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 12)

Polipundit thinks Bush's speech will awaken a sleeping giant! ... Amy Welborn prints an email from an L.A. reader who is not happy that Cardinal Roger Mahony, fresh from a major pedophilia scandal, had his priests interrupt mass to hand out pro-legalization post cards and get worshippers to mail them to Sen. Frist. The cards supported "comprehensive immigration reform" including a "path to citizenship." ... 5:19 P.M.

The 'End of the Line' Con: Former chief Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey, who has three immigrant children and (as a market-oriented economist) presumably isn't unaware of the virtues of cheap labor, blows the whistle on the "end of the line" fiction being used to sell the Bush/Senate immigration reform:

Comprehensive immigration reform promises that people already in the United States illegally can apply for citizenship, but requires them to "go to the back of the line." But a key question is, the back of which line? The reform bill before the Senate doesn't require illegal immigrants to go back home--to, say, Hong Kong, to the end of the 10-to-15-year line there--to get a green card. Instead, it allows the current illegals to receive their green card immediately--having, in effect, jumped the line at the U.S. consulate abroad. Then, like other green card holders, they will be able to work here, collect government benefits like food stamps and Medicaid, and travel as freely as if they had a U.S. passport.

The line the current illegals will go to the back of is the citizenship line. Under the proposed law, current illegals, newly minted green card in hand, will have to wait six years, then get in line to apply for citizenship. But even after six years, they will be years ahead of many people who have gone through the legal process and are waiting overseas for a consular official to let them come here. Once those who have been playing by the rules all along get here, they too have to wait six years before getting in line for citizenship.

If we really mean "the back of the line," that should be behind everyone who is already in the pipeline to come here legally.

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I thought the "end of the line" promise couldn't possibly be real. It isn't! ... Senator McCain, the "straight talk" expert who has beaten the "end of the line" phrase into insensibility while defending his legalization bill, might profitably be asked to explain its highly deceptive and fictional aspects. ... P.S.: Of course, if we allow those who come here illegally to gain a huge queue-jumping advantage over those who follow the rules, we create a large incentive for others to evade the rules and come here illegally.  We shouldn't expect, say, Bill Kristol to embrace this simple logic-- he's on record saying he doesn't really care if immigrants obey the rules, he's happy with the massive illegal immigration that followed the last big "reform."  But it's the sort of thing you'd think other Republicans, who claim to want to actually have enforceable immigration laws, would respect.... 2:36 A.M. link

In a cheap attempt to promote fratricidal strife, Adam "Ron-Brownstein-could-eat-me-for-lunch" Nagourney quotes my further-left brother Steve's blog post on Nancy Pelosi's Meet the Press appearance. Stephen Kaus is a trial lawyer and makes a good point many heavily-consultanted national politicians bizarrely ignore on TV:

Anyone who has seen a trial or a political debate knows that if you are to appear trustworthy, you have to answer the question. At least say, "I don't know," but for God's sake, say something that appears to be non-evasive. Ms. Pelosi does not do this. After Pelosi gave a list of Democratic programs, Russert asked her if the Democrats would repeal the Bush tax cuts to pay for all this and Pelosi simply refused to answer the question and went into a series of vague "everything is on the table" roundelays...

Afraid the other side will use the video clip of an honest answer against you in a campaign ad? Then embed a poison pill of propaganda in the middle of the sentence. Steve's suggestion: "[I]f we need to restore the taxes on the wealthy, like the President of Exxon-Mobil, to balance the budget, that is what we will do?" 5:06 P.M.

Remember those headlines last year about "Schwarzenegger's Star Dipping"  and "The Fall of Arnold." It now appears that the candidate most likely to assume the governorship of California after the voters' rejection of Gov. Schwarzenegger's much-ballyhooed reform initiatives is ... Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bill Bradley senses the shift in momentum. How'd Schwarzenegger do it? Largely by acting like a Democrat (including cutting a deal with the teachers' union). ... 12:35 A.M.

Sorry, Ron! A bill in the California Assembly to allow either party to a divorce to restrict public access to financial data--"widely viewed as a favor to Ron Burkle, a billionaire grocery magnate and financier, who is fighting to shield records in his own divorce"--has been placed in the "inactive" file, according to the Bee papers. Women's "advocacy" groups were opposed. ... This is only one reason the Burkle story is so not dead. [Thanks to alert reader J.P.S. of N.Y.!]3:06 P.M.

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