What the New Republican Majority Could Do on Immigration

Rush Limbaugh was in full on denial mode today, bragging that yesterday’s election result meant that the American people soundly rejected liberalism.  Nu-uh.  All it means is that civic minded Republican voters are more likely to turn out to vote during mid-term elections than young people who only know about the President and not much else.  Here in the State of Florida, the purpose behind John Morgan’s Medical Marijuana amendment 2 was to draw in young voters to pull in Democratic votes to put his lickspittle, Charlie Crist, into the governor’s mansion.  Close, but no cigar; or more appropriately, no bong.  Crist and the Medical Marijuana amendment failed by a hair.  Based on an informal survey of my son’s friends, the spirit was willing, but the future time orientation for young people required for registering to vote before the deadline was weak.  If it wasn’t for those darn kids…

glum Obama

And that will be obvious in 2016 when Republicans, who will have more Senate seats to defend than Democrats, lose the Senate gains they’ve just won.  But that’s then.  What about 2015?

One of the most currently divisive issues within the Republican Party is immigration. Half the party agrees with the most extreme Democrats that there really shouldn’t be any barriers to anyone coming to our shores; for different reasons of course.  The Democrats want a poor, uneducated, unskilled mass that will be dependent on them and provide a reliable voting bloc for generations.  The Republicans are split between death wish libertarians who just don’t see a problem with allowing 500 million foreigners to swamp the country, making it resemble Old Calcutta, and Wall Street Journal and Chamber of Commerce types who feel that worker wages are too high if they top a dollar an hour.

Think I’m kidding?  A Silicon Valley tech company was recently fined for actually flying some Indian tech workers from India to the US, paying them $1.21 an hour (the same rate they were paid in India as contractors) and forced them to work 120 hours a week.  That’s an absurdly egregious crime, and rather than mere fines, someone should be facing jail time.  But that’s the future “immigration reform” backers have in store for all of us if they get their way.

That’s why Silicon Valley is spending so much to push immigration reform.  They’ve already spent 50 million dollars on immigration reform lobbying.  Why?  If they get their way, it’s worth it. So it would really be a good strategic move on the part of Republicans to separate the money and lobbying of Silicon Valley from the Democrats, who want poor, ignorant vote fodder forever, and Open Borders Republicans who want declining wage rates stomping on our face forever.  From the Republican Party  perspective, an immigration reform bill along the lines of last year’s Senate bill 744 would split the Republican Party, perhaps permanently. Establishment Republicans may think they want to drive conservatives out of the party, but they wouldn’t like the results of a Republican Party that would no longer be able to win elections in Red States.

But there is a work around to avoid that sort of Republican Party Götterdämmerung.  In 2012 the Republican House tried to get a bill through Congress that would grant 55,000 green cards a year to foreign Doctorate and Masters level graduates.  It wouldn’t have increased immigration numbers since the slots would have been taken from the Diversity Lottery, one of the dumbest immigration programs ever. The bill passed the House and languished in the Senate, since Harry Reid wasn’t interested in bringing any bills up for a vote unless it was something that President Obama specifically wanted to sign.

But starting in 2015, Harry Reid goes back to the bench. With Republicans in control of the Senate and the House, Harry Reid can’t be Obama’s pocket veto anymore.  President Obama will actually have bills arrive on his desk that he will have to actually make decisions on.  He will no longer be able to have Harry Reid vote “present” for him.

Of course the ball will then be in the President’s court.  He can veto the bill, and thereby veto something that his Silicon Valley supporters really want, or sign it, and therefore removing them from the current amnesty coalition.  If Silicon Valley can be tossed a bone to get them separated from the Democrats mass amnesty coalition, it will also separate them both from the lobbying and money they provide, but also one of the phony reasons given for the need for “immigration reform,” the STEM Worker shortage myth. Republican pro-Amnesty warhorses like John McCain might recognize the trap, since the entire purpose of immigration reform isn’t really about STEM workers, border security, or anything else claimed about it other than amnesty for illegals.  On the other hand, new Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who isn’t a pro-amnesty warhorse, might prefer a united Republican Party rather than one fractured along amnesty lines.

I would prefer that myself.

Why Elites Love Low Skilled Immigration

Let me offer a hat tip to the Lion of the Blogosphere for alerting me to a year and a half old column written by the New York Time’s house conservative, David BrooksCalling Brooks a conservative is a bit of a stretch.  As a Columnist for the New York Times and regular contributor to PBS’s News Hour, referring to Brooks as a conservative is akin to describing the Commander in Chief Barrack Obama as a soldier.  It’s probably more apt to describe his politics as me-too Republicanism.  That basically describes the Republican Party from the FDR era up until the age of Reagan.  They were for whatever the Democrats were for, only not as much.  Democrats would propose a program, the Republicans would say, “OK, but that program is too big. We need to trim it down.”  The Democrats would say OK and they would work out a number, not as big as first proposed, but still big, and there you go, bipartisan compromise.

English: David Brooks

English: David Brooks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Me-too Republicanism.

As a commentator, Brooks seems to bring nothing to the table.  I’ve watched him many times over the years expound on the conventional wisdom of the day on The News Hour.  His opinions were banal and shared by everyone in his class.  He could have written the ‘Conventional Wisdom Watch’ column for Newsweek.  And of course, he was in love with Obama, famously deciding that Obama would make a great President after staring (too long I think) at the crease in Obama’s pants.

So it’s no surprise that Brooks is a supporter of amnesty and open borders immigration.  After all, everyone in his class is.  That’s the dominate view of the cocktail party set.  Brook’s column is loaded with a pablum of open borders clichés, and inaccuracies that have been debunked multiple times, but what got my attention was this comment:

 

“Thanks to the labor of low-skill immigrants, the cost of food, homes and child care comes down, living standards rise and more women can afford to work outside the home.”

 

That remark leapt out at me, so revealing as it was of the class that Brooks is a part of; wealthy, urban, liberal, and totally disconnected and unattached to the rest of the country.  Yes, food is cheaper.  But it’s cheaper because we are allowing growers to ignore actual agricultural visas and employ illegals far cheaper than they would have to pay foreign, but legal workers.  Child care, however, isn’t cheaper.  For the struggling middle class shopping for day care is as expensive as it’s ever been.  But Brooks doesn’t mean day care, he means nannies.  For that class, that’s what child care means.

Brooks is justifying a permanent underclass to keep him and his buddies in the cocktail party circuit awash in cheap nannies and arugula.  His cheap food and labor argument could have been used, and probably was used, by some southern senator in the 1850’s justifying slavery.  “Ahh say suh…(yes I’m imagining him as Foghorn Leghorn) the institution of slavery is needed to provide cheap and plentiful food and clothing for all, as well as mammies to raise ouah babies so we can pursue self actualizing careers…”  OK that last bit is more Brooks than Foghorn Leghorn, but you get the idea,

Putting it another way, Brooks could be saying, “Thanks to the labor of our slaves, the cost of food, homes and child care comes down…”Slaves, serfs, proles, no matter what you call them, a life dependent on keeping a permanent underclass so that you can live your dreams because you are crushing theirs is fundamentally un-American.  And unstable. The elites want a life of plentiful servants, just like they see on Downton Abbey, and to do that they are willing to crush wage rates among the native poor, working class, and middle class.

You can’t be an Eloi without the Morlocks, but eventually the Molocks will turn on you.

 

 

Wet Foot/Dry Foot Democrats

The ongoing and apparently not-close-to-ending border crisis allows once again the public discussion of immigration, illegals, amnesty… in other words a bunch of issues that the country is in near permanent deadlock about.  Although some of my friends on the right think  this border rush of streams of children and mothers from Central America is all part of some clever Obama scheme, it seems to me to be the dumbest clever scheme ever. If Obama’s intention was to use this crisis to pass “comprehensive immigration reform;” a code word for amnesty, he’s just screwed the pooch.

Gallup shows that the support for immigration in general has tanked since the beginning of the border crisis.

And Rasmussen shows that “59% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the primary focus of any new immigration legislation passed by Congress should be to send the young illegal immigrants back home as quickly as possible.  Just 27% say it should focus instead on making it easier for these illegal immigrants to remain in the United States.”

That makes me think there is a big gulf between what the American people think about immigration and what its elected officials think.  The problem is, it’s sometimes hard to tell what our political leaders think.  Pelosi’s comments when she visited the border patrol facility in Brownsville, Texas sounded incoherent.

“I wish I could take all those children home with me…” 

“We’re all Americans in this hemisphere, North and South America.”

Eh, what does that mean in terms of policy?  Does she support letting all of the children stay, regardless of the circumstances?  Is she planning to adopt them all?  Or does she mean everyone in the Western Hemisphere should be allowed to enter the United States? It sounds like a jumble of nonsense but the rest of the Democratic leadership is just as bad. Breitbart collected a list of the ramblings.  See if you can pick out a policy here:

“House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) claimed America already has “extensive border security” while Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the well-being of the illegal immigrant children “must be our first priority.”

Reps. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) “Yes, we need to match needs of our economy and our country’s values to our visa system.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said taxpayers should pay for more lawyers for illegal immigrant children, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) went further, saying “every” illegal immigrant child should get legal representation.

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) insisted that amnesty legislation would “raise wages” even though the Congressional Budget Office determined that the influx of more foreign workers would lower the wages of American workers.

If our political leaders are this stupid, one can only imagine how stupid the internet is on this issue.  I decided to collect the biggest reasons given for amnesty by left leaning folks on one of my political forums:

  • Americans are basically illegal aliens too and since we have no right to be here, we’ve no right to keep anyone else out.
  • Immigration laws are basically unenforceable so don’t even bother.
  • Border Control is too expensive. (I was shocked!  It was the first time I’ve heard anyone on the left concerned with how to pay for something.)
  • Opposition to illegal immigration is based on racism.
  • And related, to reduce the percentage of Whites in the United States.
  • The US has destroyed almost every country so people have no choice but to come here.

Compare the positions of these Yo Yos with our actual elected leaders.  There isn’t that big a difference, although the internet nuts are more direct, but it does give you, if you sift long enough, an actual position for Democrats on immigration.

Democrats seem to have an unspoken support for a form of Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy.  That policy, which we apply to Cuba under the Cuban Adjustment Act, allows Cubans who arrive in the United States to stay and apply for permanent residence.  However it doesn’t apply if Cubans are intercepted at sea.  So if a Cuban can get to the US, it’s like touching safe in a game of freeze tag.  They made it.  Democrats in policy and action sound like they want to apply that policy to every country in the world, not just Cuba.  They have not said it, yet, but it’s the most logical conclusion to their mish mash of statements.

 

Dear Senator Rubio

This afternoon the Senate passed its version of Immigration Reform, 68-32.  14 Republicans voted for the bill, including my Senator, Marco Rubio, severely damaging his chances for the Republican nomination in 2016.

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House a...

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As frequent readers to this blog know, I strongly oppose the current Senate Immigration Bill and the concept of blanket amnesty in general.  I’ve contacted my Congressman on this and am satisfied that we are of like minds on the issue.  However my Senators are another story.  Bill Nelson is Harry Reid’s lapdog so he does whatever he’s told.  Marco Rubio on the other hand, is one of the architects of this immigration proposal.  If there has been a bigger Tea Party disappointment in both the House and Senate, I can’t think who it would be.

I tried calling the Senator’s office this week and got a voicemail to leave my comments after the beep.  Unsurprisingly, the box was full.  Apparently I’m not alone.  So I wrote this letter and emailed it to the Senator.

Dear Senator Rubio,

As your constituent, I have to say that you’ve profoundly disappointed me.  But what really bothers me is that you’ve managed to fool me.   I remember your debate with Charlie Crist in which you took the risky position (in Florida) that Social Security may have to be trimmed in order to save the program.  You took a difficult and courageous political position while Crist looked like a weasel in comparison.  “That’s a guy I can get behind.”  I thought to myself.

And I did.  I voted for you and was proud to do it.  I had heard you speak enough times that I felt sure of your Tea Party bonafides.  You sir, were the real deal.

Or at least that’s what I thought.  I knew you had a special interest in immigration, but you had spoken out against amnesty enough in the campaign that I didn’t think that you were secretly harboring that as a legislative goal.  I was sympathetic to your Dream Act proposal.  Those kids didn’t commit crimes.  They were brought into this country when they were too young to have any moral responsibility for what their parents did.  Some sort of accommodation should be made for them.

After the border was secure of course.

But instead you rolled me.  Me, and many others who had voted for you.  After the experience of Obamacare, I wouldn’t have thought a Republican, let alone a Tea Party “darling” would support any bill that is billed as “comprehensive.”  The purpose of comprehensive bills is to smuggle in what you really want by covering it with tons of other things.  That’s certainly what your comprehensive immigration bill does.  Every day I’m reading of new revelations of Easter eggs buried in your bill.  You know them of course, since you helped put them there.

I’m not opposed to cooperating with Democrats; that’s politics after all.  I’m upset that you are not representing a Republican or conservative position in immigration reform.  This wasn’t a compromise; this is a Democratic / liberal bill.  You’ve merely provided cover for a liberal bill.  I can’t tell where you begin and Chuck Schumer ends.  Do you have any differences on this issue?

Frankly, I can’t see that I’ve gotten anything different from you than if Charlie Crist had won the senatorial nomination.  Oh one thing; Crist was honest about his support for amnesty.  He didn’t lie about it like you did.  You may argue that technically you weren’t lying, “go back and check the transcript!”  But if you were parsing your words from the beginning, then what other conclusion can I draw but that you intended to deceive?

Virtually everything you’ve promised has already been promised in the Simpson-Mazzoli bill.  Since we didn’t get any of the border security promises then, why should I think we would get them now?

I can see both the political and policy benefits for the Democrats.  It will over the long run provide millions of Democratic voters, effectively neutering the Republicans as a national party.  Policy-wise it creates an ever expanding underclass that will need the entitlement services that the Democrats will be peddling.  The Democrats have been at their strongest when, as FDR said, “one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill-fed.”

That’s what you are importing.

Your position doesn’t even make sense on its own merits.  It goes without saying its bad politics.  It’s a slow motion suicide of the Republican Party as a national contender, but I could forgive that if it was good policy.  But it’s not.  It’s bad policy too.  It lowers the wage rates of the native working poor, it increases income inequality, it increases by millions the numbers of American poor, it inflicts long term financial stress on our entitlement programs, and creates a massive new underclass.

Your bill is unfair.  It grants sweeping immunity for crimes that would throw a citizen in jail.  And no, I’m not talking about merely crossing the border illegally or overstaying a visa.  Using,  false identification and Social Security numbers aren’t minor misdemeanors, they are felonies.  How can that possibly be justified?

Since you seem committed to this dangerous course of action, you’ve left me and many others no choice but to support your primary opponent for your re-election, whoever that may be.  And there will be a primary opponent.  Don’t think that your former supporters will shrug and figure better you than a Republican who can’t will the general election or a Democrat.  If your bill becomes law, in the long run there won’t be a real future for Republicans anyway.  So if you are going to burn down the house, I want to at least make sure you don’t get re-elected to collect the insurance money.

Of all the political issues I’ve researched, I’ve never understood how someone on the right could support blanket amnesty.  If there is an intelligent argument to be made on its behalf, I’m still waiting to hear it.  Instead, I hear insults to my intelligence like the kind your fellow gang member, Senator Graham offers.

You really had a promising political future and I’m flummoxed at why you decided to throw it away in order to help Democratic political ambitions.

Sincerely,

A Republican Primary Voter

If I get anything more than an automated response to this, I’ll be sure and post it, but won’t expect any sort of response.  Rubio, even if ever read this, which is unlikely, won’t have an answer for it.

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Why Is Rubio in the Gang of 8?

Contrary to popular opinion, both in the national press and in the Republican Party, the conservative movement is split on the amnesty issue.  Just cast your mind all the way back to…last year.  During the Republican Primary battles, all of the conservative candidates were in favor of some version of amnesty.  The single hold out?  Mitt Romney, the “moderate.”

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House a...

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So it’s a confusing battle space that has anti tax activist Grover Norquist on the same side as liberal Senator Chuck Schumer, and moderate, establishment Republican columnist David Frum on the anti amnesty side while traditional conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer is pro amnesty.  On the talk radio side the views are more what you would expect, Rush Limbaugh  and Mark Levin are reliably anti-amnesty, however Sean Hannity switched sides after the election and now supports amnesty (although he is still cagey about it).  Otherwise, things are more what you would expect from a conservative split on immigration.  The neo-cons are pro amnesty (think William Kristol) and the paleo-cons are anti (think Pat Buchanan).

So where does that leave Tea Party darling Marco Rubio?  Square in the middle.

Rubio is a real conservative.  I’ve listened to enough politicians talk to know when they are the real deal and when they are just using the conservative movement to advance their own careers  *cough* Newt Gingrich* cough.

Rubio has long been a supporter of some variation of the Dream Act, which are a series of proposals to legalize illegal aliens brought over as children.  Given that as children they didn’t really have a choice about crossing the border illegally; it’s fairly easy to make the moral case to anti-amnesty conservatives for creating some mechanism for them to stay, after border security.  But it was a shock when he joined in with a group of liberal Senators and pro-amnesty Republicans, the Gang of 8, to craft a comprehensive immigration bill.

First, it was a shock that after the disaster of Obamacare, any Republican Senator would try to make common cause on a bill that intends to be “comprehensive.”  For conservatives, comprehensive is code word for cramming as much crap as possible into a massive bill and hope no one notices what’s in it.  The purpose of comprehensive bills is to slide revolting items through the process that would never pass on their own.  Of course, in the case of the immigration bill, the sole purpose is to get amnesty through.  Everything else in the bill is a sweetener to buy votes for amnesty, even though there are plenty of real, needed issues that need to be worked on.  Instead, nothing is more important than amnesty.  Steve Jobs found this out while trying to convince President Obama to loosen up on the H1-B Visa program.  From the Wall Street Journal:

According to Mr. Isaacson, Jobs “stressed the need for more trained engineers and suggested that any foreign students who earned an engineering degree in the U.S. should be given a visa to stay in the country.” The president reportedly replied that this would have to await broader immigration reform, which he said he was unable to accomplish.

“Jobs found this an annoying example of how politics can lead to paralysis,” Mr. Isaacson writes. “The president is very smart, but he kept explaining to us reasons why things can’t get done,” Jobs said. “It infuriates me.”

A simple bill to allow graduates of US schools to get a Visa would enjoy large bipartisan support and would pass easily.   So therefore we can’t allow it until we make sure we drag 11 million other people along with them!

So now Rubio is stuck riding this tiger all the way to completion.  Meanwhile, his reputation will be marred by every little crazy line item that is stuck in the bill, such as the one creating a biometric data base of all US adults.  So why would he join in with the Gang of 8?  How could this benefit him?

Just a couple of ideas and I don’t know if any of them are close to the mark:

+             He knows it won’t pass and just wants to build up some “moderate cred” for 2016.

+             He’s inexperienced and doesn’t realize  that Schumer and his gang are taking him for a ride.

+             He’s extremely experienced (a former Speaker of the House in the Florida legislature) and he’s playing the Gang of 8 by trying to “cooperate” up to the point that he can exploit the weaknesses of the bill and then blame the Senate Democrats and the Obama administration for sabotaging the bill with poison pills to keep the bill from passing and keep it as a political issue.

I’m sure there are probably many more possible reasons, but I don’t see any way for this to end well for Rubio’s political future other than at some point he disowns the bill.  If he doesn’t and ends up voting for whatever monstrosity slithers out of the Senate, than Rubio’s reputation will be damaged.  To conservatives, he will be a traitor, and to liberals he’ll be a gullible fool.

Which pill will he choose?  The red or the blue one?

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It Starts with Deportation…

English: United States Senate candidate , at a...

English: United States Senate candidate , at a town hall meeting in Louisville, . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to immigration, I’m hearing this phrase echoed more and more by Republicans, Let’s start that conversation by acknowledging we aren’t going to deport” the millions of illegal immigrants presently in the country.“

However I was really disappointed to hear that from Rand Paul.

Rand, as the most libertarian member of the Senate, may have come to his open borders ideas honestly.  Open labor markets are fundamental to libertarian thought, but the rote, we are not going to deport 12 million people (or 11 million, fill in your own number) is the first line in virtually any conversation with an establishment Republican about immigration.  In other words, we are going to have amnesty no matter what, so deal with it.

It’s clear that we are never going to have an equivalent of Operation Wetback.  That Eisenhower era program forcibly repatriated illegal aliens from California to Texas back to Mexico.  Although the estimates of the success of the program vary wildly, from 50,000 to 1.3 million, the estimates are much higher for the numbers of illegals who voluntarily left to avoid being detained and sent back by Operation Wetback.

However we don’t really have to go to such extremes.  Normal enforcement would take care of the illegal problem in a few years after we successfully sealed the border.  Don’t believe me?

According to ICE:

400,000 aliens were deported in 2011

392,862 aliens were deported in 2010.

390,000 aliens were deported in 2009.

So if the borders were sealed, using normal enforcement measures, illegal aliens would be largely gone in a little over 25 years.  However they would cease to be a major concern long before that. And that assumes there would be no self deportation, which has been occurring since the start of the financial crisis.  That’s certainly a quicker pace than the one we were promised after the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986.  We are still waiting for the borders to be closed as promised with that bill.

So yes, we can deport millions.  We already deport hundreds of thousands every single year.  With an open border however, it’s just bailing out the ocean.  If we ever got serious about closing the border the numbers of illegal aliens in this country would start to reduce immediately.

So as soon as I hear, “well we are not going to deport millions of people…” I know the speaker is not interested in actually dealing with the problem of illegal immigration.  They are only interested in getting those illegals amnestied; the quicker the better.  That tells me who in Washington is serious about the problem and who isn’t.  Right now, it seems that virtually no one is interested in doing anything other than amnesty.

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