Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 11, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WORKING HARD OR HARDLY WORKING?....The Washington Post reports that Republicans are frustrated with President Bush's detached approach to immigration reform:

When the delicate compromise was announced Thursday morning, Senate Republicans said, White House officials had told them that Bush would appear on television early that afternoon to strongly back the deal a move that advocates say could have shored up support and deflected opposition from conservatives. Right on time, Bush appeared in Charlotte, N.C., at 12:36 p.m., but his message was to exhort senators "to work hard."

Well, what do they expect? We all know how Bush feels about hard work.

Kevin Drum 1:19 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (122)

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Comments

Too bad Bush didn't work hard in kindergarten. Obviously, he never learned much during that year (those years?) either.

Posted by: Chris on April 11, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

I'd provide a link to the Harry Shearer "Hard Work" song, but it looks like Harry's taken it off his site.

Posted by: don hosek on April 11, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

Once again the two heads of the Republican Hydra emerge. Head one wants in all sincerity to build that wall to keep out the brown horde. The other head wants to drag the debate out until November to energize the knuckle-dragging base into actually making the effort to vote. I suppose there are other less-savory heads to the Hydra as well. But it's late and I'm fighting to remain optimistic.
--
HRlaughed

Posted by: HRlaughed on April 11, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Heh heh. I got a C. Look where it got me.

Posted by: 'C' Student on April 11, 2006 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

And he's a PhD, look where he's at.

Posted by: gq on April 11, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

Right...

...Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.), whose Dallas district saw as many as half a million marchers on Sunday but whose office is fielding phone calls that overwhelmingly reject rights for illegal immigrants. " The president is ignoring the rule of law," Sessions said.
Really. The President is Ignoring the rule of law??? Who woulda thought? I'm shocked.
Even Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), the firebrand leader of the movement to crack down on illegal immigration, struck a defensive tone. "Today's rallies show how entrenched the illegal alien lobby has become over the last several years," he said.
The illegal alien lobby??? Yes, all those nickels and dimes from sub-minimum wage employees lining the pockets of ummm--who is the marjority party again?

And this is the party that claims the National Security high ground? What a pathetic bunch of whiners.

Posted by: has407 on April 11, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

has407,
Do you have a link to the Tancredo quote? That almost made me spit out my beverage...

Posted by: gq on April 11, 2006 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

A couple of months ago, before Andrew Card's resignation, there was an article about how he woke up at 4:30 every morning and went home around midnight, burning him out after 5 years. Bush, of course, is famous for going to sleep by 9-10pm at the latest and taking a 2-hour exercise break in the middle of the day. In Bush's world hard work is for "other people."

Posted by: Constantine on April 11, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Even Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), the firebrand leader of the movement to crack down on illegal immigration, struck a defensive tone. "Today's rallies show how entrenched the illegal alien lobby has become over the last several years," he said.

Heh. Didn't Bush refer to the antiwar marches around the world as "focus groups" or some other such nonsense?

Posted by: Space Shuttle on April 11, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Kevin, I read your post on the new Iran/Syria 'group'. Am I being paranoid to wonder if today's NYT front page story about 25% of married Syrian women being beaten is a plant? I don't doubt it, and it's obviously atrocious, but why is this front page stuff now? Is this number unusually high in the Arab/Muslim world? Are we preparing to liberate Syrian women?

Posted by: tokorode on April 11, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

gq -- The Tancredo quote is in the article linked to in Kevin's post. (And I doused by keyboard when I first read it. Where do they find these people?)

Posted by: has407 on April 11, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

But --what's wrong with Mexico? Trying to get any help from them in this is like pissing in the wind.

If so many Mexican citizens would rather be here, what are they running from? Doesn't Mexico need some kind of intervention?

I think it's more practical to really make it a Mexican problem. Suggest to them that about half the country would be happier as a few new states.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

The President is Ignoring the rule of law??? Who woulda thought? I'm shocked.

You wouldn't know it from the way the Democrats are acting. They've fully supported Bush's failure to secure the borders. They could have won the last election on that alone. They chose not to, because they support what Bush is doing.

The illegal alien lobby??? Yes, all those nickels and dimes from sub-minimum wage employees lining the pockets of ummm--who is the marjority party again?

There are very powerful forces that support illegal immigration. That includes those banks and corporations that profit off illegal labor as well as the Mexican government. A major part of Mexico's income is money sent from illegal aliens in the U.S. Also, Tancredo is not favored by the open borders crowd in the Republican party because he'd affect the bottom line of their supporters. Those who try to smear Tancredo help those same open borders Republicans.

Note that George P. Bush was scheduled to speak before the Dallas illegal aliens march.

Perhaps instead of supporting the Bush agenda, this site might consider the more American agenda previously supported by Harry Reid.

Posted by: TLB on April 11, 2006 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

""Today's rallies show how entrenched the illegal alien lobby has become over the last several years," he said."

Does he mean the corporations that fund Republicans? They've been entrenched for much longer than that.

Posted by: Tom DC/VA on April 11, 2006 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

If Walmart had to pay a ten thousand dollar fine for every illegal they hired, it might help the problem.
That would also go a long way to paying for george's many, many vacations.
Hell we could buy pre shot birds for cheney's "hunting" trips.

Posted by: gus on April 11, 2006 at 5:27 AM | PERMALINK

Hell we could buy pre shot birds for cheney's "hunting" trips.

hell, maybe even pre-shot men...

Posted by: cheapshot on April 11, 2006 at 7:28 AM | PERMALINK

Ok, got this in E-mail this morning. I disagree but you'll probably get a kick out of it.

Gonorrhea Lectim

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of Sexually Transmitted Disease. The disease is contracted through dangerous and high-risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim and pronounced "gonna re-elect him. "

Many victims contracted it in 2004, after having been screwed for the past four years.

Cognitive characteristics of individuals infected include: anti-social personality disorders, delusions of grandeur with messianic overtones, extreme cognitive dissonance, inability to incorporate new information, pronounced xenophobia and paranoia, inability to accept responsibility for own actions, cowardice masked by misplaced bravado, uncontrolled facial smirking, ignorance of geography and history, tendencies towards evangelical theocracy, categorical all-or-nothing behavior.

Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how this destructive disease originated only a few years ago from a bush found in Texas.

Happy Tuesday All :)

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 11, 2006 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK

This was a stroke of genius by party GOP... The key to the midterm elections is how to bring people back to the discredited war party.

IMMIGRATION reform is a no brainer. Blue collar democrats are aligned with gopers on this one. Ditto for blacks.

I hate bush, and I wish only bad bad things for him and his.... but I will be voting republican - for even the Jew here in New Mexico running for the Senate [ and I HATE Jews] - because he is FIRMLY behind sending these people BACK.

Dems are not on the side of the numbers on this one.

I must say this is a stroke of genius. I am probably the most angry republican I know -- I LOATH cheney and his pet president.

But I am back in the fold if my choice is between gopers who want the country back and liberals who want to become an annex of the banana republics to the south.

Posted by: karen on April 11, 2006 at 7:32 AM | PERMALINK

I am FIRMLY for sending YOU back.

Posted by: Lucy on April 11, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

karen -- aka Ashley, arsenia, etc. etc.:

Go the fuck back to StormWatch, okay?

Self-righteous Jew haters are the fucking scum of the earth.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 11, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Karen, I disagree. The Stensenbrenner bill has already alienated Catholic voters all across the country. The man was a fool for putting in language that would make good samaritians felons. After the recess a better bill will be passed. When the election comes Republicans will have one more reason not to show up at the polls. Democrats will have manay more allies. Brilliant political move for the Republicans. Just one more among many.

The sad thing is that a good bill will not really be passed because the low wage Republicans don't want the bill to be passed.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 11, 2006 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers:

Very sensible post, but please don't bother to try to talk to "karen" sensibly.

Somebody who refers to Sensenbrenner as "that Jew here in Arizona" isn't worthy of being addressed in a civil manner.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 11, 2006 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

"But --what's wrong with Mexico? Trying to get any help from them in this is like pissing in the wind."

cld--

Why do the Mexicans want to help us? We take the laborers they don't need as they are automating their farming and industrial operations. Plus most of the illegals send money back to their families adding to Mexico's economy.

Sweet deal for the Mexicans.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 11, 2006 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

I guess I just missed the part of history where there were no illegal immigarants in the country until President Bush and the rep. congress and senate came into powere. Or was it that those hard working d's while in the majority were so busy they did not have time to deal with this new problem of illegal immigrants. Of course the third (really wild possibility) is that the republican leadership have the courage to address these tough issues, nah, lets go for the first two choices.

Posted by: daveyo on April 11, 2006 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Click the link and notice how the anti-immigration folks refer to the marches as "illegal alien rallies" and assume that everyone participating is here illegally. Does anyone really think the wingers' xenophobia will stop with the illegal immigration? First they came for the illegals, and I did nothing, because I wasn't an illegal...

Posted by: mmy on April 11, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Good news for democrats, they fianlly won an election this week. Too bad it was on TV. But it's all the same ot them...

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on April 11, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Bush is already counting down the days until his next five-week vacation.

Hard work indeed.

Posted by: Ringo on April 11, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

BlaBlaBla:

No, it was in ITALY you retard :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 11, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

"Somebody who refers to Sensenbrenner as "that Jew here in Arizona" isn't worthy of being addressed in a civil manner."

Bob

She may not be worthy but to be uncivil back to her is to lower yourself to her level. I agree with sending the illegals back but the Jew remarks are uncalled for and just plain hatefull.

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 11, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

"Click the link and notice how the anti-immigration folks refer to the marches as "illegal alien rallies" and assume that everyone participating is here illegally. Does anyone really think the wingers' xenophobia will stop with the illegal immigration?"

Well, I am neither a winger nor a xenophobe, but I have been rather pissed off at how many of supporters of the amnesty bills have been conflating illegal and legal immigration, as though there is no significant difference.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

To get out minds off Iraq and greatly reduce the length of our southern border, the US should declare war on Mexico tomorrow. With our shockingly awesome military might, the Mexican government will surrender immediately and submit to immediate annexing of the country in exchange for a promise to fast-track all 31 estados to US statehood. We'd need to add 31 stars to our flag and make Spanish an official language, of course.

New states and their capitals:

1. Aguascalientes Aguascalientes
2. Baja California Mexicali
3. Baja California Sur La Paz
4. Campeche Campeche
5. Chiapas Tuxtla Gutirrez
6. Chihuahua Chihuahua
7. Coahuila Saltillo
8. Colima Colima
9. Durango Durango
10. Guanajuato Guanajuato
11. Guerrero Chilpancingo
12. Hidalgo Pachuca
13. Jalisco Guadalajara
14. Mxico Toluca
15. Michoacn Morelia
16. Morelos Cuernavaca
17. Nayarit Tepic
18. Nuevo Len Monterrey
19. Oaxaca Oaxaca
20. Puebla Puebla
21. Quertaro Santiago de Quertaro
22. Quintana Roo Chetumal
23. San Luis Potos San Luis Potos
24. Sinaloa Culiacn
25. Sonora Hermosillo
26. Tabasco Villahermosa
27. Tamaulipas Ciudad Victoria
28. Tlaxcala Tlaxcala
29. Veracruz Xalapa
30. Yucatn Mrida
31. Zacatecas Zacatecas

Posted by: kostya on April 11, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Lurker42,

As soon as I hear the word "illegals" I know where somebody stands on the issue.

Once a person has been reduced to an adjective there is no reason to care about him anymore.

Regarding lowering oneself to a troll's level - yeah, but the difference is smart people have the option of temporarily lowering themselves but dumb people can never seem to raise themselves to the higher level.

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp: Once a person has been reduced to an adjective there is no reason to care about him anymore.

Hey,if we can make war on an abstract noun, we can certainly deport adjectives.

Posted by: cowalker on April 11, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp:
"As soon as I hear the word "illegals" I know where somebody stands on the issue."

You bet yer ass. Their very first act in this country is to break our law. At least I don't advocate charging them all with fellonies, fellonys *shrug* like any one of us would be if we entered Mexico illegally. I would, however entertain the idea of making Mexico our 51st state. Problem solved.

"dumb people can never seem to raise themselves to the higher level."

Dumb people are incapable of speech. The willfully ignorant, on the other hand, fit that description perfectly.

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 11, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't be so hasty right yet, kostya.

With our Army in Iraq, and the combined incompetence and cowardliness of our Republican leadership, I'd expect us to quickly lose Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico. Colorado would fall as the religious right wing ignore calls to fight as a levee en mass, and instead, retrench to Idaho. Utah would hold out, and Mexico would refuse to take Texas, given its history as a bunch of two-time traitors*. Net loss to Mexico in the grand scheme of things, but a significant blow to the U.S.'s idea of manifest destiny.

*The original Anglo Texans rebelled against Mexico in part because of Mexico's closing the territory to more Anglo immigrants(!) and in part because of limitations on arms that the settlers believed they needed as defense against the Indians. A few years later Texas rebelled against the U.S.

Posted by: Wapiti on April 11, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

"As soon as I hear the word "illegals" I know where somebody stands on the issue." - Tripp

Um, for plain language, clear thinking and the rule of law?

A primer: "illegal foreigners" should mean people we don't want here. That's why their employment, and even presence in this country, is illegal.

"Legal immigrants" (which is, or ought to be, redundant) are people whom we DO want here. That's why they are legal.

When there are people here legally whom we WANT here, the law should be changed to conform to our values, so that they are legal.

With me so far, Tripp?

I take it you're not used to the plain language approach that is essential to thinking clearly. Get used to it.

How do we know whom "we" want here? The law.

With exceptions, the Rule for American immigration is that individual Americans invite individual immigrants. (This is distinct from refugee resettlement, asylum, or the diversity lottery, the three biggest exceptions.)

That is, U.S. citizens invite spouses, kids, and parents (who are all numerically unlimited), and siblings (who are not), while legal permanent residents invite spouses and kids (who are NOT unlimited, yet). That's about 2/3s of the annual total of legal immigration (about half a million) -- which, if you use the word "immigration" properly, is the only "immigration" there is.

Then you have 140,000 employment-based green cards available each year, but most legal "immigration" for jobs actually uses "non-immigrant visas" like the H-1b.

So there is NO "immigration" based on some guy in Mexico, or China, or Korea, or El Salvador, who suddenly decides one day to go to Omaha or Brooklyn and get a job because HE wants it. He wasn't invited by name, by an American, whether a citizen or a legal permanent resident.

Tripp doesn't understand that, because he doesn't like using words for what they mean.

THAT's the problem with this debate -- too much loose talk.

The whole point of American immigration is that "they" become "us". The Ellis Island model that makes us America, that SUSTAINS us as the most successful multicultural, multi-ethnic nation in history, depends on the direct connection between getting here, and belonging here, which in turn depends on the RULE OF LAW.

You can't make sense if you can't make distinctions, Tripp -- which is why you don't make sense, rejecting plain language like you're allergic to clear thinking.

And after all: aren't you?


Posted by: theAmericanist on April 11, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

It's not working out for them. Bush is not hopping on to their xenophobic bandwagon. How are they supposed to divert attention from their miserable track records when the president won't cooperate?

Posted by: lina on April 11, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

In defense of his speech writer, the man is a hard worker.

Posted by: toast on April 11, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 11, 2006 at 10:19 AM

Nice, adhominem laced defense of your xenophobic code word.

Posted by: The American on April 11, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp:
"Once a person has been reduced to an adjective there is no reason to care about him anymore."

It's not that I don't care. It's about enforcing the laws or not enforcing the laws. Why bother passing them if we aren't going to enforce them? It's a credit to people who have a heart but it's not very smart to rely totally on the heart to make decisions or national policy. SOME logic has to play a roll. Remember part of this whole debate is about national security. Part of it is about economics and fair wages. We have our own poor who would* take these jobs if a fair wage was offered.
(*I believe, anyways.)

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 11, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist,

There is a difference between "plain language" and pejorative labels.

Since you are so big on the rule of law what do you think about the House bill that would make it a felony to aid the "illegals"?

Why that sounds all reasonable doesn't it?

Yeah, except it makes me and my Church felons for providing a free meal to a person who works every day for long hours and less than minimum wage.

But you get a woodie for your "rule of law" and it goes soft every time you have to think of actual people. You don't want to see people. You don't want to hear that we are all equal under God, created in his image. You want to put your human law above God.

That's called idolatry.

There's a commandment against it. You know, a "RULE OF LAW."

So I call a higher law. Trump that.

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Americanist": THAT's the problem with this debate -- too much loose talk.

That's one of the problems. Another is that you seem fundamentally incapable of getting through a post without gratuitously being an asshole.

Do you want to enlighten, inform and convince people, or do you just want to win the Biggest Prick award every day of your life?

If it's the latter, fine and dandy, but people tune you out with the first sentence.

It's your choice.

Posted by: Bob Thompson on April 11, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

"Nice, adhominem laced defense of your xenophobic code word. "

You know, "ad hominem" does not mean "someone who disagrees with me." Now, accusing someone of being a xenophobe because they don't support people rampantly breaking their laws would qualify as an "ad hominem."

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

We all know how Bush feels about hard work.

The man travels with his own pillow, for god's sakes. A supposed adult who needs the comfort and security of his own personal pillow wherever he goes. How much more do you need to know?

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp, I can't speak for the Americanist, but I don't find appeals to a higher religious authority any more palatable or valid in this context than when Falwell, Robertson, et al use them. Your religion is your religion, it is not the religion of the United States.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Lurker42,

It's not that I don't care.

You care, but it is too much bother to type "illegal immigrant?"

Focus on "the law" all you want but don't forget "the law" ultimately comes down to affecting people. Humans.

With a stroke of a pen your law could make me an 'illegal.' Your law can make my church 'illegal.'

But we'd still be people doing what we think is right, hurting nobody, and trying to carry out Jesus' will.

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis,

Ad hominem means trying to define me instead of rebutting my argument.

Tripp doesn't understand that,

This is ad hominem.

It seems to me MrAmericanist likes to label his opponents and then defend that as 'plain language.' It is certainly easier than conceding that they are people, after all. It is much easier to attack a label.

But I'm curious. Do you support the house bill that would make it a felony to aid an illegal immigrant?

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

NJ Memphis:

No, ad-hominem isn't garden-variety namecalling, either. I mean, if you enunciate a set of policies and I call you a Republican -- I'll either be right or wrong based on whether or not those policies qualify as Republican.

So likewise, if somebody says a bunch of xenophobic things and you call them a xenophobe, you might be labelling -- but you're not necessarily ad-hom'ing.

You'd be ad-hom'ing if you cut somebody off and said "well, you just believe those things because you're a xenophobe." The distinction is subtle, but it's important. Here, you're not merely labelling based on what the person said. You're pre-emptively labelling. The weight of the implictly understood negative connotations overrides whatever reason you'd call that person a xenophobe based on what they said then and there. The negative label subsumes the argument.

Of course, that's only one variety of argument ad hominem.

There's also ad hominem abusive -- e. g. implying a person's a flaming idiot for holding a differing opinion than you. That's generally more Americanist's preferred terrain.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 11, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp, saying that you don't understand something hardly qualifies as an ad hominem. I think your stretching the definition a little.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 11, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp,
"Ad hominem means trying to define me instead of rebutting my argument."

No, it doesn't. An ad hominem means saying your argument is invalid because of a personal characteristic which you are alleged to have. Phrasing an otherwise valid argument in an insulting fashion, while annoying, is not an ad hominem. Whereas the implication from "The American" probably would qualify as one- it implies that theAmericanist's argument is faulty because he is allegedly a xenophobe, without addressing any points.

"But I'm curious. Do you support the house bill that would make it a felony to aid an illegal immigrant?"

I have not read the bill in question, so until I do, I can't say whether I would support it or not. I am, however, opposed to giving citizenship to anyone who enters the country illegally, and I am not opposed to kicking out as many illegal entrants as we can find.

And, regardless, if the bill does pass and your church decides to break it, then yeah, I think ya'll should be prosecuted as appropriate, just the same as anyone else. Religious excuses for violating a law are no better than any other excuse.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Why are the Democrats so ineffectual when it comes to leading the marketing campaign for elections? Even more to their discredit, they are powerless to resist a Republican election narrative that inevitably puts them on the defensive. If the Republicans need to do blacks and welfare, or gay marriage, or immigration for the election, Dems of all stripes are ready to play their part in the made-for-television political theater, often with outrage and protest. All of which disappears as soon as the results are in.

The Republican party is as corrupt as any in American history, it is dedicated, as it always has been, to the sovereign interests of the rich (which in a time of globalization are very different than those of a broad middle class), and it has overseen a hopeless and ruinously expensive war of prestige and a massive expansion of any number of national deficits, all of which are without precedent. But somehow the Democrats have been unable to capitalize on any of this profound misgovernment.

Posted by: bellumregio on April 11, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, the comment I was referring to seems to fit a classic ad hom:
"Nice, adhominem laced defense of your xenophobic code word."
Try substituting "racist" or "sexist" or whatever other -ism you like in there, and see if it doesn't sound ad hom.

It attempts to dismiss an argument by the simple implication that the person making the argument is a xenophobe. If "The American" had attempted to refute some of "The Americanist"'s arguments, and slipped a "xenophobe" remark in, then it wouldn't have been an ad hom, just an insult.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis,

For the sake of argument assume the bill says the following:

A church which provides a Saturday noon meals to all-comers must now determine citizenship of every recipient and refuse anyone who cannot prove he/she is legally in the US.

Otherwise the church and the person working there is guilty of a felony crime.

So no more dodging. Do you support this proposed law?

If you do, then let's make this more personal. Let's say you are driving along and see a small family next to a stopped car. They ran out of gas and wonder if you could phone a gas station for them, a gas station that delivers. They offer to pay.

You will face a felony charge if you don't determine their citizenship first.

Are you cool with that? You think that is the way our country should be, citizens and churches required to see 'papers' before offering common human decency?

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

"but it is too much bother to type "illegal immigrant?""

Ah! Ok, point taken.

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 11, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp, in the event that there is a service offered open to the public, then no, I don't support prosecuting someone based on an illegal immigrant being present. If that is the intent of the proposed law, then no, I don't support it.

On the other hand, if you are aiding someone in entering the country illegally, you should face stiff penalties- including, if you are an immigrant yourself, deportation with no right to return.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis:

Well, if The American made a descriptive argument which outlined Americanist's xenophobia and then labelled it xenophobic, it would only be a description. "Insult" in a case like this would probably be in the eye of the beholder.

What I think you found *ironic* about The American's attempted dis is that it looks like a classic ad-hom in the guise of an ad-hom accusation :)

But I don't think this is quite correct. You'd have to call Americanist a xenophobe, not just label something that he said as xenophobic.

It's the difference between "how idiotic" and "you're an idiot."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 11, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I'd also strongly support sanctions on businesses that employ illegal aliens, but I don't know whether any current bills have that measure included.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Bob,
Well, in one of those small ironies, one of the classic unconventional ad homs is the unsupported accusation of an ad hom. This is a very common tactic in politics.

However, I still think labeling someone's argument categorically and without support as being xenophobic (or racist, or sexist, or whatever) would fall into ad hom territory. But I guess that is something for logic professors to debate over.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

bellumregio "Why are the Democrats so ineffectual when it comes to leading the marketing campaign for elections?" Good question. It seems that you are making the assumption that the d's have for the past 20 years, that the r's are the party of the rich. In 2004 George W. won 80% of the counties in America, the counties he lost were the metropolitan areas where the highest per captita income reside. Thus the paradox. If the r's are the rich then why are they not winning the metro areas which clearly are more expensive to live in. In "marketing" you need to know your demographics, thus the d's may have wonderful marketing campaigns, they are just marketing their message in the wrong areas. If the d's are trully the party of the workers, then they need to get out of the cities into the burbs and rural areas. Or is the real problem that these type people do not relate to the message that is being sent out in the d's marketing campaign. Until someone on your side figures that out, the permananent d minority will stay in place.

Posted by: daveyo on April 11, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

I saw Bush tell the American public that Mexicans need to be able to "drive" to work - didn't say anything about their need to have car insurance.

What a moron Bush is on every level.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 11, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

MJ,

It sounds like you support enforcing the existing law.

In that case why do you think it is not being enforced? I'm not sure but I think it is because once a person is in the country, legally or not, they will not be deported unless they break the law. That is probably because most citizens prefer to treat each other with common decency unless there is a good reason not to.

So now you've got exactly the situation we have - a large number of people obeying the law and keeping a low profile but in the country illegally.

In my opinion the only way to truly enforce the existing law is to become so draconian that most people would not support it. It would have to be done quietly and away from public notice. It would have to be done only to 'illegals,' because once real people start seeing the 'illegals' as real people, working hard and keeping a low profile, they will start to feel bad about raiding their homes and breaking up families.

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Here is the best deal for Mexico:

We will take all their poor if they are willing to take all of our rich folks. They need to open up the property ownership laws and deregulate their economy, so our plutocrats and vulture capitalists can pick the mexican elites bones clean.

Since they won't take our rich, we should not have to be taking in their poor.

Posted by: Tulkinghorn on April 11, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Why are the Democrats so ineffectual when it comes to leading the marketing campaign for elections?"

Maybe they should fire Bob Shrum and hire Donnie Deutsch.

You're only as good as your copywriter.

Posted by: lina on April 11, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

"In 2004 George W. won 80% of the counties in America, the counties he lost were the metropolitan areas where the highest per captita income reside."

I think you meant to say "the counties he lost were the metropolitan areas where more people (as opposed to cows) actually live." Looking at my immediate area, for instance, Bush lost, both times, Shelby County (which includes the city of Memphis), by pretty good margins. He won the outlying counties of Tipton and Fayette, where the affluent suburbanites live. Some of the rich city-dwellers voted against Bush, sure... but they were far outnumbered by the suburban McMansion dwellers in the next counties over.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp:

I tend to be in broad sympathy with your views on immigration. I just can't get a woodie up over deporting people who are only doing what any economic model would tell us they would do.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 11, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp,

Yes, I support enforcing existing laws. As to why it isn't being enforced- depends who you ask, but personally, I think it has two main factors: businesses that love cheap labor, and politicians who are in the pocket of those businesses.

As to all those people "obeying the law but keeping a low profile"- the reason they are keeping a low profile is because they are *not* obeying the law, by definition.

While we're trading questions, I have one for you. Would you support simply opening the borders to all comers? Why, or why not?

As it stands, we have a near-open border for our southern neighbor, while everyone else has to go through criminal record checks, embassy interviews, demonstrate sponsorship or assets to guarantee they do not become a public liability, etc. Illegal aliens shortcut that whole process. You seem not to have a problem with that. So, why keep the process for everyone else who doesn't happen to be in a conveniently adjoining country?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis--

Wait, don't you know that whoever wins the most counties wins? I mean, Los Angeles County might have more population than the 800 smallest US counties combined, but hey, that don't matter. People that live close together don't count anyway!

Posted by: kokblok on April 11, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

MJ,

Those results make sense to me. Bush appealed more in those areas where population density is lower.

Gun laws, for example, make less sense in remote areas and more sense in urban areas.

As long as you avoid hunting with Cheney you are pretty safe from guns out in the country.

Also it is easier in general to fear and hate someone or group if you don't actually have to see them in person.

If you ever allow yourself to consider them as a 'person' you are heading down that slippery slope to bleeding-heart liberaland.

I think a big goal of the latest immigrant marches is to try to show Americans that the 'illegals' are actually living breathing people.

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Lurker42: Their very first act in this country is to break our law.

Sort of like Americans in Iraq, eh?

Too bad the Iraqis can't deport their "illegals".

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 11, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

kokblok, I think you're on to something. Evidently an individual's voting power varies inversely with the distance from their nearest neighbor. Who knew civics was so complicated?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

My nearest neighbor is standing six inches away from me (Back off, Scott! You're creeping me out!). I feel so...disenfranchised.

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp,
I agree on different laws making more or less sense depending on the locale. Gun control has been a real killer issue for Dems overall.

However, I must take issue with this:
"If you ever allow yourself to consider them as a 'person' you are heading down that slippery slope to bleeding-heart liberaland."

I can assure you that, despite having no claims to being a bleeding-heart liberal, I am well aware that each individual illegal alien is a person. However, I do not see where this should be an issue in the immigration debate. Ya know, all those folks waiting for their chance to legally enter the US are people too, and I see no reason why people who break our laws should be privileged over people who don't.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

And we all know Kevin Drum's idea of hard work is a vigorous tennis game with "Biff."

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 11, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Supporters of illegal immigration have been remarkably successful in spreading lies about HR4437, and some of their work can be seen above.

Sensenbrenner tried to remove the provision making illegal presence a felony, but the Dems refused to do it. The patriotic thing would have been not to play political games with our nation's security, but that's obviously too high a standard for most Democratic leaders.

-- Big Media Blog

Posted by: TLB on April 11, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp, I noted that you don't like plain language because you don't like the word "illegal".

That isn't an attack on YOU, personally, which for some reason seems to be pretty much your only subject in this discussion.

But it's not about you.

Nor are you real clear on facts in this debate. The House bill, in fact, would not do what you claim it would do, namely make it a felony to help a foreigner illegally present in the United States. (The infamous amendment expands the definition of human smuggling. Do you favor human smuggling, Tripp? I think you do, though you won't admit it.)

To the extent there was any confusion on the point, Congressman Sensenbrenner offered an amendment to clear it up -- which was OPPOSED by Democrats, who obviously prefer to sucker guys like you. (But, hey, you're easy.)

I noted at some length what the words "legal" and "illegal" and "immigrant" mean, but -- as noted -- you're not particularly interested in what they mean since, evidently, your approach to all this is simply to admire your righteousness in the mirror.

To help you get over that myopia, consider learning some theology: Aquinas noted long ago that there is a difference between a thing wrong in itself (murder, rape), and a thing that is wrong simply because it is forbidden. There is nothing morally wrong about driving on the left side of the road in the U.S. -- but since our laws require that we drive on the, driving on the left is thus as immoral as playing Russian Roulette, especially if you sometimes point the gun at a child.

Entering the United States illegally, buying false documents to work unlawfully -- these are morally wrong not necessarily in themselves, but because they are forbidden by the laws enacted by elected representatives of "We, the People".

Illegals are folks we don't want. Legals are folks we DO want. We write laws to tell the difference: got it, bub?

So -- I kinda take exception to the sheer unadulterated ignorance of the moral arrogance in your dumbass appeal to a "higher law".

Want to see the real thing, Tripp? Read Matthew 19:6, Tripp. Google "Strange No More", then look at the current debate (try tomorrow's Boston Globe), then get back to us, k?

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 11, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop, just tell him that when he gets that close, you may be prone to mistake him for a pen-raised bird and pull a Cheney. That should bring your voting power back up right away!

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

MJ,

Fair enough question.

I think we should treat everyone with what I'll call "common decency" because of our shared humanity under God unless there is a good reason not to.

One good reason not to is if a person is, for lack of a better word, an unreformed criminal.

For that reason I don't support fully open borders. While we are all humans under God, my loyalties and priorities are: family first, then local community, then bigger community (such as state), then the US, then the world.

I don't think our borders are fully open now. Illegal immigrants have to survive a gauntlet of obstacles. Some die. I give them credit for that. Then once they are in the country I give them credit for the time they have been here living within the law (except for how they got here, of course).

I'm then willing to give them the ultimate prize - US citizenship with all the rights and responsibilities that entails.

I like this idea much better than 'guest workers.' That route, in my opinion, will lead to a perception of exploitation and a group of disgruntled non-citizens instead of a group of grateful law abiding citizens.

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK
But --what's wrong with Mexico

Trying to get any help from them in this is like pissing in the wind.

And, um, so? Used to be that the US got really upset with countries that tried to prevent their citizens from emigrating.

If so many Mexican citizens would rather be here, what are they running from?

From? I think mostly they're running too greater economic opportunity.

Doesn't Mexico need some kind of intervention?

No.

I think it's more practical to really make it a Mexican problem. Suggest to them that about half the country would be happier as a few new states.

Well, I suppose giving half of the US to Mexico could make it an internal Mexican problem -- also promote economic development and political reform in Mexico. Good thinking outside the box!

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

lina--

"Why are the Democrats so ineffective?"

Maybe because they spend all their time asking why they are so ineffective? Just a guess.

But you should read that Amy Sullivan piece over there on the left scroll. I was skeptical that anyone could make me think these current Democrats were anything but total losers, but this article was quite convincing.

Can you think of a minority party in history that has been MORE succesfull than the current Democrats in stopping majority legislation? It's actually pretty remarkable...

Posted by: kokblok on April 11, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Americanist,

I think I've explained my position fully enough. I don't need you to define me, thank you very much.

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp, there's the issue- if you don't know who is coming into the country, how do you keep out the unreformed criminals? When my fiancee applied for her visa, one of the things she had to do was go to the police station and get a report showing that she had no criminal record. What equivalent do we have for illegal aliens? How do you really know that one of the guys working on the construction crew next door doesn't have a rap sheet in Mexico longer than you are tall?

There is also the matter of public liability. To use my own experience with US immigration again, as part of the visa process my fiancee was required to show that either a) she had the resources to keep her from becoming a public liability here or b) she had a sponsor (in this case, me) who was willing to guarantee that she wouldn't become a public liability. How many illegal aliens have that guarantee? I can accept an argument that we (meaning, America and ultimately American taxpayers) have an obligation to provide a safety net for our citizens who fall on hard times. I have a much harder time to accept that we have that obligation for anyone who happens to walk over the border.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Good idea, but I just quelled him with a look, MJ. I have to live with him on top of me, so to speak, so best to maintain our very cordial relations.

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Attempting to redefine the issue is not going to make it go away. At the end of the day, we're going to be left confronting ... several million illegal aliens.

And bottom line -- I don't think many moral people are going to get it up for mass deportations. Not to mention the logistics that would entail.

I really do think this is in many ways another non-issue to demagogue over in the final analysis. I don't think *anyone* has either the stomach for it or the courage of their convictions.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 11, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

"within the law (except for how they got here, of course)."

But that's the problem Tripp. How they got here. That in and of its' self is breaking the law. They were all carrying Mexican flags to their ralleys before someone told them that it wasn't helping their cause. They have demonstrated that they have no respect for our laws and none for our country. All the heart in the world doesn't override that.

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 11, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Making illegal immigrants felons seems like it would do wonders for getting that prison population over the 1% hump.

Posted by: jefff on April 11, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

TLB: The patriotic thing would have been not to play political games with our nation's security, but that's obviously too high a standard for most Democratic leaders.

This bill has nothing to do with national security.

The patriotic thing would be to quit making every issue about national security, creating strawmen so you can falsely accuse Dems of making Americans unsafe.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 11, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Lurker42: They have demonstrated that they have no respect for our laws and none for our country.

The same is true of Cuban-Americans in Florida, but you won't see any conservatives beating that drum.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 11, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Lurker42: They have demonstrated that they have no respect for our laws and none for our country.

Wait, wait. Are you talking about illegal immigrants or the Bush administration?

Posted by: ckelly on April 11, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly: Are you talking about illegal immigrants or the Bush administration?

Heh, heh, heh . . .

:-)

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 11, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Wait, wait. Are you talking about illegal immigrants or the Bush administration?"

Well, it doesn't *have* to be an either-or question. Sadly, I doubt we could find anywhere to accept the Bushies if we tried to deport them.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

This seems like it's all about globalism. There has always been illegal immigrants just not so many.


So why screw around with these silly nation states. Get rid of them. Adapt a single currency. Dismantle all militarys adapt a unified police force. So on etc..

Or enforce existing laws.

Posted by: Neo the commissar on April 11, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

For Bush's "compassionate conservatism" on illegal aliens, you might want to consult Mwembie v. Gonzales (March 16, 2006) out of the 5th Circuit.

Apparently, neither the Bush administration nor the fascist judges on that court believe that repeatingly being raped or even killed constitutes "torture" and that Homeland Security officials and immigration judges who lie should not be sanctioned.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 11, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

For Bush's "compassionate conservatism" on illegal aliens, you might want to consult Mwembie v. Gonzales (March 16, 2006) out of the 5th Circuit.

Apparently, neither the Bush administration nor the fascist judges on that court believe that repeatingly being raped or even killed constitutes "torture" and that Homeland Security officials and immigration judges who lie should not be sanctioned.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 11, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK
Tripp, there's the issue- if you don't know who is coming into the country, how do you keep out the unreformed criminals? When my fiancee applied for her visa, one of the things she had to do was go to the police station and get a report showing that she had no criminal record. What equivalent do we have for illegal aliens? How do you really know that one of the guys working on the construction crew next door doesn't have a rap sheet in Mexico longer than you are tall?

There is also the matter of public liability. To use my own experience with US immigration again, as part of the visa process my fiancee was required to show that either a) she had the resources to keep her from becoming a public liability here or b) she had a sponsor (in this case, me) who was willing to guarantee that she wouldn't become a public liability. How many illegal aliens have that guarantee? I can accept an argument that we (meaning, America and ultimately American taxpayers) have an obligation to provide a safety net for our citizens who fall on hard times. I have a much harder time to accept that we have that obligation for anyone who happens to walk over the border.

All of this is a good argument for providing a mechanism for (with an appropriate costs for those unwilling to wait) everyone who can survive the kind of scrutiny involved in legal immigration to be allowed to immigrate without waiting lists, maturity dates, or other delaying gimmicks.

Thus enabling focussing enforcement efforts on the remainder, the people that really shouldn't be here under any circumstances.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

I noted at some length what the words "legal" and "illegal" and "immigrant" mean, but -- as noted -- you're not particularly interested in what they mean since, evidently, your approach to all this is simply to admire your righteousness in the mirror.

Oh, but this isn't an attack on anyone personally.

All that you did was to create your own definition of a newly created xenophobic word which isn't used by anyone except for dumbass xenophobes and racists--which apparently includes you.

Illegal means against the law. If you want to describe people who break the law as illegals, then you're talking about the vast majority of this country, including yourself--assuming that you've jaywalked or driven over the speed limit at least once in your life.

Hate to break it to you, but you don't have the final say on definitions. But I'm sure you'll survive and live to focus your small and hateful mind elsewhere.

Posted by: The American on April 11, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Main Entry: illegal
Pronunciation: il-'lE-g&l
Function: adjective
: contrary to or in violation of a law : ILLICIT, UNLAWFUL illegally adverb

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

funny, Webster's doesn't include a noun form of the word. But who needs that when we've got some hate-filled dumbass here to enlighten us all?

Posted by: The American on April 11, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

"All that you did was to create your own definition of a newly created xenophobic word which isn't used by anyone except for dumbass xenophobes and racists--which apparently includes you."

Newly created? Are you saying that the first time you ever heard "illegal" used as a shorthand for "illegal alien" is when theAmericanist used it on this thread? I've heard the term for years, including from many people who were neither xenophobes nor racists.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

An individual who identified himself as an illegal immigrant was asked on a radio station, if immigrants could organize so effectively here, why they don't stay home and organize to improve their own countries.

His response was that in his country everyone is so corrupt, and no one abides by the law. There is much favoritism in his country, and the rich have all the power.

I found this so telling. The first things illegal immigrants do when they come to this country is break our immigration laws by coming here without visas, they secure fake work documents, and some drive without licenses and insurance. Then they band together to agitate for us to change our laws to make their illegality legal.

I'm afraid if we allow these demonstrations to change our values, we will start on the slippery slope to anarchy and corruption that so many of them are running away from.

As for Bush, he has 2 objectives for "immigration reform:" 1. secure the hispanics as a base for republicans, and 2. Maintain a continuous supply of cheap, abundant labor for his rich, republican business friends.

Bush has shown us with his disregard of the constituion that he is not interested in what is best for the country, only what is best for the republican party.

Posted by: DCNative on April 11, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

An individual who identified himself as an illegal immigrant was asked on a radio station, if immigrants could organize so effectively here, why they don't stay home and organize to improve their own countries.

His response was that in his country everyone is so corrupt, and no one abides by the law. There is much favoritism in his country, and the rich have all the power.

I found this so telling. The first things illegal immigrants do when they come to this country is break our immigration laws by coming here without visas, they secure fake work documents, and some drive without licenses and insurance. Then they band together to agitate for us to change our laws to make their illegality legal.

I'm afraid if we allow these demonstrations to change our values, we will start on the slippery slope to anarchy and corruption that so many of them are running away from.

As for Bush, he has 2 objectives for "immigration reform:" 1. secure the hispanics as a base for republicans, and 2. Maintain a continuous supply of cheap, abundant labor for his rich, republican business friends.

Bush has shown us with his disregard of the constituion that he is not interested in what is best for the country, only what is best for the republican party.

Posted by: DCNative on April 11, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

There is no immigration problem. Not now, not ever. None. There is no threat to jobs or the American way of life (whatever that is). It is a political construct. Mexicans are not a threat, no more than the Irish were in the 19th century, or the Chinese, Italians or Jews a bit later. These immigrant communities did no destroy Anglo-Saxon American culture (exactly what is that in the 21st century? ) and steal jobs to the detriment of the country. Did they?

No its all a smoke and mirror ride through the fun house of horror where Mexicans steal American fruit-picking and house cleaning jobs. The real threat to jobs comes from the red-blooded need for everyday low prices.

Posted by: bellumregio on April 11, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK
How do we know whom "we" want here? The law.

Well, maybe that's how you know what you want. But some of us examine our preferences more directly, and when we debate policy as we are here with immigration policy, evaluate whether the law reflects what we want rather than merely assuming, a priori, that the law is flawless.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

bellumregio- Well, I would ask you the same question I asked Tripp above. Do you support simply opening the borders to all comers? If not, why not?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp: As soon as I hear the word "illegals" I know where somebody stands on the issue.

I'm glad that you don't over-generalize about people based on their language.

is it too much bother to type "illegal immigrant?"

No, but many people find it too much bother to type the adjective "illegal". Worse, they start out typing "illegal immigrants" and then, without explanation, drop the adjective.

Why? Do they think that all immigrants are illegal, and hence the term "illegal immigrant" is redundant? If so, they're wrong.

Another explanation is that they wish to blur the distinction between illegal and legal immigrants, and save seven letters by using a term that technically includes both.

The NYT, amongst many others, is notorious for this. Kevin Drum has also done this. When I complained, he jumped to conclusions in the same way that you do.

So, in response to the opposition's rhetorical sleight-of-hand, I've started to use the term "illegals" as a rhetorical defensive tactic.

Posted by: alex on April 11, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp -- I wasn't defining YOU, except insofar as you've revealed yourself here.

I was talking about immigration law. (Dice, if you EVER want to be taken seriously, it would help that you'd start noticing when you're talking to folks who have spent considerably more than a decade CHANGING the law, before you hallucinate that they think the law is 'perfect'. I was merely noting that the point of hte law is to reflect our values, and if it doesn't, we should change it.)

LOL -- and, Tripp: if you want people to run a gauntlet, and a considerable number to die (ya know, to establish their bona fides), just how, exactly, would that be better than the terrible stigma you attach to "guest workers"?

For one thing, dude, the pending Senate bill includes 400,000 "guest worker" visas a year, plus their families which brings the total up to about a million a year ALL OF WHOM ARE ELIGIBLE FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY AFTER SIX YEARS.

So perhaps a bit more precise use of language would be ... useful.

Worth a try, anyway. In my experience, the American electorate generally catches on when it is being conned, and a good many voters don't like it.

So one more time: "immigrants", under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, are (as a Rule; there are a few exceptions) individuals who have been invited, by name, by individual Americans -- citizens get to invite spouses, kids, parents (without numerical limit) and siblings (subject to algebra); legal permanent residents get to invite spouses and kids (subject to algebra); employers get to hire skilled workers in a highly complex system that I've been trying to deregulate (my other issue, besides the wives and kids and worksite verification) for 16 years.

(Puerto Ricans who move to Massachusetts are no more "immigrants" than people who move from Connecticut to Texas. Sure, social scientists will sometimes use the word that way.)

But people who enter the United States illegally, who obtain false documents to work here fraudulently, cannot usefully be referred to by the same word "immigrant" that SPECIFICALLY denotes those who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, are allowed to live here permanently AND who are -- exclusively -- eligible for naturalized citizenship.

It's like calling a hand grenade an apple, and then trying to make a pie.

Look, folks: If you're gonna argue about this stuff, LEARN the first thing about it, k?

You can't make sense if you won't make distinctions -- although, Lord knows, Tripp will probably loan you his mirror.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 11, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK
Dice, if you EVER want to be taken seriously, it would help that you'd start noticing when you're talking to folks who have spent considerably more than a decade CHANGING the law, before you hallucinate that they think the law is 'perfect'.

Eamer, I wasn't hallucinating, I was describing your stupid statement that we look to the law to determine what we want.

If your statement doesn't reflect your actual view, I'd suggest you start working on saying what you mean, rather than getting flustered when someone points out the idiocy of what you say.

So one more time: "immigrants", under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965,

...are "legal" (i.e., "under the law") "immigrants". But "immigrant" is an English word that has been around a long time before the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and has a well established meaning. When people are discussing what the law should be rather than status under the law, the general use, rather than the definition in a particular law, of "immigrant" is naturally appropriate. Anyone with any remote understanding of communication would understand this.

But people who enter the United States illegally, who obtain false documents to work here fraudulently, cannot usefully be referred to by the same word "immigrant" that SPECIFICALLY denotes those who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, are allowed to live here permanently AND who are -- exclusively -- eligible for naturalized citizenship.

Certainly, it is appropriate to use the word "immigrant" in its use in standard English to refer to them regardless of their legal status. It might be inappropriate, say, in the context of a legal proceeding that itself invoked the Immigration and Nationality Act, but that's a specialized forum.

The fact that you can't understand that words have different appropriate definitions in different contexts and that the law generally doesn't change change the appropriate usage of words outside of the context of legal proceedings, except words that specifically are defined in general use by legality, just means you are an idiot.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- gee, Dice, how foolish to use the word for what it means IN THE LAW, in a debate about...

(Tell us, are you trying to be stooopid, or is this natural talent?)

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 11, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

But people who enter the United States illegally, who obtain false documents to work here fraudulently, cannot usefully be referred to by the same word "immigrant" that SPECIFICALLY denotes those who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, are allowed to live here permanently...

Nonsense. I know a chap who entered illegally, spent several years scrambling to build a life for himself in the US, eventually got his status regularized, and is now a US citizen (a very rich one at that). The fact that he entered illegally in no way changes the fact that he is, indeed, an immigrant.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida on April 11, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Newly created? Are you saying that the first time you ever heard "illegal" used as a shorthand for "illegal alien" is when theAmericanist used it on this thread?

Obtuse much?

Actually, I meant new as in the last couple of years, when it became common amongst Lou Dobbs, Republican congressmen, and other xenophobes and racists.
New, as in recent dictionary entries don't list "illegal" as a noun to describe illegal immigrants.

(Tell us, are you trying to be stooopid, or is this natural talent?)

At any rate, it's entertaining to watch a troll flail around trying to justify it. Someone seems a bit sensitive and desperate, and is resorting to more adhoms as a result.

Posted by: The American on April 11, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Obtuse much? Actually, I meant new as in the last couple of years, when it became common amongst Lou Dobbs, Republican congressmen, and other xenophobes and racists.
New, as in recent dictionary entries don't list "illegal" as a noun to describe illegal immigrants."

Well, I just went to dictionary.com and found "illegal- n. An illegal immigrant". So I guess it depends which dictionary you want to use. Personally, I've heard it used at least since the early 90s- my memory is a bit foggy before then. As I said, I've heard it used quite a bit by people who are neither racist nor xenophobic. And, for that matter, looking over the posts of theAmericanist, I can't see anything racist or xenophobic in them. Sarcastic, sure, snarky, yes, but neither racist nor xenophobic. Perhaps you would be willing to offer examples to prove your assertions?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 11, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

The American: Actually, I meant new as in the last couple of years, when it became common amongst Lou Dobbs, Republican congressmen, and other xenophobes and racists.

I didn't know that all Republican congressmen (and women?) were xenophobes and racists. Thankfully, unlike us xenophobes and racists, you don't over-generalize about people.

New, as in recent dictionary entries don't list "illegal" as a noun to describe illegal immigrants.

Oh? From www.m-w.com:

illegal
Function: noun
: an illegal immigrant

Interesting how flexible and undisciplined the English language is. Adjectives become nouns, nouns become verbs, and those lazy lexicographers, rather than chastising us all, simply change their dictionaries to reflect actual usage.

Posted by: alex on April 11, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK
LOL -- gee, Dice, how foolish to use the word for what it means IN THE LAW, in a debate about...

...how the law should deal with the class of people that, regardless of legal status (which is, after all, part of the output of the policy at issue) are properly referred to in common usage by the term "immigrant".

Yeah, Eamer, it is pretty stupid, in that case, to argue against the word being used in its common sense, with distinctions of legality being marked by modifiers "legal" and "illegal", and instead insist that only those people who are immigrants under the existing law be described as "immigrants" when discussing what the law should and should not allow.

Its even stupider to continue to insist on it when you've been called on it.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

(grin) I realize you're not used to this, Dice, but intelligent people use words to make distinctions. You might try the practice sometime -- I hear it is even useful in law.

PB, somewhat inadvertently, makes the point: "I know a chap who entered illegally, spent several years scrambling to build a life for himself in the US, eventually got his status regularized, and is now a US citizen (a very rich one at that). The fact that he entered illegally in no way changes the fact that he is, indeed, an immigrant...."

Followed that far, arguing over "immigrant" becomes pedantic, with only a semantic difference: but (while others were, sorta foolishly), I wasn't focused on the words themselves, but their meaning. (In that sense, he became an immigrant when he was "regularized" -- God, this language positively AVOIDS meaning.)

The FIRST point, recall, wasn't to the word "immigrant", but to Tripp's objection to the word "illegal".

In another thread, I recalled meeting with an oxymoron, a Japanese immigration official, who told me that he considered "Americanization" to be merely a sneaky way to get rid of immigrants. Turns out he couldn't conceive of an immigrant becoming an American, and yet remaining an immigrant -- which is understandable, since he was Japanese: I couldn't move to Japan and become Japanese any more than I could climb a tree and become a pine cone.

But pretty much anybody can come to America, provided they obey our laws, and become an American.

It's the conditional clause that's the key.

PB's example argues THAT THE LAW DOES NOT MATTER. Hey, this guy came here illegally, but then he found a way around it, and now's he's a citizen: See? Legal, illegal -- no difference at all, right?

I've written in various places about immigration lawyers who argue against EVER using the phrase "illegal alien", because there are SO many ways around the law, that no one is ever REALLY illegal...

...which is a good reason why the law doesn't work. Hadn't you guys noticed?

Generally speaking, obeying the law is good, and breaking it is bad. When that is reversed, change the law. (Example below.)

So I suggest that the various folks who post here, never having given these issues ten minutes real thought in their lives, start with some first principles: Do "We, the People" get to decide who of the nearly 7 billion people on the planet gets to come join us as equals in our country, or not?

Tripp, Dice, and a whole lot of others have simply, obviously, never thought about that, or else they believe (in a chickenshit, stupid sorta manner) that the answer is: we don't.

Anybody who chooses to come here uninvited, violating our law, like PB's example, if they just make enough money to hire a good lawyer who can game thoroughly corrupted laws, well: legal, illegal, who cares? That's what lawyers are for.

Not my country, bub. I want to FIX the laws.

Here is an example, a live issue before the Congress (not that most of you guys give a rat's ass about the reality of it all), SR's story:

"My husband is in India and my kid who is 2 years old and myself are staying alone in Minnesota. Since I have a green card, Im not able to bring my husband to USA even on a visit visa. US immigration laws have torn apart my family and have forced me into being a single mom. I often find myself searching for words to explain to my child why his Dad is not with him. I have even thought of taking an extended vacation on loss of pay and going to India to live with my husband. Yet, another Immigration law wouldnt let do even that. It says if I live outside the US for more than 6 months in any given year, my Greencard will be suspended and I will no longer be able to enter the US.

Immigration laws have destroyed my family life."

That's a precise example of what I mean: she was a "non-immigrant" (here on an H-1b), who got a green card (thus, becoming an "immigrant"), who is thus promised under the law that the husband she married after becoming a legal permanent resident could come to live with her and their U.S. citizen child -- but Congress does NOT deliver on that promise.

Matthew 19:6, Tripp. Did you look it up?

Tell us, Dice and PB: what have you done about this injustice?

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 11, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK
I realize you're not used to this, Dice, but intelligent people use words to make distinctions.

Yes, Eamer, intelligent people do use words to make valid, meaningful, and relevant distinctions.

This has very little to do with your attempt to bizarrely restrict the definition of "immigrant" in this discussion.

So I suggest that the various folks who post here, never having given these issues ten minutes real thought in their lives, start with some first principles: Do "We, the People" get to decide who of the nearly 7 billion people on the planet gets to come join us as equals in our country, or not?

Tripp, Dice, and a whole lot of others have simply, obviously, never thought about that, or else they believe (in a chickenshit, stupid sorta manner) that the answer is: we don't.

Keep lying, Eamer, I've come to expect it from you. I mean, in every thread we've discussed this on, I've outlined a proposal whereby the US would set personal qualifications which would disqualify people from coming to the US, and would allow a certain number of others in annually without fee in various categories, and as many as were not categorically disqualified to come in without waiting through lines by paying a fee (which might very by which class of would-be immigrant they were in.)

Nevertheless, you persist in your idiotic lie that I think the people of the US, through their government, shouldn't have a say in who comes here. I mean, I'm proposing both that we should have that power, and how we ought to exercise it, but you persist in saying, without any basis at all, that I either haven't thought about the matter or that I think the answer is that we shouldn't have that power.

You don't pay the slightest attention to what anyone you respond to writes. You've got a whole bunch of preconceived notions, and just assume that anyone who doesn't agree with your exact solutions does so because they fit into the preconceived descriptive stereotype you have for people who oppose your proposed solutions.

In another thread, I recalled meeting with an oxymoron, a Japanese immigration official, who told me that he considered "Americanization" to be merely a sneaky way to get rid of immigrants. Turns out he couldn't conceive of an immigrant becoming an American, and yet remaining an immigrant -- which is understandable, since he was Japanese

Strange, since under your tendentious definition of "immigrant" -- that of the Immigration and Nationality Act -- once you become an American, you are no longer an immigrant. So, you know, by your own preferred all-purpose authoritative definition, he was right. You can't become an American and still be an immigrant, and Americanization gets rid of immigrants, as an "immigrant" under the Immigration and Nationality Act is necessarily and alien and become an American -- gaining American citizenship or nationality -- means you cease to be an alien.

Of course, its also interesting to note that your own source -- the definition of "immigrant" in the Immigration and Nationality Act codified at 8 USC 1101(a)(15) -- does not, as you have repeatedly and falsely claimed, restrict the term "immigrant", even under the act, to those "invited", or to what some people have distinguished as "legal immigrants".

Instead, it defines "immigrant" as any "alien" (itself defined as anyone not a citizen or national of the US) except those meeting a number of exceptions -- most of which are either legal non-immigrant statuses or statuses involving having a permanent residence in a foreign country that they don't intend to leave; so even granting your strained argument that the only definition of "immigrant" that should be used in the discussion of what the law should be is that defined in the existing law, the objections you have been making seems to be false. I think you are confusing the definition of "immigrant" with the limitations as to which immigrants may be issued immigration visa (see, e.g., 8 USC § 1201(a)), and with all your primping about your 16 years of expertise in the field, it is clear that your persistent misrepresentation of this point which you've made so much of cannot be through ignorance, if you are half the expert you pretend to be.

Which, of course, leaves only dishonesty to explain it.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK
Tell us, Dice and PB: what have you done about this injustice?

I've repeatedly proposed a solution which doesn't require Congress to, year-to-year, take any specific action to "keep its promise", which avoids the fundamental problem of the fact that any such reliance is doomed to failure.

I've seen you moan about the problem and lament that Congress doesn't keep its promises, and whine that it should, but I haven't seen you even propose a solution (other than Congress, year to year, keeping its past promises) that actually deals with the problem, so I haven't seen you do anything toward a pragmatically useful solution given the evident realities of Congress' lack of reliability when it has to act year-to-year.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Dice, I'm just gonna go back to recognizing your fundamental unseriousity... Congress doesn't set immigration #s "year to year".

Dayum, even for you, that was stupid.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 11, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK
Dice, I'm just gonna go back to recognizing your fundamental unseriousity... Congress doesn't set immigration #s "year to year"

Are you being deliberately obtuse? Your continuous complaint is that Congress makes certain broad policy promises as to who will get in without delay, and then, as it periodically authorizes visa numbers, doesn't allocate enough visas to meet those promises.

If the above is the sum total of your response to my pointing out that I've proposed a solution to this that doesn't rely on Congress magically becoming reliable, and your only solution has been for Congress to suddenly make a lasting, ongoing change and become magically trustworthy, well, maybe you ought to recognize your fundamental unseriousness, Eamer.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 12, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Dice, THIS is an example why nobody with any sense takes you seriously: "as it periodically authorizes visa numbers..."

Congress does not "periodically" authorize visa numbers. The last time the family #s were changed was 1990, the last time before that was 1965.

Do post your apology for expressing opinions (which you then opine are quite thoughtful) on subject about which, as noted, you don't know shit.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 12, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK
Dice, THIS is an example why nobody with any sense takes you seriously

I've yet to see any evidence that nobody takes me seriously, and considerable counterevidence, so I'm not really intereasted, Eamer, in your explanation for non-existent facts.

Congress does not "periodically" authorize visa numbers. The last time the family #s were changed was 1990, the last time before that was 1965.

I don't think you understand. I wasn't making a claim about what Congress does, I was characterizing the content of your repeated description of the problem, to whit, that Congress created notionally unlimited categories and then failed to provide the visas for them.

And then I was pointing to the fact that -- granting, arguendo, the accuracy of your charge -- the policy I have proposed (not based on the problem you described) would, in fact, solve the problem you repeatedly describe without relying on Congress becoming more reliable.

If your repeated description of the underlying problem is inaccurate, that's not my problem.

Do post your apology for expressing opinions (which you then opine are quite thoughtful) on subject about which, as noted, you don't know shit.

(1) Learn to read.
(2) Apologize for lying about the definition of "immigrant" in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Then we can talk.


Posted by: cmdicely on April 12, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Yanno, something oughta be made clear, here.

Dice, just because you have a stupid opinion on a subject, YOUR opinion does not become the subject.

Read that over again.

You write that I somehow claimed "that Congress created notionally unlimited categories and then failed to provide the visas for them..."

Huh?

Oddly enough, I never said anything remotely like that. It's a measure of how little you understand this stuff that you actually imagine that's an accurate restatement of what I DID say. You're getting it wrong -- and then asking me (and anybody commenting) to respond to YOU, as if you fucking count.

You can't get much more solipsist than that, even on the Web. It's impressive.

Tell ya what: LEARN something about the subject, the ACTUAL subject -- immigration law, policy and politics, the issues, the players.

Then -- very slowly -- try to form opinions on how these things actually relate to each other. Gingerly, so you don't run before you can walk, test out your 'opinions' with folks who know something of the subject.

But, fortheloveofallthingsGodly, Dice: don't confuse what you're saying online with anything of any value whatsoever.

What I had noted about immigration law is that there are numerically unlimited categories (not "notionally", in fact and law they're unlimited): namely, the spouses, kids and parents of U.S. citizens.

Folks invited in these categories are numerically unlimited, but they ARE counted -- and what they are counted AGAINST, are the remaining family-based visas: siblings of citizens, and the spouses and kids of legal permanent residents.

That's how the law actually works, Dice. It's been that since 1990, and before that, it hadn't been touched since 1965.

That isn't even remotely like your misunderstanding of either the law, or what I've been trying to DO about it.

Pull your head out of your ass, since you're obviously not learning much up there: go read Jeff Jacoby' column in today's Boston Globe.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 12, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK
Oddly enough, I never said anything remotely like that.

If you felt you were misportrayed, the proper response would have been to correct the error, rather than to falsely claim that I was saying something about how the system worked, when I was very clearly discussing how I, unlike you, had actually proposed a solution that would fix the problem.

What I had noted about immigration law is that there are numerically unlimited categories (not "notionally", in fact and law they're unlimited): namely, the spouses, kids and parents of U.S. citizens.

Folks invited in these categories are numerically unlimited, but they ARE counted -- and what they are counted AGAINST, are the remaining family-based visas: siblings of citizens, and the spouses and kids of legal permanent residents.

Actually, to be precise, they are only counted against them up to a set limit; there is a fixed minimum number of visas in the latter category which is never reduced no matter how many people are admitted in the former category. To be even more precise, there is a flexible cap on the total in the two categories, with a minimum on the number allowed in the latter category. If less than the total are admitted in a year, the excess carries over and is available the next year, if more in the former category are apply than the "soft cap" minus the minimum allowed in the latter category, they are admitted without reducing the number in the latter category further.

But, of course, I know nothing about the issue.

But, and here's the point I've been pointing to: you repeatedly have made one of your principle complaints that Congress doesn't provide enough visas to meet its "promises". I've proposed a solution which solves this problem by only limiting the number of "regular" visas, but making truly unlimited visas requiring an extra fee, thus reducing the reliance on Congress' adjusting the numbers of visas to meet the needs in the various invited categories.

You've voiced a complaint, and offered no solution but a vague handwave of Congress "delivering on its promises", and then asked what I and others here have done.

Well, I've proposed a concrete solution, that actually addresses the problem you only whine about.

That isn't even remotely like your misunderstanding of either the law, or what I've been trying to DO about it.

I haven't heard anything from you about what you've been trying to do about it. Oh, I've seen plenty of name dropping and bragging about you having spend 16 years "changing the law", and I see plenty of complaints from you about the current state of the law. What I don't see is any concrete proposals from you about how the law could be made better except "Congress should deliver on its promises", which is just an empty platitude, not a policy proposal.


Posted by: cmdicely on April 12, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

An ironic "welcome back" to that warm-and-soft commentor Karen, who despises "liberals who want to become an annex of the banana republics to the south."

Liberals, I suppose, like John McCain.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 12, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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