March 14, 2007


Illegal immigrants are here to stay (Jeff Jacoby, March 14, 2007, Boston Globe)

That pretty much sums up last week's federal immigration raid on Michael Bianco Inc., a leather-goods factory in New Bedford, which has been deservedly condemned as a humanitarian fiasco. But it is more than that. It is also an object lesson in the incoherence of American immigration policy, and in the harm being caused by the national obsession with, and hostility toward , illegal immigrants.

Immigration hardliners wax wroth at any suggestion that illegal aliens be given some way to come out of the shadows and legalize their status. Every such proposal they reject scornfully as "amnesty." Illegal aliens are criminals, they fume. Such people should be deported, not rewarded.

But no one this side of the fever swamps really believes that 12 million people -- the population of Pennsylvania -- can be rounded up and expelled. The raid in New Bedford involved just 361, and look what a botch was made of that. To deport 33,000 times that number would require the iron fist of a Stalin . No sane American would tolerate it.

...just as Tom Tancredo isn't going to do the work around his own house, neither is he going to strap on the jackboots himself. The nativists, happily, are just sound and fury.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 14, 2007 11:29 AM

Lyndon Johnson deported several million illegals in a big sweep when he was president and no 'iron fist of stalin' was needed. It may be counter-productive to deport illegals, but to claim it would require a soviet-style government is just silly. Of coarse, the country would have been better of if Lyndon Johnson had been deported instead... but anyway.

Posted by: lebeaux at March 14, 2007 5:03 PM

No, he didn't.

Posted by: oj at March 14, 2007 7:35 PM

It's not a surprise that the anti-anti-illegal immigrationists want to pretend it's an either/or situation. (One way to spot an anti-anti- is that they are the only people who actually take Tom Tancredo seriously, and that includes his followers. I think many of them look under their beds at night just to make sure Tom hasn't deported the boogie-man from lurking there...)

Why is deportation immune from"Third Way" solutions? It's true that the gov't can'd do it all on its own, 'cause like any solution that involves them, they'll make a mess of it. But that doesn't mean it can't be privatized and be subject to market forces just like HSAs and school vouchers. (Hint: remove the economic incentives to be an illegal, and those people will "self-deport" or never come.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 14, 2007 9:11 PM

Because you can't have a decent society and mass deportations. You're right though that once you've got your final solution people won't want to come...nor stay. Those are the kinds of nations we all fled.

Posted by: oj at March 14, 2007 10:37 PM

Sorry OJ, you are right... my mistake. It wasn't Johnson. Apparently it was Eisenhower. In 1954 he initiated 'operation wetback' (honestly, I'm not making this up) to deal with an estimated 3 million illegals. After close to 100,000 were arrested and deported, many of the rest fled back to Mexico. Google it. But I still stand by my statement that the country would've been better off if Johnson had been deported instead.

Posted by: lebeaux at March 15, 2007 2:20 AM

Now that employers of illegal aliens in the US are finally being arrested and prosecuted, we will see a change of attitude toward the "welcome" of unwanted illegals.

When the executives of the hiring shops and corporations start their jail terms, the magnitude of the crime will be revealed.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at March 15, 2007 8:36 AM

No, it'll be decriminalized.

Posted by: oj at March 15, 2007 11:06 AM