Why Harry Can’t Reid

Regular readers will know that immigration isn’t exactly my top issue. The system is broken in many ways, unfair to legal immigrants, impotent in the face of mass illegal immigration and unlawful entry by criminals and terrorists, and lethargic and undermanned even when it takes action, but I remain skeptical that our political system is even capable of dealing seriously with these issues. I’m in favor of comprehensive reform, but only if it contains real enforcement teeth; I’m OK with more legal immigration and fine with allowing present illegals to become citizens, but only if there is a substantial price of entry paid for the privilege of citizenship (I discussed the “amnesty” issue at much greater length here).
All that said, there is no reason whatsoever for the Senate to be rushing a vote on the massively complex immigration bill when there will barely be time for Senators to read the thing and no ability for the public to examine its provisions and peaceably assemble to petition for redress of grievances with the bill.

12 thoughts on “Why Harry Can’t Reid”

  1. There’s a ton of things wrong with this bill. For instance, the so-called fence’s length has been halved to less than 400 miles (and I was never shown any reason why less than 800 miles would have been sufficient in the first place). It is amnesty for people who broke the law. It does not sufficiently address employers who enable all of this.
    Of course, this is only what I hear. I’ve seen a picture of the “bill” and it is seriously huge. Reminds me of the size of Hillarycare. Passage of that many words in a rush is bound to create unforeseen (or cleverly disguised) problems.
    Overall, I never had any confidence in Democrats, but I at least thought that Republicans had the basics correct. Looks like I am wrong about that too.

  2. I really don’t mind lots of immigrants coming here. It’s what really makes us strong: hybrid vigor. However, when we took in waves of immigrants, BY THE MILLIONS in a low tech 1907 or so, they were all processed. The government gave little aid, but private citizens (like HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) gave a lot. Helped with jobs and housing.
    So I say, especially to the Mexicans, who really are doing jobs no one else will do, let them in. Set up large process centers in the southwest, like Ellis Island, and be generous on entry. But no welfare, no medical coverage for anyone over 18 for, say 3 years, until you are in the system, paying taxes, paying social security. And the amnesty program is needed, but I would let the farthest an illegal goes unless they go out and come back in legally is a green card. No citizenship ever. That is the ultimate reward for being here, and no one here illegally should get that.

  3. I am going to do my best to not be argumentive and provide constructive counterpoints or questions.
    Americans might “do” these jobs if the pay was what the market would bear. As long as we expect cheap fruit, cheap roofers, etc. we provide an opportunity for illegals.
    Within this notion of large processing centers, is there some kind of assimilation process included. Anyone that wants to come to stay and be a citizen must (not should or ought to) learn and speak English (accents are OK :). In addition to speaking English, I see no reason to welcome in the La Raza crowd who apparently think that the Mexican flag belongs on top of Federal and Municipal buildings in California. If they want to leave Mexico and come here as citizens, they give up being Mexicans period. Overall, no dual citizenship.
    We need serious control over our borders so we know who is coming into the country. For example, the illegal alien population of the California prison system is beyond significant, so these people need to be checked out before they are allowed in. Security fences work in Israel, and there’s no reason they cannot work here (if we can send a man to the moon and all that stuff, we can secure our borders).
    Also, don’t forget that terrorists can slip past an undefended border. I don’t think we can be 100% leak tight, but we have to make a real effort, or why am I paying taxes for Homeland Security?
    This notion of “anchor baby” has got to end. The idea that a woman who is pregnant can sneak in, have her child here in the US, and then use it as an excuse to bring in every cousin and uncle for family unity is insane.
    The idea of amnesty is appalling. For what other crimes will you concede amnesty? I can think of a number of things that I am tempted to do for which I would appreciate amnesty, but somehow as a citizen of the US, I feel the compulsion to actually follow our laws.
    What is your answer to the hordes of legal immigrants who wait for years and jump through numerous hoops and hurdles? Do you think they might get a little ticked off?
    We tried amnesty in 1986. It didn’t work very well did it? Why will this new policy end the problem?

  4. Here’s a “cut and paste” from today’s National Review Online Media blog. It has some interesting comments from supposed illegals on how they would react to the bill if passed. Moreover, I like the comment at the end which in effect puts the question to the Senate, “Will this really work?”
    What do Illegal Immigrants Think? [Greg Pollowitz]
    The NY Post went out an interviewed some illegal immigrants yesterday on the deal. Here are some excerpts:
    I want to see it in black and white, but I’m not going to do that (go back to the Dominican and return) because once you get there, (U.S. officials) could tell you anything…
    I’d be very scared about going back. I’m willing to pay if they give me my papers. Going back you could never be sure…
    …But I’m not going to leave my children. The road back is horrible…
    Why give $5000 to them? I have more than that, but I would fix my house. There are too many questions about this plan and a lot of paperwork…
    …But definitely I would do it – if I was going to be guaranteed to be back here in two or three weeks…
    …But I don’t like the idea of going back (to Mexico) because they might trick us…
    Here’s an idea. Any Senator that votes for this plan should be hooked up to a polygraph machine and asked one simple question: “Do you think the plan will work?” Because, from the anecdotal reaction of the illegal immigrant community, this plan is a non-starter.

  5. I’m agreed on the importance of immigrants speaking English and demonstrating undivided loyalty to the U.S. (or, at a minimum, renouncing any doctrines hostile to the U.S.).

  6. There’s a very good reason to rush the vote…otherwise, enough people may get exercised enough to derail this monstrosity. That’s why they’re hurrying for all they’re worth.

  7. The illegal problem can be fixed quite easily if W would enforce the laws on the books. There is a lack of will–not a lack of legislation.

  8. NRA, I don’t find you argumentative at all. I think your points are well made. In fact, I agree with many of them. I did say that we should let in the huddled masses so to speak, but that doesn’t mean everybody. Nor do I mind a fence. With gates that are open, but checked. Like Ellis Island.
    I also agree with Crank. Pete King was my congressman for a long time, until there was redistricting. I didn’t agree with him all the time, but still supported him, mainly due to his USA English stand. Our laws and, in fact, our way of life, The COnstitution, is written in english. If you can’t speak the language of our laws, you can’t understand them. My grandparents spoke yiddish at home, but learned english, voted in english, all that.
    However, NRA, there are zillions of jobs that the illegals do that we CANNOT have and keep a decent economy. Restaurants, hotels, any low level service industry, if they paid what citizens here would take (and in an ideal world we would), well, broccoli would be $30 a head, a Big Mac would cost $50, etc. Things tend to find their levels.
    Yes there are terrorists who might get through. Nothing is perfect. They would get through anyway. So we have to reach a compromise in some way. It’s the practical solution, n o matter what your ideals are.

  9. Watchman is the only one to address main question. It’s been broke for decades. What is the urgency to debate and vote on this before it can be fully read and understood? Whenever congress rushes to do something it means we’re in trouble. To paraphrase an old saying: “Legislate in haste regret in leisure.”
    As far as the legislation itself, Ironman hit the nail on the head. Without being able to review the particulars I have to go by who is supporting it. Kennedy has a history of getting this issue wrong every couple decades.
    Here are his past quotes:
    1965: “The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”
    1986: “This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this.”
    2007: “Now it is time for action. 2007 is the year we must fix our broken system.”
    And we should believe him this time, WHY?

  10. Why bother? How many people read the Patriot Act that was rammed through Congress? How many people read even a small percentage of bills that were passed or introduced in the past 6 years? All of sudden were all concerned about them reading the bills? Where has that been?

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