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Tilting at Windmills

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December 12, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

TWO MINUTES HATE....From the LA Times today:

More than any other question, Republican presidential candidates are asking voters to consider a single issue in the weeks before primary voting begins: Who detests illegal immigration the most?

They always have to detest someone, don't they?

Kevin Drum 1:04 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (97)

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only two minutes? I think not.

Posted by: Ty Lookwell on December 12, 2007 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

It's called "ethnic outbidding", and it's a winner. Immigrants, terrorists, Cadillac welfare queens, who else ya got? Unfortunately, it works really well.

Posted by: luci on December 12, 2007 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

I hope Republicans keep demonizing the fastest growing minority population in the United States.

Posted by: Old Hat on December 12, 2007 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

So the LA Times hates Republicans. This is news?

Posted by: am on December 12, 2007 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Question Number 2: Who would invade the most foreign countries?

Posted by: fafner1 on December 12, 2007 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

You all forgot the most overwhelming question to which a majority of the Republican Presidential campaigns lead: who will allow the brownies to be tortured the most and keep us uninformed enough to feel safe and morally superior despite all the reprehensible things that are allowed to be done in our name?

Posted by: gregor on December 12, 2007 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

And, question 3 -- who would pass the biggest tax cut to avoid paying for this?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on December 12, 2007 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican party is full of so much fear, hate and xenophobia it?s truly repulsive. Toss in the religiosity and it gets worse. And that for me is why I always have favored the Dems, even if I don?t vote for them. The Republicans operate from a base of fear-mongering, racism and the like. The Dems don?t. For me those foundations are more important than everything else. Even with misguided or poor policies, the Democrats are capable eventually of fostering a country that I want to live in and that I?m proud to be a member of. The Republicans can?t. In fact, the more they push their policies through, the less I like this country; e.g. Iraq, Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

From an email I sent to a friend today.

Posted by: blah on December 12, 2007 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

"'Who detests illegal immigration the most?'

They always have to detest someone, don't they?"
________________

No. The first question asks who detests the act of breaking our immigration laws, not the people doing it. The question is as legitimate, proper, and free of racial bias as if one had asked, "Who detests cheating on taxes?" Mr. Drum's question sidesteps the legitimate original question in order to drop the charge of racism on an entire party and, by extension, anyone who is concerned with the collectively corrosive effects of large numbers of people (and not just the immigrants) ignoring our laws.

The illegal immigration problem is not going to be solved by simply accusing those who are worried about it of racism. If Mr. Drum's preference is an open border policy, then he should say so. That, at least, would be an honest proposition to be debated, decided, and acted upon. If so decided, we could stop issuing green cards and visas and simply ask anyone entering, from anywhere, if they intend to stay and, if so, would they like an application for a social security card. But, to accuse anyone who thinks immigration laws should actually be enforced of racism is simply a cheap shot and an avoidance of the issues involved.

Posted by: trashhauler on December 12, 2007 at 3:58 AM | PERMALINK

For Republicans illegal immigration is the new Gay.

(Interestingly enough that's exactly what Obama told a group of gay activists about the Republicans in a recent off-the-record basement meeting.)

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on December 12, 2007 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans are a very immature bunch and they kinda remind me of the Little Rascals movies, where they have this "He-Man Woman Haters Club", except the word "woman" is interchangeable with "black", "Hispanic", "gay" or "liberal".

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 12, 2007 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

trashhauler--
Anybody who opposes 'Amnesty' is either in favor of the status quo or in favor of spending every tax dollar rounding up and deporting over ten million people. Therefore, if you want to accuse people of avoidance of issues, you should start with the wingnuts on the Right and the Party that represents them.

Posted by: reino on December 12, 2007 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

Reino is wrong. (So is trashhauler, but he's less significant for progressives.)

Let's STOP accusing people of avoiding issues, without actually proposing how to SOLVE them. Fair enough?

LEGAL immigrants are people we want. That's why they are legal.

Foreigners living illegally in America are people we do NOT want. That's why they are illegal.

With some exceptions, the Rule to tell the difference is that LEGAL immigrants are invited -- by name -- by individual Americans and employers.

If we can't say "no" to illegal immigration, our "yes" to legal immigrants becomes meaningless. THAT is what has happened over the past decade and a half -- and that is what progressives ought to stop enabling with the bullshit idea that "immigration" includes "illegal".

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

I must agree with trashhauler and theAmericanist. I am not in favor of amnesty at all. I don't have a comprehensive solution to the problem, but I do believe it is a problem. Illegal immigration quickens the transition of power from citizens to corporations. Illegal immigration is used to undercut unions, undercut minimum wage laws, undercut OSHAA, and to make America's labor costs more "competitive" with China, India, et. al. I think any business caught using undocumented workers needs to face stiff fines and criminal sanctions. I don't think anyone has a good idea what to do with the ones that are here. "Sending 'em back" appeals to base instincts, but is not feasible (nor humane). Granting amnesty, however, simply encourages the next wave, and dooms us to repeat this experience. It is a tough issue.

Posted by: An Anonymous American Patriot on December 12, 2007 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK


By 57% to 23%, more Hispanic registered voters say they favor Democrats than Republicans, according to a survey by the non-partisan Pew Hispanic Center. 12/07/07

ouch

Posted by: mr. irony on December 12, 2007 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

Hatred: the force that gives their lives meaning. Preach it, Al!

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on December 12, 2007 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

I can think of comprehensive solutions for immigration, but they don't have enough political support. The solutions either require businesses to be responsible for hiring only people who have the right to work in this country or make it possible for anyone who wants to work in this country to come here to work, much like our treatment of northern Europeans for much of the history of the US. Solutions that control employment require some level of improved identification papers for everyone, maybe free passports for all. They require realistic immigration quotas, maybe as much as 1% of our current population or more. They also require amnesty, no matter what you call it, if you want anything like a sensible solution. Sure, we could enforce the laws for a extra trillion dollars and kick out all of the illegals. We might get a special bonus revolution in Mexico which would flood the US with refugees if we did that.

As long as Republicans refuse to make employers criminally responsible for hiring those who don't have the right to work here, don't address amnesty, and don't address the pathetically, intentionally undersized quotas we have today the Republicans are nothing but noisy hypocrites. Aside from Tancredo, none of them care about immigration, and Tancredo isn't getting any traction, so we can conclude that Republicans are quite happy with the immigration status quo, just as they are happy with the abortion status quo.

Posted by: freelunch on December 12, 2007 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Illegal immigration became a problem/issue when one of the many scandals was being reported in all media (ex. Mark Rich, Abu Grahib, Cheney's hunting accident, etc.) The Mexicans moving above the border may have bothered officials and citizens directly affected by their effect upon their school systems and social services, but for the most part, these locales were isolated and limited to very few.

W and the Republican dittoites announced that it was an important issue. And it has become one, all over the nation. Had they slipped in from
Canada, spoke English and been a few shades lighter in color, the populace of the US would have yawned.

But it's true, Americans love to feel self-righteous about some group that is hurting them. And there are plenty individuals and organizations who will cite some indirect manner in which these immigrants are hurting them.

The truth is that immigrants from below the border are simply working long hours, at below minimum wage jobs that allow small and struggling business to stay alive. The immigrants are performing jobs that virtually no one born in this country would take.

It's really none of our business. I invite the only people who should have the right to allow or reject people from entering the US to make that decision; Native Americans/Indians. Let the tribes decide, Arapaho, Creek, Osage, Ute ................

Posted by: Carolyn Williams on December 12, 2007 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Ms. Williams: what a crock.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

people who have the right to work in this country

Q: What gives you the power to determine who does and who does not have the right to work?

A: Eurotrash genocidal power, fueled by racist hate.

Posted by: Bob G on December 12, 2007 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

The ironic thing about this is that if you listen to the mayors and law enforcement people working in most of the towns on or near the border, the honest ones will admit that illegal immigrants are no more of a law enforcement issue than PWT, and everyone knows that the local economies wouldn't run without them.

It seems that most of the irrational fear and hatred of illegal immigrants comes from smaller northern (in relation to the border) towns who haven't had immigrant populations since the 19th Century.

Ah, the Heartland!

Posted by: JeffII on December 12, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist, Ms. Williams got it exactly right. At some point, it was decided that illegal immigration was "important" and that this is what we should get whipped up about, and we decided to follow along. Yesterday, people couldn't shut up about how welfare was the #1 most important issue. Or Iraq. Or Ward Churchill. Or whatever it is that angry, obnoxious relatives are going to be bitching about this Christmas based on what O'Reilly told them to bitch about.

And in all my years in Boston, I never heard people bitching about the Irish people taking money under the table while working as bartenders.

Posted by: Tyro on December 12, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

we want the undocumented immigrants too. we just have an immigration system that is so backlogged and full of problems and actively anti-immigration that even employers, employers that would love to higher immigrants -- can't find away to bring them here. cf. microsoft moving offices to Vancouver after immigration reform didn't pass. immigrants, like they always have, follow the jobs. in the past, we made it easy to do this. that's how my great grandparents came here from austria and ireland -- they just showed up. and were processed easily. in every way, the exact system that undocumented immigrants use today: showing up. (although many others come here for school and find that they can't find jobs documented jobs afterwards. or they fall in love with a same-sex person and that person has no way to sponsor them.) why are we seeing such a backlash against immigrants of all stripes now? because suddenly they are needed in places that we haven't had immigrants in over a 100 years: the midwest farm states with low unemployment and booming economies, the southern states that have lured businesses away from northern cities to low unemployment and booking economies. and so for decades it was okay to have undocumented immigrants in the city. couple this with declining manufacturing and the resurgence of northern cities as playgrounds for the wealthy and tourists. immigrants have dispersed and followed the jobs -- and that seems to freak people out who have gotten comfortable in their monolingual, monocultural backwoods.

Posted by: Inaudible Nonsense on December 12, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK
Let's STOP accusing people of avoiding issues, without actually proposing how to SOLVE them.

Does that mean you are going to stop posting entirely? Because I haven't seen you propose anything of substance to solve anything yet, despite your frequent accusations of avoiding, misunderstanding, misstating, etc., issues directed at almost every other poster here.

LEGAL immigrants are people we want. That's why they are legal.

Well, no.

Legal immigrants are the people the law has allowed to immigrate. Whether that law does, in fact, the central issue of the immigration debate.

Foreigners living illegally in America are people we do NOT want. That's why they are illegal.

Well, no, again, you make the same mistake. And its odd that you would given the number of times you have complained about Congress failing to honor its "promises" regarding, e.g., families of permanent residents, and you yourself have characterized the people that are forbidden to immigrate as a consequence of that failure as people we do want. Because when these people do immigrate now, they are illegal.

With some exceptions, the Rule to tell the difference is that LEGAL immigrants are invited -- by name -- by individual Americans and employers.

There are rather vast exceptions that render your so-called "Rule" meaningless. Literally millions of people who are invited are not legal simply because of the limits, both overall and per nation, in the law. And lots of those people, particularly in the family statuses that are limited and from countries where the waiting list in the status they qualify for is near or over a decade long, come anyway.

We need to deal with the fatally broken law before dealing with the lawbreakers. Fix the law so that the people who are legally permitted to immigrate are, in fact rather than merely in abstract aspirational theory, the people we want, and the people who are forbidden to do so are, likewise in fact, the people we don't want, and it becomes a whole lot easier to enforce the law, because there won't be resistance from every corner to doing just that.

The first key to doing that is to align the supply of slots with the demand, so that the people who are invited as the law permits, and are personally eligible to be admitted, don't face the highest barrier when lots of people from their country are likewise interested in and qualified for immigration. If the country from which it was physically easiest to enter the US illegally were not also the country from which it was most difficult for any qualified applicant to immigrate legally, we wouldn't have nearly as big a problem with illegal immigration. A frustrated would-be immigrant from Mozambique faces bigger hurdles than one from Mexico.

The next step is to align the limiting mechanisms with the reasons for the limits. There are people who are not allowed to come here, even if invited, because they are personally undesirable. They are, and should be, simply prohibited entry. Fine.

There are also people who are wanted individually, but who, if they come in too great of numbers, may impose costs on the system that are undesirable even though each immigrant personally is not. Currently, the law addresses this group with hard quotas. Realigning the quotas, as discussed above, can help with some problems, but it isn't enough to fix the law. To fix it, you allow people to immigrate beyond the quotas, but charge an individual fee. Now, we have different immigration categories now, and we recognize a heirarchy of preferences that are reflected in the alotment of quotas in various categories, etc. And there is no reason not to continue to reflect those categories in the fee structure for supernumerary immigrants. Doing so reinforces the same issues addressed by existing preference categories, addresses the costs associated with the level of immigration, reduces the incentive to immigrate outside the law, and removes the political basis for much of the relunctance within the US to enforcement of immigration laws. Under this system, those who were illegal would, in fact, be those who we did not want, and those who were legal would, in fact, be those who we did want; at least, the alignment of those categories would be a lot tighter than they are today.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 12, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK
Whether that law does, in fact, the central issue of the immigration debate.

s/b

Whether that law does, in fact, represent what we want is the central issue of the immigration debate.
Posted by: cmdicely on December 12, 2007 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Carolyn Williams: Illegal immigration became a problem/issue when one of the many scandals was being reported in all media

Illegal immigration was an issue over 20 years ago, when we had our last "reform". Since then the situation has only gotten worse.

The Mexicans moving above the border may have bothered officials and citizens directly affected by their effect upon their school systems and social services, but for the most part, these locales were isolated and limited to very few.

12 million illegal aliens is a lot more than an "isolated and limited" problem.

BTW, what makes you think all illegal aliens are Mexican? Please take your generalizations elsewhere.

And it has become one, all over the nation. Had they slipped in from Canada, spoke English and been a few shades lighter in color, the populace of the US would have yawned.

Illegal Irish immigrants speak English and are whiter than the average American. Twenty years ago they were as much a problem as illegal Mexican, Central American or Asian aliens. That's only changed because the Irish economy has improved.

As to your idea that opposition to the US governments tolerance of illegal aliens is necessarily racially motivated, please take your bigotry elsewhere.

But it's true, Americans love to feel self-righteous about some group that is hurting them.

In this case it's justified. The group that's hurting them is the US government and the people who pay them to have de facto cheap labor policies.

The truth is that immigrants from below the border are simply working long hours, at below minimum wage jobs ... The [illegal] immigrants are performing jobs that virtually no one born in this country would take.

Of course no one in this country would (or should) take them - they pay below minimum wage. This has nothing to do with the work and everything to do with the pay. For less than minimum wage you couldn't hire stock brokers or lawyers either.

It's interesting that you parrot George W. Bush's line about illegal aliens taking jobs that no Americans would - are you also a foe of American labor?

I invite the only people who should have the right to allow or reject people from entering the US to make that decision; Native Americans/Indians. Let the tribes decide, Arapaho, Creek, Osage, Ute ...

Fine by me, as long as we're consistent and allow them to decide whether the US should exist at all. Until they decide that it shouldn't, we should accept that the US is a sovereign country with a right to determine what immigration policies benefit its citizens and to enforce those policies.

Posted by: alex on December 12, 2007 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Hippies.
Feminists.
Blacks.
Criminals.
Flagburners.
Gays.
Arabs.
Moslems.
Liberals.
Secular humanists.
Illegal immigrants.

I'm sure I've forgotten a few. Every two years there's gotta be someone to hate, fear, and dehumanize. Just go back and read the old newspapers. When hating, fearing, and dehumanizing one group doesn't get you enough votes anymore, find someone new. Rinse and repeat. 1968. 1970. 1972. 1974. 1976. And on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on... Until everyone hates everyone else, and the whole country collapses.

Two generations later, you can always graciously apologize for the damage you've done.

The Republican party wasn't always this way. But it started working for them in 1968, and they haven't looked back. Ask Kevin Phillips. Ask the late Lee Atwater. Criminy, even ask Ken Mehlman.

Posted by: Bill Camarda on December 12, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

I keep noting that Dice is too dumb to argue with.

Others who want to kick this around, here is the core of it: if as progressives we won't make distinctions (e.g., between those we want and those we don't), we cannot make sense.

The public clearly craves a debate about immigration that makes sense. So here are the basics:

Prior to 1965, our immigration laws were essentially negative in character. That is, if we hadn't come up with a reason to keep someone out, they could come in. So naturally, we accumulated a very long list of reasons to keep people out. Some made sense, like being barred cuz a foreigner was carrying a contagious disease. Some did not, like the goofy idea that immigration should not alter America's demographics. (This was the country of origin quota system -- if the previous census determined that 15% of Americans' roots were Italian, then no more than 15% of whatever # of immigrants were allowed in for the next decade could be from Italy: families and jobs be damned.)

Since 1965, the system has been affirmative: Americans invite immigrants for family and jobs. (Refugees and asylees are different.) Citizens invite spouses, kids, parents and siblings; legal permanent residents invite spouses and kids; employers sponsor workers for green cards.

But Congress promises more than it delivers. It tries to "manage" the system by backlogs measures in millions waiting decades, and then rather than writing rules that work, tries to make exceptions. But no system with more exceptions than rules CAN work.

Progressives have fallen into the trap, partly exemplified by Dice and Williams, that what American want, as expressed in our laws, is illegitimate. That's bullshit, and we should say so every time any knucklehead brings it up.

They have adopted the framing invented by immigration's opponents, that there is no significant difference between legal and illegal, that in fact "immigration" is ABOUT "illegal" because, after all, our laws are immoral.

Fuck that.

It is impossible to build a PRO-immigration consensus on that ANTI-immigration premise.

So -- do we, as progressives, want to do better, or not?

The only sensible place to start is the distinction between legal and illegal, between those we want, and those we don't. (Stopping the NEXT illegal immigrant, the one who comes tomorrow, is far more important than what we do about the one who came yesterday. The public is tired of promises. Who can believe us when we use language like "undocumented", for folks with fistfuls of fake fake documents? Progressives should not be afraid to be blunt.)

If we can't do that, we're useless: since We, the People can't say "no", our "yes" will be increasingly meaningless.

Simple summary: Enforce employer sanctions with private sector verification, and fix legal immigration FIRST.

Yea or nay?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

This is a very dangerous tact for Republicans. Nationally illegal immigration is down the issue list. Most people are primarily concerned with the economy, the war, global warming and terrorism. Damn, sorry, I forgot Bush has so poisoned the well on those issues Republicans can't even begin to compete.

You have to give Bush credit for at least recognizing that half assed Lou Dobbs style measures on immigration will destroy the long term future of the Republican party.

This looks to be a bad year and maybe the beginning of the end for Republicans.

Posted by: corpus juris on December 12, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist, you want to solve illegal immigration? Well you might start by insisting Mexico take care of their own. Get some of those billionaires living high and wide in Mexico to start paying reasonable taxes. Insist they pay their workers a living wage. How about American/Canadian style environmental laws? How about some sort of real social security system? How about insisting the Mexicans treat their middle and working class with genuine respect and that their leadership work hard to build up the Mexican economy.

Don't kid yourself Americanist, the Mexicans are coming to America for the same reason your ancestors did. They want a better chance than is possible in their own country. In this case we are talking about Mexico the very model Republicans hold up as being their ideal "free market" society.

Posted by: corpus juris on December 12, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

"people who have the right to work in this country"

Q: What gives you the power to determine who does and who does not have the right to work?

A: Eurotrash genocidal power, fueled by racist hate. Posted by: Bob G

What a crock! No one has the power to determine who has or doesn't have any rights, at least not here.

"A government of laws, and not of men."-John Adams

“The Rule of Law is fundamental to our existence as a civilized nation. The Rule of Law is not a goal which we merely aspire to achieve; it is the floor below which we must not sink."-Guess Who

Posted by: majarosh on December 12, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Why are there millions of IllegalAliens in the U.S.? Did they suddenly drop from the skies one day?

No, they're here because our politicians allowed them to come here. And, they did that because they're on the take in one way or another.

So, by constructing a StrawmanArgument, Kevin Drum is covering for massive PoliticalCorruption. Rather than speaking out against PoliticalCorruption, he's enabling more of it.

The Bush administration and others have made it easy for banks to profit from money earned illegally, and even the FederalReserve wants a slice of money that was earned illegally.

And, all Kevin Drum can do is play childish games.

Another factor involved is the actions of the MexicanGovernment: they've been able to obtain a great deal of PoliticalPower inside the U.S., and they're using that to push their agenda. They've even explicitly stated that they're going to be using U.S. non-profits to push their goals. Which shouldn't be that difficult, since they already have direct or indirect links to several well-known non-profits.

Why, they've even got an indirect link to a few "progressive" bloggers.

This whole issue gets really complicated when, unlike Kevin Drum, you actually know what you're talking about.

[Note: WM might edit or delete this comment without notice as they have several of my comments in the past.]

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on December 12, 2007 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Corpus notices that whole 'sun rising in the East' thing seems like a pattern: "Mexicans are coming to America for the same reason your ancestors did.." No kidding.

So what? Creating a permanent foreign underclass cuz we won't enforce the law isn't the sorta thing we should SUPPORT, is it?

Immigration OUGHT to be a wedge issue progressives can use against conservatives, defining BOTH sides so we get a majority on OUR side.

It has historically always polled the pattern of 'great cleavage but little salience'. Little salience: if people are asked cold what's the their 3, 5, 10, even 20 issues, it's not there except for a couple small and unpersuadeable minorities who are irreconcilable: open border advocates and Know-Nothing nativists. But for nearly 30 years, polls show if you ask what people think about immigration, you immediately get sharp and strong opinions: cleavage.

That's the situation we are in now. Rasmussen finds that for Republican primary voters, immigration even outranks Iraq; Quinnipiac finds astonishing differences in 'tudes toward legal and illegal in Pennsylvania and Ohio, surely two vital states next year; Greenberg, Penn, and all the rest consistently show this is a killer issue for '08.

So we need to pull our collective head out of our... sand.

IMNSHO, what I'm describing is HOW progressives should define ourselves on immigration: the Ellis Island model. CITIZENSHIP -- which depends on the rule of law.

"What is good in immigration, is good for Americanization; what is bad in immigration, is bad for Americanization."

Yea or nay?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Native Americans/Indians. Let the tribes decide

Indigenous inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere have had their status for living in their world usurped by European immigrants. The first European immigrants to the Northern part of the Western Hemisphere, Jamestown and Plymouth, were also the first illegal immigrants. They received no legal status from the inhabitants already living where they wanted to settle. These European immigrants then created an illegitimate government that made the indigenous people non-citizens and created frontiers where none existed before.

Now the descendants of the European immigrants want to continue the usurpation of the original inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere that their ancestors started, and deny indigenous people their right to migrate and work. The European immigrant descendants want to use their illegitimate government to declare indigenous human beings to the Western Hemisphere alien and illegal occupants. Attempting to dehumanize people and prevent natural migration usually ends very badly.

At the end of WW I, Europe was filled with millions of displaced refugees. A similar reaction 'Americans' are making now took place, and many of these people were stripped of legal resident status and harassed the way European Americans harass indigenous Western Hemisphere immigrants today. Fortunately for the those European refugees, they had America to come to. Unfortunately, their children and grandchildren have become like the rabid nationalists they escaped, who now want to enforce the same kind of discrimination that drove their ancestors to America. Europe's treatment of its own indigenous people, who were displaced by war, was partly responsible for an even more horrific war, which contributed a new word to our vocabulary: genocide.

The new American attitude of treating people as illegal and alien can only end very badly. As badly as what happened in Europe in the 1930's and '40's. As badly as the fate of the Mohicans.

Posted by: Brojo on December 12, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

OT:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, ..."

Posted by: kenga on December 12, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

It seems that most of the irrational fear and hatred of illegal immigrants comes from smaller northern (in relation to the border) towns who haven't had immigrant populations since the 19th Century.

Ah, the Heartland!

Not true. Prince William County, Va., where I live, is in the forefront of this, and a lot of Hispanics have moved here (in fact, both of the county's AM radio stations have converted to Spanish-speaking formats, as these days, most Anglos listen to FM). Much of the immigrant-bashing is good old-fashioned backward southern fundamentalist Protestant xenophobia. (Prince William, perhaps because of Quantico and the Marine presence, is considerably more conservative than Fairfax, Arlington or other areas of northern Virginia.)

Posted by: Vincent on December 12, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo, perhaps you've heard of Planet Earth?

On THIS planet, peoples have invaded, absorbed, exterminated and replaced each other since long before any of it was recorded. The Japanese replaced the Ainu; the Zulus drove a dozen nations before them when they invaded southern Africa; the Celts came from central Asia, crossed middle Europe and wound up in Ireland before they leaped to the Americas. So why do you single out what Europeans diseases did to the first peoples rather than, f'r instance, what the Six Nations did to the nations that spoke Algonquin?

Cuz you can't handle the truth of it, which is that Europeans came to this country and created an engine of liberty and prosperity that depends on an inclusive vision of citizenship that you reject. You LOVE the history of disease, atrocity and genocide: what you truly object to is the record of American inclusion and progress.

Native Americans have been US citizens since the 1920s, if they weren't already (long story, that), so enough with the bogus 'give the country back to Powhatan' crap, willya?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

"But it's true, Americans love to feel self-righteous about some group that is hurting them."

In this case it's justified. The group that's hurting them is the US government and the people who pay them to have de facto cheap labor policies.

And yet, Repubicans refuse to focus their anger at the enablers (R-congresscritters) and the law breakers (major labor-based corporations). The Bush Admin's official policy on illegal immigration is that if illegals get more than 2 miles across the border, let them go. Will the Republican base vote for a change in Washington....?

I always have favored the Dems, even if I don?t vote for them.

Posted by: scudbucket on December 12, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

They always have to detest someone, don't they?

Sure, but all brown-people hate is not the same. Now, if you can meld illegal immigration with tarrism, then you've got the real two-fer - or is it two-fear?

Posted by: ckelly on December 12, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

“The Rule of Law is fundamental to our existence as a civilized nation.

Tell that to the Bush administration. Funny how you never seem too bothered with their lawbreaking. Scratch that, it's not funny.

Posted by: ckelly on December 12, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Recently I met a friend of my brother's, who owns a lawn service business in Northern Virginia. He complains constantly about illegal aliens and is a devoted follower of Rush Limbaugh. The irony is that he himself is the son of an immigrant (Iranian) and employes a staff of illegal aliens to operate his lawn service (he doesn't actually mow the lawns himself, of course). He knows he would go out of business without the illegals, but he still loves to bash them anyway!
My only explanation for this amazingly hypocrital attitude is that he really wants to be part of the culturally conservative lifesyle as exemplified by the Republican party and so he goes along willingly with whatever the right-wingers are spouting off about.
To my mind he is the equivalent of a closeted gay person working for Pat Robertson or the like, and somehow justifiying it because he was raised to be fundamentalist and just can't give it up.

Posted by: rosemarysbaby on December 12, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

scudbucket doesn't know what it's talking about. See the response to LindsayGraham and see JohnMcCain's presidential chances. See also various things like bankofamericaboycott.com

In any case, if his posts on this topic weren't enough of a clue, Kevin Drum has admitted to me that he isn't that familiar with these issues. So, his "argument" up above is coming from a position of ignorance.

Meanwhile, the Dem Party might want to consider what's going to happen if (after she gets the nomination) a few people start asking HillaryClinton this question. Of course, the MSM is never going to ask that question, but I'm refering to regular citizens, over 14,000 of whom have already watched the video. Given those numbers I have to believe that eventually someone is going to try to ask her that or similar questions, with her responses uploaded back to Youtube. With enough things like that, I don't think too many people are going to trust the Democrats on this or other issues.

As for Obama, don't worry, I've got him covered too, with almost 14,000 views for this one:

youtube.com/watch?v=EiullH5jU1A

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on December 12, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Another reality check point: It's not simply that citizenship depends on the rule of law.

It is also true that people who obey the law and make a commitment to the United States, who get on the path to citizenship, should be treated better than those who don't.

THIS is another place where progressives should make a difference between us and conservatives: but we don't.

A f'r instance: three different guys come here, get jobs, then get married to their high school sweethearts and, naturally, want to bring her here to start a new American family.

First guy comes ILLEGALLY. So he brings his wife illegally. Barring death in the desert or another smuggler atrocity, they do fine: forged documents, etc. Dice and Williams and Brojo figure this must be what "immigration" is all about: they're wrong.

Second guy comes legally, as a temporary worker. He refuses to make a commitment to America by getting a green card. He gets married. His wife can come here WITHIN A MONTH, legally.

Third guy comes legally. Makes a commitment to the US by getting a green card. In five years, he plans to become a US citizen -- and during those five years, he cannot leave America for long. He gets married to his sweetheart from back home. But HIS wife can't come for 5-7 years.

Kyl said during the Senate debate that was fine with him; Clinton fought for these folks, and lost.

Has Kevin ever spoken up about it? Anybody on the progressive side ever said so anybody'd notice, gee, this is the REAL defense of marriage?

Are there are as many progressives who jump up and down to say that it is WRONG that the guy who breaks the law, and the one who has NOT made a commitment to the US, get treated better than the guy who obeys the law and seeks to become a citizen, as there are Dice's and Williams's and Brojo's bitching about how mean it is that guy #1's choice to break the law has consequences?

Thus, the reality check: people who obey the law and make a commitment to the United States, who get on the path to citizenship, should be treated better than those who don't.

Yea or nay?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

“The Rule of Law is fundamental to our existence as a civilized nation.

Tell that to the Bush administration. Funny how you never seem too bothered with their lawbreaking. Scratch that, it's not funny.
Posted by: ckelly

[Closing paragraphs] The Rule of Law is fundamental to our existence as a civilized nation. The Rule of Law is not a goal which we merely aspire to achieve; it is the floor below which we must not sink. For the Rule of Law to function effectively, however, it must provide actual rules that can be followed. In this instance, the relevant rule—the law—has long been clear: Waterboarding detainees amounts to illegal torture in all circumstances. To suggest otherwise—or even to give credence to such a suggestion—represents both an affront to the law and to the core values of our nation.

We respectfully urge you to consider these principles in connection with the nomination of Judge Mukasey.

Sincerely,

Rear Admiral Donald J. Guter, United States Navy (Ret.) Judge Advocate General of the Navy, 2000-02

Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, United States Navy (Ret.) Judge Advocate General of the Navy, 1997-2000

Major General John L. Fugh, United States Army (Ret.) Judge Advocate General of the Army, 1991-93

Brigadier General David M. Brahms, United States Marine Corps (Ret.) Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant, 1985-88

Funny how some folks think they know what doesn't bother someone else. No, scratch that, it's not funny.


Posted by: majarosh on December 12, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

scudbucket doesn't know what it's talking about.

My point pertained to voters, not candidates, but more generally, the problem facing the Republican party is that (for better or worse) it's funded by and panders to big business, which also happen to be the biggest beneficiaries of cheap labor (legal or otherwise), union busting, labor and industry deregulation, etc., and the primary shapers of those policies. Running on a 'get tough on illegal immigrant' platform is antithetical to the fundamental purpose of the current GOP: enrich large corporations. That's not to say, however, that there are no traditional (economically) conservative planks in a particular candidates platform.

Posted by: scudbucket on December 12, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose there's no real chance of penetrating the echo chamber, but there goes.

Republicans don't hate anyone, at least any more than members of other political parties hate anyone. The LA Times piece is a smear job, intended to demonize anyone who thinks immigration should be an orderly process.

We shouldn't reward bad behavior. We shouldn't grant a blanket amnesty to those who circumvented the rules when they immigrated to the U.S. You can argue that we're not open to enough legal immigration (a position most Republicans agree with), but you can't do that while arguing in favor of lax border control.

Drum agrees that we shouldn't reward the bad behavior of the mortgage companies with a bailout, can he not see the same principle applies to illegal immigration?

Posted by: kwo on December 12, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Start by locking up the CEO's of the companies that employ undocumented workers. So long as there is an economic incentive to cross the border illegally, people will do so. So long as there is an economic incentive to hire undocumented workers, companies will do so.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on December 12, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Standard NeoCoNazi ploy, such xenophobia -- as was entirely true for their ideological predecessors. Of course, the Third Reich directed its own manipulative hostility towards these people, among others:

New Poll Reveals How Unrepresentative Neocon Jewish Groups Are
by Glenn Greenwald [Salon.com]

A new survey of American Jewish opinion, released by the American Jewish Committee, demonstrates several important propositions: (1) right-wing neocons (the Bill Kristol/Commentary/ AIPAC/Marty Peretz faction) who relentlessly claim to speak for Israel and for Jews generally hold views that are shared only by a small minority of American Jews; (2) viewpoints that are routinely demonized as reflective of animus towards Israel or even anti-Semitism are ones that are held by large majorities of American Jews; and (3) most American Jews oppose U.S. military action in the Middle East -- including both in Iraq and against Iran.

It is beyond dispute that American Jews overwhelmingly oppose core neoconservative foreign policy principles. Hence, in large numbers, they disapprove of the way the U.S. is handling its "campaign against terrorism" (59-31); overwhelmingly believe the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq (67-27); believe that things are going "somewhat badly" or "very badly" in Iraq (76-23); and believe that the "surge" has either made things worse or has had no impact (68-30).

When asked whether they would support or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran, a large majority -- 57-35% -- say they would oppose such action, even if it were being undertaken "to prevent [Iran] from developing nuclear weapons." While Jews hold views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which are quite pessimistic about the prospects for Israel's ability to achieve a lasting peace with its "Arab neighbors," even there, a plurality (46-43) supports the establishment of a Palestinian state. ...

[Emphasis in original; links throughout.]
.

Posted by: Poilu on December 12, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

That's where the private sector role in worksite verification comes in.

There is a weird reflex on the part of a certain strain in progressivism to imagine that immigration reform is like the civil rights movement: it's not.

The best way to fight discrimination is to treat everybody exactly the same. So when you or I or Lao Baixing or anybody gets a job, we have to provide a Social Security # for tax purposes. the way to stop illegal immigration is to verify that the name matches the # and that the pair is authorized to work in the US.

The hard part is imposter fraud -- I might show Blue Girl's driver's license with my picture on it. So it's NOT about a "national ID card", it's not about the document at all.

And let's face it, nobody can trust the DHS, the agency that gave us the reaction to Katrina, to handle 150 million hires a year.

And yet -- when my wallet was stolen on a Saturday afternoon, Mastercard called me Sunday morning long before I knew it was gone. Their computers had caught that my card was being used to buy cartons of cigarettes at 7-11s, two things I had never done before: "Excuse me, Mr. Americanist, but do you know where your credit card is?" (One of those questions that tells you the answer isn't what you'd have thought it was before you were asked.)

The point is -- people don't RESIST privacy and identify theft protections when they are provided by the private sector: we PAY for it, and are glad about it.

Good employers (and that's most of 'em) don't want to break the law. That's bad business. They're not the enemy. Just like with the guy who obeys the law and makes a commitment to the US, we want to make it EASY for employers who obey the law.

Trouble is -- look at the "progressive" reaction to enforcement. It's "discrimination" when people who are here illegally get caught working with false documents. That Mexican gangs steal the identities of US citizens born in Puerto Rico is somehow translated by "progressives" into discrimination against Hispanics.

One more time: if we won't make distinctions, we can't make sense.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

>i>Republicans don't hate anyone

Yes, of course. All the rhetoric (and actions) are evidence of deep compassion. The sort of compassion evinced by Golda Mier when she said she could never forgive the Palestinians for forcing her to bomb them back to the stone age. I'm sure Tancredo felt the same moral reluctance when he called for indiscriminate bombing of Muslim mosques.

Posted by: scudbucket on December 12, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

scudbucket still doesn't know what it's talking about. There's a split in the GOP between the leaders - who do support cheap labor - and the rest - who oppose illegal activity.

And, being linked to big business isn't only a GOP issue, not by a long shot.

Take a look at the corps who donate to the NationalCouncilOfLaRaza. Then, there's the recent suit brought by the ACLU, together with the U.S. ChamberOfCommerce and the AFLCIO.

And, an ACLU chapter has even joined forces with TysonsChicken.

But, the links don't stop there: the ACLU has an indirect link to the MexicanGovernment, as do several other nonprofits; see the link in my first comment.

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on December 12, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, this will have to be the last response to scudbucket, because I want to give others a chance.

1. Tancredo didn't say what scudbucket pretends. He only said we should do that in a worst case scenario after nukes have gone off in several U.S. cities. It's called MAD; look it up.

2. Those who support IllegalImmigration are not in any way "compassionate". To be frank, those who do that are one degree or other of crooks, or they're useful idiots. Taking 14% of a country's working population and trying to take more is not "compassionate", nor is encouraging people to try to cross the desert "compassionate", nor is enriching crooks "compassionate". Try and think it through.

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on December 12, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

AnnoyingLDC,
My point is that a Republican voter is a bit hamstrung if he wants to remain within the current GOP fold and vote R on election day but also desires an end to illegal immigration (the reasons stated above). If your point is that the problem generalizes, so be it. I was specifically referring to Republican voters because GOP candidates are the ones promoting draconian political solutions and trying to make it into a campaign issue. Otherwise, I'm not sure what your point is.

Posted by: scudbucket on December 12, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Both parties play the detestation game -- illegal immigrants for the Republicans, George Bush for the Dems. Illegal immigration will still be a problem in November, so detestation of it will help rally Republican votes. But, George Bush won't be running in November, so detestation of Bush will not be as helpful to rally the Dems.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 12, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

ALDC
Those who support IllegalImmigration are not in any way "compassionate".

Now you're arguing a strawman: no progressive supports illegal immigration. The laws ought to be enforced, or changed to accomodate some pressing national need. Blanket amnesty is an option for those already here, but there are other solutions which allow illegals to become legal. Tancredo, as I recall, wants forced deportation, which raises relevant and important moral issues, but is also economically and pragmatically infeasible.

Posted by: scudbucket on December 12, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK
I keep noting that Dice is too dumb to argue with.

As always, you are much better at insult than argument.

Others who want to kick this around, here is the core of it: if as progressives we won't make distinctions (e.g., between those we want and those we don't), we cannot make sense.

Agreed. Which is why you fail to make sense when you fail to make distinction between what the law is (i.e., what immigrants are presently allowed) and what the law should be (i.e., what immigrants it would be best for us to allow, or, phrased a different way, which immigrants are, in fact, "wanted".)

This is an critical distinction, and one which you frequently (though not quite consistently, as you occasional go off on extended rants about Congress failing to live up to its commitments, which rants rely on recognizing that a distinction does exist here) not only fail to make, but explicitly reject.

The public clearly craves a debate about immigration that makes sense.

No, the public does not crave a debate at all. The individual members of the public crave solutions to immediate financial and other problems in their own lives. The immigration debate is, largely, simply what they are sold as a distraction from those problems, in order to direct their frustration at a vulnerable group to distract them from the people really benefitting the most from the conditions with which large portions of the public are frustrated.

Prior to 1965, our immigration laws were essentially negative in character. That is, if we hadn't come up with a reason to keep someone out, they could come in. So naturally, we accumulated a very long list of reasons to keep people out. Some made sense, like being barred cuz a foreigner was carrying a contagious disease. Some did not, like the goofy idea that immigration should not alter America's demographics. (This was the country of origin quota system -- if the previous census determined that 15% of Americans' roots were Italian, then no more than 15% of whatever # of immigrants were allowed in for the next decade could be from Italy: families and jobs be damned.)

Since 1965, the system has been affirmative: Americans invite immigrants for family and jobs. (Refugees and asylees are different.) Citizens invite spouses, kids, parents and siblings; legal permanent residents invite spouses and kids; employers sponsor workers for green cards.

This isn't really all that true. While it is true that the present system uses a variety of preference categories, most of which are based on personal sponsorship of some sort, it is not a reverse from the kind of negative rules that existed in the pre-1965 system. Negative disqualifications and the kinds of limits (though different in precise implementation) found in the 1965 system remain an important feature of the status quo system (and remain a mix of sensible and non-sensible rules.) The affirmative requirements don't replace them, they are layered on top of them.


But Congress promises more than it delivers. It tries to "manage" the system by backlogs measures in millions waiting decades, and then rather than writing rules that work, tries to make exceptions. But no system with more exceptions than rules CAN work.

It is impossible for a system to have more rules than exceptions since every exception is, itself, a rule; and without changing any substance, you can recast any exception as a basic rule and any basic rule as an exception to some other rule -- their is a strict equivalence between them. You make a cute slogan, but it is meaningless.

The problem is not the number of rules vs. the number of exceptions.

The problem is the specific content and effect of the rules.

Progressives have fallen into the trap, partly exemplified by Dice and Williams, that what American want, as expressed in our laws, is illegitimate.

No progressive I know believes that. What I have said is that our laws do not express and, more importantly, do not produce what, in fact, we want. But its amazing that in the space of two paragraphs you've gone from criticizing what Congress does, and the rules and exceptions it creates (collectively, "the law"), for failing to reflect what is wanted, to stating that the law does, in fact, reflect what is desired.

Unlike you, I have a simple, coherent position: the the status quo law reflects important concerns, and in outline expresses approximately what we want in the area of immigration. But there are serious problems resulting from the details of the current law, which make it do a poor job of addressing the important concerns which underlie it, and which make it a poor reflection, ultimately, of what is desired.

They have adopted the framing invented by immigration's opponents, that there is no significant difference between legal and illegal

Who here has argued that? You've specifically said that I "partly exemplify" this group (which is something of an incoherent idea itself), yet I've certainly never claimed that there is "no signficant difference between legal and illegal".

I have said that the first step to dealing with the problem of illegal immigration is to make sure that "illegal" is "unwanted" by retuning what is allowed by the current system.

The only sensible place to start is the distinction between legal and illegal, between those we want, and those we don't.

I agree. My primary criticism of your position is that it fails to start there, and skips right over it. You simply take it for granted, rather than making it the starting place of fixing the problem.

Stopping the NEXT illegal immigrant, the one who comes tomorrow, is far more important than what we do about the one who came yesterday.

What is really important, I would argue, is:
1) Stopping unwanted immigration,
2) Allowing wanted immigration,
3) Managing the cost and efficiency of #1 and #2

Defining what will be "legal" and "illegal" is a means to serve all three of those ends, and the current definitions are acceptable only to the extent they are consistent with those goals.

You can't make any progress in addressing the problem of illegal immigration without addressing the alignment of what is legal with the public interest.

The public is tired of promises.

And yet, that's all you offer. Promises to do better enforcing the existing, broken laws that every "reform" has promised to enforce better (often with a lot more substance than you offer), and yet failed to really address the problem.

Yeah, we need to fix legal immigration first — as I've been arguing here, with specifics, for years. The difference between my position and yours is that mine addresses the reasons the promises of greater enforcement have failed that exist in the structure of the immigration system. You criticize promises, and offer nothing but empty promises. You criticize the failure to make important distinctions, but fail to distinguish between what is currently legal and what is desired. You praise the status quo law as reflecting the desires of the nation, and yet criticize Congress for its laws that you claim fail to do what is desired. Your position is incoherent, and without substance.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 12, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

There is a reason that immigrants are the hated people of the moment.

George Bush is a horrible President, and he has done everything that Right Wing Conservatives have wanted him to do except one thing: Crack down on immigration.

Conservatives need to distance themselves from Bush because he is an albatross, so they point to the one issue on which they differ from him.

Why are wages not rising despite low taxes, deficit spending, and an overall lack of regulation? If you're a Republican, the only possible explanation is that those immigrants are keeping us down.

Posted by: reino on December 12, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK
Trouble is -- look at the "progressive" reaction to enforcement. It's "discrimination" when people who are here illegally get caught working with false documents.

Please point to any "progressive" here who has characterized people getting caught, in general, as "discrimination". Make sure to exclude any cases where the "progressive" was referring to selective enforcement as discriminatory, or was referring to the policies (such as the numerical limits not aligned with demand) which make a particular act of immigration illegal in the first place "illegal" as discriminatory, and to point specifically to a case that actually is what you claimed above rather than something else.

Because it seems to me that this, like virtually all of your characterizations (especially on this issue) of what "progressives" are arguing is just another argument you made up.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 12, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo, perhaps you've heard of Planet Earth?

Mother Earth does not want to be divided up into nation states so that racists can exclude people they deem unworthy of citizenship. We are all members of this Earth. Let us treat each and everyone as a citizen and stop all of this bickering about who is what and where they should live before we again impose the wholesale slaughter of our ancestors.

Europeans came to this country and created an engine of liberty and prosperity that depends on an inclusive vision of citizenship that you reject.

By the European immigrant children's own standards, the first Europeans illegally immigrated to the Western Hemisphere. Then they created illegitimate law that you want to use to exclude the very people who were living in this part of the world long before Europeans knew it existed.

European Americans do have a lot in common with Aztecs and Incans. Like the other tribes who joined with the Spaniards to rid themselves of their indigenous oppressors, I ally with one worlders to rid Mother Earth of racist Chauvanists.

Posted by: Brojo on December 12, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Also, I stand by my comments upthread. If you are against amnesty, either explain what you are going to do with the over ten million illegal immigrants in our country or state that you are for the status quo.

If you say that you are in favor of throwing CEOs in jail, then you are talking about a bill/poison pill that will never pass, so that goes as a vote for the status quo. You might as well propose giving everybody 72 virgins.

Posted by: reino on December 12, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

As it's said, acceptance is the first step:

Are Americans Really "Better Than That?"
by Ray McGovern

Have you noticed the shameful silence of our institutional churches, synagogues, and mosques? True, on occasion a professor of moral theology will speak out. Professor William Schweiker of the Chicago Divinity School, for example, has heaped scorn on the scenario of the lone knower of the facts whose torture is thought to be able to save millions of lives. He notes that such is "the stuff of bad spy movies and bad exam questions in ethics courses." ...

This Happened Before

With very few exceptions, the institutional churches in Nazi Germany kept a shameful silence, denying believers the moral authority and leadership so needed to stand up to Gestapo torturers. Indeed, many of the bishops-like military leaders, and jurists-swore a personal oath to Hitler. For his part, the Nazi leader moved quite quickly to ensure that there was a pastor-whether Evangelical or Catholic-in every parish in Germany. He saw this as a source of support and stability for his regime. And, sadly, it was.

While the Nazis were systematically torturing and even murdering defenseless victims, they kept repeating assurances that not a single hair of anyone's head would be harmed. (Shades of the familiar refrain "we do not torture.") And the propaganda machine under Joseph Goebbels made a fine art of what President Bush calls the need to "catapult the propaganda." ...
.

Posted by: Poilu on December 12, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Both parties play the detestation game -- illegal immigrants for the Republicans, George Bush for the Dems.

Yawn...."ex-liberal" is just phoning in his bad-faith false equivalencies these days. I guess George W. Bush ruination of the GOP's decades-long branding effort as "strong on defense," and in particular the collapse of the necons' effort to bamboozle the nation yet again into war with one of Israel's regional rivals -- but not the general moral depravity of the modern conservative movement, in which he participates enthusiastically -- has really demoralized him into these halfhearted, even-less-convincing-than-usual efforts. Poor baby.

Posted by: Gregory on December 12, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK
Also, I stand by my comments upthread. If you are against amnesty, either explain what you are going to do with the over ten million illegal immigrants in our country or state that you are for the status quo.

It seems to me that any amnesty or other adjustment policy toward current illegals ought to be discussed only as a component of a broader policy that offers some reasonable hope of dealing with the ongoing problem, and needs to be evaluated in the context of the overall policy. And it seems to me, also, that the outlines of the general policy need to be largely settled on their own merits, and any adjustment policy needs to be calibrated to fit into it, rather than settling on the adjustment policy and then looking for a broader solution.

Its true that handling the current population is a more immediately pressing problem, but the more general policy has the greater long-term importance, and the wrong adjustment policy could have severe consequences for the longer-term policy.

If your broader policy is one of the many "more of the same" policies being offered (such as theAmericanist's), the adjustment policy isn't going to matter a whole lot outside of the very short term, since all the same long-term problems that currently exist will remain.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 12, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

As noted many times before, Dice isn't worth engaging: he's clueless, ignorant and stooopid about it. (shrug)

Reino poses a false choice: "If you are against amnesty, either explain what you are going to do with the over ten million illegal immigrants in our country or state that you are for the status quo."

The NEXT foreigner who sneaks into the country, or who overstays a legal visa, is much more important than the LAST one. This is both politically and substantively vital to understand.

Substantively: like immigration itself, illegal immigration is an ongoing thing. It's active, not static. The premise of the failed 1986 Act (based on the Hesburgh recommendations in 1981) was to wipe the slate clean and start over -- a general amnesty, so we wouldn't waste time correcting past errors, and from THEN on, no more illegal immigration cuz we'd have employer sanctions.

It didn't work cuz of the failure to verify that people getting jobs were legal. But the basic tradeoff made sense, and still does.

Like I've said in other contexts, it's much easier to go forward in the right way if you don't spend all your time looking in the rear view mirror: deterring illegal immigration is NOT about the ones that are already here. (Psst -- they're already HERE, so they weren't deterred.)

When those who illegally look for work TOMORROW can't be hired at legit businesses, so even those who've sneaked in already can't leave under the table cash economy jobs for higher-paying legit ones: we'll have won the fight against illegal immigration. Next!

Enforcing the law effectively obliterates the status quo, with or without amnesty.

So much for the substance.

Politically, the key is CREDIBILITY. The public isn't stoooopid. (In this, as in many other characteristics, the public is different from Dice.) A primary reason the comprehensive package cratered in the Senate is simply that literally no one believed in it, including its authors. A premise of the 1986 amnesty was that it was a one-shot deal, something we would never, ever do again -- nor ever HAVE to, because by golly, we were gonna fix it this time.

You can't do that TWICE, and have anybody believe you, as proponents of "earned legalization" discovered. It was like they were still trying to sell New Coke.

So enforcing the law is the key to credibility -- and credibility, is the key to generosity.

Those of us who believe in a generous immigration policy have to be more credible than we have been so far. Posing false choices, as Reino does: amnesty or mass deportations? -- doesn't help our credibility.

Restrictionists (notably Mark Krikorian) call for a policy of "attrition" rather than removal -- 'we don't have to deport 12 million illegal aliens', they say, 'because once they realize they can't legit jobs they will leave'. That's half a point, but it's still more than most progressives can do, buying into the false choice Reino poses.

Senator Specter has an even more half-assed idea -- a "blue card", as opposed to a green card: legal permanent residency that is NOT a path to citizenship. The idea is that illegal workers would be 'legalized', but not eligible for naturalization: ever.

I think both of those are bogus, BUT the point is that the public doesn't buy ANY of this hooey. And they shouldn't. WAAY too many years of promises without performance.

We've simply got to enforce the law against illegal hiring. The key to that is verification. The key to THAT, is the private sector.

And that's where credibility comes from. Without it, nothing else is really possible.

Framing the whole thing in terms of "amnesty" is simply misconceived -- as off base as debating Dice.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Mother Earth does not disown exclusionary clowns.

She is very forgiving.

The NEXT foreigner who sneaks into the country

How did your ancestors sneak into the country?

Posted by: Brojo on December 12, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK
Like I've said in other contexts, it's much easier to go forward in the right way if you don't spend all your time looking in the rear view mirror: deterring illegal immigration is NOT about the ones that are already here.

Deterring illegal immigration, of course, isn't.

Dealing with the problem of illegal immigration, OTOH, is very much about the ones that are already here, since, even if your reform has no effect on new illegal immigration (and especially if you do manage to do something effective about it), those already here at the effective date of the reform will outnumber those who become unlawfully present after the reform for quite some time.

You certainly have to figure out the broader approach in order to discuss sensibly what to do with those already here, since you don't want to undercut the longer-term policy with the immediate policy. But most of your short-term effects on the actual problems due to illegal immigration will be from the shorter-term policy.

Which is why (on both the side supporting them and that opposing them) amnesty and other short-term policies generate a lot of heat, even though in the long term they are the least important part of the policy approach: they are the part whose effect will be felt must immediately.

The premise of the failed 1986 Act (based on the Hesburgh recommendations in 1981) was to wipe the slate clean and start over -- a general amnesty, so we wouldn't waste time correcting past errors, and from THEN on, no more illegal immigration cuz we'd have employer sanctions.

It didn't work cuz of the failure to verify that people getting jobs were legal.

It didn't work for lots of reasons; trying to lay all the failure there misses the point. Plenty of people don't come over with jobs, they come over because they are family of people already legally present and they don't wait through the infinitely long lists. They have someone to support them, and better employer sanctions wouldn't have any effect on them whatsoever.

It also failed to be a complete amnesty in practice, and failed in a number of other ways, as well.

But the basic tradeoff made sense, and still does.

The "basic tradeoff" the 1986 "reform" proposed doesn't address any of the fundamental problems with the status quo system that present barriers to it acheiving its purposes, that encourage illegal immigration, or that make large numbers of citizens unwilling to support the system in specific cases even when they agree with it in outline, and which therefore frustrate enforcement. And any subsequent "reform" on the same model with those same failings will, likewise, fail utterly to address the problem.


When those who illegally look for work TOMORROW can't be hired at legit businesses, so even those who've sneaked in already can't leave under the table cash economy jobs for higher-paying legit ones: we'll have won the fight against illegal immigration.

Not so long as (1) we have long waiting lists for legal immigration for people whose motivation is family-related rather than economic, and who therefore have substantially the same motivation to immigrate even if the incentives for economic immigrants are lessened, and (2) the under-the-table, cash-economy jobs are still far better than what immigrants would earn in the formal economy in their own country, leaving a strong economic incentive for illegal immigration even in the absence of quasi-legitimate (though still fraudulent) employment.

Enforcing the law effectively obliterates the status quo, with or without amnesty.

Effectively enforcing the whole of the immigration law, by definition, would eliminate unlawful presence entirely. That's trivially true. However, you haven't proposed anything that even offers a remote hope of effective enforcement, just vague platitudes about private sector employment verification and empty promises of general enforcement without any policy changes that would actually address the substantial barriers to effective enforcement.

Politically, the key is CREDIBILITY. The public isn't stoooopid.

And yet you expect to sell them on a plan whose only substantive proposal is "private-sector verification" of the kind used in Florida's felony disenfranchisement program?


So enforcing the law is the key to credibility -- and credibility, is the key to generosity.

The key to credibility is to offer something that shows at least some sign of understanding the substantive problems and addressing them; what you proposes shows that you don't understand most of the problems with enforcement, and aren't all that interested in doing much more than handwaving at the one part (the otherwise-legitimate-employer side) that you do recognize.

Those of us who believe in a generous immigration policy have to be more credible than we have been so far.

Well, I wouldn't necessarily include other people who believe in more generous immigration policy in there with you, but you certainly need to be more credible than you have been thus far.

Posing false choices, as Reino does: amnesty or mass deportations? -- doesn't help our credibility.

Could you for once try to present someone else's position without lying? Reino doesn't state that the only options or amnesty or mass deportations, Reino did state that those who oppose amnesty ought to explain what they would do as far as those who are here, even if that means admitting they would continue the status quo treatment (which is not "mass deportations".)

WAAY too many years of promises without performance.

And yet, that's all you offer: promises of success with a plan that addresses only a small part of the problem, and presents no reasonable basis for believing it will address even that part well.

We've simply got to enforce the law against illegal hiring.

Certainly, any law that we have should be enforced. But that one law is not the sum and substance of what needs to be enforced better to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, nor is any practical measure of better enforcement ever going to be, absent substantive policy changes outside of the enforcement area, going to do a whole lot.

The key to that is verification. The key to THAT, is the private sector.

The public sector does the job of verifying documentation for permission to immigrate. It does the job of verifying documentation supporting identity for, e.g., driver's licenses. There is absolutely no reason that it can't do the job for workplace verification. And outsourcing this kind of thing (e.g., Florida's felon disenfranchisement program) has not exactly been something that has inspired much confidence.

OTOH, when a lobbyist is so interested in the private sector performing a function like this, its usually because they are lobbying for someone in the private sector hoping to make a lot of money doing something like this. Is that what's going on here?


Posted by: cmdicely on December 12, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's really none of our business. I invite the only people who should have the right to allow or reject people from entering the US to make that decision; Native Americans/Indians. Let the tribes decide, Arapaho, Creek, Osage, Ute ................

Since the vast majority of people crossing the southern USA border without papers are of indigenous descent, so-called illegal immigration from there should be viewed as repatriation.

If someone wants to get their hate-on vis a vis illegal immigrants, direct it against all the illegal eastern euro immigrants.

Posted by: Disputo on December 12, 2007 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Repatriation...an excellent point of view.

Thanks

Posted by: Brojo on December 12, 2007 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Pro-illegal means pro-corruption. What does "illegal" mean, lib boys and girls?

What character the libs have!

Posted by: Luther on December 12, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

OK, one more. scudbucket is still wrong, because, while most "progressives" will rush to claim they oppose illegal immigration, those same people take every step they can to enable it. Such as by calling those who support our laws names, filing lawsuits (with the ChamberOfCommerce), and so on.

I don't have the time to answer cmdicely's Bible-length comments, but I'll point out that the idea that illegal aliens are a "vulnerable group" is absurd. I explain why that's absurd here.

As for what to do, simply start enforcing the laws. We can get to that point by discrediting those who support or enable illegal immigration in any way, especially political candidates:

youtube.com/watch?v=Q_l4Lawj14A
youtube.com/watch?v=EiullH5jU1A

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on December 12, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: Since the vast majority of people crossing the southern USA border without papers are of indigenous descent, so-called illegal immigration from there should be viewed as repatriation.

Your lumping the people of indigenous descent into a single group is a result of your Western bias. The Zapotecs and the Zunis, for example, are hardly the same. "Repatriating" the former to the latter's territory makes no sense. Unless, of course, you think that dumping freed American slaves on the Kru and other peoples of what's now Liberia also made sense.

Posted by: alex on December 12, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- gotta love the sheer predictability of this asshole: he knows nothing, but he does do a quick leap to character assassination. (Dice, the bipartisan, Congressionally-mandated United States Commission on Immigration Reform discussed the role of the private sector in worksite verification of employment eligibility under immigration law during House and Senate hearings at at least four hearings in 1994, three in 1995, and four in 1996. In other words, I've been arguing for a private sector role in worksite verification since you were in grammar school: LEARN something, willya? For one thing, when you decide to lecture somebody on what the immigration databases can and cannot do: consider that you may be talking at somebody who KNOWS.)

"What does "illegal" mean...", asks Luther, probably rhetorically.

It means entering the US without inspection -- which is 'sneaking into the country'.

Since Brojo asks, my paternal ancestors first entered the US through Castle Garden, NY, on the Richmond, fleeing the Potato Famine. Cornelius WAS inspected -- he was found to be healthy, qualified to be a laborer (as was every other male passenger on the boat, including infants), and there is a record of his entry. My maternal ancestors entered through Ellis Island in 1916 -- and there, too, there is a record, and in fact, in honor of that record, their names are there on the wall.

The history of those who have entered the United States as immigrants according to our laws is history's finest example of inclusion -- not based on ethnicity, nor race, no religion, but on the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution: no wonder Brojo hates the real history.

No native American nation had anything remotely like those concepts, just as they had no concept of 'equal justice under law", viz., the common practice of torturing refugees from other tribes, notably by burning captives alive. Skipped over those parts of the story, did ya, Brojo?

"Illegal" immigration also refers to folks who overstay legal visas, or who get jobs illegally despite conditions of their agreement to be here, e.g., as students, which forbid them from working.

It's NOT about 'getting the hate on' for folks who enter illegally, or who overstay. If you can't get past the idea that people who believe in the rule of law because they value citizenship must somehow hate immigrants, you're a bigger part of the problem than the folks who DO hate 'em.

I used to know a guy, a prominent conservative, who insisted that when it came to illegal immigration, he was "the last abolitionist". I talked through the metaphor with him a couple times -- and one of the more intriguing insights he had about it, was how folks like Dice are remarkably like some of the Northern elite when secession started. They didn't actually want to end slavery, it turned out -- they just didn't want to be associated too directly with it: "Wayward sisters, go in peace."

It was all about their moral vanity, and not at all about emancipation. I'm too obnoxiou to do moral vanitys.

At the risk of provoking this asshole into some longer and more elaborately feeble attempt at character assassination: since 1997, Dice, every new hire in America has been required to be registered, and their Social Security # checked, against an outsourced database. It works quite well.

It is NOT run by DHS. (So much for Dice's depth of knowledge on the subj.)

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Your lumping the people of indigenous descent into a single group is a result of your Western bias.

*yawn*

Yeah, my general assertion that the descendants of indigenous americans have more of a right to live in the americas than descendants of indigenous europeans is a result of my western bias....

There is just no non-sequitur that is too outrageous for you folks, is there?

Posted by: Disputo on December 12, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Serious question, Disputo: are you REALLY that ignorant?

There ain't no such thing as "indigenous" Americans or indigenous Europeans, the way you're using the term. (The word you actually want is autochthonous, btw -- the distinction being between 'characteristic of' a region, and 'originating IN' the region.)

We're ALL Africans -- Europeans didn't rise up out of the earth in France or Germany or Ireland; and neither did the peoples that wandered all over the Americas appear out of the ground here. We all wandered in from someplace else.

So it is simply, UTTERLY bullshit to hallucinate that Mixtec folks from Oaxaca or Jalisco (with NO connection whatsoever to the Algonquin speakers who lived in New England when the Europeans showed up) have a higher claim to work here than the descendants of Cape Verdeans who came to New Bedford a century ago.

Fuck off until you grow up, willya?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'll say this to you just one more time, tA, before I put you back into the pie filter, but you're just too fucking stupid and disingenuous to engage with. If you were merely stupid, or simply disingenuous, you'd be tenable, but the way you max out both qualities makes you a complete waste of time. Go try your special brand of alternating concern and bash trolling with someone else, preferably in another forum.

Posted by: Disputo on December 12, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Uh-huh... nothing substantive to say there, Disputo, except one incredibly stooopid remark: when challenged, it's all about huff-itude, for you.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: Yeah, my general assertion that the descendants of indigenous americans have more of a right to live in the americas than descendants of indigenous europeans is a result of my western bias.

I'm not questioning the right of aborigines of the Americas to live in the Americas, I'm questioning the right of any aborigine of the Americas to live in any part of the Americas.

In other words, I'm looking at it exactly the way pre-Columbian aborigines did.

My sincerest apologies if that interferes with what you consider a clever argument.

There is just no non-sequitur that is too outrageous for you folks, is there?

I don't consider it non sequitur to question whether you should be the final arbiter of how peoples and nations are delineated, particularly when you do so in a way that has absolutely no basis in law, custom or history (pre or post Columbian).

Posted by: alex on December 12, 2007 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose it's worth adding one more thing, before we hear more about the autochthonous rights of the Mixtec in Massachussets from the likes of Disputo:

Folks who break the law to try to live and work in the US, to raise their kids to have better lives than they did, are not WRONG. And, strictly speaking, the bumper sticker "no human being is illegal" is true -- it's just useless and misleading.

CITIZENSHIP depends on the rule of law. People only get to become US citizens through the Immigration and Nationality Act, or the 14th amendment. That's it.

Because the INA, as amended by IRCA (etc.) is not being enforced, we are LOSING our capacity to welcome new Americans. If it was simply nativists and Know Nothings who were fighting us, we'd whup 'em. (I have some experience at this.)

But somehow, progressives have managed to project all manner of pious nonsense into it -- Disputo's notion that Mixtecs have some claim on Massachusetts before the Cape Verdeans, f'r instance, or whatever the fuck Dice thinks he's talking about.

Breaking the law is a BAD thing. We should not prize people who DO that, over folks who do NOT do it. That's the key to clarity about immigration policy.

Somebody who breaks the law to live in America with their LEGAL immigrant husband, or their US citizen wife, is in a different category than someone who breaks the law to get a job that pays better than the ones available (or not) in Oaxaca, Jalisco, or on the slopes of El Playon.

That (and my other posts in this thread) are the sensible way to approach immigration.

LOL -- and the personal attacks from Dice, et al, pretty much explain why progressives haven't fixed this yet.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

The European immigrants who had already migrated to the Western Hemisphere did not want the Irish to immigrate to the Western Hemisphere. They had very many bad things to say about the Irish. Now many Irish have assumed that same behavior when considering the migration of the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere.

During the Depression people who had already gone to California wanted to stop internal migration to their state. They had very many bad things to say about the poor people who lost their farms either to drought or the banks. The internal migrants were abused and exploited to enrich a few. There are many similarities between those who exploit migrants today and those who exploited Depression migrants. The internal migrants, over time, regained their economic status and are now doing to today's migrants what people wanted to do to them. It is shameful.

People should be allowed to migrate, whether it is intranational migration or international migration. Climate change is going to intensify migration throughout the world in the coming years. People will look to America for an example of how to deal with it. We have an opportunity to become a great example of generosity and fair play, but too many Americans have become what their ancestors were fleeing.

Posted by: Brojo on December 12, 2007 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

"People should be allowed to migrate..."

... is misconceived.

The key is CHOICE. And it has to be mutual.

People have the right to choose to leave wherever they are, if they want. So the Berlin Wall model is wrong. A nation should not be a prisoner.

But peoples -- as in "We, the People" -- also have the right to choose who gets to join them. Hell, that's the meaning of your bullshit example of the first peoples -- that somehow they should have had the right (not to mention the means) to keep out those who they had not invited. But we're living now, then then: apply your principles NOW -- and you might discover you actually believe them.

So the Ellis Island model is right: it's OUR welcome mat, and WE get to decide who uses it.

THAT is how America IS the "great example of generosity and fair play" -- in this country, immigrants are INVITED.

By name. By individual Americans.

What part of this is so baffling to you, Brojo? There are more than a billion people who would come to live in America tomorrow, if they could: why should they have a prior claim to live here, over my wife? I'm a US citizen, so it's my right to bring a wife, a child, a parent, a sibling here.

Why do you hallucinate that an uninvited Mixtec has a prior claim on Massachussets -- over MY family, whom I have invited?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo: During the Depression people who had already gone to California wanted to stop internal migration to their state.

Yes, and the Constitution prohibits any legal restrictions on such internal migration. Such loss of autonomy is part of the deal by which California, and every other state, is part of the Union. In compensation there is a federal government that works to the benefit of all the states and their citizens.

By contrast, there is no government which encompasses both Mexico and the US. If you think that there should be, then you should propose Estados Unidos de Norte America. 81 states (though we'll have to do something about having two federal districts). We were actually much closer to that in 1847, but then we retreated to north of the Rio Grande. Did we make a mistake? Certainly most Mexicans would be better off today if we hadn't left, just as our imperialism has made Puerto Rico the wealthiest island in the Caribbean.

Or we could have an EU style arrangement. Immigration would be strictly limited for a period of 7-10 years, while economic aid flowed south and political and economic reform took place.

Lastly, we could continue with the current situation. It gives the Mexican oligarchs a safety valve by which many Mexican citizens escape from a country which, by world standards, has a reasonable per capita GDP, but in which the grossly inequitable distribution of income makes most people poor. This safety valve is a wonderful help to Mexican oligarchs trying to maintain a status quo that resembles the Spanish colonial era.

Similarly, a constant influx of cheap and desperate labor keeps down the price and increases the insecurity of American labor. Hey, what's not to like - it's a Republican wet dream!

Posted by: alex on December 12, 2007 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

The BiNational Study (made up of both Mexican and US scholars, endorsed by both governments) in 1997 concluded, in so many words, that for Mexico to export its workforce and seek to import their wages is a DISASTROUS micro-economic strategy for economic development. (See the piece in the NY Times by Sam Dillon that I'm too lazy to look up, I leaked him the report.)

All over rural Mexico, you can go to communities that are side by side: the ones that send workers north and live on remittances have no local economy, no jobs.

The ones that do NOT send workers north (it is all networks, it's not uniform) have demonstrably, quantifiably healthier local economies... which folks like Dice, Disputo and Brojo, want to destroy.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 12, 2007 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK
gotta love the sheer predictability of this asshole: he knows nothing, but he does do a quick leap to character assassination.

This from the guy who rarely makes a substantive argument, and rarely misses a chance to put an insult in the first paragraph, usually the first sentence, of his posts. Hysterical.

Dice, the bipartisan, Congressionally-mandated United States Commission on Immigration Reform discussed the role of the private sector in worksite verification of employment eligibility under immigration law during House and Senate hearings at at least four hearings in 1994, three in 1995, and four in 1996.

And...so?

In other words, I've been arguing for a private sector role in worksite verification since you were in grammar school:

I don't see how that's a fair rephrasing of the preceding sentence of your post, even assuming the unstated premise that you were lobbying the committee at that time, since I wasn't in grammar school at the time.

What you pretend you know seems to be a lot more than you actually know.

And, really, the fact that you've been arguing for something for a long time doesn't make it any less of a stupid idea.

LEARN something, willya?

I do that every day, which is my arguments managed to be backed by reason, not appeal to my own personal authority and empty abuse of the form "so and so is stoooooooooooooooooooooooopid" like certain other posters in this forum.

For one thing, when you decide to lecture somebody on what the immigration databases can and cannot do: consider that you may be talking at somebody who KNOWS.

Please point to where I made any claim about what any immigration database can and cannot do?

I'll save you the trouble, I didn't. Its just (like most of your characterizations of anyone else's arguments) something you made up.

If you can't get past the idea that people who believe in the rule of law because they value citizenship must somehow hate immigrants, you're a bigger part of the problem than the folks who DO hate 'em.

Anyone who, as you seem to, fetishizes the content of the existing law and mistakes that fetishization for respect "the rule of law" doesn't understand what the rule of law means.

At the risk of provoking this asshole into some longer and more elaborately feeble attempt at character assassination: since 1997, Dice, every new hire in America has been required to be registered, and their Social Security # checked, against an outsourced database. It works quite well.

Given your argument earlier in the thread that, if we had such a system, and it worked well, we would have ended the problem of illegal immigration, you seem to be a bit confused about what it is you are actually claiming.

I've never argued that the status quo system is a bad use of the private sector in verification. I have argued that you have provided neither policy nor political reasons to justify your argument for an expanded private sector role in workplace verification as an essential feature of any effort to resolve the problem of illegal immigration, and that there were policy and political reasons to think that it was either irrelevant or a negative step.

It is NOT run by DHS. (So much for Dice's depth of knowledge on the subj.)

Please point to the place where I claimed anything to the contrary. I know, I know, you can't because -- again -- lacking any ability to refute anything that anyone has actually argued, you've had to invent things to argue against in a desperate attempt to distract from what has actually been argued in the thread.


Posted by: cmdicely on December 12, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist: can I suggest not worrying so much about the small fry like "Brojo" and concentrating on completely discrediting the paid hacks like Kevin Drum and MattY? Having a negative impact on their careers will send a much louder message than someone who's just going to invent a new name.

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on December 12, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist: Simple summary: Enforce employer sanctions with private sector verification, and fix legal immigration FIRST.

In 1999, the Clinton Administration fined over 400 companies for hiring illegal aliens.

In 2004, the Bush Administration fined three

Illegal Hiring Is Rarely Penalized
Politics, 9/11 Cited in Lax Enforcement

By Spencer S. Hsu and Kari Lydersen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, June 19, 2006; Page A01

Posted by: mr. irony on December 13, 2007 at 6:24 AM | PERMALINK

Dice -- I keep noting you're useless, AND that this is not about me. Eventually, you may catch onto the latter, and just maybe sorta perhaps possibly the former will become less true. (But I doubt it -- even for somebody offbase enough to drag the rest of my life into this sorta exchange, you're pretty fucking shallow: I couldn't lobby the Commission, asshole, and if you weren't so deliberately ignorant, you'd know better.)

Irony: "Having a negative impact on their careers" is the wrong way to go; likewise, with all due respect to BG and others, it's not really about fining the bad guys, either.

Fines are good -- but they are a MEANS to an END, at best. I'm talking about the GOAL.

The purpose of fining some employers who knowingly hire illegal workers is to persuade all employers to stop doing that. Right? Seems like it should work -- so the fact that it doesn't is worth examining. Look past Bush's obvious refusal to enforce the law before 9-11 (the Monthly's Borderline Insanity article is good), to see what he's done since.

It would be hard to come up with a more vivid proof that the current system is bass ackwards that the Swift case. An employer in an illegal worker-saturated industry, meatpacking, volunteers for the Basic Pilot, electronic verification run by DHS. So they run current employees through the system -- and discover great gobs of 'em are imposters.

Then the company that VOLUNTEERED to be checked loses a considerable chunk of its workforce, and is looking at even worse consequences. Yeah, that's gonna encourage more employers to participate.

And Bush's reaction to his immigration package failing to get his own party's support is to make it all worse, by being as cruel as possible -- more raids, dragging families apart? Yegodsandlittlefishes.

Remember -- Swift's defense isn't crazy. They really did do what the Basic Pilot required -- but they have no way of identifying imposter fraud (and, in fact, are forbidden by law from probing), when somebody presents fake documents that LOOK real. Sure, the Feds can say that when somebody claims to be a legal permanent resident BORN IN PUERTO RICO, that should be enough to clue in the employer that the guy is a fake, but there are millions of Americans who (like Brojo, above) don't realize that AMERICANS get to move from state to state, or from Puerto Rico to the US, but FOREIGNERS can't cross our national borders the way somebody from Montana can move to Massachusetts: uninvited.

(I've also learned never to underestimate the # of folks who consider Puerto Ricans to be immigrants rather than citizens.)

The politics of immigration are polarized, paranoid -- and counterproductive. So the means to the end of better laws isn't to make it worse, nor to pose the false choice of 'amnesty or deportation': it's to FIX things, one step at a time. For verification, as I've argued since 1994, the private sector is the way to solve problems.

The dominant political fact about immigration is that people feel like they've lost their political control over what the government does, AND their sovereign control over what is, after all, OUR country: not theirs.

That's one reason why I pick on Dice: he illustrates a significant part of the problem -- half-educated, and utterly stooooopid progressives with more opinions than facts, and a mindset (reflected also in Brojo, Disputo, Reino, etc.) that is ultimately, profoundly anti-American.

We can do better.

Yea or nay?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 13, 2007 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

The only behavior that can accurately be called anti-American is calling someone anti-American.

Posted by: Brojo on December 13, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericansit represents the worst of Americans. His kind were Indian killers, who inaugurated scalping. His kind were slave owners, who raped slave girls and boys, and if they sired slave children sold them to be raped by other European immigrants. His kind led lynch mobs and were the first to desecrate the limp dead bodies of the sacrificed. His kind went into the streets of Birmingham and Selma and Boston and spit on African American children as they tried to go to school. His kind killed women and children at My Lai and then want to be honored for their service. His kind rape Iraqi girls and incinerate them. His kind want to use tribal identity as legal citizenship to continue his forebearers' ways and continue the genocide of the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere. His kind are Nazis and Stalinists and Baathists and Janjaweed. His kind distribute typhoid infected blankets to the weak and shoot missiles into apartment blocks. He drops antipersonnel bombs in playgrounds and dumps toxic waste in wells. theAmericanist represents the needs and desires of Union Carbide, Blackwater and the KKK, which he considers the very best of what America can be. His kind are the engine of death. His kind righteously killed the buffalo, the dodo and the Mohicans. His kind have an insatiable appetite for killing and we should be careful, because his kind will never be satisfied until everything and everyone is charcoal black and lifeless, like his soul.

Posted by: Brojo on December 13, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Most impressive, Brojo. I'm sure Dice is proud.

Since I had noted you hate America, I suppose I should be grateful that you promptly posed a ton of evidence that I was right to point it out. (Note to moderators: you might check out the ISP it was posted from. It's not like it's possible to tell a Brojo poseur from the real thing.)

BTW -- if it is not possible to be anti-American, it's not possible to be pro-American, either.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 13, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think America was founded on the principles of liberty the founding fathers wrote about. Since every person in America is free to have whatever opinions they want, none can be pro or anti American. The whole pro and anti American creation is a construct of your kind to intimidate, silence and destroy alternative ideas to your thievery, rapes and murders.

Posted by: Brojo on December 13, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo: Born in the USA, perhaps, but their ancestors weren't.

Nor, for that matter, were the ancestors of most illegal aliens.

To me, that's irrelevant. What surprises me is that you think it is relevant. I've always been proud of the fact that America has jus soli (birthright) citizenship, and that a person can be an American regardless of their race or ethnicity. Why do you think that we should adopt jus sanguinis (right of blood) citizenship, like Germany or Japan? They have grandchildren of legal immigrants who aren't considered citizens (typically Turks in Germany and Koreans in Japan). To my American sensibilities that's deplorable - why do you think otherwise?

Posted by: alex on December 13, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

"founded on the principles of liberty the founding fathers wrote about.."

Half-right.

I like what the late Barbara Jordan said about it: "I am the first to say that we as a nation are far from perfect. But as a nation, we have a kind of perfection in us, because our founding principle is universal: we are all created equal... but when the Declaration was written, the Constitution drafted, and the Bill of Rights added to it, those universal principles did not apply to me.I am black. I am female.

"It was immigration that drove us down the track to a braoder and more truthful vision of ourselves."

So it might help, thar, Brojo, to learn what ELSE the late, lamented BJ had to say 'bout it all.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 13, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

why do you think otherwise?

I don't. You think European immigrants' children can and should outlaw immigration. I reject that based on their family history of immigration. My policy would be to allow almost anyone to become a citizen and to open the borders and allow almost anyone to reside here. A policy similar to the one that allowed you, your ancestors and mine to come to the Western Hemisphere. It was a great policy, but now those who benefited from it the most, want to end it and recreate what their ancestors fled.

Posted by: Brojo on December 13, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

"almost anyone"

And who, pray tell, decides what "almost" means -- if not "We, the People"?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 13, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

"descendants of the European immigrants want to continue the usurpation of the original inhabitants" - Brojo, December 12

"similar to the one that allowed you, your ancestors and mine to come to the Western Hemisphere. It was a great policy..." Brojo, December 13

Well, which is it? Was the invasion of the Western Hemisphere by Europeans a GOOD thing, a "great policy" cuz it led to the largest and most productive engine of political and economic inclusion in history?

Or did it establish an "illegitimate government" based on genocide and the denial of the rights of folks like the Pawnee (who would raid neighbors to kidnap young girls to be burned alive)?

Hmm?

What did you mean by "almost", there, Brojo? Whom would you exclude -- and why? How would you identify the folks you mean by "almost"?

There's a long history of American law based on the principle you claim, so I'm thinking you inadvertently support stuff you don't know much about -- from 1808-1965, and it DOES not put you on the side you think it does.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 13, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

How does anyone reconcile the good and the bad? Thomas Jefferson was a great proponent of liberty and democracy but also a slave owner and rapist. George Washington showed the world how to relinquish political power for the collective good but was a renowned Indian killer. Andrew Jackson, a personal favorite, was one of America's greatest Indian mass murderers but he was also a great populist and helped destroy the big money interests that were keeping the small farmers in thrall. These conflicts confront us all, but I am unable to resolve how the children of immigrants, who rightly venerate their ancestors' yearning to be free, can deny today's immigrants that same opportunity.

Posted by: Brojo on December 15, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK
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