Sunday, May 28, 2006

In Which We Express Disappointment with Power Line

This morning's Power Line post by John Hinderaker is entitled "Immigration Prospects Brightening." A reader might think that John is reporting on progress toward viable legislation, but he means that the Senate bill's prospects are "dimming." In other words, he's cheering for the failure of the Senate bill.

I hope I am wrong, but it seems that Power Line has adopted the hard-line position: No immigration bill this year unless it does not go beyond the House's "enforcement only" approach.

What is most interesting, and disappointing, about Power Line's position is that John claims the House's obstructionist position is based on the House's sensitivity to "the will of the American people."

I don't think so. What is happening is that Republican members of Congress are responding to a slice of voters in their districts who are adamantly opposed to any earned citizenship for illegal aliens. These are the purists: They want all illegals now in the U.S. to return to their home countries and wait in line to return. Period. Adherents of this view have so far been reluctant to come right out and say what they want, but they have been getting bolder and bolder as time has passed.

Let's be clear: That group is not "the American people." It's a slice of about 30% of Republicans who feel that way, if you believe this poll by Pew Research. But it's a loud, activist bunch of Republicans. In short, congressmen and congresswomen, and more than a few senators, simply don't want to anger an important group among their base of support, who have threatened to punish the solons if they do not toe the line on this issue. It's that simple.

Okay, politics are politics. That's the way a representative democracy works. Realistically, it doesn't look like the Senate bill is going to be passed. That's fine with me; neither I nor those who agree with me on immigration think the bill is perfect. I don't think anyone, even the White House, thought the Senate bill would become law without substantial revision.

Still, I would like to see the following provisions survive:

  • Serious border enforcement, including the House's 700 mile fence, not the shorter Senate proposal, which is a little over 300 miles long.
  • Deportation of criminals and recent arrivals, without exception.
  • Some kind of earned legalization that screens out undesirables and recent arrivals, and that reflects the humane American spirit, so that the GOP doesn't end up being painted as the anti-Hispanic party.
  • The earned legalization (or "amnesty," if you insist on calling it that) could be phased in, e.g., it could begin only when certain enforcement targets are met, or after two years, or something like that. If Jim Sensenbrenner has his way, however, any kind of earned legalization is a deal-breaker. I think this approach is short-sighted (apart from being downright stupid).
I would like to see the following provisions deep-sixed:

  • Allowing illegals to collect Social Security as if they had been here legally.
  • Unacceptably high quotas for immigration of unskilled workers, the highlighting of which has has made this fellow from the Heritage Foundation a star on conservative talk radio, where hosts use interviews with him to stir up their audiences (that 30% noted above) into a frenzy over how the American way of life is about to end as a result. (Oh, but there are some who are a little less hysterical about that report and actually question the Heritage author's math. Oh, bother! Whom to believe? But is there any doubt in your mind whom the 30% group believes?)
  • A guest worker program that adds so much bureacracy that it's not worth the effort. This is something the conference committee will need to hash out.
If the 30% factor has its way, there will be no guest worker program at all and no earned citizenship. I think the Republicans need to show they can make sensible policy that they can also run on. We'll see if they're up to that.


Blogger Harold C. Hutchison said...

The dirty little secret is the people who want a sensible compromise are not the people who tend to scream and complain about nothing being done.

Those who do want a compromise are outnumbered and often unable to have their voices heard in the volume that comes from the purists. 

Posted by Harold C. Hutchison

Monday, May 29, 2006 8:40:00 AM  
Anonymous DL said...

nice to create figures for your pro North American Community push. 30 % of Republicans - I think 62.7352% of all the statistics you quote are made up.
Nice word "Hysterical" as in anyone who insists on secure borders and law and order with no gifts for felons is "Hysterial"

I won't print the names I would call anyone who sides with Teddy Kennedy -Reid - Pelosi - Schumer -McCain - Specter -Bush - Dodd - Frist and most every Democrat but four.

Why would any sane Republican want to do that? 

Posted by DL

Monday, May 29, 2006 3:21:00 PM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

DL, just because we would like to see earned legalization does not mean we agree with Kennedy et al. I also agree with Bill Frist, so I am not exactly keeping company with publicans and sinners! 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Monday, May 29, 2006 7:38:00 PM  
Anonymous DL said...

You said:

"What is most interesting, and disappointing, about Power Line's position is that John claims the House's obstructionist position is based on the House's sensitivity to "the will of the American people."

I don't think so."

Phyllis Schlafly reports from Rasmussen

"The reliable Rasmussen survey, for example, reports that by a 63 percent to 19 percent margin, voters want legislation that controls the borders before trying to change the status of illegal immigrants"

I think you also mistated the House position as "enforcement only" - I believe it is enforcement "first."

You said you agree with Frist but you conveniently left off the fact that you're on the side of that list of liberal/socialist scallywags I named -selective avoidance is not an answer.

Look at the names you're calling the conservative base:

Hard line -obstructionist - not...American people...angry activists - frenzy -hysterical - etc.

Your clever euphamism for rewarding known felons with "earned citizenship" comes straight out of a Pravda-like propaganda study. Your disregard for the rule of law and border security first -Remember this same promise was made in 86 by another Ted Kennedy "Amnesty" bill and you're willing to fall for that lie again? "Fool me once..."

You also have no trouble with the Soc. Sec. administration withholding who has stolen your identedy I presume, because this is part of Bush's program also.

These are not starving people (Haiti-Sudan etc.)These are people, like millions of others who wish a better more prosperous way of life. They need to sollow the rule of law and get in line like all the poor souls that are waiting to enter this promised land. Above all they should not be rewarded with tenure and blanket pardons for their unwillingness to follow our laws. Raise the quota -streamline the process -open it up to other country's immigrants in proportion -but never reward lawbreakers for you attack the very premise of law itself.


Posted by DL

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 1:36:00 AM  
Blogger Harold C. Hutchison said...

DL, were you trying to be insulting, or did it just come out that way?

There is no indication that I, or the Hedgehog, for that matter, are disregarding either border security or the rule of law. The only folks who spout that nonsense are seeking to demonize those they disagree with.

"Rule of law" does not mean mindlessly enforcing the letter of the law, particularly in the face of evidence that points towards the fact that the law doesn't work. I cannot recommend reading the BigLizards blog on this issue enough. They have shown just how badly broken the system is. 

Posted by Harold C. Hutchison

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 6:28:00 AM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

DL, how do you feel about tax amnesty, which has been applied in the U.S. time and time again? When we do that, are we not rewarding lawbreakers? 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 6:51:00 AM  
Anonymous DL said...

rule of law -letter of law -it is irrelevant to this issue -can we get away with felonies - no! This group is being selected for special privelige not because the law doesn't work but because the almighty politicians don't want it to work . they've made no attept to enforce it -under Busgh the numbers of prosecutions have gone down. Where are the citations against the people hiring these illegals -none.
Every country in the world has no preoblem taking care of their borders when they chose to.

Amnesty is a never do (for taxes or any reason) all Bush did by his amnesty (guest worker) talk is to accelerate the numbers of illegals coming over.

Let's face it -they have chosen to sell citizenship for a couple thousand dollars. I guess it's cheap vote buying when you add up the 60 million or 100 million depending whose numbers are right on this problem.

Can a lawyer really be an officer of the court and encourage the breaking of serious law (Felony ID theft) and call it "letter of the law" trivia? That may work with your guys, but there is an awful lot of people who wont stand for that kind of foolishness. 

Posted by DL

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 6:30:00 PM  

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