Right, but, again, those in foreign countries "hoping to come to the United State through legal channels" wouldn't have the advantage of working in the U.S. while they waited! Illegals would have that advantage. They wouldn't need to "jump ahead" because they're already getting most of what those waiting in line are waiting for! So they'd still receive a huge reward for having broken the law, compared with those who played by the rules--enough to encourage others, now living abroad, to make the same trip across the border. ... It's like the difference between a) waiting for a restaurant table in the restaurant, eating, and b) waiting outside in the cold. ... How long before the MSM catches on to this?
Undocumented workers here less than five years would have to return to a "point of entry" such as the border or an airport, and might qualify for shorter, temporary visas.
That's not much of a compromise, is it? Long-time illegals get one form of legalization, while newer illegals get ... another form of legalization! ("It's pretty sad," as Lindsey Graham might say.) It doesn't have any of the appealing qualities of the compromise reported by WaPo. Specifically, it does little to de-incentivize further immigration. To get a disincentive we-mean-business effect, potential immigrants would need to see large numbers of recent immigrants actually leaving the country. ... [Via K-Lo] 1:49 A.M. link
Immigration CW BS, Item One:
"You can't build a 2,000 mile wall ... You can't do the full 2,000 mile border. You just can't."--Joe Klein, Chris Matthews Show, 4/1/06
Huh? We build 2,000 mile roads. Why can't we build a 2,000 mile wall? Or a fence? It's easier and cheaper to build a wall than a four lane interstate highway! It might be a bad idea. It might have an adverse political or environmental impact. It might be only partly effective. Other methods of reducing immigration might be preferable. But the idea that it "can't" be built is silly. ... P.S.: When did Joe Klein turn into Johnny Apple? 1:03 A.M.
kf Searches for Common Ground, Again! Mark Kleiman argues, plausibly, that employer sanctions are the key to reducing illegal immigration--and that criminalization of illegals gums up any employer-sanction effort:
[T]he provisions in the Sensenbrenner and Frist bills to stiffen sanctions against the illegal aliens themselves would make enforcement of their employer-sanctions provisions virtually impossible.
Effective enforcement of employer sanctions needs the cooperation of the illegal aliens themselves as complainants and witnesses. Stiffening sanctions against them, as the Republican bills do, deters them from complaining or testifying, making them more attractive to employers. ...[snip] ... Felonizing illegal entry, therefore, isn't just pointless, it's counterproductive, if the goal is to slow the influx across the southern border.
But if the goal is to exploit nativist fears without seriously inconveniencing employers too cheap to pay what citizens would demand to do their dirty work, making illegal immigration a felony makes perfect sense.
I don't quite see why the government couldn't simply announce that it would waive any criminal penalties against an illegal who testifies against an employer--indeed, Kleiman himself suggests such a reward system to encourage workers to blow the whistle. (He wants to give out green cards!) But this does seem like a significant potential problem. ... P.S.: It's obvious to anyone paying attention that mere illegal status won't be a felony in the final bill. The felony provisions now functions mainly as a club with which to hit conservative House Republicans over the head. Indeed, as JPod notes, being an illegal immigrant would have been a misdemeanor in even the House bill if Democrats hadn't voted en masse to retain it (presumably for Machiavellian make-the-GOPs-look-heartless reasons). ... 5:55 P.M. link