Skip to comments.Bush’s Bait - The president on immigration.
Posted on 11/30/2005 3:00:33 AM PST by dennisw
The late Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called it "boob bait for bubba" tough-sounding rhetoric designed to placate conservative voters. Moynihan applied the phrase to Bill Clinton's 1992 pledge to "end welfare as we know it," which it later became clear that he had no intention of following through on when he became president (eventually, Republicans pressured him into it). President Bush is offering his own "boob bait" in the form of speechifying at the border about a crackdown on illegal immigration.
It's not that Bush doesn't intend to use better technology to police the border and end the "catch and release" policy that waves illegals into the country, as he is now saying. But these steps are primarily meant to diminish opposition to a new guest-worker program and what would effectively be an amnesty for illegal aliens. It's a crackdown as prelude to a letup; in other words, Rove bait for red-staters.
A Republican close to the White House has told Time how Bush wants to lull his conservative supporters into swallowing some sort of amnesty and a guest-worker program, i.e., a "comprehensive" approach: "Bush decided to give these guys their rhetorical pound of flesh. In return, he wants a comprehensive bill, which is what he has always wanted. He's just going to lead with a lot of noise about border security."
The idea is that the House, where conservatives have the most sway, will pass a bill with new enforcement measures, only to see the Senate pass a different bill with an amnesty and guest-worker program, which will be shoved down the throats of the House on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Supporters of tougher enforcement will have gotten their "noise," and Bush and the business lobby will have gotten their policy. Unfortunately for this strategy, conservatives aren't nearly as stupid as the White House political shop apparently thinks they are.
If the policy debate plays out the way the White House wants, we will have another iteration of a bizarre dynamic of American politics. Every time there is agitation about out-of-control levels of immigration, Washington acts to preserve or increase current levels of immigration. As Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies notes, this is what happened in 1986, 1990, and 1996. The White House and the Senate want 2006 to be Act IV in the farce. Senator Arlen Specter's version of "reform" doubles legal immigration.
The enforcement measures Bush is advocating are welcome and he finally seems to get the public's dismay about the lawlessness of our immigration system. But the border itself is in some ways beside the point. We can put as many agents as the Minutemen could possibly want on the border and still have an illegal-immigration problem. Forty percent of illegals overstay their visas, meaning the border isn't an issue for them. Bush and fellow supporters of a guest-worker program are right about one thing: As long as there are jobs here for illegals, they will come.
The only way to address that is through interior enforcement, which Bush made a nod toward yesterday. The natural place to start is enforcing laws already on the books. Rosemary Jenks of the group NumbersUSA has compiled a partial list of currently unenforced laws that runs to four pages. The Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service have it within their power to inform employers when they have hired illegal workers, but don't. In 2002, the Social Security Administration sent out roughly a million "no match" letters to employers telling them workers had bogus or duplicate Social Security numbers, but business groups complained and the practice stopped.
Supporters of amnesty always ask the rhetorical question: "What are you going to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants already here deport them all?" That is obviously impractical, but requiring employers to verify that their workers are legal would prompt many illegals to leave voluntarily and staunch the flow of new arrivals. Only after our immigration system is under better control should we discuss Bush's proposed guest-worker program and any kind of amnesty for those illegals who are entrenched in our society. Until then, don't take Bush's bait.
As would cutting off all the taxpayer freebees. But the chance of the gubmint implementing these effective measures is pretty much nil.
Just like Dane, you have no substance to your argument against the content of the article, so you just attack the messenger. I guess both of you got the same talking points memo today.
WHISTLE! Flag on the play! Attempted distraction. 10-yard penalty, FROBLS. First down, border security patriots.
His BS isn't even close to "bait", it's an insult!
Protect our borders and coastlines from all foreign invaders!
Support our Minutemen Patriots!
Be Ever Vigilant ~ Bump!
Beautiful fence system. Let's built it all along the SW border.
To show we're not all bad, if additional non-US workers are needed we should use Illegal Immigrant workers to bolster the construction crews. Then they have to leave.
It is a pile of Rove, indeed.
It would be meaningless, since El Presidente prosecutes no one for hiring illegals. And he would be calling you a vigilante in his next speech.
This is costing the Republicans far more than they know.
Your tagline says it all.
If anyone is an expert on boob-bait, it has to be you Duh-ane. How's the weather in Pennsylvania today? Seen any West Virginians sneaking over your border lately?
Did Dane wake you up? The quisling grapevine must be buzzing today.
All those points you raised are the truth.
Personally, I don't discuss such critical issues of national security with members incapable of rational discussion like the member you are repsponding to. My suggestion is to totally ignore well known irrational members. The level and quality of debate and discussion here is at a much higher level when we don't argue with irrational members.
The number of people who read our threads and "lurk" dwarfs the number of members who post responses. Just post good commentary about critical issues, like you do, and let the level of posts remain high. Dropping down to debate irrational members does not keep the level of debate high.
We have a trashing of our national sovereignty by both Bush and both parties of Congress. There are only two or three members of Congress who act like they represent the USA. All patriots need to express severe outrage over the destruction of our national sovereignty by ALL officials of the US government, including Bush.
Tijuana. Been there, done that.
This is costing the Republicans far more than they know.
Same as our lack of border enforcement for Mexicans has emboldened, has transferred to, the hordes of Central Americans and others who now try to bust in here the same way. And our idiot policies have us releasing these Central Americans and others into the general population because it's too much hassle to deal with the logistics of detention and deportation. Plus by intention not enough detention & deportation funds are appropriated by open borders GWBush and our open borders Congress. Because they want his nation to be flooded to the point where they can proclaim "we can't deport 11 million illegals". That we must make a guest worker program for them.
I don't know the details of the grant program, but indeed is seems terribly unfair to give outsiders, wherever they are from, preference over our own citizens.
"That is only your opinion for which you'll find many disagreeing with."
No it's not just my opinion.
Our unemployment rate is at 5%.
We have a civilain labor force of about 150 million with around 7.5 million people unemployed.
An employment leve of zero is unreachable and it's really hard to maintain an unemployment level much more than a percentage poit below what it is now.
If we remove all the illegal aliens that are working in the country, we suddently have millions less workers than we have jobs.
That means the economy has to shrink as those businesses have to make do with less workers or simply go out of business.
"The last 40 years have seen us take in over 40 million people, and that's just legally."
Is that permenant residents? People who become citizens? Does it include people on work visas? How about student visas?
Some people also die off or leave the country over a 40 year period.
From my quick glance it appears that there are significantly less than a million new people granted permenant residency in the US each year, I have a hard time believing that we've added 40 million to our population through immigration in the last 40 years, which is different than saying 40 million people were allowed to come to the US and stay for some period of time. It's hard to discuss this without more details about your numbers.
"Even if all immigration were to completely stop tomorrow there are more than enough ample studies which demonstrate the birth rate would continue to increase for the next 50 years."
So there are plenty of studies that show that if we stopped immigration our birth rates would reverse their 15 year trend of decreasing birth rates and increase? That's a pretty astounding statement. Please point me to some of these "studies" that would appear to contradict all the data I've found available.
"So then why do we need more legal immigration than the current 1 million annually we already take in? Will our economy collapse without it"
Collapse? Kind of a vague and scary word. The economy would take a serious hit. You don't suddenly remove millions of workers from an economy with low unemployment without very significant results.
In this case we are talking about removing primarily workers that work in low paying jobs.
What are the results likely to be? Well inflation to be sure. Tight labor markets result in higher wages as employers compete for a limited pool of workers.
However, it's also likely to result in an even greater trade deficit and a lot of jobs no longer being performed in the US. Considering that our trade deficit is already out of control, this is a very bad thing.
A shrinking economy also means less tax revenues for the government. That means that not only do we end up paying more for goods due to inflation, the government will either have to shrink their spending, or raise our taxes. How likely do you think it is that the government will decrease spending on entitlement programs just because the economy is shrinking.
Low end workers will be making more money, but inflation will either destroy any real gains, or inflation is being kept in check by importing more goods which helps short term, but damages our economy long term.
The other possiblity of a solution to a smaller work force without serious economic penalties is technology advances. We have in the past and will in the future develop technology that allows us to do more with less workers. There are industries where that technology could be developed, but it simply isn't cost effective because cheap labor is available.
There are a few problems with that approach that limit how well it can address the problem.
Such technology takes a considerable investment to develop. Research and development budgets are among the first things to get slashed when the economy starts shrinking. This slows the development process and prolongs the problem.
Developing such technology is also a risky business. It has a considerable chance of being unprofitable by the time development is completed due to imported goods, or changes in politics that make cheap labor available again. This does not prevent such advances, but it does slow them and limit their impact.
"what is the motivation driving this constant push to raise immigration levels, particularly in DC?"
I'm sure there is a wide range of motivations on this topic. There are many secial interest groups involved. However, the economy appears to be the largest motivator.
America's power stems from it's economic power. If the economy doesn't remain strong, we can't support our military, we reduce our ability to influence others economicly, we trend toward joing Europe in insignificance while countries like China grow in power.
Even liberals know that someone needs to be there to do the work and that shrinking the economy limits their ability to spend other people's money.
Now I have a question for you. Assuming that we do reasonable background checks on immigrants and deport those who commit crimes or don't contribute to the economy, what is the harm in allowing immigration to meet the needs of our economy? Even Bush's weak guest worker program requires that immigrants be matched with a job before being granted entry.
I think that it's been pretty clearly shown that there is a benefit to ur economy to allowing immigration if there are jobs to justify it. However, your arguments seemed more anti-immigrant in genveral rather than just being against illegal immigrants. Are you opposed to legal immigration as long as we are talking about immigrants that are comming here to work?
If so, can you explain why?
I love how Lowry is now using another anymonous source from Time magazine to bolster his article.
If anything people should be concerned of the northern border where there is a Canadian govt,
So by your last terms, "milking the welfare state" means, I surmise, you are for the welfare state.
BTW, how come no mention of the people really messing up the American healthcare system, the trial lawyers.
Get back to me when your hero pat buchanan is President.
Get back to me when you have a bad word about the NEA, who are doing much more damage to the American education system.
So what you're basically saying is that assuming illegal immigration finally gets under control unless we massively increase legal immigration in the process the economy will take a serious hit?
First of all do you realize how many millions of illegals aren't really contributing to the economy at all but rather work under the table in odd jobs such as maids, gardeners, babysitters or standing on street corners waiting to be picked up by cheap contractors? Suddenly removing them would not be the shock that so many like yourself wish to keep claiming however that doesn't have to be necessary. The reduction in the illegal population could be done gradually through attrition so those employers addicted to the cheap labor would have to learn to live without it.
As far as legal immigration: we would still be taking in around a million a year, more than all the other countries of the world combined, where some like Japan have basically zero immigration and are doing just fine economically. I'd say we're already quite generous.
To suggest we keep levels at the current rate is "anti-immigrant" is not an argument or defense for increasing it but a way to silence those who find immigration policy should not be based solely on economic needs but that other factors, such as the social costs, including those related to schools, hospitals and prisons that are all needed for this never-ending massive population you want to import be also taken into consideration.
This may shock both you and George Bush as libertarians but the US is not an economy or a shopping mall, it's a nation where immigration policy should be based on the needs of all its citizens and their communities, not just those of the immigrants and the employers who want them.
"For a long time I bought the "they do work others will not do" line. Then my kids became teenagers looking for work.
There is not much to be found. Mexicans do it cheaper, for cash, no benefits. Why hire a teenaged kid?
Construction? Yeah, right. Unless they are willing to stand on the main streets in what I call our barrios, forget it. No teenaged American need apply.
Stockboy at the grocery store? Not
They drive down the wages in larger businesses.
We educate illegals.
We provide free medical care.
If needed, we feed them.
Unless we order in numbers, 9 times out of 10 "I'll have an Egg McMuffin" can mean anything from A Sausage Biscuit to a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
And I am pissed to no end when faced with the reality that our government overlooks the fact that they are here because they broke the law. You know, I know, we all damned well know the government does not look the other way when applying the law to citizens.
Whatever happened to equal protection under the law?"
Now multiply that by tens of thousands of teenagers and yound adults who graduated from either State Tech High schools and other secondary trade schools and you begin to see what a pant-load GWB is selling us. A lot of these young adults have trained 4 years in there trade only to be sold out by GWB and his stupid "doing the jobs that Americans won't do" BS.
"Any teenage kid can find a job, the problem these days is getting that teenager away from the X-Box."
"Gee NOT a word about the COMPLETE lack of ANY plan on the Democrats side."
We finally got Pub Prez, the Pub House and Senate...and all we really get is a BS line on Shamnesty.
OH! I remember, Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles
Your entire schpeel depends on a sudden removal of all Illegals. WONT HAPPEN!!
At best, we will get deportation as LEOs come into contact with them, some round ups at business sites, tightening the screws on employment of Illegals, and of course slowing border crossing to a trickle.
There will be ample time for the economy to adjust from this long slow process.
"Your entire schpeel depends on a sudden removal of all Illegals. WONT HAPPEN!! "
No, my entier "schpeel" does not depend on it happening suddenly, nor do I think that it happing suddenly is possible.
It will happen over time, and an increase in legal immigration should be phased in over time to provide workers as needed.
"There will be ample time for the economy to adjust from this long slow process."
If by adjusting, you mean shrinking, I would agree that it won't happen overnight. Businesses being raided and closed down will happen a few at a time, for a while there will still be a considerable pool of illegal workers around and those disreputable companies will be replaced by others.
How quickly we can reduce the illegal immigration population depends on two factors. How effectively can we reduce illegal immigration, and how quickly can we process deportations. Right now immigration hearings appear to be the amin bottleneck.
We already have the means to detect a large percentage of the illegal immigrants working in the US through the IRS. However, it's not being used because our courts are full and we simply can't process more deportations and we don't have the facilities to incarcerate more illegal aliens. Therefore they concentrate on those they believe to be dangerous criminals, not those that are working for a living.
However if we can reduce the bottleneck in the courts, and even encourage SOME (I have no delusions that this will be a huge percentage) to leave without fighting deportation through the possibility of being eligable for a guest worker program, we can make significant progress in reducing the illegal immigration population.
However, you can't just ignore the facts and say it will all work out.
If we end up with significantly less workers, we end up being able to produce significantly less and what we do produce will cost more due to the law of supply and demanad in regards to worker wages.
To prevent that from having too large of an effect, we need to have a program that can increase legal immigration accordingly.
The nice thing about a guest worker progrm is that it requires that there be a job for the immigrant before they can enter the country. It would also require that the employer try and hire a US citizen or legal resident first.
There are similar regulations with the H1B visa program. In my experience where I work, it didn't seem like our company had much trouble justifying hiring qualified foreigners under that program because the labor market was pretty tight. However as soon as we hit some bugetary troubles and had to let some people go, the people working on H1B visas were layed off because to keep them insead of an American citizen they would have to justify that the American citizen was not capable of doing the same job.
The guest worker program should not be capable of flooding the country with people who aren't contributing to society. It should also put some competition in the low end of the labor market and make it so that employers have a choice of hiring legal workers and contracting with employers that hire legal workers.
So, once again, I have to ask what is the harm in allowing immigration as long as the immigrants are required to pay taxes and support themselves while they are here, as well as obey our laws, or find themsleves being deported.
My one big concern would be that we allow in people legally and that they become disqualified in some way, yet we allow it to be made too difficult to deport them. That's is something we must make sure does not happen. If possible we should make it so that legal immigration is halted under the guest worker program if we are unable to process deportations. That would at least require Congress to address the issue if deportations become a bottleneck. It would also piss off the ACLU which is almost always a worthy goal in itself.
I've worked with many white co-workers who have unimpeachable work ethics. The same with black and Asian co-workers.
It does us NO good when our side spends all it's time doing the Democrat Party's PR work for them. QUIT whining. Frankly the "Conservative" pundits seem stuck on stupid. They are so busy acting as the Dinasour Media's echo chamber that they no longer are on our side. Nice work guys. Way to gut any hope of getting ANY thing done.
Oh, quit your whining.
Is that what you foresee for the average American? To be at work seven days a week?
What about raisind a family and being able to spend time with your children?
Are you one of those who complains about the lack of parenting to children in our society?
My apologies. The "suddenly" gave me the impression this was something that was happening quickly.
No, I do not believe the economy will perform poorly as a result. The savings in social services alone will be considerable. I can see the economy being "smaller" but stronger.
Allowing more legal immigration at the same time is a bad idea in my book. The system cannot adequately screen and police the million or so they are processing now.
A well regulated guest worker program is always an option should we need, after we have control of the border. Personally, I would like to see the program limited to agricultural work and only the sponsored worker is allowed to come for a specific amount of time. My fear is a guest worker plan will simply open up any job to a foreign worker, reducing wages further and put Americans out of work.
I pretty much do the same thing. My wife thinks I'm silly for doing it, but I respect the people who have to bus restaurant tables for low wages.
Super! Never mind the ethics pertaining to abiding by the law, as long as you are willing to work for table scraps, you're A-OK!
There was a CATO Institute forum on C-Span last year and one of the guests was from the Bush administration. She said the worker program would be open to every sector of the economy and that if they had kids they would automatically be citizens. The plan was and still is to force all Americans to compete with foreigners for jobs in their own country.
Btw I agree with you, if the guest worker program were limited to only agriculture then it might be far more easier to swallow.
Can you imagine the level of animosity towards these foreign workers if that happens?
You bet because it's there right now with the H1-b program. It's obvious Americans are being displaced in the tech industry and wages are getting depressed. Now they want to expand the program and dramatically increase visas. If they're looking to cause national unrest that's the way to go about it.
I agree with everything you said. But the link between terrorism and illegal immigration is even more direct than that. Think how many murders, rapes and other violent crimes these folks commit. I bet they have killed far more Americans than 9/11. When these things happen to you or your loved ones it is really rather irrelevant whether it was committed by an Islamasist or a good hearted illegal. Think about the diseases these folks are importing. A lot of them are walking biological weapons. And don't forget the Washington sniper, John Lee Malvo!
Illegal immigration is terrorism in slow motion!
On a Large scale as well.
A good description of every member of FR's tiny contingent of quislings.
Don't forget "quisling".
California is the prime example of all of the above.
Help! Wait! Stop. Stop and listen to me!...These people who're coming after me are not human.
Look, you fools. You're in danger. Only tinfoil can save you! Can't you see? The Buchananites are after you. They're after all of us. Our wives, our children, everyone. They're here already. YOU'RE NEXT!
"I am the B9 Bushbot, I am programed with all RNC talking points."
Lookit, I don't foresee that for the average American. But since there are no unions, and Pedro is there to do the work, you think the Big Food cares about how much time you spend with your family?
LOL now rich lowry is the fool according to dane.
dane never stops attacking conservatives.
he is the rudy g/john mccain type "republican.