Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What About Immigration?

A little more than a year ago, immigration was one of the most important issues facing the nation. Politicians on both sides to the aisle promised comprehensive immigration reform, and voters made immigration a major issue. The issue very nearly sank John McCain’s campaign (due to his support of amnesty for illegal immigrants), and a botched answer to a question regarding the wisdom of issuing drivers licenses to illegals marked the beginning of the end of Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes. Voters cared about immigration, and most politicians promised change, saying that the immigration issue was an important, pressing issue that required immediate action.

Guess not. No one cares about immigration anymore. Republican voters forgave John McCain for his amnesty support; they didn’t care enough about the issue to even bother asking Sarah Palin for her position. To my knowledge, neither campaign has released any ads about the immigration issue. The issue is now irrelevant.

It shouldn’t be. There are still at least twelve million illegal immigrants in the country. They don’t pay taxes, cause crime (Hispanic gangs such as MS-13 are taking over some border towns), and take jobs from legal Americans. (Is the “taking jobs” concern just jingoistic propaganda? Not really. The people who lose out the most from illegal immigration are those at the bottom of the economic ladder, and those people are often first-generation immigrants). The Border Patrol cannot keep up with the flow of immigrants, and the INS is powerless to do anything about the millions that are here.

There isn’t any good way to solve this crisis. America can thank George W. Bush for this state of affairs; for years, he simply stood by as illegals streamed across the border. (And conservatives, inexcusably, mostly remained silent). But blaming Bush is futile—it won’t serve to solve the problem.

Two facts are indisputable. One, having twelve million people in our country illegally is unacceptable and dangerous. Two, it is impossible to deport them all, or even deport a significant percentage of them.

A third indisputable fact, which is nonetheless hotly disputed, is that it is impossible to fully secure our southern border. It’s just too long. Duncan Hunter claims to have built an impenetrable fence in his San Diego district—the fence is only a few miles long, and cost millions of dollars to build. Building a comparable fence across the border would cost massive amounts of money, and probably wouldn’t work that well anyway as long as people retain the ability to climb over fences. A secure border fence sounds like a good idea—but it wouldn’t work.

So what to do? We can’t keep illegals out, and we can’t deport them, but we can’t keep them here. So what can we do? We can remove the incentive that keeps them coming here—low-paying, menial jobs from employers who don’t care what immigration status their workers have. There are laws against hiring illegal immigrants, of course, but evidently few bother about them. (Farmers seem to hire particularly large numbers of illegals—there is no minimum wage for agricultural work, and it requires next to no training, making it ideal for illegal immigrants). Obviously, the penalties for hiring illegals are not nearly stiff enough—and must be raised until it stops becoming profitable for farmers and corporations to hire illegals.

Sadly, this probably won’t happen. The Democratic party won’t do anything that risks offending Hispanics—why antagonize a perfectly good minority voting bloc? And Republicans really are in the pocket of big business—they won’t do anything to end the flow of corporate money. And, of course, Republicans are also concerned about antagonizing Hispanics (who tend to be social conservatives), and Democrats get money from corporations too.

Neither party will act to fix the immigration problem. It’s much easier and more politically advantageous to simply ignore it, and hope voters won’t notice. (Which they aren’t). But eventually we will have to fix, and the future price of doing so will be enormous.


At September 10, 2008 at 9:04 PM , Blogger MTHorvat said...

Well, that still doesn't offer any ideas for what to do with the ones who are here. If you talk about some kind of amnesty program, or opportunity to make the illegals legal, whew - the Republicans howl.
The best thing that has happened to this country is the Hispanic presence, in my opinion. They have vitality, the women have babies (they brought the birth rate up here in the US to replacement level), the men are still men. If we could only raise a Crusade and turn them into counter-revolutionary Catholics (instead of consumerist Americans) - what a country we could become!

At September 11, 2008 at 4:18 AM , Blogger Bob said...

Danoel; don't be ashamed to call yourself a Republican, just because of what that Little Shit SoapGod says!
If he want to puke let hm, he kind of make me puke also.
Most Republicans here would agree that the conservatives "messed up" this election to begin with anyway!

At September 11, 2008 at 6:05 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Nobody is talking about immigration, there's more important things, like lipstick, to talk about these days!!

At September 11, 2008 at 7:00 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Most Republicans here would agree that the conservatives "messed up" this election to begin with anyway!"

Bob, first off, you're party man. An uninformed, talking point spewing party man. Plain as that.

How do I know this? Because had your capacity to think objectively not fallen out along with your hair, you'd know that there wasn't anything "conservative" about the past 8 years.

And, if you find not the least bit of shame in that, then you're definitely are a party man.

But I digress...let's get back to talking about Obama's comments comparing Palin to a Pig.

At September 11, 2008 at 7:04 AM , Blogger Bob said...

Don’ ask us to change the subject to immigration Beth. The conservatives "messed up" this election for the republicans theres no question about that. I don’t care if Soapbox want to “Puke” on us or not. The facts are there not to be disputed. So don’t tell me about the “Lipstick” thing.
Disrespecting Sarah Palin for shallow political gain disrespects all working mothers and all republicans as well.
As an embarrassed Republican I can not defend or support any more stupid remarks by Soapbox any more. He is either with us or against us.
I think Governor Palin is a breath of fresh air in the GOP!! I was one that was not overly excited about the McCain but I would support him never the less to help defeat the liberals. , but with the selection of Governor Palin I am now energized to vote for the republican ticket!

At September 11, 2008 at 7:16 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Thanks Bob for proving that Soapie is right about you. Bob, you could be the poster boy for GOP party loyalists.

We conservatives will happily purge you from the party when we get the chance!

At September 11, 2008 at 7:21 AM , Blogger Bob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At September 11, 2008 at 7:24 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"As an embarrassed Republican I can not defend or support any more stupid remarks by Soapbox any more. He is either with us or against us."

Bob, I don't need you to defend or support my remarks. Nor did I ever. I'm in the trenches. And, it goes without saying that your comment "He is either with us or against us." Republicanism or Nationalism Bob?? Take your pic. But, I have to say it bears an uncanny resemblance to this:

"It is thus necessary that the individual should come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole ..."

At September 11, 2008 at 7:46 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"We conservatives will happily purge you from the party when we get the chance!"

On the local level here in Minneapolis, it's already starting to happen Beth. We've shored up Congressional District Chair, Senate District Chair, we've got other like minded guys on the City Committee, City Council, School Board, County Commissioners, etc. And of course, hopefully we gain a few seats in the State House (vis' a vis' Grant, Renee', Yoman, Felix, etc. .

These positions hold a significant ammount of authoritative power (they make appointments which affect many things within the party).

The moderates and those that pledge their loyalty to the party rather than to an ideal are starting to fall by the wayside. But, it doesn't happen naturally. It takes active involvement.

At September 11, 2008 at 8:06 AM , Blogger Bob said...

I don’t agree with much of what you say, as you might expect.. But I do know that your ilk has caused the disruption that exists in the Republican party today.
Your defense of “social conservatism ” is weak indeed, and shows how far away the moment you are.
Much the same applies to your observations of John McCain. Your post about “puking over republicans” is embarrassing to put it mildly. Now let me turn to your critique of the idea of social responsibility. As one of our leading sociologists, you know better than just about anyone the classic distinction between John McCain and Barack Obama.
We are all used to the idea of a society divided by class or culture, but what about the growing division between the interests of keeping our country safe from terrorists and from Marxism as well?

So before you make statements like “The Republican want to make you PUKE”
Maybe you would want to rethink it.

At September 11, 2008 at 8:22 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Bob, the 2006 elections, where the Republicans took it on the chin, is indicative that the problems within the Republican Party do not stem from people like myself who are not willing to vote for just anyone with an R next to their name, but rather the problem lies with the leadership of the party that keeps giving us choices we don't want. Picking McCain as the nominee for the GOP just further showed that the leadership is stubbornly picking non-conservative choices, and the addition of a conservative VP is hardly worth getting excited over when you see that she is being touted as a maverick, not a conservative.

Now you can continue to hold your nose and take whatever the party gives you, and keep losing like 2006, or you can let the Republican party know you don't want to take it anymore. If you don't want to do it at the national level, then fine vote for McCain. But then do as Soapie suggest and start supporting conservative candidates at the local level.

At September 11, 2008 at 8:24 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"...but what about the growing division between the interests of keeping our country safe from terrorists and from Marxism as well?"

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

"It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad."

Both of those quotes are from James Madison.

To say that my "ilk" has caused the disruptions within the Republican party today is to flat out dismiss the culpability of the Republican party itself. It is to dismiss the responsibility that the party has to the very platform which they have adopted. Do tell me Bob, when was the last time you honestly read the Republican party platform? When was the last time you looked at it objectively and, instead of merely shrugging your shoulders and sighing, actually said to yourself "Hey, that's F*d up. They aren't following this provision within the platform??"

Apparently not very often.

I have no idea what you're talking about when you say "my defense of Social Conservatism". Quite honestly, I think the entire "social" aspect is overblown at present. My concerns with respect to conservatism draw almost exclusively upon its correlation to libertarianism. I am not looking to have the party serve as a means to legislate morality or one's "social" structure (be it family values, prayer in schools, marriage between one man and one woman, etc.)

My concerns are with legitimate government, sound money, a balanced budget, respect for Federalism, separation of powers, The Constitution, etc.

With respect to will come to find, if you haven't already, that I do not look at politics from a Democrat vs. Republican point of you.

I look at politics from a Political Class vs. Working Class point of view.

And, in that regard it goes without saying that the division is MASSIVE and growing every single day.

At September 11, 2008 at 8:38 AM , Blogger Bob said...

Beth said:;
"But then do as Soapie suggest and start supporting conservative candidates at the local level."

Thank goodness I have'not sunk that lost yet.
That will never happen. that will happen when it is a cold day in hell!

At September 11, 2008 at 8:44 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

Yeah..I mean seriously Beth...heaven forbid we should support Conservative Candidates at the local level.

At September 11, 2008 at 11:33 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Bob, could you elaborate more on how supporting conservative candidates at the local level is a bad idea? I am really curious, because I for one cannot think of why that could be bad in any way. Thanks!

At September 11, 2008 at 12:22 PM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

Apparently, Bob is not privy to the excessive levels of taxation on both the local and state level.

Either that or he's fabulously rich.

At September 11, 2008 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Z-man said...

I understand all this but on the flipside with our massive abortion rates think how much greyer our population would be, it's already an aging population, what population pro Ben Wattenberg termed the birth dearth. Again something should be done about the immigration crisis but we need to raise our own birth rates too.

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