**--This doesn't necessarily happen because poor political managers fail to find the centrist sweet spot. Sometimes there just isn't a position in the center that can win over enough legislators from the extremes. With FAP, for example, creating a guaranteed benefit generous enough to win over antipoverty Dems turned out to be impossibly expensive. FAP backers didn't fail to find the compromise solution. There was no solution. ... 11:51 P.M. link
'Everyone who was illegal is now ... legal.'The Corner investigates and discusses the gruesome details of the Kyl cave-in on immigration as they emerge. According to Rich Lowry, despite all the deceptive rhetoric about a "borders first" approach, current illegal immigrants would apparently get an immediate "probationary" card, making them immediately legal. That is why Sen. Kennedy (who supports legalization) could boast, at the press conference on the deal, that
If this bill becomes law, it will provide an historic opportunity for millions of people right away. [E.A.]
P.S.: Captain Ed loyally defends the deal in what may be one of the most unconvincing blog posts ever!
Here's the problem with the hard-liner arguments, which amounts to "they'll never engage the border-security and workplace enforcement portions." Well, that could be true of any immigration bill, even if it completely matched the conservative position on immigration. It's an argument that only supports no action whatsoever on illegal immigration, including border controls.
That's silly. You could pass "the border-security and workplace enforcement portions" and then see if they worked--and tightened them if they didn't--before you went ahead with amnesty. ... Lowry, meanwhile, defends Sen. Kyl, also unconvincingly. If Kyl had walked away from negotiations, would he really not bring along 39 other votes to block a "much worse" bill? There doesn't have to be a bill, remember. Bipartisan cooperative "action" isn't necessarily always a great thing (as the 1986 amnesty showed). The country is not in crisis, only Bush. The no-bill status quo, Lowry's own magazine notes, has been moving in a good direction on immigration, with greater enforcement (and rising wages at the bottom). ...
P.P.S.: Heather Mac Donald predicts the effect of the immediate legalization will be to encourage more illegal immigrants to come here and create new 'facts on the ground' that will then have to be humanely and compassionately accommodated in another, future amnesty:
There is no ambiguity about the effects of amnesty. Everywhere they have been introduced—including in Europe—they have brought in their train a new flood of illegals.
This latest bill will do the same.
Prof. Borjas agrees: "After all, what guarantees that the current batch of 12 million illegal immigrants will not be replaced by another 12 million in just a few years?" He makes the (apt!) Iraq analogy:
The bill neatly summarizes the intellectual flimsiness of the Bush administration — a flimsiness that has cost us dearly in so many other areas. Perhaps they can convince themselves otherwise; that legalizing the status of illegal immigrants is not an amnesty; that the laws of supply and demand can be repealed when it comes to immigration ...