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Will Amnesty Sink George Bush In 2004?


Morgan

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Personally, I think President Bush is taking a big gamble on "immigration reform" plans. Basically what he's calling for is another "amnesty" program. It did not work under Reagan and it won't work under Bush.

If President Bush is doing this to appease Hispanic voters, please, someone give the man a calculator. Hispanics typically vote for Democrats. Republicans capture only 30% of the Hispanic vote and that's only after Hispanics live in the USA for a long time. George Bush may end up being one of the last Republican Presidents.

His conservative base will feel as though the rug has been pulled out from under them. Illegal immigration is a real hot button issue in America. Illegal immigrants are bankrupting southern states. Their cheap labour is way outbalanced by the costs associated with states providing health care, welfare, and education to illegals.

What's the point of posturing stricter border controls and then turning around and opening your borders to every Tom, Dick, and Harry?

Gray Davis ultimately de-railed himself even with Democrat voters when he wanted to give illegal aliens driviers license ID's.

Do you think this will hurt Bush or will conservative voters forgive and forget come election time?Amnesty Trapdoor, John O'Sullivan, Nat'l Review, Jan.06/04

Just now President Bush is striding three-quarters of the way to "open borders" immigration policy. According to the Washington Post, Mr. Bush will next week announce an immigration package with three new elements:1. A new visa system for "temporary" workers who would be allowed into the U.S. if there were jobs unfilled by Americans waiting for them (i.e., a new guest-worker program.)2. Some kind of "legal status" for the estimated eight million "undocumented workers" in the U.S., i.e., an amnesty for illegal aliens.3. Stricter entry controls "to make the plan more palatable to conservatives." Even on its own terms, Mr. Bush's plan is full of holes.

Bush to Propose Immigration Law Changes, AP Newswire, Jan.06/04

President Bush wants to give legal status to foreign workers who obtain jobs in the United States as well as the millions of illegal immigrants already working in the country. The proposed change in U.S. immigration policy could smooth relations with Mexico and help lure Latino voters.
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1. Do you believe that Bush's amnesty proposal for illegal aliens is just pre-election rhetoric/empty promises because he knows there would be alot of resistence to getting amnesty passed by Congress. Bush immigration reform, policy or just politics? Washington Times, Jan.06/04

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- President Bush will propose sweeping and controversial changes to U.S. immigration law in a speech Wednesday as the administration attempts to shore up the Hispanic vote for the November election.

It is estimated that around 60 percent of the 8 million to 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States come from Mexico, making the issue very important to the Latino electorate.Bush heartily courted the Hispanic vote in the 2000 election with the population in several states seen as potentially integral to a Bush win this year. These include California and especially Florida and New Mexico, states Bush barely won in 2000.

The Bush plan also appears similar in form to proposals made by the Democratic president candidates, potentially counterbalancing any claim they can make on the issue.

But there is already disagreement in Washington over whether the proposal is good policy and whether the idea can garner the political support needed for congressional approval.GOP sources in the House said that the hostility among a core group of Republicans to liberalizing immigration policy is immense with the chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., expected to lead the fight with arguments expected from some Democrats as well.

Some cynics in Washington remain convinced that the proposal is just an election year gimmick to gain the notice of Hispanic voters and appease Mexican President Vicente Fox, who has pressed the Bush White House from the beginning of the administration to create some sort of illegal worker recognition system..

"A bill like that would be dead on arrival this year," predicted one moderate Republican aide. "Illegal aliens are generally not viewed with the most kindness or respect, especially in an election year when American jobs losses from the (economic) downturn are so great."

2. Ironically enough, in one of the states Bush wants to win over in the 2004 election, there is a resurgence of interest in getting Proposition 187 on the ballet again, which was passed by 60% of Californians before but which was never implemented because Gray Davis refused to fight a court challenge of the proposition.

Proposition 187 was passed to prohibit illegal aliens being able to access free welfare, medical, and higher education services. Some claim that the costs of supporting the vast numbers of illegal aliens in California is one of the contributing causes of the budget mess the state is currently facing.Cheap lettuce is not a bargain when your taxes have to pay for health care and social and educational services for the worker and his multiple family members. Pro immigration groups say illegal immigrants "pay taxes" but they cannot/will not provide hard statistics to support that claim. If you've already committed a felony by breaking immigration law, why on earth would you suddenly become a model citizen and pay income tax? Duh.

Proposition 187 resuscitated in California?Houston Chronicle Jan.06/04

Aiming to stir immigration debate during the presidential primary season, California conservatives are resurrecting the ghost of Proposition 187 with another state ballot initiative that opponents say could be just as racially divisive as the 1994 proposal to ban social services for illegal immigrants.

But Ron Prince, the Orange County accountant who pushed the issue 10 years ago, promises a race-neutral campaign for an initiative written to survive the court challenges that prevented Proposition 187 from becoming law.

As Prince and others gather signatures to force a vote in November, California backers are pressing the measure as a deterrent to illegal immigration, even as President Bush proposes liberalized immigration to match foreign workers, mostly from Mexico, with U.S. employers.

Almost 60 percent of California voters supported the 1994 measure to ban illegal immigrants from collecting services ranging from public education to non-emergency health care.

Many of the state budget woes that drove voters to support the ban a decade ago have only worsened, contributing to last year's recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.

"And we want to discuss this on a national level," he said. "Putting this on the ballot on a presidential election year will make it a national issue. It will force the American people to discuss this."

Prince adamantly opposes any liberalization of immigration policy that appears to reward people for entering the country illegally. "We think it would be devastating to the concept of American citizenship, and will force the people of this country to rethink what the idea of what the nation is," Prince said. "And we want to discuss this on a national level," he said. "Putting this on the ballot on a presidential election year will make it a national issue. It will force the American people to discuss this."

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Bush is bringing in amnesty for one very simple reson.

Conservaties have no where else to go, and he knows

it. They will support him no matter how much they dislike what he does. He is laughing all the way to the bank on this one. Bush is not taking any risk at all. It's a win-win situation for him.

His mission is to win, that's it. There is nothing else of any consequence on his agenda.

---------------------------------------------------------

Bush gets my vote for this one! Si Senor!

President Says Changes to Immigration Will Help Millions

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/07/politics...ND-IMMI.html?hp

'While Mr. Bush said again that he opposed amnesty, which he said would only encourage lawbreaking and perpetuate illegal immigration, his proposals would nonetheless effectively grant a measure of amnesty to illegal immigrants with jobs.'

Bush is quite the joker.

Edited by maplesyrup
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Maplesyrup said:

Bush is bringing in amnesty for one very simple reason. Conservaties have no where else to go, and he knows it. They will support him no matter how much they dislike what he does.

Maybe you are right, maplesyrup. Perhaps, Karl Rove has convinced Bush that he has something to gain[Hispanic votes] and nothing to lose[conservatives will vote for him because he is less alienating than the Democrat candidate].

BUT, I think Bush is underestimating the emotional feelings that the subject of illegal immigration illicits from Americans, which crosses party lines.

I'll remind you again. What tipped the scales in the push to recall Gray Davis, ex-Governor of California, was when he announced that he would issue drivers licenses to illegal aliens. After that, the recall gained momentum overnight. And at the exit polls on election day, even registered Democrats said they voted to recall Davis because of the drivers license for illegal immigrants issue.

What I think may happen is that Republicans will stay home and not vote at all to protest the Republican Party pandering to minority groups, thereby giving the Presidency to the Democrats. Bush is having airlines and airline passengers stand on their heads in the name of border security and then in the very same week of big talk about "security" Bush turns around and gives Vincente Fox the keys to the USA.

And as for the Hispanic vote that Bush and Rove are courting...the Hispanic bloc will vote Democrat as they have done in the past.

I've been a big booster of George Bush because I think he is a great wartime President, but I am very disappointed with his immigration "reform" plan. If I were a US citizen, I would not vote for George Bush in 2004 if he manages to push amnesty through Congress. As President he should be enforcing existing laws. He should not be throwing up his hands and saying, oh what the heck.

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I think that in principle, the plan has merit and is not purely a political ploy, after all the hispanic community is passionately divided on the issue of immigration and it's questionable whether this move would garner any substantial hispanic support for Bush's reelection.

Micheal Medved makes a persuasive argument, I think, for Bush's immigration plan. It would be cost prohibitive to deport an estimated 10 million illegal aliens, aside from the fact that it's probably logistically impossible. Since these illegals are here to stay, it would be more benificial to give them some sort of status with the capability of being tracked/screened. These immigrants would be enrolled in a guest worker program and would now be eligible to pay legitimately into social security. After three years, they are eligible to apply for citizenship.

Although current immigrants who have entered the US illegally are being granted amnesty which essentially amounts to a reward for bad behavior, future immigrants, as the need arises on behalf of US employers, would be motivated to enter the US legally. In combination with stiff fines for illegals to gain status and also levied on employers who hire illegals, would go a ways to minimizing the immigaration problem.

Ofcourse this all works under one very important condition.

SEAL OF THE BORDERS NOW.

Bush must either increase the number of border patrol agents 10 fold, or use the national gaurd and military to patrol porous regions. Without this element, the flow will not stop.

Remember, illegal immigration takes two forms: border jumpers, and those who simply overstay work visas: The ratio is roughly 50/50.

Reagan's immigration reform failed because the border was never sealed and the laws never enforced. I hope to God that Bush doesn't make the same mistake. Otherwise, we'll have 20 million illegals on our hands by the end of decade.

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RToR - you make some good points [as usual]. In general if you analyse the pros and cons one should come out in favor of Bush's 'amnesty' for illegal immigrants. I watched a debate last night on the issue - between a Democrat Repr. from Texas [against Bush's plan - does not go far enough - which is the Dem. party line] and a Repub. from Colorado [against - he is the Chair of the Immigration committee].

Basically this Rep Chair of the Immigration said the following:

-It does not address the issue of border security

-It will cost working Americans some jobs [dubious]

-It will depress wages in certain jobs [dubious]

-It is illegal and will encourage family plan reunifications

The Democrat rebutted:

-reality is that 8 million illegals are in the US

-they are in the black economy and need to be moved into the real economy

-they will pay more taxes and not take from social security

-they will now be monitored and tracked

Aguierre who is the Immigration Minister said much the same thing.

On balance those opposing the plan have no solutions to the main points addressed by the plan;

-we can now track illegals

-they will add to the economy not detract from it

-they are working and they exist - might as well recognise that reality

What the plan does miss is border security improvements BUT that is the job of Tom Ridge and he and his massive group are already doing such.

On balance:

-Good Plan, needed and helps with security.

Go for it.

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I forgot to mention 2 points:

1. The illegal immigrant problem should not mean liberalised '2 systems' for education and society at large ie. re; Mexifornia. Creating a 2 tiered society is a nonsense.

2. Mexico itself needs to be reformed. I would hope that Bush dusts off Roosevelt's big stick and starts smacking around the Mexicans to get rid of their feudal slave system that is causing the problem.

Tighten up the border and beat up Fox. I know Bush was going to do this pre 9-11 but now is the time. Security is too large a concern and illegal laws MUST be enforced going forward.

Bush should be talking these up as well to quiet the Conservative revolt that is brewing.

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Craig and Righturnonred,

Good points, both of you, BUT I'm still against Bush's proposal.

Bush is putting the cart before the horse and that's why I find his plan to be suspect-vote pandering-and doomed to be another amnesty disaster like Reagan's was.

1. Bush should strengthen the border FIRST to stop illegals from streaming in NOW...plans for the future are useless. Sealing the border NOW is essential if he's going to make his plan work. Also, he needs to send a message to Vincente Fox-no more!!!- and to his conservative constituency that this amnesty plan will be different than Reagan's disaster and this amnesty plan will be the last one. Otherwise, by the time Bush sets up his "registry" another couple of million of illegals will have slipped in.

2. Bush needs to get Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to change birth rite to citizenship BEFORE he starts talking "guest worker" program, otherwise the Hispanic "guest workers" will get the little woman pregnant and popping out an American baby within the 3 year guest worker plan and then there's no way to send the little Hispanic "family" back to Mexico with American bambino once the 3 years are up. The Democrats would be very resistent to this amendment, but it would put Congress to the test on whether each party is just pandering to the Hispanic voting bloc or whether they are sincere about "reforming" the immigration mess, while at the same time preserving the value of US citizenship.

From what I've read, guest worker plans are very tricky to run and monitor for abuse. Germany and France are 2 notable examples of what can go wrong with guest worker plans. The Germans have a Turkish under class now, and France has its miltant Islamic worker class, and it ain't pretty, especially when there's a downturn in the economy and guest workers suddenly have no work.I think the Swiss are the only ones I've heard no complaints from, but then they make clocks run well. No of these countries allow for birth right citizenship like the US constitution does.

3. Vincente Fox and his gov't should be forced to make changes in his country BEFORE Bush accepts 10 Million Mexicans as potential dual citizens. Craig, you're right about human rights violations in Mexican society today. I've read that it is very elitist[racist sounds too harsh.] Craig, perhaps you know if this is true or not. I've read that in Mexico only Spanish Mexicans can hold gov't office, or be land owners, or get government jobs. The Indian-Mexicans are therefore excluded from enjoying proper citizenship benefits and that's why they flock to the US because there's more hope for them across the border?? If that's the case, then Bush needs to get changes in place in Mexico first, or the stream of Indian-Mexicans to the USA will always stay the same regardless of his guest worker plan.

4. Who will pick up the tab for medical insurance and education costs once these "guest workers" are registered? John and Janey Q. Citizen or the businesses?

Fyi, hospitals in border states are going bankrupt due to Hispanic workers going to emergency departments for their every need. Vincente Fox has told ambulances in Mexico's border towns to take their patients to American hospitals. Will that high handed behaviour stop in the future? And will Mexican workers be attractive to hire once businesses need to pay school districts a tax levy for educating children of guest workers and when businesses have to pay workers comp and for health insurance not to mention decent wages by US standards?

4. If the INS cannot enforce the deportation of illegal aliens who are caught now - Malvo was one that comes to mind - why should Americans have any confidence that things will be better with a registry? If Bush can barely staff the Mexican and Canadian borders now, how will it be different in the future once the word gets out that there are all these perks available in America and amnesty is given every 15 years?

5. What is Mexico giving the US in return?

a) Are there any Federales in Afghanistan or Iraq? NO. Are there plans for federales to be sent to help our GI's in the future? Did Vincente Fox even give verbal support to America? NO. In fact, Fox was a weasel like Chretien and the Mexican press published vile biased anti-American stories. Did Mexico open the gas/oil spigots to America to keep the price of fuel down during the war effort? NO. In fact, Fox made nice with Saudi Arabia to get the best price possible.

B) Did Mexico vote to privatize its national oil company so Americans could become investors? NO. A few months ago, Mexico voted to reject any suggestion to privatize its oil industry. Yet in May, 2003, the House Committee on Int'l Relations passed a resolution that Bush and Fox needed to work out an oil for illegals package if amnesty was to be put on the table. Mexican immigrants send home an enormous amount of money from America but make use of alot of free health,educational, and welfare services. They are low cost to businesses but high maintenace to US taxpayers. Mexico should be giving back something to the US for this amnesty. The US takes care of Mexico's citizens because Mexico won't.Oil for illegals, Nat'l Review, Mark Krikorian, May 14/03.

Last Thursday, the House International Relations Committee narrowly passed a resolution introduced by Rep. Cass Ballenger of North Carolina (R.) requiring that any amnesty deal for the five million Mexican illegal aliens in the United States be linked to an opening of Mexico's state-controlled oil industry to investment by U.S. companies.

The Mexican press exploded in outrage. "Blackmail!" cried the archbishop of Mexico City. "Stupidity!" said a representative of the oil workers' union. A plot to "annex Latin America," intoned Nobel peace-prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel. An example of U.S. lawmakers' "ignorance," "arrogance," and "imperial vision," according to a Mexican senator. The head of the leftist PRD called on President Vicente Fox to "put on his pants" — act like a man — and oppose the proposal. Fox finally joined the tsunami of criticism on Sunday and categorically rejected any privatization of Pemex, Mexico's state oil monopoly.

But however outraged the Mexicans are, and however different these two issues are, it only seems fair to link them. After all, Mexico is asking us to start down the path of eliminating our southern border and embracing a European Union-style shared sovereignty — the least we can expect is for them also to eliminate barriers that are important to their nation.

Nor has this idea come out of the blue. In the July 30, 2001, Weekly Standard, economist Irwin Stelzer suggested just such an approach. Stelzer wrote that "monopoly oil prices" could offset a good part of the economic growth assumed in the president's tax cut and that "the finger of blame points squarely at Mexico." He wrote that we should insist that Mexico cooperate with the United States and other pro-free market countries and stop supporting the OPEC oil cartel and its leaders such as the Marxist Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Stelzer said that before Bush strikes any deal on amnesty, "he should insist on the free movement of ...oil from Mexico" and the opening of Mexico's oil resources to American investment .

While Mexican opposition may be no surprise, the Democrats' furor over the oil-for-illegals approach is, given the importance of Mexico's oil to the United States and the huge costs that an illegal-alien amnesty would impose on us .

After all, they have no chance whatever of getting an amnesty through Congress without some kind of sweetener, and this would seem an obvious candidate.However bad the immigration positions of these Republicans, they at least understand that a massive illegal-alien amnesty must be met with some gesture from Mexico.

But the Democratic-party/Mexican-government position on amnesty for illegals appears to be all quid from the United States and no quo from Mexico .

6. Will giving amnesty to illegals give them and their militant activist organizations a voice so that they become an ongoing and costly legal thorn in the gov't's side and a drain on the taxpayers' wallet?LEFTIES FOR TERROR, New York Post, Jan.09/04

A CLUTCH of liberal interest groups, including the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC), La Raza and the New York Immigration Coalition, recently fired the latest salvo in the left's legal battle against the Bush administration's post-9/11 policies.

In a Brooklyn lawsuit, they claim that it is illegal for federal law-enforcement agencies to enter the names of alien lawbreakers into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, which police check to see if specific individuals are wanted by other jurisdictions. The lawsuit is yet another example of the left taking a laughable argument out of the policy arena - where it would lose - and dressing it up as a legal claim.

7. I think this plan is ill advised and I hate to say it, but I think George Bush is pandering for votes and devaluing US citizenship in the course of it. He basically wants "open borders" and with CBC urging Ottawa to consider a similar guest worker program-and we know how well immigration services work in Canada, I can see a huge playground being developed in the US and Canada for nefarious terrorist types who take jobs as dishwashers by day and by night...look out.

Arabs enter US through Mexico illegally, Terrorists used past amnesty programs, WND, Dec.15/03

While President Bush considers a broad-based amnesty plan for millions of illegal aliens in the U.S., there is growing evidence the Mexican border continues to be used as a covert entry point for the smuggling of Arabs into the country. An Arab-smuggling ring was broken up just last month.The seven-member ring included a former Mexican diplomat who worked in Lebanon's consular ministry office and gave out passports. convicted Arab terrorists involved in the bombing of the World Trade Center and other acts of sabotage have used the porous Mexican border as an entry point and have also capitalized on previous amnesty programs to establish residency in the U.S.
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Morgan, some good points but the media has it wrong and has distorted the 'guest worker' idea out of shape. This is not what Bush is pushing through ie. not a french-german guest worker program. [christ who the hell needs to copy the french].

Like it or not, the U.S. is part of an integrating regional and world economy in which the movement of people across borders is inevitable. Despite nearly 20 years of efforts to "crack down on the borders," the immigrants keep coming -- an estimated eight million without legal U.S. documents today. As long as the per-capita income differential between the U.S. (nearly $32,000) and Mexico ($3,679) continues to be so wide, the US can't stop immigrants. Note to Bush; Starting bashing Fox and change Mexico.

Do we really expect to deputize all of American business to report and arrest illegals? This is impossible and uneconomic. It was tried in the 1986 reform that was promoted by restrictionists, and it proved both a nuisance and a failure. You can beef up the border guard, but this will move illegal crossings deeper into the shadows of organized crime and cause more illegals to stay for longer periods. The US could always next build a Berlin Wall along the 2,000 miles of U.S.-Mexican border, or deploy the 101st Airborne, but i doubt that would happen but it is an option.

So we are left to deal with the reality of modern immigration, both legal and illegal. As Bush stated, "Reform must begin by confronting a basic fact of life and economics. Some of the jobs being generated in America's growing economy are jobs American citizens are not filling. Yet these jobs represent a tremendous opportunity for workers from abroad." Foreign-born workers represent 14% of the U.S. labor force, meaning that huge parts of the retail, restaurant and farm economies would shut down without them.

Bush's 'guest-worker' proposal would create a legal means -- a renewable three-year work visa -- for new immigrants to enter the country and take jobs that Americans don't want. Illegal immigrants already living here would become eligible for guest-worker status after paying a fine. The plan also would allow for circular migration, which means that farm hands could return home to their families after the harvest without worrying about another life-risking trek back to the U.S. Immigrant workers would enjoy the protection of our labor laws and be able to quit or switch jobs without fear of deportation.

The proposal also has the advantage of making it easier to track foreigners who enter the USA. Valuable homeland security resources are now being squandered chasing down Honduran gardeners and Mexican pool hands instead of more likely terrorist threats. Giving them legal status would let the law-abiding move out into the open and away from possible exploitation by cynical employers or landlords.

One objection, especially from the political right, is that the Bush proposal rewards people who broke the law. But in fact illegals would be required to pay a fine, as well as to prove employment before they could receive temporary visas. The 1986 "amnesty" to which this is being compared made no such demands.

A more relevant criticism is that the White House proposal lacks an "earned legalization" component. Participation in the guest worker program won't necessarily put someone on track for a green card (for permanent residency), which is the goal of many immigrants. For some illegal aliens already here, this may be reason enough to remain in the shadows, even though Bush also said he will ask Congress to increase the overall number of green cards issued each year.

As for the politics, Bush is said to be playing for Hispanic votes, as if attracting voters wasn't part of getting elected. But the initial opposition also suggests that this is a controversy that Bush could easily have dodged. The pessimist conservative wing of his own party is opposed and will give him an especially hard time in the House. Meanwhile, some of the pro-immigration groups on the left (such as La Raza) resist any efforts to assimilate immigrants more easily into American cultural life. Democrats will also give him no credit for stealing one of their issues.

So it is a political minefield - not a smart route to buy votes.

But that's all the more reason to applaud Bush for returning to the generous pro-immigrant tone of his 2000 campaign and taking this on even after 9/11. As he said in one of his better campaign lines, "Family values don't stop at the Rio Grande."

Remember: Bush does what he says he will do. He made immigration a theme in 2000. Now he is following up.

Free trade and properly controlled human flows. This is the message and it is the right message.

Borders will be tightened and existing laws upheld - but lets deal with reality and embrace it.

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Here's an analysis of Bush's guest worker plan by the same researcher who wrote the article on illegals' crime wave in the USA. She feels Bush's plan is unworkable. I'm still not convinced that she is wrong.W's immigration fallacy, Jan.16/04, Heather Macdonald, New York Post

PRESIDENT Bush's proposal to legalize the country's 10 or so million illegal aliens rests on a fallacy: that immigration enforcement has failed to stem the tide of illegal aliens. Therefore, the argument goes, amnesty is the only solution to the illegal-alien crisis.

But immigration enforcement has not failed — it has never been tried. Amnesty, however, has been tried, and it was a clear failure that should not be repeated again.

Roughly 2,000 immigration agents have been responsible for all interior enforcement, a massive portfolio which includes checking work sites, eradicating document fraud and alien smuggling, and apprehending criminal aliens. Their numbers are dwarfed by the millions of illegal aliens, the hundreds of thousands of employers who hire them, and the tens of thousands of counterfeiters and smugglers who facilitate their passage.

Currently, a mere 124 immigration agents are responsible for enforcing the law against hiring illegal aliens, according to the Associated Press.

Only 53 employers were fined in 2002 . An employer's chance of punishment for breaking the law, therefore, was a scant one one-hundreth of a percent.

Unless Bush advocates a fraud-proof method of verifying a worker's eligibility — such as electronic checks of Social Security numbers — his new amnesty and guest-worker programs will have only one effect: The flood of illegal aliens will increase exponentially.

The last large-scale amnesty in 1986 nearly sunk the INS. The barrage of applications for work papers, many fraudulent, overwhelmed the agency. Ethnic advocacy groups sued constantly to widen the eligibility criteria for citizenship, and under political pressure, the INS penalized agents with high denial rates.

The results? Several Islamic terrorists got legal papers, and a new era of high-volume illegal immigration began.

Rather than granting President Bush his election year amnesty, Congress should give immigration authorities the resources and legal tools to protect the country's borders.

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Craig Read:

Very well-written post there. I'll quote your post in its entirety:

Morgan, some good points but the media has it wrong and has distorted the 'guest worker' idea out of shape. This is not what Bush is pushing through ie. not a french-german guest worker program. [christ who the hell needs to copy the french].

Like it or not, the U.S. is part of an integrating regional and world economy in which the movement of people across borders is inevitable. Despite nearly 20 years of efforts to "crack down on the borders," the immigrants keep coming -- an estimated eight million without legal U.S. documents today. As long as the per-capita income differential between the U.S. (nearly $32,000) and Mexico ($3,679) continues to be so wide, the US can't stop immigrants. Note to Bush; Starting bashing Fox and change Mexico.

Do we really expect to deputize all of American business to report and arrest illegals? This is impossible and uneconomic. It was tried in the 1986 reform that was promoted by restrictionists, and it proved both a nuisance and a failure. You can beef up the border guard, but this will move illegal crossings deeper into the shadows of organized crime and cause more illegals to stay for longer periods. The US could always next build a Berlin Wall along the 2,000 miles of U.S.-Mexican border, or deploy the 101st Airborne, but i doubt that would happen but it is an option.

So we are left to deal with the reality of modern immigration, both legal and illegal. As Bush stated, "Reform must begin by confronting a basic fact of life and economics. Some of the jobs being generated in America's growing economy are jobs American citizens are not filling. Yet these jobs represent a tremendous opportunity for workers from abroad." Foreign-born workers represent 14% of the U.S. labor force, meaning that huge parts of the retail, restaurant and farm economies would shut down without them.

Bush's 'guest-worker' proposal would create a legal means -- a renewable three-year work visa -- for new immigrants to enter the country and take jobs that Americans don't want. Illegal immigrants already living here would become eligible for guest-worker status after paying a fine. The plan also would allow for circular migration, which means that farm hands could return home to their families after the harvest without worrying about another life-risking trek back to the U.S. Immigrant workers would enjoy the protection of our labor laws and be able to quit or switch jobs without fear of deportation.

The proposal also has the advantage of making it easier to track foreigners who enter the USA. Valuable homeland security resources are now being squandered chasing down Honduran gardeners and Mexican pool hands instead of more likely terrorist threats. Giving them legal status would let the law-abiding move out into the open and away from possible exploitation by cynical employers or landlords.

One objection, especially from the political right, is that the Bush proposal rewards people who broke the law. But in fact illegals would be required to pay a fine, as well as to prove employment before they could receive temporary visas. The 1986 "amnesty" to which this is being compared made no such demands.

A more relevant criticism is that the White House proposal lacks an "earned legalization" component. Participation in the guest worker program won't necessarily put someone on track for a green card (for permanent residency), which is the goal of many immigrants. For some illegal aliens already here, this may be reason enough to remain in the shadows, even though Bush also said he will ask Congress to increase the overall number of green cards issued each year.

As for the politics, Bush is said to be playing for Hispanic votes, as if attracting voters wasn't part of getting elected. But the initial opposition also suggests that this is a controversy that Bush could easily have dodged. The pessimist conservative wing of his own party is opposed and will give him an especially hard time in the House. Meanwhile, some of the pro-immigration groups on the left (such as La Raza) resist any efforts to assimilate immigrants more easily into American cultural life. Democrats will also give him no credit for stealing one of their issues.

So it is a political minefield - not a smart route to buy votes.

But that's all the more reason to applaud Bush for returning to the generous pro-immigrant tone of his 2000 campaign and taking this on even after 9/11. As he said in one of his better campaign lines, "Family values don't stop at the Rio Grande."

Remember: Bush does what he says he will do. He made immigration a theme in 2000. Now he is following up.

Free trade and properly controlled human flows. This is the message and it is the right message.

Borders will be tightened and existing laws upheld - but lets deal with reality and embrace it.

Now here's the original WSJ Article you took and didn't credit:

Wall Street Journal

January 9, 2004

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Immigrant Realities

The debate over President Bush's new immigration reform has so far been mainly about election-year politics. But what we believe most commends it is that it recognizes the world as it exists.

Like it or not, the U.S. is part of an integrating regional and world economy in which the movement of people across borders is inevitable. Despite nearly 20 years of efforts to "crack down on the borders," the immigrants keep coming -- an estimated eight million without legal U.S. documents today. As long as the per-capita income differential between the U.S. (nearly $32,000) and Mexico ($3,679) continues to be so wide, we can't stop immigrants short of means that will violate our traditions, our conscience, and our national interest.

Do we really want to deputize all of American business to report and arrest illegals? We tried a version of that in the 1986 reform that was promoted by restrictionists, and it proved both a nuisance and a failure. We later beefed up the border guard, but all that did was move illegal crossings deeper into the shadows of organized crime and cause more illegals to stay here for longer periods. We could always next build a Berlin Wall along the 2,000 miles of U.S.-Mexican border, or deploy the 101st Airborne, but we doubt Americans would be morally comfortable with either.

So we are left to deal with the reality of modern immigration, both legal and illegal. "Reform must begin by confronting a basic fact of life and economics," Mr. Bush rightly said on Wednesday. "Some of the jobs being generated in America's growing economy are jobs American citizens are not filling. Yet these jobs represent a tremendous opportunity for workers from abroad." Foreign-born workers represent 14% of the U.S. labor force, meaning that huge parts of the retail, restaurant and farm economies would shut down without them.

Mr. Bush's guest-worker proposal would create a legal means -- a renewable three-year work visa -- for new immigrants to enter the country and take jobs that Americans don't want. Illegal immigrants already living here would become eligible for guest-worker status after paying a fine. The plan also would allow for circular migration, which means that farm hands could return home to their families after the harvest without worrying about another life-risking trek back to the U.S. Immigrant workers would enjoy the protection of our labor laws and be able to quit or switch jobs without fear of deportation.

The proposal also has the advantage of making it easier to track foreigners who enter the country in our post-September 11 world. Valuable homeland security resources are now being squandered chasing down Honduran gardeners instead of more likely terrorist threats. Giving them legal status would let the law-abiding move out into the open and away from possible exploitation by cynical employers or landlords.

One objection, especially from the political right, is that the Bush proposal rewards people who broke the law. But in fact illegals would be required to pay a fine, as well as to prove employment before they could receive temporary visas. The 1986 "amnesty" to which this is being compared made no such demands.

A more relevant criticism in our view is that the White House proposal lacks an "earned legalization" component. Participation in the guest worker program won't necessarily put someone on track for a green card (for permanent residency), which is the goal of many immigrants. For some illegal aliens already here, this may be reason enough to remain in the shadows, even though the President also said he will ask Congress to increase the overall number of green cards issued each year.

As for the politics, Mr. Bush is said to be playing for Hispanic votes, as if attracting voters wasn't part of getting elected. But the initial opposition also suggests that this is a controversy that Mr. Bush could easily have dodged. The pessimist conservative wing of his own party is opposed and will give him an especially hard time in the House. Meanwhile, some of the pro-immigration groups on the left (such as La Raza) resist any efforts to assimilate immigrants more easily into American cultural life. Democrats will also give him no credit for stealing one of their issues.

But that's all the more reason to applaud the President for returning to the generous pro-immigrant tone of his 2000 campaign and taking this on even after 9/11. As he said in one of his better campaign lines, "Family values don't stop at the Rio Grande."

Next, I'll post mapleleafweb rules and guidelines regarding copyright material.

POSTING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL

Copyright infringement is illegal on these forums.

But what you did was beyond copyright infringement. It appears to be plagiarism.

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Here's an excellent article by Victor Hanson re: Bush's amnesty on the installment plan. It's the first somewhat negative WSJ article I've read on Bush's proposal, so what does that tell you? It's not only the Hispanic lobby that Bush is ought to please. Professor Hanson offers reasonable solutions to the problem that includes a healthy respect for the law and law abiding citizens/legal residents.

George Bush should fire Karl Rove and hire Professor Hanson in his place. Within the last 10 days, a CBS poll shows that Bush's approval polls of 60% in December have plummeted to low 50's-coincidently the nose dove comes after Bush announced his idiotic guest worker proposal.

I suggest that everyone read this article full text because Vincente Fox said last week that he sees an "America" without borders, so his nationals can cruise up and down from Mexico to the USA and Canada. Fore armed with information is fore warned, especially if Paulie Wallie is at the helm in Ottawa. He'd love the idea of cheap labour for Big Business, so what if costs of education, welfare, medical care became a burden for regular taxpayers. No worries.

El Norte, the case against George Bush's plan, by Victor Davis Hanson, WSJ, January 19/04

Yet the proposed legislation, even if it should pass in Congress, will create more problems than it might solve--the fate of all such piecemeal legal solutions to systematic problems of illegality.

Once the U.S. government--not to mention the Republican Party--commits its good name and legal capital to regulate, rather than end, the current chaos, a number of contradictions will arise that will only make things either more embarrassing or, in fact, worse.

First, what about the hundreds of thousands of workers who either cannot or will not participate? The proposed solution also assumes that illegal immigration is fuelled solely by too many jobs in the U.S. and too few workers. Yet thousands of other Mexicans come north as preteens, or when they are aged or sick. The impetus that brought them here was not necessarily always immediate employment, but understandable amelioration from a bleak landscape of central Mexico where they cannot be sure of finding food, housing or health care. 

Despite Hispanic activists' complaints that "illegal alien" is somehow pejorative, it is far more accurate nomenclature than their inexact use of the politically correct "undocumented worker"--when thousands currently are not at work, nor did they merely forget to do the necessary paperwork before leaving home.

Indeed, one of the causes of the growing furor over the present system of non-enforcement is the perception that many illegal residents actually receive preferential treatment over Americans. For example, students here illegally from Mexico and enrolled at public California universities pay about a third of the tuition costs that American citizens from out-of-state are charged--on the dubious and narrow rationale that the immigrants or their parents are all on official payrolls and thus always have had California income taxes and fees deducted from paychecks. We forget that there is a life cycle for the typical teenage worker from Oaxaca, whose backbreaking labor is said to be essential for the economy.

For a laborer of 18, it may be a good bargain for all involved--but for too many people, after 30 years without education, English, and legality, too often these jobs turn out not to be entry-level or rite-of-passage, but remain dead-end, and thus catastrophe ensues when an aging, unskilled worker is injured, laid off, ill or the sole breadwinner of a large family.

Only the public entitlement industry--health, housing, education and maintenance subsidies--can come to his rescue to provide some parity with Americans that his job or former job could not. His employer in the meantime looks for a younger, healthier, and foreign, successor. Thus the tragic cycle continues.

It is not only uneconomical in the long run to bus in impoverished laborers from Mexico, but also amoral to traffic in human capital.Nor can illegal immigration be looked at in a vacuum; certainly not in an age of growing ethnic chauvinism that sees unassimilated and often exploited workers in the shadows as an oppressed constituency needing group, rather than individual, representation . Ethnic studies, separate college-graduation ceremonies predicated on race, bilingual education, state-supplied interpreters and power groups like La Raza ("The Race")--all these are force-multipliers to massive illegal immigration, and thus present us with not merely a problem of labor and economics, but a litmus test of the viability of the melting pot itself.

Instead of squabbling over piecemeal legislation in an election year, rolling amnesties or a return of braceros, we might as well bite the bullet and reconsider an immigration policy that worked well enough for some 200 years for people from all over the world. Reasonable advocates can set a realistic figure for legal immigration from Mexico. Then we must enforce our border controls; consider a one-time citizenship process for current residents who have been here for two or three decades; apply stiff employer sanctions; deport those who now break the law--and return to social and cultural protocols that promote national unity through assimilation and integration.

More importantly still, our laws would recover their sanctity. Without massive illegal immigration, Americans would rediscover their fondness for measured legal immigration. At a time of war, our borders would be more secure.  And we could regain solace, knowing that we are no longer overlords importing modern helots to do the jobs that we, in our affluence and leisure, now deem beneath us.

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Morg, i read this ed piece and his book Mexifornia. Hanson is actually a prof at Cal state - very smart guy. So I am loathe to disagree with him, but he misses some key points. While i agree that laws must be enforced, the existing situation calls for some form of amnesty. So Bush's plan is good as far as it goes, but it does not address the FUTURE maintenance of the legal regime to limit immigration - this is its main flaw - not the granting of amnesty to people to move them into the real economy.

1. 8 million illegal workers now exist in the US - you can't deport 8 million people it is logistically and financially impossible.

2. The willing workers that apply for the program already have jobs. They will now move into the real economy and pay taxes openly. This will decrease social service burdens.

3. By moving into the real economy wage depression will be curtailed. This is necessary since about 25 % of US jobs according to Fox News are low waged based.

4. A by product might be a decrease in illegal centric crime including human trafficking.

5. We can track them and monitor them. Now they are faceless. It might add to security not detract from it.

In his article and Mexifornia Hanson bases most of his distate for Amnesty on:

Nor can illegal immigration be looked at in a vacuum; certainly not in an age of growing ethnic chauvinism that sees unassimilated and often exploited workers in the shadows as an oppressed constituency needing group, rather than individual, representation

True enough, but that is another issue not an immigration issue per se. What society does with the immigrant once he is landed is another matter entirely. Education, political issues, social issues - these do not lie in the purview of immigration. Immigration is mostly an economic program and perhaps humanitarian [with limits]. Assimiliation is of course the best policy but what has immigration got to do with assimilation if the reality is that more Hispanics are knocking at the door than anyone else ? Other policies must aid in assimiliation and blaming immigration for this problem is incorrect.

Hanson also states:

Indeed, one of the causes of the growing furor over the present system of non-enforcement is the perception that many illegal residents actually receive preferential treatment over Americans. For example, students here illegally from Mexico and enrolled at public California universities pay about a third of the tuition costs that American citizens from out-of-state are charged

Again this is misdirected. Immigration has nothing to do with social liberalism and buying of votes. Granting special rights to latino's, gays, chinese, or anyone else is a political process not one that is premised on immigration. You don't receive your US visa with a stamp on it 'special rights apply'.

In general Hanson's arguments are correct - but he attacks the wrong causations. Immigration reform and Legal enforcement of laws is mandatory - both will accomplish needed ends with different program reforms - but stating that Bush's plan is somehow responsible for social liberalism and favoritism is disingenuous and wrong.

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Craig, I disagree with your views on Victor Hanson's article and Hanson was just appointed Senior Fellow at Hoover Institute, Stanford U, Palo Alto. Maybe he is on a sabbatical leave from Cal. State Fresno.

Illegal immigration has definitely become a politicized issue in the USA. And politicians of both political parties have turned a blind eye to non-enforcement of existing immigration laws in response to their voters' demands/needs.

The Republicans appease business interests who want a steady supply of cheap labor, while passing on the hidden cost burdens of $20 Billion annually re: medical/welfare/education entitlements to regular tax payers. Ditto for the Democrats. The Democrats appease their Hispanic voting bloc, and their bleeding heart elitist liberals while ordinary taxpayers pick up the tab as a result of noble ideas about the merits of muticulturalism and the guilt of felt by elites expressed in a noblesse oblige mindset.

The ordinary J.Q. Public taxpayer is screwed royally by both parties, and their voices are ignored because up until this proposal, they are not as organized in the same way as business and La Raza.

Here's why Bush's plan is doomed. It's not that different from Reagan's amnesty, let's face it, what with motor voter registration laws in effect, no proof of citizenship ID checks done at polling booths, birthright citizenship in effect, and no manpower to track and deport temporary workers at the end of three years. If the Immigration Dept. can't issue green cards and visas in a timely manner, nor can they deport apprehended illegals[Malvo was identified by the INS as an illegal who was given a letter to keep in touch with the INS for his hearing...18 months later he re-surfaced as one of the two DC snipers]what makes you think this same agency can "regulate" and deport guest workers? Craig, you of all people, should know that to put your hopes in the effectiveness of a gov't agency like the notoriously incompetent INS is as good as saying you believe in miracles. Some of the 9-11 terrorists had their renewed visas mailed to them 6 months after 9-11. That's the INS at work for US taxpayers. Also, even if these guest workers start paying income tax, big deal. They will be at the lower end of the income tax bracket anyways and so will contribute a pitiful amount of money to the general Treasury, but since Bush is allowing them to being along their dependents, usually a wife and 3 to 4 kids, with baby on the way for birthright citizenship, the taxpayers are still on the hook for the same costs as before the guest worker plan and perhaps more because no doubt the INS will squeal for more funding because they are SOOOOO overworked.

In 1986, when Reagan gave amnesty to illegals, there were approximately 3 Million illegals in America, primarily Mexicans. In 2004 there are approximately 16 Million illegals according to the President of the US Border Patrol, still mainly Hispanics. Not all of them are picking lettuce, working in construction,and slaughter houses. Did those industries expand so quickly that an extra 13 Million illegals had to cross the border in a little over 15 years? Doubters.

And when this humongous degree of immigration from one source country, some of it for jobs some of it for a safety net and birthright citizenship, hits a country in approximately 15 years, how can you say immigration has nothing to do with social, educational, political issues? [And keep in mind, those numbers do not include the immigrants coming to the USA each year via annual legal mandated quotas for immigrants from Mexico as well as other countries].

Furthermore, immigration is not a given positive for a nation. Importing a huge underclass of low skilled workers is not good for the nation long term, especially if there is a down turn in the economy. For example, the most prosperous state in the union, and the 6th largest economy in the world, California, was thrown into bankruptcy partly because of the entitlements given illegally to illegals from Mexico. The only court ordered entitlement that an illegal is entitled to is public school education. And it's no accident that entitlements were handed out holus bolus by a Democrat dominated state legislature and Democrat Governor who was known by the monikers of Red Davis or Greyout Davis.

I think it's significant that the public became so p.o.'d by the flagrant and contemptuous disregard for existing federal immigration laws that they recalled Grey Davis, when he signed legislation to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens. At exit polls on the recall election night, even registered Democrat voters said the single most important issue that tipped the scales in their minds to vote recall was Grey Davis legitimizing illegals with state ID.

It's my belief, that Karl Rove has miscalculated the anger of middle America for rewarding illegal immigration. I think Bush Jr. may go down on one issue like his father before him. He has 9 short months to blink and win back the trust of his core voters. Rove is thinking Bush will get the Hispanic vote instead to make up the difference. I think he's wrong. Hispanics are a traditional voting bloc for Democrats. And although business owners can donate big bucks to Bush's re-election campaign, come election day, those very important business owners only count for one vote each.

This problem took 20 years to develop. So enforcing the current laws will not clean up the mess overnight. But at least you are not piggy backing a flawed costly plan over the mess like Bush wants to do. And more importantly, by enforcing the existing laws, you will not be causing America to be more of a magnet to the world's population. Guest worker plans have a poor track record in large economies like Germany and France that have used them. Even the US currently has a type of guest worker plan for farmers-what a joke-so Bush's plan is tried and true useless.

In addition to enforcing existing immigration laws, the feds should withhold federal funds from any state, county, and city which do not check citizenship and legal residence ID before delivering social, welfare, medical services. Enforce the laws about fining employers who do not check acceptable ID. Repeal the practice of accepting Mexican consular Matricular ID cards. Suspend birthright citizenship by Presidential decree or Congressional action. Start moving in the direction of developing national biometric ID and get it through Congress as part of the war on terror/national security bills. Withhold foreign aid from Mexico until the gov't there meets US drawn annual goals which demonstrate that monies are being applied to better the lives of locals instead of the lives of the ruling oligarchy in that country. Once the troop size is reduced in Iraq this summer, bring back the National Guard and have them work on building a 26 foot high fence along the southern border. Pull out troops completely from South Korea-they're in a hostage situation there anyways and bring them to the USA to act as back up to the border patrol agencies. If Presidente Fox allows his Federales to escort coyotes and drug dealers into US land, the US has every right to use their military to keep the Federales "honest" and on their side of the border. Border patrol agents have been terrorized and intimidated by Mexican Federales riding shot gun into US territory and chasing border patrol agents on US soil. I'd like to see the Federales' expressions when they're getting their kicks chasing a little border patrol truck in Arizona and all of a sudden out of the sky come a few 747's and Black Hawk helicopters. Yes, one could make big bucks filming a short documentary with those "tough" Federales making tracks post haste back to where they came from.

If the US can put robots on Mars and if they can do regime change in a ME country 1/2 way around the world within 6 months, I think the US could control its own borders pretty easily if the politcal will were there.

Every President swears to uphold the laws and defend America., If a Republican President of all people has no desire to carry out the duties he swore to do, he should not be re-elected. A valuable lesson for Congress as well. Get serious about immigration for you don't get re-elected, morons. Electing a Democrat President with a fired up Republican majority held Congress would not be so bad. A president cannot do much without money from Congress. And Democrats, though demented in their political philosophy, are self serving little weasels like all politicians are. If they see Bush not re-elected by the public, there willl be little motivation for a Democrat President to pull a similar immigration "reform" no-no. A nation is defined in large part by its borders and if you wave a white flag every 15 years to a small corrupt 2nd rate Third World country that assaults your border, you won't stay a distinct sovereignity for too long a time. Sovereignity terrorism can be as lethal to a nation as boom-boom violent terrorism.

The following is an excellent article written by a courageous Republican Congressman from California who responds to Bush's guest worker plan in a direct, honest fashion.

It's time for the US to show Mexico some tough love, Jan.22/04

If there's one positive consequence of President Bush's guest worker proposal, it's that it has sparked debate on our failed policies on illegal immigration.

Now, if only it would spark a discussion of our troubled relationship with Mexico. It's clear our southern neighbor will be the greatest beneficiary of what can only be called another amnesty program. 

An estimated 70 percent of illegal immigrants in the United States come from Mexico. They provide an economic boon to Mexico by easing its unemployment rate and providing cash for the Mexican economy through remittances. Last year, Mexico received more than $14 billion from Mexicans living in the United States who sent part of their paychecks to relatives back home. That's more than Mexico earns from either tourism or direct foreign investment, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.

But while Mexico is profiting from its relationship with the United States, it's not so clear what we're getting from Mexico.  When Mexicans take our jobs, U.S. workers suffer. More than 8 million Americans are out of work. Hotel and restaurant jobs -- which used to be filled by legal U.S. residents and citizens -- are now filled by illegal immigrants who are paid much less than what U.S. workers were paid. Slaughterhouses -- which used to be a high-paying field for U.S. workers -- are now filled with illegal immigrants who are paid a fraction of the former wages and given no benefits. It's dangerous work, with many injuries. Without health insurance -- a given in the illegal immigrant community -- hospitals are stuck footing the bill.

In 2001, California and the federal government reimbursed health care providers for $648 million worth of services to illegal immigrants. 

Mexican trucks roll into California and other border states. Currently, they are restricted to within 20 miles of the border, but Mexican President Vicente Fox and President Bush want to remove that restriction. That's good news for Mexican truckers but bad news for U.S. truckers who have to compete with those willing to work for a pittance.

Mexico's lust for U.S. dollars can be seen in its lobbying of local and state governments to accept its national ID card -- the matricula consular -- for use in the United States. The only ones who need those cards are illegal immigrants, criminals and terrorists. Those Mexicans who are in this country legally have other means of identification. But the card makes it easier for Mexican nationals to flout our laws and send money back to Mexico, which is all Mexico cares about.

At the same time, Mexico has steadfastly refused to extradite criminals who have committed heinous murders in the United States and then fled to the safety of their homeland. In Los Angeles alone, at least 150 Mexican nationals are wanted for murder and other serious crimes committed here.

There is even talk of making the United States an electoral district of Mexico. Maywood, Calif., resident Manuel de la Cruz is a naturalized U.S. citizen who retained his Mexican citizenship and who won a seat in Mexico's Congress last year. He says that 10 million Mexicans in the United States are eligible to vote in Mexico and, therefore, the United States should be an electoral district for his native country .

Instead of giving away the store, the United States should be helping Mexico to pull itself up by its bootstraps. Mexico is our neighbor, and it is in our best interest to see that it succeeds. But U.S. workers and taxpayers shouldn't have to suffer in the process.

The United States should make it clear that our relationship is a two-way street. It's time for some tough love. Until Mexico proves itself to be a good neighbor and willing to make a better life for its own citizens in their own land, the United States should not continue to be the department of social services for Mexico.

Gallegly, R-Calif., is chair of the House Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights.

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Morgan some good points but what Craig said was that you can't blame immigration for social liberalism.

True enough, but that is another issue not an immigration issue per se. What society does with the immigrant once he is landed is another matter entirely. Education, political issues, social issues - these do not lie in the purview of immigration. Immigration is mostly an economic program and perhaps humanitarian [with limits]. Assimiliation is of course the best policy but what has immigration got to do with assimilation if the reality is that more Hispanics are knocking at the door than anyone else ? Other policies must aid in assimiliation and blaming immigration for this problem is incorrect.

He never said that the Bush plan was perfect only that in one area it was good - namely bring working aliens into the mainstream economy. What is your objection to that ?

You said that:

In 1986, when Reagan gave amnesty to illegals, there were approximately 3 Million illegals in America, primarily Mexicans. In 2004 there are approximately 16 Million illegals according to the President of the US Border Patrol, still mainly Hispanics. Not all of them are picking lettuce, working in construction,and slaughter houses. Did those industries expand so quickly that an extra 13 Million illegals had to cross the border in a little over 15 years? Doubters.

The quoted number from both Dems and Reps is closer to 8 million - what sources are used for the 16 million number ?

How do you solve this problem of 8 million illegal workers do you deport them ? Did Hanson factor in the costs, the broken families and the logistical problems in deporting 8 million workers ? Did he calculate the costs to business ?

Hanson and others state that immigration lowers wages. This is true for the unskilled and hourly workers. I would agree that we need more highly skilled workers and like you I don't buy into the idea that we or the US needs more unskilled labor - maybe in agriculture and other cyclical areas but in general i can't see predicting the collapse of service industries if illegals were restricted. This is often the conservative view point and it is wrong. Immigration should target economic objectives and importing more waiters is just simply not a high priority. Having said that, many waiters start low, work hard and move on up in society. So we have to be careful not to denigrate those who wish to work and prosper and start at the bottom.

Part of the issue with the 9 million unemployed Americans and the millions of lazy idle teenagers is attitude. Again however, how can you blame immigration for a general apathy and attitude against work in some areas of society ???

Hanson and others seem to think that immigration is bought off by big business. I doubt it. Most employers are small time firms that use illegal labor to depress costs. Wal Mart and other big firms don't usually engage in illegal hiring - look at the flak WalMart took when one of its thousands of suppliers used illegal labor in cleaning !

Easy solution is to prosecute, fine and jail employers who hire illegally. But as Craig and others stated this has nothing to do with Bush's plan. You can't blame lack of legal enforcement on recognising the reality that 8 million workers are there and many if not all are working.

Where are the sources that these 8 million workers cause a drain on social services ? And if moving them into the real economy where they pay tax, where are the sources that they would further drain the economy.

Hanson does not provide any sources for this. He quotes none, just to say that it leads to multi-culturalism. Does it ? Why ? Are La Raza and other groups permitted by immigration law to exist and push their agendas or are other political and social forces at work ?

You state:

Importing a huge underclass of low skilled workers is not good for the nation long term, especially if there is a down turn in the economy. For example, the most prosperous state in the union, and the 6th largest economy in the world, California, was thrown into bankruptcy partly because of the entitlements given illegally to illegals from Mexico

Yes and so ? How does this impact Bush's plan ? Is not moving them from the black to the white economy and forcing them and their employers to pay tax a good thing ?? This should decrease costs not increase it.

All of us agree that:

-Mexico is the problem

-Laws must be enforced

-Jail time and fines must be enforced

But you state for instance

Repeal the practice of accepting Mexican consular Matricular ID cards.

Right - but that is a state issue as well - Calif. if it wants to can recognise Mex. ID cards or not. It would be bad policy to recognise said cards, but Cali has the right to do it. So again, this has nothing to do with Bush's plan.

Hanson and others are mixing up a lot of different ideas and blaming Immigration. It is like blaming China for job losses [another dumb idea].

The United States should make it clear that our relationship is a two-way street. It's time for some tough love. Until Mexico proves itself to be a good neighbor and willing to make a better life for its own citizens in their own land, the United States should not continue to be the department of social services for Mexico.

Agreed. But deporting 8 million people is just simply unrealistic. What Craig and others said makes sense, enforce the laws, grant amnesty, track the illegals who are now legals, make them pay taxes, decrease the social services burdens, make immigration an economic program not a welfare/illegal immigrant program and on the social liberal front, stop the drive to multi-culturalism. But MC is another set of political problems entirely that is of course impacted by immigration but which certainly can't be blamed for the lack of assimilation.

After all from 1800-1990 the US had a policy of assimiliation that took in all manners and types of races - and at each stage they 'bought' in to the American dream. Hispanics can do the same and indeed many have. I do agree that MC is wrong, but immigration is only one of MANY areas that needs reform - and a very important one. I think Bush's plan is good but does not address the future ie. law enforcement, jail time and forcing reforms in Mexico to create a country that does not parasitically live off selected US states.

Once you start discussing Mexican reform then you cross the political and departmental boundaries in gov't and need then to access and bring into the discussion the State Dept and Foreign policy experts at the Pentagon. This of course complicates the matter.

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Rasputin,

I don't think you bothered to read the my post thoroughly or Hanson's for that matter or the preceding posts on this discussion thread. I disagreed with Craig's interpretation of what Hanson said. Hanson said that both social liberalism and business interests created a situation where 8-16 Million illegals are living within the USA. Hanson DID NOT say that illegal immigration caused social liberalism. That's my point.

And btw, the main topic is ILLEGAL immigration, although immigration policies themselves need re-evaluation and reform, as I mentioned. I'd suggest you read previous posts more thoroughly before you ask why, how come, where's your support?

Speaking of which ...where's your articles/stats support for your all-knowing opinions like "most employers are small time firms that use illegal labor"or that you "don't buy that immigration lowers wages" or these whoppers "You can't blame lack of legal enforcement on recognising the reality that 8 million workers are there and many if not all are working " or that low income tax paying guest workers will pay for their high cost maintenace.

Your mantra of the wonderful benefits of immigration on a nation do not recognize that America is now 200 years older. Back then there was a wild frontier to settle, and natural resources like water for all not infastructure decay and overuse like highways electrical grid, there were no nanny state benefits, no activist ACLU to twist the intent of laws what few laws there were, and assimilation melting pot was the unspoken rule for immigrants,immigrants came from a variety of country sources,immigrants were checked for diseases before being allowed in,and there was a long period to assimilate immigrants example Irish.Scottish, English immigrants from 1880-1930-800,000 came over the course of 50 years!!!, not 8-16 MILLION from one country in under 20 years. Also, daisy chain family re-unification of families was not the case until the last 50 years. Before, an immigrant could only bring in spouse and minor children. The 14th amendment did not allow for anchor babies of illegals. It was specifically written to address blacks after the Civil War. Current Admins. have changed the law in practice to include birthright citizenship to children of illegals without being mandated to do so.

The following sites have great research material to disabuse you of any romantic notions that illegals contriubute more than they take, that guest worker permits are good for the economy and national security, blah, blah, blah. If you are too lazy to read the material, that's your problem, be it a function of literacy or ideaology, not mine, as you suggest, for not providing adequate support documentation. I've included 2 websites that are just current news links on the topic:

a)www.numbersUSA.com [NumbersUSA]

b)www.cis.org [Center for Immigration Research]

c)www.fairus.org [Federation for American Immigration Reform]

d)www.betterimmigration.com good report cards on Congress not enforcing realistic measures that would realistically deal with immigration, legal and illegal

e) www.VDARE.com

f) www.americanpatrol.com/

g) www.steinreport.com

As for the 16 Million illegals figure, I specifically said that the figure was quoted by the President of Border Control. It's no more of a guesstimate than Tom Ridge and the Census Dept. who guestimate a range of 8-12 Million. How can the latter be believable any more believble when they give a 4 MILLION cushion range??? At least the border patrol President works on the front lines himself and is involved in the apprehensions, documentation, and in seeing the daily numbers of illegals who run through the borders as other illegals are apprehended.Ridge and the census beaurocrats sit in cushy offices in DC far, far away from the borders.

Border patrol assails Bush's proposal LA Times, Jan.23/04

Immigration officials estimate that there are between 8 million and 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States. T.J. Bonner, a 25-year veteran of the force and president of the National Border Patrol Council, said the number might be closer to 16 million.

As for the $20 Billion annual cost for social services including welfare:

What's wrong with illegal immigration, fairus.org

It is estimated that illegal aliens displace roughly 730,000 American workers every year, at a cost of $4.28 billion a year, and the supply of cheap labor they provide depresses the wages and working conditions of the working poor.Despite being ineligible, illegal aliens get welfare the same way they get jobs: false identity document fraud. In many cities, false documents can be bought on the street for as little as $40. With false identity as a U.S. citizen, an illegal alien may establish eligibility for welfare. With the cost of displacing American workers, the cost of giving welfare to needy illegal aliens, and the cost of providing them general services, it is estimated that the annual net cost of illegal immigrants is $20 billion (after counting their tax contributions).  Sources: The Center for Immigration Studies, Don Huddle’s “The Net Costs of Immigration,” the INS Statistics Division.

*Immigration during an economic turn down

How illegal immigration puts US schools into the red

The total K-12 school expenditure for illegal immigrants costs the states $7.4 billion annually1—enough to buy a computer for every junior high student nationwide

Other links to reports on enormous costs of illegal immigration:

*Links to reports and statistical reports on negative impact of illegal immigration

*Voodoo economics about the jobs Americans won't do

*Welfare costs of illegal immigrants

This article supports information that 25% of Mexicans illegally here on welfare and based on what happened after previous amnesties, the welfare rate for Hispanics INCREASES the rate of their welfare dependence as opposed to decreasing it when the illegals are allowed "to come out of the shadows"

*links to articles on guest worker programs

*Hidden costs of cheap labour and illegals-summary of aforementioned links

Illegal immigration costs taxpayers $20 billion each year, in extra education, healthcare, welfare, and prison costs.  Today thirty-four percent of Mexicans legally in the U.S., and 25 percent of Mexicans illegally here are welfare.

*Illegal crime wave and how guest worker permit regualtion and enforcement is doomed-same useless gov't agences will be involved"Heather MacDonald, City Journal, Jan.2004 EXCELLENT ARTICLE!

*Bush amnesty threatens the economy Matt Hayes

Then consider that at the moment, approximately nine million Americans are unemployed. The majority of them once occupied unskilled and semi-skilled jobs. Since 1997, when the National Academy of Sciences conclusively linked immigration and the depression of wages of unskilled and semi-skilled American workers, it has been beyond argument that an ever-increasing number of Americans compete directly with legal and illegal immigrants for jobs.  (The NAS showed that immigrants taking the jobs of Americans without a high school diploma lowered prevailing wages by between 40 to 50 percent.)

While a responsible steward of the economy might crack down on unethical U.S. employers that commit the felony of hiring illegal aliens, this president seems to think even greater slack is needed in the unskilled labor market and he is prepared to inject into that market an additional eight million or more people.

Bush sees no conflict in doing this because he believes (as he must) that nine million of us are without jobs because the only jobs open are those that, as he put it three weeks ago, “Americans won’t do.”  Aside from being insulting to Americans, who probably have the most egalitarian concept of work of any people in history, this assertion is just false. With extremely rare exception, an American will happily do any job that will support his family. But the employment of illegal immigrants in some sectors of the economy has depressed wages to the point that a U.S. citizen cannot simultaneously work that job, pay his taxes and feed his family.  According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, 25 percent of U.S. jobs now pay $8 or less per hour, and these are jobs which many illegal aliens fill, thereby decreasing the market pressures that would normally push wages higher. In effect, some American employers have deliberately imported a Third World economy to areas of our country, and Americans with a First World overhead must seek work elsewhere. 

Matt Hayes began practicing immigration law shortly after graduating from Pace University School of Law in 1994, representing new immigrants in civil and criminal matters.

*Mexican senate see no program with interfering with the legislative process of another sovereign nation as they try to influence approval of migration agreement in United States

Mexican senators said Monday they would send a delegation to the United States to lobby for migration reforms, in response to U.S. President George W. Bush's proposed temporary worker program. Senate leaders from Mexico's three main political parties said the delegation will meet with federal and state lawmakers and Mexican community organizations to offer suggestions and encouragement. The senators said Mexican lawmakers must remain vigilant and active as legislation is drawn up in the United States.

*Point by point argument [with links to supporting outside research] against myths promoted by those who are pro-Bush plan, FrontPage,Jan.19/04

*National data debunks Bush's myth that Hispanics promote family values

Illegitimacy rates: unmarried Hispanic women aged 15-44 are about one-third again as likely to have a child as unmarried black women in that age bracket – 93.4 per 1,000 vs. 71.5 - and more than three times as an unmarried white women (27.9 per 1,000). [source: Centers For Disease Control, pdf file]

- Abortion: Hispanic women are two and a half times more likely to have abortions than white women (33 per 1,000 annually vs. 13) and nearly-two thirds as likely as black women (49). [source: Guttmacher Institute]

-Teenage pregnancy: Hispanics are high (about 94 per 1,000 vs. 32 for whites) and relatively worsening – they’ve now surpassed blacks (83 per 1,000). [source: Centers For Disease Control, pdf file]

-Dependency: Nearly one-third (30.6%) of Hispanics receive means-tested benefits, compared to less than a tenth (9.2%) of non-Hispanic whites and just over a third (35.0%) of blacks. [source: U.S. Census, pdf file]

-Criminality: just over one in every hundred adult male Hispanics (1.2%) was imprisoned in 2001 – almost a third of the non-Hispanic black rate (3.5%) and well over twice the non-Hispanic white rate (0.5%). [source: Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2001, pdf file]

-Risky behavior: The Hispanic death rate from HIV disease is 2.5-times that of whites (7 per 100,000 vs. 2.8), and about one-third of the black rate (24). [National Center For Health Statistics, pdf file]

If current trends (and immigration policies) continue, Hispanics will clearly soon replace blacks as America’s most disadvantaged ethnic group. On some key indicators they are already in last place.

In 2001, for example, Hispanic median income ($16,705) was nearly a tenth below the corresponding figure for blacks ($18,437) and a quarter below white median income ($22,418). As recently as 1992 Hispanic median income exceeded that of blacks. Back in the mid-1970s, Hispanic median income was nearly 20% larger than the black median. [source: U.S. Census.]

Education seems unlikely to help Hispanic acculturation. Just over half (56.5%) Hispanics over 25 had a high school degree or more, compared to nearly nine-tenths (88.7%) of whites and nearly four-fifths (79.5%) of blacks. [source: Digest of Education Statistics 2002, pdf file, my calculations]

Younger Hispanics show no sign of catching up. They are four times more likely to be without a high school degree than young whites, and 2.1 times more likely than young blacks. 

This relative underperformance is persistent. Buried in Supplemental Table 3.3b in the Department of Education’s recently issued Status And Trends in the Education of Hispanics [pdf file] is the interesting information that second-generation Hispanics aged 16-24 are nearly twice as likely to drop out of high school as other second-generation immigrants (15.9% vs. 8.2%).

Mexican-American women are estimated [pdf file] to average 3.32 births over their lifetimesWhich suggests that, rationally, immigration policy should distinguish on the basis of national origin – exactly the much-denounced principle repudiated by the influx-unleashing 1965 Immigration Act.

*Emigration does not help Mexico's corrupt feudal sociaty get better

*Mexicans never return to Mexico and let it become a greater cesspool

*Senator is opposed to guest worker permits

Mr. Kyl also has sought federal assistance for Arizona and other border states in defraying the cost of processing illegal aliens through local criminal-justice systems. He has argued that controlling illegal immigration is a federal responsibility and, when Washington fails, the affected states should not have to pick up the tab. He noted that in the 28 Southwestern border counties of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, the cost of processing illegal aliens who commit crimes is $125 million annually. Mr. Kyl also is pushing legislation calling for the federal government to reimburse states by $1.45 billion a year for the costs of federally mandated emergency medical treatment of illegal aliens.

*High price of cheap labour, National Review,Jack Dunphy

*Testimony before House Sub-Committee that addresses assumptions underlying guest worker plan

*New bills take tough stance on illegal immigration that would be more effective than Bush's plan, Jan.24/04

*Bush is in trouble with conservative voters due to overspending and guest worker proposal, Jan.25/04

"He has alienated his conservative base," said former Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican. "By pursing the same policies he is now, he nearly lost the 2000 election — by blurring distinctions between Republicans, the conservative party, and Democrats, the liberal party."

Now I'm tired of providing support. Don't bother responding until you have read my support documentation and only after you put together documentation support for your opposing opinions.

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Good Morgan, no need to have your neck veins throbbing, i just asked simply for some backup. ;) Let me reread your posts and URLs and get back to you okay ? This will be a good debate. BTW i never said that i believed that immigration by itself is either good or bad, i believe immigration is mostly an economic program and that if it is not implemented properly it will be bad for the receiving society. One has to look at Canada and France as examples where immigration can have a large impact on finances and breed areas of the population that do not integrate with the greater society.

Francis Fukuyama just wrote this op ed piece on France:

By FRANCIS FUKUYAMA

We have seen demonstrations all over Europe and the Middle East to protest the French government's proposed prohibition of Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in public schools. This ban is part of a larger struggle taking place throughout Europe over the continent's cultural identity. France and other European countries are host to Muslim minorities that constitute upward of 10% of their populations, minorities that are becoming increasingly active politically. European Muslims are primarily responsible for the rise in anti-Semitic incidents over the past three years, and their perceptions heavily color European media reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This demographic shift has already affected foreign policy: the French government's stance against the Iraq war and U.S. foreign policy more generally seeks in part to appease Muslim opinion.

So i provide some proof non US based for your thesis that immigration if not properly controlled leads to all sorts of effects.

However, my post dealt with Bush's Plan not with an argument on the good and bad of immigration. This is where i believe you and Hanson are incorrect. To quote again from Fukuyama's op ed piece he concludes:

It is in this context that we should evaluate President Bush's recent proposal to grant illegal aliens work permits. Many Americans dislike the policy because it rewards breaking the law. This is all true; we should indeed use our newly invigorated controls over foreign nationals to channel future immigrants into strictly legal channels. But since we are not about to expel the nearly seven million people potentially eligible for this program, we need to consider what policies would lead to their most rapid integration into mainstream American society. For the vast majority of illegal aliens, the law they broke on entering the country is likely to be the only important one they will ever violate, and the sooner they can normalize their status, the faster their children are likely to participate fully in American life.

It is no exaggeration to say that the assimilation of culturally distinct immigrants will be the greatest social challenge faced by developed democracies over the coming decades. Given the sub-replacement fertility rates of native-born populations, high levels of immigration have become necessary to fund not just current standards of living but future social security benefits. Divergent immigration patterns will unfortunately deepen the wedge that has emerged between America and Europe in foreign policy. We cannot do much to affect European policy, but we can take steps to see that their problems do not become our own.

He makes 2 important points Hanson and critics ignore:

1. The reality of 7-8 million [not 16 million] illegal immigrants and assimilating them quickly into the society. This is not achieved obviously by hunting them down and shipping them out of country.

2. By bringing them into the economy they will pay tax, pay for social services and pensions. Hanson and others have nothing to say about this, except that they now eat off of social services and cost the taxpayer money. I disagree with this, and will provide proof later when i have time and reply to your post.

I am glad you state that immigration by itself does not cause social liberalism. I disagree that Hanson believes the same - i don't think he does - he always makes the links and i quoted some directly for you from his own text. BTW of the 8 million illegal immigrants about 50 % are Mexican according to the INS and CNN. We have to watch that this debate does not become racist. I see no reason why a Mexican won't chase the American dream as much as any Russian, Jew or African would.

Thanks for replying. Stay cool mate, as i said already i enjoy your posts.

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To me, one of the most interesting developments of the Bush Presidency has been his movement away from 'political' positions to a pragmatic view of existing problems. 10 Million illegals are a rather large elephant in our backyard which too many have refused to see for too long. They can not continue to be invisible and ignored! There is no question that politics as well as our relations with Mexico were factors in the announcement and timing of this new immigration policy but President Bush has made it plain that we can not continue to sweep this matter under the rug and ignore the lump in the corner. It's long past time that we do so.

This is not Mexico's problem, nor is it 'Central/South America's' problem. This matter directly effects the Sovereignty of America and requires an American solution. That is not to say we must be suckers for Presidente Fox or other "Southern" politicians and under no circumstances may we accept "Dual" citizenship - Fox's delusions that he can use 'dual' citizenship to create a 'Fifth Column" within America must have a stake driven into its heart.

It has been settled for some time that imposition of Federal Programs and their costs upon the States can only be achieved when there is Federal funding. What can be thought more Federal than Immigration Policy? We can not continue to force States to pay the medical and educational costs of these Ten Million people! Perhaps there should be reimbursement of medical costs a la Medicare schedules and educational costs using schedules such as those for reimbursement for children of military persons in local school systems. This is a Federal problem and the Congress must adopt a Federal solution.

As much as possible, the political posturing must cease. This is America's problem and it can not be the basis to force Mexico to open its Petroleum Industry to American investment; neither should it be used as a NAFTA negotiation lever or tied to vague 'human rights' issues - the posturing must stop! But there is also no reason we should give away the farm. So long as they are Mexican citizens, I believe the Mexican Government owes something for their health care costs and eduction and these are legitimate matters to place upon the table with Mexico. We must demand some percentage of reimbursement from Mexico for these costs as part of our 'solution'.

President Bush has taken the elephant and placed it in public view. Americans and Congress must now decide how to resolve the situation.

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Morgan, don't blow a vein :P Here is my rebuttal, keep in mind i DO agree with your general idea and thesis, BUT i have to point out that immigration - legal and illegal - is probably a net benefit to society IF it is economically based. Having said that I am AGAINST the Conservative idea of 'free trade' in labor. This is ruinous. And I wish Bush would start to jail businessmen that hire illegals and take their assets away. But i do think that Hanson and others mix up a lot of ideas around immigration that distort the debate.

1. You said: "Hanson said that both social liberalism and business interests created a situation where 8-16 Million illegals are living within the USA. Hanson DID NOT say that illegal immigration caused social liberalism. That's my point."

Actually he does make the connection. This is what he said in his article:

Indeed, one of the causes of the growing furor over the present system of non-enforcement is the perception that many illegal residents actually receive preferential treatment over Americans. For example, students here illegally from Mexico and enrolled at public California universities pay about a third of the tuition costs that American citizens from out-of-state are charged
Sure he is right, but what has immigration really go to do with 2 tiered education systems ? Fix education then, make everyone speak english and follow core curriculums instead of La Raza, Race power electives. BTW this is a state not a Federal issue and has nothing to do with Bush's plan which is one of my main ponts.

2. You said "btw, the main topic is ILLEGAL immigration, although immigration policies themselves need re-evaluation and reform, as I mentioned. I'd suggest you read previous posts more thoroughly before you ask why, how come, where's your support?"

I never said it was not about Illegal immigration. I said that immigration in total needs reform, but shipping 8 million illegals out of the country is plainly a non-starter. Even Hanson offers no plan to ship off 8 million people - this is so far from reality that even discussing it is a waste of time.

As well you mentioned 16 million from a source as the number of illegal immigrants. This number is not backed up with any other source and one has to wonder what the President of the National Border Patrol is on about. Where are his sources i wonder or is there another motive to his exagerration ? All other agencies, newsfeeds and even www.cis.org which you quote as part of your sourcing state that the number is 7-8 million:

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) estimates that in January of 2000 there were 7 million illegal aliens living in the United States, a number that is growing by half a million a year.

this is found at http://www.cis.org/topics/illegalimmigration.html

So take 500.000 illegals which is the usual number given x by 3 and you have 8.5 million not 16 million.

3. You said "Speaking of which ...where's your articles/stats support for your all-knowing opinions like "most employers are small time firms that use illegal labor"or that you "don't buy that immigration lowers wages" or these whoppers "You can't blame lack of legal enforcement on recognising the reality that 8 million workers are there and many if not all are working " or that low income tax paying guest workers will pay for their high cost maintenace."

First I never said that 'don't buy that immigration lowers wages' - point it out to me in my posts - it is not there. In fact what i did say was

I don't buy into the idea that we or the US needs more unskilled labor - maybe in agriculture and other cyclical areas but in general i can't see predicting the collapse of service industries if illegals were restricted. This is often the conservative view point and it is wrong. Immigration should target economic objectives and importing more waiters is just simply not a high priority. Having said that, many waiters start low, work hard and move on up in society. So we have to be careful not to denigrate those who wish to work and prosper and start at the bottom.

Please provide backup on my supposed quote on wages. In fact i support the view that immigration lowers wages. This is common sense. One can also re-read Hanson’s article or Mexifornia. He makes the same claims. “Conversely some studies indicate that the presence of plentiful foreign laborers in the 1990s reduced the wages of unskilled workers by 5 percent.” P. 13, Mexifornia.

You like to quote Matt Hayes at length on his emotional but relatively undersourced claim that:

“According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, 25 percent of U.S. jobs now pay $8 or less per hour, and these are jobs which many illegal aliens fill, thereby decreasing the market pressures that would normally push wages higher. In effect, some American employers have deliberately imported a Third World economy to areas of our country, and Americans with a First World overhead must seek work elsewhere."

I would agree with this pressure on wages. But this pressure recedes with time. The Federal Reserve agrees with me citing http://www.frbatlanta.org/filelegacydocs/wp0302.pdf that the impact on wages decreases as you go up the wage ladder and decreases the longer the immigrant is in the USA. In other words sure the immigrant goes after a low wage job – especially if he/she can’t speak English but over time IF they assimilate the pressures lessen. In both Canada and the US wages per hour worked have increased in the last 50 years not decreased.

If immigration was the wage destroyer that everyone says it is, how do you explain the longer term rise in wages ? Inflation has been low since the mid 80s. I quote this from a labor group no less, “If the Boskin Commission is right about the magnitude of errors in the CPI, real wages of these groups have risen by 8 to 10 percent during the 1990s. Using a corrected CPI, even the 10th percentile male worker has seen a slight rise in his real hourly wage, and only high school dropouts have seen their real wages decline.” http://www.epf.org/labor97/97incom2.htm

Many other studies support the same conclusion including Stanford's Hoover Digest

Since 1980, real benefits, valued at the employer's cost, have risen by 21 percent. Average real employee compensation, including benefits valued at cost, has risen by 5 percent.
http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/publication.../henderson.html

So while you and I might agree that lower wage jobs are under pressure from immigrants, respected studies show that high school dropouts are more at risk, and if the immigrant stays longer in the US, the risk at wage depression recedes. Overall there is little doubt that even for the lowly 10 percentile worker, wages and compensation has increased, so illegal immigration does not lead to the infamous 'race to the bottom' in the long term. Rising wages and comp simply don't support this.

Second, on who hires illegal labor – clearly big firms such as WalMart which is now going through a court process due to illegal contract labor used by one of its cleaning suppliers – will be less inclined to hire someone without papers, then the local construction company in Cali that goes to the local corner and offers cash wages for labor. This is nothing more than common sense. Most of the Mexican illegals for instance are uneducated, can’t speak English, and can perform only manual labor. Hanson belabors this point in his writings. I doubt that these are the workers that Microsoft is looking for, and I doubt that such workers would get pass the HR dept. Most illegals are picking, serving or packing. Most such firms are quite small, they might however interact with larger firms of course. Big firms of course might hire such labor, but given that $10.000 fine/illegal immigrant is law, i would suggest that most large firm's HR depts would be a little shy to do that.

4. You said, "Your mantra of the wonderful benefits of immigration on a nation do not recognize that America is now 200 years older. Back then there was a wild frontier to settle, and natural resources like water for all not infastructure decay and overuse like highways electrical grid, there were no nanny state benefits, no activist ACLU to twist the intent of laws what few laws there were, and assimilation melting pot was the unspoken rule for immigrants,immigrants came from a variety of country sources,"

I stated plainly that immigration is economic not a social program so this statement is fallacious. The most pre-eminent Immigration Economist is Borjas of Harvard – his conclusion is the opposite of yours – and he states clearly, “It seems therefore that the measureable benefits from immigration, are significantly magnified when estimated in the context of an economy with regional differences in marginal product, rather then in the context of one-region aggregate labor market.”

What does he mean ? He means that immigrants are more fluid and open to labor market and product changes and go where the jobs are and which fit their skills. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/49/47/24741853.pdf

In fact Borjas estimates that the US receives a NET benefit after all costs of $10 billion. So much for the fallacy that all the Mexicans are not working and applying for health benefits.

As well economist Julian Simon calculates that native-born Americans receive more in annual government expenditures than do immigrants. The Urban Institute estimated that each year during the 1990s, immigrants paid $25 billion to $30 billion more in taxes than they receive in services each year. They state that with immigrants now ineligible for public assistance programs under 1990s welfare reform legislation, the net positive fiscal impact of immigrants will only increase. See http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-29.html

Further studies on illegal and legal immigration referenced in this report also support that immigration provides a NET benefit to society. [institute for Policy Studies and the Interhemispheric Resource Center, 1997 Editors: Martha Honey (IPS) and Tom Barry (IRC)]

Economists tend to agree that immigration is a net benefit to the U.S. economy. Immigrants fill jobs that U.S. citizens often reject, help the U.S. economy maintain competitiveness in the global economy, and stimulate job creation in depressed neighborhoods. But net benefits for the economy can conceal serious losses for vulnerable sectors of the U.S. population. It is no secret that many employers ranging from suburbanites to small contractors to major corporations would rather hire foreigners who often work harder for less pay than U.S. citizens.

As such, immigration has long been a contentious labor issue.

Other sources which support this claim from eminent economists with long research tenure into immigration would include:

Michael Fix and Jeffrey S. Passel, Immigration and Immigrants: Setting the Record Straight (Urban Institute).

John Isbister, The Immigration Debate: Remaking America (West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, 1996).

David A. Jaeger, Skill Differences and the Effect of Immigrants on the Wages of Natives,=94 Working Paper 273 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor: March 1996).

Julian Simon, Immigration: The Demographic and Economic Facts (Washington, DC: The Cato Institute and the National Immigration Forum, 1995).

So much for handwringing that the illegals will destroy US social services. At best the picture is mixed and there is NO clear evidence that illegal or legal immigration destroys budgets.

You quote fairus.org re immigration costs and that the price is negative $20 billion. The rest of your quotes are news sources and not analysis.

First on Fair.org - this site uses an out of date study – 1996 from the NBER [more on this below], which is contradicted by a more recent NBER working paper. Second, Fair does not address any revenues, taxes, productivity or demand driven economic benefits. It just lists costs. This is ridiculous. For instance Fair claims:

“A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, based on the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation, analyzed the cost of immigrants based on their specific use of means-tested welfare (both direct and indirect), and found that the total immigrant receipt of benefits in 1996 came to $180 billion.3 That annual amount is sure to grow as the population of legal and illegal immigrants receives over one million new people a year.”

The study quoted is from a working paper, never published dated from 1995. So what DOES the NBER actually say now ? “We then estimate models allowing interactions between the employment response to immigration and institutional characteristics including business entry costs. These results, limited to the sample of native men, generally suggest that reduced flexibility increases the negative impact of immigration. Many of the estimated interaction terms are significant, and imply a significant negative effect on employment in countries with restrictive institutions.” NBER 2001 Working Paper W8660.

What does this mean ? Well the US has highly fluid institutions and labor markets – unlike the EU. So the $180 billion that Fair is quoting is nonsense. If there is a small negative impact [according to NBER] in rigid markets such as the EU - how would that match to US data ? The US is more open fluid and adjusts more quickly than the EU. It goes to reason that the Fair report is nonsense and wildly out of line with other econometric analyses of immigration costs. For instance Borjas estimates that the fluid labor and capital/wage markets in the US will entail that immigrants will flow to jobs and not unduly feed off the social system. By so doing they return a net benefit to society.

Fair and some of the URLs you listed as proof are not reliable data sources.

You then quote pieces of the issue such as:

“the cost of processing illegal aliens who commit crimes is $125 million annually. Mr. Kyl also is pushing legislation calling for the federal government to reimburse states by $1.45 billion”

In the studies I quoted showing a net gain to the US, these costs are calculated.

You also listed some very dubious claims about Hispanics in general - namely that 1. they are poorer than the average and 2. somehow predisposed to crime [i say this stat is due to lack of english and assimilation and has little to do with Bush's plan].

On the contrary Hispanic income distribution mirrors that of the general society, in fact Hispanic Median HH income went from $14792 in 1980 to $34670 in 2002. The Average US level went from $36437 to $42504. In other words the Hispanics are catching up in general. [strategy Research Corporation 2002 U.S. Hispanic Market].

There is little evidence that Hispanics are not increasing their wealth the longer they stay in the country. One only has to remember that more Hispanics live in the US then the population of Canada, and that their buying power is spurring Latin Music, TV and products.

On Education, and Crime I agree. But like Hanson you miss a key point – these issues are not due to the immigration program but other failings in society – ie. Calif’s 2 tiered education system, where Spanish is allowed in schools ? Again Hanson and others blame Bush's Fed plans when plainly many of the ills lie at the state level.

Bad programs at the state level mean illiterate [in English] young Hispanics with no job prospects. Rewind to 1900 when Italians who spoke no English were FORCED in school to learn English. NYC schools did not coddle Italians and let them NOT learn english. Italians are now mainstream and assimilated. Immigration has little to do with society’s preferences in creating minority rights and tiers. Look at Canada with its Indian Nation alongside that of the modern Canadian nation. It is a failure.

So the critics mix up a number of factors:

1. It is NOT clear that immigration is a net negative to society. This includes as the studies i have mentioned point out, both legal and illegal immigration. To state that illegal immigration is a net drain on the economy is to be charitable debateable. At worst it is just simply untrue.

2. Immigration is a federal economic program, and Wash. is not responsible for ill advised forays by States into minority rights programs. I don't see the critics proposing anything intelligent to surmount this problem. How do you force Cali to abide by assimilation laws or rules ?

3. Bringing illegals into the real economy should increase tax receipts and security. You will not ship 8 million people home so forget about it. You better bring them into the real economy. I see nothing in the critics of Bush's plan that addresses that reality.

As well I don't buy the notion that Mexicans or anyone else are too stupid to win and succeed. If assimilated they will chase the American dream. Assimilation then is the main problem, not granting amnesty and like I said before THAT issue encompasses a wide range of poltical programs, outside of Bush's immigration plans.

I wrap up by again quoting Fukuyama - he is right:

It is in this context that we should evaluate President Bush's recent proposal to grant illegal aliens work permits. Many Americans dislike the policy because it rewards breaking the law. This is all true; we should indeed use our newly invigorated controls over foreign nationals to channel future immigrants into strictly legal channels. But since we are not about to expel the nearly seven million people potentially eligible for this program, we need to consider what policies would lead to their most rapid integration into mainstream American society. For the vast majority of illegal aliens, the law they broke on entering the country is likely to be the only important one they will ever violate, and the sooner they can normalize their status, the faster their children are likely to participate fully in American life.

It is no exaggeration to say that the assimilation of culturally distinct immigrants will be the greatest social challenge faced by developed democracies over the coming decades. Given the sub-replacement fertility rates of native-born populations, high levels of immigration have become necessary to fund not just current standards of living but future social security benefits. Divergent immigration patterns will unfortunately deepen the wedge that has emerged between America and Europe in foreign policy. We cannot do much to affect European policy, but we can take steps to see that their problems do not become our own.

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