Tamar Jacoby pins immigration "reform" hopes on Obama-induced "reformist mood", bad policy, racialization
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America's favorite immigration "expert", Tamar Jacoby, takes to the pages of the Los Angeles Times with "The immigration debate, again" (link). It contains the usual smears ("there's a danger that populist resentments will curdle into xenophobia", Lou Dobbs and Tom Tancredo are "anti-immigrant" with "inflamed, angry followers") together with things like this:
Neither the economic downturn nor enhanced enforcement has driven 12 million illegal immigrants to leave the country. Enforcement is still far from effective, either on the border or in the workplace.
That "enhanced enforcement" has been just for show; George W Bush had no intention of reducing the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. She's not being completely misleading about the "enhanced" part due to the second sentence, but she doesn't reveal to her readers her thoughts on whether truly increased enforcement - together with reduced non-emergency benefits - would reduce the numbers. Obviously, she knows that it would, and that's why she doesn't mention it.
Journalists and employers report that not even unemployed Americans seem to want to do farm work or day-labor jobs, at least not yet.
See the discussion here. Jacoby is supporting bad public policy: importing a foreign serf class and keeping them employed at the same time as Americans who - absent that imported competition - could be doing those jobs are collecting checks from the state.
The difference showed up first in state legislatures, where immigration has been far less of an issue this year than last, perhaps because lawmakers have bigger things to worry about, like balancing their state budgets.
Obviously, the costs of illegal immigration play a role in the budgets of many states, particularly California. In that state, many politicians frequently act more like employees of the Mexican government and bend over backwards to extend a raft of benefits to illegal aliens.
According to one estimate, nearly 11 million Latinos voted in 2008, compared with 7.6 million in 2004. They turned at least four states from red to blue.
Could someone else check her math?
Many Latino voters have come to see immigration as a litmus test. Though not necessarily their first priority, it has become a threshold indicator for judging politicians: "Does he or she like people who look like us, or not?" Democrats have gotten this message loud and clear, and many are embracing immigration reform as a potential wedge issue.
In other words, the Dems are willing to engage in sleazy, far-left racialization of this issue, and "conservative" Tamar is standing athwart their efforts urging them to hurry up. She then asks:
How strong are the anti-immigrant activists who dominated the debate last time -- talk radio and CNN's Lou Dobbs and their inflamed, angry followers. In fact, as poll after poll showed, these naysayers represented a relatively small segment of Americans -- no more than 20% to 25%. But they were loud and well-organized, and they managed to generate doubts about reform among a much larger group of uncertain, ambivalent voters.
Obviously, many polls are designed to mislead; she's no doubt referring to polls that ask vague questions about comprehensive immigration reform and that don't reveal all the flaws in that scheme. Since the mainstream media rarely discusses even the most obvious flaws in CIR but simply publishes advocacy pieces, the polls she refers to aren't much more than a test of how well the MSM has been able to fool people.
Then, she pins her hopes on Obama and his supporters:
Voters are anxious and self-absorbed, but as Obama's election and continued popularity show, voters want things fixed. They want Washington to act boldly, to tackle hard problems, to make the compromises necessary to pass fundamental reforms. And immigration may well benefit from the new can-do, reformist mood.
Whether she knows it or not, she's hoping that Obama has enough political pull and teleprompter reading abilities to fool as many people as possible. When speaking about this issue he's continually lied or misled. If he can ramp that up and put a lot of political capital behind it, Jacoby might get her wish. Or, even many of his supporters might compare what he tells them to the highly similar things Bush told them and wise up.