Scared New York Times tries scare-mongering attrition
Apparently "attrition" - the plan to enforce our immigration laws and thereby encourage many or most illegal aliens to go home and discourage future illegal immigration - has the New York Times scared, namely because they think it would work. And, they're ratcheting up the scare-mongering about it in the NYT editorial "One Argument, 12 Million Holes" (link):
Making it work would require far more government intrusion into daily lives, with exponential increases in workplace raids and deportations. It would mean constant ID checks for everyone — citizens, too — with immigration police at the federal, state and local levels. It would mean enlisting bureaucrats and snoops to keep an eye on landlords, renters, laborers, loiterers and everyone who uses government services or gets sick... Worst of all, it's weak on law and order. It is a free pass to the violent criminals we urgently need to hunt down and deport. Attrition means waiting until we stumble across bad people hiding in the vast illegal immigrant haystack. Comprehensive reform, by bringing the undocumented out of the shadows, shrinks the haystack.
Sheesh. Did Tamar Jacoby write this for them? It sounds like something she'd try to sell. While what attrition means obviously depends on how it's implemented, it certainly doesn't have to be done in that fashion, and were it done as described I'd think that something else was going on: either it was being done that way as just an expression of authoritarianism, or it was being done that way in order to generate opposition and scuttle the plan. An honest implementation of attrition would involve things like strongly discouraging mayors from having sanctuary policies, fighting against laws that would give illegal aliens non-emergency benefits, several high-profile prosecutions of those who employ large numbers of illegal aliens, and so forth.
And, attrition doesn't mean that we'd stop sending teams out to arrest fugitive and criminal aliens. And, "comprehensive reform", in addition to being an unworkable mess, would simply temporarily reduce the size of the "haystack"; it would quickly begin growing again as new illegal aliens arrived here because they wanted to take part in that or future amnesties.
Unfortunately, there's more:
Even if you accept the Republicans' view of immigration policy as warfare against illegal immigrants, their tactics are the rejects of history, starting with that Vietnam-evoking "attrition." The border wall is right from Monsieur Maginot's playbook — fortifying just one of two international borders even though at least 40 percent of illegal immigrants arrive perfectly legally and then overstay their visas.
Obviously, the NYT is lying about the "warfare" bit, and while the last part is true the solution to that is not "comprehensive reform" but to stop giving visas to people who have a strong risk of overstaying them.
They also falsely state that the "attrition fantasy is now, by default, the national immigration strategy". Our default policy is to allow almost anyone who makes it over the border to stay here, and that's been brought to us thanks to corrupt politicians. They also decry the SAVE Act and mention that "Mike Huckabee one-upped [Fred Thompson] by signing the "No Amnesty" pledge of the nativist group NumbersUSA". Then, they end with this:
The Republican stance on immigration leaves an opening that opponents could drive a truck through. The Democratic candidates have the better position but approach the subject with eggshell timidity. They should stand up for a real debate, and a better country, by forcefully challenging the Republicans on this issue.
Bring it on. After seeing them in debates, I'm not exactly comfortable with Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson being able to decimate the Democratic position on this issue, but I'm sure that others who might be brought in to the debate could do so.
Desperate New York Times immigration editorial plays race card; afraid attrition might work?
NYT editorial: supports illegal activity; acknowledges attrition; "pest control"
Julia Preston/NYT admits: border fencing, attrition works