RE: Immigration Bill Coming Back After the Fourth of July

As Andrew posted, the Immigration Bill will be coming back. Charles Krauthammer can’t understand why the damn thing has to be so complicated (via NLT):

The reason comprehensive immigration reform remains in jeopardy, despite yesterday’s partial resuscitation, is that it is a complex compromise with too many moving parts and too many competing interests….There is only one provision that has unanimous support: stronger border enforcement. I’ve seen senators stand up and object to the point system, to chain migration, to guest workers, to every and any idea in this bill — except one. I have yet to hear a senator stand up and say she is against better border enforcement.
Why not start by passing what all sides say they want?

Yeah. There are some Senators who aren’t buying the “new tone” coming from the White House, which is promising $4.4 billion “in immediate additional funding for securing our borders and enforcing our laws at the work site.”

Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.) is unconvinced the $4.4 billion expenditure would rally public support for the bill…., “If all they do is start spending money, that’s not going to convince anybody. We all know that the federal government spends lots of money and doesn’t get much done….What they are doing is that they are holding the things that need to be done hostage for amnesty. There is no reason we need to grant permanent legal status to illegal aliens before we have a secure border, before we have a worker ID and before we have a legal program that works.”
Republican candidate for President Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif) noted, “The Department of Homeland Security has almost a billion dollars on hand now for the border fence and road and lights and sensors.”
On October 26, 2006, President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act, authored by Hunter, to authorize the construction of a 2,100 mile fence along the U.S. border with Mexico.
“So, they’ve had the last seven months to build the border fence,” Hunter said in a phone interview. “The border fence, as I wrote it, is a double fence with a border patrol road in between and they’ve only built one layer eleven miles long to date.” {emphasis added}

Krauthammer has probably hit on why there is such a reluctance to build the fence; and it’s wrongheaded:

Why am I so suspicious about the fealty of the reformers to real border control? In part because of the ridiculous debate over the building of a fence….Instead, we are promised all kinds of fancy, high-tech substitutes — sensors, cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles — and lots more armed chaps on the ground to go chasing those who get through.
Why? A barrier is a very simple thing to do. The technology is well tested. The Chinese had success with it, as did Hadrian. In our time, the barrier Israel has built has been so effective in keeping out intruders that suicide attacks are down more than 90 percent.
Fences work….[but] [t]he final argument against fences is, of course, the symbolism. We don’t want a fence that announces to the world that America is closed. But this is entirely irrational. The fact is that under our law, America is indeed closed — to all but those who, after elaborate procedures, are deemed worthy of joining the American family. Those objecting to the fence should be objecting to the law that closes America off, not to the means for effectively carrying out that law.

They haven’t even progressed on the single easiest measure for border enforcement that is current law. Why should we believe them now?

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SusanD
SusanD
13 years ago

“The fact is that under our law, America is indeed closed — to all but those who, after elaborate procedures, are deemed worthy of joining the American family.”
As with every other country on the planet. The only difference is that, unlike many with zero immigration, we actually allow a certain amount of legal immigration.
“They haven’t even progressed on the single easiest measure for border enforcement that is current law. Why should we believe them now?”
Absolutely, Marc.
They are complicating a remarkably simple solution. The laws already on our books are great; just start enforcing some of them, especially on employers.

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