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A laudable exercise in futility

Normally, I'm not a fan of empty, symbolic gestures that end up achieving nothing. But every now and then, one comes along that just hammers its point home in such a way that I have to applaud it.

In Massachusetts, Governor Mitt Romney has been a staunch opponent of giving everything under the sun to illegal aliens. He's fought allowing them driving licenses, access to publicly subsidized housing, in-state tuition breaks, and a host of other "compassionate" gestures the 88%-Democratic state legislature has tried to pass -- and has even managed to keep them from overriding his vetos by sheer public pressure. (And despite out-and-out smear jobs by the New York Times-owned Boston Globe.)

Well, one of Romney's ideas for some time now has been to get the Massachusetts State Police the authority to arrest and detain illegal aliens on their own, instead of simply calling up Immigration and Customs Enforcement and being told to just cite 'em and let 'em go. He hammered out a deal with the feds to get the troopers five weeks specialized training, and they are scheduled to undergo it some time next year. Once that's done, they will be ready to go.

There's only one catch to the whole plan, though: Romney will be the former governor as of the first week of January, and the governor-elect, Deval Patrick (the state's first Democratic governor since Mike Dukakis left office in 1990), has said he doesn't like the plan. In fact, ending the agreement Romney just signed will be one of his first priorities.

It's an open secret that Romney is eying the presidency in 2008. This move of his is aimed not only at establishing his credentials among the right, but presenting Patrick with a fait accompli he'll have to take a firm stand on an issue to undo -- something he was very loath to do during the campaign. He won the governorship on a rigorous platform of vague platitudes and feel-good slogans. Now, thanks to Romney, he'll have to actually take a stand and act on something.

So, in the end, it's most likely that Massachusetts troopers will not join their colleagues from Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and California in helping to stem the tide of illegal immigrants in the United States. They will end up being used as a political football between an outgoing Republican governor and an incoming Democratic one.

But from what I've heard in this case and what I know in general, they don't mind it too much. Being forbidden to enforce certain laws rankles most good cops, and I think they appreciate Romney's efforts -- and the chance to see just where Patrick stands on such an important issue as illegal aliens.


Comments (9)

Jay:While this att... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Jay:

While this attempt by Romney to do SOMETHING is admireable, it is putting a bandaid on a bullet wound. Until those overpaid, worthless bunch of crooks in Washington do something, nothing realy matters. We must have a reliable form of identification, coupled with a guest worker program that has no connection with citizenship. Right now people want to target employers and landlords for hireing, and renting to illegals, when even the federal government can't tell whether or not their green cards are authentic.

With the use of the internet, photographs and finger prints, guest worker cards could be issued to anyone who wants to work, and then GO HOME. By taxing the foriegn workers (payroll taxes) at a higher rate than US citizens, employers would be encouraged to hire Americans first, since they have to pay half of the payroll tax. We could also put a flat income tax on foriegn workers, which would negate the claiming of 47 children back in Mexico, or wherever.

Guest workers are essential to our economy, but we don't need to give away the farm to get them. However, the politicians are not interested in solving the problem, but would prefer to point fingers at each other and do nothing.

USMC: Thjey could solve th... (Below threshold)

USMC: Thjey could solve the problem the right way. Strangely enough, there was a sea change of opinion in D.C. about illegal immigration around the time Bush came out with his plan to allow privatization of part of social security. And it was all the usual suspects who love those social security taxes whether they admit it or not (R's and D's). How many IOUs do you think are sitting in the social security coffers?

When the barrage of misinformation about Bush's plan hit the streets perpetuated by groups like AARP, the feds used the opportunity to promote the idea to legalize illegals thinking it will bolster a failing social security program, which they claim is just fine. But we're too stupid to realize that (or so they think). The democrats' only plan to fix SS was to raise the tax, raise the retirement age or erase the cap on taxable wages. When people raised hell with that idea, they went with the appeal to people's hearts about the plight of the "immigrants".

AARP has an agenda and the government has an agenda. AARP needs to be needed; they're a powerful lobby group and the federal government needs to centralize and solidify their power. If that means not allowing an individual to have control over their own Social Security dollars, then so be it.

They talk out both sides of their mouths. First they claim illegals bolster the tax base, then they say we need to legalize them partly so they carry their fair share of the tax burden. Which is it?

My husband has a green card (and BTW, they're not green). He's an Italian citizen who came here legally and went the whole route to legalization. He doesn't cheat on his taxes, served in the US Army (Korea), doesn't break the laws and loves this country with all his heart and he's a bit miffed about this whole "fast track" falderal. He feels like he's been slapped in the face. I can think of three other 'legal' immigrants I know personally right off the top of my head that feel the same way.

I'm behinning to like Romney more every day. I like a man who's not afraid to draw the line. I don't agree with him on everything, but on some key issues I'm in full agreement.

PIMF... (Below threshold)

PIMF

No comprende, Jay. You say ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

No comprende, Jay. You say "...but presenting Patrick with a fait accompli he'll have to take a firm stand on an issue to undo -- something he was very loath to do during the campaign. He won the governorship on a rigorous platform of vague platitudes and feel-good slogans. Now, thanks to Romney, he'll have to actually take a stand and act on something."

Sounds like Patrick has already taken a firm stand on the issue -- from the Boston Herald article you linked -- "If I can, I do intend to rescind this agreement," Patrick said yesterday. He said troopers have "enough to do already" and said the policy could "compromise public safety" by making illegals reluctant to cooperate with police."

Further, Patrick's spokesman nails it with this: "Richard Chacon , spokesman for the incoming governor, said Patrick believes that deputizing troopers to enforce immigration laws would add another burden and is "impractical and unwise." He also characterized the agreement as a ploy by the Republican governor to showcase his conservative credentials as he weighs a possible presidential bid."

Romney has illegals mowing his lawn, and never bothers to insure that the businesses he does personal business with are in compliance -- but suddenly he's Mister "Secure our Borders" when he decides to mount a presidential bid?

Yep, he's a Republican all right -- His hypocrisy and willingness to whore his values in order to gain votes puts him squarely in running for the Republican nomination.

Fortunately, those very same Republican'esque qualities insures he doesn't have a prayer at being elected to the job of President.

"pucker puss" (lee lee)-sam... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"pucker puss" (lee lee)-same old same old-read 1st 2 words and you know it's p'p' so you skip over the rest (he has a 'ditto" key on his board")
(psst-don't tell anyone but p'p' is backing Dennis G. for prez). Does that give you any idea of old p'p's mental state?

With or wihtout a fence the... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

With or wihtout a fence the Latino population is growing exponentially and by 2050 will predictable be more than 50% of the population of the US.

You can either start to make arrangements for accomodating that rise in Spanish speaking people and figure out ways to assimilate them or you can keep crying and whining about it (like I see so many right wingers doing) and teach your kids ways to not feeel threatned by other cultures.

It's obvious that as parents of the right wing culture you prefer to teach your children exclusion and superiority and deny them a chance to be a global citizen.

Luckily it looks at this point like there are really only about 20-30% of you that are foolish enough to keep on with such a charade.

Enough to make the transition to integration foolhardy and difficult but not enough to stem the tide of inevitable progressive changes needed to think worldly and enact local statutes to adapt.

Evolution just stymies the bunch of right wingers.

Uh, CB, you're projecting. ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Uh, CB, you're projecting. Jay is talking about illegals, you insist on reading racism into the equation.
Any why must, in your mind, illegals speak Spanish? Aren't there illegals that speak Portugese, Russian, French, Swahili and other tongues?
Scratch a progressive, find a racist.

Romney has illegals mowi... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Romney has illegals mowing his lawn, and never bothers to insure that the businesses he does personal business with are in compliance -- but suddenly he's Mister "Secure our Borders" when he decides to mount a presidential bid?

I thought the story wasn't a "hit piece", Lee.

Lee, a few things:

Romney has NO control over who the landscaping company hires. He has NO power to demand to see documentation that the people THEY hired are legal. If he asks them, they are under no obligation to tell him anything.

When Jay mentioned that the piece was clearly a hit piece attempting to claim PRECISELY what you are stating right here, people like you claimed it was not.

You have proven yourself to be a rather poor liar, but a rather impressive hypocrite.

You can either start to make arrangements for accomodating that rise in Spanish speaking people and figure out ways to assimilate them or you can keep crying and whining about it (like I see so many right wingers doing) and teach your kids ways to not feeel threatned by other cultures.

Considering we did a remarkable job of assimilating a LARGE variety of nationalities at the turn of the century --- we clearly DO know how to do it.

People like YOU oppose the methods that have always worked.
-=Mike

First, I oppose illegal imm... (Below threshold)

First, I oppose illegal immigration. Strictly! With that said, I do want to say that I know a portion of why there are so many illegals in this country. Coming to this country has become extremely hard to do legally, and if you have nothing to loose and the potential to gain, you take the risk to make a better life for yourself.

I know this first hand, as my boyfriend and I have been trying to find a legal way for him to enter the country from Great Britain. The only ways we have found thus far that are within our reach is to have a child or get married. Not bad options, or ones I am opposed to by any means, but for two people who want to do things the "right" way, these are last resorts. My only question is why it has to be so hard to enter a country that is comprised of immigrants and their descendants? It isn't as if, in my case, he has no skills or a lack of willingness to work. If the person can be a productive member of society, why make it so tough for them to get in?




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