Better no immigration bill than this monstrosity
National Review has an excellent editorial on immigration reform. It brings up only a few of the manifold problems that this bill would create. But let me just enlarge on a few that have not received much attention.
Let's take the following quote from the editorial:
"Implicit in their arguments for amnesty and a guest-worker program is one possible objection to the attrition strategy: that the American economy needs more cheap, unskilled labor. Proponents of mass immigration boast that immigration brings a net benefit of $10 billion to the American economy. But this amount is, in the context of our $13 trillion economy, trivial. Reduced immigration would lead to some increased outsourcing, some substitution of machines for labor, some increased wages, and some higher prices. The economy would survive."
I take particular note of the words "increased outsourcing". It has recently occurred to me that one unspoken part of this immigration fever may be the desire of businesses to insource outsourcing by importing large numbers of unskilled workers to perform the kinds of jobs that are presently being outsourced to places like India, Bangladesh and China, among others. It might be more convenient for these companies not to have to re-import their goods and not have to deal with the expense and problems of shipping and myriads of regulations and other problems that that entails. Indeed, a reader informs me that in his city found in the heartland of this country, a company has built a large factory and staffed it with Mexican immigrants while building them a nearby shanty-town to live in. Welcome to the company store.
In addition, let's look at mechanization. The reason the South became a backward civilization that was destined to be "Gone With the Wind", was that they became dependent on slave labor, while the north was the source of all industrialization and invention. And in many ways that analogy holds true today. If the need was there, I see no reason why innovative minds could not find a host of new machines to harvest many crops that are presently harvested by hand only because there is a cheap and ready source of labor to do it. There is presently no need. Furthermore, it is untrue to suggest that a majority of illegals are employed in agriculture. The Washington suburbs have one of the highest percentages of illegal immigrants in the country, and there is no agriculture near here that employs large numbers of workers for harvesting crops.
There are so many bad parts of this monstrous bill that it's impossible to pick them all apart. But in addition to the portion that deals with the present levels of illegal immigrants there is a portion of the bill that deals with legal immigration and inverts the present quotas of skilled to unskilled labor, ensuring that the overwhelming majority of new immigrants will be unskilled and poorly educated. Where are the millions of unskilled jobs to come from if not for increased insourcing of outsourcing? There simply cannot be that many tomatoes or strawberries to pick or hotel rooms to clean.
Let's take another aspect of the problem. What government agency is going to be responsible for the monumental task of processing a flood of some 12 or more million applications when the present agency is years behind in processing the paperwork of legal immigrants with legitimate claims?
Are we then to have a new governmental agency costing in the billions of dollars and staffed with thousands of new employees? If so, this is nowhere evident in the legislation. How then is this to be enforced or even processed? How are these people supposed to prove that they are here for a certain amount of time? We know that they are proficient at forging and obtaining fraudulent documents. What sort of documentation are they to provide that they have been in the country for the required amount of time? And who will have the time and the resources to investigate all this paperwork to determine if it is legitimate?
Hopefully, the Republicans in the House of Representatives have heard the voice of the people and will not vote for this bill as it is presently formulated. Better no bill, than this monstrosity.
The Editors on Immigration on National Review Online
The Senate isn’t serious about enforcing the nation’s immigration laws. It is bad enough that the bill that 39 Democrats and 23 Republicans just voted to pass provides an amnesty to illegal immigrants already here. There might be an argument for doing that if there were any evidence of a commitment to enforce the immigration laws in the future. But the bill actually prohibits local police from enforcing civil violations of immigration laws—which in practice, given the byzantine rules distinguishing between civil and criminal violations of those laws, will get local police out of the enforcement business altogether. No serious effort is being made to make the bureaucracy capable of the enforcement tasks that will now be asked of them, such as performing background checks on the illegal population.
The bill forbids the federal government to use any information included in an application for amnesty in national-security or criminal investigations. Any federal agent who does use that information would be fined $10,000—which is five times more than an illegal alien would have to pay to get the amnesty. The Senate, on a tie vote, defeated John Cornyn’s (R., Tex.) attempt to rectify these provisions.
When Sen. Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.) offered an amendment to require that enforcement be proven to have succeeded before the amnesty or guest-worker provisions could take effect, he was voted down, 55-40. For most senators, enforcement is just boob bait for the voters. They are not willing to demand it before getting what they, for various reasons, really want: an amnesty and a massive increase in legal immigration.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) wanted to deny illegal immigrants the earned income tax credit. It is one thing to legalize them, went the argument, and another to subsidize them. He, too, was voted down, with Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) flippantly suggesting that the amendment was akin to requiring illegals to ride in the back of the bus. (No, senator: They’re in the front of the line, at least for legal residency in the U.S.)
The “temporary” guest-workers will be eligible for citizenship. If they overstay their welcome, there is no guarantee they will be deported—especially when Congress will have signaled, by passing this bill, its view that deportation is draconian. So these “temporary” workers will permanently change America. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation estimates that the bill would make for an inflow of 66 million immigrants over the next 20 years. Since much of this inflow would consist of poor and relatively uneducated people, one result would be, he says, the largest expansion of the welfare state in 35 years. (And he’s not accounting for the likely effects of these people’s votes.) Another very likely result would be the increased balkanization of America, as this massive inflow slows both economic and cultural assimilation.