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A Modest Proposal For Conservatives

Emotions among Conservatives have run high at times during the Bush Administration. Let's - for once - step aside from the yelling and start with common ground. I think it is reasonable, as a starting proposition, to contend that everyone with a strong opinion on the issues under debate has thought about them at some length, and their emotion is the result of their concern for this country. So, for the first step in this article, I propose that we leave the weapons of ad hominem and character attacks outside the door; we do not need them, and they are not useful for the purpose of discussing the issues.

If that can be done (sadly, a doubtful prospect at the moment), I would also suggest that we should also leave behind the baggage of past debate. Guilt trips are not effective debating tools, and we will have quite enough on our hands to even begin working on the issues which matter most. I would further submit that, especially as Republicans are the minority party in Congress, and even among Republicans there is a wide range of opinions on certain issues, we must demonstrate a reasonable tolerance for different opinions. No, you don't have to agree to a bill you find unacceptable, but at the same time it is suicidal for a faction to refuse to discuss points of a bill under consideration, or to refuse the possibility that getting some of what you want is better than getting none.

Let us also forego that practice of mis-portraying the other side. Let a proponent say what they would like to see done, why they think it will work, and how they would see that put into action. Those opposed or unconvinced could then properly ask for information, challenge assumptions and faulty contentions, and - most important - offer feasible solutions. This would be, of course, much lengthier and complex than the present smear-fest we see on radio shows and web forums, and it would require a much higher level of maturity than is usually presented in these debates, but it would have the salient effect of actually moving the debate forward. Deal with what people are actually and genuinely believe, rather than some 'gotcha' strawmen, and there is much better foundation for building a real solution.

Since Border Security and Immigration Reform are two of the most contentious issues at present, I think we might next consider the key problems to address in those issues. My list is not the be-all, end-all, but I think we could use it as a launch point for the forum to follow in this thread:

1. The presence of at least 12 million foreigners in the United States who arrived illegally and who continue to stay here illegally, represents a serious problem for the United States, which must be addressed in a manner which, in effect, closes the door to such numbers of illegal immigration.

2. There are organized groups who would desire to attack the United States, either as criminals (gangs) or as terrorists. This is the chief reason why the borders must be secured against entry by foreign nationals, especially organized operations.

3. The Immigration laws of the United States simply do not work as intended. Not only is there a serious enforcement problem with the laws already in place, but those immigrants who try to comply with the bureaucracy find the rules illogical, punitive, and arbitrary.

4. There are a number of American businesses which have no intention of complying with U.S. law regarding the hiring of illegals. Therefore, there is a strong market able and willing to subsidize illegals, and any legislation considered needs to contend with this problem.

5. There are a number of state and local authorities who oppose federal efforts to control illegal immigration. Substantive legislation should consider this interference, and legal recourse should be prepared for these conditions.

6. The overwhelming majority of these illegal immigrants are non-violent and could function as valuable members of society under the right circumstances. Accordingly, any plan to address the long-term situation must provide an opportunity for eventual citizenship for those families and individuals who can demonstrate the ability and will to act responsibly under American law, allegiance to the United States, and penalties for their illegal entry. Any plan must consider legal applicants first and with strong preference.

7. Because the Democrats can be counted on to oppose any substantive solution to Illegal Immigration, Republicans must maintain a united public face. Consensus therefore is the sine qua non for Republican in-house debate, and under no circumstances should a Republican, no matter his opinion, commit an action or statement which weakens the GOP's position or advances the Democrats' agenda.


All of these have been considered or proposed before, but unfortunately have been ignored by opponents, mis-characterized or mis-stated, or simply mocked. We have the means to find answers, but only if we act like the adults in this debate. We surely cannot expect the Liberals to even try to resolve these problems, and ignoring the problem is simply out of the question.


Comments (49)

Good morning DJ.Th... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Good morning DJ.

This issue is a "what is better for the country" but our leaders in both party's are using it as a party issue. Republican business likes the cheaper non-union labor, democrats like the votes coming their way. As long as the congress approach is on that pathway, nothing will work. I say simply: Close the border first. Secure it. Review it in a year and if the traffic has slowed to a trickle, then that will be the time to discuss what to do with the 12-20 million that are here. If we do it any other way, we will be repeating the 64 and 86 mistakes.

When you live in a state that is on the border with Mexico, you have a much different perspective on what and how this is effecting everything in our day to day lives. The negatives go on for some time but I will not list them because I am sure you are aware of them.

To summarize, I am not looking at this as a party issue. This is a "what is good for the country" issue. ww

6. The overwhelmin... (Below threshold)
6. The overwhelming majority of these illegal immigrants are non-violent and could function as valuable members of society under the right circumstances. Accordingly, any plan to address the long-term situation must provide an opportunity for eventual citizenship for those families and individuals who can demonstrate the ability and will to act responsibly under American law, allegiance to the United States, and penalties for their illegal entry. Any plan must consider legal applicants first and with strong preference.

Paraphrasing Fred Thompson: This is our house and we get to decide who's invited in. The very first act of responsibility we should reward is for those that have been patiently going through the legal process to join our nation as legal immigrants.

Those that have broken our laws should:

1. Shut up
2. Go home
3. Apply for entry from their native land like their compatriots that are doing it the responsible way.

D.J. you are 100 percent co... (Below threshold)
Wetbackhaitian:

D.J. you are 100 percent correct, as you usually are on this issue.

Contrary to what the misinformed what have others believe, nothing short of extreme deportation measures would force a sizeable portion of the 12-20 million illegals back from whence they came.

I'm talking about measures similar to "Children of Men."

Fagettaboutit.

Let's focus on the rapists, murderers, child abusers/molesters, DUI chronics, and other criminals who have committed crimes in addition to the inital act of crossing the border or overstaying their visas.

The illegals who are working shoud be given provisional status and a lengthy process for permenant residency and even longer for citizenship. They should not be allowed access to benefits such as food stamps.

Finally, the guest worker program should be eliminated PERIOD. There is no such thing as a guest worker, and 12-20 million illegals with Y visas should be more than enough laborers for big business.

WW, I am not so sure. When... (Below threshold)

WW, I am not so sure. When emotions get strong, you start to see a lot of people toss off the 'if you disagree with me, you must be a _____' line or variations of it, with ______ being whatever that person finds the most objectionable insult they can supply. I think, actually, that most of Congress really believes they are trying to solve the problem effectively, which the scary part.

I don't like the present bill being considered, for instance, in large part because there are no provisions for enforcement. Even if it was the best thing ever to be considered by Congress, it still amounts to passing a wishlist and hoping everyone complies with it. I think the members of Congress are generally intelligent and mean well, so why is there no enforcement? For the same reason, I think, that no one in Congress ever examines what went wrong with previous bills.

Like that fence. It's just unreasonable to believe that Bush does not want the border secure, or that he does not support the fence being built. But it's obvious as well that the fence has not yet been built beyond a small start, and that for all his efforts to provide resources to the Border Patrol and coordinate surveillance of the border, the borders are not secure. It's easy but useless (as well as a false claim) to pretend Bush doesn't care, but we need to examine what is going on; does anyone think, after all, that Tony Snow is really nothing but a White House flack who would go along with a lie? I do not fall into that mental error, and so I am compelled to ask for better answers to sort out this concern. I honestly believe that if we deal with specifics and plans rather than just accusations and vague goals we'd like to see, that we can sort out what we should tell Washington. If a bunch of us call up and demand "Seal the Border", we can be sure we will get a speech promising that the official loves America, but if we say "Compel Houston to comply with DHS Immigration sweeps or lose funding", for example, we'll get their attention and they will have to give better answers.

OK Porkopolis, how do you f... (Below threshold)

OK Porkopolis, how do you figure to compel those millions of illegals to "shut up" as you put it, let alone "go home"? They think that they are already 'home', after all, and I do not think this country is prepared for the kind of efforts it would take to hunt down and expel millions of people.

Ultimately, we need to find a way to convince them that their best interest is to leave and get into line. And that method must include positive motivation as well as penalties, or it cannot hope to succeed.

8. Any reforms that result... (Below threshold)
cool breeze:

8. Any reforms that result in immigrants becoming citizens or being on a path to citizenship must result in a) the immigrants in general becoming productive and responsible citizens, with exceptions not significantly worse than the general population and b) the immigrants becoming at least minimally assimilated and not forming hostile ethnic enclaves as has happened in a number of instances in Europe.

Cool breeze, it seems to me... (Below threshold)

Cool breeze, it seems to me we already have "hostile ethnic enclaves" in the US made up of illegals. That's why the Democrats want to just sign them up as registered voters now; rage and misunderstanding are hand-in-hand with Donkey Kong political ideology.

DJ: "That's why the Demo... (Below threshold)

DJ: "That's why the Democrats want to just sign them up as registered voters now; rage and misunderstanding are hand-in-hand with Donkey Kong political ideology."

Who was it that wrote "let's drop the ad hominems" in the post above? Wasn't that you, DJ?

Didn't you write "So, for the first step in this article, I propose that we leave the weapons of ad hominem and character attacks outside the door; we do not need them, and they are not useful for the purpose of discussing the issues."

You couldn't even last an hour. Lol! Amazing...

DJ, you may very well be ri... (Below threshold)
cool breeze:

DJ, you may very well be right. I take it, though, that you don't disagree with the principle I was trying to articulate. I thought your original post was very well done and I was trying to add a constructive suggestion that I didn't think had been covered in your original listing of key issues.

The fence obviously should ... (Below threshold)
mnemosyne:

The fence obviously should be constructed to secure the borders.

The federal government uses its pocketbook control to require actions of states and schools for many other issues. Why not use it for immigration enforcement? These "sanctuary cities" should not receive any federal money, zero. That will fix that part of the problem. The feds know this and could solve much of the problem that way. Why don't they?

We should not let the argument be changed as it is. This is not about reuniting hispanic families. These people chose to come here illegally. They chose to separate their families. If their families never get reunited, it is, quite frankly, their own fault.

Some 30% of these illegals are on welfare of some kind. Only 2% work in crop harvesting. Source: Investors Business Daily.

I own three small businesses. I believe very strongly that the businesses that employ illegals should be very heavily punished for this practice.

This problem, like almost all others, boils down to personal responsibility.

DJ, not to press the point ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

DJ, not to press the point BUT, if the borders are not secured first, what is the difference between the 64 and 86 immigration law? In my opinion, they both failed because the government did not enforce the borders or immigration laws. Now they want us to believe they are really really serious now? I say secure first, negotiate and compromise second. That is what is fair to citizens of the US. There does not have to be a rush to pass a complex, comprehensive bill at this time. The damage is done. Secure the border. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Well this is 3. I do not want to be fooled again. ww

Question:<blockquote... (Below threshold)

Question:

OK Porkopolis, how do you figure to compel those millions of illegals to "shut up" as you put it, let alone "go home"? They think that they are already 'home', after all, and I do not think this country is prepared for the kind of efforts it would take to hunt down and expel millions of people.

Answer:

Attrition Through Enforcement:
A Cost-Effective Strategy to Shrink the Illegal Population
:

...According to the government's own cost estimates, such a strategy requires an additional investment of less than $2 billion, or $400 million per year - an increase of less than 1 percent of the President's 2007 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security ($42.7 billion)...

The exact same infrastructure that enforces Child Labor Laws (for which we have very high compliance with) can be scaled-up to fully enforce Legal Immigration Labor Laws.

Lee, I said at the start th... (Below threshold)

Lee, I said at the start that this is a forum for Conservatives. Your poor reading comprehension aside, it is generally understood among Conservatives that Democrats - especially Liberals - have no intention of addressing the Illegal Immigration issue, let alone a plan.

Cool breeze, we agree on the concept. I just noted that we already have centers of protests organized by the very people who are breaking the law. It's not the numbers which concern me so much, as it is the confrontational attitude of this category of offender.

Porkopolis, thanks for the specifics. I don't believe it will be that easy (because I don't think 'Voluntary Compliance' is effective on this issue yet, and I do not think we have yet figured out how to effectively punish criminal employers without burdening honest small business owners), but I appreciate your details and contribution. Also, the CIS.org has put up a lot of good information and solid suggestions, which is exactly what we need for this forum.

Thanks.

I am inclined to agree with... (Below threshold)
cool breeze:

I am inclined to agree with Porkopolis' posting to the effect that employer enforcement is the key, rather than the "Just seal the border!" folks. The US has VERY long and hard to secure borders plus airports, ports, etc. Furthermore, the decades-long track record of previous immigration "reforms" is very bad with regard to border security, regardless of what is promised. I am well past the "Fool me once..." stage in this regard.

On the other hand, if the economic immigrants couldn't find work because an effective employee verification program, the flood would slow to a trickle and border security would be better able to target the real bad guys. A lot of the existing illegal population would deport themselves. We already have working models for an effective employee verification program. It is very doable to broaden them to all employers.

Just trying to be practical.

But that's the point, Wildw... (Below threshold)

But that's the point, Wildwillie. You say 'secure the borders', as if there is a mass resistance to doing that, and I just don't agree. I think that we see folks who don't want to try very hard, we see folks who want the fence but do not know the details of how they want it done, and then there are folks who are trying to get the borders sealed as best they can. I believe that there is an almost-unanimous desire to secure the borders, if only for the political value in it, but the effort is not producing results, and so rather than excoriate politicians who think they are doing everythig they can, right or wrong, we need to find the specific obstacles which are holding up construction, and deal with those points directly.

Cool breeze, I understand y... (Below threshold)

Cool breeze, I understand your frustration, and I share it. Let's just remember, please, that strong emotions can get in the way of finding solutions, and sometimes angry people do not separate the good guys from the bad guys, when they don't see what is going on where the media does not report.

Mnemosyne, the problems I s... (Below threshold)

Mnemosyne, the problems I see with threatening to cut off federal funds to the "sanctuary cities" are these:

1. There are courts which would rule that action unconstitutional

2. Democrats, who control the Congress, would never agree

3. Federal/Local cooperation issues in those cities, already a problem, would become even more strained, and those cities would likley take retaliatory actions which hurt the welfare of their citizens, rather than comply with the Federal government.

Republicans must mainta... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Republicans must maintain a united public face.
Yeah, but who gets to decide? That's the problem, we don't trust the politicians, and with good reason.

How about just enforce the laws on the book? And how about whenever an illegal immigrant is found, deport them with prison sentences followed by deportation if they are ever found illegally in the US again?
And no, I don't mean run out and deport 12 million illegals tomorrow, I mean when they are caught throw them out.

Weren't at least two of the 9/11 hijackers pulled over in a traffic stop and allowed to go even though they were illegal?

After enforcement we can talk about what to do with the rest.

You see, we've been through this before and all it did was increase the numbers of illegals.

Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

DJ, I completely agree and ... (Below threshold)
cool breeze:

DJ, I completely agree and I am trying to follow your excellent suggestions that we engage in a constructive dialogue with respect for differing viewpoints and without ad hominem attacks.

I am all for increased border security, I just think it is much more practical and cost-effective and we are more likely to see prompt and effective results if this is paired with an employee verification system. The government already has such a program that large employers can use voluntarily. Dunkin Donuts is one such employer. The mechanics of participating in the program are not particularly burdensome, even for small businesses. We just need to expand this program and make it mandatory.

I think that we (conservatives) all basically want to get to the same place. We just differ on how best to get there.

Veeshir, who doesn't want t... (Below threshold)

Veeshir, who doesn't want the existing laws enforced? Well, aside from the people with (D) next to their names, I mean.

I think, personally, that the reason nothing gets done to fix the old laws, is because the politicians don't see a need or purpose to going back to fix the mistakes. They're all about new bills, so they can point to something they "led" the cause about.

I'd like to say something about two things you mentioned. First off, when we catch someone they're deported, but the problem there is that we don't get cooperation from the Latin countries, especially Mexico. And I don't see Mexico paying serious attention to what Conservatives want, until we control Congress again. That's why I am so big on the united front: When other nations see us divided, they call that 'weak' and ignore us as irrelevent.

Next, you mentioned the cops who don't arrest illegals. That's not a Federal problem though, but one of cooperation between Federal and Local law enforcement. Speaking bluntly, local police do not arrest illegals because they don't want to spend the money housing and feeding them. The President cannot fix that specific problem, it has to be worked on at the place it happens, and it takes budgeting decisions as much as policy decisions.

DJ et al,The "you ... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

DJ et al,

The "you can't possibly deport 12+ million people" argument is a red herring. We don't have to deport 12+ million or even 1 person. All we have to do is make it difficult for illegal immigrants to receive welfare benefits or jobs. Without a source of income, most of them will deport themselves.

The reason emotions run high on this issue, at least from those of us opposed to rewarding law breakers, is that the President has set up a catch-22 for us. On the one hand, he tells us that the only way to deal with these scofflaws is to give them legal status, but he says that while holding back on enforcement. Try enforcing our current laws with real money and effort for 6 months. That's all I ask, just really do your job for 6 months Mr. President. If we still have 12+ million illegal immigrants then we can talk.

I am not opposed to a guest worker program or increased legal immigration. What I am opposed to is encouraging more illegal immigration by letting the world know that if you get here illegally we'll gladly put you at the front of the line for citizenship or legal status.

So, DJ the only thing I am willing to agree with the President's proponents on is that enforcement has been almost criminally negligent. When they agree with me on that fact then we can discuss where to go from here.

In the interest of full dis... (Below threshold)

In the interest of full disclosure, here is what I wrote in 2006 on this issue. Since that time I have had second thoughts about allowing large numbers of people to reside permanently in the U.S. without havng a road to citizenship, but I still think the overal argument has its good points.

Kbiel, inflammatory rhetori... (Below threshold)

Kbiel, inflammatory rhetoric is not helpful. Can you try your post again in the context of advancing the discussion?

Thanks.

Dj Drummond- As an interest... (Below threshold)
Kat:

Dj Drummond- As an interested observer, I didn't see anything inflammatory about Kbiel's post at 1pm.
I think we should enforce existing laws before we try to 'fix' immigration laws.

Kbiel: Your anger at the P... (Below threshold)
scotty:

Kbiel: Your anger at the President is missplaced in my opinion. It is congress that make laws and more importantly fund them. When you realize that its the congress that hasn't done anything on this (due to the political impasse between the enforcment republicans the guest worker republicans the democrats and other various factions) then you can redirect your ire to the right individual (i.e. your congresspeople). The bottom line is nothing has been done because there hasn't been a workable solution to date. All the various solutions floated have fatal flaws and unintended consequences.

who doesn't want the exi... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

who doesn't want the existing laws enforced? Well, aside from the people with (D) next to their names, I mean.
DJ Drummond

George W. Bush (R-TX). After all, it's his job to "faithfully execute" the laws, but he's not doing it.

PS: DJ's logic is ad hominem's are fine as long as they're against dems. He feels that the 11th commandment is the most sacred of them all.

Sean, you're not doing anyt... (Below threshold)

Sean, you're not doing anything but bitching. And ignoring the premise of ths thread.

Surely you can do better than that?

Scotty:<a href="ht... (Below threshold)

Scotty:

Re:

...Your anger at the President is missplaced in my opinion. It is congress that make laws and more importantly fund them...

Last time I checked the Executive branch/Presidency executes (enforces) the laws.

* sigh *Once again... (Below threshold)

* sigh *

Once again, the purpose of this thread is to examine specific actions we Conservatives can support. This is not the place for blame games and personal attacks on selected officials. If you simply must relieve your rage and act like a pack of Democrats, you may fit in at any number of websites dedicated to Bush-hate and hysteria.

Porkopolis: Ever hear of u... (Below threshold)
scotty:

Porkopolis: Ever hear of unfunded mandate? The Congress has written law(s) and not funded them. How can a President who lacks the resources (Boarder Petrol agents, ICE agents, jails, etc. ad nauseum) be called to task? All that the Executive can do is squawk about it and I believe if you honestly look at whe Bush has done it is squawk that he doesn't have the resources. He even took the extreme measure of sending National Guard to the boarder which is a way of finding additional resources that the Congress has failed to provide. You may want to assign Bush a sinister intentions, but it you assess his actions he has been doing as much as can be expected with the resources he has been given by Congress.

Sorry DJ allow me just one ... (Below threshold)
Scotty:

Sorry DJ allow me just one ad hominem attack

Porkopolis: Your screen name and website are the most ironic thing I've run into today. It appears that you have contempt for Congress (hence the Pork theme), yet you debate with me whether it is Congress or the Executive branch that is at fault re illegal immigration. The irony-That made me laugh.

Surely you can do better... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Surely you can do better than that?
DJ Drummond

Yes, I can, but you would probably shoot down my suggestions just as you did kbiel and others.
My opinion of what should be done (in the short term):
1) Enforce the laws against employers that hire illegals. You take away the jobs, you take away some of the incentive to be here and limit their ability to stay.

2) Allow local and state law enforcement to check to see if someone is illegal or not. If they have commited a serious crime (any type of robbery, assault, or DUI), deport them. A minor crime (trespassing, loitering, etc.), have a two or three strike and you're out policy.

3) Do not allow illegals to get drivers' licenses or credit cards or bank accounts. I would stop short of punishing those that provide illegals housing however, you have to have some humanity and don't want to create millions of homeless. I would, however, allow landlords to be able to request a citizenship check of some sort if they make the choice to not house illegals. I'm also not in favor of a national ID card (why should I have more of my information at the government's disposal for nothing I did?).

4) Secure the border to stem the current influx. I'm not a huge fan of building a 2000 mile wall, but a wall in known trouble-spots, combined with sensors and surveillance in other areas and upping the number of CBP/ICE agents and we'll be off to a good start.

Then in 2009, once Bush is out of office, we see how we're doing and reconvene about what to do next.

Sean, I did not "shoot them... (Below threshold)

Sean, I did not "shoot them down", I discussed them. The whole idea here is to sort out what works, what will not, and what we can do about this mess.

I have to say though, your points are good goals, but you do not say how we will get them done. It's already illegal to hire an illegal alien, so what's your plan to get those laws enforced? Porkopolis had a good idea from CIS.org about using the IRS, and I like that one. Do you have any other ideas about just how we can start making crooked companies pay, without making it impossible for honest small businesses?

You talk about "allowing" state and local law enforcement to do their jobs, but the feds are not stopping them from doing that, it's happening at the local level. Here in Houston, for example, Mayor Bill White doesn't want HPD to ask if someone is a citizen. I don't see how that is Bush's fault, and it tells me we need to find local actions which pressure these mayors and city councils to do their jobs.

Illegals are not supposed to get any kind of official identification. But the problem is that the states are sometimes going out and giving them ID cards and such; and worse, the courts have - I think - already ruled that the states can do that (if not, sue the states and get a judgment). I'd like to keep illegals from getting bank accounts, but I think there are some international covenants regarding access to funds which are involved.

To the fourth point, I think we need a fence the whole way, with supplemental fortifications and resources in key places. Let's not forget the lesson of the Maginot Line, however. A fence or wall is one thing, but we need an active, fluid defense to make it work.

And to your last comment. you seem to think things will get smoother or easier when Bush leaves. I say he is on our side, which means we might do worse in 2009.

Much worse, if a Donkey gets the Oval O.

DJ: Ah,the good ol' Magino... (Below threshold)
Scotty:

DJ: Ah,the good ol' Maginot Line. Ok I had to look it up. This may seem like very good argument for an entire fence. However, the lesson of the Maginot Line is that a fence doesn't work. Indeed, a more common illegal immigration route is via Boat. I like Duncan Hunter but his constant bragging about his Fence is rediculous. It hasn't reduced illegal immigration in California at all. The illegals just go around either via another land route or by Boat. In the end, I guess I'm not agruing against a fence, but I think it needs cover the entire border (including Canada) then we need to start watching for the flotillas that will replace the desert caravans.

under no circumstances s... (Below threshold)
Brian:

under no circumstances should a Republican, no matter his opinion, commit an action or statement which weakens the GOP's position or advances the Democrats' agenda.

Hey, you could get a few good campaign slogans out of that:

"Party before country!"

"Don't vote your conscience!"

"Vote with the majority or we'll make sure you never get anymore funding!"

How do you know a Liberal?<... (Below threshold)

How do you know a Liberal?

They heckle anyone who starts discussing issues.

DJ,The feds have n... (Below threshold)
mnemosyne:

DJ,

The feds have no problem with the courts system with their requirements for education (No Child Left Behind). Why should this be different.

Enforce existing immigration reporting laws or face a loss of federal funds.

The schools are not very fund of the NCLB law but they do comply.

From Scotty's <a href="http... (Below threshold)

From Scotty's comment:

Porkopolis: Ever hear of unfunded mandate? The Congress has written law(s) and not funded them. How can a President who lacks the resources (Boarder Petrol agents, ICE agents, jails, etc. ad nauseum) be called to task?

Hmmm...unfunded...like the bill that Congress passed/funded and which the President signed in October of 2006 to build 700 miles of border fence of which only 11 miles have been built?

That type of 'unfunded' mandate?....Save your knee-jerk ad hominem for someone more deserving.

How do you know a DJ Drummo... (Below threshold)
Brian:

How do you know a DJ Drummond? He resorts to ad hominem attacks when anyone points out how silly his position is.

Okay, here goes.As... (Below threshold)
The Other JD:

Okay, here goes.

As I see it, the fulcrum of the whole discussion is what should be done about the 10-20 million (no one knows for sure) illegals who are currently in this nation. There are those who suggest immediate "regularization" or some other such process by which to make those individuals already here in the nation righteous.

On balance, nobody likes a line-cutter. This is where the superficial appeal of the "touch-back" proposal comes into play. The illegal immigrants already in this nation are line-cutters, and any proposal to make them "legal" without going through the normal process a truly law-abiding immigrant would go through is going to well and truly stick in the craw of the garden variety conservative. I honestly do not see that changing any time soon. Unless and until there is some provision made so that the illegals currently in this nation repatriate themselves prior to getting legal in the U.S., the true conservative is going to, at his or her gut, oppose any kind of immigration reform.

I think it's instructive to look at the immigration policies of other nations for assistance on this question. The immigration laws of Mexico should bear particular attention, especially since our southern neighbor is the largest source of the current problem.

An attempt at mirror-image application of Mexican immigration policy would be quite the wake-up call down in the DF, not to mention DC.

Porkopolis: I'm not sure i... (Below threshold)
scotty:

Porkopolis: I'm not sure if you are being serious or not with regard to your asking if by unfunded mandate I might mean somthing like the Fence. Well, as a matter of fact, that is an excellent example. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 was passed without funding with the appropriation to follow.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:HR06061:@@@L&summ2=m&|TOM:/bss/d109query.html|

Only 11 miles so far. Well, thanks for making my point for me. You're too kind.

Only 11 miles. How many mi... (Below threshold)
Beth:

Only 11 miles. How many miles did the Minutemen put up with the money their donors gave them to build some fencing?

700 miles is a joke, anyway, and although it's probably a rarity, I agree with Scotty that if there's going to be a fence, it needs to be done ALL the way. Including Canada.

I would advise the hard-liners to not laugh too much about DJ's admonishment to TRY not to damage the GOP. Think about it. This bill isn't passing, and they say "next year." LOL. In an election year? Fat chance! So what do we get? We'll get immigration reform all right...in 2009. Engage in much more cannibalism, and you may very well be looking at the Dems controlling the Congress AND the White House. And then what kind of immigration "reform" are you going to get?

Oh, I know, we'll put up "real" conservatives in the primaries. Right. Just like in '06? But this time, they'll win, right? Riiiiight.

For the record, I am/was against this bill myself. What I am MORE against, though, is strengthening the Donks' hands. It's not just a popularity contest, y'all. The war and immigration reform (not to mention countless other issues) are going to be decided by how the GOP does in '08, like it or not. And I know some of you think they aren't "real" conservatives, but they're a hell of a lot more conservative than the Democrats. We'll lose on ALL the issues if they take control. Including immigration.

I think, personall... (Below threshold)
I think, personally, that the reason nothing gets done to fix the old laws, is because the politicians don't see a need or purpose to going back to fix the mistakes. They're all about new bills, so they can point to something they "led" the cause about.

I think you're right--it's what they do. I also think that we can talk about most of your points once we get it figured out how to plug our porous borders.

I believe that for most conservatives, that's all that is asked. Fix the borders, then we'll deal with those who are already here -- and that may include full citizenship.

Why we have to have "comprehensive" is beyond me... unless it's to appease the illegal alien-friendly voting bloc. One would hope our politicians would put the country above them, but then that's probably a fantasy.

Just like in '06? ... (Below threshold)
Just like in '06? But this time, they'll win, right? Riiiiight.

There were Conservatives running in '06?

The GOP worked hard to get that loss, and it was readily handed to them. They had '04-'06 to show why they should be in power, and failed miserably. The question shouldn't be "The Democrats are worse." It should be: "Why aren't we demanding for better?"

Republicans must m... (Below threshold)
Republicans must maintain a united public face. Consensus therefore is the sine qua non for Republican in-house debate, and under no circumstances should a Republican, no matter his opinion, commit an action or statement which weakens the GOP's position or advances the Democrats' agenda.

This is excrement. It elevates party over principle and condemns anyone who is not the most servile party hack.

Also, how does this work if the GOP appears to be getting into bed with Ted Kennedy and the rest of the Democrats, which is what happened on the amnesty bill?

I'm told constantly that I shouldn't bolt the GOP but, if I don't think the party is conservative enough, to "work change from within." OK, fine. But now you're saying I'm not even allowed to do that, but rather, I should just shut up and do what I'm told.

You've been carrying a lot of water for the GOP lately, DJ, but this latest is too much, even for you.

Scotty <a href="http://wizb... (Below threshold)

Scotty said:

Porkopolis: I'm not sure if you are being serious or not with regard to your asking if by unfunded mandate I might mean somthing like the Fence. Well, as a matter of fact, that is an excellent example. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 was passed without funding with the appropriation to follow.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:HR06061:@@@L&summ2=m&|TOM:/bss/d109query.html

Only 11 miles so far. Well, thanks for making my point for me. You're too kind.

Scotty...you're trying to be too cute by half...I, on the other hand, will be ruthless with the facts. If the funding followed (details below) you can't call it unfunded! Congress not only mandated but funded.

I would support your argument of 'unfunded mandate':

...Ever hear of unfunded mandate? The Congress has written law(s) and not funded them. How can a President who lacks the resources (Boarder Petrol agents, ICE agents, jails, etc. ad nauseum) be called to task?...

if not for the funding that followed:

Congress provided $1.2 billion specifically for the fence in the subsequently passed Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act:

BORDER SECURITY FENCING, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND TECHNOLOGY

For expenses for customs and border protection fencing, infrastructure, and technology, $1,187,565,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That of the amount provided under this heading, $1,159,200,000 is designated as described in section 520 of this Act: Provided further, That of the amount provided under this heading, $950,000,000 shall not be obligated until the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives receive and approve a plan for expenditure, prepared by the Secretary of Homeland Security and submitted within 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, to establish a security barrier along the border of the United States of fencing and vehicle barriers, where practicable, and other forms of tactical infrastructure and technology...

The President was all to happy to extol the bill's virtues at the signing ceremony:

...The bill also includes $7.5 billion in vital funding to address the serious problem of illegal immigration. We're going to get control of our borders. We'll make this country safer for all our citizens...

As previously advised...Save your knee-jerk ad hominem for someone more deserving.

American capitalism is no g... (Below threshold)

American capitalism is no great miracle. It has flourished on the sweat of African slaves, then Chinese immigrants, then Irish, now poor Mexicans and other poor immigrants, and made a few White men very wealthy in this country. Any immigration bill that fails to provide big-time capitalists this cheap labor supply pool will probably fail due to their influence over Congress.

I agree with the "enforce e... (Below threshold)
Ken:

I agree with the "enforce existing laws" starting point. Start with a good effort on the border, but don't go past diminishing returns, just improve border enforcement with a reasonable amount of expenditures. I think the walls are a good investment. This must be joined by much better interior enforcement with "tripwires" built into life in our society so there is a reasonable chance for detection of illegal immigrants. When illegals are detected, actually deport them. This would cause a higher risk of capture and deportation for all illegals, and it would affect decisions of at least a larger number of them.

The toughest part is what to do with illegals who are here, but not detected yet. Many would be useful to our society, but if you do anything that "rewards" their illegal entry, then you create a strong incentive for more illegals to continue coming. I think a major part of a solution must be creating a disincentive for future illegal entry.

As the enforcement improves against illegal entry, we must also increase the speed with which legal immigrants are processed. Our robust economy and the help wanted signs indicate that we can handle a significant level of legal immigration. The upper limit on legal immigration would be set by two concerns: how many can our economy accommodate, and how many can we assimilate into our way of life each year.

Paul, this is why I say you... (Below threshold)
kim:

Paul, this is why I say you are sometimes deluded, even though I enjoy your thoughtful posts. Why is the Marxist explanation your default one for the success of America. Maybe it doesn't have anything to do with exploitation of labor, but rather the freeing of capital and intellect?

How does energy, as the new proxy for labor, fit into all those Marxist labor/capital equations?
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