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"Of course I’ll respect you in the morning" (with update)
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Friday, June 15, 2007

As I suspected, the immigration bill is looking more undead by the day. According to today's New York Times:
Senate Democratic and Republican leaders announced on Thursday that they had agreed on a way to revive a comprehensive immigration bill that was pulled off the Senate floor seven days ago.
What's different from last week? Bush, having realized that the bill's opponents want real enforcement of immigration law, is offering a token:
Earlier in the day, trying to start the bill moving again in the Senate, Mr. Bush called for an immediate burst of $4.4 billion in spending to show that the government was committed to “securing this border once and for all.”
Uh, huh. And Jesse Jackson is committed to racial equality, too. I mean, he says so, right?

"Immediate burst" or not, the problem is that Bush has zero credibility here. He can make promises all day, but he's already come up short on other promises on this issue. After grudgingly giving in to a partial border fence last year, he's dragged his feet on it because he doesn't really want it or think it's necessary.

Bush's offer does not substantially change the debate on the bill at all. It's just another promise of future action. He's like a teenage Lothario who thinks he can keep making promises he knows he not really going to keep, in order to get something he really, really wants.

And anytime the government talks about a "burst" of spending, we ought to be pretty suspicious. That's exactly the circumstances in which money gets wasted. Besides the usual government personnel acting like kids in a candy store, the parasites come running to siphon some of it off in the confusion.

Sorry, George, no sale. Let's get back to looking at some real enforcement before committing to adding millions of citizens whose very first act on American soil was to break the law.

***Update 10:20 AM CST ***

For those who are willing to buy Bush's "I'll still respect you in the morning" position on this bill, let me remind you of something, and ask a couple of questions.

As was pointed out in this post, Tom Coburn made a list of the laws not currently being enforced, and offered it as an amendment to the immigration bill. To refresh your memory, here it is:
(2) EXISTING LAW.—The following provisions of existing law shall be fully implemented, as previously directed by the Congress, prior to the certification set forth in paragraph (1):

(A) The Department has achieved and maintained operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States as required under the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-367)

(B) The total miles of fence required under such Act have been constructed.

(C) All databases maintained by the Department which contain information on aliens shall be fully integrated as required by section 202 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (8 U.S.C. 1722).

(D) The Department shall have implemented a system to record the departure of every alien departing the United States and of matching records of departure with the records of arrivals in the United States through the US-VISIT program as required by section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1221 note).

(E) The provision of law that prevents States and localities from adopting ``sanctuary'' policies or that prevents State and local employees from communicating with the Department are fully enforced as required by section 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1373).

(F) The Department employs fully operational equipment at each port of entry and uses such equipment in a manner that allows unique biometric identifiers to be compared and visas, travel documents, passports, and other documents authenticated in accordance with section 303 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (8 U.S.C. 1732).

(G) An alien with a border crossing card is prevented from entering the United States until the biometric identifier on the border crossing card is matched against the alien as required by section 101(a)(6) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(6)).

(H) Any alien who is likely to become a public charge is denied entry into the United States pursuant to section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(4)).
Now, here are the questions for the pragmatists who think we ought to go ahead and give Bush what he wants in exchange for his promise of better enforcement:

1. Why in the world would we believe him when he says he's going to get serious about enforcement this time? As the list above indicates, he never has before.

2. Let's assume that Bush will, in fact, get serious about enforcement if we give him the amnesty provisions he wants. Why do we have to bribe the chief executive of this nation to enforce the laws?
 
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Without a bill like this, with a guest worker program, you’ll not get a major increase in enforcement. Period. Guaranteed. You’ll just get more of the what’s been going on the last few years. That’s reality, that’s why experts support this bill while emotion-driven blogs and talk radio pundits play on peoples’ biases and fears to oppose it. Fail to pass this bill and you can opine all you want about enforcement, but it ain’t gonna happen. However, pass a bill with a guest worker program and I (and many others) will be right with you in arguing for increased enforcement. And that’s a compromise for me; ideally I’m more a libertarian open borders type, but the practical politics of this day and age make that ideal something to work towards over time, probably a long time — now we need a coherent policy that is enforced — and this bill is the best bet to achieve that.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Without a bill like this, with a guest worker program, you’ll not get a major increase in enforcement. Period. Guaranteed.
Why is that? The reasons I can think for this reflect badly on our current leadership (President, Congress, and all).
 
Written By: Rory Daulton
URL: http://
The political reality is that the President ultimately won’t back down, and Democrats, who control Congress, won’t support policies to truly enforce existing laws unless it’s tied to a guest worker program. Politics is the art of the possible, and for better or worse, that’s the political landscape. Maybe after 2009 it will change, but that just means two years of the same policy and I doubt after 2009 there will be a fundamental shift. Those who want a guest worker program both see mass deportations as bad and likely infeasible, and the "enforcement first" mantra as a bait and switch tactic. But enforcement and a guest worker program together and you have a chance to really get a coherent policy for a change.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
No one believes we’ll get enforcement when there is Amnesty/Guest Worker.

So we’ll give out big rewards for braking laws that we won’t get back and nothing but token enforcement.

The choice is
1) no enforcement [status quo], or
2) no enforcement plus rewards for those violating the law.

This may sound hard to believe [for a liberal] but when you reward behavior, even bad behavior, you get more of the same.

So a bill like the one considered is a path to worsen the problem, not fix it.

The infuriating thing is that while some may not know better, others do know it will worsen the problem and lie about it.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Wow, jpm100, you are very defeatist here. You say there can never be enforcement, no matter what, so let’s just throw up our hands and say there’s nothing we can do? I’m not ready to be that pessimistic. Realistic, but not pessimistic.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Politics is the art of the possible, and for better or worse, that’s the political landscape.
Then change the political landscape. It isn’t impossible or that difficult.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
You say there can never be enforcement, no matter what, so let’s just throw up our hands and say there’s nothing we can do?

No, you’re saying that there will not be enforcement this time until we reward all the others who are here now due to our previous failure to enforce the laws already on the books.

Get that? Laws already on the books.

Passing more laws does not lead in any direction towards enforcing them or the ones already existing.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
This whole thing makes me so mad I could spit. Multiple laws are on the books...but they are either ignored or actively countermanded. Moreover, we most decidedly we do not have to have a "guest worker program" in order to achieve enforcement. How about a little bit of the medical philosophy of "First, do no harm"?

What this issue requires is serious pressure on Mexico to stop facilitating the process and for our government employees (which contrary to their elevated opinion of themselves includes our elected politicos) to follow the will of its people and DO THEIR DAMN JOBS!

Finally Bush’s pledge of $4B really makes my blood pressure jump since this money was already mandated for enforcement but was not spent...and NOW he says he will make sure it happens? I’ve supported him until now...but don’t p*ss down my leg and tell me it’s raining fella.
 
Written By: Unscripted Thoughts
URL: http://
Again, recall the example of speeding or seat belt use — the laws are on the books, but to enforce them to stop all violations would require a massive change in law enforcement tactics and a huge investment. That would take political will. None exists for obvious reasons in those categories.

In immigration the business community wants a guest worker program. There is a strong Hispanic vote that want both a guest worker program and will accept and even support strong enforcement once that’s in place. So I think we can generate the political will to enforce the laws if connected with a guest worker program. Otherwise nothing will change. Bush is President until 2009. The Democrats control Congress, and most people don’t have the emotion about this issue as some here show. This bill is the best chance to create a coherent system. Otherwise, this will just remain fodder for talk radio jocks who love not having to talk so much about Iraq or the White House scandals, and some blogs. If you don’t believe me, fine — watch what happens over the next few years. Politics is the art of the possible. Idealism has to give way to realism sometimes.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Again, recall the example of speeding or seat belt use — the laws are on the books, but to enforce them to stop all violations would require a massive change in law enforcement tactics and a huge investment.
Fine. So let’s go ahead and do that. Why do we have to give Bush a bribe to get him to enforce the law? And what confidence to we have that he will "stay bought" if we do give him what he wants?

Scott, the problem with this bill is that is doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t deter new illegals - in fact, it motivates more of them to come.

It’s only advantage is for the feds who don’t really want to enforce any tough immigration law. It gives them an excuse not to do anything about existing illegals. And it puts the problem off another ten or fifteen years, so that if it passes, we’ll likely be having this same dreary conversation then.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Scott,

We had Simpson-Mazolli. Amnesty now, for enforcement later. Deja vu, redux.

"This time it’ll be different."
"The check’s in the mail."
I don’t want to be banned for life, so I won’t attempt to post the third biggest lie...

This is simply a non-starter. Trillions in additional costs to be paid by the taxpayers in return for votes for the Democrats, and cheap labor for big business. I will vote against anyone who votes for this sham. I will contribute to anyone who opposes the supporters of this sham.




 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
"an immediate burst of $4.4 billion in spending"

Does he really think we are so stupid that we think such a thing is even possible? And people wonder why some of us are a little pissed off.

"Fail to pass this bill and you can opine all you want about enforcement, but it ain’t gonna happen."

Then perhaps we should elect people who will make it happen.

" The political reality is..."

Political reality has a habit of changing.

". Maybe after 2009 it will change, but that just means two years of the same policy"

Two more years of the same policy will only confirm what many already suspect, that the pro-reform people don’t really intend to enforce any restrictions on immigration.



Just for record, we already have guest worker programs.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/04/MNGLJQ755U1.DTL


" and the "enforcement first" mantra as a bait and switch tactic."

Switch to what?


" Wow, jpm100, you are very defeatist here."

Sort of like someone saying it is impossible to enforce current immigrationlaws.



"Again, recall the example of speeding or seat belt use — the laws are on the books, but to enforce them to stop all violations would require a massive change in law enforcement tactics and a huge investment."

And again, this time in large print for the visually impaired, NOONE IS SAYING THAT ENFORCEMENT NEEDS TO BE ABSOLUTELY 100% PERFECT. Except, apparently, those opposed to increased enforcement. Further, if there are enough drivers speeding through your residential neighborhood, I guarantee that you and your neighbors will demand stronger enforcement. Perhaps you think that laws against murder, arson, etc. should not be rigorously enforced due to the huge investment necessary?

"In immigration the business community wants a guest worker program."

They already have several, the latest iterations of guest worker programs that have been around for 50 years or more.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Billy and Mark, perhaps you’re right and this bill will do nothing. But it doesn’t have to be that way — it’s possible to learn from the first bill and not make the same mistake (and not allow the feds to make the same mistakes) again. In an ideal world all 12 million would go home and apply for a guest worker permit and play by the same rules. In the world we have, deportation would be costly (and likely impossible), negatively impact the economy, and massively increase ’big brother’ tactics if they really did try to find all illegals. I say it’s not worth that price. Rather, recognize reality. These people were enticed in by Americans offering jobs and our poor enforcement in the past allowed it. In a world of terrorism and international conflict, we don’t really have the resources to try to root out these people, so let’s at least make them document themselves and play by the same rules.

Because right now it’s either this or be content with the status quo for the foreseeable future.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Why is the chief executive so conerned with legislation? If he wants to pass laws, he should resign the presidency and run for Congress. This is nuts! His job is to execute the laws of the land, not write new ones! This is almost as bad as "activist judges" or Pelosi going on foreign policy trips around the globe.
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://socalconservative.blogspot.com
Erb writes -
Politics is the art of the possible, and for better or worse, that’s the political landscape.
Scott - you have written that approximately 20 times in the last week. The record is stuck!!!

- I’ll go back and read the rest of what is posted now...
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
In an ideal world all 12 million would go home and apply for a guest worker permit and play by the same rules. In the world we have, deportation would be costly (and likely impossible), negatively impact the economy, and massively increase ’big brother’ tactics if they really did try to find all illegals. I say it’s not worth that price. Rather, recognize reality. These people were enticed in by Americans offering jobs and our poor enforcement in the past allowed it.
Where to start??? First Scott - stop the influx of illegals. Second, make it harder for the ones here to work illegally and stop GIVING them things they have not earned. Third - whether they were enticed here is irrelevant. I could argue I was enticed to buy the weed I got arrested for, therefore I’m not really responsible for breaking the law. "Leave me alone officer and go find the person who enticed me...."

And the speeding thing? When speeding jeopardizes the very existence of the country, come talk to me.

How can you look at all the laws currently in place that are NOT being enforced and tell us ’the new law is the way to go!’?????
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Again, recall the example of speeding or seat belt use — the laws are on the books, but to enforce them to stop all violations would require a massive change in law enforcement tactics and a huge investment.
You keep mentioning this as if its required to have total enforcement and stop 100% of all violations despite the fact that none of our laws are enforced to this degree. It is absolutely possible to enforce laws to a degree that it creates enough disincentive so that total enforcement is not needed. I suspect you know this already.
 
Written By: shasta
URL: http://
I’m sick of hearing the "It’s Better than Nothing" lie.

Let’s see - we have nothing, and we have a noodlespine hack in the White House who won’t enforce the existing laws because he doesn’t like them, and ignores them.

But if we pass this "We really mean it this time" bill, we’ll still have the same chump who won’t enforce these laws because he still won’t like them, plus be rolling out the red carpet for more.

No sir - nothing most certainly is better than this boneheaded bill designed to reward lawbreaking invaders.

I’m not fooled at all by the reconquistas who waved the Mexican Flag at their first "rallies" and then pulled out the American one as a PR stunt ever since. Mexico is a hellhole? Fine. Put your lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line and fix it, like real men would do. Or suffer.

I am sick of parasites.
You keep mentioning this as if its required to have total enforcement and stop 100% of all violations despite the fact that none of our laws are enforced to this degree. It is absolutely possible to enforce laws to a degree that it creates enough disincentive so that total enforcement is not needed. I suspect you know this already.
It’s called making the best the enemy of the good, and he’s very aware of it. And it is pathetic and transparent, and not even clever.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
Demonstrating my incompetence, I posted this by error in the Harry Ried incompetence thread. It was meant to be here:

Politics is the art of the possible. The laws won’t be enforced — money won’t be spent to enforce them — without a deal. Congress won’t agree to authorize the funds to truly enforce without a deal. The realist/pragmatist position starts with the world that is, not the world that ought to be. Then plots a path towards what ought to be recognizing the reality of what is. The idealist simply demands the world become what it ought to be and sees compromise as betrayal of the ideal, what should be.

Of course, the hard part will be to assure that there will be real enforcement this time. That depends on those who fought the bill (assuming it gets passed, which is a very speculative assumption) keeping up the pressure to make sure enforcement is real.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Hey Scott,

I like the speeding analogy.

Most statistics I’ve seen estimate that there’s on average 115,000 speeding tickets issued a day in the US. (link)

That’s 41,975,000 (365x115,000) tickets a year.

Worst case, we have 20 million illegals. So that’ll take what, half a year to catch all of them?

While that’s a bit facetious, the point I’m making is a bit more serious. If the government actually cared about enforcing illegal immigration, we wouldn’t have 20 million illegals in the US today.

For example, let’s assume we deported illegals caught speeding. It’s a traffic stop, we have their IDs, all we need to do is hook in with INS. The probability of any one person (assuming 1 person per car) getting a ticket is 40/300 = 13%. Assuming those 40 million speeding tickets are distributed evenly between legals and illegals, we could catch 13% of the illegal population every year in the interior.

But we don’t. Because the government refuses to enforce existing laws and there’s absolutely no reason to believe they’ll enforce new ones either.

Little anecdote. Two months ago, my wife (BTW she’s a green card holder who hates illegals because of the line jumping) got rear-ended at a traffic light. Cops came out. The driver produces a Mexican driver’s license. The officer later tells us he was really certain the driver and his five passngers was illegal, but he wasn’t allowed to do anything about it on a traffic stop. (The responding officer happens to be a friend of ours -gotta love small town life.)
 
Written By: Jody
URL: http://
Really, it’s obvious that Bush is screwed if he does or screwed if he doesn’t with you guys, so I don’t even know why you still blog about it instead of just waiting for the next President.

The problem is all of the naysaying obscures what the real gripe is with this legislation and that’s the fact that the bill citizen-tracks the illegals that are already here. That’s not just a legitimate gripe, it’s a critically important point, but it’s lost in all of the bad faith and claims of bad faith and demands for enforcement which, quite frankly, the government seems to be increasing at a rate about as high as they’re likely capable. An excellent compromise would be if the bill instead simply legalized them into guest workers. That’s all most of the illegal workers themselves want anyway, and all of the real complaints regarding amnesty would be satisfied.

Myself, I’m not worried so much about Mexicans being tempted by citizen-track amnesty because there’s only so many of them. I’m much more worried about everybody else on the freakin’ planet being tempted to come here thinking it’s just a matter of time before they’re granted citizenship if they can remain underground long enough.

In the Big Picture, our real problem isn’t our southern border, it’s our northern border. It’s two and a half times as long and half of it is over water. On our northern border there is no wall option. If we ever wind up with a serious problem of border jumpers from the north, we’re screwed.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
If we ever wind up with a serious problem of border jumpers from the north, we’re screwed.
Man Peter, you accept there could be an issue with northern jumpers in the future, but seem so blasé about southern jumpers now...

The thing about the northern border is, you’ll only have to heavily guard it 6 months out of the year. You can cross the Mexican border any time you want. Try walking through the Canadian countryside in February. Brrrrrrrrr - problem solved, at least until May when the bodies thaw...
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://

Well I don’t feel like I’m being blase about it, I feel like I’m being conservative about it frankly. Conservatives typically understand that desirable outcomes can only be had in certain ways, and simply wanting a particular outcome or getting enough people to want it isn’t sufficient to provide that outcome. To my mind this is the primary difference between conservatives and left-liberals. Demanding the government stop illegals from entering the US isn’t really any different to me than demanding the government provide us with free health care. If it were, in reality, that easy, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, would we?

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com

I should clarify that while I believe controlling the southern border is possible, I believe that actually having the government provide all US citizens with health care when they need it ultimately isn’t.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
"Scott - you have written that approximately 20 times in the last week."

It is obviously a critical point, one that needs to be said over and over and over and .... so that semi-literate ill-educated civilians like us may just possibly learn it. I guess they must have really emphasized it in Ph.D. school.


"Really, it’s obvious that Bush is screwed if he does or screwed if he doesn’t with you guys,"

Screwed if he does or doesn’t what? I daresay most of us have formed opinions of him before this issue arose. Anyway, this is not about him, it is about the legislation. Are you really that concerned about him?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"I should clarify that while I believe controlling the southern border is possible,"

Then why not do it?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Demanding the government stop illegals from entering the US isn’t really any different to me than demanding the government provide us with free health care
Peter - you are a lot more fun to argue with than the prof from ME - demanding the government enforce our laws and protect our sovereignty is simply asking them to do what they are SUPPOSED to do. Demanding healthcare from them (never mind FREE) was never part of deal.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Jody, I like your math on speeding, though if your wife’s example is any indication it may be a greater number if the number of passengers is high — though that is assuming equal arrest rates; if this were implemented, they’d probably follow the speed limit!

Your example, though, shows the problem. It’s not just a matter of enforcement, but there needs to be a culture shift. Shifting the way of thinking at the state, local and federal level is not easy, takes awhile, and really requires buy in from a variety of actors. I think the bill could have been the start of a culture shift, if followed through. I’m afraid that what might happen if we stick with the status quo is not only little enforcement, but battle lines will be drawn making a shift in culture less likely.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Politics is the art of the possible. The laws won’t be enforced — money won’t be spent to enforce them — without a deal

It seems like every fifteen or twenty years we have a deal to enforce these laws, and then they don’t.

What to talk realist and idealist? Let’s open up your false dilemma and I’ll ask you what you call a person who does the same stupid thing over and over and expects a different result?

Fool me once, shame on you - fool me twice shame on me. How many times do you want us to be suckers?

What evidence do you have they are not lying now? We’ve had how many pieces of legislation passed over the past few years alone - more agents, fence ... nothing. And empty sop passed and then weaseled out of - over and over - by the same gutless politicians who are claiming that this time it will, honest and for true, be different.

But this time, they really mean it.

Yeah. Sure. Youbetcha. They’re lying. I can tell because their lips are moving. I have no faith in them. I do not believe them. I do not trust them. And I am right to feel this way because of what THEY have failed to do. This is THEIR fault. They need to re-earn that trust - FIRST - by making right on what they have done wrong.

Here’s an idea - keep the broken promises that have already been made, and then you can talk to me about trusting a further promise.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
"There is a strong Hispanic vote that want both a guest worker program and will accept and even support strong enforcement once that’s in place."

I don’t think they like the guest worker program but the amnesty of illegals and path to citizenship.

I am also very pro-immigration, but this is rewarding those who broke the law while other legal immigrants wait YEARS playing by the rules.

The public needs some confidence building measures by the government before they will trust it on this issue.

I suggest illegal immigrants should be allowed back in as guest workers and not have a path to citizenship any better than immigrants from other countries not bordering the USA.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
The odd thing about this bill is that the path to citizenship is pretty difficult; I suspect most will stay guest workers rather than try to obtain citizenship. That actually is a negative in many respects, but I think it was the only way the compromise could be met.

Gonzman: then I guess you’re happy with the status quo, eh? Because if you don’t try to make something like this work, that’s what you’re stuck with. Trent Lott is right.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
How much taxpayer money has to be spent in order to enforce the existing laws? Nobody seems to have any idea, other than $4.4 billion appears to be a meaningless drop in the bucket. $4.4 billion is the yearly revenue of fortune 500 company, that’s an amount so small as to be meaningless?

As a taxpayer I don’t want to pay for this boondoggle.

This sounds like the "war on drugs", which has been a massive, expensive, multi-decade failure. Between spending billions on a massive police force, distracting the attention of local police from real crimes like murder, rape and burglary, turning otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals, putting a couple of million people in jail, killing way more people than have been killed by drugs and empowering the federal government to spy on and take the property of citizens, in many cases without due process. And all for what? To enforce ill-conceived, unrealistic laws.

How will this be any different than the "war on drugs"?
When speeding jeopardizes the very existence of the country, come talk to me.
Seriously? Jeopardizes the very existence of the country? Seriously? You have got to be kidding, right?

Seriously? People actually believe this?

 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
Seriously? Jeopardizes the very existence of the country? Seriously? You have got to be kidding, right?

Seriously? People actually believe this?
Wholesale invasion with no expectation or intent of enforcing any existing laws or changing any of the existing welfare state... nope, I’m not kidding, and I believe the situation to be deadly serious.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Gonzman: then I guess you’re happy with the status quo, eh? Because if you don’t try to make something like this work, that’s what you’re stuck with. Trent Lott is right.

Strawman: The mischaracterizing of someone else’s arguments, and then attacking the construct.

That is a lie, Scott, and it makes you a liar. As is clear, I do not favor the status quo.

I object to a new law which will do nothing, precisely because I can cite (And if you really want to jump through the "cites, please" hoops, give me ten minutes) a great deal of things previously passed by congress which have then been unfunded by "Con"gress, or unenforced by El Presidente Jorge "Noodlespine" Arbusto. Now all these things they are "promising to enforce" contain waiver provisions, require seperate funding, are already on the books, or are in fact WEAKENED versions of things already on the book.

In 1986 Congress enacted the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which traded an illegal-alien amnesty for a first-ever ban on the employment of illegal aliens. So what happened? Only if employers had a means of verifying the legal status of new hires against Social Security or INS databases could the new system succeed — but Congress refused to require the INS to start developing such a verification system. Instead, employers were expected to do the verifying themselves, by examining a bewildering array of easily forged documents, and then they were threatened with discrimination lawsuits by the Justice Department if they looked too hard. It would be hard to imagine a system more obviously intended to fail.

In 1996, Congress passed a large immigration bill, which included a provision that sought to punish long-term illegal residence by barring illegals from future re-entry for three or ten years, depending on the length of the initial unlawful stay. Its scope was limited in any case, since it applied only to people who actually left the country and then tried to return, but it was denounced at the time by the usual suspects as "radical" and "draconian." But an examination of the law’s results shows that, in its first four years, the bar prevented fewer than 12,000 people from re-entering the United State

The Social Security Administration in 2002 sent out almost a million "no-match" letters to employers who filed W-2s with information that was inconsistent with SSA’s records. The intention was to clear up misspellings, name changes, and other mistakes that had caused a large amount of money paid into the system to go uncredited. But, of course, most of the problem was caused by illegal aliens lying to their employers, and thousands of illegals quit or were fired when they were found out. The effort was so successful at denying work to illegals that business and immigrant-rights groups organized to stop it and won a 90 percent reduction in the number of letters to be sent out.

The partial fence, authorized but unfunded, as a sop.

Promises of more agents - same deal.

The eight action items Mssr. Hollis cites in this very post are other examples.

Your assertion that without this act, enforcing such laws will never happen is not merely absurd, but nutty as a squirrel turd. What is stopping them from enforcing such things now? The only things which are in the way are air and opportunity.

You assert further that this time it will be different. Please support that by something besides trite soundbytes and sloganeering.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
Gonzman, watch and see. If this kind of bill isn’t passed, you will see more of the same. You may call it absurd and nutty, but your own post proves my point — after all, if nothing’s been done for all this time, isn’t it just as absurd and nutty to think suddenly there will be massive resources for enforcement and everything will change? No, you need a change in culture, and that requires getting business, states, and local governments to agree to change. This bill can be a start. But if you want to wait for ’existing laws’ to simply ’be enforced,’ don’t be surprised if you’re in for a long, long, wait.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
" If this kind of bill isn’t passed, you will see more of the same."

The old "If I can’t be quarterback, I’m taking my football and going home" tactic. Very statesmanlike.
" But if you want to wait for ’existing laws’ to simply ’be enforced,’ don’t be surprised if you’re in for a long, long, wait."

I believe I asked before, but I will ask again; If they refuse to enforce or obey existing immigration restrictions, what evidence do you have that they will enforce them in the future? As Gonzman points out, such a belief is
irrational.


Interestingly, some of the proponents of this so-called reform legislation say that the legislation itself takes care of the objections by requiring enforcement before the other things kick in. So why not start the enforcement now, then pass the bill next year, or whenever the enforcement is in place? In effect, do what they say the bill will do, without actually passing the bill. Hmmmm.

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
" No, you need a change in culture, and that requires getting business, states, and local governments to agree to change"

What, nothing about the citizens? Oh, right, they have already expressed their desires, but they don’t count since they desire enforcement.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Sorry, timactual, you’re ignoring the arguments and just calling for enforcement by fiat. It ain’t gonna happen; without this bill it will be continuation of the status quo. But you can continue to post blog entries calling for enforcement in hopes that somehow that will make it happen. To get the kind of change that will create a coherent immigration policy you need to get a new policy, and one built on compromise between different interest groups. Unless that happens, it’s status quo. But keep calling on government to "enforce the laws" if it makes you feel good. But, alas, it won’t do any good.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Sorry, timactual, you’re ignoring the arguments and just calling for enforcement by fiat. It ain’t gonna happen...
Scott, we all understand that’s a risk. What you haven’t done is laid any rationale that makes sense for why that will change under the new bill.

Politicians are highly pragmatic creatures. But they also hate to be on the wrong emotional side of an issue. That is, they don’t like doing anything that will cause sob-story news reports that might be in some way connected to them.

They’ve already discovered (as Gonzman covered above) that they can lure in supporters for a bill to give amnesty in exchange for future promises of enforcement. Now, in reality, they want the amnesty, but not the enforcement.

They have several reasons for that. The amnesty keeps those teary-eyed children off the news by making fewer immigrants eligible for deportation, whereas enforcement puts those children front and center. The amnesty without the enforcement also keeps many of their business supporters happy, and thereby keeps the campaign contributions coming in. And of course, it keeps them in the good graces of the New York Times.

Seeing this game work in the past, they’re running the same strategy again. As far as I’m concerned, it’s "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me". There is no point at all in giving in to the same scam again. And I use the word "scam" very judiciously here, because I really believe that come push to shove, the politicians will always try to find excuses not to have the strong enforcement, thereby avoiding the teary-eyed children problem and keeping both their business supporters and the New York Times happy.

So what we did before (immediate amnesty in exchange for future enforcement) clearly didn’t work. And we understand the reasons it didn’t work. Politicians have no motivation to make it work.

None of us know if calling for strong enforcement will work. But it’s got to have a better chance than submitting to the same scam again.

You are of the opinion that the status quo will definitely not lead to enforcement, but the bill might lead to it. I think the evidence is strongly the other way. History suggests that giving in to the scam definitely does not result in enforcement, and you have no evidence to the contrary, only assertions. By holding their feet to the fire and demanding enforcement before giving them what they want, they might grudgingly do something.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Gonzman, watch and see. If this kind of bill isn’t passed, you will see more of the same.

And with it, we’ll see more of the same. Which is the problem. Without it, though, we will NOT see God knows how many of these lawbreakers, who snuck over the border, cutting in line ahead of the immigrants who came in legally and played by the rules.

See how that works? Whatever you reward, you get more of the same. It’s neither rocket science nor a great leap in intuitive thought.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
Again, Gonzman, I think you’re too pessimistic. I think the bill can start a culture shift in how we handle immigration. The key now is to get a system that works, rather than worry that some people may have "cut in line" or anything like that. Trying to get the ideal is not smart if it prevents acheving the best possible.

Billy, I see your argument and it makes more sense, but ultimately I don’t see how more enforcement will be chosen if not embraced in a bill like this, especially since it will take a culture shift, more money, and political will to enforce. The bill brings a lot of groups together based on compromises, and it’ll be up to all of us to keep the pressure on. Rather than "fool me once..." I prefer to see it as "if at first you don’t succeed..." I think we can learn from the past.

Actually, it’s fun to be on the side of an issue when the President’s refusal to back down on something he believes in is actually a trait I can really appreciate in him! But I think we’ve argued this pretty much to the point that we know where each other stands and why, so I’ll stop actively arguing this unless someone has a new point or asks me a question. We’ll see how the politics plays out, and if the bill passes, I’ll be part of those wanting to push for a real culture shift on how immigration law is enforced.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Again, Gonzman, I think you’re too pessimistic. I think the bill can start a culture shift in how we handle immigration.

Were it actually something new, instead of the same old crap we’ve seen over and over and over and over and over and over...(SLAP!) again, I might share that optimism.

Well, I suppose time travel is technically possible, too. I’m just not about to run out and buy the Ronco "La Time Machine" on the latest 3:00 a.m. infomercial just because I want to believe, though. And it is the legislative equivalent of that. Smoke, mirrors, and snake oil.

Well, if you want to engage in scrunching your eyes up and doing wishful thinking, be my guest.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
" But keep calling on government to "enforce the laws" if it makes you feel good. But, alas, it won’t do any good."

But they will enforce new ones. Right. Pretty idealistic for someone who claims to be a pragmatist.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I think the bill can start a culture shift in how we handle immigration.
Therein lies the rub Scott - you lump all the illegal law breakers in with legal immigrants. You seem to be assigning them some different value than Jane Doe in Thailand, merely because they were able to walk here.

Fiat, culture shift, yadda, yadda - how about politicians and people calling for the existing laws to be enforced? Simple.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://

 
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