May 1, 2006


Immigration Bill Lobbying Focuses on House Leaders: With Senate in Hand, Bush May Face a Skeptical GOP Base (Jonathan Weisman and Jim VandeHei, May 1, 2006, Washington Post)

President Bush's growing confidence that he will secure a victory on immigration runs in direct contrast to the House Republican leadership, which is prepared to block legislation that offers illegal immigrants a path to citizenship without sending them home.

Senate Democratic and Republican leaders are closing in on a bipartisan deal to secure the nation's borders, create a guest-worker program for foreign workers and offer citizenship to illegal immigrants who clear certain hurdles.

Assuming agreement is reached in the Senate, White House advisers said Bush believes that he can count on House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and other leaders to rally skeptical House Republicans behind legislation.

That sort of comprehensive and generous plan is precisely what polls show most Americans want, not that anyone is seriously going to control the borders. In his dotage, when Mr. Bush looks back at all he achieved in an already historic presidency, certainly adding over seven million new citizens will be among the things of which he's most proud.

How immigrants make economy grow (Patrice Hill, 5/01/06, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Immigrant labor -- both legal and illegal -- has been an important force propelling U.S. economic growth for years.

Growth in the native population has been in decline since the 1970s, so immigrant workers have filled in, providing half of the growth in the U.S. labor force since 1990. A basic rule of economics dictates that the economy in the long run can grow only as fast as the increase in the pool of workers, plus the growth in their productivity -- or output per worker.

Immigrant workers, like all American workers, not only contribute their labor but further propel growth by liberally spending the wages they earn on a host of items, from food to cars to clothing. Their presence has been a significant factor fueling growth in key sectors from banking to agriculture and housing -- many of which have been booming and underpinning the health of the rest of the economy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 1, 2006 7:23 AM

And if you want more proof Bush is going to (more or less) get his way on this issue, take a look at the WashTimes article OJ linked. The WashTimes has been a "consistent" voice against any form of illegal immigration reform. The fact that the paper is posting this shows that the political calculus is changing.

Posted by: Brad S at May 1, 2006 9:11 AM

The other option for those so angry about illegal immigrants would be for native Americans to start having lots more children to make up for that gap in the workforce. Of course, since birthrates are far higher in the red states than the blue states, where the abortion rates are much higher, I don't know if certain politicians really want to confront the public with their other options for keeping the economy running at full speed.

Posted by: John at May 1, 2006 9:25 AM


Combine the higher Red birthrates and the importation of Christians and you can see why anti-immigration is a naturally Blue position.

Posted by: oj at May 1, 2006 9:28 AM


I've matched OJ's contribution on that score, even though I live in a blue state.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 1, 2006 11:04 AM

Illegals with their 4-plus babies per family beats Japan's baby toys for seniors, and Europe's jihadists hands down.

Posted by: ic at May 1, 2006 1:45 PM