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Monday, May 15, 2006

Immigration - The Flashpoint

I think your position on immigration reform largely depends on your family background. If you have connections to working class people, you want illegal immigation curbed, no ifs, ands or buts. You cannot drive past any construction business and look at all the Hispanics working without knowing what you are seeing. If you are an upper-class woman from an upper-class background, you most likely want a cheap nanny or maid so you can continue to make the big bucks at your professional job. If you own a restaurant, a chicken factory or a construction-type business, you are making money off cheap labor, and may well want it to continue.

I think we should take off the gloves and admit that unlimited cheap immigration is suppressing wages for huge numbers of people, including recent legal immigrants. Furthermore, it's an absolute undercutting of unions everywhere, because no way are illegals going to join a union and strike. It's class warfare.

It's fuelling a level of anger that's unimaginable to those who talk only to people who are insulated from the world of factory workers, house cleaners, roofers and WalMart workers. These people are subsidizing, in the form of lower wages and therefore lower costs, the lifestyles of people who have much more and make much more than they. In many areas of the country, most construction workers are making around $10 an hour. They make less in real dollars than they did in the 1970's, and they know it, and they are hurting.

With that in mind, read Polipundit (duking the issue out), see Whitehouse.gov on Bush's position on illegal immigration, and see this Heritage Foundation analysis of the current Senate bill, sponsored by two Republicans:
If enacted, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (CIRA, S.2611) would be the most dramatic change in immigration law in 80 years, allowing an estimated 103 million persons to legally immigrate to the U.S. over the next 20 years—fully one-third of the current population of the United States.
In contrast to the 103 million immigrants permitted under CIRA, current law allows 19 million legal immigrants over the next twenty years. Relative to current law, then, CIRA would add an extra 84 million legal immigrants to the nation’s population.

The figure of 103 million legal immigrants is a reasonable estimate of the actual immigration inflow under the bill and not the maximum number that would be legally permitted to enter. The maximum number that could legally enter would be almost 200 million over twenty years—over 180 million more legal immigrants than current law permits.
I asked Chief No-Nag what he thought about this (he is a naturalized citizen born in South America - he came here in his twenties), and he said there was no way we could absorb that many people and that no one was considering the extra costs. He said it was insane. He said we were creating a population that would live in poverty and have little chance to move out of it.

I think he's right. This is not an issue that falls within the presidential purview. Congress must act, and if they fail to act by election time this will be almost the only issue that matters. If the Repujblican party goes down, this will be the issue that sinks it.

In the 1850s the Republican Party was born as an abolitionist party. A political party against slavery.

In the 2000s the Republican Party is destroyed over slavery of illegals.

Interesting history, eh?
One thing the Catholics are right about - an unjust social system enslaves everyone. I don't know anyone with a conscience who is comfortable with the current situation.
I am a pretty conservative Republican. I have come to two conclusions. One that the current situation is untenable. Second that the House bill is immoral and as a Catholic Christian I can not support it. This no compromise approach by the House baffles me. Who is going to take care of all these American kids of these illegals after we deport them all
Oh I forgot there will be no massive deportations, we will starve them out by making it impossible to get work. I don't know whats more horrid.
James - there are definite problems with the slash and burn approach. No matter how we slice and dice it, some sort of gradualist approach will be necessary.

I'm hunting around trying to figure out what plans are being proposed and my head is spinning. Right now I'm just trying to figure out what the proposals are.
Nice analysis MOM. What's even more at risk than our economic future is the potential erosion of our values as a nation - our ability to be a beacon to the world. The ghetto-ized separate-but-equal ideas that the bilingual movement (not to mention most of the left) wants to see in place would virtually assure that we would be a nation without a single language, a nation without pervasive knowledge of our founding documents and history and a nation that was no longer a nation at all but a messy, bickering and ultimately ineffective agglomeration much like the UN. It's not that those coming in would not be willing to assimilate in such ways but that we have lost our collective will to enforce those things - to say: it is going to take effort (to learn English, to study U.S. history, etc.) but you will thank us later. (Heck, it's something we should be saying more often to high school students whose families have been here for 300 years!) Assimilation is not something that can be done entirely through law in any case. It requires a social consensus that says: "to be in this nation you must take on the character of this nation". It is the melting pot rather than the tossed salad. We already have a sniping class that wants the benefits of America without any of the responsibilities - that wants to be on the sidelines. This bill would only swell its ranks to bursting.
Yes, it would. And there are other possible effects. I would hate to see a situation similar to France developing here, but I believe it might.

Most of those coming in are good people who will be an asset to our country if they can come as legals and their children can get good schooling and move on to college. However, there are limits to how many people we can provide such opportunities too, and both logic and any sense of social justice should restrict immigration to that extent.

I don't know what that number may be, but 100 million is definitely in excess of that number.

One of the things that really bothers me about the current situation is that we have kids who are essentially American (have lived most their lives here, speak English, etc) but they are not legal and therefore can't go to college, etc. This is pernicious. Whatever we do should correct it.

There should be no second-class citizens in the US.
james hood: "...the House bill is immoral..."

I disagree with your assertion.

"and as a Catholic Christian I can not support it."

I could.

"This no compromise approach by the House baffles me."

Not me. The clock ran out, unfortunately, long ago on the opportunity to take it slow and easy. Decades ago it was obvious to the observant that until Americans outside of the southern border states felt the heat, Congress would ignore the problem. Today, few people remain so unaware that they can wave off the torrent of illegal aliens crossing America's southern border as, say, a California problem.

"Who is going to take care of all these American kids of these illegals after we deport them all"

The illegals who whelped 'em. (Duh.) Nothing prohibits parents who are illegal aliens from taking their entire family back home with them when they are deported. So what's the problem - that some kids will be speaking English at home over there instead of Spanish over here?

"Oh I forgot there will be no massive deportations, we will starve them out by making it impossible to get work."

I'm for "massive deportations" and intend to punish opponents of same at the polls. No illegals need starve or scavenge from dumpsters like, say, an abortion clinic bomber on the run from the law; they can turn themselves in.

Or, james hood, you could do the charitable Christian thing and volunteer to transport them south yourself. Even a smallish Catholic parish could probably mobilize volunteers to move several hundred illegals to the appropriate US border on a weekend.
(How many Catholic parishes are there in the US? Do the math.)

If Congress appropriated funds for such a faith-based initiative, it wouldn't bother me in the least. No money for sanctuary for illegals, though. (That little game played by certain Catholics of the so-leftist-their-brains-fell-out sect has got to stop.)

"I don't know whats more horrid."

I do and it ain't having to mow my own grass, clean my own pool, or pay a little more for food and manual labor.

Here's some hints about "whats more horrid": (1) A welfare state is incompatible with a constitutional republic. (2) The ultimate form of a US open border policy with Mexico is the conquest of Mexico.
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