Tuesday, September 19, 2006

editorial from today's NY Times:

September 19, 2006

Editorial

Immigration’s Lost Year

Congressional leaders and President Bush insisted for months that they were serious about fixing the immigration system. They weren’t, and the more talk you hear about border security, about building walls and getting tough this time, the clearer it will be that hopes for effective immigration reform this year are past saving, pinned down by strong arms in the Republican-controlled House and kicked until dead.

The latest proposals are the product of a Republicans-only “forum” last week that distilled the bilge water of a summer’s worth of immigration “hearings,” which were actually badly disguised campaign events. The hearings — with titles like “How Does Illegal Immigration Impact American Taxpayers and Will the Reid-Kennedy Amnesty Worsen the Blow?” — were show trials put on to destroy comprehensive reform by any means necessary. “What I wanted was witnesses who agree with me, not disagree with me,” said Representative Charlie Norwood of Georgia, putting it perfectly.

The “Reid-Kennedy Amnesty,” by the way, refers to the now-defunct Senate immigration bill, which passed that Republican-controlled body with the support of stalwarts like Arlen Specter, John McCain, Mel Martinez, Bill Frist, Chuck Hagel and the most prominent Republican of all, Mr. Bush. One of the many signs of the hysteria accompanying this election season is the way their moderate approach to immigration has been tarred as wholesale “amnesty” for lawbreakers.

Like the summer hearings, the latest G.O.P. legislation is an empty vessel, a sham product aimed at the November elections that sells the test-marketed concept of “security” with little to back it up. By decreeing that a 700-mile fence should be the nation’s top immigration priority while rabidly opposing a path to legal status for illegal immigrants, the House Republicans are hotly pursing a failed strategy. What satisfies the talk-radio appetite for justice — wall ’em out and deport the rest — is not just needlessly cruel. It also won’t work.

If the House Republicans have their way and enforcement-only becomes our national policy, illegal immigrants will keep their heads down and keep working, cowed into accepting low pay and abuse, dragging down working conditions for everybody else. Lawlessness among the employers who hire them will be encouraged. If you like this world of illegality, anonymity and under-the-table cash, then the House Republican approach is the one for you.

Real immigration security means separating the harmful from the hard-working. It means imposing the rule of law on the ad-hoc immigrant economy. It means freeing up resources so that overburdened law-enforcement agencies can restore order at the border and in the workplace. It means holding employers, not just workers, responsible for obeying the law. And it means tapping the energy of vast numbers of immigrants who dream of becoming citizens and who can make the country stronger.

These are huge tasks, and the anti-immigrant forces have nothing to contribute. They are out of ideas, except about getting re-elected. Their calculated inaction and half-measures mock Americans’ support for comprehensive reform, which has been repeatedly confirmed in opinion polls.

We will see whether the November elections will make the travesty worth it for the immigrant-bashers, but for the nation it has become a lost year.

10 comments:

pig pen said...

If the House Republicans have their way and enforcement-only becomes our national policy, illegal immigrants will keep their heads down and keep working, cowed into accepting low pay and abuse, dragging down working conditions for everybody else. Lawlessness among the employers who hire them will be encouraged. If you like this world of illegality, anonymity and under-the-table cash, then the House Republican approach is the one for you.
So cracking down on illegal immigration will only cause more illegal immigration? The logic of the NY Times editor escapes me.

Peppermint Paddy said...

Pig Pen,
The logic of your
mis-characterization of the editorial escapes me.

pig pen said...

ok, paddy - you explain it.

Peppermint Paddy said...

Simply put, the editorial (neither in the portion you quoted, nor in its entierety)does not say
"cracking down on illegal immigration will only cause more illegal immigration."

Try reading the whole article again instead of pulling out one sentence to mischaracterize and summarily dismiss.

pig pen said...

I'm not summarily dismissing anything, I'm just offering up this passage for debate. BTW, what don't you read the whole article again.

Sean said...

What is salient is the passage - accepting low pay and abuse, dragging down working conditions for everybody else. - in that the writer openly acknowledges that the illegals pervert the labour market at the low and vunerable end of the wage scale.

Again the question is posed - what benefit(s) does the American taxpayer derive from immigration reform?

Anonymous said...

with a name like sean you would think that you would be for the irish are you sean

Sean said...

Everyone remembers that irritating moment when their parent concluded an argument with the imperious 'Because I said so.' statement.

The BECAUSE argument was not a justification to you then and it remains unsatifactory today. Illegals should not be pardoned for violating American law 'because'.

pig pen said...

Well Sean Penn is not Irish. I think he's Jewish.
If one is in favor of the Irish, one should be in favor of the irish "in the long run", not for some short-term amnesty in America which will only give the Irish a worse name that they already have in the US.
Here's an Irishman who wouldn't be getting any amnesty:

U.S. Deports Man Tied to Irish Slayings

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 26, 2006
Filed at 12:13 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A man from Northern Ireland who was convicted of aiding in the 1988 killings of two British soldiers has been deported to Ireland, ending a two-year effort by U.S. officials.

Sean O'Cealleagh, 37, flew to Dublin on Sunday, escorted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, the agency announced Monday. A judge signed a final order for his removal on Thursday.

O'Cealleagh had been in U.S. custody since Sept. 1 after the Board of Immigration Appeals ruled he could be deported, throwing out a lower court decision allowing him to stay in America.

''He was convicted of a brutal crime, he's not welcome in the U.S.,'' said Jim Hayes, a customs officer in Los Angeles. ''We still consider him a very serious public safety threat, that was the basis for our attempts to have him removed.''

O'Cealleagh was one of three men given life sentences in 1990 for their roles in the deaths of the two soldiers, who were beaten and shot after they were discovered in civilian clothes at a funeral for a slain Irish Republican Army member in Northern Ireland.

Convicted of aiding and abetting in the murders, O'Cealleagh spent 8 1/2 years in prison before being freed in 1998 under the Good Friday peace accord, which offered parole to hundreds of paramilitary convicts.

O'Cealleagh, who repeatedly denied involvement in the killings, emigrated to the United States in 1999 and was granted permanent U.S. residency in California two years later.

He was arrested in February 2004 at Los Angeles International Airport when he returned from a visit to Northern Ireland. The U.S. government argued that O'Cealleagh should never have been allowed in because of his conviction.

Peppermint Paddy said...

^^^ Why the need to point out Sean Penn is Jewish? I guess there is plenty of room in your heart to hate not only the irish, but the Jews too.... I'll say a prayer for you, Pig Pen.

By the way, I noticed your comments dropped off. Did you make a few comments on the wrong website and end up on Dateline?