ChrisWeigant.com

Immigration Reform's Chances

[ Posted Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 – 17:40 PST ]

Does comprehensive immigration reform have a chance of becoming law in 2013?

This is the question all pundits are asking themselves this particular week, so I thought I'd give my thoughts, here at the beginning of what will likely be a long and drawn-out debate. I start out optimistic, personally, and put the chance that sweeping, inclusive immigration reform will happen at a healthy 80-85 percent.

As I said, that's pretty optimistic. It will be subject to change, as the glaciated wheels of the legislative process clank and clunk forward, ever-so-slowly, over the upcoming months. With the twists and turns of Congress which await, I'm sure there'll be times when I offer up much more pessimistic predictions of actual passage, but for now I'm comfortable with 80-85 percent.

There's a reason for my rosy-colored outlook, and that reason was alluded to when the "Gang of Eight" brought forth their plans, yesterday. The Democrats have always wanted to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but right now the Republicans need to pass an immigration reform bill. Their party's future pretty much depends on it, at this point. Which is why I think a fairly good bill will emerge with a very healthy majority in the Senate, and that eventually John Boehner will chuck aside the "Hastert Rule" and allow a vote in which a few dozen Republicans help the overwhelming majority of Democrats to pass the bill.

Of course, I could be wrong. There are more ways to derail a bill than you can shake a stick at, up on Capitol Hill. And there are certainly Republicans who would disagree that they "need" such a bill at such a time -- and some of them will fight hard against the idea.

Just look at the timing of this week's announcements on immigration reform. President Obama scheduled an event in Las Vegas to announce his plans. Before he could get there, though, the senators jumped ahead of Obama, and gave a news conference on Monday. This, to me, shows that Marco Rubio is still annoyed at Obama pulling the rug out from under him last year on the DREAM Act. Senator Rubio doesn't just want or need an immigration reform bill to pass, to him it will be the centerpiece of his upcoming presidential run. Rubio is positioning himself as The Republican Of The Future, who is the epitome of post-racism and as such will lead the party out of the darkness to offer the hand of inclusion to a demographic group which will otherwise bury the party in national elections for the next few decades. And Rubio didn't want to get upstaged by Obama once again, which doubtlessly led to yesterday's surprise press conference.

Rubio, and a few other Republicans, are going to not just push for immigration reform, they are going to champion it. This is important, because of the "only Nixon could go to China" aspect of the problem Republicans face. Smart Republicans know they've got to change their image among Latinos. But the only way this can happen is if one of their own leads the way. Republicans cannot be seen as "following Democrats' lead" -- or, even worse, "following President Obama's lead" -- on the issue. Fixing immigration must be repackaged as a Republican idea for it to even be slightly palatable for House members (to say nothing of the base Republican voters).

Rubio might be able to successfully pull this off. Impressively, he has been busy in a flurry of media appearances -- including the hardest of the hardliners on the right. So far, he's managed to charm such righty luminaries as Rush Limbaugh, to at least give him a respectful hearing. Taking on the rabid and reactionary elements of his own party is going to be crucial for Rubio to succeed, so it's interesting to see him in such a full-fledged media blitz. Which, so far, seems to be pretty successful in at least changing the tone of the debate on the right side of the airwaves.

The biggest stumbling block any legislation will face (other than amendments which gnaw away at its core ideals, which is always an obstruction), though, will be from House members with rock-solid districts, and the Republican voters themselves. Some House Republicans are in such safe districts that it really doesn't matter how extreme their language ever gets -- they'll still get comfortably re-elected. Even Republicans in less-extreme districts know that yelling "Amnesty!" at the drop of a hat isn't going to have much of a negative effect on their own chances for re-election. Republicans have been using this anti-immigration-reform sloganeering for so long, it's reflexive for a lot of them.

The problem for people like Marco Rubio and other Republicans who are trying to change their party from the inside is that the language and the tone of a large portion of their base is even more stridently anti-immigrant than the hottest of the House Republican hotheads. This has been such a hot-button issue on the right for so many years even a president from their own party couldn't convince them to get behind an immigration reform bill, only a few years ago.

House Republicans, especially, fear a backlash from the base over the issue. They saw what happened to Democrats in the gun control fights in the 1990s, and they know that getting "primaried" by a more-extreme candidate is definitely a possibility.

Even having said all of that, though, I still see very high chances for success. If the Senate passes a bill, the pressure is going to increase on John Boehner to act. If the Senate passes a bill with a large bipartisan vote, the pressure is going to become unbearable on Boehner. He has one real route open to him to stall the matter into oblivion, and that is to pass his own "immigration reform" bill with such Draconian provisions that it'll be downright unworkable in the real world. He can then say that "this is the only thing that will pass the House" and throw it into a conference committee with the Senate, in the hopes the whole matter will just die on that particular vine.

If he can't even get enough Republicans on board with such a maneuver, however, at some point Boehner will almost certainly have to ignore the self-imposed "Hastert Rule" among Republicans (which states the Speaker will never bring up a bill that doesn't have a "majority of the majority" behind it), and bring up the Senate's bill. Democrats will only need a handful of Republican votes -- likely only two to three dozen, depending on their own defections within their ranks -- to pass the measure and put it on the president's desk.

Smart Republicans know that this is crucial to their party's chances in future national elections. Anyone that can do a simple Electoral College count can see Republican chances for taking the White House are dwindling fast if no action is taken. They need a bill to pass. They're really hoping it can pass without much anti-immigrant rhetoric, in fact, but that's likely a bridge too far to expect.

Boehner is going to wind up being the key to the whole deal. He may lose his speakership over the matter, in fact, whether he passes a bill or not. Passionate feelings still exist in the Republican Party at large over immigration, and they are not going to fade away just in the hopes of chasing some future demographic edge in electoral politics. Senator Rubio, so far, seems willing to go toe-to-toe with the most virulently anti-immigrant forces within his own party -- and, so far, he seems to be doing a great job of shifting their anger towards that dastardly President Obama and those conniving Democrats.

Which is why I'm so (perhaps "overly") hopeful. Strong forces are behind getting something done, this time around, from both sides of the aisle. Demagoguery is going to happen, but perhaps this time it can be beaten back. The fallout may be fierce in many ways, but as of this moment, I'm pegging the chances a fairly-good bill will arrive on Obama's desk at better than eight in ten.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

59 Comments on “Immigration Reform's Chances”

  1. [1] 
    dsws wrote:

    My guess is that they'll find a way to make it a not-very-good bill, and they won't have Republicans taking credit/blame for it. Instead, the decisive group of Republicans will be trying to make the issue go away. It won't go away completely, but Democrats will decide they've gotten the best deal they can, and most Republicans will decide it's bad politics to talk about it most of the time. They'll find some other culture-war issue to kick up dust over, that will please (or at least distract) most of the anti-Hispanic loudmouths.

  2. [2] 
    dsws wrote:

    This is America. We don't do fairly good bills. With Democratic bills, we start with watered-down pieces of garbage because the Democrats are 90% wrong to begin with, and then they negotiate away 90% of what's left. With Republican bills, well, let's just say that Republicans are the reason that 90% wrong counts as the relatively-good guys.

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    I understand your cynicism. When Dubya tackled immigration reform, the bill that was being pushed -- the bill that made the GOP freak out in a major way -- would have (by informed analysis) only have given 16% of illegals in the country any sort of way out of the shadows. That was what the whole fight was about back in 2006-07. Sixteen percent. The other 84% could go pound sand, as far as the bill was concerned.

    So, like I say, I totally and completely understand your cynicism. But I'm not letting it get me down. This is the beginning of the process, not the ugly, ugly middle or the disappointing end. So I'm still sticking with 80-85% positivity. At least for now.

    :-)

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    (Dragged up from last FTP prior to reading this commentary)

    The perfect Immigration Solution...

    1. Illegal immigrants are given a "path" to citizenship..

    2.First and foremost, must step forward and identify themselves as an illegal alien and consent to be placed on an ILLEGALS Database, that is available to all Federal State and Government sources.. At the time of this placement, illegals must take (and pass) a drug test and must provide proof of how long they have been illegally in this country.

    2. A Tax Rate will be established and illegals will be required to pay all "back taxes" on any income that they earned starting from the day of their illegal entry to the US workforce.

    3. If Illegals had fraudulent acquired any Public Assistance benefits during their time as an Illegal alien in this country, they would have to pay back said fraudulently obtained benefits.

    4. ANY criminal record would be grounds for denial and said Illegal would be immediately deported.. In the instances of lesser crime that don't involved violence or drugs, the circumstances of the crime could be relevant to mitigation and/or extenuation.

    5. ALL OF THE AFORE must be established and/or accomplished BEFORE) Illegals begin the process that every other immigrant must follow to be a citizen.. However, exceptions can be granted in the cases of back taxes/benefits owed whereas Illegals can start the legal immigration process concurrently with making the owed back-payments.

    6. If it is discovered that an Illegal made false or mis-leading statements or commits crimes during the immigration process, their application will be summarily denied and Illegal would be deported immediately. As before, if the crimes don't rise to the seriousness of violence or drugs, then extenuating circumstances would be considered. Further, if Illegal falls x number of months behind on their back payments owed, w/o any good/verifiable reasons, then Illegal would have their application summarily denied that they would immediately deported.

    7. If an Illegal re-enters illegally the country after having been deported. They would be given a choice. Such illegal entry would be considered a CLASS B Felony and a minimum sentence of 10 years in a federal prison. Or they can be deported again. If the Illegal is caught a 3rd time illegally in the country, it would be a CLASS A Felony and a minimum sentence of 20yrs in a federal prison would be imposed..

    That's my Immigration Legislation..

    What'chall think???

    It gives a path to citizenship for those who are not lazy and not solely interested in just living off the public dole...

    Personally, I think it's the best immigration plan that ANYONE (Left OR Right) has put forth..

    But I might be a little biased. :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    I agree that we need immigration reform...

    But why is it verboten to secure our borders FIRST!??

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Michale,

    [4] looks good to me. I wouldn't make the punishments prison time though, just deport them.

    Border control has become much better under Obama. Even some Republicans admit this.

  7. [7] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Drug testing is probably also a bit over the top. I konw Republicans are obsessed with this for some reason...

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Border control has become much better under Obama. Even some Republicans admit this.

    Not really.. Obama just changed the way the busts were counted... TBS is the rule rather than the exception..

    The border is much more porous under Obama because he knows that each and every illegal is a new vote for Democrats...

    Drug testing is probably also a bit over the top. I konw Republicans are obsessed with this for some reason...

    Yea, why make sure that our tax dollars are NOT going to feed some scumbags drug habit..

    What was I thinking....

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    michty6 wrote:

    The border is much more porous under Obama because he knows that each and every illegal is a new vote for Democrats...

    Yes that's probably why there are more border patrol agents now than there have ever been in the history of the USA.

    But don't let facts get in the way of a good crazy-maniacal rant of course. Please proceed.

    Yea, why make sure that our tax dollars are NOT going to feed some scumbags drug habit..

    Lol how do you think drug testing is paid for? And do you think it is cheap? Do you think it is effective? Ever hear of that guy who won the Tour De France 7 times in a row whilst taking drugs despite being tested and found clean HUNDREDS of times?

    I find it hilarious the Republican mantra: smaller Government. Get Government out of our lives. But lets have a large Government drug testing everyone lol.

    What you should change your proposal to is that everyone must go through a medical exam, that they must pay for, which includes a urine sample. Then those with urine samples that are suspicious can be selected for drug testing. This is more in line with immigration policies of almost every other country...

  10. [10] 
    dsws wrote:

    If we really wanted to stop employers from hiring anyone they suspect might be here illegally, so that the US could become a place that refugees flee from instead of one that refugees flee to, our enforcement against employers would aim not at hiring illegals but at discriminating against illegals in pay and working conditions. If you couldn't abuse illegal immigrants, that would eliminate the incentive to hire them.

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But why is it verboten to secure our borders FIRST!??

    because there is no such thing as a 100% secure border. israel probably has the closest thing to one, but their border is a heck of a lot smaller and their guards are a heck of a lot more motivated. even then somebody occasionally gets through. we should definitely work on more secure borders, but insisting that the border be impregnable BEFORE talks on immigration just means that the immigration talks will never happen.

    Drug testing is probably also a bit over the top. I know Republicans are obsessed with this for some reason...

    because they're heavily invested in the companies that perform the service at a high profit. [see: scott, rick]

  12. [12] 
    michty6 wrote:

    because they're heavily invested in the companies that perform the service at a high profit. [see: scott, rick]

    Can't say I'm surprised in the slightest. Just like HALF the NRA's revenue comes from donations from gun/ammunition manufacturers. How SHOCKING that they don't support measures to limit these! The idea that the NRA represents American gun owners is laughable.

  13. [13] 
    michty6 wrote:

    we should definitely work on more secure borders, but insisting that the border be impregnable BEFORE talks on immigration just means that the immigration talks will never happen.

    Just the usual Republican clap-trap. Government is bad. Government is evil. It's spending too much money.

    Oh but we will not even discuss an immigration bill until you massively increase Government spending and size for border security (which is already at all time highs).

    Don't worry, we know how we can pay for this, we'll borrow.

    - Borrowing: The Republican solution to everything (since revenue is off the table).

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    because there is no such thing as a 100% secure border.

    True...

    But we don't have to lay out the welcome mat either...

    because they're heavily invested in the companies that perform the service at a high profit. [see: scott, rick]

    So you see NO benefits to making sure those on the public dole are not using their benefits for drugs??

    Really???

    Don't worry, we know how we can pay for this, we'll borrow.

    Actually, that's the Democrat mantra..

    Ya know.. Democrats are the ones that have enlarged the debt more than any president before.. COMBINED....

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Or: regulation is bad. Regulation is evil. Cut regulation!

    But we do want the most advanced and comprehensive regulatory programme ever introduced that will affect every single business in America in order to stop illegal immigrants...

    Don't worry. I have an idea how we can pay for this...

  16. [16] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Ya know.. Democrats are the ones that have enlarged the debt more than any president before.. COMBINED....

    (1) Reagan
    (2) Bush
    (3)-(4) Obama/Bush Senior (tied)

    Obama at least has an excuse. The others don't. They just decided that tax cuts and completely useless spending (financed by borrowing, since revenue is always off the table) would be totally fine...

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So you see NO benefits to making sure those on the public dole are not using their benefits for drugs??

    if you mean we shouldn't condone illegal drug use, and should mandate testing for any reasonable suspicion then sure. but an all-out, across-the-board expensive drug testing regime for people who there's no reason to otherwise suspect? to me that seems like a waste. why not require community service as part of the immigration process for illegals, then have LEO's observe the process to see if there's anyone who looks like they're on drugs?

  18. [18] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [4] -

    Your list of items is actually not that far off from what the Gang of Eight is proposing.

    1. OK, we agree on that, but I do wonder about the "scare quotes" around path in your item... heh.

    You've got two "2" items, so "2a": Immigrants already have to undergo a full physical in the green card/citizenship process. They already have to sign up -- the application process itself. Our application (for my wife) was -- with mandatory supporting documentation -- about an inch-and-half high stack of paper. Maybe two inches. Oh, and fingerprinting is already part of the process. Also a criminal background check, although a pretty lax one (to be honest).

    2b. This is already part of the proposal.

    3. This is mostly a myth. Who would sign up for government services when doing so brings you to the attention of the government that can deport you? But, fine, whatever, it'll probably be a Republican demand, so stick it in if it makes you happy.

    4. This is already part of the proposal, although where you'd draw the line and where they will may turn out to be different. I'd draw it at felonies and violent misdemeanors, personally, with (as you said) an opportunity to explain extenuating circumstances. I wouldn't kick someone out for a parking or speeding ticket, in other words. But this part of immigration needs to be updated. The forms still ask you (at least, they did a few years ago) what you were doing in Germany in WWII. Seriously. Anti-Nazi screening, and prostitution screening. Needs a little updating, really.

    5. I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here, but it sounds like part of the proposal. The "back of the line" part.

    6. This is mostly already how immigration law works. Although you do bring up an interesting proposal I haven't heard yet, which is actually a really good idea: for all the back taxes and fines and fees and everything, work out a payment plan over time. As this could come to thousands of dollars (tens of thousands for some, perhaps), a payment plan is actually a very good idea -- one I haven't heard from anyone else. Much better than forcing a lump sum to even turn in your paperwork.

    7. This one's a little harsh, but whatever. While I haven't heard anyone talk about it, I would be willing to bet that steeper penalties for border-jumping will in all likelihood be part of a final proposal.

    So, other than a few "hang 'em high" sorts of overreach (which I discount, coming from you and your LEO background), your proposal really isn't all that different than what the G-8 proposed. If all of these things were reasonably close to your ideas, would you support it? I'm curious. What would be a deal-breaker, for you? The deal-breaker for the Left will be: MUST have a true path to citizenship.

    -CW

  19. [19] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    For the drug testing argument:

    See above. A full physical is already part of the immigration process. Any serious drug addict is going to get tripped up by a full physical already. It's a moot point in this discussion, in other words.

    -CW

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    but an all-out, across-the-board expensive drug testing regime for people who there's no reason to otherwise suspect?

    You mean, other than the fact that they are already criminals??

    CW,

    1. OK, we agree on that, but I do wonder about the "scare quotes" around path in your item... heh.

    I swear, the thought AMBUSH never crossed my mind!! :D

    3. This is mostly a myth. Who would sign up for government services when doing so brings you to the attention of the government that can deport you? But, fine, whatever, it'll probably be a Republican demand, so stick it in if it makes you happy.

    It does... Illegals getting benefits fraudulently happens a lot more often than people realize...

    . I wouldn't kick someone out for a parking or speeding ticket, in other words.

    Nor would I.. I would wager we would be of the same mind on practically every disqualifing crime sans drugs. :D

    I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here, but it sounds like part of the proposal. The "back of the line" part.

    Basically I am saying they don't have to wait til they pay off all their debts before they start the citizenship process..

    Pretty damn magnanimous of me, don'tcha think?? :D

    So, other than a few "hang 'em high" sorts of overreach (which I discount, coming from you and your LEO background),

    Does it show??? :D

    What would be a deal-breaker, for you? The deal-breaker for the Left will be: MUST have a true path to citizenship.

    Likely the only deal-breaker would be what kinds of crimes or their frequency would be disqualifying...

    If the prospective citizen is a chronic drunk driver or can't stay out of fights, kick his (or her) ass to the curb....

    We just need to get out of this mindset that somehow, illegal aliens are NOT criminals.

    By ANY stretch of the definition, they ARE criminals.. Plain and simple..

    And they should be treated as criminals until such time as they show a *sincere* desire NOT to be a criminal...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    So, lemme ask ya...

    Do you think there will be opposition from the Left over such legislation??

    Would you consider it reasonable???

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    I suggest you get out of the mindset that criminal equates to bad person. It doesn't. It equates to law-breaker and that's all it equates to on its face. We've plenty of bad laws, always have had. In fact, this country was founded because of bad laws in the belief that people have a right to defy unjust laws.

    There's also the, not insignificant, matter of proportionality. Treating someone breaking the law by coming here to work so they can feed their family the same as someone coming here to murder anyone, including police, disrupting their drug trade, is insane.

    Your black and white view of criminality has nothing to do with your having been a LEO, (unless you were an exceedingly bad one,) it has to do with your prejudices. I distinctly remember us arguing Bush' torture policy and you certainly didn't hold that Bush was simply, and automatically, a criminal just because he was breaking international law we are signatories to and violating treaties, which according to the constitution, constitute U.S law.

  23. [23] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    And, I too, think your proposals a little harsh and inflexible--but not unreasonable. I could live with them. Though I'd prefer them as points for a bit of negotiation.

  24. [24] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I suggest you get out of the mindset that criminal equates to bad person. It doesn't.

    exactly - if the main fault on the left regarding immigration is failing to acknowledge that illegal immigration is in fact a crime, the main fault on the right is failing to acknowledge that it's fundamentally different from most other crimes. illegal immigration is usually a crime of mercy, like stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving children. unlike assault or racketeering for example, it can't be generalized to assume that a person is more likely to commit any other crimes. other than being against the law, nothing else about it is the same.

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    I suggest you get out of the mindset that criminal equates to bad person. It doesn't. It equates to law-breaker and that's all it equates to on its face. We've plenty of bad laws, always have had. In fact, this country was founded because of bad laws in the belief that people have a right to defy unjust laws.

    We don't get to pick and choose which laws we will obey and which laws we won't.

    What you describe is anarchy and it never EVER ends well..

    There's also the, not insignificant, matter of proportionality. Treating someone breaking the law by coming here to work so they can feed their family

    Really??

    So.. If someone were to break into your home, vandalizes it and messes it up, takes your food and your money, it's all OK because they are just trying to feed their family??

    Bullshit...

    There are PLENTY of legal ways to feed one's family. The people who resort to crime to do so are simply lazy..

    It's THAT simple...

    Your black and white view of criminality has nothing to do with your having been a LEO, (unless you were an exceedingly bad one,)

    Again, bullshit. It's that impartial view that made me a damn good one..

    I distinctly remember us arguing Bush' torture policy and you certainly didn't hold that Bush was simply, and automatically, a criminal just because he was breaking international law we are signatories to and violating treaties, which according to the constitution, constitute U.S law.

    Your point is not only false but irrelevant..

    Bush had Congressional authorization for every action he took. At the times that there was some confusion, Bush went BACK to Congress and AGAIN, obtained authorization for every action he further took..

    I am also constrained to point out that Obama has carried out AND expanded the exact same actions that Bush had policied..

    Further if, in your mind, Bush is a criminal, then you must concede that Obama is a much worse criminal...

    Anything less makes you a hypocrite...

    And, I too, think your proposals a little harsh and inflexible--but not unreasonable. I could live with them. Though I'd prefer them as points for a bit of negotiation.

    I have no problem with that.. :D

    There's a reason for the proposals to be harsh.. It separates the chaff from the wheat...

    Joshua,

    illegal immigration is usually a crime of mercy, like stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving children. unlike assault or racketeering for example, it can't be generalized to assume that a person is more likely to commit any other crimes. other than being against the law, nothing else about it is the same.

    See my comment to LD about someone breaking into your home to feed their family..

    Would you be all Les Miserables-generous to someone who broke into your home, messed it all up, took YOUR food and YOUR money that you needed to feed YOUR family??

    Not many people would..

    There are MANY legal avenues that one could take to address the kind of situation you describe.

    Only the lazy, ignorant or vindictive types resort to criminal activity...

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    You and your fellows on the Right are the hypocrites, as usual. As I said, you didn't have any trouble picking and choosing which laws should be obeyed when Bush was ordering renditions and torture, as evidenced by your continuation of the practice today. Congress has no authority to "authorize" illegal behavior. Treaties carry the same legal authority as constitutional amendments themselves. You, and the Right, are the ones refusing to recognize illegal behavior as "criminal," not the Left.

    This country was founded by people violently rebelling against the law on the grounds that they'd a right to rebel against laws imposed on them they did not agree with. In short, this nation was founded by "criminals," for "criminals," who believed people have a right to be "criminals." It isn't "anarchy," its "the American way." Your absolute insistence that aliens simply must obey the laws we come up with, no matter what, is un-American.

    You and the Right keep insisting the Left "remember" illegals are "criminals." The Left does, that's why they keep insisting on the need for immigration reform. What the Right really wants is for the left to think of these "criminals" in the same stereotypes that the Right does. They don't say that because unlike their terminology complaint, the bigotry they're really trying to ferment is simply prejudice and has no rational basis.

    Which is why you insist on conflating illegal activity, especially violent illegal activity, that has nothing to do with immigration, as if it were the criminal behavior illegals engage in. As everyone agrees feel free to run illegals who are violent felons out of the country on a rail. Tar and feather them first, for all we care. Its your insistence on treating all illegals as if they were violent felons that we refuse to continence.

    Your bigotry is just as irrational as your, and the Right's, pervasive insistence that "everyone, everywhere," can be judged based on the opportunities and constraints you face. As if it simply is not possible for anyone to have no viable alternative but to break immigration law. To which I can only say that if you really would starve yourself and your family rather than break immigration law, you are a fool. Personally, I'd do it in a heartbeat under those circumstances. Most Americans would agree with me. America's Founding Fathers certainly would have. And that's why your extremist minority views are extremist minority views, have been so for half a century, and will continue to be so.

    You consistently base your decisions and policies on your fantasies instead of reality. In fact, you display an absolute contempt for the actual facts obtaining in a situation with your insistence that your imaginary alternate reality governs.

  27. [27] 
    LewDan wrote:

    BTW Michale,

    You always pretend to be apolitical but you always try to justify yourself by injecting partisanship. I never try to justify the behavior of Democrats while condemning the same behavior in Republicans. You, however, consistently, try to justify the behavior of Republicans while condemning the same behavior in Democrats.

    If Obama engages in the same illegal behavior as Bush then he too is a criminal. Unlike your's, my reality is not situational. But, unlike you, I don't pretend that anyone who breaks the law, any law is the same. So I don't have to pretend people aren't criminals just because I think their law-breaking is justified. Unlike you, in my worldview there are criminals whose law-breaking was justified and needn't be treated any different than anyone else.

    I believe in justice. The law is merely a component, not the beginning and the end of the discussion. "Justice" requires balancing the law, with the needs of The People, the needs of the individual, and any extenuating circumstances. That's "the rule of law" in America, not the blind subservience to authority you and the Right pretend to, when convenient. That's the position of the English loyalists that was explicitly rejected by the American people in the American Revolution.

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I suggest you get out of the mindset that criminal equates to bad person. It doesn't. It equates to law-breaker and that's all it equates to on its face. We've plenty of bad laws, always have had. In fact, this country was founded because of bad laws in the belief that people have a right to defy unjust laws.

    Great point, LewDan. You won't often hear it, but when it comes down to it, the real issue here is money and work.

    When people are living here "illegally" you don't have to pay benefits and you have a negotiation edge in terms of hiring. You can basically pay people very little.

    This is a desirable condition for many businesses and why there really is so much resistance to change.

    Is using the "law" to create lower wages right?
    Ethically, I think most people would find it questionable.

    -David

  29. [29] 
    LewDan wrote:

    David,

    This country has a long history of using the law to suppress wages. That's what slavery was all about. Its what union-busting is all about today. And, yes, its a part of what immigration law is about.

  30. [30] 
    michty6 wrote:

    It's the ultimate conclusion of the 'free market' way of viewing business.

    Staff are seen not as people or employees but a mere 'cost' on the Income Statement. Reducing that cost through whatever way possible, regardless of the moral or social implications, is seen as 'good business'.

    This is why regulation, as a way to reduce the conflict of interest between Corporations/businesses and society, is a necessity. 'Free market' principles completely ignore this.

  31. [31] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Only the lazy, ignorant or vindictive types resort to criminal activity...

    no, for the most part just desperate. there are many people in the world who don't have the luxury of being lazy, ignorant or vindictive. in their countries of origin they and their children are in constant danger of starvation, disease, violence and death.

    i'm glad you brought up "les mis" because that's an excellent analogy for a concept of criminality that is completely out of proportion. you've cast yourself in the role of javert, where an infraction against the law can't possibly be justified, no matter what the circumstances or how much good may come of it. as david points out, illegal immigration is a socio-cultural phenomenon that is tacitly supported by our country's "legitimate" business community. it may be illegal on the books, but very few people actually treat it that way in practice. if you're poor and desperate, and there are people willing to give you jobs and food, how many human beings on this planet would stop and ask whether or not it's above-board?

    unlike your alternate analogy, most illegals would sooner clean your house than trash it. although ignorance does tend to go hand in hand with poverty, as a rule illegals are generally as polite, as forgiving, and WAY harder-working than most citizens.

    ~joshua

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    You and your fellows on the Right are the hypocrites, as usual.

    Don't take this the wrong way, LD...

    But accusations of "hypocrite" coming from a guy who demonizes a white GOP POTUS but applauds a black DEM POTUS for the exact same actions...

    Well, it just doesn't have quite the impact I am thinking you would hope it has.. :D

    If Obama engages in the same illegal behavior as Bush then he too is a criminal.

    And yet, you have never condemned Obama as such.

    Matter of fact, I think you have gone out of your way to say that Obama's actions and Bush's actions are actually different, even though they are identical.. This is evidenced by your "IF" qualifier in your above statement.

    Of course Obama has committed the EXACT same "crimes" that Bush allegedly committed..

    But, because Obama has the all-important "-D" after his name, he is given a pass...

    I believe in justice.

    Yet, your idea of justice has a decidely partisan bent..

    IE Democrats=Justice Republicans=Injustice..

    I have no such distinction..

    In my book, Politician=Injustice..

    No Left/Right required...

    I am as apolitical as they came.. I denigrate both parties equally as they deserve..

    I DO reserve special disdain for Democrats as they are much more hypocritical than Republicans...

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    unlike your alternate analogy, most illegals would sooner clean your house than trash it. although ignorance does tend to go hand in hand with poverty, as a rule illegals are generally as polite, as forgiving, and WAY harder-working than most citizens.

    That's like saying, "By and large, illegal aliens obey the law."

    :D

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Personally, I'd do it in a heartbeat under those circumstances.

    So, what you are saying is that the ends justifies the means.. :D

    We'll make a good little Republican out of you yet! :D

    hehehehehehehehe

    Michale.....

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    That's like saying, "By and large, illegal aliens obey the law."

    no, it isn't. whether someone is polite, forgiving and hard-working, or whether they are rude, lazy and vindictive has very little (if anything at all) to do with whether or not they obey that particular law.

    ~joshua

  36. [36] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Michale writes
    "We don't get to pick and choose which laws we will obey and which laws we won't."

    I respectfully disagree with the premise on multiple levels.

    Laws are not sacrosanct, nor are they moral or worthy simply due to their existence. Many laws are passed based on a legislator's reaction to constituents without regard to constitutionality. Many laws are passed based on lobbying money and influence. Many laws are passed based on even more nefarious reasons than that.

    It is our duty, as citizens, to challenge such laws. Not just through the legislative process, but when necessary, through civil disobedience and violations.

    Without such actions, African-Americans would still be in the back of the bus (literally, hence the lack of quote marks).

    In the U.S.A., the power of a jury to nullify a law has been upheld. Judges and prosecutors dislike this, but it is a fact of our legal system and a constitutional right.

  37. [37] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    I think this question of laws is much larger than the immigration discussion and agree with those who raise the points that we wouldn't be a nation if not for lawbreakers who we now refer to as heroes. We wouldn't have a middle class if not for lawbreakers who many of us now refer to as heroes.

    I had decided to stop responding to Michale. The conservatism he represents lacks the intellect of the conservative thought deserving of a response. I especially agree that his method too often says, "yes bad, but look at Dems doing it," which is a truly moronic and ignorant counter-argument (as a general statement on rhetoric). However, I feel that an understanding of how law happens and what we can do about it is too important an issue.

    Right now, we are subject to new, really bad laws. The DMCA is an horrendous law and it is taking a dreadful turn. It will lead to incarcerations for many people as gov't and its financial backers look to make an example of people. Given the $ of the MPAA, RIAA, and the IT Industry, we are simply not going to be able to change this law for the better.

    The only choice we really have is to mount a full-scale massive movement to violate this law. Violate it so heavily, that there is no choice but to repeal it or heavily amend it.

  38. [38] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Speak2,

    I've been through this before. Prior to the civil-rights movement I was personally subject to any number of bad laws, and I, like thousands of others, simply defied them, as was my inalienable right. In fact, during the last of segregation at least half my family was "passing for white," in violation of all sorts of laws; and, yes, it meant they were criminals.

    They weren't "lazy, ignorant or vindictive types," they had no choice. Later, I entered the military during Vietnam. One of my best friends became a draft dodger. He wasn't "lazy, ignorant or vindictive types" either. In both instances it was the law that was ultimately recognized as wrong, and rescinded, validating the "criminal" behavior of those who defied them.

    But after careful consideration I must admit that Michale isn't completely wrong. It isn't very far off the mark to say America is controlled anarchy. The love of freedom, we revere, taken to its logical conclusion, would, indeed, be anarchy. Its totally fair to say our system, our experiment in democracy, rides the very edge of anarchy; if it isn't just controlled anarchy. One in which violating the law is as much an integral part of the system as adherence to the law is.

    In other words we tend to arrive at consensus just as much through trial and error, and controlled rebellion, as through reasoned debate and discourse among our legislative representatives. Its no wonder so many foreigners view us with such trepidation. What we consider a stable democracy must look absolutely insane at times to many outside observers!

  39. [39] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Speak2 [36, 37] -

    Just had to compliment you on some excellent examples. Jury nullification, back of the bus, civil disobedience, Labor ushering in the middle class, etc. You kind of lost me on the DCMA issue (do tell!), but the rest of it was well played.

    Michale, for instance, is shocked at the tactic of boycotting. He considers it "economic terrorism," even though the American Revolution had its "embargo" facet to it, and it's been a tactic of the right, left, and center ever since.

    Tactics are tactics, and don't have a political point of view. Civil disobedience, and ignoring unjust laws, have ALWAYS been a part of America. It's who we are, at a certain level. One of the strongest arguments for ending Prohibition was that so many people were actively breaking the law that it led to widespread disdain for the law (and "The Law") itself.

    For Michale: OK, sure, illegal aliens broke the law. Everyone going faster than the speed limit breaks the law. Fudging your taxes breaks the law. So does stealing to feed your family. Raping and murdering breaks the law. It's a spectrum. The key question America is about to grapple with is: Where on this spectrum does illegal immigration fall? Closer to doing 70 in a 65 zone, or closer to selling illegal drugs on a schoolyard? It's not black or white. It's a sliding scale -- so where on that scale should we view entering the country illegally? That basic question is where the debate will hinge. Examine your own answer to it, because just saying "It's illegal!" is not going to be enough in the months of discussion to come. Just fair warning.

    LewDan -

    Excellent, excellent point. Well stated. I especially liked your "controlled anarchy" phrase.

    Here, for some perspective, is the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in the early 1830s:

    "To a foreigner almost all the Americans' domestic quarrels seem at the first glance either incomprehensible or puerile, and one does not know whether to pity a people that takes such wretched trifles seriously or to envy the luck enabling it to do so."

    In his own native language: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    Heh.

    -CW

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    this problem reminds me of kohlberg's stages of moral reasoning. consider the following dilemma from kohlberg's writings:

    "A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug-for his wife.

    "Should Heinz have broken into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not?"

    what matters isn't so much the answer, it's the reasoning used to arrive at the answer. the immigration question is kind-of the same way - it's a complicated problem that has many different dimensions of right and wrong.

    ~joshua

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaks,

    I had decided to stop responding to Michale.

    Many always make a point of this. :D Which indicates my position is correct a lot more than those who "stop responding" care to admit.

    Right now, we are subject to new, really bad laws. The DMCA is an horrendous law and it is taking a dreadful turn.

    Being somewhat of an expert on the DMCA and how it can be mis-applied, I can safely say with complete and utter expertise that you have no idea how bad it's gotten.. Imagine being sued for $50,000 dollars by a multi-national conglomerate because you bought a leather case over the Internet..

    CW,

    Michale, for instance, is shocked at the tactic of boycotting. He considers it "economic terrorism," even though the American Revolution had its "embargo" facet to it, and it's been a tactic of the right, left, and center ever since.

    In fairness to me, I am (apparently) not the only Weigantian who feels this way, now.. :D

    My only point about boycotts is that they usually end up hurting innocent people. More often than not, the VERY people that the boycotting group claims to represent.

    The NAACP Boycotts of southern states is a perfect example of that..

    Where on this spectrum does illegal immigration fall? Closer to doing 70 in a 65 zone, or closer to selling illegal drugs on a schoolyard? It's not black or white.

    Of course there is a gray area.. My point is that we need to get away from the Left-induced mystique that somehow, illegals are Don Quixote-type freedom fighters.

    Do you know the stats on violent crimes, drug related crimes and assaults that are committed JUST by illegals?? They are thru the roof...

    So, yes.. I will agree that the poor sap just looking for a better life for their family is not the same as a drug cartel kingpin..

    But I am also constrained to point out that the poor sap just looking for a better life for his family is the miniscule exception in a large Sargasso Sea of druggies and thieves and rapists and murderers...

    Which is why my immigration legislation is so harsh, yet fair..

    The druggies and thieves and rapists and murderers won't abide by the strict rules and will easily be detectable. The honorable illegals will abide by the rules and WILL become citizens and have their hard work rewarded....

    Which is as it should be, no??? I mean, no one here is ADVOCATING giving druggies and thieves and rapists and murderers a free ride.. Right???

    Joshua,

    what matters isn't so much the answer, it's the reasoning used to arrive at the answer. the immigration question is kind-of the same way - it's a complicated problem that has many different dimensions of right and wrong.

    Reminds me of my OCS days when we were given morality problems.

    To whit, you have a school house with school in session. In the basement is a control center for a nuclear missile that has been fired at Washington DC. Your only chance to destroy the missile in flight is to level the control center, killing all the innocent children inside..

    Or, if you prefer Rodney McKay's take:


    Dr. Rodney McKay: Let me ask you a question. Say there's a runaway train. It's hurtling out of control towards ten people standing in the middle of the tracks. The only way to save those people is to flip a switch - send the train down another set of tracks. The only problem is there is a baby in the middle of those tracks.

    Teyla Emmagan: Why would anyone leave a baby in harm's way like that?

    Dr. Rodney McKay: I don't know. That's not the point. Look, it's an ethical dilemma. Look, Katie Brown brought it up over dinner the other night. The question is: is it appropriate to divert the train and kill the one baby to save the ten people?

    Ronon Dex: Wouldn't the people just see the train coming and move?

    Dr. Rodney McKay: No. No, they wouldn't see it.

    Ronon Dex: Why not?

    Dr. Rodney McKay: Well... Look, I dunno. Say they're blind.

    Teyla Emmagan: *All* of them?

    Dr. Rodney McKay: Yes, all of them.

    Ronon Dex: Then why don't you just call out and tell them to move out of the way?

    Dr. Rodney McKay: Well, because they can't hear you.

    Lt. Colonel John Sheppard: What, they're deaf too? How fast is the train going?

    Dr. Rodney McKay: Look, the speed doesn't matter!

    Lt. Colonel John Sheppard: Well, sure it does. If it's goin' slow enough, you could outrun it and shove everyone to the side.

    Ronon Dex: Or better yet, go get the baby.

    Dr. Rodney McKay: For God's sake! I was just trying to...
    -Stargate: Atlantis, THE GAME

    :D

    But you are correct. The reasoning is the key.. See my comments above to CW...

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Where on this spectrum does illegal immigration fall? Closer to doing 70 in a 65 zone, or closer to selling illegal drugs on a schoolyard? It's not black or white.

    I am also constrained to point out that the "crime" is compounded by the fact that it's ongoing..

    Speeding is no big deal..

    But if one is caught over and over and over and over and over again committing the same "no big deal" crime, guess what?

    They are going to jail...

    So it is with illegal immigrants. They don't commit just one crime. They commit the same crime over and over and over and over again, every day that they are illegally in this country..

    'Oh they just want a better life', you say..

    Well fine. Let them follow the rules and obey the law, like the LEGAL immigrants had to do..

    There comes a point where indulgence becomes advocacy...

    Unfortunately, with many on the Left that time has long passed...

    ESPECIALLY because there is a political advantage to be gained by such advocacy...

    Does ANYONE here honestly believe that the Left would be all fired up to help illegals if illegals voted en masse for Republicans??

    If anyone DOES believe that, I have some swampland in FL I would LOVE to sell ya!! :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Being somewhat of an expert on the DMCA and how it can be mis-applied, I can safely say with complete and utter expertise that you have no idea how bad it's gotten.. Imagine being sued for $50,000 dollars by a multi-national conglomerate because you bought a leather case over the Internet..

    I forgot to add the obligatory, "I shit you not!"...

    :D

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Laws are not sacrosanct, nor are they moral or worthy simply due to their existence. Many laws are passed based on a legislator's reaction to constituents without regard to constitutionality. Many laws are passed based on lobbying money and influence. Many laws are passed based on even more nefarious reasons than that.

    But we are not talking about those kinds of laws, are we??

    We're talking about a country's laws that control immigration, something EVERY sovereign country not only has a RIGHT to do, they have an OBLIGATION to do..

    We're talking about laws designed to protect AMERICANS...

    If ya'all are so passionate about immigration laws that violate the free-spirit, why not take a crack at Mexico's immigration laws??

    Iddn't it funny how ya'all are down on OUR laws, yet don't even MENTION the draconian laws that apply to Americans in Mexico.. Or Iran.. Or any other country that have laws that turns arresting and killing Americans into a blood sport..

    Why is it that, in your minds, the US is the "bad guy" and the illegals are all sweetness and light and goodness and kindness??

    Forget politics for a moment. Let's just talk common sense??

    Doesn't anyone here believe that getting rid of illegals who are of the criminal element is a GOOD thing??

    We're not talking about unjust laws here.

    At least, *I* am not..

    If you want to make a case that the US's immigration laws are "unjust", then make that case..

    But what ya'all are doing is advocating ignoring laws that ya'all (and the illegals) simply don't like..

    And worse, it's being done, not to enrich this country and it's citizens, but to further a political agenda. To maintain a hold on political power.

    There is no honor in that.. None whatsoever..

    NONE... ZERO... ZILCH.... NADA.....

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "But what ya'all are doing is advocating ignoring laws that ya'all (and the illegals) simply don't like.."

    Exactly! That is precisely what Americans have always advocated. That's what "the right to defy unjust laws" means. Presumably, and surprisingly enough, in practice, people agree with laws they consider "just." Its what keeps us from anarchy. Even though we believe we've a right to defy laws we don't agree with, we began by reaching agreement on a fairly comprehensive set of laws we could all accept as just, the constitution. Surprisingly, more than two centuries later, we still are in broad agreement that those laws are just. We feel an obligation to obey them and the multitude of laws that naturally flow from them.

    That's why we're not anarchists. We've self-imposed limits on our anarchy. We really do believe that whether or not laws are "just," not simply inconvenient or unpleasant, is determinative. But, we also really believe that we've a right to defy laws we don't agree with. Boycotts and civil disobedience spring to mind; as I said, I remember the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam protests. But I also remember when the speed-limit was 70. When the national speed limit of 50 was imposed people ignored it with such frequency and regularity that it was eventually raised back up to 60-65 in most places. Though the defacto limit is usually 70 because people still routinely ignore the limit imposed by congress. Our Susan B. Anthony Dollar coin is another example. Congress declared it legal tender. The public declared it worthless. Nobody wanted it. Nobody would use it. Then there's pot-smoking ('nuff said!)--And how about the run on guns and ammunition in anticipation of defying possibly forthcoming federal gun-control laws?

    My point is that we very much are a country in which people pick and choose which laws they will obey, and not only criminal laws. Its very American, inseparable from who, and what, we are. Our government was founded on the principle that government governs with the consent of the people, and gets it authority from the people it governs. We take that to heart.--And act accordingly. Government answers to us not the other way around.

    And immigration laws clearly are "unjust"--to many immigrants. If we refuse to recognize that we can't craft immigration laws that will work, or command the respect of immigrants. If we won't accept the imposition of unjust laws, what makes you think we can impose them on others? And you can forget about arguing the sovereign right to secure one's borders, it doesn't exist. If you've the force or persuasiveness to secure your borders, fine. Otherwise, they will be overrun. There is no "right" to have the rest to humanity behave in ways convenient to you, whether you call yourself a sovereign nation or not.

    But what ya'all are doing is advocating ignoring laws that ya'all (and the illegals) simply don't like..

    And worse, it's being done, not to enrich this country and it's citizens, but to further a political agenda. To maintain a hold on political power.

    No. I'm doing it because I believe that before you can solve a problem you have to know what the problem is. And, unlike the Right, I understand that if your "solutions" aren't based in reality, instead of fantasy and wishful-thinking, they've not only no chance of being effective they may well be counter-productive. I'm not particularly interested in punishing illegals. I am interested in addressing a problem and I expect that punishing illegals will have to be an integral part of the solution. That's fine with me, as long as its the means to our ends, not simply the end being sought.

  46. [46] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    LewDan [38]: Really excellent reply and discussion. Thank you.

    CW [39]: Prohibition is a fabulous example. Best yet, perhaps.

    I also very much like your spectrum framework rather than the toggle. It's an excellent formulation.

  47. [47] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Part of the issue is that those who are writing the laws want them to be selectively enforceable. That is, you write the laws so that just about everyone breaks them.

    That way you can arrest whoever you want, whenever you want.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/dk-production/images/17459/large/1123ckCOMIC-computer-criminal.png?1359498805

    The goal of many laws today is less about justice and more about power.

    -David

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    The goal of many laws today is less about justice and more about power.

    Yea, that's what I said in #44...

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    Exactly! That is precisely what Americans have always advocated. That's what "the right to defy unjust laws" means.

    No. What you are advocating is along the lines of, "I don't like the fact that I have no money so I am going to ignore the laws that say I can't steal someone else's money.."

    What YOU are advocating has nothing to do with "unjust laws" and everything to do with ignoring the laws that are personally inconvenient or an impediment to one's happiness....

    The law says that immigrants must follow a set procedure, a set of rules in order to live and work in the United States..

    These laws are just and fair...

    But many illegal immigrants choose to ignore those laws and commit crimes because that's easier than actually following the rules...

    But, hay... I am a fair guy...

    Point to me a US Immigration Law that is unjust... Just one...

    Michale.....

  50. [50] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    These laws are just and fair...

    quite a few LEGAL immigrants have a different opinion. there are perfectly law-abiding people who wait well over a decade for a green card, but one cuban foot on dry land means refugee status and instant path to citizenship. that's neither just nor fair.

    ~joshua

  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    quite a few LEGAL immigrants have a different opinion. there are perfectly law-abiding people who wait well over a decade for a green card, but one cuban foot on dry land means refugee status and instant path to citizenship. that's neither just nor fair.

    Considering what the US did to the Cubans during the Kennedy Administration, I would consider that VERY just and fair...

    It's much like the allowances that the US gives Israel in the here and now.

    A debt is owed and, in THESE types of issues, the US always pays it's debts..

    But yours and mine are simply opinions.

    I am looking for some cold hard facts to support LD's and Speak's claim that the immigration laws are "unjust"...

    Without such evidence, the only explanation that fits the facts is that illegals who don't follow the law are simple criminals who break the law, not out of any noble endeavor but rather because obeying the law is just too inconvenient....

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.endlesswait.com/

    Interesting website.. I only had time to glance at it, but plan on reading it more fully when time permits..

    How does Feb, 2027 work for you?? :D

    Seriously though, the issue of "fair" immigration laws is actually quite simple to solve.

    The US simply mirrors the immigration laws of the country that the immigrant is from.

    For those coming up from Mexico, then our immigration laws will mirror Mexico's immigration laws. For those coming from the UK, our immigration laws will mirror the UK's laws..

    What could possibly be more fair than that??

    Michale.....

  54. [54] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "The US simply mirrors the immigration laws of the country that the immigrant is from."

    The logic in that escapes me. Since The People of the U.S. are responsible for the policies of the U.S. I can see us being treated the same way our government treats others as "fair." But most citizens, and immigrants, have no input or oversight in their governments. Its the reason many want to immigrate in the first place. Just how, and why, is treating people the way some arbitrary third party treats us supposed to be "fair?"

  55. [55] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    It is inherently not "fair" to discriminate against people, not because of the choices they make, but because of factors beyond their control; including gender, race, and country of origin. It is even more unfair to impose a Catch-22 and discriminate against people trying to change their country of residence, due to their country of residence.

  56. [56] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I am looking for some cold hard facts to support LD's and Speak's claim that the immigration laws are "unjust"...

    i gave you a link to a website chock full of testimonials from law-abiding immigrants to exactly that effect, but i guess i'll have to wait fourteen years for you to read them.

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    The logic in that escapes me. Since The People of the U.S. are responsible for the policies of the U.S. I can see us being treated the same way our government treats others as "fair." But most citizens, and immigrants, have no input or oversight in their governments. Its the reason many want to immigrate in the first place. Just how, and why, is treating people the way some arbitrary third party treats us supposed to be "fair?"

    OK, point to you...

    I was extrapolating a TRADE theory and applying it to the immigration issue..

    As you point out, it loses quite a bit in the translation...

    It is inherently not "fair" to discriminate against people, not because of the choices they make, but because of factors beyond their control;

    No one is discriminating against people because of factors beyond their control..

    They are being "discriminated" against because they CHOOSE to commit a crime instead of following the rules...

    Hundreds of thousands of immigrants (including our own Mrs CW) obey the rules and become citizens the legal proper way...

    Why should those who choose to violate the laws of the land be given any special consideration???

    Joshua,

    i gave you a link to a website chock full of testimonials from law-abiding immigrants to exactly that effect, but i guess i'll have to wait fourteen years for you to read them.

    As I indicated in the current FTP commentary, no one is *EVER* promised "fairness" in life...

    Those who lay such claims are invariably disappointed..

    But what we are talking about is JUSTICE, not fairness...

    Michale....

  58. [58] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "But what we are talking about is JUSTICE, not fairness...

    Michale...."

    And as the founders of this great nation made clear, "justice" is not the same as law-abiding or legal.

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    And as the founders of this great nation made clear, "justice" is not the same as law-abiding or legal.

    Agreed..

    But it's also not the same thing as "fair" either...

    Michale....

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