Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Monday, November 28, 2005
Run for the border
I wonder if the righties are buying Dubya's "immigration reform"/seize the news cycle gambit... hm, let's see ...


Immigration gadfly Michelle Malkin is unmoved (I swear that girl would deport herself if she could...) while her man John Mann sums it up like this:

TRUE Enforcement is the antidote to the Bush Administration’s Big Lie that another massive illegal alien non-deportation scheme and foreign worker importation program is necessary to make America more secure. This propaganda was peddled most recently by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff to the Senate Judiciary committee and to his own employees. In contrast, TRUE Enforcement looks like a knight in shining armor.

But what is "true" immigration law enforcement anyway?

Answer: Real immigration law enforcement is arresting aliens, deporting them, and making sure they stay out.

That means summary removal, not perpetual federal litigation. That means officers with guns removing as many interlopers and criminals as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Damn! Malkin better keep her foreign parents away from that guy...

More reax:

Freewheelin' Joe is angry at Bush today...
The FReeper Big BRother actually locked this thread to stop the anti-Bush no-nos ... including this picture in his post will probably get ole Travis McGee banned...

...they don't allow that kind of thing on the FReep you know...

The really sad thin about it is that Bush really has nowhere to go on the immigration issue. He's got McCain nipping at his heels and, being from a border state, pushing for some form of amnesty (McCain is co-sponsoring a bill with Ted Kennedy of all people, which would give illegal immigrants visas for up to six years, after which they'd have to get straight or get deported. Not sure how you'd enforce that, so in other words, amnesty...) He's got Ken Mehlman sto;; trying to build a GOP rainbow coalition based mainly on a cobbled together coalition of angry white guys, right wing Black ministers, Cubans who don't get that Fidel is going to die of natural causes, still running Cuba, plus socially conservative, Catholic Mexicans who think it's cool that Dubya can sort of speak Spanish. He's got the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and his corporate farm cronies practically demanding cheap slave labor from Mexico and other parts south. And then he's got the Pat Buchanan/populist right creaming him on his "failure to live up to his Constitutional duty to protect the United States from invasion." All of this just wrecks what was supposed to be a signature issue for him -- his appeal to Hispanics (which is really his appeal to Cuban-Americans, but there you go.)

So what to do? Bush can't satisfy all of his base on this one, and as a result, he's pissing the whole base off. I almost feel sorry for the guy. Almost.

Update: Bush capped off his Mexicali junket with a speech on his desire for a "new" immigration policy. Unfortunately it sounds a lot like the old one:

He said the program he's proposing would create a legal way to match foreign workers with American employers to fill jobs that Americans will not do.

What sorts of jobs would that be? Restaurant workers? Construction workers? Delivery drivers? Those kinds of jobs often pay crappy wages, mostly because illegal labor has driven down the price of labor to the point where Americans can't afford to take them. I'm not saying they were necessarily illegal, but every single one of the workers who build my house was a non-English speaker from South or Central America. Not one anglo or Black construction worker in the bunch. Didn't American men used to feed entire families on construction jobs? Or Mr. Bush must mean those killer jobs picking fruits and vegetables -- the agrucultural labor jobs that helped build this country because of free labor (slaves), cheap immigrant labor, and now, slave wage-like illegal immigrant labor. Mr. Bush can't do much about that as long as the business lobby tells him not to...

And what about the subject of the "security" in border security? Couldn't, say, a terrorist just sneak across the border the way even Mexican teenagers do? One would think so. Bush's balancing act just gets hairier and hairier...

Update 2: Human Events reports that give 'em Hell Harry's" has called on President Bush to "stand up to the right wing" on immigration. And according to the same article, the White House used to treat poor Tom Tancredo like a crazy auntie (if they're not still treating him that way, they're in more trouble than I thought...)

Update 3: Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

La Nueva Orleans

NO MATTER WHAT ALL the politicians and activists want, African Americans and impoverished white Cajuns will not be first in line to rebuild the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Latino immigrants, many of them undocumented, will. And when they're done, they're going to stay, making New Orleans look like Los Angeles. It's the federal government that will have made the transformation possible, further exposing the hollowness of the immigration debate.

President Bush has promised that Washington will pick up the greater part of the cost for "one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen." To that end, he suspended provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act that would have required government contractors to pay prevailing wages in Louisiana and devastated parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. And the Department of Homeland Security has temporarily suspended sanctioning employers who hire workers who cannot document their citizenship. The idea is to benefit Americans who may have lost everything in the hurricane, but the main effect will be to let contractors hire illegal immigrants.


Mexican and Central American laborers are already arriving in southeastern Louisiana. One construction firm based in Metairie, La., sent a foreman to Houston to round up 150 workers willing to do cleanup work for $15 an hour, more than twice their wages in Texas. The men — most of whom are undocumented, according to news accounts — live outside New Orleans in mobile homes without running water and electricity. The foreman expects them to stay "until there's no more work" but "there's going to be a lot of construction jobs for a really long time."

Because they are young and lack roots in the United States, many recent migrants are ideal for the explosion of construction jobs to come. Those living in the U.S. will relocate to the Gulf Coast, while others will come from south of the border. Most will not intend to stay where their new jobs are, but the longer the jobs last, the more likely they will settle permanently. One recent poll of New Orleans evacuees living in Houston emergency shelters found that fewer than half intend to return home. In part, their places will be taken by the migrant workers. Former President Clinton recently hinted as much on NBC's "Meet the Press" when he said New Orleans will be resettled with a different population.

Newsweek concurs... Fred Barnes: El Grande Olde Party?

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posted by JReid @ 5:51 PM  
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