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Repubs pandering on immigration
Repubs pandering on immigration
The immigration laws need reform and better border enforcement. But the Repubs are just playing around to pander to fears for the mid-term election. We need a better system to allow guest workers as the immigrants labor is helpful to the US economy and prevents inflation by decreasing wages. That helps consumers while hurting laborers clout to demand higher wages. Clearly immigrants will flow to the US when the wage differential is so great. The responsible reaction is to work with reality rather than pretend it does not exist.
Bad News on the Border
Something bad happened to the nation's debate over a serious reform of its immigration laws.
It got hijacked yesterday by "Border Vulnerabilities and International Terrorism" – the first of many hearings that House Republican leaders plan to hold around the country this summer, ostensibly to solicit public opinion about immigration reform. The hearings are an effort to delay action on legislation until after the November elections, and to drum up opposition to the Senate's immigration bill, which focuses not only on border security but also on a path to citizenship for qualified illegal immigrants.
This novel approach to governing – seeking public input on bills after they have passed – reflects a cynical gamble that linking immigration and terror will upend the Senate bill and give House Republicans a short-term electoral boost.
The title gave the plot away. The hearing was useful only if the problem of illegal immigration consists mainly of narco-traffickers who decapitate police officers in Tijuana and send drugs in 18-wheelers across the border at Laredo, or Islamic fundamentalists who sneak into the United States disguised as Mexicans. "It's probably already happened," said Sheriff Rick Flores of Webb County, Texas, one of several witnesses who obliged the Republicans by depicting life on the southern border as something out of a "Mad Max" movie.
There are, of course, very serious concerns about border violence and drug trafficking. But they can never be dealt with effectively without the other pillars of sensible immigration reform, the ones that House Republicans are trying to undermine by stage-managing a specter of border chaos.
For now, they seem to have the upper hand. President Bush, who addressed the nation in support of the Senate's approach to immigration reform, appears to be backing away from it. Mr. Bush is now said to be open to compromising on an "enforcement-first" approach, under which any of the more complicated parts of immigration reform would wait until the border was declared sealed, which could be in a year or two, or never. Arlen Specter, a main architect of the Senate bill, has sent similar hints about caving in to this approach, though he also held a dueling hearing yesterday to counter the House Republicans' hard-line message.
Mr. Bush has long talked a good game on the need for comprehensive immigration reform and the foolishness of focusing only on border security. But he is now at the head of a conga line moving backward. There was a moment in the immigration debate, after months of negotiations and pitfalls, when an opportunity for real progress appeared. It came when the Senate passed its bill.
That moment is fading. Unless Mr. Bush and others stand up to the fear-mongering House, it may already be gone.
7/6/2006 9:43 am
Same thing happens here Mustang. We have people let into the country that calim they are persecuted in their home land for being gay and this guy has just been locked up for .|
Turns out he has a wife or grilfriend and three kids.
No one does any background checks before these people are let into the country. The majority of immigrants are honest and law abiding but there are just no controls. People driving without insurance etc killing people due to careless driving - when they get to court it turns out they don't even have a license.
7/6/2006 12:41 pm
Criminals should be prosecuted and the border situation is out of control. We need true reform and real simple and effective identity cards in my view.|