August 11, 2012
NOTHING SO BECOMES MR. RYAN AS THE DESPAIR OF THE NATIVISTS:
Border Skirmishes: The immigration debate pits voters against political elites. (W. JAMES ANTLE III, June 20, 2005, American Conservative)
Posted by Orrin Judd at August 11, 2012 3:34 PMWhile cities, states, and concerned citizens' groups grapple with the federal government's manifest failure to control the border, the administration and its allies on Capitol Hill continue to tout thinly veiled amnesty proposals.The latest example is a bill introduced by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)--bearing a restrictionist-sounding title, the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act--that would grant temporary-worker status to illegal aliens already in the country and import at least 400,000 new foreign workers a year. Congressmen Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz), and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) introduced a similar version in the House. Bush has so far avoided committing to a specific piece of immigration legislation, but McCain has expressed hope that the president will endorse this one. The bill was drafted with the White House's immigration policy goals in mind.Like most such measures, it combines liberalization with promises of improved border security and interior enforcement. Illegal aliens would be able to apply for permits to work in the United States for up to six years, subject to a background check and English-proficiency test. Guest workers who can be matched with U.S. employers seeking to fill those ubiquitous jobs Americans won't do are eligible for four-year work permits. The enforcement provisions include an employee-verification system to make it easier to avoid hiring undocumented workers and a process for developing a new national border-security strategy.Sponsors make much of the fact that the legislation would require illegal aliens to pay a $1,000 fine to receive a temporary work permit and another $1,000 when they (and their families) apply for a green card. "This bill is not amnesty," Sen. Kennedy has insisted. "This bill does not provide a free pass to anyone."But it does indisputably give illegal workers the ability to regularize their status and avoid the consequences of flouting immigration laws. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies recently wrote that the only difference between this bill and past amnesties is that it is a "prospective amnesty" rather than a "retroactive amnesty." Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, echoed this sentiment more bluntly: "There is a little more lipstick on this pig than there was before, but it's most certainly the same old pig."