A BRIEF WORD ON IMMIGRATION
Dave Schuler had a nice post analyzing the politics of the President’s immigration speech, upon which I can offer only a comment but not an improvement as we are substantially in agreement:
“I liked a lot of what I heard in Bush’s speech. I believe he’s responding to the nation’s consensus position on the topic. I wish he’d delivered this speech and taken this course 5 years ago.
I’d like for there to be a timeline. If you construct the fence and improve patrolling of the border in 2008, have a new biometric ID in 2009, and strong enforcement laws against hiring illegals in 2010, I’d be okay with a guest-worker program in 2012. I wouldn’t be happy with a guest-worker program in 2008 and a fence constructed by 2012.
I think that penalties against hiring illegals should be much more severe, even confiscatory, and the enforcement should be much more serious. Hiring illegals should cease to be a viable business plan. IMO that’s a prerequisite for what I believe is the necessary expansion of immigration into this country. At this point part of the attraction of illegal migrants for some employers is the fact that they are illegal. Expansion of legal immigration or any guest-worker program without severe penalties for hiring illegal migrants would merely replace the current set of illegal workers with a new set.
I also wish that President Bush had devoted some time to the push factors that drive people out of their native countries. We’re all aware of the many pull factors that draw people to the United States. I think that we should be devoting a lot more effort to motivating other countries to ameliorate some of those. “
All true as they deal with the root of mass migration – Mexico’s unfree and oligarchical society and the desire of Big Business to hold down real wages by flooding the labor pool with mostly uneducated but hardworking illegal immigrants ( who liberals see as potential Democratic voters and clients of big government largesse). In my view neither President Bush nor the Congress nor either Party are the least bit serious about stopping illegal immigration.
What the political elite really wants is to continue the status quo – de facto completely open borders with Mexico. That message won’t sell, so both parties are going to attempt to stall and distract – mostly with heated arguments about deportation – hoping that the issue will die down in time. Deportation is irrelevant. Most of the illegals here, outside of the criminal gang element, are not the problem, we can legalize them all as of tomorrow without even noticing a thing, except perhaps some fiscal benefits in terms of moving a large mass of people into the aboveground economy.
The real problem is the illegal immigrants coming over the next twenty years who are not here yet, but will be someday. Why ? Because the elite – our bipartisan ecclesia that exists in the Beltway – have consciously chosen to perpetuate illegal immigration for narrow, selfish, undemocratic, reasons of class interest and political career.
Reasons, that for the last generation and a half, they have consistently put above the good of their country.