Nov 25 2008
Illegal immigration is an issue I find myself just disgusted with. On the far right we have the “deport them now” crowd who call anything less ‘amnesty’. Whether its deportation by rounding up illegals and dumping all 20+ million over the border or it is through economic blackmail, these folks took the only sane option of positive and conservative immigration reform and tanked it twice: once under the GOP led Congress and once under the Dem led Congress.
Their promise was we didn’t need any new laws to fix the problem. It was a out and out lie of course. The far right zealots just did not want to deal with those long term illegals who had set up roots here over many years to get off with hefty fines and paying back taxes with interest (which was a more than reasonable punishment for a misdemeanor paper filing crime). They claimed there were problems at the border, but of course the border has nothing to do with ‘amnesty’. They claimed all sorts of irrelevant imperfections (like Congress ever produces perfection??). So they tanked the reasonable compromise and destroyed the GOP in the process. It was at this time, on this subject, the nativist went crazy and started to really attack moderate conservatives in viscous ways. It was, as I said, disgusting.
But the far left is no better, and in fact probably worse. They want to just give everyone here US Citizenship so they can refill their base with new voters. They don’t care how big a drain these non-tax paying people drain our government and limit services that should be going to tax paying residents (including legal immigrants). They want to break laws so they can control the legislature. It would have been a huge defeat for the left if the comprehensive immigration bill had passed. It would be the end of real ‘amnesty’, where people get short cuts to US Citizenship for illegal acts.
As a reminder here is what would have been in place if the far right had not gone crazy in their extremism:
- All illegal aliens would have to register with the government, use a tamper proof ID (not some drivers license) and be limited to 2 three-year stints as a migrant worker.
- The borders would be strengthened (they have been).
- No one caught entering illegally would be allowed in, they would be turned back (Bush instituted this policy which made last year the last year any illegal entrant who was caught at the border could still enter).
- Stiff fines and clear responsibilities on companies and individuals who hired migrant workers to play by the rules and collect taxes.
- A ‘start over’ period for illegal immigrants here for more than 2-3 years (no new arrivals would qualify) who had to pass a criminal background check, pay a fine and all back taxes, use the immigrant worker ID and tracking process before they were allowed to stay and begin their time towards US citizenship if they so desired. EIther that or they had the same 6 years before they would have to leave.
- One strike and your out rule: any immigrant (legal or illegal – this is very important) who committed a felony or violent crime would be banned from this country forever. Where they would serve time was being debated, but the fact is anyone who violated our trust in such a manner would be booted, never to come back.Â
Of course none of these common sense steps forward are reality today. None. Instead, as I predicted, the chance for real immigration reform is slipping farther and farther away as the extreme backlash from the far left starts to build – a backlash that was a response to extreme positions from the far right in the first place. Here in my home state of Virginia we are rapidly losing ground on immigration to this liberal backlash:
Virginia, known for some of the nation’s toughest policies on illegal immigration, appears to be abandoning its hard-line approach as state officials consider proposals to help foreign-born residents assimilate, including increasing the number of English classes.
In the coming weeks, the Virginia Commission on Immigration will sendÂ Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D)Â two dozen recommendations, most of which would help immigrants instead of penalizing them.
Those on both sides of the issue say interest in immigration has waned because of the growing economic crisis, a clearer understanding of the state’s limitations on a largely federal issue and backlash at the voting booth.
“I think some reality set in,” said state Sen. John C. Watkins (R-Chesterfield), the group’s chairman.
Recommendations include shortening theÂ MedicaidÂ residency requirements for certain qualified immigrants, offering in-state tuition to immigrants who meet specific criteria and creating an immigration assistance office.
Remember when the far right called the immigration bill a ‘shamnesty’? Well, this is the product of their efforts. They gleefully cheered the demise of the comprehensive immigration bill claiming it would be much better without it. How may conservatives feel like thanking the far right for this result? Not me.
People don’t see the subtleties of history while they are living through it. They react to the ‘now’ – it’s the way our brains our naturally wired. We sample a variety of signals and respond. Our intellect provides us options to step back from this input/react wiring, but at times we forget to switch it full on. The far right became obsessed with silly buzz words like ‘amnesty’ and ‘breaking the law’, as if the government should be allowed to kick you out of house, job and the country for not licensing your vehicle, or keeping it insured.
And in response to their historic failure, we now have the far left in charge and they are trying to find ways to assimilate more aliens. They are trying to find ways to spend more tax payer dollars on people who do not pay taxes! It is a circus of the absurd, clowns to the left and clowns to the right.
I will seriously miss President George Bush, who appears to be the last good leader we will see for sometime. He led on national progress, not for ideology, fame or votes. He found compromises that would move the nation one more step to the right – which is how you do it in democracies. You don’t play dictator and force everyone to conform. I will miss his wisdom, which will be all the more painful given all the reminders of less sane heads that now surround us and lead the national debates.