Is it dead yet?

The BBC’s man in Washington, Jamie Coomarasamy, says that the Z Visa Immigration Bill, previously thought to be pining for the fjords.. is now officially an ex-Bill after the Senate voted 46-53 against moving on the proposals – “It could try to resurrect legislation, but Thursday’s vote was probably the last serious attempt to get immigration reform through Congress under this presidency”. Meanwhile, although agreeing that it’s a huge defeat for Bush, Slate’s Mickey Kaus is predicting that the House of Representatives could be the next arena in which the various interested parties will next do battle over the illegal immigrant issue.

Cloture Fails: 46-53. The Grand Bargain doesn’t even get a majority. … I was going to predict that the House of Representatives would take up the immigration issue anyway–actually, I still do (they’ll claim to be taking a different approach).

Adds One of the Bill’s backers, Senator Edward Kennedy, is quoted in this report

After the vote, [Senator Kennedy] said: “It is now clear that we are not going to complete our work on immigration reform. That is enormously disappointing for Congress and for the country.”

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  • observer

    time to either lock up or deport these criminals

  • Cruimh

    I don’t blame Bertie fornot wanting them back.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    There is no need to deport the illegal immigrants.

    1) Dispose of the income tax and replace it with a consumption / sales tax; and

    2) Make it economically unpalatable to hire illegal aliens.

    Without the prospect of work and the benefit of dodging taxes, the majority of the illegals will simply go home. The real criminals in the bunch will be rooted out by the police

    The problem is is that the United States is faced with a hypocritical neighbor to the south — Mexico howls when the US defends its southern border, yet has some truly draconian measures in place to keep Central Americans out of Mexico.

  • observer

    The real criminals in the bunch will be rooted out by the police ….

    They are all criminals

  • Dread Cthulhu

    observer: “They are all criminals ”

    not disputing… but it makes better sense to let economics deal with the petty criminals, whilst the leaving the police free to deal with the murderers, rapists and drug dealers who run the border.

    Prioritization and using the appropriate tool for the appropriate task is the key.

  • Obscure Reference

    Dread Cthulhu has a good point, I have talked to people who made the journey from Central America to the US and the journey through Mexico is harrowingly dangerous. If a migrant is arrested by a US Border Agent or Police Officer the worst that happens is that they get robbed but any contact with Mexican Police guarantees assault and robbery and often rape and murder and the Police are much better than the gangs which prey on migrants. It costs about $6,000 to be smuggled in very uncomfortable circumstances through Mexico over the U.S. border and it takes about a month. After that you may have to walk through the desert for up to a week. Some of the people on this journey have come from as far away as Bangladesh and China and they have been 3-6 months en route already and spent up to $30,000.

    It’s hard to stop people like this with some posturing in Washington.

    People are not going to start caring about being illegal until US citizens start caring about whether their gardeners, construction workers, nannies, cooks etc are illegal, and they won’t no matter what they say – otherwise they won’t be able to afford a cleaner. The hypocrisy is profound.

  • Stiofán de Buit

    A favourite saying of an old Economics lecturer of mine was “You can’t buck the market.”

    The American economy needs these workers – that’s why they’re here. The simplest way to get rid of millions of illegal immigrants – make them legal. (Subject to a clean criminal background check – all communities have some bad apples.)