The conventional wisdom on immigration crumbles.

A mostly political Weblog.
May 30 2006 5:42 AM

Special Premature Gloating Edition

The bogus CW on immigration crumbles.

(Continued from Page 10)

If you care about social equality how can you stomach a guest worker program. ... Even a cursory study of guest worker programs in Germany and France demonstrate the likelihood of substantial inequality among the second class of non-citizens imported for labor, and the inevitability of profound problems as a result years later as the disaffected children of those immigrants grow up without any loyalty to the country that didn't afford equal rights to their parents.

Answer: I don't see why workers who came in legally under a guest worker program couldn't earn citizenship, with all attendant equal rights. The problem, again, is rewarding illegals with citizenship, not legals. If a foreigners can legally become a citizen after a few years of work, why would they then turn into "second class" citizens any more than any other foreign-born Americans? ...

Update 2: In response to Stanley Kurtz's criticism--1) I agree a "no amnesty" deal is possible under this president--even, in the fall, under this Congress--but first the semi-amnesty idea has to be defeated. Right now the various factions are like ethnic groups in Iraq--each thinks they might be the majority. The polls are inconclusive and contradictory. In this strength-testing phase, pleas for compromise and semi-semi-amnesty are misguided. They only encourage the citizenship/legalization faction in the belief that they are very strong indeed; 2)Defeating immediate semi-amnesty is itself a substantive policy shift, even if Congress passes no bill, because it sends an expectations-deflating signal throughout Latin America. That will by itself reduce illegal immigration. Kurtz, Blankley, and others write as if there is a building crisis that only a signed bill can resolve. But deflating the imminent-legalization idea is worth many, many miles of fence. It helps defuse the crisis more surely than any bill that's likely to pass before the summer. ... 4:12 P.M. link

I don't understand: What's the point of Radar Magazine if it can't zing Ron Burkle and his friends (e.g. Bill Clinton)? ... P.S.: Don't tell us Burkle has pledged not to interfere. He's been lecturing America on the evils of gossip. He's going to shell out millions and then do nothing when he has a complaint? ... 12:42 A.M.

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Alternative Outcome Dept:N.Y. Post's  Deborah Orin--

"Bush's [endorsement of the Senate comprehensive approach to immigration] could become a useful example for Democrats to cite to paint House Republicans as extremists - a road to political disaster for the GOP in the fall." [Emphasis added]

That's another reason passing an enforcement-only immigration bill--with the felony provisions conspicuously removed--could look extremely appealing to Karl Rove in a few months. ... 9:55 A.M.

Are Conservatives Cheap Dates?  Bush immigration speech:

1) Eh. An uninspired attempt to buy off immigration conservatives with a temporary National Guard deployment and talk of "technologically advanced" border security. If conservatives are impressed by this, they're the cheapest dates around. This means you, Bill O'Reilly! (Tapscott notes that Bush made similar promises of a beefed-up border presence, including sexy allusions to "advanced technology," two years ago.) Update: Hugh Hewitt's interview with I.C.E. Asst. Secretary Julie Myers shows just how ephemeral the administration's commitment to a border fence is, despite the heavy teasing in Bush's speech. Myers: "I don't think we think that fencing is the best way to stop them on the border. I think the President's called for...if you build a fence, they build a tunnel."

2) At some points Bush seemed to have maybe watered down his enforcement-talk in order to appease pro-legalization lobbyists, including businessmen. Take this passage:

A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law and leave employers with no excuse for violating it.

And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place. [Emphasis added]

How would creating an i.d. card for foreign workers prevent illegals, using forged documents, from posing as U.S. citizens? Why should employers require someone who seems to be a citizen to show a "foreign worker" card? (Presumably the idea isn't that employers will doubt the U.S. citizenship of any job applicant who looks "foreign.")

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