This week, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss immigration reform.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
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Like health care, no one is going to argue that immigration doesn’t need reforming. It’s the amount and type of reform that’s going to engender the argument.
That said, is immigration next on the Obama agenda? As I said on the podcast last night, I expect the Democrats to push for whatever they think they can get through the Congress by November. I think they recognize that their window for the radical side of the agenda will slam shut then. And I think they see some potential – in the form of electoral support, even if it ends up being future electoral support – in tackling the immigration issue. Let’s face it – after November, they’re going to need all the help they can get at the voting booth, illegal or otherwise.
Given all the focus on health care yesterday, you may have missed the news about an immigration rally in DC.
Mr. Obama addressed the crowd via a videotaped message displayed on huge screens, promising to keep working on the issue but avoiding a specific time frame.
“I have always pledged to be your partner as we work to fix our broken immigration system, and that’s a commitment that I reaffirm today,” Mr. Obama said.
He expressed his support for the outline of an immigration bill presented last week by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. While pledging to help build bipartisan support, Mr. Obama warned, “You know as well as I do that this won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight.”
What’s been clear is Obama has promised a lot of people a lot of things and has delivered on few of those promises. The speakers pretty much laid out the “benefit” a beleaguered Democratic party should focus on:
“Every day without reform is a day when 12 million hard-working immigrants must live in the shadow of fear,” said Representative Nydia M. Velázquez, a Democrat from New York who is the chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
“Don’t forget that in the last presidential election 10 million Hispanics came out to vote,” she said. She told the crowd to tell lawmakers “that you will not forget which side of this debate they stood on.”
Wow – 22 million potential Democratic votes. Now there is incentive.
Don’t forget the bill Obama says he supports, the Graham/Schumer bill, requires a national ID. That is a new Social Security card (which, you were promised, would never be used for identification purposes) with your biometric info stored on it and on government data bases.
That’s a non-starter. Again, I am not the problem here. The 12 million here illegally are. I am not at all prepared to surrender even more of my privacy on the vague promises of politicians and bureaucrats.
Yes, immigration has to be fixed. So does border security – fix it first. Then, streamline the immigration process, make it easier to apply and emigrate. Figure out how to bring seasonal workers in efficiently and have them return home after the season is over. Offer a path to citizenship to illegals from the back of the line that requires fines, back taxes, an application process and a requirement to learn english. Address the anchor baby scam.
But, no national ID. Any bill that contains that is unacceptable.