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May 18, 2007

Ted Kennedy On Immigration

I hope Mark Krikorian doesn't mind my stealing his entire post:

1965: "The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs."

1986: "This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this."

2007: "Now it is time for action. 2007 is the year we must fix our broken system."

Relevant to his 1965 claim is this NYT article:

With the number of nonwhite Americans above 100 million for the first time, demographers are identifying an emerging racial generation gap.

That development may portend a nation split between an older, whiter electorate and a younger overall population that is more Hispanic, black and Asian and that presses sometimes competing agendas and priorities.

“The new demographic divide has broader implications for social programs and education spending for youth,” said Mark Mather, deputy director of domestic programs for the Population Reference Bureau, a nonpartisan research group.

“There’s a fairly large homogenous population 60 and older that may not be sympathetic to the needs of a diverse youthful population,” Dr. Mather said.

His 1987 claim is disproven by his 2007 claim. And his 2007 claim... well, I guess he's done making promises about this being "the last time." He's claimed that too many times before. This is just the last time, for about ten years.

Absolute must reading is Kaus, first item first, but his earlier item about how little sense any of this makes is great too.

Captain Ed loyally defends the deal in what may be one of the most unconvincing blog posts ever!

Here's the problem with the hard-liner arguments, which amounts to "they'll never engage the border-security and workplace enforcement portions." Well, that could be true of any immigration bill, even if it completely matched the conservative position on immigration. It's an argument that only supports no action whatsoever on illegal immigration, including border controls.

That's silly. You could pass "the border-security and workplace enforcement portions" and then see if they worked--and tightened them if they didn't--before you went ahead with amnesty. ... Lowry, meanwhile, defends Sen. Kyl, also unconvincingly. If Kyl had walked away from negotiations, would he really not bring along 39 other votes to block a "much worse" bill? There doesn't have to be a bill, remember. Bipartisan cooperative "action" isn't necessarily always a great thing (as the 1986 amnesty showed). The country is not in crisis, only Bush.

Two points: 1, I'm not much in the mood to do favors for Bush anymore; it seems he realizes he won't be fondly remembered by many Americans, so he's seeking to out-source his legacy building to Mexicans and other Latin immigrants. With all due respect, I don't think it's a good idea to screw up America just to give Bush a small number of (new) Americans who actually think he was a good president.

2, Captain Ed is being silly about enforcement. Part of the reason to object to the bill is that the government is currently refusing to secure the border. We don't need to speculate about what they will or won't do tomorrow; we know what they're doing today. Are they really going to be tougher in securing the border once millions of ex-illegals can vote in elections (legally)! I sort of doubt that.

If there were different facts -- if right now, right now, in fact, not merely in promise -- the government were actually taking serious steps to secure the border and buid the fence, I might not be so angry about this. I might actually be appeased that they're coupling amnesty with security.

But they're not-- they're only giving illegals amnesty without border security as a mitigating factor. And the only way we can get border security is to demand that as an absolute precondition to any amnesty bill -- but they're ignoring the wishes of 70% of Americans in going straight for amnesty, therefore destroying any hope of securing the border.

How on earth can we get the border secured post-amnesty? We'd have already given up the one chit we were holding back in exchange for an end to uncontrolled illegal immigration and the now-inevitable amnesty that occurs every fifteen to twenty years

The time to exact concessions and gain bipartisan approval for real, tangible, tough, non-virtual border patrol is before amnesty is granted. Not after. You can't get your liberal opponents to grant you concessions after you've given them everything they wanted, now can you?

Well, you could -- if you offered them even more. Though I'm dumbstruck to imagine what more could be offered.

Bush and the Republicans -- as well as Democrats -- had ample opportunity to demonstrate that they were serious about border security. They sold us out, and now expect us to be satisfied with vague promises that they'll do better in the future.

Incidentally, the reason the stuff about "fortifying the border" is only vaguely described in articles? Is because it's not described in the bill. It's a funding-only provision, without specifying what the money will be spent on, how employers will be cracked down upon, etc. So the government's idea of of fortifying the border is -- get this -- throwing money at it, without saying what exactly it will be spent on. And I predict somehow even that phony solution will be defunded shortly, the money diverted to more pressing concerns.

Like, I don't know, subsidizing hospitals and schools in areas overtaxed by large -- and ever-increasing -- numbers of low-wage, low-tax-contributing Latin immigrants.

More Kaus:

Hewitt's gotten a leak of the bogus tough sounding talking points GOP Senators will try to deploy to cover their retreat. Many of the alleged concessions--like ending "chain migration" of family members--seem unenforceable in the long run. Are we really going to give citizenship to illegals but prevent them from reuniting with their families? I don't think so. Even if we could, and even if that were desirable, and even if the provisions survived in the Democratic house, it would hardly be worth what the GOP senators have apparently agreed to: taking the risk of encouraging another 12 million illegals to evade our still-porous border controls and wait for the next amnesty.

Oh, the hell with that, Mickey. Stick with the first point: This no-chain-migration thing is bullshit. It will be repealed almost immediately. If the government cannot say no to people who can't even legally vote in this country, how can it be imagined it will suddenly have the gumption to defy actual legally-voting citizens?

One hardly needs to argue in the alternative in this one: The "concession" about chain-migration is a temporary sop to conservatives, but it will be off the books before the ink has even had time enough to smudge.


John Kyl was once fighting the good fight, but has thrown in the towel to the open-borders forces. Kaus suggests writing and phoning him to get him back on the team. His contact information is here. Try to be somewhat even-tempered in correspondence with him; we want him back, after all. But do let him know his political calcuation is a bad one, and will cost him and his party dearly.

Bonus: Illegal immigrants and their advocates consider the bill "too onerous" and not generous enough (latest update at Hot Air, at bottom). They don't like the fact they can't (for now) bring their entire extended families over with them or that they have to depart from the country (briefly) to get a green card. Nor that they have to pay a fine of $5000 to cover years of lawbreaking and fraudulent use of American-taxpayer-funded social services, schools, and hospitals.

Well then. Let us agree to scrap the bill, si?

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posted by Ace at 03:47 AM

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