comprehensive immigration reform

Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Page 3


See the summary for this topic on the main Comprehensive Immigration Reform page.

Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Mitt Romney now pandering on immigration reform - 04/03/12

Mitt Romney and his incompetent advisors are inching him closer and closer to a weak immigration position that validates Obama's position on the issue. Romney's advisors clearly aren't smart enough to understand that won't work.

Tom Vilsack promotes illegal activity, uses bogus "crops rotting" line - 02/24/12

At the Department of Agriculture's 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Ag secretary Tom Vilsack once again promoted illegal activity now and an amnesty or guest workers program for illegal aliens in the future.

10 things Obama's "Blueprint for an America Built to Last" doesn't tell you (immigration) - 02/01/12

After the State of the Union speech, the Barack Obama administration released a "Blueprint for an America Built to Last" [1]. I'll briefly describe what the section about immigration doesn't tell you. Here's the section of the Blueprint that deals with immigration:

Will California declare state-level immigration amnesty? (Opportunity and Prosperity Act, illegal aliens) - 12/03/11

No, California won't be declaring its own, state-level amnesty for illegal aliens. While Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes and others are trying to put an initiative on the ballot ("California Opportunity and Prosperity Act") that would attempt to declare such an amnesty (link), such an initiative has nearly zero chance of passing.

2006: Gil Cedillo supports illegal immigration boycott, shills for cheap labor employers - 09/18/11

The video below has a 2006 speech from California state Assemblyman Gil Cedillo in support of a resolution supporting the "Great American Boycott" immigration march.

Public Religion Research Institute's misleading poll (immigration, DREAM Act, Brookings Institution) - 09/06/11

The Public Religion Research Institute ("PRRI") has released a poll called "What it Means to be American: Attitudes in an Increasingly Diverse America Ten Years after 9/11" (publicreligion.org/research/?id=680) which includes a few questions about immigration. I'll explain how two of the poll questions are misleading (see immigration poll for other misleading polls about this issue).

Stan Greenberg is clueless why voters "tune out Democrats", as he promotes amnesty - 07/31/11

Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner offers "Why Voters Tune Out Democrats" (link) in which he just can't seem to figure out why people aren't flocking to the Democratic Party in these tough economic times.

Obama at NCLR: "yes, but..." on immigration enforcement; promotes jobs for possible illegal alien construction workers; DREAM Act; comprehensive reform... - 07/25/11

Barack Obama appeared at the National Council of La Raza convention earlier today; see the last link for our extensive coverage of that group. His unremarkable remarks are at [1]: he didn't really say anything that he hasn't said before. As he's done before, he misled, such as by using the system is broken canard.

2006: George Will supports amnesty, guest workers; misleads with false choice; "unlimited" skilled immigration - 07/03/11

On March 30, 2006, George Will offered "Guard the Borders--And Face Facts" ( peekURL.com/zc35tkk ), which was designed to support George W Bush's push for comprehensive immigration reform.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011: new amnesty push from Leahy, Menendez, Durbin, Reid, Schumer, Kerry, Gillibrand - 06/23/11

Yesterday the U.S. Senators listed in the title introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011, this year's version of a major amnesty bill.

Newt Gingrich offers false choice, supports incremental amnesty, doesn't challenge CNN for misleading on immigration (GOP 6/13/11 debate) - 06/13/11

At tonight's GOP debate, both moderator John King and candidate Newt Gingrich offered a false choice on immigration. Instead of calling King on offering a misleading choice, Gingrich offered the same false choice.

With millions unemployed, Ag Secy Tom Vilsack demeans American workers, promotes amnesty, opposes enforcement, uses bogus talking points, opposes eVerify - 05/27/11

Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack held a press conference on Wednesday in which he demeaned American workers, promoted immigration "reform", opposed immigration enforcement, and used a series of bogus immigration talking points.

An account of his remarks is here, with more excerpts at [1].

1. Vilsack ran down American workers, saying: "While some American citizens step up and take (farm) jobs, the truth is even when farmers make their best effort to recruit a domestic workforce, few citizens express interest. In large part that's because this is hard, tough work." The idea that growers want to recruit Americans is more than a bit dubious; many run down American workers as much as Vilsack. Growers tend to prefer lower-wage, more compliant illegal aliens. And, we sent a man to the moon and won World War II, now Vilsack falsely says that most Americans don't want hard work. That's also more than a bit dubious because a good percentage of those doing farm work are in fact Americans. And, there's the fact that the presence of large numbers of illegal aliens tends to reduce farm wages at the same time as decreasing safety in farm jobs.

The pro-American alternative would be for Vilsack to oppose illegal immigration and push something like this plan to get unemployed Americans working temporary farm jobs until the economy improves. That would answer the labor shortage complaints of farmers, improve working conditions on farms, and would save money overall (considering that most of those unemployed will be getting unemployment insurance and considering the costs of illegal aliens).

2. Vilsack supported comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. See the link for the downsides of that plan [1].

3. One of the key selling points of immigration "reform" is that it would include stepped-up enforcement. Vilsack seems not to be such a fan of enforcement, saying: "It's difficult to know when someone is documented and when someone isn't. It's difficult when there are efforts at enforcement that basically disrupt not only undocumented folks but also documented … which we've seen in some of the processing facilities." If "reform" passed, does anyone think Vilsack would do a 180 and support "disrupt[ive]" immigration raids?

4. Vilsack used a long list of bogus talking points. The first item above is the jobs Americans wont do canard, but there were several more. From the article:

Reforms would result in "a reliable, legal workforce," said Vilsack. Reforms would also:

* Continue efforts "to secure the borders."
* Hold accountable "businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers."

The first is secure the border. The second is what boils down to the immigration wage floor. See both links.

Vilsack also used the deportations false choice, saying "The reality is, if you tried to deport all 12 million it would take several hundred years. That isn't practical." See the link for how he tried to mislead.

Vilsack - just as his boss, George W Bush, and dozens of other hacks have done - used the system is broken canard [2].

5. Vilsack also ran down the eVerify program, at least as a standalone solutiion, saying: "The E-Verify system creates a potential difficulty, particularly for smaller businesses... That's because they'd have to invest resources in equipment and training to participate."

Vilsack was accompanied by Bob Stallman, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, who engaged in crops rotting in the fields scare tactics:

"Our concern is that without a legal agricultural guest worker program in place – or without comprehensive immigration reform – you have roughly 500,000 workers out there that, frankly, would be screened out (by) a mandatory E-Verify program. If that happens, the risk of production losses, or production moving outside the country, is very real... If you just put in a mandatory E-Verify program, there's suddenly a huge gap in agricultural that must be filled from somewhere. Otherwise, the crops won't be planted and harvested. That's the reality."

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[1] Vilsack: "There needs to be a comprehensive immigration system that deals with the 12 million people here, many working in our farm fields."

[2] Vilsack: "I've met farmers and ranchers all over this country who are worried about the broken immigration system... Simply put, our broken immigration system offers little hope for producers trying to do the right thing and make a living...

Newt Gingrich considers "draft boards" for immigration (+Jorge Ramos, DREAM Act, sanctuary movement, Michael Scherer) - 05/16/11

Newt Gingrich appeared on the Univision show "Al Punto" yesterday [1] [2], discussed immigration, and showed yet again just how wrong he is on that and related issues:

Obama misleads on immigration at Facebook; Zuckerberg and incompetent/corrupt GOP, Teaparty leaders help - 04/21/11

Barack Obama spoke live over Facebook yesterday at an event sponsored by that company. He misled about immigration and promoted an anti-American bill. He got direct help with his attempt to mislead from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and he got indirect help from corrupt or incompetent GOP and Teaparty leaders:

Obama meets with "stakeholders" for amnesty propaganda push ("immigration reform") - 04/19/11

Earlier today, Barack Obama met with a group of 70 "stakeholders" to discuss a new push for comprehensive immigration reform. The stakeholders in question represent only a small number of Americans; see the list below.

Haley Barbour lobbied for Mexican government, now misleads about amnesty - 02/15/11

Mississippi governor Haley Barbour is so bad on immigration that in 2001 he lobbied for the Mexican government on a "mini-amnesty". If you aren't familiar with that government's activities inside the U.S., see that link.

Now that his lobbying activities [1] have come to light, he's responded by misleading about amnesty and promoting very bad policies. From a statement he released in response [2]:

"Before there can be immigration reform, we must secure our borders. Only after that can any reforms be achieved, and those can’t include amnesty... Everybody knows we are not going to put ten or twelve million people in jail and deport them. Once the border is secure, we should develop a responsible guest-worker program and it can’t include amnesty."

1. As it says on the secure the border page, when someone harps on securing the border *first*, you have to ask them what comes next. Thankfully, in his case he's making it clear: some form of legalization program. See #4.

2. He's using the reform not amnesty canard. His "reform" would be perceived by millions of potential illegal aliens as amnesty, no matter what he wants to call it. See that link for the details.

3. He's using the deportations false choice canard, pretending that we must choose between mass deportations and legalization when there are other options, including attrition.

4. The guest worker program he promotes would result in one of two things: either a very large underclass of "second-class non-citizens" akin to the situation of Turkish "guests" in Germany, or some form of "path to citizenship" in which former illegal aliens would eventually be able to become citizens. The last is more likely, and it's certainly the one that the Democratic Party would pull out all the stops to obtain starting from Day One. So, most likely his plan would turn out to have the same effect as amnesty, even if applicants had to jump through a few minor hoops first. See the comprehensive immigration reform and guest workers pages for more.

But, wait, there's more. Barbour's press office has responded to [1] with this:

In their work on immigration issues, BGR [Barbour's lobbying firm] never advocated amnesty for illegal aliens.

Barbour's lobbying concerned Section 245(i) of the Immigration Act (link) which involved allowing certain illegal aliens to adjust their status, i.e., become legalized and get a green card. See the description in [1]. Getting a green card put them on the "path to citizenship". So, word games aside, what he was lobbying for was in fact amnesty.

ADDED: We know Barbour promoted amnesty, but it's important to use his terms if you ever get a chance to discuss this with him. If you ask him about supporting amnesty, he'll do what John McCain and others do: simply deny he supports amnesty. So, that will go nowhere. If you get to ask Barbour a question, it has to be about specific aspects of what he supports and you need to make sure you aren't letting him deflect the question by playing word games.

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[1] From this:

According to a Justice Department filing by Barbour's former lobbying firm, The Embassy of Mexico decided to retain Barbour's services on August 15, 2001, to work on, among other things, legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for foreigners living illegally in the United States—what opponents of immigration reform call “amnesty.”

“Haley Barbour and I will lead the BG&R team,” wrote Lanny Griffith, Barbour's former business partner, in the filing. According to subsequent filings, Barbour's work included “building support in the legislative branch for passage of a bill related to Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.” As part of that work, Barbour's firm arranged meetings and briefings with “Senators, members of Congress and their staffs, as well as Executive Branch Officials in the White House, National Security Council, State Department, and Immigration & Naturalization Service.” Barbour's firm charged Mexico $35,000 a month, plus expenses.

At the time, Mexico was seeking an extension of a provision that allowed undocumented immigrants living in the United States to receive legal visas or green cards without returning to their country of origin, provided they pay an additional fine. In practice, the provision generally helped out undocumented family members of legal immigrants or undocumented immigrants who were eligible for visas based upon certain job skills. Without the provision in place, undocumented immigrants who received legal papers had to return to their country of origin, for three or 10 years, before returning to the U.S. The Congressional Research Service estimated that an extension would benefit about 300,000 undocumented immigrants.

At the time of Barbour's lobbying, the 245(i) effort was referred to as “mini-amnesty” in conservative circles.“This amnesty loophole allowed aliens who broke our laws to pay a $1,000 fine and go to the head of the line in front of prospective immigrants who complied with our laws,” opined Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum, in a 2002 column.
Among the other supporters of extending 245(i) was President George W. Bush, who had called for an extension of the provision before meeting with then-Mexican President Vincent Fox in 2002. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted out the extension, but in the post-September 11 atmosphere, the extension failed to win approval in the Senate.

[2] hotair.com/archives/2011/02/14/
barbour-lobbied-for-mini-amnesty

How "centrist" will No Labels be on immigration? - 11/26/10

There's a new "centrist" group called No Labels in town [1], but they actually appear to be just a vehicle for a presidential run by Michael Bloomberg. And, it looks like on immigration and trade they'll support policies that are establishment-friendly but which cause harm to everyone else.

One of the leaders of the group is former George W Bush advisor Mark McKinnon, and one of those who'll be appearing at their kickoff announcement is Antonio Villaraigosa. Another person involved is John Avlon. And, another person involved in some way is former Los Angeles Times editor Andres Martinez (currently with the New America Foundation).

If you've been following this site for a while (or clicked the links above), by now alarm bells are ringing in your ears: all those listed are bad on immigration. On that issue they're only centrists in the misleading establishment sense, supporting comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty), a truly radical plan. The amnesty they support would - among many other things - be a huge gift to the Democratic Party and would increase spending, lower the power of current U.S. citizens, and give the Mexican government a great deal of power inside the U.S.

And, all enable in their own ways illegal immigration, whether it's highlighting the importance of a ready supply of greenskeepers (Bloomberg), or sending all Mexico the message that he won't try to curb illegal immigration (Villaraigosa).

While there isn't much on their site about immigration, their true position is telegraphed by Avlon [2] and then driven home by Martinez [3].

I'll tweet @NoLabelsOrg and ask for an official statement with the details on their immigration position, but the chances of them supporting something like attrition are slim indeed.

12/13/10 UPDATE: I've never gotten a reply from @NoLabelsOrg, but here's another data point (link):

I tuned in to the webcast of the group’s kickoff to hear a woman saying, “You just have to look to Arizona to see extremists who are trying to divide us.” I guess I know how the group feels about the Arizona immigration enforcement law. Of course, I thought the point of the group was to stop labeling people; but I guess it’s okay to label the overwhelming majority of Arizonans “extremists.”

It would be obviously helpful to know who said that and how high in the organization they are, but it's certainly in line with the quotes below.

As a slight counterweight to everything else in this post, No Labels is certainly scaring or at least bothering a large number of GOP/Dem partisan hacks, so they've got that going for them. But, what we really need is a mainstream group that opposes things like Democratic race-baiting as strongly as they oppose giveaways to connected corporations and that, of course, also strongly opposes illegal and massive immigration. The chances of such a group forming are slim because the money is on the other side and most people who concern themselves with politics tend to be partisan.

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[1] From this:

No Labels (www.nolabels.org) is led by Democratic fund-raiser Nancy Jacobson and Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who were introduced to each other by Kevin Sheekey, Mr. Bloomberg's political adviser.

The group has raised more than $1 million to seed its effort against what it calls "hyper-partisanship." Backers include co-chairman of Loews Corp. Andrew Tisch, Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich and ex-Facebook executive Dave Morin. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as well as U.S. senators (Joe Lieberman) of Connecticut and Michigan's Debbie Stabenow, will attend the New York launch [on December 13].

[2] nolabels.org/blog/americans-vote-divided-government-again

"From deficit reduction to energy independence and immigration reform, there are policy paths where the center can lead in proposing new solutions."

[3] nolabels.org/blog/hey-voter-rest-world-out-get-you

But let’s not kid ourselves: this manufactured xenophobia leaves a lasting legacy. It isn't good – for ourselves or the rest of the world – when the United States turns inward. Americans oscillate between seeing the rest of the world as a boundless opportunity or as an overwhelming threat, and the latter mindset erodes our national confidence and clouds our better policymaking judgment. Regardless of what one thinks a rational immigration policy looks like, it is hard to even have that discussion with the hyper-partisan and overwrought demagoguery around the issue. The constant China-bashing makes it hard for the administration to engage Beijing on any subject. America now runs the risk of running scared from any number of opportunities to grow our economy: a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll early this month found that 53% of those surveyed said free trade hurts the United States. Alarming, but hardly surprising given the narrative of our politics.

The Nation amnesty editorial lies, smears, promotes anti-American policy (Lou Dobbs) - 10/08/10

Day Two of the Lou Dobbs Saga continues, with The Nation offering the editorial "Make It Legal" (thenation.com/article/155228/make-it-legal). I'll show below why you can't trust The Nation and how their editorial lies, smears, and promotes bad, anti-American policy.

In the first paragraph they falsely state that Meg Whitman's campaign "has at times been vehemently anti-immigrant" which begs the question which universe they live in. Opposing illegal immigration isn't "anti-immigrant", and moreover Whitman hasn't opposed illegal immigration to a great extent as discussed at the last link. Whitman has tried to ignore immigration, she opposes the new Arizona law and Proposition 187 (see her Spanish-language billboards), and she's bent over backwards to pander to Hispanics. Her two strongest positions are opposing letting illegal aliens into some colleges and taking a "secure the border first, then we'll discuss amnesty" position ("When there are no more illegal immigrants coming across the border then the border is secure. And once we have that then we can talk about what the right thing to do is." here). Neither of those are tough, and the latter contradicts her earlier support for a "path to legalization". No one is going to find Whitman taking a tough stance on illegal immigration, much less being "anti-immigrant" as the Nation claims.

Moving on:

Now Lou Dobbs, the former CNN host who made his name with nightly rants against "illegal aliens" and their "illegal employers," joins Whitman's ranks. It turns out that Dobbs has employed at least five undocumented workers in recent years through his landscaping and horse stable contractors. Like Whitman, who may have received a Social Security no-match letter and knew Diaz was unable to travel outside the country, Dobbs and his champion horse-riding daughter, Hillary, must have been in deep denial. The landscaping and horse grooming trades depend heavily on undocumented workers. One immigrant who tended the gardens at a Dobbs estate said the landscaping contractor who employed him never pushed for a "good Social Security number." Dobbs told his gardener to call him "Luis." Whitman described Diaz as "a friend of our family." Yet there appears to have been a tacit understanding in these friendly relationships: some things would not be discussed.

The above is sleazy innuendo and in a legal sense Dobbs didn't "employ" anyone through anyone else as the Nation states; that appears to be an attempt to mislead people into thinking that Dobbs was the employer when that's not the case. In some cases, those who are contractors are in fact full-time employees and the government can force them to be reclassified as such (see this), but that doesn't apply in this case as at least the landscapers were only on Dobbs' property for short periods and no doubt did work for others. Further, just because someone speaks Spanish doesn't mean they're here illegally as the Nation implies. The last sentence is sleazy mind-reading.

Then, we have an outright lie:

With the investigative report in this issue by Isabel Macdonald, we are not out merely to play a game of gotcha. Of course Whitman and Dobbs are hypocrites: they have called publicly for tougher enforcement of immigration laws, claiming it is necessary to protect American workers and their wages, while privately refusing fair pay and humane treatment to their own immigrant workers, who were too afraid of getting caught in the enforcement net to stand up for their rights. Instead they were left working extra hours off the clock (Whitman's maid) or earning poverty wages (Dobbs's gardeners). But the more important revelation here is that undocumented workers are so thoroughly woven into the fabric of our economy that even two professional immigrant-bashers found it difficult to avoid relying on their labor.

Whitman's housekeeper was in fact her "worker". However, the supposed illegal aliens from the Nation article are not Dobbs' "workers"; the Nation lies two times in the paragraph above. Further, neither Whitman nor Dobbs are "immigrant-bashers", and as discussed above Whitman is weak on the immigration issue. As for the "rights" of the supposed illegal aliens from the article, there's nothing I can see alleging a violation of actual rights; if there were, the Nation would surely have contacted government authorities. In fact, the Nation is seeking to confer extra-legal rights to foreign citizens who are here illegally.

As for hypocrisy, that's a weak charge that's one step up from an ad hominem, and one question raised by the paragraph above is whether the Nation really cares about "protect[ing] American workers and their wages". If there were no illegal aliens in the U.S., wouldn't those workers the Nation discusses be working for higher wages under better conditions? Why isn't The Nation supporting that, and instead they're enabling even more illegal immigration? The Nation won't support immigration enforcement now; can anyone see them supporting enforcement later, as there are even more illegal aliens in the U.S. lowering U.S. wages and working standards? Large numbers of low-skilled U.S. workers are in competition with illegal aliens, and The Nation is taking the side of illegal aliens.

Then, they mislead about what Dobbs wants:

On any given day, we've all probably eaten fruit harvested by undocumented workers or meat they butchered. These workers also make possible the lifestyles enjoyed by wealthy Americans like Dobbs and Whitman, with their estates and grounds and stables. How these millions of workers could be extracted from their jobs and deported without causing massive disruption not only to their lives but to the entire economy defies the imagination. Yet this is what Dobbs demands with his call for ever tougher enforcement.

One might expect The Nation to oppose the wealthy using cheap, illegal labor rather than American workers working for good wages under good conditions. Instead, they're promoting the opposite, just as strongly as corporate tool Tamar Jacoby. As discussed at the last link, "[currently a] meatpacker makes roughly $10 an hour, which is the same wage paid in 1980", due to an influx of cheap and illegal foreign labor. The Nation isn't opposing that: they're supporting and promoting it.

Further, The Nation is lying about Dobbs' position: he's never supported mass deportations, and in January of this year he admitted that he supports amnesty, guest workers, and chain migration. Hasn't The Nation been paying attention? Dobbs is now more on their side than mine.

One way to solve this that neither The Nation nor the current version of Dobbs would like is attrition, where we ramp-up enforcement and reduce benefits to illegal aliens, causing many to leave. Around a million illegal aliens have in fact left the U.S. due to no doubt to the economic downturn, and that number could be increased with attrition. Over time, large numbers of illegal aliens would leave and their jobs filled by American workers working for better wages under better conditions. Since that would take place over time, there would be little disruption and that would also spur development of, for instance, newer and better crop-picking machinery and the like. And, that would also be better policy for sending countries. Many countries are to a certain extent satellites of the U.S. due to their reliance on remittances (money sent home by foreign citizens in the U.S.) Massive immigration to the U.S. turns parts of Mexico into ghost towns at the same time as it enriches their corrupt elite and also deprives Mexico of energetic citizens who might press the Mexican government for reform.

Where is The Nation in all of this? On the side of corrupt employers and corrupt foreign governments.

Then:

Despite its populist veneer, the anti-immigration hysteria fomented by Dobbs and his ilk pits American workers against immigrants for the benefit of the corporate class. The United Farm Workers recently called the bluff of those who accuse immigrants of job-stealing with their Take Our Jobs campaign, in which US workers were invited to join them in their backbreaking toil—and found very few takers (aside from Stephen Colbert).

Dobbs didn't before and certainly doesn't now foment such "hysteria". And, those who are helping the "corporate class" are The Nation themselves: their policies would provide the "corporate class" with a ready supply of cheap and most likely illegal labor. It's The Nation that opposes immigration enforcement and that would - even if millions of current illegal aliens are legalized - allow the "corporate class" to encourage the importation of even more illegal labor. The Nation won't stand against the "corporate class" now, and they won't stand against them later. Instead, as they're doing now, they'll help them while trying to hide behind a veneer of pretending to oppose them.

As for the Take Our Jobs campaign, it's not surprising that The Nation would support it as it's an anti-American, pro-abuse plan that ran down American workers as the same time as it promoted abusive working conditions. The Nation has a great deal of trouble being on the right side of anything.

Finally:

If immigrants had a straightforward path to legalization, they could step out of the shadows of the US economy and stand with American workers to demand decent treatment for all. That might make it slightly more expensive for Lou Dobbs to maintain his multimillion-dollar properties - but it's a price he ought to pay.

1. They're using the living in the shadows canard, as has almost every other corrupt supporter of massive immigration from Barack Obama to George W Bush (and including the aforementioned Tamar Jacoby).

2. Their obsession with Dobbs continues; he appears to have really gotten to them despite the fact that he's now mostly on their same side. And, their last swipe at him is just a sleazy ad hominem: most likely Dobbs could and wouldn't mind paying more for his landscaping and the like. The real issue is the sales job that The Nation is trying to make to the rest of us, promoting as they do above cheap illegal labor picking fruit or processing meat. The Nation is using Dobbs as a scapegoat to promote policies that, once again, would benefit the "corporate class" they claim to oppose.

3. Finally, The Nation is using the immigration wage floor talking point; see the link for a description of what that it and why it's wrong. The Nation would add new competition for millions of low-wage American workers and at the same time spur even more illegal immigration, thereby negatively affecting even more low-wage American workers.

For example, let's say that we follow The Nation's prescription and legalize 10 million illegal aliens. Some segment of them will leave low-wage jobs (such as fruit picking) for higher-wage jobs (such as cashiering). Illegal aliens can only do certain categories of jobs; under The Nation's plan, the newly-legalized could do any job for which they're qualified [1]. That will lower wages for previously higher-wage jobs, driving large numbers of Americans out of work. That will also leave a gap at the very lowest end of the wage scale: fruit pickers and so on. What will happen then? The same thing that's happening now: corrupt businesses will in effect pay off politicians to look the other way on illegal immigration just as they do now. And, The Nation will do then the same thing they do now: provide cover for that by opposing immigration enforcement. The Nation won't support immigration enforcement now; what makes anyone think that The Nation would support enforcement later?

If you think The Nation supports good policies and American workers, think again: they're part of the problem. Don't help them.

And, if anyone disagrees with anything in this post or has any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

[1] One way around that is the AgJOBS way, which involves a form of indentured servitude: it would keep the newly-legalized on the farm for a few years if they wanted to be able to get on the "path to citizenship". That's the plan that Stephen Colbert supported before Congress, the one that's proposed by "Take Our Jobs". Instead of opposing a form of indentured servitude, The Nation supports it.

Rupert Murdoch testifies for amnesty, massive immigration (using two CAP studies) - 09/30/10

Rupert Murdoch of Fox News testified before Congress today in support of comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty) and in support of massive immigration in general. And, two studies he used to buttress his argument are from the leftwing, Obama-linked Center for American Progress.

From this:

News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch said he supports amnesty for “law abiding” illegal immigrants because as legal residents they can help the nation’s economy by adding to “our tax base.” He also said he supports securing the border to prevent more illegal immigrants from entering the United States.

Most illegal aliens are low-skilled workers, meaning they couldn't help that much and in most cases would end up costing more (see the 1997 NAS study, not yet discussed here). And, as with most others who are weak on or supporters of amnesty, he throws out the secure the border bone.

"While supporting complete and proper closure of all our borders to future illegal immigrants, our partnership (the Partnership for a New American Economy) advocates reform that gives a path to citizenship for responsible, law-abiding immigrants who are in the U.S. today without proper authority..."

It is nonsense to talk of expelling 12 million people,” testified Murdoch. “Not only is it impractical, it is cost prohibitive."

Murdoch cited a study that gauged “the price of mass deportation at $285 billion over five years,” which amounts to $57 billion per year, adding that “there are better ways to spend our money.”

“A full path to legalization--requiring unauthorized immigrants to register, undergo a security check, pay taxes and learn English--would bring these immigrants out of a shadow economy and add to our tax base,” said Murdoch.

He continued, “According to one study, a path to legalization would contribute an estimated $1.5 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product over 10 years.”

1. In the first paragraph he's advocating for amnesty.

2. In the second paragraph, he's engaging in the deportations false choice fallacy.

3. The study referenced in the third paragraph is a study from the Center for American Progress that uses a highly flawed methodology to arrive at that figure.

4. In the fourth paragraph, he uses the living in the shadows canard and also doesn't reveal the huge flaws in comprehensive immigration reform. Those include the background checks either taking somewhere between five to ten years or those checks being cursory at best. And, once again, the great majority of newly-legalized illegal aliens would owe little taxes and some might even get a tax refund of some kind.

5. The last paragraph references another flawed Center for American Progress study.

You'd think that relying on two bogus CAP studies would be enough to earn him a break from his new friends, yet Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress writes this (thinkprogress.org/2010/09/30/murdoch-immigration-fox):

Earlier this year, Murdoch indicated that the media should be involved in the push for comprehensive immigration reform. However, Fox News employees don’t seem to agree. The Wonk Room shows that more than any other network, Fox News has repeatedly and consistently advocated against immigration reform and referred to Murdoch's proposal as "amnesty."

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called Murdoch out on the blatant contradiction later in the hearing, pointing out, "it does not appear that what you are talking and the way you are discussing it is the way it is discussed on Fox." Murdoch defended his position and his network:

I'm not really that shocked that Nill or Waters would be in favor of Murdoch turning Fox into a propaganda outlet for amnesty. I am, however, just a little shocked that they'd be so overt about it.

And, obviously, the fact that those Murdoch is promoting and helping have no use for him unless he agrees with them 100% probably flew right over his head; he was too distracted by the dollar signs from the fantasy he's promoting.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010: Robert Menendez' amnesty - 09/30/10

Senator Bob Menendez has introduced a new amnesty bill called the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010". It's almost 900 pages and, since it's probably not going anywhere, the following discussion will be brief. However, feel free to provide additional information in comments. You can download a copy from weareoneamerica.org/blog/sep-10/we-have-bill
At least one part of it appears to be lifted from Ted Kennedy's 2007 amnesty (#4 below). If anyone would like to compare the two, please leave a comment.

1. The section "Annual report on improving North American security information exchange" obviously has echoes of George W Bush's SPP, the North American Union, and other efforts to, if not join us, Mexico, and Canada into one country at least bring us closer than most residents of those countries would want.

2. The section "Cooperation with the Government of Mexico" is mostly as bad as you'd expect. It seeks to promote "circular migration", but why not support reducing immigration in the first place? And:

The Secretary of State, in cooperation with other appropriate Federal officials, shall work with appropriate officials of the Government of Mexico to educate citizens and nationals of Mexico regarding their eligibility for nonimmigrant status in the United States to ensure that such citizens and nationals are not exploited while working in the United States.

3. They want to study deaths among those illegally crossing into the U.S., giving it away with "an analysis of whether physical barriers, technology, and enforcement programs have contributed to the rate of migrant deaths". If they were truly concerned about that issue they'd move to reduce both illegal and legal immigration.

4. It would create the "United States-Mexico Border Enforcement Commission" which, of course, is as bad as it sounds; see this.

5. Reading the whole "Detention Reform" section is left as an exercise, but expect massive giveaways to immigration lawyers and overall an attempt to hobble detention.

6. It would create a "Standing Commission on Immigration, Labor Markets, and the National Interest" which would, among other things, "recommend to Congress and the President the numeric levels and characteristics of workers to be admitted in various employment based visa categories". The Commission would basically administer the new H-2C guest workers plan; that H-2C plan was also part of the earlier Harry Reid amnesty.

7. The H-2C guest workers program, of course, pretends that employers have to first offer jobs to citizens; most of those employers would do that in a bad faith fashion. Not only that, but "guests" could adjust their status to Lawful Permanent Resident either after four years (if they petition themselves) or presumably at any time if their employer petitions for them. They have to pay a fee (a whopping $100, plus any fees levied by the Department of Homeland Security which might increase that amount a bit), prove they're working, and prove they're learning English and civics. This is, needless to say, the kicker: foreign citizens would be brought in by corrupt employers in an attempt to undercut U.S. workers, would be put on the "path to citizenship", and would within a decade or so be voting mostly for the Democrats.

8. The giveaways in the entire "Family and Employment Visa Reforms" are left as an exercise.

9. The AgJOBS amnesty is included, as is the anti-American DREAM Act amnesty.

10. It includes a "Blue Card Status", which appears to be some kind of amnesty for farmworkers.

11. And, finally, the kicker of kickers, it has a general amnesty allowing illegal aliens to obtain "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" status. They can then convert that into LPR and get on the "path to citizenship". I was unable to find any restrictions on them proving they'd been in the U.S. for an extended time period, so this might cover almost all non-criminal illegal aliens. If anyone can find something requiring them to have to prove they've lived in the U.S. for, say, two years or more leave a comment.

Finally, imagine how this is going to work out:

[government agencies] shall broadly disseminate information regarding Lawful Prospective Immigrant status, the rights and benefits that flow from such status, and the requirements to be satisfied to obtain this status. Such information shall be disseminated in the top five principal languages, as determined by the Secretary in the Secretary’s discretion, spoken by aliens who would qualify for status under this section, including to television, radio, and print media to which such aliens would have access.

Obama thinks illegal aliens are Americans; forgets about massive unemployment; promotes massive immigration - 09/29/10

Yesterday, Barack Obama was asked about immigration in Albuquerque, New Mexico and:

1. He referred to illegal aliens as "us"; he's given them citizenship in his own mind or he's confused about basic American concepts...
2. He seemed not to remember that millions of Americans are unemployed...
3. And, he generally promoted massive immigration. He did that with a series of canards and at one point sounded just like George W Bush.

Video of the appearance is at peekURL.com/v26f71b and for the first, here's what he said [1]:

Now, unfortunately, right now this is getting demagogued. A lot of folks think it’s an easy way to score political points is by trying to act as if there’s a “them” and an “us,” instead of just an “us.” And I’m always suspicious of politics that is dividing people instead of bringing them together. I think now is the time for us to come together.

Obviously, there is a "them" and an "us". The "us" are U.S. citizens, including those who voted for Obama. The "them" are foreign citizens. Obama has either naturalized all 12 million or so illegal aliens in his mind, or he's unclear on the very concept of U.S. citizenship. Considering his past comments it could be either one of those or a combination; he hasn't shown that he has a fundamental grasp of American concepts in past speeches (this, this are just two examples)

For the second, as if he hadn't paid attention to what's been going on with the economy for several years, he said:

[immigration] means our economy's more vital, and we've got more people in the workforce who are gonna be out there workin' and startin' businesses and supporting us when we're retired, makin' sure Social Security is solvent, all those things are important

He sounded just like George Bush both in content and in delivery. Did he forget about the millions of unemployed, the stimulus plan, and all of that? Pretending he's speaking about long-term gains isn't going to wash since those gains can be wiped out by protracted downturns such as the one we're currently experiencing, including where we have five workers for every job opening.

Other than those two, the rest was a regular Festival of Canards.

He used, as one might expect, the nation of immigrants canard. Of course, he also hastens to remind us - as they all do - that we're a nation of laws too. Then, he uses a variant of the safe legal orderly shibboleth ("we have to make sure our immigration system is orderly, and fair.")

He then admits that allowing illegal immigration isn't fair to those in other countries waiting to come here legally. However, that follows him blaming the system for that, a variant of system is broken.

He then states we need to "affirm our immigrant traditions"; see immigration tradition fallacy.

He then states, "yes, let's secure our borders"; see secure the border.

Making a false claim about policy, he thinks if we made legal immigration easier we'd reduce illegal immigration. He ignores the fact that there are about 6.5 billion people outside the U.S. (and about 5 billion of them are poorer than Mexicans). And, a large percentage of those people would come here if they could. So many would want to come here that we could raise legal immigration from now til doomsday and it would only make illegal immigration worse.

He wants to crack down on employers, but the only reasons he mentions are from the perspective of illegal aliens: he doesn't want them to be underpaid, etc. I don't want that either, but the more relevant reason to crack down on employers is to make sure they hire Americans or legal workers. See the somewhat related immigration wage floor, although he didn't mention the impact of illegal aliens being hired on Americans at all.

He then expresses support for comprehensive immigration reform; see the link for the downsides he didn't acknowledge.

He also says "economically, immigrants can also be a huge source of strength", mentioning that we have a younger workforce than Europe or Japan. Except, their population is much more educated than most of our immigrants.

[1] whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/28/
remarks-president-a-backyard-discussion-albuquerque-new-mexico

McCain (of course) is soft on DREAM Act; laughs about anti-American plan (trade Americans for illegal aliens) - 09/15/10

The video at peekURL.com/vbjwqf9 shows a John McCain appearance where a group of illegal aliens ask him to support the anti-American DREAM Act:

GOP leaders want hearings on birthright citizenship; bogus political ploy? (McCain, Graham) - 08/03/10

* Lindsey Graham - someone frequently known as "Grahamnesty" due to his support for comprehensive immigration reform - recently said he might introduce a constitutional amendment to revoke the practice of birthright citizenship (for the children of illegal aliens; see UPDATE 3) [1].

* Jon Kyl - someone who in 2000 recommended the sister of the head of the National Council of La Raza for a judgeship - came out in support of holding hearings on the matter.

* Just today, John McCain - previously the top Republican Senator supporting amnesty - also called for hearings on the matter.

* Mitch McConnell - someone who supported amnesty in 2007 and who's involved with the "National Council for a New America" - said "I think we ought to take a look at it - hold hearings, listen to the experts on it."

From the above, you might reasonably suspect that such calls are just a political ploy. Perhaps they're trying to appeal to the GOP base, or perhaps they're trying to arrange bargaining chips to use when helping the Democrats push amnesty. Mark Krikorian says they're making a mountain out of a molehill (link), although others disagree (link).

Whatever their actual motivations, such a push gives more ammunition to the far-left and at the same time it does ignore things that are easier to accomplish such as increased workplace enforcement. It would be extremely difficult to push through a constitutional amendment, especially since those above and their supporters aren't really prepared to deal with the backlash that would result. The other side would use them as a pinata and there's little they could do about it because their supporters don't know how to do things correctly.

UPDATE: As could be expected, buffoonish illegal immigration supporter Luis Gutierrez gets up on his high horse (link). He says there should be hearings, because he thinks they'd break his way. And, he's probably right, and that's a combination of those listed above not really supporting (at least fully) what they pretend to support combined with the fact that those who control the debate - the Democrats and more generally the establishment - would pull out all the stops to make those on the other side look bad. And, there's little that the anti-birthright citizenship side could do because, as stated above, their supporters don't know how to do things correctly. These are the same people who barely said a word about Sonia Sotomayor having been a member of the National Council of La Raza, and now they're expected to get a constitutional amendment passed?

UPDATE 2: As also could be expected, it becomes clear that Graham is doing this for political reasons. From the interview here:

I think it’s fair to say that I need to go home to South Carolina and say: listen, I know we’re all upset that we have 12-14 million people illegally. I’m going to have to be practical. We’re not going to deport or jail 12-14 million people. A practical solution is not awarding this citizenship on day one, but to allow them to stay here on our terms, learn our language, pay a fine, hold a job, and apply for citizenship through the legal process by getting in the back of the legal line.

That to me is a practical solution. But, I have to be able to say, as part of doing that, we looked at all the incentives that led to the 12-13 million coming, and we changed them. That we did secure our border, unlike any other time in the past, that we now have laws that make it possible to verify employment; we now have a temporary worker program that will allow people to come here and work on our terms temporarily, and help our employers with labor when they can’t find American labor. I have to be able to say that, because I think most Americans are willing to clean this mess up. They’re not willing to perpetuate it.

In the first paragraph he promotes comprehensive immigration reform and uses two bogus talking points: deportations false choice and immigration line. If he were serious he'd explore much less difficult options, such as making sure that the Obama administration is enforcing the law to the greatest extent possible. Instead, this amounts to little more than a show.

UPDATE 3: This post uses the phrase "birthright citizenship" just to mean the practice of giving citizenship to the children of illegal aliens; the debate is just about that.

Chris Christie supports immigration "reform" (aka amnesty) - 06/30/10

The latest GOP/conservative savior is New Jersey governor Chris Christie, despite the fact that what he supports would increase spending and reduce the GOP's power. In a recent interview [1], he implied opposition to the new immigration law in Arizona and came out in support of comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. The latter would lead to millions new Democrats joining the voter rolls and would lead to even more illegal immigration and even more spending. From [1]:

On the hot-button topic of immigration reform, he said he has long declined to “demagogue” the issue as a former U.S. Attorney, because “I come from law enforcement and it’s not an easy issue.”

But he did intimate that he thinks stringent state-by-state laws – such as in Arizona – are the wrong approach, and added, “I think President Obama doesn’t do this at his own risk because it’s affecting the economy in the country…to me, I think the president’s really gotta show the leadership on this.”

“This is a federal problem, it’s gotta have a federal fix,” he said. “I’m not really comfortable with state law enforcement having a big role.”

He said that without border security, enforcement of existing laws and a “clear” path to legalization for immigrants, there would never be a fix.

The "clear" path is amnesty. See also Is U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie a corruption supporter? (downplays illegal immigration then "clarifies" remarks).

UPDATE: Ben Smith provides a longer excerpt at [2]:

"What I support is making sure that the federal government [plays] each and every one of its roles: Securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, and having an orderly process -- whatever that process is -- for people to gain citizenship."

He added: "It's a very easy issue to demagogue and I'm just not going to participate in that."

Christie said more resources -- specifically, "money" -- were needed to support federal law enforcement and border security, along with "having a clear understandable law that people can follow."

"Until you have both of those...you're not going to fix the problem," he said.

Christie also said he thinks state and local law enforcement don't have appropriate training to enforce immigration laws, and that it can distract from their overriding goal of keeping the public safe.

Obviously, there's much to quiz him on, just starting with his secure the border and safe legal orderly rhetoric. It's too bad there were no real reporters around to walk him through what he supports.

[1] politico.com/news/stories/0610/39208.html The "reporters" were Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman and, while we're informed what they and Christie had for breakfast, neither of them bothered to call Christie on the downsides of amnesty.
[2] politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Christie_on_immigration.html

Partnership for a New American Economy: Murdoch, Bloomberg, CEOs, mayors, (Fox News?) to push amnesty - 06/24/10

Don't trust what you see on Fox News. Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, big-city mayors, Hewlett Packard, Boeing, and Disney have formed a new group called "Partnership for a New American Economy" to push comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty (link):

The group says it intends to make its point to policymakers by "publishing studies, conducting polls, convening forums and sponsoring public education campaigns."

...The group's main immigration goals are to secure the borders, develop an easy system for employers to verify work eligibility, hold companies accountable for breaking the laws and improve the use of technology to prevent illegal immigration.

The group also wants more opportunities for immigrants to join the U.S. work force and a path to legal status for all undocumented immigrants.

Big business joining to spread propaganda in support of amnesty has been tried before; for years, the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition has been pushing amnesty, and in 2005 George W Bush, Dick Armey (now heading the tea parties stringpullers at FreedomWorks), and others created "Americans for Border and Economic Security" to push his plans.

The key difference in this case is that three members of the new coalition are media: Bloomberg, Fox, and Disney. During the last big amnesty push, Fox News wasn't much help: they largely ignored the anti-amnesty firestorm growing across the U.S. Don't expect ABC or Fox to, for instance, follow the money on immigration. And, be on the lookout for their coverage of this issue being more like the coverage to be found on MSNBC.

Tamar Jacoby: feds suing over Arizona immigration law would block immigration "reform" - 06/22/10

In a guest editorial promoting - of course - comprehensive immigration reform, Tamar Jacoby says that the feds suing over the new Arizona immigration law would be a mistake (link):

Kyl: Obama says he won't secure the border without comprehensive immigration reform (UPDATE: backtracks?) - 06/20/10

[See the second update]

The attached video (around 3:40, available at peekURL.com/v6robbv ) has Senator Jon Kyl making this shocking claim about a private meeting he had with Barack Obama:

"Here's what the president said. The problem is, he said, if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform. In other words, they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with comprehensive immigration reform.

There isn't much reason for Kyl not to be telling the truth, and his claim matches the actions of the Obama administration. They're promoting "reform" (aka amnesty) at the same time as failing to secure the border. Like the Bush administration, they're trying to pretend they're interested in securing the border while at the same time not really doing anything.

As for whether what Obama said is this grounds for impeachment and whether hearsay would be acceptable evidence isn't clear.

However, this does give those who are willing to do something an opportunity. Go to a public appearance by a Democrat, read them Kyl's quote, and ask them specifically to detail how they intend to secure the border now, without waiting for "reform".

6/21/10 UPDATE: Per this:

...in a statement to POLITICO, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer denied Kyl’s account of the conversation, saying “the president didn’t say that and Senator Kyl knows it.”

“There are more resources dedicated toward border security today than ever before, but, as the President has made clear, truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution to our broken immigration system,” Pfeiffer said...

...Kyl spokesman Ryan Patmintra said the senator is not backing down from his assertion, despite the White House’s denial.

“There were two people in that meeting, and Dan Pfieffer was not one of them,” Patmintra said. “Senator Kyl stands by his remarks, and the White House spokesman’s pushback that you must have comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border only confirms Senator Kyl’s account.”

6/26/10 UPDATE: Per Robert Costa of the National Review (link):

Kyl tells us that the comments [on the video] were “taken a bit out of context,” and that the “they” he was referring to was the Left, “the president’s base,” and not the administration. “I did not try to start a fight. This meeting happened a month ago and we were talking in the context of his political problems. He was talking about how they think that if we secure the border, you guys [Republicans] won’t have the incentive to work on comprehensive immigration reform.”

See the first update, where his spokesman says he stands by his remarks. Now, he's saying that his remarks were taken out of context. That doesn't speak to Kyl being a trustworthy source. Obama probably said what he's quoted as saying at the start of this post and Kyl is probably just seeking political cover, but now I'm less inclined to believe him.

Top Microsoft lawyer: MS "now actively engaged with immigration reform more than any other company" - 06/11/10

From this:

"We have probably been now actively engaged with immigration reform more than any other company," [Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel and senior vice president for legal and corporate affairs] said, noting that two years ago it was the company's No. 1 policy focus. "We remain very supportive of comprehensive immigration reform."

The Puget Sound region's diversity could make it an attractive place into which Asian companies could expand as they become more powerful in the global economy, he said. Microsoft employs thousands of workers (from India, for example) who are in the U.S. on H-1B work visas.

"We at Microsoft have helped play a role in that," Smith said of the region's diversity. "One-third of the people who work at Microsoft have a passport with a country other than the U.S. on it."

Mickey Kaus on immigration: not as bad as most Democratic Party leaders - 06/01/10

Mickey Kaus is challenging fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer in the California Senate primary; he realizes the futility of that effort and he's just doing it to raise certain issues including immigration.

FIRM wants civil disobedience to get amnesty? (CCC, Casa de Maryland, NYIC, OneAmerica) - 05/20/10

Per this unconfirmed report, a conference call was held on the 18th in which various pro-illegal immigration groups called for civil disobedience in an attempt to get comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty).

The groups named are: Fair Immigration Reform Movement, Center for Community Change, New York Immigration Coalition, Casa de Maryland, Churches United to Save and Heal, and OneAmerica:

On the call they said:

"We've marched, called and faxed. We've shown time and again that there's no bigger movement than ours. Still, our elected officials haven't delivered satisfactory progress on immigration reform. We won't be appeased with token gestures. We're stepping up the pressure. On this call we're going to go over the next steps, including civil disobedience, non-compliance and other acts of non-violent resistance in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Milwaukee, Washington, Baltimore and many more cities."

They specifically want a moratorium on the Secure Communities program.

Will Scott Brown cave on amnesty? Obama hopes so. - 04/20/10

The tea parties might have struck again, helping elect a senator who - even if he offers initial opposition - will cave to a compromise on comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty). The senator, of course, is Scott Brown (link):

Brown, in an interview with the Journal’s Neil King Jr., said [Obama called him to give him] a heads-up that immigration was coming down the pike and he should give it some serious thought. The senator promised to look closely at the bipartisan bill that Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) are trying to produce.

“He called me originally about illegal immigration, something that he wanted me to look at that was coming down the pike,” Brown says of the call, which also roamed onto other topics like basketball and financial regulation. “I told him and others that I will read anything and make a judgment when it comes forth.”

Alluding to the issue a few minutes later, Brown clarified what he told Obama. “When I said I have an open mind, it means I have an open mind to read the bill,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that I will vote for granting amnesty to anyone. But I want to be respectful to the president and to any member who brings me a proposal.”

Obviously, sometimes (or a good part of the time) saying you'll look at something actually means "no". However, Brown's response isn't exactly like that which a member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus would offer; it's not very Tom Tancredo-like, now is it? We'll never know until it happens, but it sounds like there's the chance that Brown would fold after a few rounds of negotiating.

Luis Gutierrez threatens to discourage Latino voting unless amnesty; says there might be civil disobedience - 04/20/10

From this:

(Rep. Luis Gutierrez) is threatening that he will urge Latino voters to stay home this November if the Democratic Party does not make a concerted effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

..."We can stay home," Gutierrez said in an interview with The Hill. "We can say, 'You know what? There is a third option: We can refuse to participate.'"

...[Gutierrez] speaks of “anger, disillusionment, dissatisfaction” and “betrayal” [when talking about Obama]. He says Obama has failed to keep his campaign commitment to immigration reform, and he decries what he calls an “enforcement-only” policy in which the administration has deported more undocumented immigrants than in the final year of the George W. Bush administration.

Gutierrez says Latinos have lost patience with Obama, and he predicts an “escalation” of activism aimed at forcing immigration reform to the fore of the party agenda.

“We’re going to make it uncomfortable for the Democratic Party,” Gutierrez said, adding that immigration advocates would step up the pressure by drawing lessons from the movements for civil rights and women’s suffrage. “There’ll probably be civil disobedience. There will probably be a number of different actions. What we have to do is we have to break through this wall of silence, because we’re invisible.”

Gutierrez says many other things, such as complaining about Obama using "undocumented workers" when campaigning and then using "illegal immigrants" after being elected.

Unfortunately, the two The Hill "reporters" - Russell Berman and Bob Cusack don't call him on anything but simply write down his thoughts and provide background information. They could have started by asking him about the downsides of "reform", they could have countered his baby-waving with a discussion of the crimes committed by illegal aliens, they could have asked him what makes him think that he can speak for all Latinos (especially considering that he's from Puerto Rico when most U.S. Hispanics are from Mexican origin). Obviously, they're just transcriptionists and not real journalists.

What Robert Reich won't discuss about immigration and entitlements - 04/11/10

Robert Reich - of the "white male construction workers" quote fame - offers "Immigration: Could it solve Social Security, Medicare woes? /To keep Social Security and Medicare from running out of money, the US will have to raise taxes, lower benefits, or cut other spending. Or it could boost immigration" (link). There are at least a couple things he won't discuss and his economic judgment is more than a bit questionable. He says:

Forty years ago there were five workers for every retiree. Now there are three. Within a couple of decades, there will be only two workers per retiree. There’s no way just two workers will be able or willing to pay enough payroll taxes to keep benefits flowing to every retiree... This is where immigration comes in. Most immigrants are young because the impoverished countries they come from are demographically the opposite of rich countries. Rather than aging populations, their populations are bursting with young people... One logical way to deal with the crisis of funding Social Security and Medicare is to have more workers per retiree, and the simplest way to do that is to allow more immigrants into the United States... Immigration reform and entitlement reform have a lot to do with one another.

1. As with the other entries on the immigration economics page, Reich isn't considering all the costs involved with his scheme. What if that massive immigration has other costs - fiscal or not - that outweigh any benefits? That mass immigration will give even more power inside the U.S. to foreign governments and the far-left. Even if someone thinks the second isn't an issue (or supports it), the first isn't debatable: it reduces the political power that U.S. citizens have. That's one of the very many costs that Reich isn't factoring in to his equation.

2. An amnesty - "comprehensive immigration reform" - would primarily benefit low-wage, low-skilled Mexicans and others from Latin America. They and their descendants - considering all of them as a group and not discussing individual cases - are not going to be making huge amounts of money or creating large numbers of new jobs. Would they be able to sustain their "assigned number of retirees" (per Reich's formula above)? Even if you think they would, wouldn't accepting only high-skilled immigrants be the wiser choice, if your only goal is to pay for entitlements? Wouldn't higher-skilled workers be able to sustain a greater number of retirees? If, for instance, we could trade a million low-wage illegal aliens from Mexico for high-tech workers from India, wouldn't we all be in the chips? I have a feeling that Reich would flee frantically from questions along those lines.

3. Why exactly does Reich think that those who aren't white would be willing to support an aging white population? Let's start at the college professor who made the "aging white population" quote. Can anyone see him or those like him twenty years from now supporting anything beyond the barest of entitlements to those like Robert Reich? Wouldn't it be more likely that those only slightly less radical - the heirs of those like Gil Cedillo or Fabian Nunez - would (using code words) move to shrink benefits to aged whites in order to give them to other Hispanics? I have a feeling Reich would flee frantically from such questions too.

Harry Reid: "We're going to do immigration reform just like we did health care reform"; vile Durbin confused about citizenship - 04/11/10

Yesterday, yet more marches in support of massive illegal immigration were held across the U.S., with U.S. Sens. Harry Reid appearing at the event in Las Vegas and Dick Durbin at the one in Chicago.

At the one in Vegas, Reid said (link):

"We're going to do immigration reform just like we did health care reform."

One of the things I worry about is that he just might be right. The possible opposition is largely incompetent and is led by those with a loose borders agenda. It isn't difficult to imagine several paper tigers who would initially oppose amnesty caving to a compromise and trying to bring others along with them. One thing you can do is at least try to separate tea parties from their loose borders leaders such as the Koch family, FreedomWorks, and libertarians. Another thing you can do is help discredit incompetent conservative/Republican leaders (broadly defined).

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Durbin said among other things (link, link):

"It is time to say to our government -- stop dividing our families... It is time to say to the voices of hate -- stop dividing America... ...In the name of all who fight for social justice, in the name of the families who go to bed with tears in their eyes facing deportation and separation, in their name, we cannot fail. We must pass immigration reform. We must pass it this year..."

Even if he's just discussing mixed-status families - where some will have the U.S. as "our" government and others will have Mexico or other non-U.S. countries as "our" government - that's more than a bit problematic since the dividing will in most cases be due to people coming here illegally and then having U.S. children. All along that way, they knew exactly what they were doing. They put themselves - and their children - in a precarious position, and now Dick Durbin is trying to pretend that it's "hate" to enforce our perfectly reasonable and necessary immigration laws. If anyone is a "voice of hate" it's Durbin: he's smearing those who simply want to enforce our laws. He also has a curious definition of "social justice", where foreign citizens could come here contrary to our laws and then have some sort of right to citizenship.

Note also that the Chicago event was sponsored by the Mexican government-linked Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Illinois Business Immigration Coalition: Republican gov. Jim Edgar joins with Mexico-linked ICIRR - 04/09/10

Former Illinois governor Jim Edgar - a Republican - has joined with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights - a group whose president is linked to the Mexican government - to form the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition [1] [2]. The links between the two groups are close: if you visit icirr.org/Business you'll be redirected to illinoisbic.biz/get_involved.html, and in the videos below you'll note the ICIRR background. And:

[The IBIC is] an iniative [sic] spearheaded by the Illinois Coailition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. The coalition includes over 200 businesses that "support comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes the current undocumented workforce, creates new legal channels for future foreign workers and implements smart and effective enforcement measures." ...While it's rare to see a high-profile Illinois Republican standing with ICIRR and the immigrant rights community, it shouldn't be surprising in this particular case. Since 2008, Edgar has been warning his GOP colleagues that they oppose immigration reform efforts at their own peril. Talking to reporters after the event today, he did the same, saying that this could be a "disastrous political issue for the Republican Party if we are viewed as anti-immigration."

Why are a Republican and over 200 businesses joining with a far-left group whose president (Juan Salgado) clearly has divided loyalties, if he has any to the U.S. at all? Shouldn't Republicans oppose such groups rather than collaborating with them?

On the video at peekURL.com/v9nvlau (part of the longer version available here: peekURL.com/vviftrt )Edgar says among many other things:

“It is impractical to think that we can deport 12 million people. We have to face reality, we have to deal with those 12 million people. To deport would cost billions and billions of dollars in taxes that we don't have. And, it would cost trillions of dollars to our economy we cannot afford to lose... [the more important reason for "reform" is] this is America, this is a nation that was built on immigrants..."

See deportations false choice and immigration tradition fallacy and the posts in immigration economics for why that's wrong, and note also that Edgar seems to be parroting a highly-flawed study from the far-left Center for American Progress for his claim about the costs of mass deportations (not that anyone in a position of power is suggesting that of course; see the first link in this paragraph). Given that he's just spouting false or misleading talking points, can you trust Jim Edgar?

Just in case you do, see peekURL.com/v179ri3 where he sticks up for John McCain's immigration position and for George W Bush's amnesty plan and then plays the "Whig card", claiming that it could be "disastrous" for the Republican Party if they're viewed as "anti-immigration". The only people doing that are the far-left and their helpers like Jim Edgar. If you're a Republican, he's not on your side: he's helping the Democrats and the far-left gain more political power at the same time as he's helping them falsely portray the GOP. He also says that "we need to make sure that that position [that of McCain and Bush]] becomes the majority position in the Republican Party."

[1] progressillinois.com/posts/content/2010/04/08/
edgar-urges-business-leaders-support-immigration-reform
[2] icirr.org/en/reform-immigration-america/business-adds-voice-call-reform/4576 A quote source at that link is Billy Lawless, identified as a "business owner and board member of the Illinois Restaurant Association and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights"; he is or was the head of Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform, which were mentioned here.

Victor Davis Hanson: amnesty fight will be like healthcare (another illustration of incompetence from Obama opponents) - 03/31/10

Victor Davis Hanson of National Review offers "Next Battle: Immigration/What we will - and will not - hear in the upcoming debate over illegal immigration" (link).

Amnesty supporter Meg Whitman misleads about immigration - 03/30/10

California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman offers a guest editorial entitled "immigration reform, with respect" (link). Here are some of the ways she's trying to mislead voters. She says:

California has the most to gain from sensible immigration reform, and the most to lose from the failed status quo... While I am a strong proponent of legal immigration, I am 100% opposed to granting amnesty to immigrants who entered the country illegally.

Whitman has already made it clear that she does in fact support amnesty, she just doesn't call it amnesty. In the quote at the last link she supports a path to legalization via a plan like comprehensive immigration reform. Whitman and others (such as John McCain) just play word games, pretending that the "comprehensive immigration reform" or "sensible immigration reform" they support isn't amnesty; see the reform not amnesty page for a longer discussion.

Too often, the rhetoric surrounding this issue has been overly divisive and disrespectful to Latino American citizens. The country needs to have a thoughtful debate about how we stop the tide of illegal immigration that strains budgets and angers taxpayers. But the immigration debate must take place in a measured way that reflects our national aspirations toward tolerance, hope and opportunity... [then, later on:] Taken together, these steps would make a significant difference in reducing the burdens of illegal immigration without casting unneeded and discourteous aspersions on Latino American citizens and driving them away from the Republican Party.

She's basically calling those who oppose massive illegal activity - including a large portion of the GOP base - racists. By doing that, she's giving more power to far-left racial power groups that also want to smear those who oppose massive illegal activity, such as the National Council of La Raza. Whitman isn't taking on such far-left racial power groups, she's helping them.

As a Republican, I believe it's important to both continue our rich tradition of protecting the rule of law while diligently reaching out to the millions of Latinos who share our values.

What exactly are those values? Per Whitman, they include looking the other way on massive illegal activity and those who've supported it. Whitman would have the GOP reach out not just to those Latinos who support our laws, but also to those who don't support our laws. Whitman isn't drawing a line in the sand; she's including those who think the border is a false construct. She's not drawing the line against extremists or those who hold questionable views.

...To remove [the jobs magnet encouraging illegal immigration], we have to give employers the tools they need to do the right thing, and then we must strictly enforce the law... We also need to crack down through legislation on sanctuary cities like San Francisco that shield illegal immigrants from federal immigration laws.

The amnesty that she supports would give even more power to the far-left and to the Mexican government. Neither of those groups have much use for immigration enforcement. Whitman doesn't explain (probably because she doesn't realize it or doesn't care) how she'd enforce the laws from an even weaker position than the current one.

But the real key to this issue rests in the hands of Congress and the president. The bottom line is we need more federal Border Patrol resources at the Mexican border. The California congressional delegation needs to work together with other border-state representatives to get something done on border security once and for all.

This is "boob bait for Bubba"; see the secure the border page noting that she falls into the camp of those who harp on border security to mask how weak they are on the other aspects of this issue.

I have been criticized for opposing Proposition 187, which was on the California ballot in 1994. It is true that I am opposed to cutting off public education and healthcare services to immigrant children. I do not believe that kids should be punished for the sins of their parents.

No "immigrant children" were involved, only those here illegally; that's probably not an innocent mistake. It would also be possible for her to oppose some provisions of that law while supporting others, and it would certainly be helpful for her to come out against the under-handed way how the law - supported by about 59% of voters - was blocked.

Steve Poizner isn't a walk in the park, but he's stronger on this issue than Whitman. And, since it's rare to find a major candidate who's at least strong-sounding on immigration, it's important for those who care about these issues to support him, even if that only means defending him against Whitman's misleading attacks.

UPDATE: I corrected a couple of typos, including adding the last "only": even if you don't support Poizner you can still defend him against someone who's bad on this issue. Doing things like that is, of course, too nuanced for some.

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