Monday, May 21, 2007

Immigration, Amnesty, guest workers, and fences

Sorry for the long delay on blog posts. I was taking a much needed vacation up along the Au Sable river.

The major thing in the news lately has been immigration reform and possible amnesty. Apparently, a deal has been made between Ted Kennedy, John McCain, and President Bush.

The agribusiness wing of the GOP and the democrats both want an amnesty plan to make illegals citizens. Illegals are mostly from Mexico and for the most part, areas with large Mexican populations lean democrat. California is solidly democrat. Southern Texas is democrat. Arizona is much less republican than it was in Goldwater's time. Colorado is competitive, but Pueblo is democrat. The agribusiness gets cheap labor with a guest worker program. Bush has banked on this for his legacy and is a long time friend of permissive immigration policies.

Now, I have not seen a bill up in final format yet for a vote. I'll wait and see before it's in congress before I say yea or nay to it, but to say that my guard is up right now is a major league understatement. I never trusted Bush or McCain on immigration, and anything with Ted Kennedy's name on it is usually bad news. I wasn't a fan of No Child Left Behind, an am worried for another leftist boondoggle.

My concerns are as possible:

1. Where's the border security? We're asked to give up our freedoms with the Patriot Act, but very little has been done to control our borders. It is not just Mexican's who cross our border. Hezbollah terrorists have crossed our border. One found his way to Dearborn. Anything without major border control is unacceptable, on national security concerns alone.

2. Illegals need to go home first. This seems to be a real sticking point in negotiations. One thing I liked about the Pence compromise was this requirement. If this doesn't happen, I oppose it. We can not reward people for breaking the law. Reagan's amnesty was supposed to be a one time thing, and illegal immigration skyrocketed. If this isn't solved the right way, we'll have much more illegal immigration.

3. Any businesses hiring illegals need to get nailed. There's no supply without demand.

4. What's the "pathways" to citizenship. Will legal immigrants be pushed to the back of the bus? It's not easy to be a legal immigrant. It's much easier to sneak across the border.

For now, I'm waiting and seeing what the bill will be, and what's it voting form will be in the senate. Until there, it's not worth sounding the alarm except for us to all call our reps and make sure that there is not an amnesty plan.


Adam said...

If this bill passes, it will ruin the United States.

I don't think it will. The uproar on the right is too big. It should die in the House if it makes it out of the Senate.

keithr said...

As I listen I have just one question: What part of "Secure the borders and enforce existing laws" does President Bush and John McCain not understand?

I heard some interesting stuff about this on the radio today.

1 in 12 illegals have a criminal background.

Americans spend over $3 billion/year just to lock up illegals convicted of major crimes in the U.S.

Because illegals are unskilled and uneducated they consume $3 in government services for every dollar in taxes they pay.

Somewhere between 10 and 20 million illegals will be eligible for amnesty under this bill. As they become legal they can each bring up to 4 more immigrants to the U.S.

The government is expected to spend at least $2.5 to $3 trillion on government benefits for these individuals in the future.

I've been following politics for a lot of years now and NEVER have I seen an issue that is getting Republicans madder than this proposed amnesty for illegals. And the anger just keeps growing and growing as the consequences of this bill begin to sink in. Each piece of the puzzle is bad enough by itself but when we put them together - it's total disaster. Every job in the U.S. that does not require a college education is immediately threatened by this influx of unskilled and uneducated workers, most of whom can speak little or no english. All those wonderful jobs that people used to make a good living doing - roads, building construction, factory work, will no longer need to pay much more than minimum wage. And this does not even take into account all the jobs which have already been lost to American workers, like farm field work, janitorial work, landscaping, and work in the hospitality industry. But it gets worse.

Once they become legal does anyone believe they will want to keep doing the scud work? Like other intelligent people they will want to move up food chain into better jobs, which means we will have labor shortages in the jobs they supposedly came here to do. At the same time all these businesses that now hire illegals will hear demands for big wage increases. It is much harder to pay illegally low wages under the table to legal workers. The solution? Let all the legal workers go and hire a new wave of illegals. And the new wave of illegals WILL come. Immigration dept officials have testified that after the 1986 amnesty, illegal immigration increased from a trickle to the current flood. There is no reason to believe that granting amnesty will instantly shut off the flow of illegals and mountains of evidence that illegal immigration will increase.

The list of issues goes on and on. The effect on American politics. The effect on American culture. Turning the U.S. into a bilingual nation with a population of residents unwilling to learn english, the language which long united Americans. This flood is having more consequences on America than anyone can fully understand. The only thing we know for sure is that it is causing rapid and unwanted changes, and much of this change will result in a lower standard of living and a harder life for all Americans.

So for all the problems this is causing what are we getting in return? Some cheap labor in certain businesses like agriculture and hotels! It is interesting that Australia faced a similiar problem in agriculture at one time - too many crops and not enough labor - and they solved it by helping farms to buy new machinery. Once they automated they did not need so much unskilled labor. It turns out that almost any job in a field can be done by machinery but it costs less to to hire illegals at low wages (until the cost of government benefits is added in!)

We've already had one victory on this bill. The original plan was to sneak it through quickly before anyone know what was going on. But word got out too fast and the capital has been diluged with callers urging a no vote. Now the bill is scheduled to move at a slower pace but it is not dead yet, so we still need to keep the heat on.