Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 8, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE IMMIGRATION TWO-STEP....So what happened on the immigration bill? The nickel answer is that Harry Reid and Bill Frist agreed on a compromise measure that had broad bipartisan support in the Senate, but Reid wanted assurances that Frist was willing to control his own caucus and deliver the bill they had shaken hands on. After all, as Ron Brownstein points out, Republicans have made a habit of reneging on agreements like this before:

Repeatedly in recent years, the Senate has forged bipartisan agreements on issues such as energy policy, the Medicare prescription drug plan and renewal of the Patriot Act, only to see much more conservative approaches emerge from conference committees with the House.

Only an idiot gets taken to the cleaners time after time in exactly the same way by exactly the same people, and Reid isn't an idiot. When it became clear that conservative Republicans were intent on undermining the compromise with amendments, Reid asked Frist to demonstrate his good faith by reining in his colleagues. Frist refused, and even veteran Republican vote-counter Orrin Hatch admitted that Reid was justified in viewing this as a surreptitious betrayal: "The Democrats know the amendments would pass," he said in an interview. "They lost in [the Judiciary] committee, but they would pass on the floor."

The next step in this familiar dance would have come in conference with the House. Frist's usual tactic is to deliberately appoint weak negotiators from the Senate who will cave in to hardline House negotiators, producing a bill that looks nothing like the original deal. Time magazine describes what happened behind closed doors:

Reid had tried to get some kind of guarantee from Frist that Republican Senators would support only the Senate version in conference, and over the last 24 hours, Sen. John McCain worked to sign colleagues on for just such an assurance. Frist's chief of staff, Eric Ueland, tried to be reassuring. The Senate will defend the Senate position, he said. But Reid wanted more than that. We have no safety net here, says a top Reid aide, The Republicans have the President, the Senate and the House. In negotiations that lasted all night, Reid's staff insisted on a say in the make-up of the conference committee, but Frist wouldn't budge.

In other words, "trust us." But Frist's actions made it crystal clear that the standard double cross was in the works: agree on a deal, water it down with amendments, gut it in conference, and then eventually present Democrats with a fait accompli: an up-or-down vote on a conference markup that looks nothing like the one Frist and Reid shook hands on. Democrats would then have the choice of either voting for a harsh and punitive bill they never agreed to or else filibustering it and getting tarred as obstructionists by gleeful Republicans aided and abetted by credulous editorial boards like this one.

But despite what the Washington Post thinks, what was at stake here wasn't the compromise bill that Reid and Frist agreed to a bill that might very well have been a decent step forward. That was just flash for the rubes, and Frist knew it perfectly well. Pro-immigration groups who are complaining about Reid's hardball would be wise to figure this out too.

When someone has suckered you enough times, you demand guarantees before you'll make another deal with him. If all you get is sweet talk, you know the fix is in and you walk away. Reid walked away, and it was the right thing to do.

Kevin Drum 2:02 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (84)

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Comments

Uno! Soy uno!

Posted by: James P. Ricker (de Gonzalez) on April 8, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Agreed.

I got that sense from the NYT pieces on the subject.

Also, your WM Amy Sullivan piece on the Democrats' new opposition spine we got auto-emailed was pretty damned encouraging -- and I'm a hard one to feel encouraged about the Congressional Dems ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

The nickel answer is that Harry Reid and Bill Frist agreed on a compromise measure that had broad bipartisan support in the Senate, but Reid wanted assurances that Frist was willing to control his own caucus and deliver the bill they had shaken hands on

LIAR. The real reason is because of the partisan politics of liberal democrats.

Link

"Nevertheless, Arlen Specter, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, ascribed the standoff on the compromise bill to simple politics."

"''It's not gone forward because there's a political advantage for Democrats not to have an immigration bill," said Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican."

Why can't Democrats think about the good of the country first instead of partisan politics first?

Posted by: Al on April 8, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Under this 'administration' House-Senate conferences usually go in favor of the more conservative body; in this case, the House would have prevailed and those 11 million illegals would have been rounded up by Halliburton and forced to help rebuild Iraq.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 8, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Al:

And of course as we all know, Congressional Republicans *never* *ever* play partisan politics over the broad national interest.

Thanks for pointing out this crucial factor.

I feel so relieved I think I'm gonna go change my voter registration now :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Why can't Democrats think about the good of the country first instead of partisan politics first

Al, you're the best parody troll I've ever seen. Can we be friends? I don't have too many.

Posted by: Jay on April 8, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

The inside-the-beltway press has no freakin' clue about how things are done or how things operate.

Journalisitic expertise? Please.

Al, you are a drone. We have a lot of MSM idiots around, and they wonder why those of us who can recognize what is going on give them so little respect. It's because they don't recognize what is going on.

Good post, Kevin.

Posted by: abjectfunk on April 8, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Al:

If it's a choice between getting hosed on an up-and-down floor vote for a bill that has nothing to do with the one Frist and Reid shook hands over -- and having no Democratic input *at all* in the makeup of the conference committee -- then no bill is indeed better than being hosed on the floor of the House.

Been there, done that, have the stinky T-shirt.

Bipartisanship used to be date rape.

Now bipartisanship means a can of pepper spray in the face.

The GOP leadership can go fuck a lacrosse player's couch.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, why the hell should the House of Representatives have anything to say about major legislation? Upstarts.

The Senate "amnesty" version completely blew off borders and enforcement. The House version was too draconian, in part because the Democrats were playing politics with the legislation, refusing to make it less draconian, something I think I recently heard referred to approvingly as "canny political planning."

If ever something needed a conference process, it was this.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Thankfully the miserable effort was stalled. This is important enough that the mid-term elections should be decided by this issue. Let the Democrat and the Republican candidates develop a position that they think is reflective of their constituents and run on that. This way the cheap labor Republicans, the illegal immigrant's Rights Democrats, the national sovereignty Republicans, the Hispanic catering Democrats can all run on their convictions. Each party has a split on this issue so it doesn't make sense to develop a party line - let there be a free vote, a vote that reflects each politician's district.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 8, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

on the floor of the House = on the floor of the Senate

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan:

There's a certain logic to that -- but it would be better to develop a true compromise bill and freakin' *pass* it instead of footballing the issue *yet again* ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

ROFLMAO@Jay

^5 bro

Posted by: stumpy on April 8, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

You're wrong, bro. The Senate version also had an enforcement/borders component, and "amnesty" is a demagogue-word that's inappropriate to the process of illegals paying back taxes, a fine and demonstrating a competency in English before attaining citizenship.

The *original* compromise in conference would have allowed *all* illegals to go through the 11-year process to become citizens. The version that Reid held back would have only allowed that for illegals here for over 5 years -- so there would *still* be massive deportations of more recent illegals.

Both versions did indeed have beefed up enforcement/border patrol provisions.

It's the House version that has no process to become citizens for illegals at all -- a pure right-wing Tancredo product steamrolled through by the corrupted pariamentary proceedures engineered by DeLay & Co ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

A compromise bill is tainted from the outset because of history of bad faith. In the last immigration reform the amnesty provisions where to be a one-shot deal and enforcement was gutted when pressure was put of representatives by employers badgering for cheap labor, and pressure was exerted on employers when the ACLU and LaRaza were threatening to sue employers for checking documents too thoroughly because they contended that amounted to racial profiling.

This compromise bill would have locked in amnesty and kind of promised enforcement. My position, and I'm certainly not alone in holding it, is that the enforcement provisions would wither to nothing very quickly.

Politics is compromise, so if the amnesty folks want my support then I absolutely need to see that the border is walled off and secure. Once I'm confident that we can control our border then I'm in a more generous mood to look at the issue of what to do with all of the illegals who invaded us. The upshot here is that if there is to be a compromise both sides need to get something from it - an amnesty followed by no action on enforcement is no compromise.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 8, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

From a political standpoint, it's better for the GOP that Reid walked away.

When the bill comes back up, there will be tougher sanctions for illegals and there will be more provisions to build the fence. I think Frist realized the GOP base didn't like the bill.

Reid actuall did Frist a favor by walking away.

Posted by: MountainDan on April 8, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

"The evidence that we are filing supports our claim that AT&T is diverting Internet traffic into the hands of the NSA wholesale, in violation of federal wiretapping laws and the Fourth Amendment," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications is a threat to the Constitution itself. We are asking the Court to put a stop to it now."

http://www.eff.org/news/archives...ves/ 2006_04.php

Posted by: Paul Revere on April 8, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan:

Fair points. Compromise has to be genuine in order to work; both sides have to get something from it.

Which is, of course, precisely the reason that Reid shot down the version that Republicans were going to add unvoted-on amendments to and then call for an up-or-down floor vote.

The lion's share of blame for the bad faith in adopting compromise has to go to the GOP leadership, based on bitter prior experience.

This is why I said that your initial post had a certain degree of logic to it -- IOW, make it a free vote based on constituent interests, not party-line positions.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz wrote: "If ever something needed a conference process, it was this."

And heaven knows, Congressional Republicans have never, ever used a conference process for political purposes, have never completely rewritten a bill in conference, have never selected conference participants intent on destroying the original compromise, and would never, ever do any of these things in an election year. Give me a flipping break....

Posted by: PaulB on April 8, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

From a political standpoint, it's better for the GOP that Reid walked away.

I absolutely agree. Let the sore fester for a little longer and let the illegals protest and demand that we change our laws to suit their interests, and the pressure for real reform and a wall will only increase. The Democrats are already behind the 8-ball in terms of public support, so a more pissed off electorate can only work to the benefit of border security Republicans.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 8, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan & MountainDan:

No, that's as much wishful thinking as it is a shrewd political calculation.

The flipside is a Prop 187-like realignment of Hispanics (who, whether citizens or not, are hotly opposed to the House bill) to the Democratic Party that could have major long-term consequences as it did in California.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'll keep posting this until our favorite bloggers mention it:

"The evidence that we are filing supports our claim that AT&T is diverting Internet traffic into the hands of the NSA wholesale, in violation of federal wiretapping laws and the Fourth Amendment," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications is a threat to the Constitution itself. We are asking the Court to put a stop to it now."

http://www.eff.org/news/archives...ves/ 2006_04.php

Posted by: Paul Revere on April 8, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Paul Revere:

If you keep posting it in the wrong thread, you'll only assure that we'll ignore it the way we do Chinese character spam :)

I certainly didn't read it. This is an immigration thread.

I'd read it if it were a national security thread, though.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I absolutely agree. Let the sore fester for a little longer and let the illegals protest and demand that we change our laws to suit their interests, and the pressure for real reform and a wall will only increase. The Democrats are already behind the 8-ball in terms of public support, so a more pissed off electorate can only work to the benefit of border security Republicans.

That's a really solid long-term strategy. When the largest demographic group that's growing quickly, Hispanics, teach their kids how they were fucked over by a GOP held captive by its nativist bloc, Republicans will have folks like you to thank. After all, the genius of Pete Wilson's singlehanded alienation of Spanish speakers was eons ago -- who can remember that far back? Keep up the good work, ace!

Posted by: sglover on April 8, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Only an idiot gets taken to the cleaners time after time in exactly the same way by exactly the same people, and Reid isn't an idiot.

As a wise man said: "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, it's probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. It fool me. We can't get fooled again."

Posted by: Mike on April 8, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

sglover:

Great minds 'n' all :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Just yesterday, Kevin Drum was praising Harry Reid for his 'cynical maneuvering' and 'keeping Frist off balance.'

Go look at his post from 4/7, called "DEMS AT WORK."

This is Drum's value system,, folks. If Reid acts deviously it is great. If Frist acts deviously it is awful.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 8, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Frequency Kenneth:

First, I love how your handle comes from a deranged comment by a deranged individual charged with assault. Kind of a synedoche for all the freeper drones who post here :)

Secondly, when in Rome, you know ...

Could anybody even *imagine* Republican strategists not advocating baldly Machiavellian tactics if they weren't in the majority? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

The various hoops that illegals would have to jump through to get citizenship look good on paper, but applying them to real world situations isn't that easy. How do you reliably "document" the status of illegals, who by definition, are undocumented? Who's going to deport the short-timers? And how?

And how about the countless others still waiting legally to get into this country who wouldn't mind getting quickie citizenship by paying a couple of thousand dollars and demonstrating a knowledge of English?

The enforcement procedures from previous "amnesty" legislation are a joke. How did these work out? Did the flow of illegals go down? Did enforcement improve?

If there was any serious border enforcement in this bill, I must have missed it. The legislation on that appears to be documented here. I'm not overly impressed.

Barriers first, then amnesty, or whatever euphemism for forgiving illegal entry into the country makes you happy. Neither the House or the Senate is on the right track yet.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum writes:

bill that might very well have been a decent step forward

The bill would be perceived around the world as yet another amnesty, and millions upon millions more illegal aliens would come here to take advantage of the next amnesty.

It would also give the government of Mexico even more political power inside the U.S.

And, what if all those millions upon millions of foreign citizens aren't happy with the conditions of the amnesty? Won't they just march in the streets demanding rights to which they aren't entitled?

What happens if we refuse to give them what they want?

What happens if they demand things that even the most corrupt, traitorous Democrat doesn't want to give them?

Is there any way to say "no" to millions upon millions of people?

These amnesty schemes are a recipe for disaster.

Illegal immigration news

Posted by: TLB on April 8, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Reid has finally come to grips with the reality that the dem's are permanently the minority party and has now started working from that assumption. Unfortunately there are many of the long term d's who still are working from the background of having control of the senate.
Of course immigration is a key issue in Reids state, but by being a part of not bringing in any change to the immigration his state will continue to be flooded with the problem. But the main thing is that Reid is representing the washington establishment rather than his district. He is the right leader to keep the d's in the minority.

Posted by: daveyo on April 8, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

So, Kevin: What happens when Frist brings the compromise up as a clean bill in June?

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 8, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

When the largest demographic group that's growing quickly, Hispanics, teach their kids how they were fucked over by a GOP

On the contrary. Take a look at how our Hispanic citizens feel about illegal immigration. They usually follow the same pattern as new citizens from other regions of the world - they are very set in their opinions that the rules should be followed. Further, it is our Hispanic community that is most affected economically by the influx of cheap labor from across the border, the rising crime that results hits them the hardest because they're usually living in close proximity to the illegals, etc - they too also suffer from the profiling that is necessary to distinguish illegals from citizens.

In short, it's against their interests to have an open door border policy.

After all, the genius of Pete Wilson's singlehanded alienation of Spanish speakers was eons ago

Really? Take a look at this analysis:

Yet, the subsequent record shows less evidence of that than is generally assumed. In 1996, Wilson backed Prop. 209 [against racial quotas], which passed by nine points. In 1998, he endorsed Prop. 227 [against bilingual education], which passed by 22 points. He left office in 1998 (due to term limits), with his approval rating at its highest level ever -- 55 percent to 37 percent among registered voters in the Sept. 1998 L.A. Times Poll. . . .

In contrast, 1998 Republican candidate Dan Lungren came out against the anti-bilingual education Prop. 227. He lost to Davis by 20 points. Similarly, in the 2000 presidential election, George W. Bush -- who supports amnesty for illegal Mexican immigrants, bilingual education, and what he calls "affirmative access" -- outspent Al Gore $20 million to nothing in California, and still lost by 11 points.

Also, don't neglect the demographic changes taking place in California, including white flight, and how they influence voting patterns:

"Another cause of the rise of the California Democrats is selective out-migration of the more rock-ribbed Republicans. The folks who have been leaving California's suburbs for other states have the white, middle-class demographic profiles of Republican voters. California's middle class families are being squeezed out by real estate prices. And Republicans are heading for whiter states where they won't have to pay taxes for so many social programs for the poor."

Finally, while white high school graduates have been leaving, California's booming New Economy is attracting an influx of well-educated whites from the other 49 states. Traditionally, Frey notes, "Californians of high socio-economic status have been more likely to be classic liberals than similarly well-off residents of other states." Frey expects that newcomers who move to California to make their fortunes in Hollywood or Silicon Valley will also tend to vote Democratic more often than their wealth would suggest.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 8, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Hillbilly Dan: "Reid actuall did Frist a favor by walking away."

Yes. His career was suffering so badly, Harry finally put it out of its misery.

Posted by: HeavyJ on April 8, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

> The various hoops that illegals would have to jump through to get
> citizenship look good on paper, but applying them to real world
> situations isn't that easy. How do you reliably "document" the
> status of illegals, who by definition, are undocumented?

Well, Americanist (who, despite the asshole way he comports himself
here is fairly knowledgable on immigration issues and seems to have
a middle-ground position) believes that checking docs can be a quick,
painless process if it's keyed in to the SS database. I don't
have enough technical knowledge to confirm or disconfirm that.
In any case, he feels that the burden of proof should be placed
on employers, and I find a certain degree of good sense in that.

> Who's going to deport the short-timers? And how?

I don't agree with deporting short-timers; I supported the original
bill out of committee. Forget the morality of it; I just don't
think it's practically possible to deport several million illegals.

> And how about the countless others still waiting legally to get into
> this country who wouldn't mind getting quickie citizenship by paying a
> couple of thousand dollars and demonstrating a knowledge of English?

Well, your rhetoric gives away your moral agenda. It's the ol'
Reaganoid "welfare cheat" straw man. The kinds of illegals who've
caused all the concern about straining social services don't *have*
a couple grand (more than that -- also years' worth of back taxes)
to spare and a command of English just yet. That's the point.

> The enforcement procedures from previous "amnesty" legislation
> are a joke. How did these work out? Did the flow of illegals
> go down? Did enforcement improve?

I'm not disagreeing that we need better enforcement and border
control, which should be a part of any package. But if doc checking
is a matter of improved computer technology, that's easy to believe
considering the last time we tried to tackle this was in '86.

> If there was any serious border enforcement in this bill,
> I must have missed it. The legislation on that appears to
> be documented here. I'm not overly impressed.

Well, I'm not impressed by the idea of building an Israel-like wall
across the Rio Grande. We still have two huge coastlines, not to
mention an extremely porous Canadian border. But once again, in
the name of homeland security I see no issue with beefing up border
enforcemement. Just don't expect we'll ever attain Fortress America.

> Barriers first, then amnesty, or whatever euphemism for
> forgiving illegal entry into the country makes you happy.
> Neither the House or the Senate is on the right track yet.

The House, unfortunately, is on precisely the right track for
those who believe that illegal immigration is a moral issue and
illegals (and the people who employ them) are criminales -- rather
than people doing what any economic model would say comes naturally.

The issue creates a rather grating dissonance
with libertarian ideology, doesn't it ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

I just love the breathlessness of these neo-trolls who post here. One can almost smell the confusion and frutration that compels them to tap out such hyberbolic attacks.

Posted by: Keith G on April 8, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan:

I don't doubt at all that Hispanic citizens have a vested interest -- along with everybldy else -- in changing our "open border" policy.

However -- all those people marching in the streets of LA were hardly all illegals. It's also beyond dispute that the Hispanic community as a whole is furious beyond belief at the House bill -- which criminalizes anyone who deigns to lend any kind of hand to an illegal immigrant, even in the name of public health and safety.

If some kind of bill eventually passes which will make it a matter of criminal and not merely civil law, not merely illegals but those who help them (like their citizen family members) -- then you can indeed look forward to a vast Hispanic political realignment that won't redound to the benefit of the GOP.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Check out Drudge - looks like Harry Reid is going to be in the cross-hairs over the next few months.

The guy looks sickly. When he walks you get the idea a sudden gust of wind would knock him over. It will be interesting to see how Reid holds up with all the pressure on him.

Posted by: BigRiver on April 8, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

BigRiver:

Ahhh ... nothing spells political panic like attacks against a person's appearance :)

Harry Reid might be slightly built -- but he was a boxer in college :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I think immigration is a great issue to wreck the GOP and Reid is a genius for moving slowly to resolve it. Let the issue kick around a few more months so Tancredo and the bigots get more airtime.

The more airtime, the more the GOP twists in the wind on an issue that does nothing to help the party reach beyond its most hardcore supporters.

Come fall, if we're lucky, immigration will set into motion the conditions needed for Texas and Florida to be in play in '08. No more will those states be automatically red. Make the GOP have to campaign there.

Pete Wilson turned California blue -- Tancredo may well do the same for Texas and Florida.

Posted by: Auto on April 8, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The pound is full of friends that can be trained to shake hands , those days are long time gone ; even when it was honor one would have collected some puncture or assorted wounds from black powder guns if a thuglican
broke a hand shake promise.
JAY if you want a real friend try the pound.

Posted by: HERE SHAKE THIS on April 8, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

So TangoMan tells me on the one hand that Pete Wilson is an unsung genius, whose popularity rose. And then on the other he says that substantial portions of Pete Wilson's constituency have fled the state, exacerbating the exact same sort of demographic shifts that I mentioned -- yet somehow this will work to the benefit of the GOP's nativist bloc. This he proves by citing statistics from eight years ago.

I will concede that the kinds of things TangoMan's talking about will probably give the GOP a solid lock on Wyoming. And who knows? Maybe by the year 2200 that state will have as many residents as an East Coast county does now.

TangoMan further tells me that Hispanics are all for tougher immigration laws. I guess I'm supposed to take that on faith. But it seems a little counter-intuitive to me. It's a truism nowadays that Hispanics are Western Union's best friend. They send a lot of money back to the old village, they keep in touch, and it seems to me that they're more likely to assist relatives from back home who emigrate here, than not.

Posted by: sglover on April 8, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Auto,

That's why immigration should be the central issue of the mid-term elections. You believe that the Democrats have a winner of an issue, and I and Kaus believe that the Republicans have a winner of an issue. Let the chips fall where they may. The public opinion polls on immigration are against the Democrat position.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 8, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan:

The default populist/nativist Republican position (the Tancredo House bill) is even more unworkable than the default Democratic position (no bill at all).

That's where you and the snickering imbecile Mickey Kaus (who likes to spend his valuable snark time otherwise dissing Brokeback Mountain and TimesSelect) have got it wrong ...

Pass anything like the House bill and it spells disaster for the GOP -- end of flippin' story.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan wrote: "The public opinion polls on immigration are against the Democrat[ic] position."

Fox News poll, April 4-5,2006:

Which party do you think would do a better job handling the issue of immigration: Democrats or Republicans?
Democrats: 34%
Republicans: 24%

Time magazine poll, March 29-30, 2006:

Two different approaches have been suggested to deal with illegal immigrants. Please tell me which comes closest to your views. (1) Make illegal immigration a crime and not allow anyone who entered the country illegally to work or stay in the United States under any circumstances. OR, (2) Allow illegal immigrants to get temporary work visas so the government can track them and allow them to earn permanent residence after six years if they learn English, pay a fine, pay any back taxes, and have no criminal record.
Make illegal immigration a crime (House Republican position): 25%
Allow work visas, earn permanent residence (Senate Democratic position): 72%
[Do you favor] allowing illegal immigrants now in this country to earn U.S. citizenship if they learn to speak English, have a job and pay taxes?
Favor: 78%
Oppose: 21%

For the record, the polls are over the map on this, with contradictory answers often seen in the same poll, depending on how the questions are worded, when they are asked, how they are asked, and with what degree of specificity. It's quite easy, for example, to find poll responses that contradict the above. The one thing that is a near certainty, though, is that the current House bill is extremely unpopular. If that's what the Republican Party is prepared to run on, personally, all I have to say is, "Bring it on."

Posted by: PaulB on April 8, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Pass anything like the House bill and it spells disaster for the GOP -- end of flippin' story.

There's no way such a bill will survive my veto pen, in the extremely unlikely event it ever got through the Senate.

Posted by: President Rove on April 8, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

sglover,

TangoMan further tells me that Hispanics are all for tougher immigration laws. I guess I'm supposed to take that on faith. But it seems a little counter-intuitive to me.

You must be confusing me with a troll. Everything I write is fully supportable. You doubt what I wrote? Well, here's a simply remedy - check the results from these polls:

Concern about the issue of illegal immigration

Extremely Concerned - Somewhat Concerned - Not Concerned - No Opinion

Whites - - - 42% - - - 34% - - - -23%- - - -1%
Hispanics - - 49% - - - 25% - - - 26% - - - 0%

Of course, no one really cares what Black Americans think about this issue, but fortunately Zogby polled them and found that they are 65% against legal immigration.

Also, see the Pew Center on Hispanic Studies:

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, which recently conducted a survey on attitudes about Hispanic immigrants and immigration, those Latinos who were born in the United States are more likely to view illegal immigration unfavorably. Those who are foreign-born, however, cite the financial and cultural contributions of all immigrants, even those who did not enter the US legally.

American-born Latinos tend to believe that illegals should not have access to drivers licenses, while foreign-borns feel that every qualified driver should have a license, regardless of immigration status.

Both Pew and Time magazine report that by and large, both groups believe immigration levels should either stay the same or be decreased. But Latinos within the US were not the only ones surveyed. And questions answered by Mexican citizens revealed that 46 percent would migrate to the US if given the chance. Some 40 percent say they would be inclined to do so with or without authorizations. And those sentiments are not reserved for the poor and uneducated. The desire to move to the good old US of A is just as powerful among the educated middle class.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 8, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Tango,

With the country close to 50-50 red-blue, the GOP needs every vote. In '04, Bush did spectacularly well among Hispanics. (The figure I remember is that he got 40% of their vote -- remember all that talk that they were a natural GOP constituency?)

If non-Cuban Hispanics now become reliably Democratic, where does the GOP make up the difference?

Making things even tougher, the issue pits the party's nativists against big business -- bigots versus big dollar donors.

Yeah, labor's got some anti-immigrant concerns. So the Democrats need to be careful.

But given what we know today, the Democrats need only to find ways to take advantage of the issue while the Republicans have to hope the issue doesn't tear the party apart.

Who's cards would you rather play?

Posted by: Auto on April 8, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Now, now, Keith There's enough throughput and excitement here to qualify for the real thing ( I'm deliberately misunderstanding the way "neo" is used as a modifier ).

Posted by: opit on April 8, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

You can't blame Reid, given Bush and the Republicans low popularity, he's demanding Frist at least kiss him.

Posted by: darby1936 on April 8, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB,

For the record, the polls are over the map on this, with contradictory answers often seen in the same poll, depending on how the questions are worded, when they are asked, how they are asked, and with what degree of specificity. It's quite easy, for example, to find poll responses that contradict the above.

I certainly agree. The polls I recall asked very specific questions and what I think happened is that specific information tended to slip the responses, so when you tie economics into the question, or the costs and pressures of educating the kids of illegals, then you see a far different result from the vague appeals to American mythology of immigration. See the Zogby poll I linked above:

Overall, nearly three-quarters of respondents oppose a law giving illegal immigrants reduced tuition to state colleges and universities.
Posted by: TangoMan on April 8, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan:

Well, you kind of conveniently missed the point with that fussilade of statistics ....

It's not a question of whether there's *concern*. Of couse there's concern. In fact, it would be quite surprising if Hispanics had *less* concern over illegal immigration than otherwise native-born "white" Americans, for a whole host of painfully obvious reasons.

The issue is how Hispanics would feel if illegal immigration was *criminalized*.

Get some Pew stats on how many Hispanics support the Tancredo bill, and perhaps we'll have something to talk about here ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Auto,

Who's cards would you rather play?

If the Republicans ran on a "control the borders" platform then I'd switch my vote to them in a heartbeat dispite my Democratic voting history.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 8, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan:

How ... anecdotal of you :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

"immigration should be the central issue of the mid-term elections"

I can understand why you Republicans would think that, given the botch you have made of every other issue affecting the country. Don't want to talk about Iraq or the economy, do you?

Posted by: rea on April 8, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding the mythical Hispanic vote: Arizona's Propostion 200 - which was very similar to CA's Prop 187 - got around 46% support from Hispanics.

rmck1 writes: However -- all those people marching in the streets of LA were hardly all illegals. It's also beyond dispute that the Hispanic community as a whole is furious beyond belief at the House bill -- which criminalizes anyone who deigns to lend any kind of hand to an illegal immigrant, even in the name of public health and safety.

Many of them were no doubt citizens of other countries. And, all of them were supporting giving citizens of other countries rights to which they aren't entitled. While no doubt many Hispanic citizens think they're opposed to HR4437, in actual fact what they're opposed to are the lies that have been told about the bill, including the one from mck1 above. Said aid has to be given knowingly or recklessly. And, those provisions were designed to make it easier to prosecute coyotes. Anyone who says there would be raids at soup kitchens is simply lying to you.

-- Illegal immigration news

Posted by: TLB on April 8, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

TLB:

How about if the soup kitchen was knowingly feeding illegals?

Speaking of, you know, deconstructing propaganda :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

TLB:

And if 46% of them voted for it, that means the *majority* of Hispanic voters opposed that Arizona proposition ...

Speaking of, you know, interpreting statistics correctly :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

TLB:

How about if a Hispanic family was knowingly sheltering their illegal cousin, his wife, and their two kids?

You really expect government policy is going to override family ties?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 8, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

1. Please list all the soup kitchens that have been prosecuted under our highly-similar current laws for giving aid to illegal aliens:

2. Please list all the banks that have been prosecuted for giving home loans to known illegal aliens:

The first will almost never happen even if HR4437 passes; the second will almost never happen as long as most of our politicians are corrupt and have enablers that apologize for them.

The AZ exit poll shows that the claim that all "Hispanics" support illegal immigration is completely false. A poll two months before 187 showed a solid majority of Hispanics (in that case, almost all of whom are Mexican-American) supporting it. And, if we're going to ask what one race thinks about immigration, shouldn't we also ask what other races think about it? If Hispanics are allowed to bring in as many other members of their race or ethnic group as they want, why shouldn't we extend that same right to every other racial or ethnic group? Isn't it racist to refuse that?

As for the family issue, it's extremely unwise public policy to allow hundreds of thousands or millions of people to think that they can engage in ad hoc family reunification.

It also puts the lie to the usual refrain that today's immigrants are like yesterday's. Almost all of the immigrants of yesteryear made a clean break, necessitated by all those miles of ocean.

Posted by: TLB on April 8, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

I read the WaPo editorial this morning, and (after nearly upchucking) thought: they're still living in the past - they really have no idea how the game has been played since the GOP took control of the Senate in the 2002 midterms.

This is the sort of thing a major newspaper whose primary beat is the U.S. government really ought to know, and know well. To be this clueless, Fred Hiatt really has to be a total fuckup. To say he is not doing his job is putting it mildly; he clearly has been phoning it in for years.

Posted by: RT on April 8, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

U.S. border security: "Creating chaos and instability"

Not that immigration reform will do much of anything to secure America's borders anyway. Laborers are not our problem on the border. The "chaos and instability" created by the $ 322 billion U.S. annual retail drug market and that inspires entire support industries into seeking ways to circumvent American border security, that is the problem.

"The international traffic in illicit drugs contributes to terrorist risk through at least five mechanisms: supplying cash, creating chaos and instability....."

"creating chaos and instability"

While we obsess over people seeking work we ignore the policy that is "creating chaos and instability" according to the 2004 Congressional Research Service report to congress, 'Illicit Drugs and the Terrorist Threat: Causal Links and Implications for Domestic Drug Control Policy'.

Creating chaos and instability going forward, the 2006 US Drug Threat Assessment expects that: "Despite significant decreases in heroin production in most source countries other than Afghanistan, production in South America and Mexicothe main source countries for the United Statesremains sufficient to meet most U.S. demand for the drug in the near term. Further sustained declines in South American white heroin production, however, may gradually stretch domestic heroin supplies in eastern markets; any heroin deficit is not likely to be filled by Mexican heroin and will most likely result in an increase in Southwest Asian white heroin trafficking in the United States."

Now, talking about "creating chaos and instability", the DEA continues; "Instead, shortages in South American heroin availability would most likely result in an increase in Southwest Asian (Afghanistan) heroin distribution in U.S. drug markets;
however, such distribution would very likely be controlled by Colombian and Dominican criminal groups who would purchase Southwest Asian heroin from sources in Asia or Europe."

The DEA itself expects that their interdiction SUCCESS in central and south America will bring the FARC and alQaida into partnership in the future. They are now planning for this new "chaos and instability" that they admit they are creating.

Posted by: Pat on April 8, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

Some good comments. Thanks!

The issue creates a rather grating dissonance
with libertarian ideology, doesn't it ...

No kidding, but I'm realistic about the fact that you can't drop libertarian solutions onto a semi-socialist society cold and not blow things up. Libertarianism is a guideline, and a direction you try to move towards.

Close the borders, then deal with the legal immigrants and those illegals that are already here.

Nothing you do, including a giant wall, would make the borders impervious, but every bit helps.

West Germany had similar leveling problems after reunification, and the absorption of their poverty-stricken neighbor.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

The House version was too draconian, in part because the Democrats were playing politics with the legislation, refusing to make it less draconian, something I think I recently heard referred to approvingly as "canny political planning."

Yeah, that overwhelming Democratic majority in the House really makes it tough for those civic minded Repugs to get anything positive accomplished, don't it?

Posted by: flory on April 8, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

I read the WaPo editorial this morning, and (after nearly upchucking) thought: they're still living in the past - they really have no idea how the game has been played since the GOP took control of the Senate in the 2002 midterms.

Very true. But if you live in the DC area, and read it every day, that editorial didn't really stand out from the norm. The WaPo op-ed page has really been leading the way in that newspaper's rapid slide downhill....

Posted by: sglover on April 8, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan wrote: "Overall, nearly three-quarters of respondents oppose a law giving illegal immigrants reduced tuition to state colleges and universities."

Oh, good grief. Is that really the best you can do? Take a look again at the questions asked in the Time magazine poll. Note how they actually mirror the real-world discussion taking place in the Congress? Note how unpopular the House Republican position is? And against that, this is the best you can do? Sheesh...I could argue your position better than you can.

Posted by: PaulB on April 8, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe the Senate will come back to the table and decide that no new immigration bill is necessary after all, and that the problem can be fixed by enforcing the existing immigration laws.

Let's see...the illegals came here for jobs, right?

Well, if their employers actually compared the illegals' SS#'s & names with those contained in the Soc. Sec. Admin.'s database, they would instantaneously learn that Jose was illegal. It takes one phone call. Kind of like magic! They could then promptly dismiss Juan of his duty's, other employers would do likewise, and Juan would have no job prospects in the U.S. Where would Juan go? Everybody has home. Hola Mejico!

There, that's a cheap fix for you -
No new laws (libertarians are happy),
The law is enforced (Repugs are happy),
Lower-class America gets a raise (Dems are happy),
No more cheap illegal laborers to "exploit" (greedy corps. are sad)

Enforcing our laws, should never mean being called a D-R-A-C-O-N-I-A-N.

Posted by: jazzy on April 9, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Take a look again at the questions asked in the Time magazine poll. Note how they actually mirror the real-world discussion taking place in the Congress?

The Time Mag poll offers a false choice, and it's heavily biased towards the choice they were obviously seeking. If they had offered a third choice, it would probably have won with a large percentage: simply begin enforcing the law and slowly back away from this extremely dangerous situation.

Note how unpopular the House Republican position is?

In your circles, it might be unpopular, but I don't know about everyone else. For instance, a Rasmussen poll indicates that most Americans would go even further than the House bill.

And, of course, there's the matter that much of the opposition to the House bill is based on lies told by supporters of illegal immigration, such as Cardinal Mahoney. And, some of that opposition is based on biased news reports, such as this one from Tyche Hendricks.

And, one manifestation of the opposition to the House bill was agitated by a former Mexican consul general. ANSWER is involved in the April 10 protests.

BTW, Antonio Villaraigosa, rising star of the Democratic Party, will be leading the L.A. version of the April 10 marcha. Just in case you independent voters want to know exactly which side of the line that party is on.

Posted by: TLB on April 9, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, Antonio Villaraigosa, rising star of the Democratic Party, will be leading the L.A. version of the April 10 marcha. Just in case you independent voters want to know exactly which side of the line that party is on.
Posted by: TLB

as long as it is squarely on the opposite side of the neonazis and minutemen who vote repub.

Posted by: Nads on April 9, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

We certainly don't need another immigration enhancement bill, which is what the corrupt parties are aiming for. Another amnesty will turn the flood of illegals from 13,000 today into a tsunami.

Posted by: Myron on April 9, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

TLB wrote: "The Time Mag poll offers a false choice"

No, they offered precisely the choice that is currently being debated in the House and Senate.

"If they had offered a third choice, it would probably have won with a large percentage: simply begin enforcing the law and slowly back away from this extremely dangerous situation."

And what "extremely dangerous" situation is that? And what does "slowly back away from" mean, in this context? Sheesh...you can interpret that "choice" to mean any damn thing you want, not to mention the inaccurate and hugely biased phrase, "extremely dangerous situation." Talk about looking for a particular outcome....

"In your circles, it might be unpopular,"

In the Time magazine poll, it was unpopular, TLB. Take it up with them if you have a problem with it.

"And, of course, there's the matter that much of the opposition to the House bill is based on lies told by supporters of illegal immigration, such as Cardinal Mahoney."

And those lies would be? And the people telling those lies, other than Mahoney, of course, would be?

"And, some of that opposition is based on biased news reports, such as this one from Tyche Hendricks."

Forgive me if I'm unimpressed by your blanket assertions about both the bias and about the relative probability of being charged for assisting an illegal alien. The former is a matter of perception and the latter is nothing but speculation. Not to mention that the latter speculation is belied by all of this strong support you claim these measures have.

"And, one manifestation of the opposition to the House bill was agitated by a former Mexican consul general. ANSWER is involved in the April 10 protests."

So? Did you have a point to make? Sheesh...this was just dumb.

"BTW, Antonio Villaraigosa, rising star of the Democratic Party, will be leading the L.A. version of the April 10 marcha. Just in case you independent voters want to know exactly which side of the line that party is on."

Ah, more of this famous "analysis" of yours, which basically consists of making shit up. Thanks for letting us know not to take you seriously.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Bob--

It's no use. TLB apparently lives in a fantasy world where legal immigrants and illegals are like two different tribes that have no contact with each other. The legal tribe are allegedly angry at the illegal tribe for breaking our sancrosanct immigration laws. I mean, gosh, didn't you see that one Mexican guy on Fox News who bitched about those illegals?

Never mind that, uh, most legal immigrants have close relatives and friends that are illegal. No, clearly the Republicans have a real "wedge" issue here! That freakin' wedge is so sharp it can cut through family ties! Jeez, you know, it may even be able to cut an umbilical cord! US citizen newborns could come out of their illegal mothers' wombs and denounce their parents as "law-breakers". Now that would be a good lead for O'Reilly!

But hey, I think theAmericanist even had a better arguement yesterday. What if a US government employee shot the President of Mexico?! What if, indeed. Wouldn't that call into question the "dual loyalties" of immigrants? I mean, specifically that "illegal" tribe of immigrants. Legal Mexican immigrants would of course have no problem with a US government employee killing the President of Mexico. Because they waited in line for a US visa, they entered the tribe of people who wouldn't care about a political assasination in their homeland. Yeah, just like none of those 4th-generation Boston Irish really cared all that much about that stuff that was going on in Belfast. No "dual-loyalties" there, nosirree.

Posted by: kokblok on April 9, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB: Since this thread is about to disappear off the front page, this will be my final comment here.

Regarding the extremely dangerous situation I refered to, millions of Americans have noted that hundreds of thousands of foreign citizens are marching in our streets and demanding that we capitulate to their demands.

Obvious to those millions of Americans, this is an extremely dangerous situation, and it's important to back away slowly from it lest those foreign citizens begin rioting and burning our cities.

Those who support illegal immigration - including almost all Democratic leaders and bloggers such as our host - stand a very real risk of being considered Quislings by those millions of Americans.

Posted by: TLB on April 9, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

TLB wrote: "PaulB: Since this thread is about to disappear off the front page, this will be my final comment here."

Oh, I doubt that. You're positively obsessed with the immigration issue, as we've seen time and time again.

"Regarding the extremely dangerous situation I refered to, millions of Americans have noted that hundreds of thousands of foreign citizens are marching in our streets and demanding that we capitulate to their demands."

ROFL.... This was the best you could do? People, many if not most of them U.S. citizens, taking advantage of their freedom to assemble and speak freely? And you regard this as "extremely dangerous?" Man, you need help.

"Obvious to those millions of Americans, this is an extremely dangerous situation,"

Is it? Why? And your evidence in support of this (aside from your own personal prejudices, of course) is what, exactly?

"and it's important to back away slowly from it lest those foreign citizens begin rioting and burning our cities."

ROFL.... Oh my goodness. You really have lost it, haven't you?

"Those who support illegal immigration - including almost all Democratic leaders and bloggers such as our host"

More weasel wording. Define "support illegal immigration," please. I suspect that most Democratic leaders, as well as our host, would beg to differ with you that they "support illegal immigration."

"- stand a very real risk of being considered Quislings by those millions of Americans."

ROFL... Personally, I'm quite comfortable with that risk. Wow...you really are wacko. I'd seek help, if I were you.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like Kevin has this one about right, although there might be valid criticism of Reid for entering into the compromise agreement in the first place, but I suppose he now can claim that republicans fillibustered the bill. It probably is too complicated for either side to make much hay on the current situation.

Maybe no one in a contested election really wants a bill because without one, they can tailor their position to whatever appeals to their voters without a bill having been passed or even them having to actually vote on any bill.

But there will be a wall built and we are better off getting on with it so we can then solve the issue of the illegal aliens currently in the country in a generous fashion.

Posted by: brian on April 10, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

After reading these comments, it also seems like Reid's move was mostly defensive, avoiding having dems vote against an immigration bill. The problem for Reid is that, unless Frist is a fool, he will maneuver the dems back into a position of having to vote against an immigration bill before the November election and the dems will be had again right before the election.

So maybe it would have been smarter for Reid to take his lumps early with some republican support and hope for enough good faith to produce a bill that helped the country at least somewhat.

Posted by: brian on April 10, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

brian--

"Hope for enough good faith"

There's the problem with your suggestion. Extremely unrealistic. The amendments would have turned the bill into a slightly watered-down version of the house bill. Which would NOT be good for the country.

Also, I fail to really see how this is going to hurt the Democrats. The Democratic base does not seem to much care about this issue. "Border Security", despite all the hoopla, is still largely a regional issue, limited to the southern tier of the country. And there it is mainly pitting GOP against GOP.

The democratic union members in the north are really not all that concerned about Mexican immigrants taking their manufacturing jobs. They might be concerned about jobs being MOVED to Mexico, but that's a totally separate issue. And of course most of the Democrats in the Southwest are former immigrants themselves or social liberals who actually enjoy their authentic tacos. I don't see how the Democrats can lose in this scenario. For the GOP, it's a bloodbath.

Posted by: kokblok on April 10, 2006 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Three points (besides the obvious that if you really don't support illegal immigration, ya have to, yanno, try to STOP it):

First, the oddly simple dynamics of the Senate. Frist will most likely bring up the compromise as an amendable piece of legislation in June. Then the Reid maneuver will have failed, because the amendments Democrats don't like will pass, or else Democrats will have to filibuster a compromise that they like. OR

Second, if Frist doesn't bring up the compromise as an amendable piece of legislation before the August recess, Kennedy will offer it as an amendment itself to some must-pass bill after Labor Day (most likely as a second-degree amendment, which cannot itself be amended).

Third, a House-Senate conference is mostly just mix-and-match. This ain't complex.

If a provision is in BOTH bills, it will be in the Conference report, e.g., if they both have a border fence, differences over how long and how high won't block a deal.

If a provision is in one bill, but not the other, somebody has to figure out how to make a deal. Generally if the House accepts a Senate provision on x, the Senate will have to accept a House position on y -- or else they agree to drop BOTH x and y.

The House bill cuts a whole category, the 50,000 visa diversity lottery. The Senate bill, more than likely, will have at least three provisions that add visas: the Rube Goldberg earned legalization, guest workers (who all get green cards after 6 years), and something like half a million more legal immigration visas in various categories.

Apples and oranges don't mix easily to make good jam.

So if Frist brings up the compromise as an amendable bill, Senate Republicans will make it more like the House. That will mean fewer House provisions to cut (since they will have comparable Senate provisions), which will leave less for the Senate to bargain with, to get the items above.

This is all easier to work out in a Conference that could start before the August recess, than in one that won't start until after.

And one other thing: blok argues for something that is definitively unAmerican "those 4th-generation Boston Irish really cared all that much about that stuff that was going on in Belfast. No "dual-loyalties" there, nosirree."

Huh?

It is VERY American to care about some ancestral homeland thing -- our political culture is a kaleidoscope of such stuff. I remember when the late Sil Conte moved an amendment to a defense bill that said that NO official U.S. map could ever portray Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia as part of the old USSR. (Damn, I wish I'd thought of that.) Irish-Americans tend to care about the Troubles, though Jews are not the only ones who care about Israel. Randolph Bourne wrote, accurately, in 1916 that the most American ethnic group that was most pigheaded about refusing to give up its language, culture, prejudices and instinctive support for its homelandagainst AMERICA's national interests -- are the Anglophiles on the East Coast.

So it doesn't much matter if Latino immigrants care more about the World Cup than the NFL, or hang around in bars bitching about the PRI.

What DOES matter is that we make our "no" effective, so we can make our "yes" meaningful.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 10, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

The WaPo editorial board isn't "credulous," it's corrupt. They've calculated that the Republicans have become the party of permanent power and they've thrown their lot in with them.

Posted by: JR on April 10, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK
What DOES matter is that we make our "no" effective, so we can make our "yes" meaningful.

The easiest way for any government to make a restriction more effective is to apply it more selectively. If we say "yes" more, it will be far easier to say "no" effectively, and consequently (though it may seem superficially paradoxical), by saying "yes" more, we will also be making "yes" more meaningful.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- Twelve years ago I coined the phrase about "yes" and "no", Dice, and you obviously don't understand it. (You don't do well with REAL policy debate, Dice.) "Superficially paradoxical", my ass.

Congress should not promise immigration visas which it does not deliver. It should stop trying to manage immigration by backlog and waiting list. It doesn't work.

The most urgent backlog is the one for spouses and kids of legal permanent residents (known in the trade as 2a), which would have been fixed by a technical amendment in SA 3209, the original Hagel/Martinez compromise.

The way to make "no" effective is worksite verification. DHS should take advantage of the private sector by certifying companies that provide worksite verification services, and only employers that use such certified services (or which are certified themselves) should be eligible for "temporary" worker programs. Make employer sanctions into a carrot, not just a stick.

And of course, scale up to a system that verifies the Social Security # (which I've been arguing for since 1994).

It's not just slogan: the way to make 'yes' meaningful is to make 'no' effective. It's a specific policy prescription.

But it isn't "selective", in the way Dice meant it, which is the opposite.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 10, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist--

Why do you think I was opposed to those 4th-generation Irish immigrants caring about their homeland? Please read more carefully. I was referring to your strange post of a few days back where you posit a weird assasination scenario and then suggest that a war might start with Mexican-Americans supporting Mexico against the US. My point was that this "nightmare" scenario would happen whether or not there were ANY illegal immigrants, thus it is a strange card to play when defending tough anti-illegal measures.

At least I THINK this is what you wrote...to tell you the truth, it was so badly written I can't be sure what point you were getting at. You need to take some kind of Expository Writing 101 class cuz I never have the first clue what the fuck you're talking about. Could be brilliant, could be nonsense.

Posted by: kokblok on April 10, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps you should try reading comprehension: what part of "dual citizenship", or "not insignificant voting bloc" or even "campaign contributions" was unclear to you?

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 10, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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