able to hire illegal aliens under the table. People would continue to come here to have babies, setting the family up with government benefits.

No one, or very few, are suggesting deporting 10-20
milllion people. What is typically suggested is enforced employer sanctions and denial of government benefits to illegal aliens, that would cause a reduction in illegal immigration and a hopefully a slow self-return home of current illegal aliens.

Without both serious border and interior enforcement, we are going to get hit, and probably hit very hard, by another terrorist attack.
 

Posted by pat

Saturday, March 12, 2005 10:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hedgehog, yoiu have certainly partaken of the party koolaid...of that there is little doubt. I see you've also chosen the highly questionable practice of attacking the most intellectually indefensible posts in this section as proof of your ideological superiority...how refreshing.

Simply spouting the Bush agenda talking points is not enough to incite the rest of us to dress this pig up in a prom gown and take it dancing.

Illegal immigrants, do not simply do jobs Americans won't do, they do jobs that tight assed employers can pay less for by hiring border crashers. If you go to Milwaukee or Fargo or Council Bluffs, you'll likely see American citizens cleaning your hotel room or serving you your Big Mac or your burrito supreme from Taco Bell. Not so in California or Arizona or NM or Texas. These used to be jobs that high school kids or college kids could do to make some extra bucks. They can't do these jobs because someone else is trying to work this job from 18-90.

Aside from illegals working in legitimate jobs for legitimate companies, you ingore the underground economy. The IRS estimates they're losing billions of dollars a year to a growing underground economy...an underground economy that works on your car or puts a new roof on your house or paints it for far less than a legitimate company can do with real American workers.

Yah, real carpenters have been replaced in the southwest with illegals who work for less, so have roofers, so have painters. Meanwhile our IT folks have been displaced by outsourcing. I guess it's all good if you're trading on wall street, but it's substantially less than that if you're a working person.

The Bush plan not only has no teeth, in terms of returning people who overstay, it has no real provisions for protecting American workers. Imagine that...starting a policy with the underlying premise that there's actually a job an American won't do. The American might not do it for $6 an hour, but he would do it for $9 or $10. Oops, that's too ugly to Wall Street, we need an emergency initiative that allows the displacement of a few hundred thousand American workers so that these poor immigrants can feed their families and provide Mexico with their single largest GDP component.

This is really screwed up...here I am, a Republican, who is seriously considering re-registering as an Independent because the party has abandoned all semblance of representing its constituency, and all I hear from the party is how traitorous I am for not falling inline with the administration on an issue that every fibre of my being says is both deceitful and legally wrong on its face.

Perhaps next week, we can discuss something equally distasteful...like the presumed goodliness of Bashar Assad. 

Posted by Lee

Saturday, March 12, 2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger BurbankErnie said...

Hedgehog,
Judging by the comments, I would have to say that your opinion is in the minority. The majority commenting here and on the other Blogs are all voters who are fed up with the current situation. It is a vote loser for Republicans if we do not take securing our border and enforcing current law.

I think we all agree that we need the Migrant Farm worker. A special work permit should be provided for the agricultural field. Where I disagree with you is the rest of the Illegals here. Tell me how the Illegal bought a house in your example. I did not know an Illegal could purchase property legally, but I am not a Lawyer.

We do have legal immigration to our Country still, don't we? So why not come here legally like all other immigrants do? It is a long process but it is Legal.

To the rest of the open border crowd, we have laws on the books regarding Illegal Aliens. We all have to follow the Laws of the Land. Lethal Ox, I got a speeding ticket last year, not everyone gets to break the law because everyone seems to be doing it.

This will bite the Republican Party in the Ass because we are the Party in power, and if anything happens it will be the death nell to our Majorities in the House and Congress, and Presidency as well. And I do not think it is our sole responsibility to prop up Mexico's economy. That should be one of the richest Countries in the World with their natural resources and tourism trade.

Posted by BurbankErnie

Saturday, March 12, 2005 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but, our Presidents stance on immigration makes me question all he's done to this point. What good is it that we send our brave soldiers (my nephew among them) thousands of miles away to get rid of a mild problem when we got a MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR one right in our backyard?! I've been reading alot of the links from LGF documenting how border police are finding copies of the Koran and middle eastern clothing left behind and it really pisses me off! When will we WAKE UP and demand that our President lock down the border as he shoulda done on 9/12/01. If there was ever a National Security effort the whole country could get behind that would be it!!!

No Amnesty! No Rewards for Law Breakers! No More! 

Posted by AmarilloMan

Saturday, March 12, 2005 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a thought : Legalize them all.

Every one. Mexican, Indian, Filippino, German, Israeli, Iraqi, Iranian, Pakistani ....

Tell them - "Do you want to be a U.S. Citizen? Ok, raise your right hand. Ok here's your SSN. Dues are due April 15th. Have a nice day!"

Why export 10Mil people when you can just legalize them and gain money from their taxes. That will help pay for the schools their children go to and help pay for the hospitals they use right now without having to pay taxes.

They can send as much money as they want back across the border as long as we get our cut.

Since the Borders are now 'open' all we have to do is concentrate on catching real 'illegals' ie those that want to work here but are unwilling to go dual-citizen or adopt US citizenship.

Sealing the borders won't make our country safer. Making this country a place where people feel they can come to and live 'The American Dream' will make this country safer.

 

Posted by Dan Irving

Saturday, March 12, 2005 10:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee and Burbank Ernie:

First, I don't think the comments here are representative of the GOP, but they are representative of those conservatives who visit conservative blogs. I also think you are allowing your anger to rule your thinking on this issue.

Second, please don't put every conservative who disagrees with you into a "soft on illegal immigration" camp. That's not fair and it's intellectually dishonest. The question we're facing is, What to do about a huge and intolerable problem? It is not simple. Anyone who thinks it is hasn't thought it through very carefully, or is uninformed, or both. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, March 12, 2005 10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The migrant worker class is one of the biggest reasons why we have cheap produce."

We pay billions in subsidies to farmers so they can compete with farmers in Mexico and South America. I think we can afford to lose a few farms in the United States by slashing the subsidies and allowing more imported agricultural products from our neighbors without the doom and gloom scenarios of $10 loaves of bread. It will also boost our neighbor's economies so that there won't be such an incentive for people to immigrate illegally.

It also says something about you that you would willingly ignore the flagrant disregard of our laws by the government in order to save a few cents on a loaf of bread. 

Posted by nash

Saturday, March 12, 2005 10:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal preference is the "deport 'em all", but I could go for a punitive amnesty, on one condition.
The border leaks have to be plugged.
Look, folks, there has grown an entire shadow economy. They don't have to follow American Law, mostly. They don't have to learn English. Even if born here, none of the children are raised as Americans or to respect what we have here. Depending on the specifics, they don't have to pay taxes or SS if they choose the "right" jobs and employers.
Hammering the employers is a start. You are not going to get emough of them to stem the tide. (a large percentage of the worst are not using mexicans)
Starve the supply as the employers are gone after.
Once the supply is choked off, I could accept some of the ones who have learned English, and are willing to "work off" a judicial sentence at some form of community service, to stay. (Illegals who have committed crimes, or raised children to become gang members are the bulk of the ones I would not accept)(Oh, and an additional condition of the conditional green card would be documenting where they had worked, and who had paid them, and any other "shadow activities" such as bribing officials) 

Posted by Jhn1

Saturday, March 12, 2005 11:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the things we learned about the Cold War (and now Islamofacism) is that detente and appeasement do not work. It is so with Mexico. As long as we allow ourselves to act as a pressure relief valve for Mexico's corrupt political and economic systems, reform is not possible.

What incentives are there? Vicente Fox and the Mexican Parliament are sitting in the catbird's seat. Thing's going bad with the economy? Overpopulation straining the budget? The poor Riff-raff starting to make noise? Just encourage them to go to America! As a bonus, think of the remittance!

Face it. With it's oil and other natural resources, Mexico could be the 3rd richest nation in the Western Hemisphere. APPEASEMENT HAS NOT AND WILL NOT WORK. PERIOD.

If I were Vicente Fox, I'd feel no particular need to push for reform. Would you?  

Posted by Politically Incorrect

Sunday, March 13, 2005 12:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lee and Burbank Ernie:

First, I don't think the comments here are representative of the GOP, but they are representative of those conservatives who visit conservative blogs. I also think you are allowing your anger to rule your thinking on this issue."

Well, isn't that a political load? I wouldn't expect my statement to be inline with the GOP, I'm a registerd Republican, not a sycophant. I'm probably more of an enigma to a certain crowd, rather than a guaranteed vote. I'm one of those republicans who thinks the party and its politicians needs to stay out of everone else's bedroom, and I've never figured out how allowing gays to marry affects my marriage...go figure, I must be slow.

Notwithstanding, attributing my stance on illegal immigration to anger is more than a bit over the top. Every point in the president's plan is refutable, and it is simply magnified by Ronal Reagan's own assertion that his amnesty bill would be completely ineffective without workplace enforcement.

My, wasn't he prescient?

Bush simply wants to legalize 18 million people (not the 10 you tout). That legalizaton does nothing to stop millions more from coming. All it does is legitimize the ripoff of jobs from Americans that has been going on for the last 18 years. Once again, these people aren't doing jobs Americans won't; in many instances theyr'e undercutting wages for jobs that Americans want.

Why are you so opposed to throwing conservative, or otherwise, business owners in jail for hiring illegals? It solves at least half the problem.

If there are no jobs for them, most will leave. They will follow their own money trail. If they stay, then they become part of the underground economy...which we should be waging war on.

This isn't about farm workers, this is about how our cities are being crushed. You think there's 10 millin in country, more recent estimates put the number at 18 - 20 million.

I'm a business man, a general contractor, who refuses to hire illegals. I've taken it in the shorts to the point that I have to leave California. I cannot compete in this state, given the political climate towards illegal aliens and what is overlooked.

I have 78 employees, many of which I'd like to take with me. I cannot afford relocation expenses for these folks. I've encouraged them to follow, but I doubt they will...they don't have the resources. I have no doubt that the vacuum of my departure will be filled, it'll just be filled by someone willing to hire illegals.

The Bush plan simply sells out Americans and does nothing to force these people to leave when their done here, additionally it does nothing to address the anchor baby issue.

You can tout this til the cows come home, but since this is a blog, one would hope you'd offer something beyond the administration taling points.

 

Posted by Lee

Sunday, March 13, 2005 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hedgehog...I do not consider myself a conservative at all. I am pro-choice, secularist, and a voter who votes both ways. If I, as a moderate. feel this strongly, imagine how much trouble this bill is in. 

Posted by Ann

Sunday, March 13, 2005 12:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading these comments is just depressing. Where does all this misinformation come from? I scrolled down two dozen comments before I found a rational response to this post.


The usual suspects against the "unwashed hordes" of immigrants are all well represented here:

1) Illegal immigration is, well, ILLEGAL, and as such must be a bad thing. How dare any policy outcome benefit lawbreakers (let's deport all speeders)! The companion opinion to this empty rhetoric is that Bush favors an amnesty.

2) We aren’t enforcing the law and prosecuting employers who hire illegals. These commentators haven’t run their own business or read the IRCA. In fact, if a prospective hire can properly fill out an I-9, it is ILLEGAL for an employer to deny him a job based on knowledge of the applicant’s immigrant status. No, really. You are welcome, and armed w/ this new information you are free to agitate for change to this law (that was previously changed to protect workers rights).

3) Population growth is out of control. Of course the reality is that declining birth rates mean that, absent significant immigration, our population will decrease in the near future.

4) Bush and his corporate cabal want immigration to enrich Wall St. cronies at public’s expense. Any economic consequences associated with halting or curbing immigration will be borne by corporations and consumers alike, not accounting for the fact that roughly half all consumer households own corporate stock...

5) HORDES OF ILLEGALS ARE INFRINGING ON MY LIFE! I really don’t have any comment other than this sounds like a bigoted statement. I live in probably the largest community of immigrants on the border and I cannot otherwise explain such an attitude. Quit bitching and learn to speak Spanish, or move to Canada (oops, learn French, migrate back south, this is complicated!).

6) Immigrants are hurting other low-wage workers. Ah, finally, a rational and logical argument about a consequence of immigration that could possibly be valid. The largest group represented here would be (other) new entrants to the labor force, namely the very young. The overwhelming majority of low wage work is done by the young or part-time employees. And immigrants do not take these jobs by nature of their being immigrants, they take these jobs because they are poor and unskilled.


The fact that we are a nation of immigrants does not bind us to accept immigrants now or forever, but at the very least we should debate the issue on its merits absent all the hyperbole and bigotry. 

Posted by Gringo Salado

Sunday, March 13, 2005 12:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hedgehog, sorry, I must respectfully disagree. Any amnesty is a nonstarter. I live in Orange County and this most Republican of California Counties won't bother with any Republican candidate who is not serious about controlling the border. Rewarding illegals or failing to support stronger border control will win the GOP a few "moderate" voters and lose the base.

I think a new increased legal immigration policy is a good idea. But it can only be put into effect after illegal immigration is not only controlled, but stopped. I have no problem with Latinos or any one else. My ancestry is so mixed that it would be hard to find a country or region that isn't in my background.

Believe me, I don't want to see a Democrat in the White House in four years, but I will not vote for a Republican who doesn't support GOP issues, including border control. If "moderates" manage to nominate someone wobbly on immigration then Hillary will be taking the oath January 20, 2009.

As to the impossibility of deporting ten million illegals, most people believed as late as 1988 that that it was impossible to defeat the Soviet Union. If we set out to restore our security, we can do it.

I suppose that I will be considered a nativist. I no longer care. I have been called everything up to and including a Nazi. Insult if you will and dismiss the anger at Bush's betrayal on border issues. Until those who favor amnesty accept that we have seriously considered the issue and reject your solution totally this conversation is going no where. It is not that I don't understand your point, I simply believe you are wrong. It is not that either of us is good or evil, it is just that we cannot agree on this.

I hope you will not take this personally. It is political, pure and simple. But I am deadly serious. I cannot support a "squishy". I'll leave the Presidential line blank before I vote for a Republican who does not want to control the border. 

Posted by Ken Hahn

Sunday, March 13, 2005 1:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you go to Milwaukee or Fargo or Council Bluffs, you'll likely see American citizens cleaning your hotel room or serving you your Big Mac or your burrito supreme from Taco Bell."

I don't know about Fargo or Council Bluffs, Lee but you have obviously never been to Milwaukee.
 

Posted by mishu

Sunday, March 13, 2005 2:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Quit bitching and learn to speak Spanish, or move to Canada

I find it amusing that someone can be so deep into his own rhetoric that he can demand his listeners speak Spanish, while dismissing demands that immigrants speak English as 'bigoted'.

Didn't you get whiplash writing that rant? 

Posted by Ryan Waxx

Sunday, March 13, 2005 5:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's make the penalty for hiring an illegal alien $25,000... then make the reward for turning in an illegal alien's employer, oh, say, $25,000... and immediate permanent resident status if the turner-in happens to be that very illegal alien.

I think we could rely thereafter on market forces to seriously reduce the demand for illegal aliens.

 

Posted by PersonFromPorlock

Sunday, March 13, 2005 6:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Hedgehog is right on the mark, as is the President. Why? We NEED to control our borders. The current system--establishing a huge torrent of "illegals" and spending huge amounts to militarize our border areas--is doomed to failure. Actually, it has already failed. All you have to do is drive along the southern side of Arizona to see it has failed--there are Boreder Patrol checkpoints everywhere, arrests are increasing at record rates, and yet--immigration by illegals is spiraling upward!

There is a car lot by the Tucson airport FILLED with Border Patrol SUVs--not the active fleet--just the ones that have been WRECKED while in service.

If we establish a meaningful system of guest workers for Mexicans to enter the US, this can change. The economic border crossers will enter legally, and we can actually isolate and scrutinize the others trying to enter in a manner compatible with the norms of our civil republic.

Mexican illegals here in Atlanta just play the game the way it is presented to them: they come to the US for some years of earnings and remittances home, they travel by Delta jet to go home for the Christmas holiday, and they sneak over the border into Texas and ride the bus back to Atlanta to resume their work. Delta even has special luggage restrictions for southbound flights in December because they take so much stuff home with them. But never northbound!

I play the game when I travel abroad: I enter countries "on business" when they don't have tight rules on business visas, and I dress down and enter "on pleasure" when they do. I enter Mexico with the same thoughts in mind!

Others (even us Republican Anglo folks) play the border game as well: having Cuba entries stamped on a slip of paper, avoiding Israel entry stamps, college kids taking odd jobs during the summer in Europe or Canada, taking pills over the border to circumvent US laws, or having a Havana on your back deck in summertime.

I will agree that a series of companion measures to the Bush plan are needed to clarify what being a guest worker means in terms of welfare, public benefits of other kinds, taxes, eligibility for residency and citizenship, etc. Some work there could assure people that the system will be orderly and fair.

I would also suggest that this issue could be used to stregthen NAFTA. Make the guest worker provisions specific to the treaty members, perhaps through a series of bilateral side treaties. Something like this has already happened in Europe, to great advantage in their internal immigration affairs.

The side argument that having Mexicans working in the US is a form of slavery is absurd on its face. The statements that the current governments in Mexico are corruption-ridden and resistant to change are stereotypical and wrong-headed. People need to remove their impressions of Mexico formed in border towns, beach resorts, or from images formed twenty years ago. Mexico is a huge country where people never see the US border or a beach resort, and where whole blocks of ordinary people don't even KNOW anyone who is headed to the US illegally. The Mexican birth rate is and has been FALLING FAST for a while, folks. The Mexican poltical scene is FILLED with reform agendas and many examples of fundamental change.

The best examples of illegal immigration affecting the integrity of national borders between Mexico and the US? The immigration of Americans into Texas and then California in the 1800s, a process that cost Mexico over one-half of its territory and immense natural resources. 

Posted by Glenlyon

Sunday, March 13, 2005 6:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.

The GOP has *already* lost my vote for 2006 and 2008 over this issue and I know of many other conservatives who feel at least as strongly as I do. The GOP simply doesn't understand how offended conservatives are by this crap. 

Posted by ed

Sunday, March 13, 2005 6:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are you calling illegal, Pilgrim ? We were here first and we're not going anywhere! 

Posted by Gissella

Sunday, March 13, 2005 6:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a piece in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, written by Mary Anastasia O’Grady, who writes for the Journal about Latin America, in which she looks at the immigration problem from an entirely different perspective. She points out that the U.S. is prospering because of what she calls ”Reaganomics,” by which I think she means a tendency toward free trade, limits on taxation and regulation, and personal responsibility. In contrast, she says, the State Department, the Agency for International Development, and the International Monetary Fund are full of leftists who “have Latin America on a steady diet of ‘Rubenomics,’” by which she means high taxes, government control of everything, class warfare, and denigration of free market capitalism. This, she says, makes the controlling populist and leftist caudillos happy, but mires ordinary citizens in sick economies. The only way they can hope to prosper is to escape to the U.S. Her conclusion: “If you want to understand the immigrant flow to the U.S. forget about why walls and guns don’t hold back immigrants. Look instead at where you’d rather live your life.” Maybe one leg of the solution to the immigration problem is for the President and his new Secretary of State to clean house and send people to Latin America who can show them how to prosper like us.  

Posted by DonMac

Sunday, March 13, 2005 9:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glenlyon correctly states that Mexico lost the southwest because of immigration, both legal and illegal. All the more reason for us not to make the same mistake.

Mexico's hold on these areas of the former Spanish empire was always tenuous. They encouraged legal immigration in Texas, allowing the settlement of people with democratic ideals, which was foreign to Spanish culture. Thus they lost Texas.

The Californio's themselves had little regard for any attempt at government from Mexico, and regularly sent Mexican governors packing back south. In one instance, the Mexican government decreed that all illegal aliens in California should be deported, so they were all rounded up and jailed for deportation. Then it seems that every Californio found that he had a son-in-law missing. They immediately went to the jails and brought their Yankee son-in-laws back home. There were left only a very few drunken neer-do-wells to be deported.  

Posted by Dixie

Sunday, March 13, 2005 9:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"First, I don't think the comments here are representative of the GOP, but they are representative of those conservatives who visit conservative blogs."

The comments here against illegal immigration represent the opinion of the majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. All the polls show this consistently. This is why Hillary has latched onto illegal immigration as an issue, because 70-80% of the country agrees. Hillary has a horrible voting record on illegal immigration. She's been pro-illegal and pro open borders.


"The migrant worker class is one of the biggest reasons why we have cheap produce."

This is commonly assumed, but it's not true. By using illegal alien labor the US has fallen behind other countries in agricultural mechanization. Using illegal alien labor is less efficient and increases costs.

Using illegal alien labor has been slowly damaging our agricultural industry by slowly making us less competetive because other countries are using more mechanization. Some areas of US agriculture are now starting, very slowly, to increase mechanization because they have to or they won't be able to compete with other countries.

Increased mechanization lowers costs because it requires only a fraction of the workers we use now, besides being more efficient. There are now illegals in California who can't find work because of increased mechanization in the raisin industry. The same thing is starting to happen in Florida with oranges. It can and will happen with many more crops. Other counntries, including less developed countries, aren't as stupid as we are to use outdated agricultural techniques and we have to catch up.


I'd like to point out that Bush's plan is not only about Mexico, but the entire world. We already have companies who claim they can't find willing workers, when really they just want to pay less. There will be a huge increase in this supposedly being unable to find willng workers in the US so we have to import them from wherever. This happens in more than the IT industry. In my area it's happened with gas stations of all things. They've fired people and brought in Pakistanis, paying them significantly less, saying they couldn't find "willing workers" here.  

Posted by pat

Sunday, March 13, 2005 9:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My concerns, as a very strong conservative and Republican, are:

1) Stress on school and welfare systems.

2) Stress on national character and identity, especially exacerbated by the proliferation of Spanish. Do liberals really think bi-lingual societies have good experiences? Of all the differences which can be overcome, language is the most difficult.

3) The very real depreciation of wages for Americans at the lowest wage tier.

4) Undermining of the rule of law. The law should be changed, or the law should be enforced (or a combination of both).

Anybody who expresses these beliefs, and their frustration with their party, is referred to a "xenophobe" or "nativist fringe."

Good grief, maybe Hillary really does have a chance if supposed conservatives are so utterly clueless. 

Posted by Anonymous

Sunday, March 13, 2005 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read all this with great interest. I am in Tucson, AZ - 90 miles from the border. I am anglo and speak fluent Spanish - before I ever got here. Here are some facts to go with all this theory.

Illegals are a thundering herd. The cost of dealing with them has devasted the local tribes. They can't even hang their laundry out on the reservation without it being stolen. We lost a level one trauma center from the costs of treating injured/ill illegals. We now have one for all of Southern Arizona. The feds owe the the state $18m for the costs of incarcerating illegals and won't pay. And the problems have only increased since Pres. Bush announced his "plan." Based on the increased traffic, the illegals sure think that this is an amnesty program. The head of the farmers' organization west of us - Yuma/Southern California just made headlines because of insisting that the Border Patrol leave the illegals alone so they could get the lettuce in. Our state passed a proposition that would deny state-funded welfare and public benefits to persons who could not estalish that they were in the country legally. The hue and cry about hard-working illegals was deafening. The federally-funded WIC program announced that there had been a huge drop in their traffic and attributed it to people who were afraid of being deported. Go figure.

The best I can tell, from my perspective, we on the border are stuck with paying for the benefits, whatever they may be, to people buying lettuce in Wisconsin. Until somebody comes up with something so we don't have the tab for this, I can't support anything. I repeat, the illegals sure think this is an amnesty plan. Maybe we should apply the duck test.

Janet from Tucson 

Posted by Janet Nickell

Sunday, March 13, 2005 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did Republicans forget the law of supply and demand? This does not have to be so difficult. We have the technology:

1. Implement a simple web-based system that allows employers to check the validity of a worker's SSN.

2. Give all employers one year to come into full compliance, requiring them to electronically report all employee SSNs at each tax filing. All filings would be validated against the central database.

3. All births and deaths would be reported by SSN by all agencies,

The one year grace period would minimize disruptions and would allow wages to rise gradually for new job vacancies. Prices for the goods and services that had come to depend upon artificially low wages would rise, but overall economic rationality would improve. That is, the costs would be tied to any benefits instead of being spread unfairly across all products and services.

Once we have determined that American workers--who would now be more fairly compensated for the real value of their work--are not sufficient to fill the demand, we could adjust the level of legal immigration to suit. There would be no need to legislate an increase to the minimum wage. Supply and demand.

A chief economic flaw (intentional?) with Mr. Bush's plan of matching willing workers to work is that the employers will simply low-ball the offered wages. When no American applies they can simply hire the illegal aliens who are already doing the job. This is a ridiculously transparent sop.

We should enhance our border security for national security reasons and not economic reasons. We will NEVER stop the flow of illegal immigrants as long as the demand is high. Have we learned nothing from the War on Drugs? Most people I know--liberal and conservative both--are fed up with the problems born of unmanaged immigration, yet nobody I know is nativist. We simply have functioning brains, common sense, and can see that out of control illegal immigration is a threat to our national security, education and health care systems, and assimilation-based culture. If Republicans don't get religion on this issue damn quick, Hillary is going to outflank them on the right. Whatever happens after that will be their just deserts. 

Posted by PD Quig

Sunday, March 13, 2005 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, thanks for the post, while I disagree with your position, it has created an excellent debate in the comments. A much needed one, I might add, for elected Republicans at all level of government to read and understand. Many conservatives are tired of elected officials tip-toeing around this issue for fear of angering the "hispanic vote". The #1 issue is BORDER SECURITY. Imagine another terrorist attack where the investigation discovers the perpertrators sneaked into the country on the southern border. How many of us will vote for any candidate that is serious about border control and stopping illegal immigration?

Look, it's sad but true that all these politicians want cover before tackling a tough issue like this.
So the debate has to start with doubling the legal immigration  from Latin America. Then you can offer those green card holders already here who can produce a current pay stub with taxes removed, guaranteed extensions. Now that we have effectively silenced the reactionaries who will scream we're racist and anti-immigrant, the adults can sit down and really close the border with a fence. This will enable our secuity forces to concentrate their eforts over a much smaller area, thereby increasing their effectiveness by maybe a hundred fold. The first responsibility of the government is to protect and defend the people, which is impossible until we have control over who enters the country.

As for deporting illegals and enforcing the laws of the land, I think you can review the job Rudy Guiliani did in cleaning up New York for your answer. You enforce all the laws all the time. 

Posted by matt

Sunday, March 13, 2005 3:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting to me to watch and read all this debate when everyone seems to ignore two facts.

Fact one: It is impossible to close off the borders where "only a trickle get though". There is not enough money, people, time, circumstance or hight teck equipment to do this. Yet everyone seems to think we can.

Fact two: Everybody says, the President this, the President that. What makes you think that any plan he comes up with will get the support of the congress. There is very little to none of a chance. This is a subject that the Congress is just not ready or willing to deal with (except for some minor bills).

Third, lets don't forget that everyone seems to want to reduce the debt, etc. Well, guess what, we are at the start of a war and its only going to get more expensive and bloodey over the next several years.

Those are the facts. So everyone who doesn't want illegals here, get your guns and go try and get them to leave. Just be sure your insurance is paid up because if they don't kill you, the law will.

Papa Ray
West Texas (soon to become northern Mexico).
USA 

Posted by Papa Ray

Sunday, March 13, 2005 7:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that most of the Tom Tancredo-conservatives have failed to consider even the possibility that many of the most serious problems of immigration (lack of assimilation, law-breaking, over-use of entitlements, etc.) may be a reaction to the simple fact that immigration is nearly impossible. If immigration were a possibility for everyone, there'd be no violence at the border, no subculture of "coyotes" to bring in national security threats, and no reason to hide from the government, improving chances for assimilation. As well, an end to political disenfranchisement would decrease violent crime and increase economic opportunity for all currently illegal immigrants. As well, the only group of people our current laws keep out are skilled laborers who could make more money here than in their native countries, but don't want to try and wrestle with our immigration system. The best thing we could do for our economy would be to bring in more people who would produce far more than they consume, that is, skilled laborers we currently fight to keep out. Finally, speaking of national security for a moment, one of the biggest threats of the 21st century is the lack of systems engineers we need for our AeroSpace defenses, a short-fall we could easily overcome if we could just import the engineers from Eastern Europe and Russia.

The majority of Republicans may be against making it easier to immigrate to America. But, if they are, they'll lose, and they are on the wrong side of what this nation needs. 

Posted by Jon Thompson

Sunday, March 13, 2005 7:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that most of the Tom Tancredo-conservatives have failed to consider even the possibility that many of the most serious problems of immigration (lack of assimilation, law-breaking, over-use of entitlements, etc.) may be a reaction to the simple fact that immigration is nearly impossible. If immigration were a possibility for everyone, there'd be no violence at the border, no subculture of "coyotes" to bring in national security threats, and no reason to hide from the government, improving chances for assimilation. As well, an end to political disenfranchisement would decrease violent crime and increase economic opportunity for all currently illegal immigrants. As well, the only group of people our current laws keep out are skilled laborers who could make more money here than in their native countries, but don't want to try and wrestle with our immigration system. The best thing we could do for our economy would be to bring in more people who would produce far more than they consume, that is, skilled laborers we currently fight to keep out. Finally, speaking of national security for a moment, one of the biggest threats of the 21st century is the lack of systems engineers we need for our AeroSpace defenses, a short-fall we could easily overcome if we could just import the engineers from Eastern Europe and Russia.

The majority of Republicans may be against making it easier to immigrate to America. But, if they are, they'll lose, and they are on the wrong side of what this nation needs. 

Posted by Jon Thompson

Sunday, March 13, 2005 7:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a great article in the Washington Post a few days ago about how Japan, which culturally dislikes immigration, is coping with the "falling birthrate" bugaboo by developing technology to solve its problems. My impression is that Japan is confronting the declining birthrate by improving itself thru reliance on its own brain power. Many immigration supporters in the United States, on the other hand, seem to want to deal with our problems by importing foreign people. Eventually, and this is simply a point based in logic, the declining birthrate combined with the importation of foreigners will mean that the United States is populated primarily by a different people than it is now. Notwithstanding the "learn Spanish" crowd, I have sufficient pride in Anglo-America to prefer its continuation, rather than its displacement.
 

Posted by Old Virginian

Monday, March 14, 2005 7:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No matter what party you are, if you consider yourself an American you should be oppossed to the illegal immigrants who take advantage of our good nature, which is thinning mind you. I am outraged that my father and brother went to war for our freedom only to have it tarnished by illegals who couldn't give a damn about America, just the money to be made. God Bless the Minutemen, may each and everyone of them be guarded by the ghosts of our forefathers who would never have let our current situation happen, they were real leaders! 

Posted by don nathan

Thursday, March 31, 2005 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger James Raymond said...

I can definitely relate to that. Before considering much else, I pretty much decided that Canadian immigration is my best option and although I have been tempted to reconsider from time to time, I can't help but think about how much the 2000 elections have changed things for us (and not for the better I'm affraid).

I really enjoy this blog, I'll be back!

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