Get Your Blog Up

“This administration is populated by people who’ve spent their careers bashing government. They’re not just small-government conservatives—they’re Grover Norquist, strangle-it-in-the-bathtub conservatives. It’s a cognitive disconnect for them to be able to do something well in an arena that they have so derided and reviled all these years.”

Senator Hillary Clinton

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Illegal immigrants are like prisoners...

No, wait - prisoners deserve jobs:
House conservatives criticized President Bush, accused the Senate of fouling the air, said prisoners rather than illegal farm workers should pick America's crops and denounced the use of Mexican flags by protesters Thursday in a vehement attack on legislation to liberalize U.S. immigration laws.

"I say let the prisoners pick the fruits," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, one of more than a dozen Republicans who took turns condemning a Senate bill that offers an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants an opportunity for citizenship.

Which is interesting, since one of the House provisions makes illegal immigrants into felons. Which would mean they'd be laboring in the fields once again...

Other House Republicans expressed anger that Mexican Americans would wave a (gasp) Mexican flag and said that it is the elite class that wants to continue illegal immigration so they have someone to work on their lawns cheaply.

This is the kind of level-headed debate we hope for when we talk about members of Congress.

It's all about the demonization, people. Republicans are hoping a bill like this will stir the base and drive them to the polls in 2006. And either way it goes, it will probably work, but I doubt in the numbers that the GOP needs.

A point I've made in private debates but not on the blog here makes it's way around the internet - the idea that the best way to crack down on illegals is to remove the carrot of jobs, and that involves cracking down on business. It's a step that Republicans are unlikely to take, and I think it would improperly shift the burden of enforcement onto the backs of business as a whole.

I have said before that I think it will be too time consuming and expensive to enforce illegal immigration laws effectively. And I think the reward of a regular paying job will far out way any punishment we may be able to dole out - or at least anything I've heard.

At this point, as you can tell, I'm not very optimistic about the outcome of this debate. In fact, the only thing I'm certain of is that the GOP will mange to tuck a little bit of pork into this thing before all is said and done.