The last thing a liberal proponent of immigration reform wants is liberal immigration reform. Remember that paradox, and the insanity at the border makes some sense.
Each day a worried politician or pundit, with creased brow and pained expression, lectures us about the need for “comprehensive immigration reform” to avoid the sort of chaos we are witnessing on the border.
Then a funny thing happens. The speaker never defines the term. If on rare occasions advocates are asked, they fumble around, annoyed that anyone would press them to explain what they mean.
Solving the illegal-immigration problem should not be hard. No one knows how many foreign nationals are residing illegally in the United States — estimates range from 11 million to 20 million. But everyone understands that it is an untenable situation that must be addressed.
The two extreme positions of the Left and Right probably have little public support — on the one hand, blanket amnesties and open borders, and on the other, deportation of all foreign nationals who reside here without legal authorization.
Polls show that most Americans want something in between.
Close the border. Allow entry only to those who have legal permission. Ensure that employers hire only those foreign nationals who have valid green cards. Permit those who have resided here for a while, who are without criminal records and are employed, to apply inside the U.S. for either a pathway to citizenship or legal residence. Continue reading “The True Opponents of Immigration Reform”→
Rather than twisting the political knife in the gaping wound that is Obamacare, House Republicans are off on a “comprehensive immigration reform” toot. The latest news has the Speaker putting off any action for now, and waiting until after the midterm elections in order not to anger the anti-amnesty base, and “to goose Latino turnout or to swing purple districts” in 2016, as political blogger Allahpundit put it. In other words, electoral timing rather than principle is determining what happens.
But principle, not to mention common sense, is what’s at stake here. Anyone proposing “comprehensive” anything after the debacle of Obamacare is delusional. Complex problems are not going to be solved with grandiose legislation that tries to politically please everybody. Nor are most sensible voters likely once again to play Charlie Brown to the Congressional Lucy jerking away the promised “enforcement triggers” and “border security” football after the de facto amnesty is already in place. We went through all that in 1986, when the same promises of employer checks of legal residency and beefed-up border security were broken, more than doubling the number of illegal immigrants from 5 million to 11 million today. Continue reading “Republicans Go On an Immigration Reform Bender”→
If there are executive orders overriding federal immigration law to extend amnesty to foreign nationals, without legal residence, and to continue their educations, there are also de facto all sorts of un-Dream Acts that simply allow anyone wishing to enter the United States without much audit. In other words, one of the strangest things about illegal immigration is that a nation that is monitored, taped, videoed, and bugged, that is struggling now with the AP, IRS, and NSA scandals whose common theme is excessive government intrusions in our private lives, knows absolutely nothing about those who arrive illegally into the U.S. Continue reading “An Immigration Morality Tale”→
We are fast approaching what promises to be the year of “comprehensive immigration reform.” In the manner of the “Affordable Care Act,” it will not be comprehensive nor will it reform immigration.
All sorts of new trends have emerged in the American Southwest to address the fact that federal immigration law does not really apply to those who arrived here illegally from Mexico or Latin America. In-state tuition discounts at public universities are now customarily extended to those without citizenship — in effect, privileging the foreign national over the U.S.-citizen student from out of state who helps subsidize the cost. Cities establish sanctuary zones that protect illegal immigrants from the enforcement of federal immigration laws — and the taxpayer picks up the additional tab in social services. Imagine what might happen should a city declare in similar fashion that it was exempt from enforcing federal gun-control laws.
Another trend is the effort to end penalties for past use of multiple Social Security numbers. Many who crossed the border illegally adopted various — and thus fraudulent — identities and acquired numerous Social Security numbers. When they later obtained green cards or citizenship, their poly-personas were found out. But isn’t it discriminatory to count such illegal behavior against the job applicant, if such criteria apply disproportionately to a particular ethnic group?
The defunding wars are over. The accusations are fading. We are back to reality. Of course, America’s long-term prospects, at least in comparison with other countries’ futures — whether in terms of demography, military power, food-production constitutional stability, energy sources, or higher education — are bright.
But short term, we are walking over landmines that threaten to blow up the normal way of doing business, and pose far more harm for Democrats than for Republicans.
The real story about the debt is that by the end of Obama’s eight years, he will have matched the borrowing of all previous presidents combined. Yet incredibly, the present huge sum of $17 trillion in debt is serviced at the same cost that we paid over 15 years ago. Such free use of money without raging inflation is almost historically unprecedented — and it won’t last.
Indeed, we are paying today about the same amount in aggregate annual interest payments, in non-inflation-adjusted dollars no less, as in 1997 — even though the 2012 figure of $17 trillion in debt is about three times larger than it was a decade-and-a-half ago. That anomaly is possible only because today’s interest rate of about 2.2% is only a third of what it was back then. Continue reading “The Democratic Disasters to Come”→
The government gridlock is, to use now politically incorrect metaphors, only one lost battle in a long campaign, and we are now back to the original proposition of watching the administration try to implement Obamacare. We know the president does exceedingly well when he can campaign against the forces of darkness, but when attention, even for a moment, turns to his own efforts — Obamacare; the stimulus; Solyndra; cash for clunkers, Benghazi; the AP, IRS, and NSA scandals; gun control; Syria, etc. — as it will now for a few weeks until the next psychodramatic “war” against someone, he flounders. Continue reading “Where Now?”→
I have been reading both new and classic books this week among the ruins (see photos below).
Martin Anderson, now almost in his 90th year, has written a fascinating memoir about fashioning a cattle and big-game preservation ranch in Africa: Galana: Elephant, Game Domestication, and Cattle on a Kenya Ranch.At one time Galana was believed to have been the largest single ranching operation in Africa, and one encouraged by the Kenyan government to be a model of tourism, cattle production, and wildlife protection.Galana is an analytical but also personal memoir about what Africa was like in its once hopeful and immediate postcolonial phase, and how Martin Anderson in his late thirties came to the Kenyan wild in 1960, when most Westerners were leaving, often for understandable reasons. When I last saw Martin two weeks ago, he was headed to Nairobi, undaunted by the recent Islamic violence at the shopping center, and eager to return to his ranch. When talking with Martin (who appears more like 65 than 89), one realizes that in some sense age is a state of mind — and old age a referendum on a life either smartly or unwisely lived.
Speaking of the bush and the wild, as I was finishing rereading Galana last evening, I got a call from my son about a truck speeding out of the family vineyard alleyway across the road. Yes, I know, reader — same old, same old:
The miscreants had already dumped their trash: chemical drums, paints, solvents, oils, concrete, tires, garbage, and lots of broken fluorescent glass tubes — something a bit worse than the usual toxic brew that is left on San Joaquin Valley property. Continue reading “Reading Among the Ruins”→
Are the recent raves about a new California renaissance true?
Rolling Stone magazine just gushed that California governor Jerry Brown has brought the state back from the brink of “double-digit unemployment, a $26 billion deficit and an accumulated ‘wall of debt’ topping $35 billion.”
America is in great shape energy-wise. We have more gas and oil reserves than ever before. Indeed, the United States could shortly become the world’s largest exporter of coal. Our cheaper power rates may bring energy-intensive industry back from Europe and Asia. Continue reading “Life in the Twilight”→