Patterico's Pontifications

5/20/2007

What’s My View on Amnesty?

Filed under: Crime,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 9:04 am

Some commenters are asking for my opinion on the amnesty bill. I already gave my opinion on a similar bill in January 2004 and haven’t changed my mind much.

First, I see no reason to grant legal status to millions of illegals, based on platitudes about how we can’t have people “in the shadows.” Under that theory, we need to give amnesty to everybody who has a warrant out for their arrest, as they too are living in shadows. If you break the law, you end up in the shadows. I don’t feel a duty to bring you out.

Bringing illegals out of the shadows would presumably make them eligible for benefits other citizens enjoy — such as unemployment benefits. This will create a need for a new underclass of illegals that can’t receive such benefits. Remember: these are the folks who “do the jobs Americans won’t do.” Except that we really should say: they do the jobs that potential welfare recipients won’t do. My solution would be to get Americans off welfare. Instead, we appear to be headed towards bringing illegals “out of the shadows” and into the bright light of the government dole. Here’s what I said in 2004, and I think it remains true:

My view is that our problem is not so much illegal immigration as the increasingly socialistic nature of our economy. There are certain things that we want done, but nobody wants to do them, because government makes it easy not to. So we let illegals do those things, for wages we would never tolerate for ourselves, and look the other way. As long as this is the case, there can be no solution to the problem. The very second that we legalize one set of people, for humanitarian reasons, we will immediately require a new class of illegal people to take their place — because in our increasingly socialistic economy, it is precisely the illegal status of illegal immigrants that makes them so attractive to the economy.

(Things would be different, of course, without welfare. Magically, those crap jobs would get done, and people would not be able to turn up their noses at the wages.)

So granting legal status will act as a magnet for yet more illegals — and more people means more cost. I am convinced that when we talk about the economics of illegal immigration, we systematically overlook the costs. We are spending billions to add 50,000 beds to a prison system that houses tens of thousands of illegals that never should have been in the country to begin with. Does anyone count that as an offset against the wonderful benefits we supposedly get from illegal immigration?

At the same time, I don’t support mass deportation of all illegals. First, it would never gain the necessary public support, and anyone who thinks otherwise is dreaming. Even if we could get past logistical concerns and issues of resources, the media would raise a stink, convincing the public that the U.S. is another incarnation of Nazi Germany. It will never happen.

Also, I am sympathetic to those who come to this country seeking a better life for their families. I would do the same in their position.

So if deporting millions won’t happen, what can we do? I am for firmer enforcement in two areas: border security and aggressive deportation of illegal aliens who commit crimes other than illegal entry. I have spoken about the latter idea until I am blue in the face. Why would we employ a single ICE agent to arrest illegals who are working and producing for society, when there are tens of thousands of unidentified illegals in our jails in prisons — 34,000 in Los Angeles jails every year — who will serve their sentences and hit the streets again to commit more crime?

74 Responses to “What’s My View on Amnesty?”

  1. Well then, how about a statute of limitations on illegal immigrant status? You can stay out of trouble and be a productive member of society for a period of ten years, you gain legal alien status. Any felony conviction means you start again from the beginning.

    Five years honorable service in the US military qualifies a person for legal alien status as well.

    Alan Kellogg (358a1e)

  2. There’s no need to deport them; if we made it impossible for an employer to hire illegals, they’d go home — i.e., self-deport. The whole reason for their presence is the promise of U.S. dollars, much of which end up back in Mexico.

    No greenbacks, no incentive to crash the border.

    Mike Lief (e6260e)

  3. I find the amnesty question very difficult and I haven’t made up my mind. However, I think the argument about illegal immigrants taking jobs away from welfare recipients (with the implication that a combination of deportations and welfare benefit reduction is desirable) is oversimplified. We know that many of these illegals are being hired at (much?) less than the minimum or prevalent legal wage, without appropriate worker safety, without payroll tax deductions, etc. [Notorious example] Some of these jobs will simply disappear when they become more expensive. (For example, fewer people can afford to get their patios redone if the contractor must charge for labor paid on-the-books.) I’m not sure that the changes in the unskilled labor market will be quite what you seem to expect.

    My observation does not, of course, pertain to questions of criminality among illegal immigrants, nor to the basic importance of passing only laws we mean to enforce—and then enforcing them.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (e99067)

  4. Sorry to disagree with you, Alan, but cheaters shouldn’t prosper.

    And you’re also assuming that citizenship is universally desired by illegals. I’d say the majority of illegals do not want American citizenship, just American jobs and money which they can then go back to their country.

    Enforce the border, start jailing employers and figure out a way to crack down on “sancutuary cities” (maybe cutting off their fed $$$?).

    IMHO, those convicted of being here illegally should NEVER be eligible for citizenship (all illegals should be fingerprinted and DNA collected prior to deportation and all people applying for citizenship should be similarly compared).

    Darleen (187edc)

  5. There are two other things that could be done:

    1. Lean on Mexico to repatriate their citizens. I won’t go into details, but I’ve covered several ways the Bush admin goes the other way and actively helps Mexico profit from sending us people.

    2. Conduct sting operations of employers and prosecute them with as much vigor as Ramos and Compean were prosecuted.

    Unfortunately, all these grand plans will not happen until hearts and minds are changed. Few people feel free to support, say, speeding. In fact, you won’t find too many politicians or media sources who’ll support it.

    Yet, the same isn’t true of illegal immigration, with many politicians and the MSM supporting it in one way or another.

    If they found it difficult to support it because doing so would hurt their political careers, then things would dramatically change.

    One way to help that along at the link.

    What you can do (cc42f6)

  6. We know that many of these illegals are being hired at (much?) less than the minimum or prevalent legal wage, without appropriate worker safety, without payroll tax deductions, etc. [Notorious example] Some of these jobs will simply disappear when they become more expensive. (For example, fewer people can afford to get their patios redone if the contractor must charge for labor paid on-the-books.)

    You’re assuming that citizens don’t do this already. It’s just as easy to hire an American off the books as it is to hire a Mexican off the books.

    As for the deportation of criminals, it baffles me why there isn’t some checkbox on a form when people are arrested asking them to swear they’re a US citizen under penalty of perjury. Check their status and boot them if they’re lying.

    Taltos (c99804)

  7. Patterico;

    Please allow me to abbreviate your position without oversimplifying it.

    You don’t like the idea of criminals being given a pass.

    You see economic pitfalls in amnesty.

    Should the law regarding immigration be changed so that illegals cannot sire citizens born within the US with all the privileges that entails?

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  8. It’s not as convenient to hire Americans off the books for less than minimum wage, because there isn’t any danger of deportation if they complain. There also isn’t a language barrier in dealing with authorities. Did they ever turn up American citizens working below minimum wage in these Walmart raids? I don’t see any in press reports. If not, why not?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (5fc17b)

  9. In addition to the above comments, we need to eliminate laws allowing “anchor babies” too. Illegal physical presence in the country at the time of birth is no legitimate ground on which to base any claim of citizenship.

    Federal Dog (9afd6c)

  10. Ok by me, even reasonable. Reminds me of a patient who years ago was a teenage runaway from an orphanage. He used to get picked up for minor crimes in Dallas and Henry Wade, knowing his history, would let it go. Finally he was caught in a raid on an amphetamine ‘house.’ He went to jail for 2 years. His reflection on it, ‘You keep doing something asking the law to deal with you and they will.’ Glenn R. has a comment today about illegals and income tax which an article in the Dallas Morning News found being paid.

    michael apwlfv (3a33c4)

  11. As long as they can get work, they will continue to come. Work will be available as long as employers just get a slap on the wrist. As long as the employers keep sliding money to the politicians nothing more will be done. Politicians think they we get a net increase in votes they’ll sell their own mothers.

    Gerald A (8b2b64)

  12. Patterico:

    So if deporting millions won’t happen, what can we do? I am for firmer enforcement in two areas: border security and aggressive deportation of illegal aliens who commit crimes other than illegal entry. I have spoken about the latter idea until I am blue in the face. Why would we employ a single ICE agent to arrest illegals who are working and producing for society, when there are tens of thousands of unidentified illegals in our jails in prisons — 34,000 in Los Angeles jails every year — who will serve their sentences and hit the streets again to commit more crime?

    You put in the awkward position of strongly disagreeing with all of your premises — yet just as strongly agreeing with your conclusion!

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (445647)

  13. It’s scary to think what a mass deportation of illegals would do to SoCal’s already shakey real estate market.

    Perhaps this consideration played a part in the politicians thinking?

    alphie (015011)

  14. Andrew has a correct economic observation. The minimum wage makes many jobs uneconomical: consumers wouldn’t pay the prices that would allow employers to make a profit (or, in the case of things such as produce, cut down the amount of their purchases). So it’s not just the welfare state (and I think that has much less of an impact than Patterico does–but the point is too speculative to really be proveable either way) but the minimum wage. A US citizen on welfare may not want to accept a job picking fruit at minimum wage because he can do better with welfare: a US employer may not want to offer jobs at minimum wage because he can’t make a profit if he has to pay labor at too high a price.

    If you really want to get rid of illegal immigration without making immigration laws match the reality of how many people are willing to come to this country, you need to get rid not of the welfare state, but of the minimum wage.

    kishnevi (a117ab)

  15. Exactly who is talking about any “mass deportation?”

    Federal Dog (9afd6c)

  16. I agree that the welfare state leaves a labor vacuum for certain jobs; I also think that the piling on of protections and leaves and COLAs and benefits also creates an inducement to hire illegals, leading to the present two-tier labor system. It’s like the unions and their two-tier systems: they have a choice of protecting the members present or the members future and choose the members working now. If the illegals were gone, more Americans would be doing those jobs.

    I agree with your prescriptions but would add a mandatory employee identification requirement for all employers, however imperfect that system may be right now.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  17. It’s scary to think what a mass deportation of illegals would do to SoCal’s already shakey real estate market.

    Perhaps this consideration played a part in the politicians thinking?

    Yeah, because the illegals are buys so many houses…

    Are you serious when you say that deporting illegals will hurt the real estate market?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  18. I’ve said about all I want to on the subject but there is one more observation that I don’t see discussed. Texas, because they have no income tax and the government is funded by sales tax, has much less cost from illegal immigration. California, with high income taxes that are evaded by a cash economy, can tolerate less illegal immigration. It’s not just one problem; there are many issues that tend to get lumped into the “deport them or else give them amnesty” cliche.

    Mike K (8d9bdc)

  19. Actually, Mike K, it’s been estimated that Texas bears a greater burden from illegal immigration than any other state.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  20. My last HTML link didn’t work so here’s a link to the Lone Star Foundation homepage. Click on the June 2006 Bernsen article entitled “The Cost of Illegal Immigration to Texas.”

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  21. My last HTML link didn’t work so here’s a link to the Lone Star Foundation homepage: http://www.lonestarfoundation.org/econ-state.asp. Click on the June 2006 Bernsen article entitled “The Cost of Illegal Immigration to Texas.”

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  22. Is it me or is it the comment filter?

    http://www.lonestarfoundation.org/econ-state.asp

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  23. Don’t get me started NK… don’t even get me fucking started…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  24. Scott,

    The “real estate market” includes rental, residential and commercial properties.

    alphie (015011)

  25. again… A lot of illegals are involved directly in paying rents for residential and commercial properties, are they?

    As for rentals, they shouldn’t BE renting because they have no valid documents to RENT the fucking property.

    Again, they have all commited one of two felonies at least once. I have no desire for my country to bend over backwards to make them feel comfy and welcome, since they didn’t care enough to di it right the first fucking time…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  26. We oppse all kinds of amnesty for illegal aliens we dont want any NORTH AMERICAN UNION

    krazy kagu (656fec)

  27. Sadly, the Unions are backing Amnesty…

    Because they think it will end in a lot of them joining the unions…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  28. Who benefits from an overpriced real estate market the most? The state government! Think of what property tax revenue would be if millions of starter homes were worth $100,000 instead of $500,000.

    so, yes, Arnold (and every other state politication) ignores illegal immigration.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  29. How about $20,000 to the IRS, cash money and you get a green card and start at Day One on the path to citizenship? Per person. Subject to all the rules, limitations and chances for expulsion that a legal immigrant faces.

    One of the things that really bothers me about current practice (and I know that Patrick hates it), is that a criminal who is a LEGAL immigrant is more likely to be deported than an illegal one because they ignore the latter’s immigrant status.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  30. Patrick is surely right about the effects of minimum wage laws, unemployment insurance and the like, but I don’t see his conclusions about a permanent underclass. Unless he means that immigrants start at the bottom.

    Jose comes here, illegally and works day jobs. Meets Maria, gets married, has kids. They settle down, get stable jobs — maybe at a car wash, at a store, or cleaning house, pay taxes, obey the law. They get old, retire onto the small Social Security they PAID for. Their kids grow up, and being Americans, get better jobs and don’t need to hide. Their grandkids might not even speak Spanish any more, and get a good education. The next generation and it’s judges and doctors like everyone else who came here.

    Where’s the underclass? Jose and Maria? Immigrants are SUPPOSED to have a hard time of it. Maybe we should be discussing limiting (more) the availability of services to non-citizens. But past that it’s barely relevant.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  31. It’s scary to think what a mass deportation of illegals would do to SoCal’s already shakey real estate market.

    Don’t worry — the LA City Council is planning on making it impossible to build houses over 2500 square feet on most lots. That should crater LA real estate rather nicely. Not sure it’s an accident, as it’s being pushed by folks who want “affordable housing.”

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  32. The very second that we legalize one set of people, for humanitarian reasons, we will immediately require a new class of illegal people to take their place — because in our increasingly socialistic economy, it is precisely the illegal status of illegal immigrants that makes them so attractive to the economy.

    So there will be a flow of people that are undergoing improvements from third world destitution, to american destitution, and finally to the american mainstream. This is a problem? Seems fine to me.

    will (10527e)

  33. As for rentals, they shouldn’t BE renting because they have no valid documents to RENT the fucking property.

    What kind of documents does one have to show to rent? I never have shown anything, other than once I had to fill out a credit check form. Still no document needed.

    will (10527e)

  34. You mean aside from things like valid bank accounts, or actual credit histories to check?

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  35. Perhaps I don’t understand our host’s position. Is he saying that we should not have an amnesty program for the illegals who are here, but we also should not deport them? That sounds to me like keeping them here illegally to do the work good Americans don’t want to do.

    Dana (3e4784)

  36. “Is he saying that we should not have an amnesty program for the illegals who are here, but we also should not deport them?”

    I cannot speak for Patrick, but I do not know of anyone who proposes paying to round up all illegals and deport them. Rather, eliminate the public entitlements and employment abuses that lure illegals here and they will soon deport themselves.

    Federal Dog (9afd6c)

  37. Perhaps I don’t understand our host’s position. Is he saying that we should not have an amnesty program for the illegals who are here, but we also should not deport them? That sounds to me like keeping them here illegally to do the work good Americans don’t want to do.

    I’m saying we should not have an amnesty program, and we cannot deport them all, so we should concentrate our limited deportation resources to targeting the criminals.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  38. Which, as I’ve said, is nearly 100% of them.

    Oh… You mean the ones already convicted…

    My bad…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  39. On the one hand as a 45 year old woman who was just stupid enough to believe the sisterhood lie that having children would ruin my life at least I don’t have children or grandchildren who will be paying the tab for this newest Great Welfare Society of illegal immigration. What’s the tab for the next under-populated generation of Americans, around a trillion?

    On the one hand not having children was the dumbest thing I could have done to myself, my country and to Western civilization in general, on the other, at least I spared my offspring the misery of paying for the heavy burden of serfdom.

    Either way I am guilty of wasting my life away in self-serving narcissism of the Me Generation.

    Damn the Great Society anyway.

    syn (7faf4d)

  40. #4 Darleen,

    Then why have statutes of limitation in the first place?

    Because some things are just not worth pursuing to the ends of the Earth. How much effort are you going to put into catching a petty thief? A dumb kid rips of 20 bucks, then lives a clean life for the next 10 years until he returns the money to his victim, is it really worth society’s time to prosecute him?

    He stayed clean, he was productive. He returned the money. Prosecution would be vindictive crap.

    Man enters the country illegally. He enters the workforce. He works hard, saves his money, sends regular wire transfers to his parents back home. He doesn’t steal, he doesn’t use drugs, he doesn’t harm other people. He pays his own way, shops in local stores. The money he makes goes to support, in a small way, the economies of two countries. He contributes, and you want to treat him worse than a career criminal.

    And don’t give me that shit about a one time offense making him a career criminal. So what if his just being here is illegal, he stayed out of trouble otherwise, and he contributed.

    It’s not about the legality is it? It’s about the control. Well you can’t have total control. You’ve never had it, you never will. Somebody wants to come here to work and live, then he’s going to find a way to come here. You can institute measures to discourage people, but there will always be some determined to get in.

    And so what if some of them decide to go home? That’s their choice. Everyone has the right to change their mind. Man earns legal alien status upon the expiration of the statute of limitations, then moves back to his town or village, that’s his business and none of yours.

    Sorry dear, you can’t have it all your way. Life is a serious of compromises. You save your strength for things that actually matter. As the saying goes, try to defend everything and you’ll end up defending nothing.

    Alan Kellogg (cf2b4d)

  41. Man enters the country illegally. He enters the workforce. He works hard, saves his money, sends regular wire transfers to his parents back home. He doesn’t steal, he doesn’t use drugs, he doesn’t harm other people. He pays his own way, shops in local stores. The money he makes goes to support, in a small way, the economies of two countries. He contributes, and you want to treat him worse than a career criminal.

    He’s still commiting at least one felony a year. I want him gone.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  42. #41 – You know, it’s not too late to have a kid or two…

    wink wink, nudge nudge…

    I’ll be running for my life now…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  43. Their kids grow up, and being Americans, get better jobs and don’t need to hide. Their grandkids might not even speak Spanish any more, and get a good education. The next generation and it’s judges and doctors like everyone else who came here.

    Except that’s not happening. The non-American enclaves are so all encompassing that their native culture continues largely intact. The second generation of Hispanic immigrants in OC does not speak English very well at all and drops out of high school. This becomes pretty much a permanent underclass.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  44. He’s still commiting at least one felony a year. I want him gone.

    Uh, which one is that? There’s so many.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  45. Except that’s not happening. The non-American enclaves are so all encompassing that their native culture continues largely intact. The second generation of Hispanic immigrants in OC does not speak English very well at all and drops out of high school. This becomes pretty much a permanent underclass.

    Some do, some don’t. Competing anecdote:

    There a Mexican immigrant — first generation, legalized in the 80′s — who does my gardening once a week. He’s shown up every Thursday for the last 10 years and does good work. His English is only passable.

    I’ve had a few occasions to call him at home, and his daughter is on the answering machine. Her English is perfect with a pure Valley girl accent. My gardener just lit up when I mentioned her, and said “She’s American.”

    I find that very hard to argue with.

    Sure there are those that are too afraid to leave the barrio, and others that want to keep them there for political reasons. We saw that clearly in the English-instruction initiative. And the most vocal supporters of English instruction ALSO came from the barrios. In every group, some want to assimilate and some don’t. I can show you Italian, Polish and Jewish neighborhoods too. And some lily-white ones, for that matter. Maybe even in OC.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  46. 44.

    Sure, but I’d have to buy eggs from a sixteen year old to do it and since females are born with a limited number of eggs to begin with, it would be selfish at my age to consider that option.

    That, and I couldn’t do it without a man. I’m not into the older single woman thing of having a child like it’s a companion pet with which to play.

    syn (7faf4d)

  47. #46

    Every single illegal alien that have been in this country for over a year has commited one of two felonies.

    Either they aren’t paying income tax, or they ARE paying income tax using falsified documents to do so. Using a fake SSN on your tax forms is a felony.

    So either way you slice it they have ALL removed themselves from eligibility in my eyes, since one of the benchmarks is NOT commiting a felony.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  48. That, and I couldn’t do it without a man.

    I know… that’s what I’m talkin’ about, baby…

    I’m not into the older single woman thing of having a child like it’s a companion pet with which to play.

    Oh…. My bad… Never mind… ;)

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  49. Scott–re comments 27 and 36
    I’m a landlord. The apartments are my property. It’s my decision as to whom I rent it to, and what background checks and identification checks I demand of them before I let the new tenants lease. If I choose not to have any background checks, credit checks, and ID, then you have no right to complain. And no right to suggest it’s criminal of the landlord not to ask them.

    kishnevi (202292)

  50. #42 Alan, sweetie,

    Why is it that America, and only America, is not allowed to control its own borders and set its own immigration policies without being considered “racist” “intolerant” “xenophobic”?

    Oh, sorry…neither is Israel.

    Every illegal is a slap in the face to every legal immigrant.

    Just because we can’t catch every shoplifter, every burglar, every rapist doesn’t mean we just legalize shoplifting, burglary and rape, least some of these criminals lead exemplary lives after their “one” transgression and get caught up in a sweep.

    You want to sacrifice the good to the perfect.

    Of course we will not stop everyone. Even a locked door will not discourage a determined burglar.

    BTW, I bet YOU lock your house and car doors, don’t you?

    Darleen (187edc)

  51. And no right to suggest it’s criminal of the landlord not to ask them.

    While I’m not 100% sure, I believe that state/fed law might disagree with you there…

    And wouldn’t you rather rent to someone who won’t disappear because last night someone was knocking on doors yellings “INS!! INS!!”

    Yeah, I did that once… It was like watching cockroaches dash for the walls when you turn the lights on.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  52. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a credit check run on me when I was renting. Once I had to supply a pay stub.

    I wonder what’s the reason Scott gets such disparate treatment?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  53. Every place in central IL runs a credit check (which I’m happy to have run, my credit is excellent). I’ve yet to find a place that doesn’t.

    I guess a history of skipping out on the rent is something renters wanna know about…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  54. Andrew

    When the rental market is tight, most if not all landlords run credit checks on renters.

    But not all landlords are renting “on the books” per se. Many who own single family residences will rent out to 8, 10 or more people (illegals) at a much higher rate.

    Anecdotal…this happened to a family member who was set to close on selling their home last week… it fell out on the day of closing when the buyers (who had applied for a government funded loan) were discovered by the government as illegal. The gov wouldn’t fund the loan and the private lender, Countrywide, also wouldn’t fund them after the government dropped them.

    I wonder if this couple hadn’t been greedy enough to try and get a taxpayer subsidized loan, they may have gotten away with buying the house with the private funding.

    Darleen (187edc)

  55. Here’s something interesting about the immigration legislation: Gang members can’t be deported if they renounce their memberships.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  56. Here’s another gem: This legislation will generate a windfall of $500,000 for each average illegal alien male.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  57. Re: 58
    without a link, it’s hard to tell what that 500k actually represents. Social Security and Medicare, Medicaid, and what else? That amount may simply be an indication of how much is available to people who leverage the maximum out of the welfare state, whether they are native born or not.

    kishnevi (da26af)

  58. I cannot speak for Patrick, but I do not know of anyone who proposes paying to round up all illegals and deport them.

    I still like my, round them up, put them on a boat, and send them to Kenya plan. We could bill it as reparations for the slave trade.

    Taltos (c99804)

  59. Kevin,
    You’re in favor of illegal immigration–fine. But I’m not talking anecdotes, I’m giving you facts.
    Even a liberal organization agrees that Hispanics are not making strides. Asians are yes, but they are not the bulk of illegal immigration.

    Students from historically disadvantaged minority groups (American Indian, Hispanic, Black) have little more than a fifty-fifty chance of finishing high school with a diploma.
    By comparison, graduation rates for Whites and Asians are 75 and 77 percent nationally.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  60. While government seems determined to let in as many uneducated poor people as the world can supply, the US puts up barriers to productive people who would quickly contribute to American society.

    My son married a Canadian, who could not work in the US for the first couple years she lived here. They have spent thousands on legal and administrative fees and her eventual citizenship is not certain, even though she is educated, paying taxes and now legally holds a high-tech job that’s hard to fill. (The tech industry brings in foreign workers under H-1 visas for her kind of work).

    My wife is a legal immigrant from an Asian country with longstanding friendly ties to the United States. Most of her family lives here, all are educated at top universities with professional careers and are fully assimilated. A few more immediate family members would like to legally immigrate to the US, and we have the resources to house them and set them up in business.

    They are succesful in their country and likely to be middle-class or better earners in a short time. Once again, the legal immigration barriers are up and we don’t know if they’ll be allowed to immigrate.

    Why would the US welcome poor unassimilated tax consumers while keeping out potential good citizens and taxpayers?

    I don’t know how to explain this, except for the general observation that so many government bureaucracies seem to cause more problems than they solve.

    Anonymous (a0928b)

  61. without a link, it’s hard to tell what that 500k actually represents. Social Security and Medicare, Medicaid, and what else? That amount may simply be an indication of how much is available to people who leverage the maximum out of the welfare state, whether they are native born or not.

    Easy…

    Back taxes. If you don’t make them pay those, that’s HUGE…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  62. Why would the US welcome poor unassimilated tax consumers while keeping out potential good citizens and taxpayers?

    Because most rich people don’t like taxes, and Dems usually like to tax, thus rich people don’t usually vote democrat.

    Poor people benifit from entitlement programs, and Dems love to bloat those same programs, so the poor generally vote democrat…

    Seeing a pattern here?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  63. Poor Republicans.

    They bloat the federal budget far more than any Democratic admin ever has…and the Dems are still seen as the poor’s suger daddies.

    At least they know how the Dems feel about defense now.

    Group hug.

    alphie (015011)

  64. From the group who elected a family quoted as saying “we loath the military” and who’s members constantly insult the armed forces, I think you long ago earned the distain of those who love a strong military…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  65. Scott–back taxes don’t even come close to 500k. If I’ve paid 50k in income taxes over a twenty year period, that is a lot, and the example was a thirty two year old who presumably made much less than me and has been earning taxable income in the US for probably no more than fifteen years (that is, starting at 17). And the example noted that it was deducting paid taxes (whatever they were).

    I would like to see the analysis itself, so I can see where this 500k actually comes from.

    kishnevi (da26af)

  66. Mending and Amending…

    I’ve been increasingly ebullient today, in response to what I’ve heard on Hugh Hewitt’s show: Out with the truculent vows never to vote for “amnesty;” in with the determination to use this compromise as a starting point, then offer a……

    Big Lizards (5ca406)

  67. My view is that our problem is not so much illegal immigration as the increasingly socialistic nature of our economy.

    Bush could, if he was of a mind to, give the liberals an ultimatum “amnesty and mass immigration to fill jobs in return for doing away with welfare that is supposed to provide sustenance to the victims of a society that can’t provide jobs”.

    Bush isn’t interested in any victory against the socialist status quo or putting Democrats in a position where they will be damaged, even when it’s presented to him on a silver platter.

    J Curtis (904090)

  68. “Jose comes here, illegally and works day jobs. Meets Maria, gets married, has kids. They settle down, get stable jobs — maybe at a car wash, at a store, or cleaning house, pay taxes, obey the law. They get old, retire onto the small Social Security they PAID for. Their kids grow up, and being Americans, get better jobs and don’t need to hide. Their grandkids might not even speak Spanish any more, and get a good education. The next generation and it’s judges and doctors like everyone else who came here.”

    Kevin, this was true of a fair proportion of immigrants in the 70s and 80s. It just isn’t any more. I’ve previously posted about the workers compensation claims. Most illegals I see now have second grade or less educations, are illiterate in Spanish and have no prospects execpt manual labor. They are breaking down at age 40. They simply are not contributing to Social Security but amnesty will pass them the keys to the bank. We have to stop the influx and then we can thnk about Jose and Maria and their house.

    Mike K (8d9bdc)

  69. The price may be relatively cheap for a Z visa, but it’s not amnesty, by the very definition of the word.

    The difference between employer enforcement then and now are the Z visas, provided they are sufficiently tamper and forgery-proof.

    Without the immigration bill, it may be years before Democrats will let a GOP-friendly immigration bill come to the floor (assuming the GOP won’t retake either house in 2008), and in the meantime, a killed bill means no fence, no additional border agents, no additional border monitoring, no employer enforcement, no security checks on illegal immigrants (and no resultant deporting of felons), all for years to come. And you’re really OK with that?

    Charles Bird (e79787)

  70. “Most illegals I see now have second grade or less educations, are illiterate in Spanish and have no prospects execpt manual labor.”

    At the school district I work in, one-third of the 36,000 students are English Learners. That they are speaking primarily Spanish at their age would indicate there are Spanish speaking parents. If I run the stats at an individual site, which would be a microcosm of the entire district, every 9 out of 10 of these students’ parents tag themselves on registration forms as having never completed grade school. We get at least 3-4 families a week enrolling at our school alone like this. With a dropout rate of close to 35%, you do the math.

    Dana (607b4d)

  71. The LAUSD is the Chernobyl of American education.

    CL (f6ecc4)

  72. How about amnesty for shoplifters? Is this Geraldo’s latest nonsense?

    http://www.legalshoplifting.com/

    JennRR (b7a0d1)


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