Jennifer Rubin's very weak arguments for immigration amnesty

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post offers "Weak anti-immigration reform arguments" ( ). I'll show you why her arguments are themselves very weak. If you're one of the few who trusts anything Rubin says, keep reading.

Her first argument is in response to the claim that comprehensive immigration reform (see the link) is amnesty. To that, she replies:

For starters that invective doesn’t explain what is wrong with the idea. But as to the substance, it is a misuse of the word. Most proponents of a "path to citizenship" would look at some penalty (monetary or otherwise) for those who came here in violation of law. It is not amnesty to select a punishment less than deportation and then pursue a real-world solution to the issue.

"Amnesty" is used loosely to refer to some form of legalizing illegal aliens; only legalization supporters try to enforce a strict definition of the term as a way to deflect a discussion of the downsides of "reform". This site sometimes uses "amnesty" in that same loose sense: as an umbrella term rather than having to repeat the long string of euphemisms that amnesty supporters use: legalization, regularization, etc. When there's a chance that illegal immigration supporters will attempt to use the use of the word amnesty as a foothold for deflection, this site uses a less loose term such as legalization.

For background on the terms and the word games that illegal immigration supporters play, see reform not amnesty. That page also describe how - no matter what it's called - amnesty would be perceived as amnesty. As for the "penalty" Rubin refers to, amnesty supporters use tough language as part of their sales job, even though they don't mean it. See amnesty require for more.

Next, Rubin fails at arguing against the claim that "[amnesty is] contrary to our belief in 'law and order.'". She writes:

Actually the current system - in which millions don’t pay income tax, the immigration laws are not enforced, a market in phony documents flourishes, employers hire people under the table and we in effect encourage human smuggling - is lawlessness personified. Turning a blind eye to all that in the name of the "rule of law" is surely among the most hypocritical aspects of the immigration debate.

Rubin would reward the very people who've encouraged such lawlessness. Illegal aliens don't just fall from the skies: they're allowed to and encouraged to come here by countless crooked politicians who look the other way and by crooked companies that want to employ them or otherwise profit from them. If the political and business elites really wanted to stop illegal immigration, they could do it in very short order. Rubin would give those corrupt politicians and businesses what they want, and "reform" would simply lead to more illegal immigration as has happened in the past as those very same corrupt politicians and businesses kept on doing what they do now.

Those who oppose illegal immigration and amnesty don't want to turn a blind eye to illegality, they want it to stop (even if some don't realize the root causes).

The way to encourage the rule of law isn't to reward crooked businesses and politicians, it's to stop them from being crooks. Rubin would give them an amnesty of her own for their past malfeasance, reward them for their past corruption, and encourage more of it.

To the claim that "[s]upport for legalizing 11 million people won’t solve the GOP’s problem with Hispanics", Rubin writes:

Again, the straw man burns easily. No one thinks that immigration reform alone will endear Hispanics to the GOP. Thanks to the rhetoric of those most loudly resisting a change in approach, Republicans have gotten slapped with the anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic label. So yes, the exclusionists did a very thorough job poisoning the well for Republicans. However, it is also the case that appeals to Hispanics on a slew of other issues will fall on deaf ears so long as, in the words of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Republicans still want to deport their grandmothers.

Moreover, there are good policy reasons (reduction in smuggling, bringing millions into the income tax system, etc.) for pursuing reform. And if you want to make this about pure politics (nothing wrong with that) it is not as if Republicans must win a majority of votes from Hispanics (or Asians or other non-white group) to improve their electoral position. If Romney had won 40 percent of the Hispanic vote, for example, he’d be picking his cabinet right now.

And finally, reform-minded Republicans don’t propose that the GOP should support immigration reform and then ignore Hispanic voters. To the contrary, many of them are in favor of broad-based appeals and innovative policy ideas that would attract not only Hispanics and Asians, but all Americans.

What Rubin fails to acknowledge (or doesn't realize to begin with) is that - no matter how much like the Democratic Party the GOP acts on immigration, racial, and cultural issues - the Democrats will always be able to undercut them. If the GOP panders, the Democrats will out-pander them. If the GOP offers a "tough" amnesty plan, the Democrats will offer a better plan (from the perspective of Hispanics who support illegal immigration).

And, supporters of the Democrats are good at making a part represent the whole. If the GOP pushed amnesty, all it would take is one loud opponent or one not-completely-craven position to give the Democrats a foothold to portray the GOP as anti immigrant. That can be seen in how Mitt Romney was treated by the media and the Democrats: no matter how much he acted like the Democrats on immigration, his opponents painted him as the second coming of Genghis Khan on the topic.

Acting like the Democrats on immigration is a big loser for the GOP: it just helps the Democrats. Unfortunately, their leaders (broadly defined to include Rubin) simply don't have the smarts and integrity to come up with pro-American alternatives. Those alternatives could include: not treating Hispanics as a monolithic bloc (ideologically and culturally); outreaching to the segment of Hispanics who support our laws; and, discrediting the Democrats on anti-American bills such as the DREAM Act.

There are millions of Hispanics who oppose deporting anyone, and the problem is with them not with our laws. As a nation, we cannot allow one relatively small group of people to seek to block the normal functions of any government: controlling who gets to live in the nation. Instead of showing how that relatively small group are wrong, Rubin would ignore the wishes of the vast majority of Americans and give in to those who have little or no use for our laws.

To the claim "[i]t's not fair to let them go in front of people 'waiting in line'", Rubin responds:

That is a symptom of our current broken immigration system and not an excuse for refusing to reform it. How many people are waiting how long, and why aren't they already here pursuing the American dream? Certainly a comprehensive immigration system should look at all these people, determine if there are valid reasons (health, criminal background, etc.) for keeping them on ice and, if not, fast track them through the system.

First, see immigration line for background on the "line", which is actually more like traffic approaching a toll booth than a line in the supermarket. Then, note that it would take at least five years to process 10,000,000 people, assuming that FBI background checks were done. If Rubin doesn't want to do FBI background checks, then perhaps she should specify exactly what form of checking she'd do, and how reliant she'd be on easily compromised foreign databases and agencies. How many terrorists and criminals would be allowed into the U.S. due to her "fast track"?

Finally, to "[w]e should just do border security and then talk about the rest later", Rubin responds:

Actually in 2007 the plan supported by President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had a two-step process in which border security came up front, but immigration exclusionists didn’t like that. But let’s get real. A two-step process most likely is not a politically viable arrangement in 2012, and it only aggravates both the policy (e.g. more people not paying taxes for a longer time) and political problems (how many more presidential elections do Republicans want to lose?).

Even many amnesty supporters are willing to admit reality: that the 1986 amnesty failed to check illegal immigration as promised. That amnesty was sold to the American public as having tough provisions designed to stop illegal immigration, including increased border security. While the amnesty part was implemented, the tough provisions weren't.

There's a multi-million dollar "industry" dedicated to weakening our immigration laws, and most of the groups and people involved can be read about at those links. Those groups and people might agree to tough provisions up until the very day a bill is signed. However, the very next day they'd set to work trying to weaken the tough provisions they'd agreed to the day before. The American Civil Liberties Union and allied groups would file suit after suit designed to weaken the tough provisions, the establishment media would run propaganda pieces about poor, sympathetic illegal aliens who were caught up in the tough provisions, and on and on. That's what they do, and that's a major part of the reason why there's illegal immigration to begin with.

Instead of making illegal immigration supporters prove their sincerity about stopping illegal immigration, Rubin either believes them or wants you to trust them: Rubin is either delusional, or thinks you're stupid.

That, of course, doesn't mean that we should just secure the border in the "first" sense discussed at that link, just that Rubin's support for comprehensive reform instead of "secure the border first" is wrong.

What we need to do is to discredit those like Rubin who support amnesty and illegal immigration as well as her corrupt business and political cohorts.

If there's anything in the above that anyone finds wanting or disagree with, feel free to leave a comment below. If there's even the small chance that you think Rubin has any credibility despite the above, make sure and leave a comment and I'll add even more.