deportations false choice
The "mass deportations or a massive amnesty" false choice
One of the main talking points of comprehensive immigration reform supporters is a "false choice": they pretend there are only two options when in fact there are others. For just one of the many examples, in his "honest conversation" about immigration, Barack Obama said the following:
"We are not going to send [illegal aliens] home... He said the country would have to devote "all our law enforcement resources to rounding up people without papers, even if they weren't causing any trouble," and once that's done, the country would have to "empty out our jails."
The false choice he's offering is between mass deportations and amnesty. What he failed to mention to his followers is a third choice: attrition. Under that plan we'd simply ramp-up immigration enforcement at the same time as reducing non-emergency public benefits and other incentives to come here illegally. By reducing the numbers of job openings and the amount of benefits to illegal aliens, many would self-deport over time. And, many fewer would try to come here illegally. No mass deportations would be necessary. We wouldn't need to spend all our time and money on enforcement; in fact, several high-profile prosecutions of major companies that employ illegal aliens might be all that's necessary to send a very strong message.
Even the New York Times has acknowledged attrition as an alternative, even if they tried to present it in a bad light. What Obama did and many others have done is worse; they simply engage in a logical fallacy.
Note also that supporters of immigration "reform" usually present increased enforcement as a selling point. If they weren't simply trying to sell a bill of goods, then it wouldn't be difficult for them to support attrition-then-amnesty as a sign of good faith. Yet, they do the opposite, fighting against most forms of immigration enforcement. The reason is clear: they have no real intention of supporting "reform"-mandated enforcement if what they want passes.
Americans for a Conservative Direction ad "Choices" misleads about immigration (Zuckerberg, Facebook) - 06/10/14
"Americans for a Conservative Direction" is a front group for FWD US, which is a front group started by billionaire Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and other wealthy Silicon Valley employers. Their latest ad is called "Choices" and it's as deceptive as you might expect.
Another misleading Public Religion Research Institute immigration poll (Saperstein, Preston, CNN) - 11/25/13
The Public Religion Research Institute describes itself in the highest terms possible :
Rand Paul smears Americans, incl. playing Nazi card on amnesty opponents (illegal aliens in "concentration camps") - 07/01/13
Just how sleazy and anti-American is senator Rand Paul? On the video below, he says among other things this:
Let's get [the millions of current illegal aliens] work visas, normalize 'em, make 'em taxpayers. They're not goin' home. Even all the crowd that are yelling 'amnesty, that person's for amnesty' are they for sending these people home? Do they want us to put them in concentration camps, on buses, and send 'em back home? I don't think anybody's proposing that.
Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina is the new head of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Despite what you might hear from Gowdy and others, it looks like he's weak on comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty, aka some sort of large illegal alien legalization program).
The Texas GOP has passed their 2012 platform, and it includes an immigration plank that some will present as somewhat "liberal" or "lenient".
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).
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. 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 .
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."
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.
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."
"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."
 Vilsack: "There needs to be a comprehensive immigration system that deals with the 12 million people here, many working in our farm fields."
 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...
Ron Paul's latest book ("Liberty Defined") shows that his position on immigration is not only bad, but in the book he uses some of the same old immigration talking points as other Beltway hacks. People don't use canards like jobs Americans wont do naturally; either Paul has been compromised, or he's corrupt (selling out his principles for political gain), or someone else wrote the immigration chapter for him and he never saw it (ha!) For an example from another politician, remember this Meg Whitman speech. She didn't create what she said herself, she got it from someone else. And, that's clearly what Paul did: he got the lines he's using in the book from someone else, and now he's retailing it under his name.
While in the past Paul has been someone OK on immigration-related matters, this isn't that surprising to me. During the 2008 election he had a chance to become a top-tier candidate by highlighting immigration (note: that's from 10/08/2007) and how his major opponents were weak on it. While he did point out that illegal immigration is a subsidy in one debate, he mostly ignored the topic. Instead of going after the establishment where they're weakest (immigration and trade-related issues), he went after them where they were able to easily mock him (the gold standard or whatever wacky libertarian ideas). If I recall correctly he put out just one ad about immigration which he quickly pulled after it got pushback from Dave Weigel and other hacks. The great majority of Americans oppose illegal immigration and, instead of giving them a voice, he decided to appeal just to his libertarian base (which, of course, is much smaller because few people support full libertarian lunacy).
Excerpts from the book and more Ron Paul backstory are here. Compare what the book says to the immigration canards page. He uses the deportations false choice just like every other loose immigration hack has, from George W Bush to Obama immigration to Tamar Jacoby to Frank Sharry and all points in between and beyond. He decries family separation just like the National Council of La Raza and dozens of other far-left groups. He says "deporting some who have lived here for decades, if not their entire life, and who have never lived for any length of time in Mexico" which is a similar argument to that used to promote the anti-American DREAM Act.
Ron Paul says:
Many claim that illegal immigrants take American jobs. This is true, but most of the jobs they ‘take’ are the ones unemployed Americans refuse at the wage offered.
That's one of George Bush's favorites, the jobs Americans wont do canard. And, of course, if there were fewer illegal aliens in the U.S. many of those jobs would become more attractive to Americans due to higher wages and better working conditions. As with all other loose borders hacks, Ron Paul is supporting a foreign serf system.
In the book, Ron Paul also seemingly comes out against sanctioning employers who hire illegal aliens who use counterfeit identification, and he also comes out against Arizona's SB 1070.
Ron Paul also runs down American workers, claiming that immigrants "have a work ethic superior to many of our own citizens who have grown dependent on welfare and unemployment benefits."
He also supports formalizing the foreign serf class via a "'green card' with an asterisk" where former illegal aliens would be legalized but couldn't become citizens. See guest workers, and recall how well a similar setup has worked for Germany. And, of course, the far-left and the Democrats would not at all be satisfied to have millions of potential Dem voters kept in Ron Paul's "limbo". They'd do everything in their considerable power to turn them into voters.
To make it all even worse, Ron Paul then plays the race card on those who want to enforce our immigration laws. See the link above.
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  have come to light, he's responded by misleading about amnesty and promoting very bad policies. From a statement he released in response :
"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.
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  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 . 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.
 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.
Anti-science, anti-American: Reason TV misleads, sticks up for illegal immigration (Delta Smelt, Paul Feine) - 01/13/11
Reason Magazine's TV unit offers the misleading, anti-science, and anti-American video "Delta Smelt & Undocumented Farm Workers: How Federal Policy Is Failing CA's Central Valley" (below and at peekURL.com/vfqmkCZ ). It begins with a sub-Sean Hannity discussion of the endangered Delta Smelt, but quickly becomes a plea for looser immigration policy and amnesty. As could be expected, Reason is either too intellectually dishonest or too dim to understand and admit the roles of externalities in what they promote.
For an example, they interview Robert Silva, the mayor of Mendota and allow him to say the following unchallenged:
Why do the feds worry about a fish, than a person that's human, that contributes to society and works out in the fields... contributes to the world and yet the fish is more important ...I've had people from europe ask me the same thing, and they say, 'you know what, where we come from we don't worry about a stupid little fish'.
One obvious problem is that the Smelt is part of the food chain, and making it extinct might affect people and other animals in unforeseeable ways. Another obvious issue is the huge costs (health, remediation, etc.) associated with doing things the way they were done, for instance, in Eastern Europe under Soviet occupation (start here: articles.latimes.com/keyword/pollution-eastern-europe). This is California, not the DDR. And, of course, the whole issue of the Delta Smelt is much more complicated than the mayor lets on (economist.com/node/14699639). Nothing in Reason's report even hints at the level of complexity involved in that issue.
Another person Reason uses to say the things they'd like to say is Chris Collins of the Sacramento Bee; he makes the outrageous claim that 98% of farmworks are immigrants. It's highly doubtful whether that's even true of Central Valley field workers, and according to the Labor Department at least one quarter of farmworkers were born in the U.S.He also references conservative growers who are lifelong Republicans who differ with the GOP on the issue of immigration, imagining them saying "I really feel like we can't take a just deport them all stance". First, no one who has any political power supports mass deportations; see the deportations false choice page. Second, just because I've heard that propaganda before doesn't mean what Collins said is a propaganda attempt. More likely, he's probably just not enough of a reporter to do things like follow the money.
Later, the producer/writer of the video, Paul Feine states "the Central Valley has always attracted self-reliant immigrants willing to work hard to pursue their dreams". That's to a certain extent accurate, but Reason is failing to note that the "cheap" labor used by growers is in fact not that cheap: it's heavily publicly-subsidized including for those workers and also their (potentially U.S. citizen) children. No one in the U.S. is "self-reliant", all depend on various levels of government in various ways. And, low-wage workers are the least "self-reliant" of all. Reason - a supposed libertarian magazine - is doing what they've been doing for years: supporting huge subsidies.
The unspecified form of comprehensive immigration reform (amnesty) that Reason supports on the video would have other huge costs such as by reducing the political power of U.S. citizens, giving even more power inside the U.S. to the Mexican government, and giving even power to the far-left. Reason would electorally help the very people who'd fervently work against them politically, and they're too dim to notice or too corrupt to care.
Reason's video is also anti-American in that many of those unemployed in the Central Valley are actually citizens of other countries. The pro-American solution would be to encourage immigration enforcement in order to free up scarce jobs for Americans, as I proposed almost two years ago. Reason is, of course, promoting the opposite: they'd make the situation in the area even worse for American workers. Their loyalty isn't to their fellow Americans but something else.
Newt Gingrich supports some parts of DREAM Act; supports guest workers; uses false choice; sounds like Hoffenblum - 12/06/10
The audio below (also at peekURL.com/vkhylh1 ) has Newt Gingrich clarifying his immigration stance to Laura Ingraham. A round-up is here. In the interview, Gingrich supports at least one part of the anti-American DREAM Act:
"I think that it’s legitimate to say, if you’re willing to risk your life for two or three years, serving to protect the United States, we will be willing to consider you for citizenship."
However, he claims to oppose broad programs that would give a "pathway to citizenship", preferring instead the more George W Bush-like approach of a massive guest workers plan. Such a plan would have huge social costs such as are to be found in Germany. And, the children of those "guests" would be U.S. citizens, making it very difficult to deport them. Our "guests" would never leave but instead would stay here as second-class citizens of a sort.
And, he also sounded like Allan Hoffenblum:
Gingrich replied that no election, including the Colorado governor race that saw the openly anti-illegal Tom Tancredo lose to his Democrat rival, has been won on the idea that 11 million people can be deported. This led to a heated argument between the two conservatives, with Ingraham saying that both Republicans and Democrats have “fallen down” in their basic responsibility to enforce the border.
Tancredo supports attrition rather than mass deportations, so Gingrich either doesn't know or lied about Tancredo's position. And, Gingrich engaged in the deportations false choice by failing to acknowledge attrition as an alternative to mass deportations or a legalization program.
And, as with every other hack, Gingrich supports secure the border:
Gingrich said he is in favor of deporting illegals who are gang members or arrested for a felony, and is “committed 100-percent” to enforcement of the US border, noting his past accomplishment as Speaker when he helped enforce the first control of the San Diego border. He also said he committed to having English as the official language of government.
In other words, he does want to deport hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, but he thinks 11 million is too many to deport. And, whether he'd support English only laws is unclear, but it is slightly ironic since Newt Gingrich is promoting bilingualism.
Newt Gingrich: And our very deliberate goal, as with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is we’re talking about how can we create a space that is sort of center-right, pro-jobs, pro-entrepreneur but where the entire Hispanic community feels comfortable arguing, talking, and thinking. We’re going to be putting the DREAM Act on that space and we hope to have, before the beginning of the year, with Jeb Bush’s efforts and others, a very lively debate about whether or not we can develop a step by step solution to help everybody in America come out from outside the law and find a way to ultimately have every person in this country living within the law. That’s got to be our goal.
...Jorge Ramos: So if you say, as one of the most prominent Republicans, that you are for immigration reform, you know many Republicans are going to follow you. They are going to follow your lead. Are you for immigration reform?
Newt Gingrich: I am for immigration reform and the person who I think has had the most courageous position in this is Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush is co-author of a report on immigration reform, which is much bolder than the Republicans will be ready to be in Washington, but he moves us in the right direction.
The half-hour video below features Cecilia Munoz of the Barack Obama administration promoting the anti-American DREAM Act in an online chat yesterday. Some of the ways she misled viewers are discussed below.
Munoz was formerly with the National Council of La Raza and there's more about her at her name's link. Nowadays she's the "Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs" and in the chat she fielded a series of questions from her side and bad questions from those on the other side; all of the latter she was able to deflect with ease. Since the questions were pre-screened it probably would have been pointless to try to ask something she'd have trouble with, but readers are urged to go to public appearances by her and other administration officials and really press them on the downsides of the policies.
Near the beginning of the chat, she makes the ludicrous claim that "we don't see a downside to the DREAM Act." Munoz puts her ethnicity before the national interest, so she probably doesn't think that the many downsides of the bill - such as taking educations away from U.S. citizens - are that great.
Later she warns against "depriving ourseleves of the talents of these extraordinary people". First, the DREAM Act has no meaningful academic limits: it's not just limited to extraordinary students. Certainly, some of those who'd be covered by the bill have shown themselves quite adept at gaining publicity (aided by immigration lawyers and the media) , but that doesn't make them extraordinary.
And, by taking advantage of the talents of those who'd be covered by the DREAM Act, we'd be depriving their home countries of those talents. Munoz is supporting the further braindraining of Third World countries.
Then, she makes another ludicrous claim: "you can't make the argument that the DA will act as some sort of magnet for people to come here in the future". Of course, one can easily make that argument. The DREAM Act would send yet another message to potential illegal aliens that powerful forces inside the U.S. aren't serious about immigration enforcement. It will send the message that all they need to do is come here illegally with their children and, as long as there's a sympathetic administration and with enough pressure their kids will be eligible for an amnesty. Those who'll be covered by the DREAM Act will confer even more political power on the far-left and racial power groups, and those groups will push for "DREAM Act 2". And, since the DREAM Act only covers those who've been here for at least five years, there's already a new population of illegal alien students who'll follow in the footsteps of the current activists.
Continuing her deception, Munoz repeatedly uses the system is broken canard and around the 7:00 minute mark she engages in the deportations false choice. She follows that with another false choice, pretending that the only alternative to the DREAM Act is for illegal alien students to remain in the U.S. Another alternative - one that would be far better policy - would be to repatriate those covered by the DREAM Act. That way they can help build up their own countries, and at the same time they'll be kept from taking college educations away from U.S. citizens.
Then she says the following:
"As a member of the White House staff I can't ask anyone to reach out to Congress or to lobby the Congress, so I won't. But, I will say that there is a lot of misunderstanding out there about what the DREAM Act is about, and there are a lot of organizations that are engaged in telling the story of DREAM Act students. Because, when you're actually talking about specific individuals with names and histories and faces it's really hard to say some of the kind of ugly stuff that gets said about passing these kind of proposals."
Making up your own joke about the first sentence is left as an exercise. The more important point is that, rather than being willing to debate the huge and obvious downsides of her policy, she's promoting the use of propaganda designed to pull heart strings via PIIPP articles (see the link).
Then, when she's asked how the DREAM Act will be funded, all she can think of are processing costs. She fails to either understand or reveal the huge cost to Americans as some of them are unable to attend college, or the huge cost to Americans as some states decide to give in-state tuition to the illegal aliens covered by the DREAM Act. There are also huge hidden costs: braindraining countries like Mexico makes that country even more dysfunctional, and unless we're able to build a very tall wall completely across our southern border the last thing we want is for them to be even more dysfunctional.
Once again I urge everyone to organize efforts to go to public appearances by Munoz and other administration officials and really press them on the points above and on the DREAM Act page. A video of an administration official being discredited over this issue would have a very meaningful impact on not just this issue but politics in general.
The video is below and is also available at peekurl.com/vzqcpca
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.
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.
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) .
* 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.
On Thursday, July 1, 2010, Barack Obama gave a speech in support of comprehensive immigration reform and his remarks are at whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-comprehensive-immigration-reform
In recent days, the issue of immigration has become once more a source of fresh contention in our country, with the passage of a controversial law in Arizona and the heated reactions we’ve seen across America. Some have rallied behind this new policy. Others have protested and launched boycotts of the state. And everywhere, people have expressed frustration with a system that seems fundamentally broken.
See system is broken for why the last bit is misleading.
Of course, the tensions around immigration are not new. On the one hand, we’ve always defined ourselves as a nation of immigrants -- a nation that welcomes those willing to embrace America’s precepts. Indeed, it is this constant flow of immigrants that helped to make America what it is. The scientific breakthroughs of Albert Einstein, the inventions of Nikola Tesla, the great ventures of Andrew Carnegie’s U.S. Steel and Sergey Brin’s Google, Inc. -– all this was possible because of immigrants.
And then there are the countless names and the quiet acts that never made the history books but were no less consequential in building this country -- the generations who braved hardship and great risk to reach our shores in search of a better life for themselves and their families; the millions of people, ancestors to most of us, who believed that there was a place where they could be, at long last, free to work and worship and live their lives in peace.
The "most of us" part recalls Obama's "reconquista"-style comments before the election.
So this steady stream of hardworking and talented people has made America the engine of the global economy and a beacon of hope around the world. And it’s allowed us to adapt and thrive in the face of technological and societal change. To this day, America reaps incredible economic rewards because we remain a magnet for the best and brightest from across the globe. Folks travel here in the hopes of being a part of a culture of entrepreneurship and ingenuity, and by doing so they strengthen and enrich that culture. Immigration also means we have a younger workforce -– and a faster-growing economy -- than many of our competitors. And in an increasingly interconnected world, the diversity of our country is a powerful advantage in global competition.
Some immigration is good, some isn't so good; Obama isn't making a distinction. For a counter-example to his comments, see How immigration changed California for the worse (education, income inequality...) Obama goes on to praise immigration in general in two more paragraphs, then:
Now, we can’t forget that this process of immigration and eventual inclusion has often been painful. Each new wave of immigrants has generated fear and resentments towards newcomers, particularly in times of economic upheaval. Our founding was rooted in the notion that America was unique as a place of refuge and freedom for, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, “oppressed humanity.” But the ink on our Constitution was barely dry when, amidst conflict, Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, which placed harsh restrictions of those suspected of having foreign allegiances. A century ago, immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Poland, other European countries were routinely subjected to rank discrimination and ugly stereotypes. Chinese immigrants were held in detention and deported from Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay. They didn’t even get to come in... ...So the politics of who is and who is not allowed to enter this country, and on what terms, has always been contentious. And that remains true today. And it’s made worse by a failure of those of us in Washington to fix a broken immigration system.
He isn't even acknowledging that those who might want to cut back immigration during "times of economic upheaval" might have a point. In Obama's mind, we have to keep on admitting immigrants no matter what. Which, in fact, we have been doing: hundreds of thousands more foreign citizens got work permits than any stimulus jobs "created or saved". And, many "newcomers" do in fact have foreign allegiances. Adding in all the examples here would take too long, but start at immigration march organizers have foreign links. The "they didn't even get to come in" is like something a child would say, and it seeks to deny us the right to decide who can come into our country. While some of the exclusion of Chinese might have been based on invalid reasons, other parts were based on a policy decision regarding large numbers of low-skilled workers taking jobs from Americans. Apparently in Obama's world there were enough low-skilled jobs to go around then just as - in his world - there are now. For even more on the fallacy he's engaging in, see immigration tradition fallacy.
To begin with, our borders have been porous for decades. Obviously, the problem is greatest along our Southern border, but it’s not restricted to that part of the country. In fact, because we don’t do a very good job of tracking who comes in and out of the country as visitors, large numbers avoid immigration laws simply by overstaying their visas... The result is an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The overwhelming majority of these men and women are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their children. Many settle in low-wage sectors of the economy; they work hard, they save, they stay out of trouble. But because they live in the shadows, they’re vulnerable to unscrupulous businesses who pay them less than the minimum wage or violate worker safety rules -– thereby putting companies who follow those rules, and Americans who rightly demand the minimum wage or overtime, at an unfair [dis]advantage. Crimes go unreported as victims and witnesses fear coming forward. And this makes it harder for the police to catch violent criminals and keep neighborhoods safe. And billions in tax revenue are lost each year because many undocumented workers are paid under the table.
The reason the borders are porous isn't because Washington hasn't fixed the system, it's because Washington is too corrupt to do its job. Obama could easily secure the border if he wanted, and likewise with his predecessors. All of the negatives Obama states are ones that those like he helped bring about.
More fundamentally, the presence of so many illegal immigrants makes a mockery of all those who are going through the process of immigrating legally. Indeed, after years of patchwork fixes and ill-conceived revisions, the legal immigration system is as broken as the borders. Backlogs and bureaucracy means the process can take years. While an applicant waits for approval, he or she is often forbidden from visiting the United States –- which means even husbands and wives may be forced to spend many years apart. High fees and the need for lawyers may exclude worthy applicants. And while we provide students from around the world visas to get engineering and computer science degrees at our top universities, our laws discourage them from using those skills to start a business or power a new industry right here in the United States. Instead of training entrepreneurs to create jobs on our shores, we train our competition.
Obama's solution to the current backlog would involve either adding yet another huge backlog, or legalizing illegal aliens without doing thorough background checks. The second part of the above would involve braindraining the world.
In sum, the system is broken. And everybody knows it. Unfortunately, reform has been held hostage to political posturing and special-interest wrangling -– and to the pervasive sentiment in Washington that tackling such a thorny and emotional issue is inherently bad politics.
By "everybody" he's probably not thinking beyond the Beltway establishment. As stated above, the problem isn't with the system, it's with political corruption: politicians like Obama are simply too corrupt to enforce our laws.
Into this breach, states like Arizona have decided to take matters into their own hands. Given the levels of frustration across the country, this is understandable. But it is also ill conceived. And it’s not just that the law Arizona passed is divisive -– although it has fanned the flames of an already contentious debate. Laws like Arizona’s put huge pressures on local law enforcement to enforce rules that ultimately are unenforceable. It puts pressure on already hard-strapped state and local budgets. It makes it difficult for people here illegally to report crimes -– driving a wedge between communities and law enforcement, making our streets more dangerous and the jobs of our police officers more difficult... And you don’t have to take my word for this. You can speak to the police chiefs and others from law enforcement here today who will tell you the same thing... These laws also have the potential of violating the rights of innocent American citizens and legal residents, making them subject to possible stops or questioning because of what they look like or how they sound. And as other states and localities go their own ways, we face the prospect that different rules for immigration will apply in different parts of the country -– a patchwork of local immigration rules where we all know one clear national standard is needed.
1. Apparently Obama thinks determining legal status is "unenforceable". He should tell that to the Border Patrol and other agencies that have been successfully doing that for decades.
2. While the law might be used against those reporting crimes, the chances of that are slim; Obama isn't waiting to find out.
3. See Police chiefs who opposed Arizona immigration law in progressive PERF group; were any he referred to in that same group? How much of their opinions are based on politics?
4. All laws have "the potential of violating the rights of innocent American citizens and legal residents". Again, Obama isn't waiting to find out.
5. The Arizona law has tried to hew to federal law. To a good extent, the only "patchwork" that would exist would result from localities who decided to undercut federal law, such as sanctuary cities.
The above is only half of his speech; the rest will be covered later today.
For now, note that he's engaging in the deportations false choice and at the end of his speech he even engages in what we call the Lazarus fallacy: reading part of Emma Lazarus' poem that was tacked on to the Statue of Liberty years after it was built.
And, if you don't want amnesty, please do see Will teaparty and rightwing bloggers stumble us into amnesty?
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  . 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."
 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.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner/ LAT / USC poll designed to mislead; has immigration false choice - 04/03/10
A new "American Viewpoint" poll from the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California - conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner - can be accessed at gqrr.com/index.php?ID=2437, with a report here. Like others listed in immigration poll, it offers a false choice about the options available to us. These are the only three options that people were given for the "IMMIBAT" question (numbering and results added):
1. Implement stronger enforcement at the border and prohibit those here illegally from benefiting from any taxpayer funded social services, including emergency room treatment and public education for children here illegally. (45 for, 47 against)
2. Implement stronger enforcement at the border and design a temporary worker program that does not grant immigrants legal citizenship, but does allow them to legally work here for a specific period of time and then requires them to return to their country of origin. (70 for, 24 against)
3. Implement stronger enforcement at the border and set up a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants who admit they broke the law, perform community service, pay fines and back taxes and learn English. (67 for, 26 against)
The first, surprisingly-popular choice is completely unrealistic, would be a public safety nightmare, and wouldn't stand up to even the slightest constitutional challenge. And, USC, the LAT, and Greenberg all know that: they're intentionally trying to mislead people.
The second is the "corrupt Republican fantasy program", similar in spirit to plans from George W Bush, Mike Pence, and Helen Krieble. USC, the LAT, and Greenberg aren't telling respondents that such a program would be nearly impossible: those guest workers would be here to stay, especially those who've had U.S. citizen children. We'd trade millions of illegal aliens we can't deport for millions of "guests" who won't go home despite being "required" to do so.
The third is the comprehensive immigration reform choice, with a possible tip of the hat to the recent Chuck Schumer/Lindsey Graham scheme (From their scheme: "They would be required to admit they broke the law and to pay their debt to society by performing community service and paying fines and back taxes. These people would be required to pass background checks and be proficient in English before going to the back of the line of prospective immigrants to earn the opportunity to work toward lawful permanent residence.") It has the flaws listed at the first link in this paragraph and many more, and USC, the LAT, and Greenberg aren't telling respondents about those flaws.
And, USC, the LAT, and Greenberg aren't asking about a fourth plan: attrition. That would involve enforcing the law - but not blocking emergency treatment and the like - in order to reduce the numbers of illegal aliens here over time. Needless to say, polls that are designed to mislead - such as this one - don't ask about plans like that.
Obama meets with black leaders on unemployment, Hispanic leaders on amnesty (+Graham, Schumer) - 03/11/10
[At a White House meeting earlier today] African-American members of Congress said they told the president that job creation is critical to their communities and that federal resources should be directed toward workforce training, specifically for infrastructure projects.
Unemployment among black Americans was 15.8 percent in February, compared to the overall jobless rate of 9.7 percent nationally.
"We talked about the desperation that we're feeling in our communities throughout the country," Democratic Representative Barbara Lee, head of the Congressional Black Caucus, said on the White House driveway with a phalanx of other lawmakers beside her...
[At a different meeting also earlier today,] Obama spent an hour meeting with officials from immigration advocacy groups who pressed him on an issue that did not feature highly in the president's first year, which was dominated by fixing the economy and healthcare.
"We leave the meeting today feeling hopeful," said Clarissa Martinez de Castro of the National Council of La Raza. "The president took an hour of his time to have a conversation, not to give a speech and that is significant."
She said that "there were commitments made about truly seeing this issue moving forward and the White House getting engaged to help in that process."
Although details of their blueprint were not released, Graham said the elements included tougher border security, a program to admit temporary immigrant workers and a biometric Social Security card that would prevent people here illegally from getting jobs.
Graham also said the proposal included "a rational plan to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States." He did not elaborate on what the plan would be. But in a recent interview, he suggested that onerous measures were unrealistic.
"We're not going to mass-deport people and put them in jail, nor should we," Graham said. "But we need a system so they don't get an advantage over others for citizenship."
Sandeep Gopalan of the National University of Ireland takes to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to promote a European Union-wide amnesty program in "Fixing Europe's Immigration Problem/ Without reforms across the European Union, the Italian race riots will prove only a hint of the darkness to come" (link).
There was massive immigration Kabuki theater today as former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan testified before the Senate's Homeland Security Committee (transcript via thinkprogress.org/2009/12/17/greenspan-immigration-economy; video at peekURL.com/vljut3c)
LIEBERMAN: Forget all the politics of this — if we had a significant increase in America of legal immigration that would be one way to grow the economic pie?
GREENSPAN: It would be... We have a very large number of immigrants who are high school or less educated, a significant part of whom are illegal. And then we have a remarkably large number of Ph.D.’s and better who have come to this country and contributed immensely to our economic success. I argue that both groups are affecting the economy in a positive way. If we try to send all our illegals home…speaking as an economist, I will tell you, we would have a very serious problem. There are 12 million of them.
LIEBERMAN: I am not suggesting we increase legal immigration as a way to deal with the national debt. But it does have those positive economic implications.
GREENSPAN: Oh it certainly does, Mr. Chairman.
Note that Greenspan was misleading Congress and apparently with Joe Lieberman's connivance: we couldn't send all 12 million (or more) illegal aliens home at once. If Lieberman weren't simply putting on a show, he'd ask Greenspan about the impact of attrition; instead, both are engaging in a strawman argument related to the deportations false choice.
Frank Sharry's America's Voice offers "The Anti-Worker Truth About the Anti-Immigrant Lobby" . From their summary:
In recent months, some of the most virulent anti-immigrant Members of Congress have been taking advantage of hard economic times to advance their same, old mass deportation agenda. They argue that blocking comprehensive immigration reform would somehow help the American worker and furthermore, that an unrealistic, multi-billion dollar mass deportation plan would provide instant relief to hardworking Americans in need of good jobs.
But a closer look at the voting records of these Members shows them to be some of the most consistent opponents of legislation to benefit American workers. And analysis of their immigration policy proposals reveals their main goal to be expelling millions of Latinos, Asians, Haitians, Africans, and other immigrants from the United States, not leveling the playing field for all workers and expanding the tax base. When it comes to protecting the American worker, the anti-immigrant lobby simply has no legs to stand on.
1. While they do pretend that comprehensive immigration reform would help Americans, they're also more or less implicitly ceding the point of those Members of Congress, that reducing the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. would help Americans. That's why they're using the deportations false choice: because they can't present an argument that a gradual reduction in the number of illegal aliens would somehow hurt American workers.
2. Few - and I would guess none among the referenced Members of Congress - are calling for mass deportations; more on that in #5.
3. No one with any power wants to expel "immigrants", i.e., those who came here legally; America's Voice is trying to mislead their readers.
4. Part of their report consists of the same old debunked smears of FAIR and related groups, such as by using the "hate group" designations of the Southern Poverty Law Center, not exactly a trustworthy source.
5. Their section on the costs of deportations references the Center for American Progress' "Deporting the Undocumented", a joke study that used a highly-flawed methodology. It also mentions the misleading, business-sponsored Perryman Group study that was briefly mentioned in the second footnote here and the misleading Cato Institute study discussed here. For both of the last, America's Voice tries to pretend they aren't on the same side as cheap labor employers, not revealing the business ties of the Perryman study and of the last saying: Even the conservative Cato Institute has said that "legalization of low-skilled immigrant workers would yield significant income gains for American workers and households."
6. Consider the following:
Sending an out-of-work auto worker and her family in Michigan to pick strawberries in California is not a credible answer to the many Americans desperately in need of good jobs at high wages with good benefits. Rather than promoting a race to the bottom, comprehensive immigration reform would expand labor rights and create a level playing field to ensure better jobs and working conditions for all.
That has an un-American and anti-Mexican subtext, as if only Mexicans and Central Americans are able to pick crops and as if Americans are too good to take bad jobs until the economy improves, even if it involves moving to a different state. The latter is a rather un-American idea.
And, in most cases, Americans wouldn't have to move far at all. Reducing the number of illegal aliens in Michigan would free up jobs for Americans, and likewise with California. And, regarding the fallacy of that "level playing field", see immigration wage floor.
The University of Denver has released a report entitled "Architecture for Immigration Reform"; you can download a copy here. They promote comprehensive immigration reform in a deceptive way that uses the same old arguments and talking points we've come to expect, although they aren't quite as bad as others.
Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is apparently like a talking doll you might find on that site, except in this case she says pro-business, pro-massive/illegal immigration talking points. Speaking at the border (link):
[She said] it is “simply not practical” to deport the estimated 12.5 million illegal immigrants living and working in the United States. (note: see deportations false choice)
The candidate, 53, said the solution is to find a mechanism that allows them to live here legally. "Can we get a fair program where people stand at the back of the line (note: see immigration line), they pay a fine, they do some things that would ultimately allow a path to legalization?" she asked. (note: see comprehensive immigration reform for some of the many downsides)
Whitman also urged tougher measures against those who hire undocumented workers, and said that as governor "I would be an advocate . . . for the people of California to make sure we really do secure this border." (note: see secure the border)
Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress misleads about Joe the Plumber immigration comments at tea party - 07/06/09
I believe in making sure our country is safe first. I believe we need to spend a little more on illegal immigrants. Get them the hell out of our damn country and close the borders down. We can do it. We’ve got the greatest military in the world and you’re telling me we can’t close our borders? - That’s just ridiculous.
Harry Reid says there are enough Senate votes for immigration "reform"; offers deportation false choice - 06/15/09
He added that although (comprehensive immigration reform) does not have the backing of all Democrats, the bill will overcome the obstacles that stymied the failed 2007 reform.
The majority leader said he has "no doubt" he could find as many as a dozen Republicans who support the measure to make up for defections in Democratic ranks.
"We can't deport 11 million undocumented people, we can't do it physically and financially, as some would want," Reid said. "Immigration is the strength of our country, we bring waves of people to our country who excel in education and the workforce, and that's good."
"We should bring them out of the shadows so that when someone goes to buy milk for their child they're not subject to arrest. Let's clean the slate, let's have a new immigration program that protects our northern and southern borders, a program that brings (these) people out of shadows and makes them more productive," the senator said.
He said people with criminal records would be excluded and that undocumented migrants benefiting from the initiative would have to pay fines, learn English and be up to date in their tax payments.
It's important to note that he might just be thinking "politically": he realizes how difficult amnesty would be, he just wants some Republicans to alienate their base at the same time as, after failing to get all the votes he needs, he's able to alienate the Republican Party from Hispanics who support amnesty.
Remember Michael Dukakis? You know, former Massachusetts governor? The tank photo you see to the right? Ran for president in 1988? In case no one still remembers, raid a game of Trivial Pursuit, he's probably in there somewhere.