Asleep at the Border
I wish I could offer some little bit of insightful commentary on the President’s speech. Unfortunately, I dozed off shortly after his use of the “the vast majority of” construction. On the bright side, the nap left me revivified for the season finale of Prison Break. The frustration: that I had to wait an extra twenty minutes for the show and the writers still ended the season with a cliffhanger.
Maybe next season the President will have something worthwhile to say.
Now that I’ve gotten a (somewhat) full night’s sleep, perhaps two examples of the mentality that’s causing my ennui are in order. From the speech:
Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are legal.
This statement — picked up later in the speech, as well — seems to me to deliberately skirt the central point. The President says that we must “hold employers to account for the workers they hire,” but the advanced ID card that he then proposes speaks not at all to the penalties to those who hire them for the very reason that they are outside of the system and, therefore, cheap. What does it mean to “hold them to account”? Where is the stiffening of punishments and the funding for additional manpower to seek them out?
Illegal immigration puts pressure on public schools and hospitals, it strains state and local budgets, and brings crime to our communities.
This idea disappears as soon as it’s voiced — as if thrown out there for small-government types to nibble on. What the President did not include is a suggestion that government services should not, in most instances, be available for illegal immigrants. They aren’t “putting pressure” on our public systems via some force of nature; they’re doing so because we let them.
In short, as perhaps best represented in his policy-free exhortation to assimilate, the President has suggested no force for motivation to enter into the system.