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Immigration Bill: enforcement is key
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, May 22, 2007

So much for "fast tracking" the bill, and in my opinion that's a good thing:
The Senate voted last night to move forward on an overhaul of immigration laws, but even proponents of the delicate compromise proposal conceded that the furor over the deal was surpassing their expectations and endangering the plan.

The 69 to 23 vote masked deep troubles from the right flank of the Senate, as well as from the left. Opponents of even conducting a debate on the measure included some unexpected voices, such as freshman Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bernard Sanders, an independent liberal from Vermont. Several conservatives — and some liberals — made it clear that they cast a vote to proceed only in order to fundamentally change the proposed legislation in the coming days.
I heard a Senate staffer characterize the uproar as "feeling like" the Harriet Miers debacle. Both Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, Republican Senators from GA (a reliably red state), who had a hand in forging the compromise bill, were booed at their own state's Republican convention last week.

This has pushed the Senate to abandon its desire to fast track the legislation and pass it before the Memorial Day recess. That move may signal the death knell for the bill in its present form. With members of Congress traveling home to their districts and states, there may be a lot more of them hearing boos before they return.
"Our plan is a compromise. It involved give-and-take in the best traditions of the United States Senate. For each of us who crafted it, there are elements that we strongly support and elements we believe could be improved. No one believes this is a perfect bill," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.), the deal's chief Democratic architect. "The world is watching to see how we respond to the current crisis. Let's not disappoint them."
As with most things Ted Kennedy says, this is so much gobbeldy gook. I don't care about compromising "in the best traditions of the United States Senate". Instead I care about legislation which is in the best interests of the United States of America.

And, of course, the Senate is only one side of the equation:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has signaled that any immigration bill clearing the chamber this summer is likely to look considerably different from a Senate bill designed to attract Republican votes.
So while there may be a grand compromise in the Senate, it hasn't at all been reconciled with the House. And from the statement above, it would appear that it is unlikely to survive in its present form anyway.

So let the debate begin. On the right the concerns are plentiful, but one of the main concerns is outlined by Sen. Ben Nelson:
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a pivotal swing vote, said he is determined to reshape the legislation to ensure that a crackdown on the border succeeds before additional job programs are extended to undocumented workers and future immigrants.
Supposedly this is all covered by "triggers" within the present legislation. But what legislators are hearing from constituents is they have no confidence that those triggers will actually be implemented prior to extending the Z visas and cranking up the guest worker program. What most on the right want to see is separate legislation which specifically addresses border security first. And in this legislation they'd like to see time lines and benchmarks for accomplishment of those goals. Otherwise you can count on the same sort of foot dragging which has seen all of 12 miles of the legally authorized 700+ miles of fence built (not to mention the slow fill of legally authorized Border Patrol slots).

On the left there are other concerns:
On the other side of the aisle, the biggest threats revolve around a temporary-worker program that would grant two-year work visas, renewable up to three times, as long as foreign workers leave the country between each two-year stint. Labor unions contend that the program would depress U.S. wages and create an underclass of abused foreign workers. Business groups say the structure of the program is unrealistic, since it guarantees instability in the labor supply.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), with the backing of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), will move as soon as today to slash in half the number of temporary work visas, to 200,000 a year. Sens. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will try to strike the program from the bill altogether, and they are likely to pick up support from the Senate's most liberal and most conservative members.
Union support for Democrats is critical in '08. Democrats cannot afford to anger them or their membership.

Therefore it appears that the carefully crafted Senate compromise is DOA. And that, as far as I'm concerned is a good thing. This is an issue that must be debated.

Don't get me wrong, I want to see the immigration system reformed since it is a dismal failure as it stands today. And I want to be clear that I believe immigration is key to maintaining the greatness of this country. What I don't agree with is that will be accomplished by allowing illegal immigration.

In order to stem that, we have to take care of border security first (as that is critical to helping get a handle on illegal immigration as well as keeping those who would do us harm out).

Once that is done, some relatively easy steps can be taken to stem the illegal immigration tide and kraft a system which is more responsive to those applying legally.

First, remove the economic incentive that rewards illegal immigration. That includes a fast and reliable way for employers to immediately check documentation and to hold employers responsible for doing so. Workplace enforcement is key.

Secondly, completely revamp and streamline the Byzantine immigration policy to where it is both easy and quick to make legal application and it doesn't take years to hear whether approval was granted or not.

Last, quit playing the catch and release game. Illegal immigrants should get one "catch" on the house. At that point is should be explained to them, prior to their deportation, that if they're again caught in the US illegally they'll be jailed. However, if they apply to reenter the US legally after their deportation, their illegal entry won't be held against them.

The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control act brought about much of the same debate we see today. We were lulled into believing that enforcement was important to its success and would be rigorously applied. Of course it never was and the result is obvious. We are again being given the same song and dance. Given how poorly present laws have been enforced or applied (fence, Border Patrol slots), there's very little confidence out in fly-over country that this bill will be any different. In my opinion, until Congress and the administration can figure out a way to assure voters that they will enforce those laws on the books and those they are recommending, they will continue to hear boos coming from their constituents when they talk about immigration reform.
 
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If we view this through the prism of what will generate the most votes for leftists, we must ask the question: Will the numbers of now illegals, who will eventually..(Mark this well) have the vote, outnumber the numbers of union members ticked off by such a move?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
What I want to know from people who support the bill is: given the dismal quality of prior "enforcement" how does anyone expect to see enforcement of the provisions in this bill?

If it is so "unrealistic and impossible" to round up and deport 12 million illegals, how is anyone going to keep track of those who do and do not pay the $5,000 fine? What happens if they don’t pay it (which I’m willing to bet they won’t)? If we can’t expect anyone to find and deport the illegal aliens now, how can we expect that under this new law we can locate them, fine them, make sure they pay the fine, and punish them if they don’t pay the fine?

Not to mention the other things like work visas, returning home after 2 years, learning English, etc. If it’s so impossible to monitor illegal aliens now, what does this bill provide that will implement drastic change and make everything ok? If the illegal aliens weren’t afraid to break one immigration law, what makes anyone think they won’t ignore this law?

Is it some kind of voodoo magic?
 
Written By: Faisca
URL: http://faisca.wordpress.com
First there is McCain-Feingold and now there’s McCain-Kennedy. Fred we need you!
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
What I want to know from people who support the bill is: given the dismal quality of prior "enforcement" how does anyone expect to see enforcement of the provisions in this bill?

If it is so "unrealistic and impossible" to round up and deport 12 million illegals, how is anyone going to keep track of those who do and do not pay the $5,000 fine? What happens if they don’t pay it (which I’m willing to bet they won’t)? If we can’t expect anyone to find and deport the illegal aliens now, how can we expect that under this new law we can locate them, fine them, make sure they pay the fine, and punish them if they don’t pay the fine?

Not to mention the other things like work visas, returning home after 2 years, learning English, etc. If it’s so impossible to monitor illegal aliens now, what does this bill provide that will implement drastic change and make everything ok? If the illegal aliens weren’t afraid to break one immigration law, what makes anyone think they won’t ignore this law?

Is it some kind of voodoo magic?
I was wondering about this too. Congress needs to stipulate a deadline in that bill: If the illegals don’t come forward before a certain date, then they forfeit their eligibility for any of the visas.
 
Written By: JDubya
URL: http://
Actually it would be very easy to monitor compliance of the US$ 5,000 fine - you pay it before you get you Z-Visa. I think this is so easy compared to checking back taxes (good luck) that is why the Bushies dropped that idea.

Of course, once the program is started, expect the MSM to run story after story about poor ol’ Gramma Gomez who doesn’t have the $ 5,000 so we ought to give her a break, etc.

I am less confident about the 2 year work visas - Taiwan has a guest worker program that also allows for 2 year contracts, and certainly a lot of people flee into the black market. However, you can sometimes hold a deposit, or pay the bulk of the salary only after they return home to control for that.

But often these workers arrive in groups (wearing worker uniforms) and then work at one plant and live in a dormitory - therefore it is slightly harder for them to flee - domestic workers often flee though.

One problem with all of these methods is that they are open to abuse, and I’m sure the ACLU will be all over it.

(p.s. if they learn English, I’d say they’d be more likely to go illegal since they have the skills to get better jobs, no?)

Personally, I would say to build the wall, enforce the laws, while increasing immigration quotas across the board (especially for non-Mexican countries just to add some balance) but also reform the system completely. Perhaps also have a guest worker program for agriculture only...



 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://

 
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