Update: Alert reader PD says Chertoff's off to a good start in pursuing Strategy 2--it was a screw-up in a Customs and Border Protection computer that stranded 20,000 people at LAX over the weekend. ...
More: Krikorian may on board with the new measures, but he isn't a fool. He concedes--subhead: "The White House thinks it's calling America's bluff"--that #2 is the strategy. But he seems confident it will fail:
Lobbyists for farmers and roofing contractors and others will soon be screaming bloody murder. But Congress and the media would do well not to take at face value the squealing of firms losing their cheap-labor subsidy. When the end of the last big guestworker program was being debated in the early 1960s, California farmers claimed that "the use of braceros [Mexican guestworkers] is absolutely essential to the survival of the tomato industry." Instead, termination of the program prompted mechanization which caused a quintupling of production for tomatoes grown for processing, an 89-percent drop in demand for harvest labor, and a fall in real prices.
The same sort of thing happened half a century earlier, when the textile industry predicted disaster if child labor were ended. At a Senate hearing in 1916, one mill owner said that limiting child labor would "stop my machines"; another said "investors would never receive another dividend"; while a third said that ending child labor would "paralyze the country."
We're going to hear a lot more of this sort of thing — the White House is counting on it. Standing up to the coming lobbyist onslaught will be the final stage of the battle against amnesty.
I fear Krikorian underestimates the outrage and opposition a Katrina-like application of the new rules by Chertoff's agencies could produce. But maybe they're so hamhanded they can't even be hamhanded when they want to be.
P.S.: Beyond Paranoia Lies Ecstasy! Roy Beck of Numbers USA sees the upside of outrage--
The illegal alien communities – and the outlaw businesses that hire them – are in a panic this weekend.
And they should be.
The panic has spread to your town or city – all across America.
It is most important that all of us contribute to that panic and ensure that it continues. [E.A.]
The panic, argues Beck, will bring about "a big increase in the exodus from the United States of settled illegal aliens." This may be where I part company with Numbers USA. It seems to me the nation can absorb the current number of illegals, as long as further illegal immigration is effectively deterred. We can do the latter, I should think, without encouraging political support for amnesty by provoking an unnecessary, wrenching exodus. ... 1:56 A.M. link
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Will Pinch Sulzberger Set a Date Certain for Withdrawal? Another analyst fails to appreciate the genius of Arthur Sulzberger, Jr and his TimesSelect project, noting that the number of paying TimesSelect customers--220,000--"has risen a miserable 8,000 since the start of the year." ... At this point the NYT's main challenge is figuring out how to kill TimesSelect without making it appear to be a humiliation for Pinch, confirming the markets' fears about him. Calling Steve Rattner! ... P.S.: I again suggest that the line-of-least resistance Plan B for saving the NYT is to kick Pinch upstairs and make Rattner the actual full-time CEO. ... 11:29 P.M.