« Hiding George and Stephen | Main | A Bad Week For Republicans »

April 07, 2006


From the NY Times:

Both sides said that without a quick resolution of the differences they would not have a vote on the final legislation before Congress leaves for its spring recess on Friday, raising the possibility that the painstakingly negotiated compromise might unravel as it is exposed to intense political scrutiny during the two-week Congressional break.

I think the compromise sucks, so I'm fine with no passage.

Let's the wingnuts chew each other up, let the racists howl in public, and let a more Democratic Congress tackle the issues after the midterms.

The bill is dead, and it looks like immigration reform is dead for the time being. It is like Social Security--nothing will happen. This pleases business above all. But this time the Dems proved themselves willing to compromise and willing to take part in reasonable deal-making. It is the "no amnesty for illegals (unless they are leakers)" crowd that dominated the debate. By fall gas prices and Iraq will be far more important, except with latinos, who will remember their friends.

It seems in our times Democrats continue to work to favor the minorities, although it is a raucous public dialog; and Republicans appear to have remained lost in their own abstract elitism though there are minority components to their constituency.
It was interesting that Durbin's measure for children of immigrants was the salient Democrat proposal. In contrast, Republicans in order to garner their most staid votes in congress had to prescribe fines on poor people.
And, of course, none of the measures addressed delicate areas such as the foreign policy incentives and social engineering discussions which need to underpin genuine resolution of immigration. Strangely, it seemed parts of the border-states' senators' measures were most realistic about the work conditions issues, and assuaging immigrants' sense of insecurity.
The US has undermined its own position in diplomacy within the Americas to the south of our country by the many foreign policy gaffes and outright misguided components of our international engagement, even apart from the realm of armed conflicts, though the latter, for the the moderate in Latin America serves to illustrate the most egregious deviation of the US from its prior enunciated policies. What is more, in Latin America the empiric results of US policies and presence are vivid in history recent and distant past.
To me, a key development will be how MX City mayor Obrador develops; whether he is elected to national office; and whether there is a substantive reason for his helping to evolve more of a two party system rather than the classic all minority system MX has endured; that is, if there is a constructive reason to bond with Cardenas and give new life to a progressive movement in MX politics.
During the US war in Nicaragua there was at least one calm president in a country in the region, enduring the seeming inability of the US Congress to halt a war financed from unpublished budgets selling uninventoried stockpiles of weapons to the Iranians; we know the story; so did the people of Costa Rica and other central American countries. Even US Supreme Court Justice Roberts alluded delicately to the matter in his confirmation hearing under questioning by Sen. Leahy, who tried to elicit some more expansive legal reasoning from the nominee than rhetoric coming from Congress after passage of the Boland amendment.
I have known many immigrants in the recent decade in a business setting; a majority have had family experience with some of the strife in central America. These are not refugees; rather, they are enterprising illegals or actually documented legal immigrants on visas, working to save here and send excess back home to family on the other side of the border. Often families form here and consanguinity south of the border continues to draw cash. It takes 5-10 years to develop enough reserve to finance return to MX, if, after that protracted 'indenture' here, the will to return survives. Imagine doing your dayjob you do here, instead overseas in some clime with more freedom and for tenfold more pay; soon you could retire or open your own business here, though living goes on and your family life and children generate bonds which render decisionmaking difficult when the time finally arrives that you have sufficient savings and the extended family is well provisioned.
Obrador needs to improve schools, and to afford channels for upward mobility, all in a society which is regimented, and which is under pressure from economic policies in the world of commerce. And there are social ethics to address as the background upon which the entire construct for progress must be built.
Partnership means more than charging an immigrant $1500. for being here illegally, equivalent to seven weeks' income here, and about the same as the average price a smuggler charges to transport illegals to and fro across the border.
But Republicans are the ones who, during the Reagan antisocial repression devised the concept of taxing unemployment checks, a kind of double-taxation, as it were, on the poor and misfortunate. That is the spirit I saw in most of the bills offered this week, the best the Republicans could muster. A facetious pittance, while offering their leaders exoneration and exemptions from exposees and taxes; quite a lot like the way the MX government does business.
It is little surprise that our social ethic would not coalesce a context for Republicans to pass an insensitive law to control immigration, at a time when the US is already stretching the world's tolerance of our foreign policy directions.
The first work in order is to restore some due process in our domestic law, and to work with other countries south of the border to build institutional and commercial ways to bring our international interests into more convergence in preparation for the time when a genuine immigration reform update can be debated meaningfully, passed, and implemented with the help of the nations in which illegal immigrants have their origins.
But to accomplish this both immediate tactics and longterm understanding need to be part of our own policy design; and it is a complex endeavor that would not rest plausibly beneath the marketing label No Immigrant Left Stranded.
Actually, word is this is going to be yet another undiscussed legislation by conference committee, a system which has developed as a standard m.o. for the current majority. So immigration reform has not disappeared; conference committee does not let Democrats contribute to the barter in this majority, rather, the Democrats in conference committee are permitted to vote as a bloc futilely, while the majority passes its own favorite components whether each element was approved in floor debate or not.
We will see the Hagel-Martinez-Sensenbrenner bill to fine immigrants re-emerge; but we will not see a policy with vision until after a few more elections.

MimiKatz, Jeralyn is saying the conference committee is getting in gear, though it is baffling how, given the senate's lack of action.

I think the horse is out of the barn. As Jeff Session is not from a state that has a large immigratnt population, his opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. The Republicans are looking at a tremedous loss and W will look weaker if this immigration bill does not pass. Democrats, why can't you "whip" your own members to vote for this bill? Don't call a horse dead until it is done marching on April 10.

americaforliberty, it's a process issue. Dems won't have the opportunity for an upperdown vote. Actually, some of them don't want one, but they would have gone along with the compromise.

What they don't want is someone from the R camp accusing them in November of voting no on an amendment that could be painted as "Dems voted against border security". And R's are afraid of right wing talk radio and their own base. After all, they have no one else.



it was a bum bill.

i was worried it would pass.

i'm glad it did not.

it did not meet two political needs sensibly

- to protect border property and communities


-- to meet the needs for low cost labor

(yeah, i know,

you are never supposed to say "low cost labor" in print,

but tell that to the construction, farming, janitorial, or "home maintenance" industries.

then of course there is the small moral issue of (implicitly) inviting people here, using them for menial labor, and then discarding them like cardboard trash -

not to mention interning them in prison camps;

and then deporting them.

sweet, huh!

like everything else bush touches,

including iran,

all is for political advantage.


this country is rich enough to support the health and education needs of its citizens and its immigrants -- legal or illegal.

but its leaders lack the courage to make the argument or to spend the money --

on us

as well as illegal immigrants.

have you ever observed the delight a second or third grader,

of any nationality or languge,

takes in learning something


if we can solicit and support foreign graduate students,

which our universities do in the tens of thousands,

then we can support "foreign"

third graders in their effort

to make sense of the world.

none of us know who can or will make the connections our culture or our species may need in the futrure.

the essential capital is

human capital.




The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad