Now What?

The immigration bill is dead, yet again, after the Senate rejected cloture by fourteen votes. In the end, the compromise could not even gain a majority in support of what conceptually may have been a passable compromise, but in reality was a poorly constructed, poorly processed mass of contradictions and gaps. Many of us who may have supported a comprehensive approach to immigration found ourselves amazed and repulsed by both the product and the process of this attempt to solve the immigration problem.
So what should happen now? The problems of immigration did not disappear with the failure of the cloture vote a few moments ago. Congress needs to act to resolve them — but they need to do so in a manner that respects the processes of representative democracy, and in a manner that builds the confidence of Americans rather than fuel their cynicism.
They need to address border security and visa-program problems immediately. Congress has left these problems simmering for over 21 years. Their failure to address the issue over two decades has demonstrated that Washington does not consider those issues a very high priority, and the Senate’s insistence on tying them to normalization underscores that. Poll after poll shows that Americans don’t believe Congress when it says it will do something — and so Congress needs to demonstrate their competence first before we take a flyer on creating another vast bureaucratic nightmare.
Secure the borders. Fix the visa program. Do those tasks by using the proper legislative processes in both chambers, allowing for real debate, honest and open amendment opportunities, and quit using clay pigeons and other parliamentary tricks to hide the bill and railroad it through Congress.
In other words, act responsibly, instead of trying to pull a fast one on the American public.
UPDATE: Some people argue that the failures of enforcement come from the executive branch, not the legislative. Certainly the executive branch shares the failure, but Congress has never allocated the resources for proper border enforcement, nor have they funded the visa overhaul. They have also created new bureaucracies (DHS) that actively impeded progress on these issues. The issue starts in Congress, and they need to act to provide the proper resources for these priorities.

59 thoughts on “Now What?”

  1. Dunno about anyplace else, but down in West Palm Beach, Florida, they got a sheriff who is doing his part to bring the problem of illegals under control. It’s called ENFORCING
    THE LAW.

  2. Twice now this bill has come up for cloture, and twice it hasn’t even gotten a majority, much less the sixty votes. Is there any chance that Reid and Bush could try a third time: another round of secret amendments, followed by another railroad ride? Is this more likely or less likely than a new immigration bill that actually does address the border-security and visa-system problems?

  3. Now it is even more important …………that patriotic Americans ……………surge to the border and support the Border Patrol and National Guard with their jobs to eliminate illegal entrants into the United States of America.
    If you can not join a legitimate border operation ………..then do day labor operations with groups in your town. Just look online for groups in your town and state to support.

  4. Twice now this bill has come up for cloture, and twice it hasn’t even gotten a majority, much less the sixty votes. Is there any chance that Reid and Bush could try a third time: another round of secret amendments, followed by another railroad ride? Is this more likely or less likely than a new immigration bill that actually does address the border-security and visa-system problems?

  5. emdfl,
    I think you’ve touched on something important: the failure of this abortion-of-a-bill will now, in my view, provide a huge green light to states and localities to start developing their own approaches toward the illegal immigration mess. This is already starting to occur in a number of places.
    Now that the American public has given a gigantic middle finger to senatorial arrogance, I suspect the ACLU and its allied “immigrant rights” groups are increasingly going to find the world to be cold, cruel place…and rightly so.

  6. Captain, you have fallen back into the old trap. Congress doesn’t fix anything. The borders and immigration are an executive branch failure. Our next president must commit to fixing this problem.

  7. Joe is correct. Until the Executive proves they are serious about controlling the borders, immigration will be an issue. This Bill had no real support and fixed nothing. We have enough laws already. Enforce them and we will can consider fixing the remaining problems.

  8. Racist Bigots:
    The bill is not dead. Debate continues. You cannot win.
    We now know for certain that talk radio and the internet must be regulated and forced to adhere to elementary concepts of fairness and human rights.

  9. The issue is the comprehensive bill by trying to grab to much in one bite and senators on the floor today even said they thought there were parts of this bill that were terrible.
    If you search the Thomas legislative database there are over 50 bills pending on the floor related to immigration reform.
    Quit trying to do the whole thing in one piece dragging a lot of trash along with it and address each issue to fix known issues.
    That was why this failed.
    There were noted five or six areas called broken.
    Fine fix those broken areas with individual legislation rather than create a legislative trade off mess.
    Known areas that have been identified should be fixed, if they don’t do that then the whole concept of if they really intended to fix what is broken is brought into question.

  10. The issue is the comprehensive bill by trying to grab to much in one bite and senators on the floor today even said they thought there were parts of this bill that were terrible.
    If you search the Thomas legislative database there are over 50 bills pending on the floor related to immigration reform.
    Quit trying to do the whole thing in one piece dragging a lot of trash along with it and address each issue to fix known issues.
    That was why this failed.
    There were noted five or six areas called broken.
    Fine fix those broken areas with individual legislation rather than create a legislative trade off mess.
    Known areas that have been identified should be fixed, if they don’t do that then the whole concept of if they really intended to fix what is broken is brought into question.

  11. “Captain, you have fallen back into the old trap. Congress doesn’t fix anything. The borders and immigration are an executive branch failure. Our next president must commit to fixing this problem.”
    Posted by: joe at June 28, 2007 11:05 AM
    I find that laughable. True BDS. Give the President 1 border security guy to watch every 10 miles of border (or more), then expect it to be watched? That’s just stupid. Who legislates/controls how the INS works? Sorry, but the President can only do with what he’s been given, and he’s been given nada.
    More than that, it’s not like the President didn’t try. He even went against his own party and his own supporters. Gimme a break, Congressional leaders failed to take Congressional action. It’s that simple.

  12. Immigration Bill Dies in Senate Again

    The cloture vote for the immigration bill failed in the Senate garnering only 46 votes–60 were needed to end debate.
    The conservative base rejoices.
    While a comprehensive immigration bill is dead that doesn’t mean Washington should abandon …

  13. Fix Mexico – Mebbe if the Mexican Constitution were fixed????, Jose – but it seems falling birthrates just might already be doing that, via Instapundit:
    MEXICAN IMMIGRATION: A problem that will solve itself?
    There has been a stunning decline in the fertility rate in Mexico, which means that, in a few years there will not be many teenagers in Mexico looking for work in the United States or anywhere else. If this trend in the fertility rate continues, Mexico will resemble Japan and Italy – rapidly aging populations with too few young workers to support the economy.
    Read the whole thing.

  14. Captain
    I swear I only hit post once and went off to another tab to update another blog I was reading.
    I came back to this tab and had a message about a message database error and a rebuild being done.
    I refreshed the page and then saw it gave me a double post.

  15. Sandy P
    If 10% of their population is here then obviously their birth rate is down due to that.
    If you assume mostly males here, then to do the deed they would have to “mail it in”.
    If the females arrived along with them the fertility was exported to us.
    If the females are there and they were still sprouting young, someone here is gonna go home for a visit and be a little upset.

  16. Captain, the President is completely against closing the border and enforcing the existing laws. This is mostly an executive failure – not legislative. Stop defending him.
    Nothing meaningful will be done to tighten the border or enforce the law while Jorge is in the WH, bill or no bill.

  17. “Some people argue that the failures of enforcement come from the executive branch, not the legislative. ”
    Some people also use regretful vitriol to advocate their agenda…
    Also, they fail to give credit to this Administration for improving Border Security, doing more than the last 4 prior Presidents combined.
    Now that the GOP stopped the Immigration Reform again, will they be thanked properly?
    Prior to 2006, they did the same thing, and the most strident failed to defend the Conservatives in the Republican Majority.
    Will the agnst foolishly empower the liberal democrat folly out of spite yet again?

  18. They need to address border security and visa-program problems immediately.
    There are laws on the books already addressing these things. Congress passed a law in 1996 mandating the creation of a a visa entry-exit system. It still has not been done. New laws are not needed in these areas. The long overdue application of existing law is.
    A law allowing employers to quickly check the SSN of prospective employees, and requiring them to reject those who did not check out, would be very easy to write. I can offer my own services to Congress if they cannot figure out how to do it.

  19. For years the Social Security System has been sending employers NO MATCH letters showing false use of numbers, but the never notified ICE enforcement people. At least by all the information I have seen to date.

  20. Now, I know why they called you ‘Special Ed’, don’t you realize that a problem disappears once congress fails to address any meaningful solution. Look at Social Security, Mr. Bush pressed for and proposed solutions to that looming problem, congress debated it and took no action. Voila! the problem disappears. Scan any of the top national papers, Times, Post, Enquirer; you’ll find no mention of the impending shortfall of the Social Security program (forget about Medicare/Medicaid). How big of problem could immigration or Social Security be if it is not addressed by Paul Krugman on any of the other umemployable hacks that pens opinion for the Times?

  21. you don’t get it. The cheap labor and ethnic vote lobby won. Faced with an impossible level of public resistance and an ever increasing amount of problems from mass immigration they could not expect anything except a crack down. So they created a legislative disaster.
    So immigration continues, unchanged, illegals pour in unchanged, the system refuses to work unchanged.
    Continuation of the status quo is victory for the cheap labor lobby and the ethnic lobby

  22. Reading the link “gbear” provided, I find the following to be a good start and it is strangely similar to what people have been saying in the Blogosphere:
    Edwards says: “When we start enforcing the law, these various businesses are, on their own, going to replace their [illegal] workforce with a legal workforce.”
    While Congress debates building a fence on the border, these veterans say other actions should have higher priority.
    1. End the current practice of taking captured Mexican aliens to the border and releasing them. Instead, deport them deep into Mexico, where return to the US would be more costly.
    2. Crack down hard on employers who hire illegals. Without jobs, the aliens won’t come.
    3. End “catch and release” for non-Mexican aliens. It is common for illegal migrants not from Mexico to be set free after their arrest if they promise to appear later before a judge. Few show up.
    The Patrol veterans say enforcement could also be aided by a legalized guest- worker program that permits Mexicans to register in their country for temporary jobs in the US. Eisenhower’s team ran such a program. It permitted up to 400,000 Mexicans a year to enter the US for various agriculture jobs that lasted for 12 to 52 weeks.
    ———
    As for what the citizens can do here well here is a list you can do right now.
    1. Stay involved and informed, don’t let your guard down concerning the Adminestration and the Congress. This is far from complete. The last round showed how far the politicos have sunk on ethics when they resorted to the “clay pidgeon” tactic. No more trying to pull a fast one on the American public
    2. If you have time, join groups watching and reporting on day labor groups.
    3. If you hire a cleaning service: call them and notify them that you do not allow illegal workers in your home. Please send citizens or legal workers.
    4. Lawn being cut by someone else: notify them that you do not allow illegal workers in on your property. Please send citizens or legal workers.
    5. Going out to dinner: Ask if the server if the kitchen and wait staff are illegals, you’ll get a truer answer then from the manager. If they have Illegals, leave and promise the manager you’ll boycott them until the comply with the law.
    7. Make note of those repersentatives whom voted “yay” for this bill. Those from your state and district need to be ousted. Never forget that they planned on selling you out! This is not a Democrat or Repuiblican issue, it cuts across both lines and screws the middle class.
    9. Write your State and Federal repersentatives and address the enforcement issue in your area. If your town has illegals, why are there no law enforcement people rounding them up. Put the pressure on them. Hit them where it hurts, tell ’em you’ll vote them out and you will not contribute to the campaign funds of any group advocating this sham of a bill. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.
    10. Remind the POTUS via snail mail or email that enforcement and securing the borders is what the people want. Heck, you can send him a copy of the Eisenhower plan. HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE.
    Herkeng USAF (Ret)
    2nd Generation Legal American

  23. Harry Reid was partially responsible for the failure of the bill.
    Changing proceedures for providing ammendments to this legislation that isolated many senators was the root cause of the failure.
    But do go on with the denial of the pathetic leadership the senate now provides.
    This was also GW’s “blindness” along with many others, (Kennedy, McCain, Spector, et all) who thought they could cram this bill down American’s throats and call it “as good as it gets” (Lindsay Graham). If this was the best our senate can provide, it’s a sad day indeed. They can go back to the drawing board, but until they listen to their electorate on this issue, it will never pass muster.
    BORDER SECURITY FIRST! GET IT?

  24. Mission Accomplished – For Now – As Amnesty Bill Dies

    We have accomplished our mission of stopping immigration amnesty from becoming law, for the time being. Today the Democratic Party and the President suffered a stinging defeat when they failed to muster the votes needed to bring the bill to the floor …

  25. 3. If you hire a cleaning service: call them and notify them that you do not allow illegal workers in your home. Please send citizens or legal workers.
    4. Lawn being cut by someone else: notify them that you do not allow illegal workers in on your property. Please send citizens or legal workers.
    5. Going out to dinner: Ask if the server if the kitchen and wait staff are illegals, you’ll get a truer answer then from the manager. If they have Illegals, leave and promise the manager you’ll boycott them until the comply with the law.
    All good ideas Colonel, but in So Cal, I would then have to cook, clean and mow the lawn myself.

  26. Brooklyn
    Sorry to disagree with you on this one. You wrote: “Now that the GOP stopped the Immigration Reform again, will they be thanked properly?”
    Let’s see who needs the thanking, is it this bunch of that voted “YAY” that I should thank?
    Bennett (R-UT)
    Craig (R-ID)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Hagel (R-NE)
    Kyl (R-AZ)
    Lott (R-MS)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    Martinez (R-FL)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    Snowe (R-ME)
    Specter (R-PA)
    or is it these folks whom voted “NAY”?
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Webb (D-VA)
    Actually I think a “thanks” from me does not go to either party but to the representatives who actually listened to the 81% of the public. These folks:
    Alexander (R-TN)
    Allard (R-CO)
    Barrasso (R-WY)
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Bunning (R-KY)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Coleman (R-MN)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Corker (R-TN)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    DeMint (R-SC)
    Dole (R-NC)
    Domenici (R-NM)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Ensign (R-NV)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hutchison (R-TX)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Murkowski (R-AK)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Roberts (R-KS)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Smith (R-OR)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Stevens (R-AK)
    Sununu (R-NH)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Voinovich (R-OH)
    Warner (R-VA)
    Webb (D-VA)
    “Will the agnst foolishly empower the liberal democrat folly out of spite yet again? No the agnst sees the Democratic party turning into Marxists and the GOP being elitist fools. The agnst has made new Independents loyal to neither bunch of clowns and voting with their walets and conciences. So my agnst on this issue has turned me -from a supporter of the GOP- into a Independent.
    My New Bumper Sticker:
    FREE THINKERS are INDEPENDENTS
    Herkeng USAF (Ret)
    2nd Generation Legal American

  27. Brooklyn
    Sorry to disagree with you on this one. You wrote: “Now that the GOP stopped the Immigration Reform again, will they be thanked properly?”
    Let’s see who needs the thanking, is it this bunch of Republicans that voted “YAY” that I should thank?
    Bennett (R-UT)
    Craig (R-ID)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Hagel (R-NE)
    Kyl (R-AZ)
    Lott (R-MS)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    Martinez (R-FL)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    Snowe (R-ME)
    Specter (R-PA)
    or is it these Democrats whom voted “NAY”?
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Webb (D-VA)
    Actually I think a “thanks” from me does not go to either party but to the representatives who actually listened to the 81% of the public. These folks:
    Alexander (R-TN)
    Allard (R-CO)
    Barrasso (R-WY)
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Bunning (R-KY)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Coleman (R-MN)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Corker (R-TN)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    DeMint (R-SC)
    Dole (R-NC)
    Domenici (R-NM)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Ensign (R-NV)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hutchison (R-TX)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Murkowski (R-AK)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Roberts (R-KS)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Smith (R-OR)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Stevens (R-AK)
    Sununu (R-NH)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Voinovich (R-OH)
    Warner (R-VA)
    Webb (D-VA)
    A hardy “Thank You” to each of them.
    You ask : “Will the agnst foolishly empower the liberal democrat folly out of spite yet again? No the agnst sees the Democratic party turning into Marxists and the GOP being elitist fools. The agnst has made new Independents loyal to neither bunch of clowns and voting with their walets and conciences. So my agnst on this issue has turned me -from a supporter of the GOP- into a Independent.
    My New Bumper Sticker:
    FREE THINKERS are INDEPENDENTS
    Herkeng USAF (Ret)
    2nd Generation Legal American

  28. “All good ideas Colonel, but in So Cal, I would then have to cook, clean and mow the lawn myself. ”
    Posted by: gab at June 28, 2007 12:50 PM
    GAB
    You can’t have it both ways, hire a citizen, a legal alien or do it yourself. That’s exactly what I do.
    One person can make a difference. Look at Harry Reid, he has made me question my faith the entire legislative process in one simple act.
    Herkeng USAF (Ret)
    2nd Generation Legal American

  29. Congrats to the American people for mounting a successful defense! And thank you to the Senators that have stood on principle from the start: Sessions, DeMint, Cornyn, Thune, Vitter, Inhofe… Bravo, Bravo, Bravo.
    But the fight must continue. The existing laws that have been disregarded must now be enforced. Press On!

  30. A victory for the American people. The “elites” inside the Beltway (aka, paid lobbyists for business and ethnic-grievance groups) were taught a lesson today. Hooray for the people! How radical. You mean to imply that “we the people” have a say in the direction of our nation? Not just the elites?
    Not Mexico City? Not the restaurant industry? Not agro-business?
    We have many, many “guest worker” programs but no, the “elites” still want more. Ha, ha……

  31. We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.
    Winston Churchill “We Shall Fight on the Beaches”
    House of Commons June 4, 1940
    Following May 26, “Operation Dynamo,” Dunkirk, the evacuation of 338,000 Allied troops to English shores.
    http://www.fiftiesweb.com/usa/winston-churchill-fight-beaches.htm
    We seem to have stopped, for now, the monstrous treason that is the Bush-McKennedy amnesty bill. But the underlying evil that spawned this treason still smolders. The traitorous bastards who rule us acknowledge no limits on the power of the state over man. These traitorous bastards believe they have the unbridled power to force us to subsidize any alien who enters our once free land.
    The state, at any level of government, has no right to transfer a single penny of your hard earned wealth to an alien in our country illegally, for any reason, especially if they are hard working preferred minorities. This is the ground on which the battle must be joined. On this campaign future generations will judge us. If we are ever again to be the land of the free then we must find the courage to force our rulers to purge All illegal aliens from our shores.
    Bush will soon learn he lost Iraq on the Rio Grande.
    Six years after 9/11 the boarders remain wide open.
    What city do you think good Muslims will nuke first?

  32. I wonder when was the last time – if ever – that one guy got what he wanted by calling the other guy a “racist bigot”.
    If your name is Jose, it seems like a counterproductive tactic to be calling a bunch of Real Americans nasty names, trying to convince them to keep your skanky little ass around. But then Mexicans never have been renowned for their feats of intellect, have they?

  33. I think some of the biggest failures were ones of process: The people who needed to be sold on the legislation were not senators, they were the American people. Instead of an open debate, we got something cobbled together in secret, which they tried to pass through parliamentary tricks.
    I think it is silly for senators to whine about talk radio – they needed to get back to their districts and explain the bill to their constituents.

  34. What now?
    Build the wall.
    Enforce the existing laws.
    Freeze ALL Federal funding to “sanctuary” states and cities.
    Prosecute the politicians there if need be.
    And ramp up efforts to run McCain, Kennedy, and Reid out of the Senate.

  35. What now?
    FULLY FUND ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING MEASURES.
    There are parts of the bill that must be passed immediately as a national security imperative. Take those measures. Pass them. Sign them into law. This should be a no brainer for even this, the least productive Congress in the *history* of Congress.

  36. You cannot possibly imagine that the “elites” wanted this bill. They are not competing with illegal aliens for jobs, and they aren’t losing by paying lower wages for menial labor that has no legal protection.
    The only reason this bill was brought was because the issue had been raised by GOP political operatives in order to try and scare up some votes (seems their usual method, national security, wasn’t working as well in 2006). The issue touched a whole bunch of sore points (and not just for the GOP). It got out of control, so they had to appear to do something about it, however reluctantly.
    Since there’s no money in it for the wealthy backers on either side, each party would like to have the bill fail (or succeed) and be able to blame it on the other side for ammunition in 2008. Since this hasn’t happened yet, expect the kabuki theater to recommence as soon as one side thinks it has a chance to put something over.

  37. Reasonable solutions:
    1) Build extensive fencing along the southern border.
    2) Enforce interior immigration laws.
    3) Deport the worst of the worst illegals (murderers, rapists, thieves, car jackers, child molestors, etc.)
    4) Then deport identity thieves (visa, social security, driver license)
    5) Just doing these things will make other illegals self-deport, thereby reducing our illegal population significantly.
    Final question: Will Jorge Boosch do these things?

  38. Now what?
    Well, how about we hold politicians accountable by making it unequivocally clear that their re-election prostects are directly related to securing borders by enforcing existing law?
    ‘If you won’t do it, We’ll find someone who will!”

  39. There’s plenty of guilt to go around re: failure to enforce existing law.
    Administrations since 1986 – all of them – deserve their share of blame.
    As does Congress:
    Did they properly fund enforcement?
    No, “It’s the executive’s job to ask for proper budgets” doesn’t work. Congress decides where money will be spent, has its own responsibility to insure adequate funding for enforcement and has never been shy about ‘suggesting’ that an Administration isn’t spending enough, etc. on something it deems a priority.
    Have they supported enforcement?
    We’ve all heard the “congressman gives regulator, etc. grief for going after a constituent” stories, right? Those stories aren’t limited to the feds going after Charles Keating – congressmen have complained about constituent employers getting raided for employing illegals, etc. too.
    We’re where we are because neither party has been interested in enforcing immigration laws over the past 20 plus years. “Pandering for votes / political & financial support” is the most obvious explanation (& most likely the truth).

  40. Is there any ‘hook’ by which private citizens (properly lawyered-up, of course) can force Chez Chertoff to enforce laws?
    The enviroloonies jump on the EPA and Interior and the like all the time, can we throw some money at the problem and find some jurisdiction, for instance, where we can get Homeland Security sanctioned for failure properly to implement US-VISIT?

  41. JEM,
    Thanks to the just-yesterday court ruling in re the right of citizens to sue over the faith-based offices the Bush administration set up in the WH, the ability of citizens to sue over lack of enforcement of the law has been diminished.
    Of course, they might reverse themselves for a good cause, but your chances aren’t good with a strict constructionist court.

  42. George H W Bush was elected in 1988 by promising, among other things, no new taxes. He felt he had to break that pledge to get Congressional Democrats to cut spending. They passed the tax increase but somehow never got around to the spending cuts.
    The Democrats ( and RINOs ) promise us that the spending for border security and status checking will be along shortly if we just pass the “comprehensive” bill. It will never happen.
    If this bill had become law, the legislative and judicial challenges to any and all enforcement provisions would have begun before the ink was dry. The lapdog media would have written thousand of stories about how much the illegals were contributing while ignoring the problems they create. The fines would be waived. The waiting period “expedited”. The amnesty would roll forward and enforcement would be forgotten … again.
    Latino racism would be stoked to a fever pitch by MeCHA, La Raza and the whole crew, then directed into its natural home in the Democratic Party. Millions of new voters would be created to balance the loss of support by Democrats among citizens.
    We cannot trust the supporters of this bill. They would bring it at midnight on a national holiday with no debate or amendments allowed if they thought they could. They will try again. We will need to be ready to defeat it again. They hold us in contempt.

  43. Captain, this administration has not only been derelict in duty of immigration law enforcement but has actively sandbagged efforts, and/or legislation to do so. Furthermore, Bush has placed Latin American-born appointments at all top levels of our immigration system. His federal prosecutor has jailed two BP agents for doing their jobs; and other BP agents are being prosecuted for doing same. This administration is ACTIVELY OPPOSED to border security and immigration law enforcement. George Bush IS the “status quo” and he’s right that it is unacceptable.
    Scott Malensek said, “Give the President 1 border security guy to watch every 10 miles of border (or more), then expect it to be watched? That’s just stupid. Who legislates/controls how the INS [should be ICE] works? Sorry, but the President can only do with what he’s been given, and he’s been given nada.”
    Travel back in time to November 2004, at the signing of the Homeland Security Act. Within that law was a mandate for 10,000 additional Border Patrol agents over five years. The Bush administration immediately proceeded to BREAK THAT LAW and changed the number of BP agents new hires for 2005 to 210 agents… quite a drop from the mandated 2,000. That is just one example.
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/02/09/MNGOKB837T1.DTL
    We have laws for deportation: let’s do it. We have guest worker programs galore: let’s get one of them — for LEGAL entries — going. We have a Secure Fence Act: let’s get it built. The job of Congress is to hold the Executive accountable. The departments and agencies responsible for enforcement (or lack of) are directly under the Executive.

  44. The question was ‘Now What?’ Do we allow the continuance of the border invasion? NO! We proved that the no-longer silent majority will fight when backed into a corner. We must fight NOW and force the executive branch to EXECUTE the laws that are currently on the books. We can not afford to wait any longer. Time to flood Bushland with our demands! As for Jose: Mexico may snuff-out free speech by regulating radio and the internet, so may I invite you not to let the Red, White and Blue door hit you in the back side!

  45. Besides the falling Mexican birthrate, another trend indicates that illegal unskilled immigrants will be a smaller problem in a few years:
    Farms Fund Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers
    http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2007/06/robo_picker
    Essentially, too many farms have inconsistent or completely missing larbor pools because we keep arresting and deporting their fruit pickers … so they are going to switch to robots, eliminating the problem of “jobs that americans won’t do”.
    Shortly thereafter, I fully expect WalMart to switch to robot restockers, which will drop their costs so much that every low cost retailer and supermarket will have to end up doing the same.

  46. You anti-immigrants suck
    My grandmother came here early in the 1900s on a ship from Norway. She jumped ship and wandered around the US before meeting and marrying an American mining engineer. Her children and grandchildren all became highly productive members of society. How would she fare in today’s climate…

  47. RE: Charles (June 28, 2007 2:37 PM)
    You cannot possibly imagine that the “elites” wanted this bill. They are not competing with illegal aliens for jobs, and they aren’t losing by paying lower wages for menial labor that has no legal protection.
    Of course the elites aren’t competing for jobs “Americans won’t do/aren’t doing/Bush spin du jour,” but they are benefitting from the downward wage pressure from the unprotected class as you acknowledged. Here’s why even just this halting, however, was imperative right now: 1) the legal obligation of Americans to finance a HUGE economic liability via social welfare has been quashed; 2) local governments may proceed with their newly crafted enforcement measures without being trumped by a single, federal waiving act (even though they may be challenged by Justice at the prodding of the ACLU, for example) allowing citizens more control over their lives, taxes, and government; 3) federal government is forced to respond to the wishes of the governed in spite of tremendous pressure to ignore them; 4) an artificially created, abrupt, and politically significant seismic shift in voting demographics will not be imposed that could very well change the country for decades sans traditional pressures, and 5) businesses encouraging illegal alien labor have been put on notice that the public’s ire is real and that its concern for the nation and their own, individual self-interest still trumps profit margins however hyperbolically expressed.
    There are assuredly more benefits to maintaining the status quo, so the idea that the country doesn’t win by killing this shamnesty is incorrect. “Something” was much worse than nothing. Now, the federal government has an opportunity with tangible public support to do something worthwhile without the fraud and obfuscation we just witnessed. They know what the public wants. The question remains “will they do it?” Those who champion honest debate and the few simple reforms over “comprehensive” ones will prosper. Local governance will see to that even if federal governance doesn’t. In time the grassroots will impose its will upon the elected elites and the nation will escape the morass and, probably, in a much shorter time than it took to create it.

  48. AnonymousDrivel,
    I find your comment interesting, but I think only time will tell whether my pessimism or your optimism will be correct with regard to the immigration legislation.
    In particular, local legislation and enforcement of immigration issues is highly unlikely to result in worthwhile control of illegal immigration. Also, “grassroots” activism moves the country in all directions, amounting, in the aggregate, to Brownian motion.
    Let’s check back in a year. I’m sure the issue will come up again.

  49. Charles,
    I’m still rather pessimistic and, if you’ve read my comments here before, I have a cynical streak a mile long on this issue. I’m probably not that far from where you are. Nonetheless, I’m a bit inspired from the public activism I’ve seen and it certainly trumps the contemporaneous Federal activism. For that I see a sliver of hope. At this point that’s a good step.
    As for grassroots activism, I’d just like to see it given a chance even if Brownian motion causes some unforeseen wobbles. So much has been relegated to authority so far beyond our local domains that I’ve wondered if citizen input ever matters anymore. I’m fundamentally state’s rights, so that’s really the platform from which I leap first. The more local, the better.
    As for the issue arising again, absolutely it will come up as will the passions. I’m confident that a slight delay is better even if it takes place (perhaps especially if it takes place) under a new administration. It’s a risk worth taking IMO. If anything we’ll insist upon a more open and honest process under the eyes of a vastly more educated electorate. The internet allows for such sunlight as long as the public remains engaged. On this issue, it will remain so.

  50. Improving the Travel Promotion Act of 2007

    The comprehensive “immigration reform” measure has, once again, been pronounced dead in the U.S. Senate, but that doesn’t mean that everything the entire massive piece of legislation was a bad idea that should be forgotten. As I wrote a few…

  51. Ed, I respectfully disagree with your last update, at least somewhat. While Congress deserves some blame for their failure to act in terms of funding enforcement, I hold the Executive branch primarily responsible because it has failed to rally (bully, as in pulpit?) Congress into providing said funding. The plain truth is that Mr. Bush has never envisioned actively enforcing our border, particularly our southern border. Without the will of the president, Congress will more than happily find bridges to nowhere more worthy of funding.

  52. Congress v the Executive:
    Congress, since passing Simpson-Mazolli in 1986, has consistently failed to fund any enforcement measures at the border, or in the workplace. The Executive cannot enforce that which it is given no funds to accomplish that task with; otherwise, it would be in violation of the will of Congress, and the law.
    If anyone else has made this point, my appologies for being redundant.

  53. Norm,
    So, because your grandmom hopped the border, we should pass a bill that allows gangbangers who came here illegally to get citizenship ahead of those have been following the rules? Much to my shame, some of my ancestors were known to dress up in hoods & bedsheets while commiting all manner of atrocities. Does this mean I’m not allowed to be opposed to the Klan? The past is dead. We have to deal with things as they are, not as they were.

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