Skip to comments.Plan For Immigration Reform Dismays Many Conservatives
Posted on 01/13/2004 7:04:52 PM PST by Federalist 78
Conservatives generally reacted with dismay to the new immigration reform plan that President Bush outlined in a White House speech January 7.
The proposal has four main planks: 1) granting three-year work visas to millions of illegal aliens now working in the country, 2) allowing employers to import an unlimited number of additional foreign workers as long as they make a "good faith" effort to hire Americans first, 3) allowing aliens working in the United States to receive credit in their nations' retirement systems or giving them tax-preferred savings accounts they can collect when they return home, and 4) increasing the number of aliens allowed to legally and permanently immigrate to the United States.
Illegal aliens who get three-year work visas would be eligible to apply for permanent status (and eventual citizenship) on the same basis as aliens back in their home country who did not break U.S. immigration laws.
"The people of eastern North Carolina who are God-fearing protectors of the Constitution believe, as I believe, that no one should be rewarded for breaking the law," Rep. Walter Jones (R.-N.C.) told HUMAN EVENTS. "You can disguise it any way you want, it's still amnesty."
"Eagle Forum will not support any member of Congress who votes for this, or for amnesty in any form," said Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly, who challenged the proposal on both public policy and political grounds. "Hispanics vote overwhelmingly Democratic, and I don't understand how bringing in more of them helps the Republican Party," she said. "There are probably five billion people in the world who would like to be American workers. Are we going to take workers from Iraq and Iran?"
NumbersUSA, an immigration reform group, estimates that up to 75% of the eight-to-12 million illegal aliens in the country could be eligible for three-year work visas under Bush's plan.
"This is a self-inflicted political landmine," said K.B. Forbes, a Latino conservative who served as communications director for Steve Forbes' (no relation) 2000 presidential campaign and now runs a non-partisan Hispanic advocacy group in East Los Angeles.
"Illegal aliens don't vote," said Forbes. "The Hispanics who vote are second- and third-generation who are tired of being lumped in with the others."
"I think that for the first time, he may have come up with something that may seriously endanger his base," said Free Congress Foundation President Paul Weyrich. "This is a way that terrorists can get into the country, legally and everything," he said.
"As we speak, our borders are being inundated with people who think they might get an amnesty," said Rep. Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.), chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus. Tancredo predicted the plan would not pass the House and contested the President's suggestion that America's current immigration laws are the cause of the immigration crisis. "Mr. President," he said, "the executive branch has chosen not to enforce the law."
Some conservatives, however, do support the proposal. "I'm very pleased," said Rep. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.), who along with Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) and Rep. Jim Kolbe (R.-Ariz.) introduced a guest worker bill last year. "It's close to what we introduced." "Over the past decade, we have increased funding for border enforcement by sixfold and we haven't managed to stop anyone who really wants to come," added Flake. "In the aggregate, if you look over the past decade, we've had massive immigration, both legal and illegal, and wages have risen in all sectors."
Rep. Chris Cannon (R.-Utah), who also supports the plan, said that as of now we don't know who the illegal aliens are. "This plan will bring them out of the shadows," he said. "We will have their fingerprints and photos." However, he said, more details on "controlling the border" need to be worked out before the plan can advance. Cannon also cited the retirement provisions in the plan as giving aliens "incentives to go home. They will be able to transfer their retirement accounts to Mexico." Conservatives, he said, must look at the alternatives: "Are we ever really going to send all these illegal residents home? If not, we should get them under the law and weed out the bad ones."
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) praised the President for his concern for illegal immigrants but said, "I think his proposals will not serve the best interests of the American people." Rohrabacher argued that the proposal frames the labor issue incorrectly. "I don't think there are any jobs that Americans won't do," he said, "there are jobs that don't pay enough for Americans to do now. The proposal the President is making would tend to keep down wages." He also noted that unforeseen expenses could result from importing more foreign workers. "Are these jobs all going to have health care associated with them?" he asked. "If not, are we going to pay for health care for all these people? . . . The people who vote Republican are not going to like this."
"It's nauseating, to be honest with you," said conservative commentator and political consultant Don Feder. "I didn't vote for Bush to get this."
Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.) said that he might consider Bush's ideas, but only if we secure the border first. "The President mentioned a 40% increase in the Border Patrol, but it's not working," he said. "In Arizona, where I live, the border is completely out of control. [Securing it] must be done first."
"For whatever reason, the federal government hasn't enforced the laws on the books," said Rep. J. D. Hayworth (R.-Ariz.). "The President talked about giving illegal aliens proper documents. Does that include Social Security cards and driver's licenses? With the motor voter law, that could cause problems. This is a Pandora's box." Under Bush's plan, he said, "It will be the policy of the United States to provide an endless supply of cheap labor. It virtually ensures a permanent economic underclass. It raises questions about education, health care. What about the people who are trying to leave welfare for work? Don't we want to help them?"
Joseph D'Agostino is Associate Editor of HUMAN EVENTS.
Needless to say, I love it!
I'm considering not voting for Bush because of this. Well, that and all the other ridiculous handouts to the Dems.
And not vetoing the anti First Ammendent bill. And the judicial nominee fiasco. And not dumping the minnow. And...
The first step is to identify those illegal immigrants who just want to make some money and go back home. Identify them and offer some monetary incentive for them to return to their country of origin at the end of some period, say three years. In addition, insure that they are paid minimum wages and receive benefits equal to the benefits received by American workers. What this would do is reduce the difference in cost between illegal and American workers and therefore reduce the incentive for business to hire illegal workers. Sounds like Bushs plan to me. However, this is only the first step.
The second step is targeting those illegal immigrants who are criminals. The deportation process must be streamlined with more judges, lawyers, holding cells, and INS workers. Instead of taking ten years to deport a criminal, it should take only a few months. Lock them up until the deportation process is complete, then put them on an airplane back to their country of origin. We havent been able to do this yet because of the pressure from businesses that need cheap labor and the social activities who think all immigrants will be targeted. Most of that pressure will have been eliminated by step one.
Step three is to eliminate welfare benefits for illegal immigrants. We havent been able to do this yet because of all the pressure from social activists who think that all immigrants will be targeted. These social activists are usually folks that are employing an illegal immigrant as a domestic servant and since step one makes that servant legal much of this pressure will be eliminated.
The first three steps would eliminate the majority of our illegal immigration problem. Those folks who want to stay here permanently might be induced into the temporary worker status if there was a mechanism to eventually obtain citizenship. I am not opposed to eventual citizenship for temporary workers provided that the requirements for citizenship are strengthened, including an English language requirement.
Step four involves the sensitive question of anchor babies. If a person is born in the U.S., they are an American citizen regardless of whom or what their parents are. Although I dont think we can or should change the constitution on this issue, how much of an anchor the baby is can be changed by immigration policy.
Far from offering amnesty to illegal immigrants, I think Bushs plan would be a good first step in solving our very real illegal immigration problem.
A policeman in a car costs the average city about $200 an hour. Helicopters cost at least $2000 an hour with the ground crews. What is the full cost of a teacher per hour? $140.00 or there about.
If we could get illegal aliens to turn each other in, just the ones trying to slip through the net, (I know thousands would attempt it) we would save billions in law enforcement, welfare programs, unemployment, medical care, job training and schools the first year.
Do all this under Executive Order and tell the Courts to back off. This is national security!
Any employer who has employed an illegal alien more than five months from the announcement date will be fined $5000 per employee. One month later enforcement begins. This will give employers 5 months to shed the illegals and hire legally papered actual American citizens.
Then on the announced date, start in a state such as Oklahoma. Well centered, not overly populated and clean the state out. This would give Homeland, INS and Border Patrol time to install their co-agents in various court houses around the country to verify a persons paperwork, i.e.. birth certificates, hospital records, etc.
Go state to state from the epicenter sweeping out the criminals who have successfully avoided suspicion. They already had 5 months to get out, hanging around to test the system carries a SEVERE penalty. They won't be able to say they weren't warned.
Divide a state into quadrants depending on population per square mile., First arrest those whose names were turn in for the bounty. Then others suspected by local law agencies. When arrests slow down, open an adjoining quadrant.
Get caught after the selected dated and the result would be every foreign national who is not in America legally would forfeit all their belongings (houses, cars, bank accounts, etc.) and be deported within 24 hours. These forfeited belongings would then be given to local churches for distribution to the needy in that community. Another cost saver!
This enforcement would apply to illegals from every country in the world, not just Mexico.
Imagine the number of Chinese who would be taking the ship home with everything in the house, new cars, you name it would be on those ships. The thousands of Canadians who decided the USA was better than Canada would be again headed North.
I thought your comments bore repeating.
I think the idea of a $50 bounty, and then the enforcement following is the most reasoned approach. Everyone thinks or says "You can't send them all home, because there are just too many of them".
Your approach shows that IF you start somewhere, you can make a big impact, and with the show of force, enforcement wherever it's started, Americans would become emboldened to turn in more, - and on it would go.
Thanks for taking the time to write all of that out.
We have to begin somewhere. Why not with the bounty and subsequent enforcement?
If you were running for office, I'd show up to help you get elected.
My plan gives major consideration to the costs of detention, processing and deportation of the illegals.
I don't want anyone being taxed for anything that's unnecessary. If we can get the illegals to go back home under their own costs taking with them all the private property they have legally attained, I support that.
Should we have to use our LEO's to arrest, detain, process and deport the illegals the penalty will be forfiture of all private property.
Anything they own that the local government agencies can use, houses, cars, cash, heavy or small equipment, etc. goes to them if needed, the rest should go to local churches for dispursement to the needy.
End minimum wage and seal the borders - bump!
They can spend all their money to retrain and get jobs as programmers or engineers. That's the AMERICAN way!
Maybe they should start a pharmacuetical company in Canada. Make bootleg drugs and import them to the U.S. If it's okay to import bootleg mexican laborers, then it's okay to import bootleg viagra, eh?
That's probably why I'm not accepted by the in crowd. Debating logical thought isn't a favored activity.
You can't be serious?
You haven't been reading about the H-1B's that have taken away our programming and engineering jobs?
Mostly Indians and Chinese, they work for less than half what a comprably trained American would expect, and because they are endentured servants, waiting for their Green Cards, they get to work horrendous amounts of overtime, unpaid. And they get to live with 3 or 4 of their buds, to try to save money to send home.
And that's IF there are jobs for them that haven't been sent overseas.
American programmers are considered "too expensive" at age 35, and American engineers, at age 40. Don't let your kids grow up, wanting to be a programmer or engineer, unless they get into and stay in the defense field, with a minimum of a TS. Then and only then are their jobs safe!
Did I say programmer or engineer? I meant call center operator or medical transcription processor. And then of course they can always become furniture makers.
Twenty years ago a high school drop out could get a job in construction, trucking, or manufacturing, and still do pretty well for himself. Well enough to own a car and afford some type of housing, by the age of twenty.
One by one these jobs have been outsourced, or filled by a wage suppressing immigrant, lowering the expectation and living standard of many Americans. Such is not suppose to be the case. In raising the boat of third world nations we have sunk the boats of many average Americans. Meanwhile those that stick it out through college are finding their jobs outsourced and their options limited.
Why do you think so many people my age are enraged, we know what has happened, we know America is being stripmined, and youth who has never known anything else, raised in the fed propaganda camps, have no clue of how badly they have been robbed.
You are merely parroting the propaganda of the enemy like a good little public school student. There are not that many white collar jobs and in fact all jobs have been artificially manipulated out of the country, or by immigrants in country all due to deadly socialist government policies and freedom robbing Free Trade.
52 posted on 01/14/2004 5:15:38 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
I count myself lucky then...I graduated a year before the U. of Illinois @ Chicago had some kind of diversity course as one of their requirements.
So, where do we EFFECTIVELY direct our rage. I know the 2 party system needs to be shaken up, but where to start?
I don't know either, do we reform the Republican party with our votes, money, and support? or abandon it? Personally...I getting tired of getting stabbed in the back by them. There is hope though...the boomer generation of liberals won't live forever. (although alot of their kids are much worse) I see other signs of hope when I see and hear about people our age homeschooling their kids, having larger families, (moms) staying home with their kids, owning firearms, being politically active, as well as caring, appreciating, and supporting our country. Time will tell I suppose.
I'm not so sure I support the use of spyware stuff to hunt down previously banned people, tho; and the removal of some threads with controversial topics from the main page. If posting rules are enforced evenhandedly, with all the involved rulebreakers sent to their corners for a "Knock it off," I don't think a thread would degenerate into a brawl. It's when folks see that some animals are more equal than others that things get ugly, IMO.
I will remain always hopeful for the best. It's the only way to survive a house with teenagers, and a computer with Free Republic.