"Illegal Immigration-out of sight, out of mind"

From Timothy Bauer
Reno, Nevada

Here is link to the story below.

post-gazette.com/pg/08306/924444-192.stm


Forgotten issue: Illegal immigration is off the national radar
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Just as stocks go up and down according to the demands of the market, political issues soar and plummet according to changing circumstances. Even so, the disappearance of immigration from the national debate this election season is startling.

To be sure, immigration reform has not been completely forgotten and the issue still incites passions in pockets of the country. In the 11th Congressional District in Eastern Pennsylvania, for example, Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, the Republican candidate, has a strong chance of parlaying the national publicity he received for cracking down on illegal immigrants into an upset of the 12-term Democratic incumbent, Rep. Paul Kanjorski.

But on the national stage immigration reform has hardly been heard from, at least in the mainstream. As The New York Times reported Wednesday in a story headlined “Immigration Cools as Campaign Issue,” the candidates rarely talk about immigration and it was not discussed in the debates.

Part of that reflects the fact that both Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama have views on this issue that don’t endear them to the hard-core anti-immigrant camp. Mr. McCain famously worked with Sen. Ted Kennedy to produce a comprehensive immigration reform package, although he ended up pulling back his support of his own bill after the demagogues became active. Still, he remains sympathetic to immigrants.

In fact, both candidates want to secure the borders and crack down on employers of illegal immigrants. They also support some legal process that would allow illegals to pay fines and be put on a path to citizenship.

For both Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama, there’s not much political upside in debating something that so recently has been politically explosive. The main exception, as the Times pointed out, is in the Spanish language media, where both candidates have tried to position themselves as the best choice for immigrant constituencies.

The existence of significant numbers of Hispanics in states like California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico is why recent anti-immigrant obsessions haven’t translated well into national politics: It spells long-term political suicide for any party that goes truly nativist. To its credit, the Bush administration realized this and tried to do something about it

That effort needs to be revived by the next president, whoever he may be: While it may be inconvenient and embarrassing to talk about immigration reform now, which is a pity, the issue itself is not going away.

First published on November 1, 2008 at 12:00 am

The republicans dropped the ball big-time when they did not emphasize this issue during the campaign. It is a sure winner issue for them. Just like they failed to push the drill now issue. Or the infanticide issue, or the Rev. Williams issue, and some others. They’ve run a bad campaign…

But McCain voted for “Shamnesty.” He is very much in favor of illegal immigration. So is the other dude.

I find my nation’s immigration policy to be shameful and exploitive. Do you really think anybody is trying very hard to stop illegal immigration? I sure don’t.

The Democrats benefit because the children of illegals become a nice tidy Democratic voting block, courtesy of short sighted Republican xenophobic rhetoric.

The Republicans benefit because much of their core contituency benefits greatly from the disposable, cheap labor force and because they see illegals as a covert way of bailing out Social Security: illegals pay in via phony SS numbers, but can never take money out. A new peasant class with no rights and no voice. Nice. (and also why they like “guest worker” schemes so much)

If they really wanted to stop illegal immigration the path to it is clear and simple:

  1. Jack the legal quota for unskilled, unconnected Central Americans way, WAY up. Say 80% of what it is now illegally anyways.
  2. Secure the border. For real.
  3. Deport violators in a timely manner.
  4. Fine employers of illegals.
  5. Offer plea bargains for illegals here before the start date of the new program. Plead guilty, get probation, pay a fine over 5 years. Complete the 5 years with no criminal convictions and get a pardon and a green card. Welcome to America.

Our current quotas for unskilled, unconnected Central Americans is a national embarassment and a black stain on the honor of our country.

Anybody with any principles who is opposed to immigration had better be a Native American or he is the definition of hypocrite.

I agree with most of what you are saying here. It makes sense to bring them out of the shadows and allow them to work openly and honestly. Besides we need the labor because so many potential American workers have been aborted.

From Timothy Bauer
Reno, Nevada

Thanks for the posts by “stevegravy”, “manualman”, “mdzialo”,
“roanoker”.
This issue is not going away.

I think you are right. We have been willing to exploit illegal aliens, who have to work for low wages doing the dirtiest of jobs.

The current situation isn’t fair to those who have to wait in line to immigrate legally. And it isn’t fair to the illegal immigrants who pay into government programs such as Social Security, but are unable to collect its benefits.

Our country needs to do better. But we need to get beyond slogans, and confront the issues. Farmers have been quoted saying that it is very hard to find agricultural workers who last beyond a day or two, regardless of the pay. Slaughterhouses have kept meat prices rock bottom low by paying illegal workers rock bottom wages. Are we really prepared for food shortages and skyrocketing food prices which would accompany an enforcement-only approach.

I think a guest worker program should be considered. But President Bush was unable to get it passed. I’m not sure President Obama will be able to do better.

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