Bush: Never mind those back taxes!

A mostly political Weblog.
May 20 2007 4:39 AM

Never Mind Those Back Taxes!

Bush drops a requirement for illegals.

(Continued from Page 5)

And that the millions of new citizens from Latin America will be Republicans. ...

P.P.P.S.: Lowry says Senate insiders predict 70+ votes for the compromise. But isn't that the safe vote for some Senate Dems--i.e. those from big industrial states, or reddish half-Southern states--"no"? They can say they voted against the compromise for La Raza-like reasons: the shift away from "family reunification," the restrictions on "temporary" guest workers. But a "no" vote also makes it harder for non-La Raza conservatives (and liberal Dobbs populists) to attack them for having supported the bill's amnesty provisions. Win-win Kabuki! ... Also, if the Senate bill, with its immediate-legalization, passes, that will dramatically raise expectations and increase the pressure from Latino groups--increasing the bind of Dem legislators from iffy districts who worry about an anti-amnesty attack. One way to avoid the bind is to avoid raising expectations by letting the bill die now. ... This is all probably wishful thinking on my part. ...

Update: Romney and Fred Thompson have come out against the deal. Guiliani  fudges. ... 2:59 P.M. link

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Updates on the Senate GOP Cave-in on immigration, specifically the amnesty issue,  at The Corner, Powerline and Hugh Hewitt. ...

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Hewitt's gotten a leak of the bogus tough sounding talking points  GOP Senators will try to deploy to cover their retreat. Many of the alleged concessions--like ending "chain migration" of family members--seem unenforceable in the long run. Are we really going to give citizenship to illegals but prevent them from reuniting with their families? I don't think so.  Even if we could, and even if that were desirable, and even if the provisions survived in the Democratic house, it would hardly be worth what the GOP senators have apparently agreed to: taking the risk of encouraging another 12 million illegals to evade our still-porous border controls and wait for the next amnesty. ... This is looking more and more like the Bush administration's domestic version of Iraq: a big risky gamble, based on wishful thinking and nonexistent administrative competence, that will end in disaster. What disaster? 1) Lower wages for struggling unskilled--and semi-skilled--American workers (including, especially, underclass men) even when the labor market should be tight; 2) Income inequality moving further in the direction of Latin America--maybe even to such an extent that social equality between the rich and their servers becomes difficult to maintain; and 3) A large semi-assimilated population along our southern border with complex, understandably binational allegiances--our own Quebec. ... Actually, I can see why some Republicans might not be so bothered by (1) and (2). But what about Democrats? ...

Praxis: Here's a form that lets you contact Sen. Kyl's office  to tell him whatever you think. In my experience, Congresspersons and Senators are extremely--make that absurdly, almost irrationally--sensitive to calls, emails and letters. ... 4:31 P.M. link

He means to win Wimbledon! Business analysts don't seem to understand the economic logic behind the huge price paid by  zippy Bill Clinton bachelor buddy Ron Burkle for 76 specialty magazines. But is it possible there is no business logic? That Burkle doesn't really want to own lots of magazines so he can make lots of money? That he wants to own them for some other reason? [As a public trust?--ed There you go! Especially the tabs. He wants to buy   the tabs because the tabs are a public trust.] ... Update: WWD is thinking along the same lines--that Burkle's 76-mag Primedia purchase is designed to set up the AMI tabloid purchase. ... Now all Hillary's got to do cement her pre-2008 newsstand stranglehold is somehow convince her ally Rupert Murdoch to buy the conservative Wall Street Journal! (No more "Who Is Vince Foster?" reprints!) What am I smoking? That could never happen! ... 1:07 A.M. link

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Is Sen. Kyl Blowing It? Judging from Robert Pear's report ** the Senate talks on an immigration "compromise" are heading in a grim direction. It's hard to tell exactly without either a) debriefing the principals or b) reading the statutory language. But Pear suggests these danger signs:

1) Phony triggers? The complete amnesty will be delayed until ... what? Until the borders are actually controlled, or until the government merely makes a specified attempt to bring the borders under control? Here's Pear:

Major provisions of the bill being developed in the Senate would not take effect unless the president first certified that he had hired more Border Patrol agents and taken other steps to beef up enforcement of immigration laws at the border and in the workplace. [E.A.]

That sure sounds like it's input, not output, that "triggers" the amnesty provisions.

2) Immediate legalization?  As Mark Krikorian predicted, even before the "triggers" are triggered, it seems illegal immigrants would get "special 'Z visas,' allowing them to stay here for an initial period of four years." Really eight years, according to WaPo. In other words, immediate legalization. No wonder amnesty advocate Tamar Jacoby confidently asserts, "The fight over legalization, or 'amnesty,' is all but over."  ...  Other clues that the legalization provision is very liberal: The National Immigration Forum spokesperson praises it "very good, much better than the one in the bill passed by the Senate last year." And, according to WaPo, "the National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Immigration Forum are virtually being granted veto power over" the bill by Sen. Ted Kennedy. [E.A.]

3) Misguided focus on guest workers? Instead of working to block a massive legalization of illegals--likely to only encourage the next generation of illegals to test our border controls--the "conservative" point man, Sen. John Kyl, appears to have focused on punishing over foreign citizens who come here legally under a new guest worker program.

"Temporary must mean temporary," said Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the principal Republican negotiator. "A temporary worker program should be for temporary workers, not for aliens who wish to become United States citizens."

Why shouldn't aliens who come her legally as guest workers have a path to citizenship? Isn't that an incentive we want to offer those who bother to go the legal route? Do we want a two-tier work force? La Raza's Cecilia Munoz has a point when she says "Senator Kyl's approach is contrary to our history as a nation of immigrants."

In politics, it's always harder to screw people who are already in place, marching. lobbying, and complaining --i.e. existing illegals--than it is to screw people who haven't yet come here and don't even know who they are (potential future guest workers). But in this case it's the people-in-place who've broken the law. They're the ones who need to be stiff-armed. Instead, Kyl seems to be acceding to an unjustified amnesty for illegals-in-place while letting conservatives get bought off by equally unjustified restrictions on future guest workers. Easy politics, terrible policy.