June 20, 2007

A Lesson For Expanding Bureaucracies

For those who support the establishment of new Z- and Y- visa programs to settle the status of illegal immigrants, consider the scope of the management function this requires. The immigration compromise envisions a system that can process and manage a minimum of 12 million people who have never registered for services in the past, and one that can do so successfully almost immediately -- as a matter of national security. However, the government's track record on system management in this field looks decidedly poor, especially if you've been unfortunate enough to travel abroad recently:

Federal officials in Washington acknowledge that they failed to anticipate just how much the post-Sept. 11 travel regulations would fuel demand for passports; did not hire enough workers to handle the increase; and neglected to notice or react to signs early this spring of a burgeoning problem.

The State Department estimates that the number of Americans seeking passports this year will reach 17.5 million, up from 12 million in 2005 — the result of new rules requiring such documentation for air travelers returning from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean. Applicants' average wait time has swelled from six weeks to 12 weeks or more. ...

In an effort to ease the backlog, the State Department announced earlier this month that it would waive the new rules — which took effect in January — through Sept. 30 for travelers who already had applied for passports. Under current plans, the requirements for airline passengers will apply to travelers arriving by land and sea as well in January 2008.

The regulations grew out of recommendations made by the Sept. 11 commission, which in 2004 called for a standardized form of identification for all U.S. travelers to boost border security. In April 2005, the Homeland Security and State departments unveiled the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which required passports, rather than simply driver's licenses or birth certificates, for travelers returning from nearby countries.

Legislate in haste, repent in leisure.

At the time, critics warned that the crush of new regulation and the expansion of passport requirements would create massive backlogs. George Bush went along reluctantly with the new rules but warned Americans that their trave could get complicated to the point of impossibility while the new system came into being. It has taken more than two years since Congress mandated these rules, and it still hasnn't fully materialized -- and now we have to create bypasses in the regulations just to get American citizens out of the country, which was hardly the national-security problem this new system meant to solve.

Now the Senate wants to establish a brand-new system of government documentation for illegal immigrants on top of this meltdown at State. This system won't need to process an additional 5 million people over a two-year period; it will have to process 12 million or more people in a matter of weeks.

Once the immigration bill passes with these visas, illegals will want to register immediately for the temporary status that will keep them from the risk of deportation. Where will they go? How can the existing system, which already does a terrible job of keeping up with its existing demand, possibly withstand the traffic the bill will generate? If a good-sized DMV could process 1,000 applications for licenses a day, it would take more than 400 such offices around the country to process 12 million applications in the first 30 days.

That doesn't even consider the lack of infrastructure for the visas. We need computer systems developed, staff hired, documents designed and printed, and so on. The State Department had all of that infrastructure available, and they still couldn't get the job done more than two years after the mandate.

We're going to wind up in exactly the same place as the passport system. Applications will be locked in closets, people will not get responses from the bureaucrats, and Congress will angrily grill officials about the stupidity of the system Congress created.

And the same President that questioned the ability of State to handle an expansion of the passport regulations suddenly believes that the DHS can create a massive bureaucracy out of thin air to manage 12 million illegal immigrants.

Legislate in haste, repent in leisure.

UPDATE: I realize that the "incompetence argument" can be used to negate any sort of proposed government program, including border security. I'm not exactly arguing it to that extent, although it does explain the multitude of failures on border security rather nicely. What I'm saying is that this bill doesn't even begin to plan for the massive bureaucracy it will create. It ignores reality, sets up goals without the resources to meet them, and therefore promises something it will never deliver..

That's why it's better to tackle this one step at a time.


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Comments (45)

Posted by RSG | June 20, 2007 8:15 AM

This shamnesty bill is really about two things: 1) So called "guest worker" programs which ensure a continuous flow of cheap labor and 2) amnesty in the hopes that it will secure the future votes of latinos.

Those are the objectives of the pols.

As I've said before, the appropriate punishment for illegal immigration is deportation - anything else is nonsense designed to pander to latinos and businesses desire for cheap, compliant labor. Until this nation starts deporting large numbers of illegals (starting with the most serious fugitive felon illegals), the problem will not be solved. For deporting scares many illegals, who will go home on their own and it will discourage those in foreign lands from coming here illegally in the first place.

Not deporting sends the message that the USA is not serious about it's laws and sovereignty.

Posted by pilsener | June 20, 2007 8:18 AM

The Captain's analysis is spot-on. The outcome of administering this legislation is utterly predictable.

But unlike passports, Z-visas will simply be issued. The background checks and paperwork coordination will grind slowly with lots of breakdowns, but the legalizations will proceed rapidly because clearing the "clients" will be the highest priority.

Posted by Duane | June 20, 2007 8:18 AM

This argument - basic governmental incompetency - has been used as a shield against any form of regularization of illegals by the anti-immigrant crowd. But this argument does not hold water. For one, the incompetency argument is a two edged sword: if the government cannot be relied upon to manage the Y and Z visas, then why should one expect the government to ever control the border or otherwise enforce the immigration laws, no matter how they are written now or in the future? By using the incompetency argument, the arguer is really arguing to do nothing at all about immigration, ever. Is that what America really wants or expects? Hardly.

Second, whatever strains we are feeling today over the new passport requirements, keep in mind that this is a temporary strain, and over time the strain will be relieved (either through less demand - because passports are only needed once every ten years, plus greater capacity to meet that demand).

Third, there is no other way to regularize illegal immigrants but to grant them some form of immediate provisional status, which is what the proposed bill provides. Once a person has achieved provisional status, then it will be many many years (up to 17 years or more) and they will have to go through the system on multiple occasions, paying fines and meeting other requirements, before they can hope to achieve citizenship. Unless one is a radical libertarian/anarchist, an otherwise reasonable person can believe that our American government is capable of learning to manage this process over such a timeframe.

The incompetency argument is a loser argument. The American people and their freely-elected government are not losers. This is not Europe, or the third world. We're the most successful nation in the history of the world. We can make this work if we choose to do so.

Posted by MaaddMaaxx | June 20, 2007 8:21 AM

Captain your analysis only overlooks one thing...Where are they going to get enough Spanish speakers to process the 12-25M?
I strongly suspect they will end up hiring the spouses of the illegals.
More jobs Americans can't /won't do.
And will these so recently illegal, now government workers be honest about the illegals they register or will they help them fill out the paperwork in a manner that will render it meaningless?
"Oh, no Juan, you don't drink and you don't own a car that you drive with no insurance".

More American tax dollars headed south of the border to subsidise a failed socialist economy.
Isn't it time to simply annex Mexico and make their provinces the 51st-60th states?

Posted by james23 | June 20, 2007 8:25 AM

"The incompetency argument is a loser argument." So sayeth the pro-amnesty guy above.

No, the incompetence argument is a fundamentally conservative argument. Embracing incompetence is a liberal argument, and a loser argument at that.

Posted by BoWowBoy | June 20, 2007 8:29 AM

The measurement of good sound leadership .............is not ........."going along reluctantly" .....with a boondoggle.

That at best .....is ......almost good leadership.

Bush has blown almost every leadership decision he has had his hand in. Look what we have to look forward to.

Posted by pilsener | June 20, 2007 8:36 AM

Duane -

I'm a believer in Federal bureaucratic ineffiency/incompetence. Because I believe, I don't think the border will ever be fully secured. But if the money and manpower is SOLEY directed toward enforcement, there is at least a chance that enforcement will improve.

If the focus is split between legalization and enforcement, the border will remain porous while legalization will proceed relatively rapidly. What will be waived is rigorous background checks, linking of databases, accurate recordkeeping, and law enforcement efforts to deport the bad guys.

The motivation for this legislation is to legalize the "illegals", it is not to secure the border, improve immigration processing, or reduce the overall cost of government.

Posted by Papa Ray | June 20, 2007 8:45 AM

MaaddMaaxx said: "...will they help them fill out the paperwork in a manner that will render it meaningless?"

Yes that is exactly what will happen and is happening daily in the Great State of Texas right this very day.

If you go to any office that has to do with welfare or medical services you will find Mexicans (all legal? I'm sure) working the desks there (almost every one). You will stand in line waiting for your turn, and if you happen to understand Texmex (I speak it a little, but there seems to be some kind of mental block in being able to speeek it) you will hear "coaching" before the applicant even starts the process (what ever it is) and if the applicant has a question during the process, the staff is quick to help them put down the "right" answer.

How do I know this? Well because I understand Texmex (and most spanish), and I have been there when this is happening at different state offices and medical centers for several months.

What am I doing there? Well my 40 y/o errant daughter is with child again, and only can work part-time and needs all the help she can get and I am helping her in this process by driving her around (she has no car and no husband and not one of her many boyfriends has volunteered to help her, and she lost her license because of a DUI last year).

I know, too mucho information. But I thought I should qualify my views.

Papa Ray
West Texas
P.S. In the Great State of Texas, if you want a job, you better be able to speak texmex spanish, cause if you can't you won't get it. This applies in almost every job catagory.

Posted by Duane | June 20, 2007 8:47 AM

The keys to competent administration of any system are to provide sufficient resources; adopt clear goals and objectives; apply appropriate measurements to monitor progress in meeting the goals and objectives; and finally, apply vigorous oversight that will keep us on course to our objectives.

No administrative system or program can ever be perfect, but we have shown in America that we can build terrific infrastructure, fund our government with a minimum of corruption (compared to everywhere else in the world), defend our nation, lead the world in economic development, lead the world in science and technology, and on and on. Best of all, we have achieved all of our success because we believe in and defend the freedom of our people, and we believe in ourselves and our capacity to succeed. Any nation that can accomplish all of that can, over time, do what it takes to gain effective control over our borders while meeting the needs of our people and of our economy for a reliable supply of labor.

To respond to one poster above, if he thinks the answer to America's needs is simply and solely to deport the illegals, if it's so simple, then why hasn't that been done? And how does simply deporting illegals address our economy's need for lower-skilled labor? Where will your food come from when it can no longer be harvested? Who will supply unskilled construction labor needed to build your house and widen your roads? The problem may seem simple to you, perhaps because you haven't considered these things, or because you don't give a damn. But I can assure you that these things matter a great deal to a large slice of the the entrepreneurial small businesses that create most of the new jobs in today's economy ... without whom America would in time decline to a third world economy.

Gaining effective control of our border, and over who lives and works in America is, despite the rhetoric, no simple thing. It might be simpler if nobody ever had any reason to come to America, the world's most prized domicile, and if we did not have the strongest and most job-creating economy in the world. But because of those wonderful facts on the ground, we have a complex challenge to respond to. Anybody who says solving our immigration problem is really simple - just deport them all - is somebody who is either ignorant, or is somebody who just doesn't care about anything but their own aversion to immigrants.

Posted by Keemo | June 20, 2007 9:01 AM

If this doesn’t define how bad this bill really is, nothing will:

Kennedy called President George Bush’s support of the bill “courageous” and said he hoped to take up debate in the Senate later this week and through the weekend.

“I’m going to be working together with my new best friend,” Kennedy joked of Bush.

Uncle Teddy says Bill will be “defining issue” for our country:

Declaring immigration reform a national-security and “defining” issue, Sen. Edward Kennedy yesterday vowed that supporters will resume their push for a controversial bill later this week in the Senate.

Kennedy, speaking at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Park Plaza Hotel, denounced “naysayers” of the comprehensive bill that has drawn criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for either being too lax or too tough toward illegal immigrants. “I think that this issue is sort of the defining issue for our country,” Kennedy said.

The American people will probably come around to appreciate the bill’s virtues, said Kennedy. (polipundit)

CE's analysus is spot on... Big government has failed at every attempt to solve the "illegal immigration crisis & border protection" throughout my lifetime. One of the reasons (causes) in my estimation, is that big government is in a tangled up mess with big business and institutions tugging and pulling at them; this is the reason why the American citizens need to be involved in this debate. This issue is a "national crisis" brought to a boiling point by way of the threat of terrorism. Having our national welfare programs bankrupted by the huge flow of illegals is an issue we have been watching for decades; the threat of having our children blown up while hanging out at the mall, well that is the boiling point. Terrorists will target our children; we have also watched that reality unfold around the world.

To wage war against Terrorism without protecting our borders is of great concern. Our government is spending trillions of our dollars fighting Terrorism overseas, but yet these same people refuse to protect us from terrorists entering our communities by way of open borders. Lindsey (lips stuck to McCains backside) Graham just boldly told us "how can Republicans expect to win elections without the hispanic vote" in defense of this shamnesty bill. We must have open borders so that we can win elections! Ummm; how about solutions to our problems; how about allowing principles to guide policy; how about using our constitution as a guideline; how about talking to and listening to the American people rather than making everything about "winning elections"; how about the "contract with the American people".

Pandering for future votes is more important than protecting us from suicide bombers... Wow, that was a bold statement...

Posted by Duane | June 20, 2007 9:07 AM

Papa Ray - I understand your anger over the de facto Spanish language requirement ... I live in south Florida, and that is an issue here too, with our huge immigrant population, mostly from Mexico and Latin America.

Saying no to comprehensive immigration reform is not the answer to your (and our) problem, however ... here's one suggestion: work with your State and Congressional representatives to pass legislation forbidding discrimination on the basis of inability to speak any language but English. That would address the problem you point out, at the same time, such a law would effectively mandate assimilation. it is not likely we could ever pass legislation that would mandate that everybody living in America speak English ,, but at the same time, nobody should ever be discriminated against in America because they speak English only. This law should apply both to government entities and to private enterprise. The only exceptions allowed should be those jobs whose descriptions specifically entail speaking on a regular basis with non-resident aliens (such as companies with foreign-based customers, or government agencies that must deal with foreign governments and non-resident nationals).

Such a law would receive overwhelming public support in America, even (especially?) in border/Gulf states like CA, AZ, NM, TX, and FL.

Posted by RSG | June 20, 2007 9:09 AM

Duane - have you ever heard of the saying from the BIble that "the love of money is the root of all evil"?

You can't be serious can you? Furthermore, I'll stock my knowledge of immigration against yours (and most others). Why? I had a brother killed by an "hard working" amigo back in 2000 and that's where I learned all about this issue. From reading/studying it DAILY for seven years.

You ask - "Where will your food come from when it can no longer be harvested?" Are you that naive? Deporting illegal aliens does not have anything to do with legal, agricultural workers if government can be counted on to actually administer legal, guest worker programs, which they likely can't be.

Why? Because the slave-traders like yourself want a continuous flow of brown people to fatten your bottom line. You're disgusting. Your racism disguised as "free market entrepreneurialism" is laughable.

If you really understood economics, you'd know that what we have today thanks to Jorge Booosch is a corruption of the market. Whenever there's a labor shortage, firms raise their compensation in order to attract more applicants. Duh. Instead you're a racist plantation owner masking as an "entrepreneurial". How big of you.

Illegals constitute no more than 30% of the labor force in any occupation - including crop picking. They are allowed to flood into this nation in order to lower wages and for political parties to "grow" a new constituency.

Deportation is the only appropriate punishment for illegal immigration because it sends the signal that our nation IS A NATION and not just an economic/consumer market. Have you ancestors ever fought and bled for this nation or were they all spineless, profit-groveling "small business owners"?

Posted by Goeffrey de Boullion | June 20, 2007 9:14 AM

The biggest issues are 1: a country that does not control its borders is no longer a country, and 2: If citizenship is given to anyone who can sneak in, citizenship becomes worthless.

If remittances were cut off and existing laws were enforced, most illegals would self deport in 60 days. Then government could concentrate on the dangerous criminals.

Posted by Labamigo | June 20, 2007 9:20 AM

Captain you are overlooking an important distinction:

The US passport system is SUPPOSED TO WORK. The proposed Z Visa system is SUPPOSED TO FAIL.

Posted by RBMN | June 20, 2007 9:37 AM

Everything is leadership. Who thought, back in the 1980s or Early 90s, that New York City would someday be America's safest big city? You wouldn't get very far selling that idea in back in 1989.

Posted by Jay | June 20, 2007 9:54 AM

As Laura Ingraham just said on the air..........this is all about one-world, utopian government disguised as "free market" economics.

Congrats Laura, you're getting it and you have the guts to say so on the air and go against the GOP/Kulow/Kemp/Busheron nonsense.

The GOP is worried about losing the Latino vote? Oh really? They better worry about losing the American vote, since a great many Latinos are not citizens and have little interest in becoming citizens. Keep listening to Carlos Rove (the in-bred, lawn dwarf) and the GOP and the USA will soon be history.

Si, amigo?

Posted by David M | June 20, 2007 10:04 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 06/20/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Posted by Goeffrey de Boullion | June 20, 2007 10:05 AM

Shish... As if the Trunks will get much of the Latino vote anyway.

Posted by patrick | June 20, 2007 10:09 AM

Talk about big government solutions, look at those who want big Government enforcement only on immigration, with no workers programs to address demand with a market-oriented solution.
One proposal that I have heard is that every employer is to do a background check on their employees to sort out who is, or is not in the country legally. On the face of it is sounds fine, but that mean everyone including me and you, and you, and you, and you will have to be checked by the government. I bet we will get a whole new "Czar" for that with his own brand spanking new federal agency. Hear that, that is the sound of government expanding. We already hear how billions of dollars are going to be allocated for enforcement only, while ignoring a labor market that recognizes no borders. For what, 12 million people? There are 300 million people in the US, that 12 million equals 4% of the population. Frankly we need that to just keep up with mortality.
So we have the bizarre situation where republican "conservatives" are advocating big government solutions on enforcement only, and anyone who offers a market based solution is derided. Who is the real conservative here?

Posted by Robert Brown | June 20, 2007 10:11 AM


Twelve million illegal immigrants represent about four percent of the U.S. population. The unemployment rate hovers around four percent. If all the illegal immigrants are deported, will the U.S. unemployment rate got to zero as the jobs held by illegals are taken by citizens? I doubt it. Do you support an increase in legal immigration to take those jobs? Or, do you think that we can simply eliminate those jobs from the economy?

Posted by Duane | June 20, 2007 10:14 AM

RSG - your response is all too typical of the diehard anti-immigrant: ignorant schoolyard name-calling and accusations based upon nothing but your own prejudices and willful ignorance.

Your brother was killed by an illegal? And so we must deport them all immediately? Well, I've had family members killed by native-born Americans .... so what? Such is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

You appear to be arguing that economic considerations should not matter in this debate. Of course the economy matters greatly. America was founded by what you decry as "spineless, profit-groveling 'small business owners'" - did you fail to learn in school that nearly every signer of the Declaration of Independence was a small business owner - if not, then I don't get your point.

Are you are against profits in general, which are the "bottom line", literally, of America's free enterprise system? Uhhh, what effect exactly do you think creates the jobs for guys like you (assuming you've ever had one that wasn't paid for by government taxes) except for the opportunity of the entrepreneur to make a profit? Are you therefore advocating Communism? Declaring the profit motive to be inherently evil is their line of reasoning. What is it about our economic system - the most successful and broadly-enriching system the world has ever seen - that you find so distasteful?

I don't believe there is any other "conservative" issue other than immigration that has brought out so much anti-free enterprise/anti-freedom drivel from those who claim to be conservative, but who in reality are anything but.

As to me and my ancestors, well, I served in nuke submarines during the height of the Cold War, playing silent but deadly cat-and-mouse with Ruskie subs, waiting for the order from Washington that (thankfully) never came to sink them before they could vaporize our families back home.

Please tell me, RSG, have you ever put your life on the line to defend America? If not, then shut the hell up about me!

And my ancestors that you insult in your ugly, ignorant way? Well, my ancestors helped found the Jamestown colony in Virginia in the early 1600s, fighting starvation, disease, and hostile natives .... and 160 years later some of my ancestors declined to fight in the Revolutionary War because of religious convictions (they were Quakers) - for which they were persecuted by their neighbors. Later on, their decendents fought in nearly every American war since - including Viet Nam and Iraq

(the Iraq veteran, by the way, is a native-born Korean who was adopted as a toddler by my sister, and he has already survived two tours in Iraq, including duty in Ramadi, attached to the 4ID).

And none of that has anything to do with creating an intelligent immigration policy today.

But since you mentioned it, you certainly have no moral or historical position of superiority to back up your nativist attitude.

Every time an anti-immigrant attacks anybody personally for trying to solve the immigration control problem instead of pandering to their nativist paranoia only shows how pointless it is to try and satisfy those such as you. Those who actually expect to solve complex problems are those who are willing to consider that any solution worth doing is one that people of differing interests are going to accept. The "simple Simons" are simply never going to get their way.

Posted by La Mano | June 20, 2007 10:39 AM

It's a ruse. Members of Congress don't INTEND FOR IT TO WORK. Just like the unfunded fence.

They can tell one set of voters that they voted for illegal immigration control. The others will know nothing has changed.

Posted by RSG | June 20, 2007 11:24 AM

Duana by boy.......you're just another neo-con (liberal republican)....just admit it!

Yes, I'm a long time veteran of the armed forces, boy.

My brother's murder at the hand of one of Jorge's "hard working folks, just trying to feed their families" has a small relation to the problem. Why? Because of no enforcement, the 6th grade educated Mestizo have been running wild in our country. You do believe we're a country, don't you, Duane boy?

But more importantly than my family's personal tragedy is Jorge and Jeb's plan to "harmonize" us with a 3rd world cesspool.

Why? Because it benefits the Bush's, that's why. Please don't be so naive to say you're for "comprehensive immigration reform" because that's just a strawman. The issue is the Senate's "No Illegal Latino Left Behind" bill. That's what the debate is about.

The mandarins in the Senate aren't even willing to deport convicted felons who are also illegals. What does that tell you?

Perhaps that's why Peggy Noonan, David Frum, Lawrence Auster and John Derbyshire among other commentators are coming out to say that ALL IMMIGRATION should be halted for a period of 10-20 years. Because what's going on is a corrupt, payoff from the American elite to the Mexican elite. This is not normal immigration.

But you can't see that Duane boy, you believe Jorge/Carlos Rove/Martinez/Gonzales/Guiteriez and other sellouts who worship THE DOLLAR and their own ethnicity.

Chi-ching........how many little brown people you need to pick your food Duaney boy?

Posted by RSG | June 20, 2007 11:36 AM

Robert Brown...........First Robert, the actual number is very likely around 20 million (see Bear Sterns study back in 2005).

However, Bear Sterns calculated that less than 5% of illegals are picking Duane's food. What are the other 95% doing? They have flooded into jobs that traditionally have gone to low-skilled and younger Americans. High school and college kids need to do some low-level and physical labor work which is good for their work ethic as well as their health and exercise (not to mention, to make a little spending money). Young men should be performing unskilled and semi-skilled construction, carpentry and road repair. Not a slave class of Mestizo, which simply passes the buck and the corrupt govt. of Mexico has no incentive to reform.

Many of the jobs illegals do are "make-shift, busy jobs" that are non-essential. Get down from your high horse and wash your own car, mow your own lawn, tend your own garden.

No one is against a TRUE "guest worker" program but it must be held to standards. Which means that's it truly a guest worker program and not another avenue to permanent immigration. Guest workers are for only a few years then they must go home. If they have a baby while here, their contract is terminated and they are deported.

Sound too mean for you? That's basically how Canada handles it's guest workers.

Remember, today there are few true conservatives. Most who claim to be (or republicans) are in fact moderate liberals.

Country. Duty. Honor. Borders. Language. Culture. If you don't enforce your borders, you won't long have a nation. But the elites like Jorge and most of DC want the nation to go away........get it?

Posted by RSG | June 20, 2007 11:52 AM

From an Arizona newspaper yesterday......I rest my case.

Americans are fed up with rhetoric on immigration

Rich Thurlow
News Editor

If you're part of the minority and caught a network newscast 10 days ago, you may have been surprised to learn in the lead-in, paraphrasing here, that "if the U.S. Senate can't pass this law, they can't pass any law." That was a reference to the immigration bill that had been scuttled earlier that day.

With reporting like that, it's no surprise, according to the ratings, that fewer than 30 million Americans (less than 10 percent of the population) watch ABC, NBC or CBS evening news regularly.

And last Sunday on National Public Radio, listeners learned that if talk radio and the Internet had been around in the 1960s, the first Civil Rights Act probably would never have passed. The topic, again, was the immigration "reform" bill that has since been resuscitated.

It would appear there is a wide chasm between what the mainstream media is telling us and what roughly 75 percent of the American public actually wants and believes. And the statement by NPR's reporter takes us back to the incredibly simple-minded "if you don't support this you must be a racist"

At this point, regardless of how much it might disgust you and me, it appears up to 20 million illegals can become citizens with an absolute minimum number of hoops to jump through. And the process will be cheaper for illegals than the costs imposed in fees on Kingman businesses that want to put an awning on their buildings.

We are being told the immigration bill is not an "amnesty." Right you are. It should be called the legalized raid on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid funds, plus any number of other programs designed to help Americans. That's because the bulk of these illegals are poorly educated and will be entitled to benefits above and beyond what they will contribute in taxes.

And along with the amnesty that politicians insist isn't an amnesty, the other major points of the bill are cracking down on businesses that are hiring illegals and securing the border.

Border security falls into the category of broken promises leading to a complete and utter lack of trust in our elected representatives. A fence along a good portion of the border was promised last year but was never funded.

Now we're supposed to believe the Senate will take care of it in the current bill? I don't think so.

And many of us, in my opinion, are tired of hearing that illegals do the work Americans won't do. Who did the farming, cleaning and construction before the illegals arrived?

Along that same vein, some of you may recall the story in Wednesday's Miner about the raid of a Del Monte Produce plant in Portland, Ore., that led to 165 suspected illegals being detained.

Del Monte may have to rethink its salary guidelines, but I'll wager there are Americans who will gladly work there in exchange for a fair wage.

Then there is the issue of border security and the fact that some radical Muslims want to kill us. How difficult would it be for 100 terrorists to cross the border if thousands of poorly prepared illegals accomplish the same
feat every month?

And please, no hand-wringing about illegals who have children born in the U.S. The precedent is already established with Elian Gonzalez. Send the parents back and their children have to go with them.

A common sense approach to comprehensive immigration reform, it seems to me, would be to focus on border security (fence, fence and more fence, and boots
on the ground) and law enforcement first. Amnesty without a wall invites millions more in.

The fact is the U.S. is in a position to pick and choose who is allowed in. I'd prefer English-speaking doctors, engineers, scientists and teachers, and I don't care where they come from or what color they are. An unlimited supply of cheap labor may sound like good economic policy, but look how much good it
has done in Africa and Central and South America?

President Bush and key members of the Senate continue to push this ill-conceived law, and the fear here is that they will succeed. You can do your part, though. If you know how to get around on the Internet, you can figure out how to contact senators Jon Kyl and John McCain.

Or you can call them. Kyl's Washington office number is (202) 224-4521; McCain's is (202) 224-2235.

Tell them what you want, but if you're open to suggestions, you might say something like this:

I like the idea of better border security and a wall, and I like making businesses accountable for the people they hire. And I see absolutely no reason why Congress has to make new rules for people who are here illegally.

What's the emergency?

Enforce federal laws and let states enforce their own laws regarding illegals.

Posted by Robert Brown | June 20, 2007 12:34 PM


If the number if illegal immigrants is really twenty million, that further reinforces my case: there are not enough unemployed people in the U.S. to replace them after they are all deported. I think you are naïve if you think there is a cadre of spoiled young citizens eager to replace them when they are gone.

Judging from your response, you are also apposed to increased legal immigration and you advocate doing without the labor provided by illegals. I suspect we could adjust to that, but why? If there are twenty million illegals, that represents an average of about one million per year since the last amnesty, or about 0.3 percent per year population increase. Could we not absorb that many new citizens? Particularly since the U.S. birth rate is barely above the replacement rate. Especially if the new immigrants are those who are sick of the corrupt hell holes they come from and would appreciate the opportunities provided by this country more than the native born.

It makes me sad to say this, but I think your real problem is that you don’t like to encounter brown people who don’t speak English very well. Am I right?

Posted by RSG | June 20, 2007 1:27 PM

Robert - I don't like those who do not speak English, this is true. I understand the importance of culture, unlike Jorge Boosch, who thinks economics trump culture. Language, religion, culture matter greatly. What's going on by the DC elite is that they're importing a new constituency for their profits and their social programs. Gloabalsim is nonsense. The same nonsense was growing in the world before WW I. The elites back then thought that new inventions like the telephone, motion picture, radio, automobile would render war obsolete. How foolish, that failed to realize that race/ethnicity/culture trump all.

Listen to me closely, I am 100% against illegal immigration and I am in favor of reducing or even stopping all LEGAL immigration for a period of years. See, throughout our history, we've gone through periods of 20-30 yrs of high immigration followed by 20-30 yrs of low immigration. That's been the norm and it's wise.

The 20 million figure is not mine but many people who research this outside the "pc" confines of government. As I said earlier, many of the jobs illegals perform are non-essential, busy work. In other words, their mere presence creates the so called "jobs". Why should I do anything around my home, if some slaves are standing around at the neighborhood Home Depot? I'll let them bid themselves down to let's say........ a nickel per hour. Yeah, that's a fair wage. Free Market economics, hooray!

There are many young Americans who squander their time on the internet, iPods and the X Box when they could and should be taking jobs to gain experience and make some money. Our forefathers foughta and bled to raise the standard of living for Mexico. What a joke.

This "comprehensive" nonsense is nothing but a raid on social security, medicare, the school lunch program, etc. It's a transfer of wealth from Joe & Jane America to Jose & Maria Mexico. Nothing but that.

The Senate bill is instant amnesty and will render the concept of "illegal alien" null and void. Thats it's real intent. To quietly erase the borders and allow 30-40 million Mestizo flood into this country.

Am I against Mestizo coming here? Yes, I'm also against tens of millions of Russians, Chinese, Mulsims and Canadians. Why? Because they are mostly from greatly different cultures. I like my culture just fine, thank you. I'm not insecure and need to patronize "ethnic restaurants" to feel like a citizen of the world. Our southern border is a near war-zone, and the idiot neo-cons won't even stop it.

Jorge has turned the Border Patrol into a Welcome Wagon for Jose and Maria.

Posted by Duane | June 20, 2007 1:35 PM

Robert Brown - you have it figured correctly about Mr. RSG .... his own words ("how many little brown people you need to pick your food Duaney boy? ) unmask him as not merely a nativist, but as an ugly racist as well. It is very unfortunate that such people parade around pretending to be conservatives when in reality they're not. There is nothing racist about American conservatism. There ARE a lot of people of good will who are very concerned with improving border security, promoting cultural assimilation, promoting our national economy, and who are disturbed at the sort of Dem-inspired PC attitude that results in concerns like those expressed above by Papa Ray of Texas (i.e., Spanish becoming the dominant language of government and commerce here in some parts of the USA). There is nothing nativist or racist about expressing such concerns ... we have an American culture, and a Constitution based upon the rule of law, and it is right for us to protect both. But the American culture is not of and by and for any one race or color, or for any one corner of the country, or for any single country of ancestral origin. In America, we're all immigrants or the decendants of immigrants. Intelligent and well-meaning people understand that, and they also understand that the variety of our national origins and means of our arrival in this land, and the variety of cultural backgrounds that make up today's America constitute a national strength, not a curse - as long as we all agree to sign up to abide by American law, and honor American culture, such as it is, and be willing to defend it. I believe the vast majority of Americans want to do immigration reform right, and they have not been satisfied with past efforts. Few Americans are concerned with keeping RSG's "little brown people" out of America.

That is why people who want to see effective immigration and border control reform must not allow themselves to be coopted by the demands of the RSGs and their narrow and ugly agenda. Anyone who insists that there is no such component to the debate need only read some of the posts on this page, and on websites all across the internet. Instead, we Americans should focus our attention on fixing the real problems and not on trying to satisfy those who simply won't be satisfied with any reasonable solution.

Posted by RSG | June 20, 2007 1:39 PM

See, I believe in limits, those of us who are adults realize that limits are imporant part of life.

The reason I want to reduce all immigration is essentially the same reason I have locks on the doors of my home and a fence around the yard. To delineate mine from yours (Oooh, that's so mean).

Ask Jorge Boosch to take down the fence around the White House! Why doesn't he do that?

This is our country, our home. We should not accept invaders and trespassers who then plead that they are so good, so hard working, so noble, that we should change our laws to accomodate them for no other reason than their ethnic group. What a frickin joke! Have these idiots in DC ever heard of equal protection before the law?

If I invite you to my home for dinner, you're a guest. If I come home from work one day and find you, your spouse, your extended family have all moved in my home, you are trespassers, regardless of whether or not you mowed my lawn.

Most, repeat most illegal aliens are also breaking several laws - identity, social security fraud, driver license, etc. When do white and black Americans get to break laws and claim our ethnicity as our defense?

Besides, the presence of a huge illegal class of servants has held back technological innovation - in agriculture and in other areas. The politicos are the new plantation owners, nothing else.

Posted by RSG | June 20, 2007 1:58 PM

Another thing for you Bushbots to consider, those of you who believe "GDP uber alles!"

You have to consider how much money we spend dealing with crimes committed by illegals, educating kids who shouldn't be in America to begin with, health care bills for non-citizens, and government assistance that goes to a staggering 25% of all illegal aliens.

Posted by Robert Brown | June 20, 2007 2:21 PM


I think (hope) that RSG and his ilk are a minority in the immigration debate. Unfortunately, he and his cohorts are shrill and their thinly disguised racism gets a lot of visibility. Trust me, the Democrats will use RSG and his friends to capture the Hispanic vote. If they can capture ninety percent of the Hispanic vote as they have captured ninety percent of the Black vote, Republicans can look forward to being a subservient minority party for generations.

Posted by Joe Doe | June 20, 2007 3:52 PM

"Trust me, the Democrats will use RSG and his friends to capture the Hispanic vote. If they can capture ninety percent of the Hispanic vote as they have captured ninety percent of the Black vote, Republicans can look forward to being a subservient minority party for generations."

Sure they will - at which point they will all discover (including blacks and hispanics) that there is no longer a point to live in a "democratic" gulag. The blacks will be the first ones to get the message - I predict that there will be a massive shift to the GOP next election exactly from the blacks - not that it will solve much, considering the low bend-over posture that they have recently adopted.

I will learn a ne language - I hope you will too.

Posted by TW | June 20, 2007 4:35 PM

Duane & Robert,

Instead of calling RSG a racist you may want to address some of his questions such as the massive cost in social services, schools, health care, social security, etc..

My personal feeling is that we need to enforce the laws already on the books and expand LEGAL immigration particularly of educated people. Just because we can't deport all of the illegals doesn't mean we just surrender and stop enforcing our laws. We also need a guest worker program to cover labor shortages in certain industries such as agriculture. Enforcement must come first and that means a fence plus throwing scumbag business owners in jail for knowingly employing illegal workers, particularly the executives in the homebuilding industry (jobs Americans used to do where wages have been cut in half)

There is absolutely no reason to legalize the criminals who break our laws. This current bill is just another version of the 1986 bill with a few more hoops to jump thru in order to get citizinship. The end result will be the same as millions upon millions of illegals will be flocking to our shores for the next amnesty deal. If we reward people for breaking our laws were just going to get more of that behavior. This has been proven over and over so its utter madness to do it again and expect a different result. Yes to enforcement, yes to guest works, no to amnesty!

Posted by Project Vote Smart | June 20, 2007 4:44 PM

For more information on the Immigration Reform Act of 2007 please visit http://www.votesmart.org/issue_keyvote_detail.php?cs_id=13409 or call our hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART.

Posted by Kerrie Rushton - WH OSI | June 20, 2007 5:15 PM

I can see how, in order to score a quick point, it would be tempting to equate the passport backlog with the issue of Z visas.

However, you make a false analogy.

Background checks are not a significant factor contributing to the current backlog in processing passport applications. Instead, the key reason for the delay is the non-automated and very labor-intensive process of verifying that the individual is indeed a U.S. citizen. Another major reason for the passport backlog is the time-consuming process for producing the passport itself, which requires an electronic chip, a machine readable strip, and other tamper-resistant features.

By contrast, adjudication of a Z visa application does not require verification of citizenship status because the individual acknowledges at the outset that he or she is illegal. And any delays due to production of the document, of course, are irrelevant to DHS's ability to handle the background checks.

The background check at issue for the current undocumented is an automated process involving an electronically captured print that will be run through database checks.

Of the five components of the background check, four of them nearly always generate answers within 24 hours. The DHS Interagency Border Inspection System check is immediate as is the DHS immigration records check. The biometrics check in DHS’s IDENT is completed within 24 hours and so is the FBI biometrics. The current FBI fingerprint load is about 60,000 per day. Assuming checks had to be done for all 12 million over a six-month period, this adds another 67,000 name checks per day – well under FBI’s current capacity of up to 200,000 per day.

The only one of the five that sometimes takes longer than 24 hours is the FBI Name Check. 68 percent of names checks are returned within 48 hours and another 22 percent are returned within 60 days. Others may take significantly longer, but if the FBI name check is not completed within 24 hours, it will continue during the probationary period -- and if any adverse information is found, the alien’s probationary status will be terminated, and the Z applicant will be deported with no chance of gaining a Z visa. No Z visas will be awarded until all appropriate background checks begun during the probationary period are completed to the satisfaction of the Homeland Security Secretary.

Posted by Robert Brown | June 20, 2007 5:32 PM

Joe Doe,

You are naïve if you think that the black vote will shift to the GOP any time soon. Democrats have convinced them that all their problems are the result of a racist society and the GOP is presented as a proxy for that racist society. Even though Blacks may realize that the Democrats have done little for them, they fear the racist GOP more.


I am highly suspicious of the claims of massive social service costs for immigrants. If SS is not reformed, we need more workers to pay for the baby boomers benefits since our birth rate is falling. If an immigrant arrives here as an adult, we do not have to bear the cost of sending him to school for twelve years before he can contribute to the economy, unlike a U.S. born citizen.

From what I have observed, immigrants are harder working and more ambitious than spoiled U.S. citizens even though they are not highly educated or skilled. I think ambition and drive can often overcome a lack of higher education.

Posted by flenser | June 20, 2007 5:37 PM

"Who thought, back in the 1980s or Early 90s, that New York City would someday be America's safest big city?"

It's amazing what happens when all the poor people can no longer afford to live in a place. Crime goes down? Who would ever have guessed!

Posted by flenser | June 20, 2007 5:45 PM

I see that Kerrie Rushton has shown up here.

SInce the WH is reading this thread, let me point something out.

Congress passed a law mandating the creation of a system to track the entrance and exit of visa holders, and the setting up of a database to determine which people entered but did not leave when they were supposed to. They passed this law in 1996.

The system still does not exist eleven years later.

With that sort of track record, why would any sane person believe the government when it says that this time it is going to pass enforcement laws, and be serious about them?

Posted by patrick | June 20, 2007 5:48 PM

Claims of massive social services costs bankrupting an already forecast bankrupt social service, for some reason doesn't cause me too much alarm regarding illegal immigrants.
It does make me think that we should fix the entitlement program instead of scapegoating people who wish to simply work here and pay into the system.

Posted by firedup | June 20, 2007 5:55 PM

Duane said "Once a person has achieved provisional status, then it will be many many years (up to 17 years or more) and they will have to go through the system on multiple occasions, paying fines and meeting other requirements, before they can hope to achieve citizenship."

Duane, read my lips: The illegals NO NOT WANT to become U.S. citizens. If so, they would have entered legally, and started the citizenship process, or would have returned to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc., when their visa expired. You are assuming honesty in dishonest people. They will not pay fines (Kennedy has an "installment plan" amendment to the bill), they will not comply with other requirements or will lie in the process of doing so.

This is why we oppose the ILLEGAL invasion; we are not anti-immigrant as you purposely repeat over and over.

We're not operating just from our own opinions, likes and dislikes, but from the principles of fairness: our laws should apply to all equally. The illegals from Latin America are creating their own diaspora here that is outside of all our laws, yet drains social welfare programs.

I've lived in California all my life and I have travelled to Mexico. Although I appreciated some aspects of their culture, I know their values are not on a par with American values. They have lived with corruption at every level for far too long. If you call it racist for me to suspect that they bring that same corruption with them, then so be it. But I also ask if you have heard of the MS-13 gang, the thousands of SS numbers stolen by illegals, the crime rates (violent) that involve illegals, including the murders of more than 400 peace officers here in California.

Posted by Geoffrey de Boullion | June 20, 2007 8:10 PM

I love the way people who like the bill scream "racism!" when they cannot carry the argument.

The GOP will not get the Hispanic vote anyway until the family in question has a vested interest in the system. That is not happening now to any significant degree, and the illegals do not care about citizenship.

A nation that does not control its borders or enforce its laws is no longer a nation. Citizenship offered to anyone who can sneak in becomes worthless. This bill destroys the commons: faith in equality before the law, government with the consent of the governed, belief in fairness, and a grounding in a common culture. If preferring our culture based on English common law rather than Latin-Catholic economics and the corruption that comes with it makes me a racist, so be it.

Posted by Charles Ruffner | June 20, 2007 8:13 PM

I love the way people who like the bill scream "racism!" when they cannot carry the argument.

The GOP will not get the Hispanic vote anyway until the family in question has a vested interest in the system. That is not happening now to any significant degree, and the illegals do not care about citizenship.

A nation that does not control its borders or enforce its laws is no longer a nation. Citizenship offered to anyone who can sneak in becomes worthless. This bill destroys the commons: faith in equality before the law, government with the consent of the governed, belief in fairness, and a grounding in a common culture. If preferring our culture based on English common law rather than Latin-Catholic economics and the corruption that comes with it makes me a racist, so be it.

Posted by Robert Brown | June 20, 2007 9:52 PM


I think Bush got something like forty percent of the Hispanic vote. If the Democrats are able to cut that down to ten percent by turning some of the shrill anti-immigrant rhetoric into an anti-Hispanic message that they can hang on the GOP, it’s all over.

Do some research on how the anti-immigration rhetoric worked out for the GOP in California.

Posted by tw | June 21, 2007 11:01 AM

Robert Brown,

I agree with you that immigrants are some of the hardest working people and just want to come here for a better life. However, the cost to social services is massive. Please take a moment to visit Denver's public schools and hospitals to get a quck education. Adding millions of people to Social Security and Medicare who have not paid into the system expands the systems unfunded liability.

My fundamental problem with this bill is that it rewards people for breaking the law rather than penalizing them, which of course will lead to more illegals down the road. In 10 years there will be another 20 million here demanding amnesty because we all know the government will not enforce the borders because our government is bought and paid for by big business.

To the White House staffer reading this, the reason people are so pissed off is because we know your lying about border/employer enforcement. You have no credability what so ever because you havent enforced the border the last 6 years. This whole bill is one big gift to big business and one big anal reaming to the american people. Business gets an unlimited supply of cheap labor, Citizens get higher local taxes, lower wages, crappy schools where a large portion of the kids dont speak English, more crime, a bigger entitlement crisis and a guarantee that we will have a much bigger problem down the road when 20 million more illegal immigrants flock here because they will be rewarded for breaking the law.

Posted by Robert Brown | June 21, 2007 12:23 PM


How are we adding millions of people to SS and Medicare who have not paid into it? Last time I checked, retired people were not sneaking across the border. More likely an illegal will get a false SS card and pay into the system today with little expectation of retiring here and collecting retirement benefits.