Is immigration reform an elaborate practical joke? (Chertoff USA Today interview)
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First, it's worth noting that USA Today leads off the posting with: "Cabinet secretaries tackle myths of the immigration debate..." Obviously, the non-disclaimed word "myths" is editorializing and gives a strong clue to USA Today's stance on the issue. Let's take a look at this:
Q: So let's be sure we understand this. If this compromise becomes law, 12 million illegal immigrants could instantly enroll in the system and receive probationary legal status. Once a series of enforcement "triggers" are met — such as improved border security and a set system to verify the status of illegal workers — they could apply for a Z visa. That visa would allow them to remain and work in the country and, if they choose, put them on a path to citizenship. You'd be adding this to a system that was strained and challenged even before this legislation. Is this possible?Of course, what he fails to stress is that after simplifying the current system, they are going to have millions and millions of new applicants. Why not just simplify the current system, without the massive rush of millions and millions of new applicants?
Chertoff: By simplifying the system and by not having a very complicated process for getting the Z visa, you're eliminating a lot of the problems under the current system, which was built as a patchwork. (Illegal immigrants who were in the country by Jan. 1, 2007, are eligible for the Z visa.)
Q: How will you get the illegal immigrants to enroll, and what happens once they do?A model they could follow is the one the Mexican government uses with their mobile consulates. I'm kidding, but I wouldn't be surprised if they thought of that.
Chertoff: We need to have locations all over the country, particularly in places with large numbers of illegal migrants. We hope to get local community leaders to help...[describes Z visa process...]
Needless to say, the "local community leaders" will almost all be far-left with some of them being radicals and/or having direct or indirect links to the Mexican government. I have little doubt that individual offices would be under tremendous pressure to get as many people on "probationary" status as quickly as possible, with the "leaders" supplying much of the pressure, and lawyers from the ACLU and other groups supplying more. I am extremely doubtful that intake personnel will be experienced or skilled, with many being taken in by liars, with many feeling sympathy with applicants, and with some being on the take. "Mad rush" doesn't begin to describe what the offices will look like, even if many illegal aliens decide to maintain their current status.
Chertoff goes on to claim that after a certain period there will be no more Z Visas issued; can anyone see that happening? If there are hundreds of thousands or millions of unadmitted illegal aliens after the first phase, what are they going to do but wave the magic wand again? Expect an extension to be issued just before the end of the first phase; see "Temporary" Protected Status for an example of how that would work.
Chertoff then goes on to assure illegal aliens who enter the program that if they play by the rules and don't have criminal records, they won't be deported. While he has to say something like that in order to increase the miniscule possibility that the scheme would work, its irony was no doubt lost on the USA Today board. Or, perhaps they had a nice chuckle.
Q. So once the Z visa system is in place, will every employer have access to a computer in order to verify an employee's legal status?What? The last time I was in a PO (admittedly several months ago), they were barely electrified. Does this bill include the computerization of the post offices?
Gutierrez: Yes, and for those who may not have a computer, there will be post offices with computers and secretaries of state with computers.
Q: Would anyone who hires a day laborer — to do yard work, for instance — have to verify status?Did he stifle a laugh as he said that? The worries about getting caught hiring an illegal alien day laborer would be the same post-"reform" as they are now: none. Newspapers have even promoted the practice.
Asked about the "justification for the guest-worker program":
Gutierrez: Our unemployment is 4.5%. It's below the average of each of the last four decades. This is a very tight labor market. We don't have enough truck drivers. We don't have enough nurses. We don't have enough people working in the fields. We don't have enough maids in hotels. I'm constantly hearing this. So there's no question we don't have enough workers.I generally avoid economic arguments here, but my understanding is that many of those jobs are of the McJob variety, most of the recent jobs have gone to immigrants, and large numbers of Americans are structurally unemployed (and thus not reflected in the 4.5% figure). So, I don't think Gutierrez is being intellectually honest. And, of course, he says that he's bought the propaganda from cheap labor-seeking employers, and he wants everyone else to buy it as well.
Near the end, USA Today says this:
Q: Some people express concern that so many of today's immigrants speak the same language, and it's not English. Does that make this different from past waves of immigration?There are huge differences between the current wave and past waves. USA Today can't mention them all, but they're falsely implying that that's the only or the major difference. Gutierrez goes on to inform them that two of his children were born in Mexico (apparently this was when he was a Kellogg executive and after he'd obtained U.S. citizenship) and that because "the television; the whole environment is in English" it's not a problem. Obviously, there are huge problems with that statement.
Chertoff and Gutierrez are just snake oil salesmen, with USA Today as their shill.