Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Restatement of My Immigration Bill Criticism

Even if the Bill stated that a 200' tall, 10' thick wall made of stainless steel with a 60' wide moat dug that contained sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads be built and dug across both borders, it would still be a bad bill.

Even if capitol punishment were involved in voluntarily hiring illegal aliens, the bill would not suffice.

And to top it off, even if all costs were forcibly extracted and paid for from profits from John Edward's hedge fund and pirate booty, it would still not be enough.

The problem is that there is no belief that any enforcement provision that is passed will actually be enforced, NONE! This applies to existing laws and to future laws. Nothing written into a bill can solve this. No amount of words can regain this trust.

In addition, I would make the argument that the actual situation is made worse because immigration laws are often capriciously enforced on the few occasions that they are enforced, which can breed cynicism and contempt in the immigrant population. Talk to a few local attorneys about this issue, about how some seemingly good intentioned immigrants are punished disproportionately to illegals who actually are criminals. There is not really any rhyme or reason from month to month who will get punished or let go. Capriciousness can be worse that simply not enforcing the laws.

The only way to fix this is to pass a few enforcement provisions that do not contain "comprehensive" elements and enforce them stringently and consistently. Or even perhaps begin to enforce existing law. Were this done, and done in an effective, timely manner, then a whole new argument can be opened up for amnesty, amnesty lite, and other overall reforms. There would be support out there for it. Hell, I might even support some of it.

What the Rasmussen poll shows is that people are wise to the empty promises of the last congress, and more importantly, to this one.

The bill is dead. It's just a question of who it takes down with it.


Sirocco said...

Ahhh -- to paraphrase, "give me the part I want first ... then, maybe later, if I like how things work I'll condescend to perhaps throw a few bones to the other side of the debate."

I realize that is a loaded rewrite of your argument ... I am just trying to make a point: namely, that's not the way compromise works.

There is a saying among sports officials -- ideally, you want to leave an event with both sides thinking you did a good job. Second best is both sides thinking you did a horrible job. If one side loves you and one hates you, it was a bad game.

Similar reason might apply here -- there are things both sides might like about the bill, but also things both sides hate. Right now, all the emphasis seems to be on the "hate" part. I actually think the bill, as proposed, is a good place to start looking for a reasonable compromise -- if, in fact, the enforcement provisions are enforced.

Anonymous said...

Dear Framer:

I agree with you on only one part of the enforcement question and that is that your own party has looked the other way when enforcing the law against employers. Why? Simple, they are your financial base.

On the rest of enforcement, Billions have been spent and still nothing. They try to enforce it and it just doesn't work. It amount to a huge waste of money.

Example, in the last bill we were to hire 5000 new border patrol. Last report I heard, they didn't come close to that amount and ultimately we had to call in the National Guard (already strapped and demoralized by Iraq).

No one wants to police that border...I can't get my students to apply for these jobs. I guess we could pay hundreds of dollars an hour and we'd get some, but is that what you want in your budget...and is that the government program you want paid for with your tax dollars?

Framer said...

Sirocco and Roger,

Indeed Employer Sanctions would be the first place to start, and the most effective use of funds. And, coincidentally, would be the few simple laws that I would like to see enforced before discussion can begin.

Again, the issue is not the bill, it the matter of trust. There are laws on the books that have never been effectively enforced, especially since the last deal in 86. The fence bill passed, and we have 2 miles of fence to show for it. A compromise can only work if there is accountability on each side to follow through with their bargains, and, quite frankly, Ted Kennedy is the Yassir Arafat of American negotiation.

All of the powerful interests line up on the amnesty side of the argument. There is currently no one with any real power to guarantee that the enforcement provisions are actually effective. Only a fool would walk into that deal blindly.

And, indeed, it appears that the American people have learned their lesson.

Here is a question for you, Roger, on the subject of cost. If rounding up and deporting 12 million illegal immigrants is a non-starter to to effort and cost, how much is tracking down, running background checks on, registering, tracking once in the system, confirming continuous employment, and enforcing the overstay of visas for 12 million going to cost us? Who is going to handle that bureaucratic monstrosity? The answer is a new department will be created, overwhelmed, the requirements in the bill will be relaxed, and the new department will not go away.

I've seen that movie as well.

Sirocco said...

When the fence bill passed everyone said nothing would come of it ... for which I, at least, am grateful.

I'd be thrilled to see existing employer sanctions be enforced more thoroughly, I fully agree with you there.

Framer said...

OK, we are set then. Enforce existing employer sanctions until we get that right. Bi-partisan compromise reached with a whole lot less hassle.

Additionally, I would add a method that allows emloyers ro do almost immediate checks on SS #'s and green cards. That is just an IT issue that could likely be solved in a few months.

After this is pursued for a year or two, we would truly have an accurate picture of our immigration needs and could write laws that better fill those actual, rather than political needs. I would also have to believe that the general populace would be a lot more hungry for comprehensive reform at that point, if it were actually needed.


Sirocco said...

Well, it depends ... what's the quid pro quo for the two-year delay, assuming the sanctions are enforced over the next two years? Retraction of objections to the currently proposed bill?

Framer said...

Great deal that one has to offer a quid pro quo for actually enforcing a law that is on the books, which is the exact problem.

I would however offer a percentage increace in legal employment visas (existing classifications, not the z visa stuff). I would also affer a corresponding increase in staff to help reduce visa backlog (to a point).

If we really wanted to get tricky, we could offer a scale that say a 50% ratio for visa increases for each illegal found to be working illegally and the employer punished. The trick is that the employer would not be eligible for the visa increase, and the illegal would placed at the end of the line for the new slot.

I would, of course, need to vet that with my constituents.

Sirocco said...


No, no, no .. the law should be enforced regardless. I am asking what the quid pro quo is for waiting on two years of enforcement before enacting any legislation.

Let me consult with the people in my district. :P

Anonymous said...

No one on either side of the Isle has the fortitude to enforce anything with regards to Immigration. So we go the way of the Romans.