Saturday, June 30, 2007

Immigration post-mortem

There is just so much than can be said about this week’s defeat of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, but I’ll try sticking to the ‘clueless Republican’ caucus.

Captain Ed has some interesting quotes from the GOP chair Mel Martinez. Let’s start with:

“The Chairman of the Republican Party on Friday lambasted Democrats and Republicans who helped kill an immigration bill in the Senate and challenged them to come up with a solution beyond ‘just build a fence along the border.’”

This is rather like saying ‘Let’s come up with a method for procreation beyond just having sex.” Calling for a solution that, at the same time, dismisses the biggest piece of the puzzle is silly.

“The voices of negativity now have a responsibility to come up with an answer.”

This is an irresponsible canard for a man in Martinez’s position. Consigning opposing points of view as mere “negativity” is a Democrat device used side-step legitimate objections. Angrily confusing opposition to a bad bill with mere negativity will not set the party up for a successful 2008.

“How will you fix the situation to make peoples' lives better? How will you continue to grow the economy? How will we bring people out of the shadows for our national security and for the sake of being a country that is just?”

For starters, the purpose of the Federal Government should be to enforce current law, not create post-facto paths around it for those who have acted criminally. The economy will continue to grow just fine if we simply enforce the laws we already have and never received another illegal immigrant. And the Z-visa provision, along with an undefined ‘due process’ for deportation of criminal Z-visa holders are tailor-made for assisting sleeper cell terrorists.

For Mr. Martinez’s benefit, I have a “solution.” Start by realizing this bill died due to lack of trust the people have that immigration laws will be enforced. People who don’t trust you on an issue will not be receptive broad sweeping legislation. Trust will have to be built slowly, one successfully enforced law at a time.

Step 1: Start with the border security provisions of this bill first. Build the fence, get the agents in place, etc.

Step 2: Get workplace enforcement firmly established. Make it difficult for illegal aliens to be hired.

Step 3: Eliminate, at the Federal level, the existence of ‘Sanctuary cities.’

Once these steps are done and seen to be working, the American people will be receptive to possible laws that allow illegal aliens to stay in the country legally.

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