Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Senate Immigration Bill is Dead

So says Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics here, and here. And this is something to celebrate. We really didn't need immigration reform. We needed Executive Branch-only action.

Now, to be clear, I do not oppose, and even somewhat favor a guest worker plan. It benefits our economy, and works to the benefit of others who are willing to work for a lower than standard wage because the economies of scale in Mexico make such work quite lucrative for Mexicans. But I doubt that the program that the Senate was crafting was more for Americans than it was for foreign nationals. And it makes little sense to set up a program that would attract vast amounts of immigration before we set in place a means to control access to our border.

The United States already has laws that prohibit unlawful immigration. Until now, though, we have done nothing about it. And it seems that having a real presence on the border is a very real discouragement to illegal immigration. It's what the American people have been wanting, but which politicians, fearful that they may offend or get bad press have avoided. And while such a move may generate flack from the MSM, enforcement of the laws we already have is what Americans have wanted for some time. And perhaps the White House is starting to learn that while the Clintonian paradigm of governing by windsock is certainly ill advised, it is likewise a mistake to ignore polling entirely. Because Americans have been making very clear that they are offended by foreigners who violate our laws by illegal border entries and who compromise our national security by doing so. And they are unwilling to help people who will not first respect our laws.

Which is why the House bill was all about enforcement. The people who are up for reelection every two years have a better feel for the national pulse than those in the Senate who sit for six years. And while the House version does not call for a guest worker program, it does not preclude one either. In a nutshell, the House wanted to make certain that the people's concerns were met now, allowing room for reasonable proposals for handling temporary residents later, without one watering down the other. A longer process to be sure, but one that more likely would handle the problem.

But the Senate version--the one that was the dealbreaker--in an effort to please everyone, seemed almost an apology to illegals for the fact that we wish to limit access to our border and for the fact that their own economy is in a voluntary state of decay. It seems that the authors of the final product tried to say, "We're sorry that life is so difficult for you. Please pull up to the federal trough and we'll slop you along with the rest of the voluntarily dependent." It was the usual Washington nightmare--gifts for all, solutions for none. At least none who are Americans.

And while I can respect the attitude of many Senators in wanting a bill that helps as many people as possible, it got lost in the process of throwing more money and red tape at the problem, aiding foreigners, but not the Americans who want to prevent foreigners from entering the nation to plug into our social welfare system.

And so perhaps the kindest thing that the House of Representatives can do for themselves and the people that all 435 of them will face in the coming year is to kill this bill which the public won't like, which could get said politicians tossed from the House, and which fixes no problem, save those of the people who broke our laws in the first place.

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