Tuesday, May 01, 2007

First impressions of the STRIVE Act

X4mr asked for my input regarding the STRIVE Act

I haven't finished reading the legislation and have tried to not spoil my opinions by reading other's impressions first, but from what I have read so far, it mirrors many of the complaints that I had with the previous McCain-Kennedy Bill. Again, keep in mind that these are early impressions:

1. I am immediately suspicious about any Bill title that forms a cute acronym.

2. It appears that many of the enforcement provisions sunset after 2012.

3. Many of the enforcement provisions look like Homeland Security type pork projects.

4. The enforcement provisions look to be indirectly mandated (somebody will develop a plan. . .) while the amnesty clauses (let's just be honest, that is what much of this is) are hard coded law, effective almost immediately. Although it has been told to me that there are actually benchmarks involved for enforcement. I have not yet run into them.

5. I like a lot of the employer enforcement provisions, although I do not understand the phased enforcement. A law is a law is a law, no matter what sized company you are. Tax laws aren't "phased in."

6. I do not understand all of the rush to citizenship available for illegals. It has been my experience that this is not what a majority of illegal workers want. They want work visas and then the ability to return home. This being the case, stop trying to push citizenship to illegals. You need to work on the visa system first, get that straightened out along with enforcement, THEN we will talk about citizenship.

7. Not enough about skilled workers from non South American countries. If we increase visas, these people need to be looked at strongly as well.

8. Too much mandated negotiation with Mexico. We are allowed to make law without their input.

9. Comprehensive immigration reform is a crock. Bundling all the aspects involved does not make for better law. In fact, Framer's second law of politics states that "the quality of a law is inversely proportional to number of pages in which it is contained." Want to clean up Congress? Force the body of all bills save the budget to be contained on two pages, single spaced with size 12 font.

10. The conference committee will gut all enforcement provisions that will make a difference.

I will give a better review once I have read the entire bill, but I am not impressed with anything save the employer enforcement to this point.


x4mr said...


Thanks for the response, and I will acknowledge up front that this is not my area of expertise. A fairly good summary of the act is available here and the full blown act is here. What I find interesting is that folks on both sides of the fence are struggling with this. Not sure what you think of Michael’s place, but his thoughts on the act are less than enthusiastic.

I don’t know. What I can say is that I am, on many fronts, very weary of the distance between rhetoric and bullshit and the reality of what happens with real people in real time.

Is STRIVE a step forward? I don’t know. I am inclined to support it as at least a step towards clarification. I will say that it’s passage, at worst, will produce information we can use for whatever is next. What I consider unacceptable is the status quo. Wacko Pierce wanting to ship double digit millions of people out of the country is flat out stupid. Pretending we don’t rely on this labor in a significant way is flat out hypocrisy. We have a problem and pretending it is "their" fault is just nuts.

Framer said...

I like much of Michael's work, I even link to him even though he dropped his link here. I have to say, however, that he is seriously smoking something in his description of STRIVE. I would also bet that he hasn't read the actual law. No shame in that, I would assume that only about 10 people in the country have, Congress Members included.

And I entirely disagree with the urgent need to pass this law RIGHT NOW! in order to perhaps fix the issue. Passing bad law is far worse than passing no law. Especially since much of this can be done in pieces. Pass employee accountability right now with the verification database. Then increase significantly the number of available H1 visas available, decreasing the current backlog of applicants. Then enforce existing law. I bet this solution would be very popular if polled and then pursued.

At that point we could then get a handle on what the real issues are apart from the hysteria. The STRIVE Act is a disaster.

Make no mistake, many Democrats are so hungry for immigrant votes, that they are in danger of losing the American people on this issue, depleting their current advantage.

x4mr said...

Now that it's morning and my head is a little clearer (tired last night), I have a little more to say. First, the act has opposition on both ends.

A rally against the act is featured in this morning's paper. While calling the thing a "disaster" goes a little farther than my sentiment, I do agree with you that splitting the issue into its components and addressing each component is intelligent, but is it feasible?

I have read the summary, not the full blown legislation, and immigration is not my thing. Not sure about others, but as I move forward in life a certain theme is emerging, which is the distinction between talk and walk, between speeches, fancy plans, rhetoric and the hard reality of the street.

Not sure what you think of this place, but this piece supports your statements regarding H1B. We have the high tech thing, but we also have the far more significant low tech roots of this mess.

This out of touch rhetoric applies equally to both red and blue. Whether it's drugs, the war, the border, education, just about anything, my confidence is weakening that the mouthpieces have the slightest idea what they are talking about.

Yea, just venting. I wish I had better solutions.

AZAce said...

Yes, H1B visas are for highly skilled positions, not day laborers. The many illegal alien construction workers we were told we needed are certainly not needed now because the housing glut is huge. Home builders aren't going to be adding inventory for a while (like KB Homes pulling out of the Benson project). Any immigration bill should be beefing up the green card program to manage those needs as they come and go, not focusing on H1Bs.
It's interesting that illegals protested against STRIVE while border security advocates did the same. With nobody liking the bill it's hard to imagine much chance of it passing.

Sirocco said...

I agree it's interesting nobody liked the bill, and it's chances of passing are hurt by that.

Just as a tangental note, though, when referreeing a sporting event, the ideal situation after a game is both sides like the job you did, but the second best is both sides hated your performance. It's when one side things you did great and the other side is swearing at you that you need to be seriously concerned.

You could make an argument the same ordering should apply to proposed legislation.