Thursday, April 12

Hewitt: the prospects of a amnesty-light bill are growing every day

Hugh Hewitt provides some comments and thoughts on the politics behind the immigration bill. So, does it have to be an all-or-nothing deal? I think there is a difference between ideals and policy, and the politics of a two-party government and the compromises that happen inside the betlway. I don't like it, but if something is going to be done about securing our borders, politics is just a reality of how things get done in Washington.

I would think a bill that mandated rapid construction of the 700 miles of double-fencing, significantly hiked fines on employers paying illegals who could not mount an affirmative defense based upon a tamper-proof ID, and the stipulation that citizenship could never be available to anyone who had entered the country illegally and who had either not returned to their country of origin for a legal entry that was separated by a period of at least some months from their exit or had served in the military. I think it might also be possible to insist on a constitutional amendment being sent to the states on the subject of birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens.

But Mickey and Glenn --smart guys who understand the art of the possible and are not, like Tom Tancredo, among the Ambrose Burnsides and Joe Hookers of the anti-illegal immigration movement-- aren't buying the idea that a floor exists. Their point is that any regularization, no matter how carefully crafted, will immediately sow the seeds of the next big wave of illegal immigration, just as 1986 has birthed two decades of massive illegal immigration. At a minimum they seemed to say that no regularization of any sort could happen until after the fence and sanctions had been in place for some time and the effects on illegal immigration had been studied. What I can't persuade them of is that the inflow is a massive problem that has to be dealt with asap --especially because of security reasons-- and that a "pox on everything" approach guarantees the amnesty-light bill passing without anything useful in it at all.