May 29, 2007

Where's The Love?

If the New York Times editorial page did not exist, the Onion would have to make it up for entertainment. Today the Gray Lady tackles the immigration compromise, lauding it for its bipartisan nature -- while casting its opponents as vitriolic haters:

The problems with the restrictionist provisions of the Senate immigration bill are serious and many. It includes a path to citizenship for 12 million illegal immigrants, which is a rare triumph for common sense, but that path is strewn with cruel conditions, including a fine — $5,000 — that’s too steep and hurdles that are needlessly high, including a “touchback” requirement for immigrants to make pilgrimages to their home countries to cleanse themselves of illegality. The bill imposes an untested merit-point system that narrows the channels through which family members can immigrate.

And it calls for hundreds of thousands of guest workers to toil here temporarily in an absurd employment hokey-pokey — you put your two years in, then one year out, then repeat that twice and go home forever. It would be massive indentured servitude — colonial times all over again, but without any hope of citizenship for those taking our most difficult and despised jobs.

Those who want this bill to be better are horribly conflicted by it. Their emotions still seem vastly overmatched by the ferocity of the opposition from the restrictionist right, with talk radio lighting up over “amnesty,” callers spitting out the words with all the hate they can pour into it.

It is encouraging that the bill survived several attempts by that camp to blow it apart, including an amendment that would have stricken the legalization section outright. The center held last week. But it will take a real effort to make the Senate bill much better, given that a core group of senators are bound to the ungainly architecture of their “grand bargain” and that any progress in significantly altering or improving it could unravel the deal.

Undeniably, some people have allowed themselves to get too emotional in this debate. It's a rather broad brush that the Times paints here, however, in that anyone on the right seeking to defeat this bill or change it -- as the Times wants to do for its own purposes -- are automatically "spitting out the words with all the hate they can pour into it," which is not only hysterical but ungrammatical. The editors could use some editors.

The truth is that this bill damages the rule of law at the moment while promising to restore it in the long run. Those who object to that approach recall the 1986 amnesty, without the scare quotes, which came before a promised securing of the border. That promise still remains unfulfilled, and those who oppose a second amnesty want more than promises this time around. Even if one disagrees with the position or finds the emotional level disquieting, one has to acknowledge that these opponents have a point.

Furthermore, polls show that most people have an objection to the manner in which this bill attempts to solve the problem. An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that border security is a much more pressing problem than normalization. Does the Times believe that 70% or more of America belongs in that group of "haters" that want to see border security first before normalization?

The Times gets more hysterical than those whom they criticize when they talk about the guest-worker program being a form of "massive indentured servitude". In the first place, it's voluntary. If they don't like it, workers don't have to enter the program. They're also free to leave if they do come here and don't like the conditions. The conditions as they exist today come much closer to indentured servitude, where employers can extort labor with the threat of exposure to the ICE. I agree that the guest-worker program could create a lot of problems, but modern slavery isn't one of them.

I know most CQ readers don't bother with the Times, but it's good to keep an eye on them. They still have influence, although this editorial demonstrates why that influence continues to fade.


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Comments (20)

Posted by Labamigo | May 29, 2007 1:09 PM

The New York Times is to the democrats what Pravda was to the Communists.

It is an organ of propaganda, misinformaiton, and disinformation.

Unfortunately, since it is widely read and carries great weight, it cannot be ignored.

Reading the Times gives us insight into liberal thought and doctrine. Sort of like watching a Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom show on the habitat of the sloth. Or something.

Posted by burt | May 29, 2007 1:59 PM

"Does the Times believe that 70% or more of America belongs in that group of "haters" that want to see border security first before normalization?"

Of course they do. That 70% are not among the 30% who are virtuous and are likely to read NYT or similar gospel.

Posted by JoeDoe | May 29, 2007 2:05 PM

According to Bush, successfully securing the Iraq / Syria border is his royal highest priority - the "other" borders - who cares? There is another rub though - as long as his Spanish nanny can finally get a pardon for raising such a star within the royal oligarchy (SA or USA - your pick, no long-term differences) - hence the new amnesty push.

Ney York Times - the New Royal Jester.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 29, 2007 2:30 PM

I find it interesting that the legislation has the lowest paid workers in the nation expected to come up with a $1000 fine and a $4000 fine. Yeah, right! These poor people (no pun intended) can't afford decent housing, healthcare, etc., and they're gonna pop up with 4g's? No way...unless...hmmm, unless Bank of America or some other bank was able to offer credit to illegal aliens? Gosh, I'd swear I remember seeing that on some site once?


Posted by Scott Malensek | May 29, 2007 2:32 PM

I find it interesting that the legislation has the lowest paid workers in the nation expected to come up with a $1000 fine and a $4000 fine. Yeah, right! These poor people (no pun intended) can't afford decent housing, healthcare, etc., and they're gonna pop up with 4g's? No way...unless...hmmm, unless Bank of America or some other bank was able to offer credit to illegal aliens? Gosh, I'd swear I remember seeing that on some site once?


Posted by RG | May 29, 2007 2:34 PM

Now that George Will, Peggy Noonan and even Charles Krauthammer and nominally Michael Barone and Bill Kristol have all expressed serious doubts about this Senate amnesty ("No Mexican Left Behind" act), those of us who have listened to and agreed with Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter and even Pat Buchanan must all have smiles on our faces today. What they all agree on is, enforce the law Jorge Bush! No special dispensation for people with Latino surnames. Is that so radical and mean-spirited to suggest?

Not even Tancredo or Buchanan believe immigration should be stopped, they simply advocate enforcing the law against illegal immigration and lowering legal immigration numbers for a period of time. Believe it or not but many, many Americans believe the same. Something like a small majority of Americans believe in reducing the legal numbers. A large majority wants laws enforced to fight the illegal variety.

Why? For a few reasons but one is that the immigration system is so dysfunctional, the best chance at repairing it is to lower the numbers - just like when you fix or change a faucet in your home, you first need to shut off the water main because to work on a faucet without cutting off the water is too difficult to manage and invited troube. Duh.

Posted by Carol Herman | May 29, 2007 5:08 PM

Today, up at Little Green Footballs, Charles Johnson wrote that he's about given up on Bush. He said he stayed with him; but now. With this crappy deal making going on in Iran, he's thinking of tossing in the towel.

I gave up on Bush, already, since last summer. When Israel was involved with "doing something" after Nasrallah kipnapped (and probably killed) two Israeli soldiers.

It's the stuff that happened "next" that popped my eyes wide open.

That's when James Baker came out of the woodwork! And, DC is a town James Baker OWNS!

If I had to bet? Bush doesn't have much of a belief system. Only a sense of entitlement. Which is why he had the queen come over from England; for a visit. To Bush, that crap equals a "big deal."

And, ya know what? He's more worried about his legacy than he is letting on. So by "playing ball" with the beltway "boys," where James Baker is "king of the leakers." Bush is hoping to stave off IMPEACHMENT.

He's trying to out-do the donks, now. Agreeing with them whenever he can. (Because it pushes their agenda through WITHOUT EFFORT.) Bush is "big" on limiting his "efforts."

The interesting thing, though; on immigration, is that it cut across the boards. The donks got as much traffic telling them to "just say no," as the pubbie's did. You might even guess that people who need to get re-elected, are somewhat aware that the American People think most of them are worse than prostitutes. Meaning? Their agenda is a dog.

In 1940, when FDR was facing Wendell Wilkie, for his 3rd run ... FDR, himself, planned the "attack." To get Wilkie to appear as an extremists; he just went to Madison Square Garden. And, he gave ONE SPEECH.

He called Wilkie someone who came from the team that had the isolationists in Congress. Especially three republican representatives: BARTON, MARTIN, and FISH.

Of course, FDR won all his presidential campaigns.

We, today, forget, that a president could be well versed in politics. And, quite able to give the opposition party HELL.

Well, ya got yourselves a turkey. All because you thought you'd manipulate THE FOOL, into handing over the Supreme Court, to ideologs. So, you could prevent women from having a choice when they got pregnant. Turns out, you can't force religion down other people's throats.

So the GOP hucksters have themselves a problem.

600 days more to go. (Hopefully, Bush will fill his calendar with lots of vacations.) Because he's very detrimental to the party! He's gonna leave nothing in place. Except an empty shell. Leaving the GOP to flounder "out there" as a minority party ... Until someone gets very serious. And, instead of "perpetually campaigning" goes, instead, to the America People, and WITHOUT CANNED SPEECHES; tells the truth.

Part of the truth is that we can't fix every nation that's broken. Yes, there are lots of rats with money; not just the Saudi's. Who have "easy access" to the legal machinery.

And, where Bush has failed is that he NEVER HAD ANY INTENTION OF DOING MUCH, except giving real estate to his fwends, the Saud's. He's incompetent. And, James Baker is in it for the money.

What's gonna fix this? Because the more you learn, the closer you get to seeing how the Bush White House CONTRIVED to fool ya! Fooled a lot of people.

Posted by Nessus | May 29, 2007 5:40 PM

Just heard a wonderful statement on Lou Dobbs' program by a viewer: Americans are being taxed without representation and illegals have plenty of representation without the burden of being taxed!!

Welcome to Jorge Bush's North American Union.

Posted by Keemo | May 29, 2007 6:05 PM

Bush Attacks Immigration Deal Opponents
May 29 12:53 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

GLYNCO, Ga. (AP) - President Bush attacked opponents of an immigration deal Tuesday, suggesting they "don't want to do what's right for America."

"The fundamental question is, will elected officials have the courage necessary to put a comprehensive immigration plan in place," Bush said against a backdrop of a huge American flag.

He described his proposal—which has been agreed to by a bipartisan group of senators—as one that "makes it more likely we can enforce our border—and at the same time uphold the great immigrant tradition of the United States of America."

Bush spoke at the nation's largest training center for law enforcement.

He chose the get-tough setting as conservative critics blast a Senate proposal as being soft on people who break the law. Hoping to blunt that message, Bush emphasized that any new options for immigrants and foreign workers would not start until tougher security is in place.

The presidential stop came during a congressional recess, with senators back home and facing pressure from the left and right on the immigration plan. Bush's aim is to build momentum for the legislation, perhaps his best chance for a signature victory in his second term. The Senate expects to resume debate on it next week.

"A lot of Americans are skeptical about immigration reform, primarily because they don't think the government can fix the problems," Bush said.

"And my answer to the skeptics is: give us a chance to fix the problems in a comprehensive way that enforces our border and treats people with decency and respect. Give us a chance to fix this problem. Don't try to kill this bill before it gets moving," Bush told students and instructors at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

Bush repeatedly cast the matter as one of political courage.

"Those determined to find fault with this bill will always be able to look at a narrow slice of it and find something they don't like," the president said. "If you want to kill the bill, if you don't want to do what's right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it.

"You can use it to frighten people," Bush said. "Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all."

The bill would give temporary legal status to millions of unlawful immigrants, provided they came forward, paid a fine and underwent criminal background checks. To apply for a green card, they would have to pay another fine, learn English, return to their home country and wait in line.

The plan also would create a guest worker program. It would allow foreign laborers to come to the U.S. for temporary stints, yet with no guarantee they can eventually gain citizenship.

Both the new visa plan and the temporary worker program are contingent on other steps coming first. Those include fencing and barriers along the Mexico border, the hiring of more Border Patrol agents and the completion of an identification system to verify employees' legal status.

The legislation would also reshape future immigration decisions. A new point system would prioritize skills and education over family in deciding who can immigrate.

Georgia's senators both played leading roles in producing Bush's deal with the Senate. Yet they have also said they may not support the final bill, depending upon how it is amended.

Bush chastised those who say the proposal offers amnesty to illegal immigrants. He called it empty political rhetoric.

G.W. Bush and the NYT are on the same page regarding this issue. Pretty damn revealing in of it's self...

I'm with Charles Johnson, I've supported Bush all of these years mostly due to his steadiness regarding the war against Islamic Terrorists, tax cuts, and the fact that America hasn't been hit again... I have openly stated my disappointment with Bush and his "odd relationship" with Fox & Mexico (on this site) many times. Now it is crystal clear that Bush is an Internationalist and has no regard for the will of the American people regarding open borders and the effects illegal immigration will have on generations of Americans to come. Bush begs us to "give government a chance to fix these problems"; what an absolute fool, as we have given government a chance to fix this problem for the past 40-50 years and they have failed miserably every single time. Hell, Teddy Kennedy has had about nine attempts at this already; why would we trust the government to fix anything of this magnitude, these are the same fools that have refused to uphold the laws that already exist...

Damn, this pisses me off... Think I will sit here and write another hundred letters!

I'm close to joining the "impeach Bush" crowd....
Then there's that absolute idiot named McCain! No, no... I can't get started on McCain without completely destroying this entire night...

Posted by RBMN | May 29, 2007 6:10 PM

The solution is to remove the loophole that lets employers hire workers with forged documents. If the documents are good forgeries the employer is off the hook, without any risk of conviction. This compromise takes away the employer's loophole, and nobody seems to care. The potbangers just want the fence, like that will solve the problem. We're going to find that the most important fence we need is in the employer's office, when they're finally forced by law to authenticate documents against a database, and not just observe that the documents exist. When this compromise gets killed, to be replaced by absolutely nothing, that's when employers (who accept forged documents from illegals) will break out the champagne.

Posted by syn | May 29, 2007 6:29 PM

At the NRO conference last Feb 2007 Jeb Bush plainly stated that conservatives should be careful with their words because of the way people head things and conservatives were being rather 'nativists'. In other words Jeb Bush is the same as George W Bush. The entire Bush family ought to get out of politics forever.

Jeb Bush, hear my words, never think of running for president. Ever. Okay.

I'm tired of hearing Rosie O'donell etal 'Bush is Hilter' meme

Posted by msryan | May 29, 2007 7:49 PM

I'm writing my Congresswoman and Senators, to make clear that the only circumstances in which any such amnesty plan is acceptable is one in which, in return for taking 10% of Mexico's population, we also absorb 20% of their territory.

Posted by Thomas L. Knapp | May 29, 2007 8:33 PM

"An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that border security is a much more pressing problem than normalization. Does the Times believe that 70% or more of America belongs in that group of 'haters' that want to see border security first before normalization?"

Obviously the Times is misguided in assuming hatred as the basis for that many people's ideas of "border security first before normalization."

On the other hand, that 70% are definitely ... confused. "Normalization" is absolutely key to ANY semblance of "border security" and must be addressed before "border security" can become possible.

Why? Ah, brevity, I forgot. I just erased four paragraphs of pedantry and hereby replace them with a link.

Posted by mrlynn | May 29, 2007 9:12 PM

Mr. Knapp's argument, linked above, is that you can't patrol '100,000 miles' of border and coastline (not sure how he comes up with this astronomical figure, though I guess bays and deltas add a lot) and keep out the wetbacks and other illegals—because there is an economic incentive.

To which I reply: Get rid of the incentive!

A good start would be to begin seriously enforcing the law against hiring illegal immigrants. Give every citizen a counterfeit-proof ID card. If you don't have one, and can't prove you got it legally, then there are consequences:

No job. No healthcare. No schools. No welfare. No housing. No nothin', except a bus ride back over the border.

Get rid of the incentive(s), and you'll find that 12 million people can evaporate faster than snow in July, and the flood coming in over the border will slow to a trickle of drug smugglers. Them we can handle.

In other words, scrap the 'comprehensive immigration reform' bill, and find a way to enforce the laws we have.

I don't know what it will take to convince George W. Bush of the folly represented by this bill. Maybe Rush can get him to understand that it's just a welfare program for the Democratic Party.

Come on, Rush! You have connections. Pick up the phone!

/Mr Lynn

Posted by Drew | May 29, 2007 10:06 PM

Until the Feds can demonstrate that they can actually enforce the existing Simpson-Mazzoli law, we remain unconvinced that any new law is within their ability!

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | May 29, 2007 10:50 PM

Register for $375 and you can attend the Annual NASCO Conference this week:

The NASCO Conference 2007: Moving North America Forward will focus on key trade and transportation issues and opportunities for improved cooperation and economic partnership among the three North American countries joined by Interstate 35, along the NASCO Corridor.
NASCO (North America's SuperCorridor Coalition) is a tri-national, non-profit, trade and transportation coalition working to make international and domestic trade more efficient and secure along an existing network of transportation systems running north-south through the central U.S., Canada and Mexico.

NASCO's purpose is to boost economic development activity, while supporting multi-modal infrastructure improvements, technology/security innovations, and environmental initiatives along the NASCO Corridor, and to stimulate the dialogue between the public and private sectors about critical, corridor-wide trade and transportation challenges.

NASCO's vision is to be the lead on solving the industry adoption hurdles to new processes, procedures, technologies and systems by taking leadership to deploy far-reaching aggressive action and solutions along the Corridor.

We invite you to join more than 350 transportation, logistics and economic development specialists from across Mexico, the United States and Canada meeting in beautiful, historic Fort Worth, Texas. The NASCO Conference 2007: Moving North America Forward will provide valuable networking opportunities with high-level private and public sector business leaders and government officials and will facilitate in-depth discussions around primary issues affecting the technology and transportation needs for our continent.

An integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system between the three North American nations will greatly enhance our trade competitiveness and quality of life. The conference will focus on critical issues related to logistics and supply chain management, transportation security and efficiency, technology innovations and the environment.

Co-hosted by the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and Texas Department of Transportation and developed in partnership with NASCO (North America's SuperCorridor Coalition), the conference builds on the work started at the NASCO Conference 2006 in Winnipeg, Canada, and the Hemispheria San Pedro 2005 conference in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Recall Bush (US), Fox (MX), and Martin (CA) started this ball rolling in '05. This is all part of the SPP framework and coordinating more with Canada and Mexico. If you trust the Bush administration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with regard to prioritizing American citizen interests first, and perhaps even to the quaint ideas of sovereignty, security, law, and justice being useful, then you are being fooled. The best they have at defending policy is to call critics "bigots" and "racists". That's an obscenity.

Bush. The new Carter. It's starting to roll of the tongue though his flavor is different from peanut.

When you manage to get the support of Kennedy, Eleanor Clift, and the NYTimes, you've really screwed up. May the Bush dynasty end before the country does.

Posted by Nedra Lee | May 30, 2007 12:38 AM

I admit that I loved Bush in the beginning of his presidency - especially how he handled 9/11.

Then came all his machinations - Medicare; Harriet Meiers; And now this Immigration deal - which tells me alot about where his real feelings lie. The final straw ... dealing with Iran on Memorial Day??

Ye Gods what is the man thinking? I don't believe he is thinking anything at all ... just how he can get to the next "deal". Maybe the conservatives wont notice? HA! In a pig's eye we wont notice! We've had to ride herd on him since the Medicare deal. I'm tired of it all but can't give up the fight yet ... Where is Fred Thompson???

Posted by Rose | May 30, 2007 12:44 AM

Thomas Jefferson has this delicious quote:

"The vote of your opponents is the most honorable mark by which the soundness of your conduct could be stamped. I claim the same honorable testimonial. There was but a single act of my whole administration of which [the opposing] party approved... And when I found they approved of it, I confess I began strongly to apprehend I had done wrong, and to exclaim with the Psalmist, 'Lord, what have I done that the wicked should praise me?'" --Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1812. ME 13:162

You'd think that when Bush finds himself agreeing with BOTH Toady Chappaquiddick and the Old Grey Lady, that it would give him PAUSE...

Posted by Rose | May 30, 2007 1:05 AM

I'm tired of it all but can't give up the fight yet ... Where is Fred Thompson???

Posted by: Nedra Lee at May 30, 2007 12:38 AM

Ah, Fred Thompson, protegy of Baker, best buds with McCain, voted that Clinton DID NOT COMMIT PERJURY...much much more...

Posted by quickjustice | May 30, 2007 5:18 AM

As a New Yorker, I can tell you that the circulation numbers for the N.Y. Times are plummeting locally. It's you guys in the hinterlands that keep them propped up!

As for their position on immigration, it's the usual sanctimonious claptrap. Apart from the widespread use of Mexican labor by Times executives for yardwork and other petty chores, there's a culture of disrespect for religion, fidelity to one's spouse, devotion to one's family, and similar "petty bourgeois" values.

In short, Time executives have no respect for the rule of law or "conventional" morality-- unless it happens to advantage them.