Friday, May 19, 2006

What irritates me about the administration's response to immigration

In the last 30 days the president has suddenly discovered the merits of border enforcement. Catch and release has been curtailed and now we are sending the national guard to the border (albeit in an a pretty inefficient way that will hurt readiness out of proportion with the improvement it will make to border security). Why has he gotten religion? Are we to believe it took 5 years after 9/11 for "the decider" to decide border security is important? It looks to me like posturing to give the "conservatives" cover to sign off on an amnesty bill. I'm not convinced that the president isn't going to "lose his religion" once he's gotten his way on amnesty. The president wants a legacy, fine. Build a fence, secure the border, crack down on employers, and come back in 2008 with a secure border and "earned legalization" *cough*amnesty*cough* might be OK.

The second thing is the amnesty and guest worker programs are bass-ackwards. We give lawbreakers citizenship, and law abiders temporary work visas. I'd rather see the number of legal immigrants from Mexico increased rather than an amnesty or guest worker program. Right now we allow 50,000 legal unskilled workers to immigrate from Mexico. Rather than 250,000-400,000 guest workers and 50,000 legal immigrants, why not just increase legal immigration to 300,000. Simultaneously step up immigration enforcement (deporting illegal workers) and make the law abiders the winners and the law breakers the losers. That will do more to stop the human tragedy on the border than a hundred amnesties.

The other thing I would like to see is substantial penalties for employers who use illegals so they can violate workplace safety and minimum wage laws. Give the DOJ a few thousand green cards to give away to witnesses and make the vultures pay.

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