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The WSJ Tirade Against Retreat on Immigration ‘Reform’

February 11th, 2014 - 8:40 am

Nor would it be a “de facto amnesty,” the term the Journal and GOP “reform” enthusiasts apply to the government’s current non-enforcement policy – as a salve to make their de jure amnesty proposals seem more palatable. Distinguishing between more and less severe outlaws is standard law-enforcement practice, the commonsense way in which widespread crime problems are managed. To take an analogous example, the FBI and DEA focus on narcotics traffickers, essentially ignoring illegal drug users. That does not mean the latter have been given amnesty. We still disapprove of their conduct; we just judge it not worth diverting limited prosecutorial attention over, and we calculate that targeting the worse offenders will discourage the lesser ones.

The enforcement focus on employers should be complemented by requiring legal status for social welfare benefits except emergency medical care and elementary education – the latter of which is required by the Supreme Court’s wayward ruling in Plyler v. Doe (1982). (Again, if I had my druthers, the states would have more discretion over what benefits they chose to open to illegal aliens – as long as they could not spread the costs on to other states.) Besides tending to border enforcement, we should, as Mark Krikorian argues, be pushing employers to use the E-Verify system to ensure that alien applicants are legally eligible to work. We should be tracking the border exit as well as the border entry of aliens. And I would adopt Steven Malanga’s proposal to reduce family “chain” migration and shift toward “skills-based” immigration.

The point is that, although we should not gratuitously harass illegal aliens, neither should we encourage them. In the vast majority of cases – i.e., excepting children brought here through no fault of their own by their illegal alien parents – they made a willful choice to enter and remain here in violation of our laws. It is their responsibility to conform their behavior to our laws, not ours to conform our laws to their behavior.

In any event, I’m not saying I’d never consider some kind of legal status – though certainly not citizenship – for some categories of illegal aliens. I’m saying get back to me in five or ten years, after bipartisan Washington has proved (a) it is serious about enforcing the immigration laws; (b) it has substantially reduced the population of illegal aliens; (c) it is cooperating with, rather than punishing, states that enforce the law; (d) it is prioritizing assimilation; and (e) it is decidedly favoring immigrants who will help our country flourish over those who will be a burden.

The Journal’s editors, who are very smart guys, have a very different position. I can respect it, and even see some valid points in it, without dismissing them as lunatics. I don’t understand why it seems so hard for them to reciprocate.

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Image illustration courtesy /  Gunnar Pippel

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Top Rated Comments   
The WSJ speaks for the Gated-Community Wing (Tip) of the GOP. None among them have ever had to deal with, or live with, the impacts of illegal immigration on the day-to-day lives of regular Americans. They live in a bubble. And their bottom line is their healthy bank accounts.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Reform advocates demagogue that suggestion as a call to “round up” millions of people. But that is absurd. A “round up” is neither possible nor desirable."

It's not "possible"?

Poppycock. May I remind you that Nazi Germany located, identified, apprehended and transported 6 million Jews,(and a few million others), from nearly a dozen foreign countries across Europe while fighting a 5 front war using 1930s-40s IBM Hollerith punch-card technology.
And we would simply be sending these people Home,(as opposed to transporting them to labor and death camps), so please stop declaring that something is "impossible" simply because you personally don't want to do it.
It's quite possible.

This brings up the next flaw in your argument...that it's not "desirable".

Once again...why not?

You admit that these people have immigrated here illegally, (you go so far as to use the oh-so-politically-incorrect term "illegal immigration", do you not?), so why do you balk at the next lawful and rational step...that they be apprehended and deported?

Look, pal, you either believe in the Rule of Law or you don't. Rather obviously, you don't. You somehow just don't have "the stuff" to walk it like you talk it, so do us all a favor and stop bleating about how others are screwing the pooch on illegal immigration, because the reason that the "enforcement is broken",(which rather unsurprisingly leads to the widespread crime wave of illegal immigration), can be laid directly at the feet of the fellow staring back at you from the mirror.

Round 'em up and ship 'em out.

If you ain't on board with that, then you just ain't on board for any of it.

And you better teach your kids to speak Spanish or take 'em back to Ireland...if the Irish let them in.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only a fool or a politician (pardon tautology) could believe that having twelve million to twenty million people who are the functional equivalent of an illiterate high school drop out will benefit the county. [Our educational system produces enough of these without further assistance.] If illegals perform tasks "Americans won't do" then we could remove the social safety hammock created by the welfare state. Then when the indolent and slovenly get hungry enough they may do the tasks; if not, Darwin rules.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (41)
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30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
my neighbor's mother makes $79 /hour on the internet . She has been without a job for 7 months but last month her pay was $18307 just working on the internet for a few hours. browse around this site............
http://www.works12.com
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The usual suspects love to conjure up movie-Nazi imagery and ramble on about jackbooted roundups and demanding to see "papers."

Unfortunately, too many of our side swallow the bait and do their own brainless ranting.

It's all-too-easy and simple. Just place a handful of ICE agents between the illegals and what they need: work, gov't services, housing, free healthcare and education.

Courthouses, municipal/county government buildings, "human services" offices, emergency rooms, schools, etc. Fixed targets, easily covered. Business licenses? Car registrations? Rental agreements? Fines? Fees? Driver's licenses? Signing up for benefits? Can't get in without proper ID. Have agents checking ID's at employers' gates (for six weeks or so at a time). check the trailer parks and cheap hotels and apartments, stores and strip malls. A little local intelligence will reveal all the fixed targets. No arrests, just fine the pants off the employers and landlords.

DO round up and deport the "media darlings". Several hundred high-profile arrests and deportations across the country will overwhelm the resources of the immigrant rights industry and make it clear that having the liberal media in your pocket is only a bullseye on your back.

Don't tiptoe about in fear of media opprobrium, court it. This is psychological warfare, make the media scream itself hoarse and raise "hysteria" among the illegals. Then watch the stampede.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The head of the Chamber of Commerce said American workers are not qualified for unskilled labor and they don't want to work. First, I didn't know there were "qualifications" for unskilled labor. Isn't this labor unskilled because the workers lack qualifications? Their unwillingness to work might reflect peon wages.

I'm afraid the Chamber of Commerce wants people for low wage labor, preferably intimidated immigrants who are unable to leave the job. They don't like uppity workers who want to make enough to sustain a life. Welfare programs can supplement the meager wages at someone elses expense. Hospitality industries would like to make profits selling their services to the diminishing number who can afford it.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
my best friend's sister-in-law makes $74 hourly on the internet . She has been out of a job for seven months but last month her check was $13475 just working on the internet for a few hours. look at this website................. http://www.works12.com
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Even considering amnesty without an accurate count seems irresponsible...even crazy. No other country on earth would let an unknown number of 'illegal visitors' suddenly become citizens. It won't happen in Mexico for sure. It's a 'felony' to be and illegal alien in Mexico. They are not allowed to be 'political' at all either. Zip/Nada. What are people thinking? Secure the borders first. Count our illegal guest accurately. THEN and only then should we even consider this very generous amnesty thing. Why not just enforce the laws we have now? Let people jump through the same hoops all previous immigrants were required to if they wanted to be legal citizens. Seems like a FAIR and simple solution. Common sense really. Oh that's right...common sense is DOA in Washington DC. The proof of that is EVERYWHERE. Bummer
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Try "getting political" as a foreigner in Mexico. I've read the anecdotes about Americans who so much as join a street demonstration. Immediate arrest and deportation.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Journal’s editors, who are very smart guys, have a very different position. I can respect it, and even see some valid points in it, without dismissing them as lunatics.

You are being too generous, WSJ's position on H-1B in particular has been dishonest and counter-factual for years, we're talking Jay Carney levels of biased drech. The gross inaccuracies of all their arguments on the topic have long called into question their mission as a journalistic enterprise.

And this has turned out to be accurate and prescient, one cannot safely read anything in WSJ anymore without discounting that it might be a political statement and in no way reflective of actual facts.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I still treasure the Solomonic wisdom of one long-ago commentator. Allow unlimited H-1B visas. WITH the proviso that the visa holder does NOT have to work for the sponsor. Businesses say we need more such-and-such? Fine. Let them add to the general number at their own expense. "Native" butchers, bakers and candlestick makers will suddenly be looking a lot more attractive once imported foreign labor is no longer artificially cheap.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
WSJ editors visit the Wine Country, but don't see what happens there.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our immigration system is 'broken' because the Paul Ryans and Rand Pauls, and Barack Obamas in Washington refuse to enforce the laws. It is a dereliction of duty on all their parts.

While we debate the issue the problem continues to grow. We will do nothing meaningful to stem the flow until something horrendous happens that forces the people - en masse - to demand action to curb the inflow.

The only substantial political forces that could resolve the issue have long ago abrogated their Constitutional powers to the national government - it is a misnomer to refer to our national government as the 'federal' government. The states have become so reliant on Washington for handouts and treats that they no longer represent a viable option or opposition to the long-arm of D. C. But isn't this the usual course of 'democratic' governments - that they eventually trend toward oligarchies and monarchies?

Washington cannot and will not willingly cede its power back to the states or to the people.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The operative word is willingly. It is time for the Liberty Amendments!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The WSJ editorial page has been 'open borders' for years.

I would like to present them with the following thought experiment:

Imagine that you host an annual holiday open-house in your home. Food and drink and festivity. Everyone is welcome. All you ask is that your guests knock at your door, greet you politely, shake your hand and introduce themselves. Your affair is very popular. So popular in fact that there is frequently a line on your walkway patiently waiting their turn to enter. How do you feel, then, about a group of people who, instead of adhering to your simple rules, hop your fence, let themselves in your back door and help themselves to the contents of your refrigerator?

I don't know about the WSJ, but my reaction would be to tell this group that they had abused my hospitality, disrespected my home, shown contempt for those awaiting entry out front, and I'd demand that they leave. And rightly so.

30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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