“just an attempt to, as they say on Wall Street, ‘put lipstick on that pig'”

While waiting to see what, if any, public converstaion takes place on those border issues there’s another, somewhat related, conversation trying to take shape. In the Irish Times, campaigner Frank Sharry, executive director of the US National Immigration Forum, reckons it could take up to 10 years before US immigration reform “becomes viable to have it back at the table” – and not just because of contradictions between Ministers of State. From the Irish Times article [subs req]

Sharry believes that despite the tough measures contained in the Bill (undocumented migrants would have had to pay thousands of dollars in fines and would not have been eligible for permanent residence for eight years, for example), Republican opponents succeeded in portraying the proposal as an amnesty that would reward law-breakers. Democrats, themselves unsure about its feasibility, were half-hearted advocates. “So the combination meant the grand bargain that was negotiated in the backroom, when it went public, was something of an orphan.”

Frank Sharry is also sceptical of any proposed bilateral ‘special case’ agreement for Irish illegal immigrants, as suggested by Dermot Ahern previously.

While Sharry is supportive of the Government’s efforts to secure a bilateral agreement that would regularise the status of the undocumented Irish, he is not convinced it will succeed.

“I would be supportive of it, but I don’t see its viability, because people on the right will label it an amnesty and people on left will say, ‘how come these white immigrants are going to get status rather than many others?'”

Meanwhile inside the paper there’s an additional article [subs still], by Trina Vargo founder and president of the US-Ireland Alliance, who argues that “Irish-Americans trying to get a special deal only for Irish illegal migrants in the US are wrong.”

The US immigration system needs fixing, but it requires a comprehensive and united approach. The deportation of 12 million people is clearly not possible, and pragmatism favours efforts to create an earned path to citizenship for those in the US illegally. Sadly, that effort has been stalled.

But to support a special deal that would single out illegal Irish immigrants for preferential treatment would be morally wrong, could harm the US-Ireland relationship, damage the high regard in which Irish-Americans are held, and lead to a divisive debate in the US between the Hispanic community and the Irish-American community.

The Irish economy is strong, and a special deal is not justified on economic grounds. The majority of those attending the rallies for the illegal Irish immigrants are young people, people who came to the United States when jobs were plentiful at home.

These are not people who fled extreme economic hardship, political persecution, physical torture, or an undemocratic government. Jobs are so plentiful in Ireland that in recent years, Government officials have travelled to the US to urge the Irish to return home. It is to be celebrated that Ireland is now a country of wealth, prosperity and opportunity. Now one of the richest countries in the world, it is a not a place anyone has to leave.

Supporters of a special deal for the Irish say there is precedent, that this was done for Australia. What they neglect to point out is that those visas had nothing to do with illegal immigrants. They were about trade agreements and facilitating the movement of professionals to the US. They were temporary visas subject to stringent eligibility requirements. The visas were only available to those with specific professional skills and for specific jobs pursuant to trade agreements.

There is also talk of trying to mask a “special deal” by cloaking it in innocuous immigration provisions but this is just an attempt to, as they say on Wall Street, “put lipstick on that pig”.

, , , ,

  • Gum

    Why should the Irish be treated differently? Irish law breakers who have remained in the USA illegally should face the same penalties as those from Mexico and other parts of the world who flout US law.

  • Here beginneth the rant of a peon passing through JFK and EWR on a regular basis.

    1. There is no way the Irish are going to get special treatment. Forget it.

    2. The status of legitimate “aliens” is bad enough. The process of registration and certification of those is within the control of the Federal Government. Nobody seems capable of sorting that out. Paperwork and the routines are somewhere between a shambles and a nightmare: inevitably, it is always the applicant’s fault until proven to the contrary. So, meanwhile, it become almost de rigeur to employ an attorney to help. Ummm … perhaps that’s the explanation.

    3. Is there any bureaucracy in the “free” world as officious and oppressive as the jobsworths of the Department of Homeland Security? All they are missing are the brain-cell count of a plant, and a pair of jack-boots, then they would be dangerous as well as obtuse and ill-mannered. Yet, this is the model (I gather) that David Davies and the Tories would have us follow.

  • susan

    Trina Vargo is a former aide to Ted Kennedy, and I’ve no doubt she is a woman, a person, of singular energy, commitment, vision and drive. Sad then, that the biggest impact she will make in her life on Ireland and America will not be her tireless work on behalf of the Mitchel Scholars, but the damage she’s accomplished with this article.

    The statistically overwhelming majority of legal immigration visas to the United States are based on familial relationships. If it were, say, the early nineteen sixties, and the only prospective immigrants able to claim the necessary familial relationships were from Ireland, Poland, Germany, and the UK, Trina Vargo would no doubt be one of the first to see and to say that such a system was flawed, that diversity and opportunity beyond the baseline factor of familial relationships were urgently needed, both in terms of fairness and multicultural diversity.

    In the article Pete quotes from, Vargo states “I fear, however, that if the future of the US-Ireland relationship
    rests on Irish immigration, the relationship will falter. Those who
    care about the relationship should note and expand upon the business and cultural ties, academic and student exchanges, as well as legal immigration. The constant flow of citizens between our two countries is a positive thing that should be nurtured.” Stating that you are going to build on busines and cultural ties without building on and increasing LEGAL immigration is like stating you are going to encourage sexual relationships between partners without recourse to sex. It is that basic and intrinsic to any sort of genuine vitality.

    Any fool can see the United States clearly needs a comprehensive approach to immigration reform. If there is actual evidence that making provisions for a few thousand Irish illegals will actually take visas away from other illegal immigrants, Vargo needs to present it calmly, and in detail, not just make a shamelessly emotional statement like “No Mexicans Need Apply” without presenting objective collaborating evidence.

    Here is a recent voices from within the Irish gov’t and parents of undocumented currently in America:

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/1112/qanda_av.html?2308347,null,230

    I truly fear Vargo’s done in any hope of a deal in for Irish undocumented, without doing anything to materially help a single undocumented person in America of any ethnic origin whatsoever. No one worked harder for comprehensive immigration reform than the “small group” of individuals Vargo singles out in her Times piece, and it is hard to imagine she wouldn’t know that.

    Her Mitchell Scholarships will continue to let talented, deserving American students the opportunity to observe a “post-conflict society” in Belfast, not to mention soaking up the charms and gifts of Galway. But Vargo will have even more of an impact on the illegal Irish landscaper in the suburbs of Chicago currently employing half a dozen or more illegal Mexican immigrants who will return to Monaghan because she’s now killed any chance of a special deal.

    Congratulations, Trina, there goes another pig in lipstick from your shores.

    The young married couple in Boston from Cullyhanna who’ve lived there fourteen years will take their children out of school and start again in a place their children have never seen. Congratulations, Trina, there go five more pigs in lipstick from your shores.

    She wanted to make a difference in Ireland and in America, and by God she has.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “I truly fear Vargo’s done in any hope of a deal in for Irish undocumented, without doing anything to materially help a single undocumented person in America of any ethnic origin whatsoever. No one worked harder for comprehensive immigration reform than the “small group” of individuals Vargo singles out in her Times piece, and it is hard to imagine she wouldn’t know that. ”

    First of all, what part of “illegal immigrant” don’t you understand, susan?

    The only way to maintain a nation under law is to enforce those laws. Frankly, it would be more creditable to eliminate the special treatment of Cubans than creating a safe harbor for Irish illegal immigrants. Likewise, those locales such as San Francisco which hold themselves out as sanctuary cities should have their place at the Federal trough cut (or at least diminished).

    I see no problem with lawful immigration and lawful immigrants, but this foolishness of rewarding illegal immigration — granting them licenses, in-state tuition, et al, is folly.

    susan: “But Vargo will have even more of an impact on the illegal Irish landscaper in the suburbs of Chicago currently employing half a dozen or more illegal Mexican immigrants who will return to Monaghan because she’s now killed any chance of a special deal. ”

    On what basis should the illegal Irishman be granted special treatment? Irish illegal immigration was overwhelmingly economic in nature — why else would Phds be doing carpentry under the table in Boston? He should have the same treatment as his illegal Mexicans, unless there is some overwhelmingly critical aspect to his presence here that I am missing — the collapse of hurling in America doesn’t strike me as a major issue to the US, nor the loss of a landscaping firm operating in breach of US laws.

  • joeCanuck

    On what basis should the illegal Irishman be granted special treatment?

    Wouldn’t be because they have a whitish hue?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “Wouldn’t be because they have a whitish hue? ”

    Not directly — Irish have only been “white” for barely a century and a half in the United States.

    Indirectly… mayhap. The Irish-American has evolved a long way from the charicatures of Nast — societal menace or par with dreaded “yellow peril” of a slightly later era to tool of machine politics to gangsters to blue colllar public servant (policeman, fireman)to the bosses of machine politics and white collar public servant (politican, FBI agent) to just another part of society, albeit one that is held with a certain affection, particularly around mid-March.

    I would also say that the qualities of the Irish illegal immigrant might play into it– the few I knew in Boston were, as I said, highly educated folks doing blue-collar jobs. They already speak English, they don’t have militant fringe organizations advocating a “reconquista” of the Southwest and, either by dint of behavior or small numbers, don’t make nearly as many negative headlines as their Mexican and Latin American counterparts.

    But, if you prefer, I will ask again and clarify…

    On what rational and legally defensible basis should the Irish illegal immigrant receive preferential treatment?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Pete

    NINE backlinks this time!

    You’ve been relatively restrained……

  • joeCanuck

    The answer is quite simple, Dread,

    NONE.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “The answer is quite simple, Dread, NONE. ”

    And people call me a literalist… *sigh*

    And if the answer is that bloody simple, Canuck, why is there a plethora of whiny, hand-wringing, pointy headed liberal lefty milk-sops trying to say otherwise, calling anyone who asks questions regarding their rush to legitimize illegal immigrants “racist” for embracing the rather plain notion that nations have borders?

  • joeCanuck

    Sorry Dread.
    Looks like you cannot get any response other than from me, who agrees with you.

  • kensei

    Dread

    “I see no problem with lawful immigration and lawful immigrants, but this foolishness of rewarding illegal immigration—granting them licenses, in-state tuition, et al, is folly.”

    On a purely theoretical level, this is fine. The problem is that you are not at year zero. You have so many illegal immigrants in the country that you couldn’t remove them, partly because you couldn’t hope to find even a significant percentage of them, and because the economic damage in some areas would be huge.

    If you are serious about sorting it out — and that would mean getting seriously tough on the people that employ illegal immigrants which neither party seem to have the stomach for — then surely you have to recognise you have to do something with the people already there?

  • joeCanuck

    I agree, Kensei, that something desperately needs to be done to regularise huge numbers of those already there.
    But I can’t agree that some nationals deserve to have preferential treatment.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “Looks like you cannot get any response other than from me, who agrees with you. ”

    Sorry — I popped a filling, so I’m a little cross at the moment… I should not be snappish at you.

    kensei: “The problem is that you are not at year zero. You have so many illegal immigrants in the country that you couldn’t remove them, partly because you couldn’t hope to find even a significant percentage of them, and because the economic damage in some areas would be huge. ”

    In the main, I don’t have to remove them. By simply not accomodating them, most will leave on their own accord. This includes SSN matching programs for employers, the REAL ID program and enforcing existing regulations.

    Likewise, any damage would be offset, insofar as the illegals damaged the economy in other ways. For example, meat-cutting, on the factory level, used to be a decent living — not great, but one a body could live on. Nowadays, it’s $7.00 an hour and meat plants are raided regularly by INS, with hundreds arrested at a time. The presence of these illegals is corrosive on the economy, robbing the working man by keeping wages artificially low, soaking up government benefits whilst avoiding most taxes, etc.

    kensei: “If you are serious about sorting it out—and that would mean getting seriously tough on the people that employ illegal immigrants which neither party seem to have the stomach for—then surely you have to recognise you have to do something with the people already there? ”

    Yup. Show them the door and shoo them out of it. Simply make their existence uncomfortable and unprofitable and they will line up to leave. This includes taxing remitttances, enforcing other rules on the books and making it too expensive for municipalities to be sanctuary cities. Unlike the proverbial frog, if you turn up the heat, the illegals will simply jump out of the pot.

    The United States tried that sort of amnesty in the Eighties. It is already known that amenesty merely encourages more illegal immigration.

    Frankly, the US should simply take Mexico’s policies on illegal immigration on its southern border and apply them to the US-Mexican border.

  • susan

    Dread Cthulhu and Joe, you do not need to agree with me, but you do need to understand that very sadly I share Frank Sharry’s pessimism over the likelihood of the US Congress achieving the comprehensive immigration reform needed to better secure the US borders and to deal — not to pontificate, but to deal – with the millions of illegal aliens from around the world currently in the US.

    I wish I didn’t agree with Sharry. But I do. I think the outlook is bleak, and I think the lack of comprehensive immigration reform will continue to have a negative impact on the struggling US economy, on the American healthcare and educational systems struggling to cope with such a large underground economy, and on otherwise law-abiding, long term illegal immigrants of WHATEVER national origin, WHATEVER race, WHATEVER religion seeking a path to citizenship.

    And so, yes, with such a bleak outlook on the likelihood of comprehensive reform needed, I can’t oppose the efforts of pols and advocates seeking special provisions for their citizens abroad. No special deals are possible? Ever hear of Berman visas, Donnelly visas, Schumer visas, Kennedy visas? I don’t have Pete’s way with the hyperlinks (then again, who does?) but you can Google them.

    Would I agree that those seeking asylum from political or religious persecution are a higher priority that Irish undocumented? Of course I bloody do. This talk of a “bilateral agreement” seems a long shot, but it also seems the only shot available to the people in Ireland and in the US who worked so hard for comprehensive reform and saw it all come to naught. What should they tell the people, the undocumented Irish in America, they vowed to help? Dread and Joe and Trina Vargo can all watch the undocumented pack and tell them they never should have come– I’m sure that is patently obvious to them by now. But I don’t think America will be better off without them, I don’t think the immigrants will be better off, and I don’t think it will do one iota to assist the ongoing efforts to achieve a comprehensive, compassionate, enforceable immigration reform in the USA.

  • susan

    Excellent points, kensei. Here is a link to an article maintaining that aout 8 million of America’s illegal immigrants are paying taxes, including Medicare, social security, etc.

    http://www.reason.org/commentaries/dalmia_20060501.shtml

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “I think the outlook is bleak, and I think the lack of comprehensive immigration reform will continue to have a negative impact on the struggling US economy, on the American healthcare and educational systems struggling to cope with such a large underground economy, and on otherwise law-abiding, long term illegal immigrants of WHATEVER national origin, WHATEVER race, WHATEVER religion seeking a path to citizenship. ”

    It is the presence of illegal immigrants that are the drag, susan. The distort the labor markets, robbing legal workers, cause localities to incur costs they would have otherwise incurred and, by their very nature, the term “law-abiding illegal immigrant” is a contradiction in terms.

    susan: “And so, yes, with such a bleak outlook on the likelihood of comprehensive reform needed, I can’t oppose the efforts of pols and advocates seeking special provisions for their citizens abroad. No special deals are possible? Ever hear of Berman visas, Donnelly visas, Schumer visas, Kennedy visas? I don’t have Pete’s way with the hyperlinks (then again, who does?) but you can Google them. ”

    And they were wrong response then and would be wrong now.

    susan: “This talk of a “bilateral agreement” seems a long shot, but it also seems the only shot available to the people in Ireland and in the US who worked so hard for comprehensive reform and saw it all come to naught.”

    Odd, that you should call ignoring law-breaking “reform.” Amensty doesn’t work — it simply encourages more of the same.

    susan: “Dread and Joe and Trina Vargo can all watch the undocumented pack and tell them they never should have come– I’m sure that is patently obvious to them by now. But I don’t think America will be better off without them”

    Your thought and a couple of euros will get you coffee at a Stabucks, susan, but you would still be wrong. Illegal immigrants are a drain on government coffers. As they are paid under the table, they deprive the state of tax dollars, as the state incurs costs due to their simple presence. This drain raises taxes on the law-abiding population, while forcing the labor-wage down. This stresses American workers and forces the government to take more money out of their pockets in taxes to make up for the free-loading illegal immigrants. How does *ANY* of this economic damage make America “better off,” I wonder.

    susan: ” I don’t think it will do one iota to assist the ongoing efforts to achieve a comprehensive, compassionate, enforceable immigration reform in the USA. ”

    Two seperate issues that should have never been linked in the first place. One should not change one’s laws to accodate scofflaws. Reform of the legal immigration system should not benefit illegal immigrants.

    Remove the gators, then worry about draining the swamp.

  • George

    Dread,
    I also think that in theory what you say makes sense but when it comes to the practicalities of the situation people find themselves in then sometimes you have to look for solutions rather than simply enjoying having a logically coherent position that is pretty much unassailable.

    Like JoeCanuck, I too believe there is no rational reason why they should have preferential treatment.

    But like the 14 billion the EU gave us last year when others were more deserving, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, even if it is wearing lipstick.

    For me it is the Irish government’s job to represent the interests of all its citizens and that includes those living illegally in the US or homeless or in jail in Britain.

    If our state’s representatives won’t stand up for them no one will. And if the Irish government can put forward some solution that the Americans can sell to their representatives as some sort of quid pro quo then why not?

    Just like the 14 billion from the EU, such a decision would mean nothing in the greater scheme of things if it is sold right. It wouldn’t even make a ripple.

    Naturally if the Americans say no dice and tell the Irish to sling their hook for the reasons outlined in Pete’s post or whatever reasons they see fit, fair enough but at least we tried what little we could to help them.

    Equally, illegal immigrants in Ireland, who too are economic for the most part, should use whatever is available to them to try and stay and seek out the assistance of any available allies.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    George: “For me it is the Irish government’s job to represent the interests of all its citizens and that includes those living illegally in the US or homeless or in jail in Britain. ”

    I don’t necessarily disagree, George… but given the Republic’s stance on illegal immigration, their scarcely less hypocritical than Mexico on the topic.

    George: “Naturally if the Americans say no dice and tell the Irish to sling their hook for the reasons outlined in Pete’s post or whatever reasons they see fit, fair enough but at least we tried what little we could to help them.”

    I never said it was wrong to ask, George, I simply asked what rational basis there was that that ask should be granted, knowing full well the answer was “none whatsoever.” Right now, partly due to the elections, partly due to the fact that a porous border is a national security threat — the border that allows the iconic “hard working, law-abiding illegal immigrant” to cross undetected could also allow the drug-dealing Mexican, the (Usama)bomb-Laden Islamic fundalmentalist terrorist,etc. to cross. Not every swarth fellow crossing by night speaks Spanish or wants to mow Mitt Romney’s lawn.

    George: “Equally, illegal immigrants in Ireland, who too are economic for the most part, should use whatever is available to them to try and stay and seek out the assistance of any available allies. ”

    Can’t blame a body for trying… but neither should the illegal immigrant expect not to be deported. One cannot break the law and then claim to be “law-abiding.”

  • joeCanuck

    Susan,

    I don’t agree that they should just be shown the door.
    Bush (no liberal) had a proposal that gave the illegals a chance to “regularize” their position.
    I thought that was a good proposal but it fell when it came to Congress.
    That proposal would have satisfied one of Dread’s concerns. It would have meant that they started paying taxes.
    Where does the USA go now? I have no idea. I believe that a Democrat president will stand even less chance than Bush in bringing forward any proposal that will allow any existing illegal to become regular.

  • kensei

    “In the main, I don’t have to remove them. By simply not accomodating them, most will leave on their own accord. This includes SSN matching programs for employers, the REAL ID program and enforcing existing regulations.”

    There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the US. And we’d probably guess that figure is higher. You can wish hard, Dread but you aren’t going to get rid of them easily. That is twice the population of Ireland.

    “Likewise, any damage would be offset, insofar as the illegals damaged the economy in other ways. For example, meat-cutting, on the factory level, used to be a decent living—not great, but one a body could live on. Nowadays, it’s $7.00 an hour and meat plants are raided regularly by INS, with hundreds arrested at a time. The presence of these illegals is corrosive on the economy, robbing the working man by keeping wages artificially low, soaking up government benefits whilst avoiding most taxes, etc.”

    And if the price of meat double overnight then you have a bit of an inflation problem there, Dread. I also direct you to this article too, much of which remains true for illegal immigration:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/evandavis/2007/11/on_the_buses.html

    It isn’t a situation that developed overnight and it isn’t one that can fixed overnight, either.

    “Yup. Show them the door and shoo them out of it. Simply make their existence uncomfortable and unprofitable and they will line up to leave. This includes taxing remitttances, enforcing other rules on the books and making it too expensive for municipalities to be sanctuary cities. Unlike the proverbial frog, if you turn up the heat, the illegals will simply jump out of the pot.”

    Not if life back home is worse. Not if they have built a life in America. Not if there is loopholes they can exploit, fake ids and the prospect of buying time. You will not seriously tackle that 12+ million figure and it’s wishful thinking to suggest otherwise.

    “The United States tried that sort of amnesty in the Eighties. It is already known that amenesty merely encourages more illegal immigration.”

    I don’t think it makes a bit of difference what happened in the 80’s. The economics and current incentives are much more powerful. What you are suggests may curb the current rate of illegal immigration, though I’m not 100% convinced. But it won’t solve the problem you already have.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “Bush (no liberal) had a proposal that gave the illegals a chance to “regularize” their position. ”

    Ah, yes… “Amnesty… the policy that dare notspeak its name.”

    joeCanuck: “That proposal would have satisfied one of Dread’s concerns. It would have meant that they started paying taxes. ”

    It would exacerbated others, including causing a stampede of illegals seeking to cross the border in hope of benefitting from the amnesty.

    joeCanuck: “I believe that a Democrat president will stand even less chance than Bush in bringing forward any proposal that will allow any existing illegal to become regular. ”

    Maybe, maybe not… betraying core constituencies is not exactly “new hat” to the Democrats, having alienated poor urban whites in the past with such issues as court-ordered busing, gun control, etc.

    That said, New York State, no red-neck bastion of conservatism, was 70% against issuing illegal immigrants driver’s licenses. If it doesn’t play in New York, how well do you think it will play in less liberal locales?

  • George

    Dread,
    As I already said, if you look at this rationally and logically your position is unassailable, but life isn’t logical or rational.

    As for what illegal immigrants should or should not expect, they are human beings like the rest of us so make their decisions accordingly. Sometimes their dreams and hopes and expectations are rational, sometimes not.

    As for the you “cannot break the law and then claim to be “law-abiding” logic, I find it a bit glib and a nice phrase to justify ignoring their real-life situation.

    I can honestly say I don’t think I know anybody who hasn’t broken the law at some stage but I would consider the company I keep to be law abiding.

    Your standards are approaching those set out by the guy who came up with the idea of original sin.

    It seems you favour leaving these particular souls outside the consecrated ground of legal right of residence simply becauses your doctrinal logic dictates it.

  • joeCanuck

    As an aside, I don’t mind people just calling me “Joe”; it saves typing.
    I just started calling myself joecanuck to distinguish myself from another Joe who occasionally comments.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    kensei: “There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the US. And we’d probably guess that figure is higher. You can wish hard, Dread but you aren’t going to get rid of them easily. That is twice the population of Ireland. ”

    If I make it too expensive for meat-packing plants and construction firms to hire, where will they work, kensei? Without jobs, why would they stay?

    The point is that I don’t have to chase them. Likewise, I don’t have to get them all, just enough to get the problem down to a managable size.

    kensei: “And if the price of meat double overnight then you have a bit of an inflation problem there, Dread.”

    Having lived and buying meat when the meat-cutting trades were unionized and paying roughly than 50% more an hour to their cutters, I can safely say you’re full of beans, kensei.

    kensei: “Not if life back home is worse. Not if they have built a life in America. Not if there is loopholes they can exploit, fake ids and the prospect of buying time. You will not seriously tackle that 12+ million figure and it’s wishful thinking to suggest otherwise. ”

    kensei, if you bothered to read my post, I’m talking about closing the loopholes, ID programs that are harder to fake and streamlining the processes. I am also talking about destroying the magnets that attract them in the first place.

    The first thing you do to drain a tank is to turn off the tap. Eliminate the job attraction through a combination of REAL ID, SSN matching and penalties for employers and no one is going to hire them. No jobs, no reason to come. Likewise, this is just the low-hanging fruit. Texas mayors are suggesting a simple solution — let the Rio Grande run a little deeper and faster, making it a more credible barrier.

    Likewise, the sanctuary cities can be readily de-fanged bureaucratically. Tie their federal aid dollars, starting with law-enforcement, but expanding outward from there, to their cooperation in dealing with the illegal immigration problem. No assistance = no assistance dollars.

    And, no, it won’t be an overnight solution. But it can be done and without a great deal of hullabaloo. In most interviews, the illegals themselves have said they would be inclined to leave based on these bureaucratic measures.

    kensei: “I don’t think it makes a bit of difference what happened in the 80’s. ”

    Those who refuse to learn history are doomed to repeat it…

    kensei: “The economics and current incentives are much more powerful. What you are suggests may curb the current rate of illegal immigration, though I’m not 100% convinced. But it won’t solve the problem you already have. ”

    Not overnight, but once I’ve shut off the in-flow valve, I can start draining the tank.

    Likewise, if I de-incentivize illegal status, with confiscatory fines, taxes on remittances, etc., I remove the benefit of remaining here.

    Ideally, in a generation or two, the demographics in Mexico will have alleviated some of the problem as well — Mexicans cross into the states to work, not necessarily settle.

    The core of the problem is that Mexico’s anti-poverty and anti-crime programs is to export their problems to the United States, right up to and including manuals for the best ways to cross the border.

    If you take away the benefits, they will not come and will not stay. I’d be willing to support a constitutional amendment that would limit / eliminate citizenship by birth, save for those born to citizens, to eliminate the “anchor baby” phenomenon.

  • There’s a lot of beating-up going on here to no avail.

    Let’s be pragmatic.

    Those “illegals” who are in professional positions, with a certain amount of jiggery-pokery they and their company/organisation can legitimate their position. End of that story.

    Then there are the casuals and blue-collar workers, who, quite frankly, are the main drug on the market. As has been pointed out, they are a major brake on wage-rates (so unpopular with unions, and so not going to get a boost from the Dems). If I were stuck in a dead-end job, where my hourly-rate had effectively been frozen for 30 years, I doubt that I could afford too many liberal and humanitarian principles.

    In short, the issue is not recent Irish immigration: it is Latino and Black immigration into low-skill, low-pay, low-esteem and often-seasonal jobs.

    My confident prediction is that the Immigration Service will continue to harass this group, from time to time, sufficiently for the whingers to sleep peacefully in their beds, and for forestalling the vigilante problem worsening. And that will be it.

  • joeCanuck

    Those who refuse to learn history are doomed to repeat it…

    On “Cheers”, Woody said that the same is true for mathematics.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    George: “As for what illegal immigrants should or should not expect, they are human beings like the rest of us so make their decisions accordingly. Sometimes their dreams and hopes and expectations are rational, sometimes not. ”

    To come into a country illegally is to break the law. I really could care less what their expectations are, George. They don’t have to like it, but illegal immigrants should expect to be deported.

    George: “As for the you “cannot break the law and then claim to be “law-abiding” logic, I find it a bit glib and a nice phrase to justify ignoring their real-life situation. ”

    What, that they crossed the border illegally, are residing in the United States unlawfully and are evading taxes on the Federal, State and possibly local level? This doesn’t even take into account the criminal element to enter illegally to escape their criminal records or commit crimes in the US.

    George: “Your standards are approaching those set out by the guy who came up with the idea of original sin. ”

    bollocks. You can’t be in the United States illegally and not be a criminal. You cannot work with either a false or stolen SSN and not be a criminal. You cannot be paid under the table and not be a criminal.

    Identity theft, fraud and tax-evasion. Are these not crimes where you are?

    George: “It seems you favour leaving these particular souls outside the consecrated ground of legal right of residence simply becauses your doctrinal logic dictates it. ”

    The “legal right of residence” requires a green card in the United States. No tickee, no laundry.

    If you want legal residence, follow the legal requirements. If not, the illegal immigrant runs the risk of being caught and punished / deported.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    MR: “Those “illegals” who are in professional positions, with a certain amount of jiggery-pokery they and their company/organisation can legitimate their position.”

    That’s a very thin number, especially given the fact that those industries wanting white-collar immigrants have their own visa designation and seek to enlarge it every year.

    MR: “My confident prediction is that the Immigration Service will continue to harass this group, from time to time, sufficiently for the whingers to sleep peacefully in their beds, and for forestalling the vigilante problem worsening. And that will be it. ”

    Depends. The gophers seek to have woken up and gotten incensed on the issue. As such, something more than “rounding up of the usual suspects” will be in order.

  • The Dubliner

    Why should the Irish receive special treatment in the US? No reason other than that they demand special treatment and are prepared to manipulate Capitol Hill to get it. If they get it, they deserved it. Life isn’t fair, kids. You need to keep in mind that all nations look after their own people and that process is chauvinistic and not based on merit, need or other factors. We don’t go to Europe and say “Yes, we need two billion for road infrastructure, but we don’t think it fair to ask for it because Poland’s need is greater than ours.” Likewise, the IDA doesn’t say to a company considering a choice between two equals, “Invest in X. They need the investment more than we do.” We should bully our way through Capitol Hill on behalf of the Irish and to hell with the rest.

    And there is no need to be consistent. Just because we demand special treatment for Irish illegal immigrants in the US doesn’t mean we shouldn’t boot illegal immigrants in Ireland back to from whence they came. It’s politics, not morality plays.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    The Dubliner: “No reason other than that they demand special treatment and are prepared to manipulate Capitol Hill to get it. If they get it, they deserved it.”

    No, they won’t have deserved… the merely would have wrangled it, which is not nearly the same thing.

    The Dubliner: “And there is no need to be consistent. Just because we demand special treatment for Irish illegal immigrants in the US doesn’t mean we shouldn’t boot illegal immigrants in Ireland back to from whence they came. It’s politics, not morality plays. ”

    Painfully obvious hypocrisy doesn’t sell, not even on Capitol Hill, particularly in a climate where illegal immigration, as a political issue in on the front burner. No sense letting the camel’s nose in the tent, anyway. The other crabs in the basket aren’t going to let the Irish out unless they get out, too…

  • susan

    “I’d be willing to support a constitutional amendment that would limit / eliminate citizenship by birth, save for those born to citizens, to eliminate the “anchor baby” phenomenon.”

    Posted by Dread Cthulhu on Nov 16, 2007 @ 08:45 PM

    We don’t doubt it, Dread Cthulhu. Why not station immigration agents in the neonatal units, lest the wee “scofflaws” form the impression that being six hours old and cute as a bug’s arse gives them carte blanche to break the law?

    Very thoughtful and well-presented points, George and kensei. Joe, brilliant that you brought up “Cheers” — Dread Cthulhu’s condescending posting style and numbing overdependence on animal kingdom metaphors (gators in the swamp, camels in the tent, crab in the baskets) does remind one of that other paragon of perfection, Cliff Claven.

    One of the more distasteful aspects of Trina Vargo’s presentation of herself in the Times and on RTÉ today are her claims that she “supports” comprehensive immigration reform, yet she is lecturing the activists who actually, substantively supported comprehensive reform the last two years — by tirelessly marching, lobbying, networking, etc. the last two years on so — on “morality” when she knows the bilateral agreement is only their last ditch effort to support those they pledged to help after the collapse of all their efforts.

    Her timing could not be more damaging, as Mayo’s Michael Ring emphatically pointed out, and she is well-placed enough to know it.

  • The Dubliner

    “No, they won’t have deserved… the merely would have wrangled it, which is not nearly the same thing.” – Dread Cthulhu

    Wrong, if they get it, they deserved it – just as if you get delivery of a brand new Mercedes on Christmas Eve while someone else can’t even afford a turkey then you both deserved what you got. That’s the system and it’s up to folks to work it to their own advantage to the direct disadvantage of others, since it is the free, and as I said “life isn’t fair, kids.” It you don’t like how it works, try some form of global socialism with its inbuilt ‘morality’ and see how that works out for you.

    “Painfully obvious hypocrisy doesn’t sell, not even on Capitol Hill, particularly in a climate where illegal immigration, as a political issue in on the front burner. No sense letting the camel’s nose in the tent, anyway. The other crabs in the basket aren’t going to let the Irish out unless they get out, too…! – Dread Cthulhu

    There isn’t any hypocrisy on the applicable dynamic. There is only your failure to understand that the nature of a state is to serve the interests of its people before the interests of all other peoples. Ergo, serving the interests of Irish citizens in the US before the interests of the citizens of other countries is immaculately consistent with the applicable dynamic. The only “inconsistency” is in the imagined principle of universal morality wherein all states of the world are imagined to serve the interests of all citizens of the world without preference. Since that universal morality/imperative is imagined and not real, there is “no need to be consistent” with it.

    Now, are “other crabs in the basket” acting as a union who are all demanding ‘all or none’ preferences or are they all fighting their own corner? If they are sane and if their state is backing them, then they are fighting for their own interests above all others. The folks on Capitol Hill know how the system works – they got elected under it – so the Irish Lobby will have bluntly told them that the Irish will twist their nipples (and not in an enjoyable way) at the next election if they don’t get special treatment. If you don’t think small groups have power and ger special treatment on Capitol Hill to the direct detriment of others, I refer you to the Jewish lobby. Those guys don’t play fair; they play to win – and they do win.

  • The Dubliner

    Susan, how many blood transfusions a day does it take to keep that bleeding heart of your beating?

  • susan

    Not at all, Dub. I’m mean as they come. Still, I need to calm down. After all, if you don’t want fuzz on the lasagna, you can’t be washing the sink basin down with your cat. As Dread might say.

    This opinion of yours is a mystery to me, though, Dub —

    “Wrong, if they get it, they deserved it – just as if you get delivery of a brand new Mercedes on Christmas Eve while someone else can’t even afford a turkey then you both deserved what you got. ” It seems to me the great sorrows of the world can be pretty evenly divided between those who must endure what they do not deserve and those who never get what they do.

    BUT on the need for perispicacity and focus, on that we completely agree.

  • The Dubliner

    It simply means that the individual is responsible for meeting his or her own needs, not the state or others. There are exceptions and the state should provide for their needs, but they are the exceptions and not the norm.

    An individual’s success is determined only by his ability to succeed in the free market, where the state has provided free education, health care, and welfare assistance for the children of poorer parents to level the field to the mandatory minimum standards for all who wish to play on it. There is not a damn thing holding the individual back from succeeding in Ireland if he wants to succeed and has the ability. So, whatever you get is whatever you deserve. The only thing you get – or should get – with birth is human rights. Everything else, you only get if you either work hard or work smart for it. Yes, I’m fully aware that Ireland is now full of rich brats who feel deprived if they don’t have the latest Nokia or Versace handbag at 16 and will accomplish nothing in life beyond inheriting the wealth of their parents. They, however, are the exceptions. They don’t mean that Versace handbags and trust funds must fall from the sky for all 16-year-olds.

    What NI’s perennially fashionable socialists have yet to grasp is that somebody has to work hard to pay the taxes that pay for the invented ‘rights’ of those who don’t want to work. They can forget that, of course, because those currently working hard for it are located in the rest of the UK, funding their subvention – and expected to fund more of the same via the attempt of PSF to make socialism mandatory via the proposed Bill of Rights.

    So, back to the south: we can demand special treatment for Irish immigrants in the US and still show no mercy to illegal immigrants in Ireland because the state is obliged to operate out of self-interest, not some imagined system of universal morality. It serves our self-interest to protect Irish citizens abroad, just as it serves our self-interest to evict those who enter this country illegally. Perfectly consistent self-interest, as it should be.

  • Stiofán de Buit

    DC

    I’m shocked…shocked!!! Surely as a good libertarian you should be advocating the free movement of workers across borders (nasty statist things that they are) in response to market demands?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “Why not station immigration agents in the neonatal units, lest the wee “scofflaws” form the impression that being six hours old and cute as a bug’s arse gives them carte blanche to break the law?”

    As a fellow who audits hospitals, I gave a grasp of just how much bad debt is is generated by the border-jumpers going popping their anchor babies on this side of the border. A good many border area hospitals have closed their emergency rooms for just that reason, susan.

    Why should American tax-payers “enjoy” higher costs and greater risks to reward illegal aliens? Your whinges about feelings and the cuteness of the spawn of wet-backs not withstanding, there is a cost — a high cost — associated with illegal immigration. This cost is in dollars, but it is in the lives of law-abiding citizens who are injured and killed by criminal illegal aliens, who die as a result of the changes illegals inflict on society (don’t get into a car accident near the border — fewer ER to handle your case…) and the harm they inflict on communities.

    The Dubliner: “There is only your failure to understand that the nature of a state is to serve the interests of its people before the interests of all other peoples. Ergo, serving the interests of Irish citizens in the US before the interests of the citizens of other countries is immaculately consistent with the applicable dynamic. ”

    Wrong end of the stick, Dubliner… The US Government would, in the event they bought into this plan, have to turn around and sell it to the American people — and there are too Americans watching for just this sort of thing for too many up on Capitol Hill for it to have much of a chance, especially since it would invite howls of “racism” from the left and “amnesty” from the right. There is no incentive for either side to take up the standard. Just because the Irish feel obligated to sell it doesn’t mean the American gov’t is going to buy it, particularly in light of the domestic political cost they would incur being far higher than any benefit they receive.

    The Dubliner: “The folks on Capitol Hill know how the system works – they got elected under it – so the Irish Lobby will have bluntly told them that the Irish will twist their nipples (and not in an enjoyable way) at the next election if they don’t get special treatment.”

    LOL! That’s a good one, Dub. The Irish lobby… Unless you plan to resurrect “Old Smoke” Morrissey and Tommy Pendergast, I think you will find that that threat is a fairly empty one. Irish Americans are not nearly the bloc they once were, having been fairly assimilated and with the fall of machine politics. And the Irish, as opposed to Irish-Americans, don’t get a vote. You can lobby all you want. I’m sure the whores on Capitol hill — the ones is suits and vests — are just as willing to take you money as the other sort.

    SdB: “I’m shocked…shocked!!! Surely as a good libertarian you should be advocating the free movement of workers across borders (nasty statist things that they are) in response to market demands? ”

    The less strictures you place upon a society, the more important that those few strictures become. Likewise, unless that flow of workers is adequately vetted, you are going to get far more than just workers responding to market demands. Leeches gaming the system, criminals fleeing their records down south, drug dealers trucking their wares, etc.

    Don’t confuse “libertarian” with being some sort of wishy-washy globalist willing to lie back and “think of England.” The United States is some seventy years down a path of socialistic dependency on the central government and twice that on the notion of a strong centralized government. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day and didn’t fall in a day, it wasn’t re-built in a day. A great deal of foundation work has to be done before I am willing to take that leap.

  • Stiofán de Buit

    DC

    Obviously there need to be controls of some sort, but the Libertarian Party in the US are actually pretty clear on this – they’d do strict checks on criminality, etc., but they basically advocate an ‘open-door’ policy, leaving immigration and emigration entirely up to individual choice. Which, of course, is more or less what America had before it’s “descent into socialism”.

  • susan

    You know, Dread, your assessment of the “Irish Lobby” in the US actually makes good sense. They wouldn’t get far with their “nipple-twisting” — (a phrase I’ve never used before , and hope never to use again) on Capitol Hill, although the film footage might run on YouTube for eons. Nor would I dispute the soundness of your argument of the need for America achieving more secure borders, or the need for more enforcement and “impact aid” in border areas attempting to cope with the largest influx of illegal aliens. All of that makes good sense.

    Where you lose me is the argument that twelve million people already working and living in the US illegally will somehow slink quietly off into the shadows. It seems a bit like declaring that simply banning alcohol will eliminate alcoholism and drunk driving, rather than create an underground economy and making criminals of people who would in other circumstances not choose to break the law.

    Most polls I’ve seen indicate that a majority of Americans do favour some sort of “earned legalization,” for OTHERWISE law-abiding undocumented, and the politicians — even in Arizona –espousing extreme, send ’em all home policies are not getting elected. TIme will tell.

    Meanwhile, I see that at least two of the four or five most influential people working for the undocumented Irish in America — Niall O’Dowd and Brian O’Dwyer — are hosting a fundraiser for Hils in Dublin, and that Bill is having a sit down with Bertie. If Bill and Bertie put their heads together, perhaps something will be done.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    SdB: “Obviously there need to be controls of some sort, but the Libertarian Party in the US are actually pretty clear on this – they’d do strict checks on criminality, etc., but they basically advocate an ‘open-door’ policy, leaving immigration and emigration entirely up to individual choice. Which, of course, is more or less what America had before it’s “descent into socialism”.”

    Not every small “l” libertarian is a card-carrying big “L” Libertarian, SdB… mainly due to the idiots I’d have to put up with. I have a few qualms with the “do-as-thou-wilt” wing of the party. Societies are a bit like supertankers — regardless of how fast the wheel spins, the vessel only turns so quickly. The masses, so long at mother gov’t teat, are not ready for the responsibility of fending for themselves. A great deal of societal repair is necessary.

    Likewise, to do strict checks on criminality, you would have to get a strict control on the border. Logically, the control should be in place before the easing of other restrictions.

    susan: “Where you lose me is the argument that twelve million people already working and living in the US illegally will somehow slink quietly off into the shadows. It seems a bit like declaring that simply banning alcohol will eliminate alcoholism and drunk driving, rather than create an underground economy and making criminals of people who would in other circumstances not choose to break the law. ”

    Your analogy is flawed, insofar as alcohol has no initiative or wants of its own. Illegal immigrants come because there are “under the table” jobs for them. Eliminate the jobs — make employing illegal immigrants too expensive — and those willing to employ them will shrink. Frankly, I’d like to see the business penalty for employing an illegal immigrant approach the political penalty for most politicians found to be employing domestics under the table. Likewise, make someone sufficiently uncomfortable, they will move. Eliminate those incentives that draw them — jobs, primarily, but other benefits they obtain — Medicaid in some states, etc., — and they will move on. Likewise, make it too expensive for the sanctuary cities to continue to be sanctuaries and they will cease to do so.

    To be honest, I would like to see the two issues de-linked, or at least the border be solved prior to any serious discussion of amnesty / earned amnesty / guest worker. Like I said before, this is the same discussion that was had in 83-84, when the same shoddy bargain was put up and passed — legitimize the illegals and get control of the border. This time, as a minimum, I want the border controlled first before we discuss any sort of amnesty. Until such time, the “get rid of them all” plan suits me. Solve the borders and we can talk. But as I said, they are not “otherwise law-abiding,” insofar as tax-evasion, identity theft and fraud are still crimes, last I checked.

  • Dread Cthulhu @ 10:21 PM:

    The masses, so long at mother gov’t teat, are not ready for the responsibility of fending for themselves. A great deal of societal repair is necessary.

    Ah, the irony! To achieve true liberty, one must have a strong leader, nay, a Führer, who knows how to “repair society”.

    On the other hand, there is that true libertarian, Anselme de Bellegarrigue, wo said of the Commune: “You have already enslaved yourselves — have you not appointed a government?”

    By the way, have you noticed that all these opponents of “socialised medicine” get very edgy when the next person in the line has something really catching? And, for those of us who find this Ayn-Rand-obsession a morbid condition in its own right, that’s the test: are you prepared to have a bad, a dangerous neighbour? And how does your daft egoist philosophy cope with that? Answer on one side of a postage stamp, avoiding uses of terms like “mutualism”.

  • Stiofán de Buit

    The masses, so long at mother gov’t teat, are not ready for the responsibility of fending for themselves. A great deal of societal repair is necessary.

    DC

    Your’re starting to sound scary – that sounds remarkably like Marxists and their ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ nonsense – and we all know what that led to.

    Funnily enough, I remember reading an article online a while back saying Libertarianism was the Marxism of the Right. I’ll try and find a link.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    MR: “Ah, the irony! To achieve true liberty, one must have a strong leader, nay, a Führer, who knows how to “repair society”. ”

    A weak attack, Malcom, as it relies on things I have not said and, second, usually the fella that invokes “Nazis” into the discussion has pretty much admitted he has no real argument.

    But, for the sake of discussion, no, what is needed is not a strong leader, but a steady deflation of the socialistic aspects of the state over time, so as to re-introduce the notions of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency as civic virtues. In a libertarian state (please note, small “l”) there would be far fewer (and, ideally, no) entitlements. There are too many individuals who are too reliant on gov’t transfer payments. These programs need to be wound down and terminated — but it would be cruel to simply kick them to the curb without making some effort to prepare them for the change. Likewise, removing all the fictions in government — like the notion that Social Security is a good program, that the government is here to help, etc., will take time.

    Unlike most large “L” Libertarians, I don’t think that these things can be changed with a simple wave of a wand. Even if they could, I am certain that the chaos that followed waving the wand would be as bad, in a wholly different way, as the problems that preceded it.

    SdB: “Your’re starting to sound scary – that sounds remarkably like Marxists and their ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ nonsense – and we all know what that led to. ”

    Freedom is a scary thing, SdB, because responsibility for one’s own actions comes part in parcel with it. But, to make an analogy, just as it would be wholly unfair to take a bottle-raised zoo animal and toss it into the wild without any sort of effort to prepare it to the new environment, it would be equally unfair to simply dump the welfare recipients (of all stripes — individual and corporate) of the state into a libertarian (or, heaven forfend, a Libertarian) state without transition or preparation.

    SdB: “Funnily enough, I remember reading an article online a while back saying Libertarianism was the Marxism of the Right.”

    Frankly, I think it gives big “L” Libertarians too much credit for organization. An unhealthy percentage of the large “L” Libertarians are anarchists too uptight to accept the label and too dim to understand that their proposals are unworkable within the time frame they would like to enact them. Having been to a party convention (a friend was speaking), a little Marxism — just enough to keep them from descending to the “herding cats” level of futility — would go a long way.

  • A simple challenge to Dread Cthulhu @ 04:05 PM and all comers:

    Back in the ’60s, when I was young and green enough to take these things seriously, there was the issue about academic campuses being “private property” (the Randian view) or collectives/social property (the anarchist verson, based on the prime revenue for such place being public funds). Be careful which way you opt: one way gives the right to hire goons to beat up protesting students; the other means that teaching and learning (the prime purpose of such places) becomes impossible under certain circumstances.

    Which libertarian are you?

    Note that the analogy of the campus might largely apply to wider society and immigration (which was once the subject of this thread).

  • Dread Cthulhu

    MR: “Which libertarian are you? ”

    Neither, since I am not so naive as to believe in some quasi-mystical “purity of vision.” In most things, monocultures are the weaker option: just as alloys are stronger than native metals, just as cross-bred dogs lack the flaws of pure-breds, for liberty to exist, there needs to be some mechanism that holds people to their responsibilities. I would also suggest that your alternative to Randian ownership is not anarchism, but socialism, anarchism being the belief that all forms of government are, by their nature, oppressive and are to be opposed. I think you would find an honest anarchist would not be inclined to go along with the notion that everything he makes is the property of the state / community.

    That said, I lean closer to the “Randian” notion that what is mine is mine, although I would suggest that she is by far a late-comer to the conversation.

    That which is not earned but merely given is not valued by the recipient, be the transfer of wealth a farm subsidy, a welfare check or a tax-break for a business. The national government should busy itself with national business — national defense, border security, etc., and not create Ponzi schemes such as the US Social Security system. Likewise, permitting politicians to rob Peter to pay Paul corrupts the political process, incentiving the transfer of wealth to create voting blocs, or, to put in bluntly, buying votes using the public purse.

    As for the rest, I am not the one who decided to take this detour, Malcom, nor the one who decided to be casually insulting, with flights of fancy regarding Nazism.

    Illegal immigration is, at present, an anathema to the United States, insofar as one party, through its opposition to clean elections and its pandering, is seeking to “purchase” the illegal immigrants votes. The intersection between “motor-voter” laws (laws that allow the registration of voters at the DMV as a part of the licensing process) and granting driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants is, if not a naked attempt to pad the voter rolls with ineligible voters, a scantily clad one.

  • Dread Cthulhu @ 07:01 PM:

    The issue of ownership of Columbia University (which you avoid answering) is relevant nearer home, and was discussed at some length by an editorial in “The Libertarian” of 1 May 1969. The “correct” answer (as appraised by Murray Rothbard) was that the campus belonged to those who used it. Once the state is eliminated from the equation, it becomes a matter of “40 acres and a mule”, home-steading.

    Another way of approaching that is to deed ex-state property on those who seize it from the defunct state (or quasi-state) apparatus. That, to me, sounds very like “expropriating the expropriators”, which, as I recall was the answer provided by Karl Marx in “Das Kapital”, chapter 27.

    Now, one might feel that Marx was being a trifle simplistic, as did H G Wells (in “The Shape of Things to Come”, Chapter 4). Since Marx was a communist, and Wells a Fabian socialist, with which does the 24-carat Libertarian stand? Or does the Libertarian come out as a rank capitalist, defending private ownership, if necessary with billy-clubs and rifles against unarmed students?

    Now, as implied by my opening sentence, here’s another thought, a bit more relevant:

    The citizens of the modern United States are choosing to decide which of all the immigrants into that territory are “legal”, and, in that decision, national origin, language and skin complexion play a significant part. As far as I am aware, not many of the ancestors of those “legal” 300m were invited by the few hundred thousands who previously inhabited those lands, who might and did have had strong objections on grounds of national origin, language and skin complexion. Therefore most of the 300m are “illegals” who have arrived (or descended from arrivals) since — say — 20th November 1620. I do not hear many challenges to the right of those 300m to stay.

    Similarly, since 1606 Scots settlers have been in Ulster (actually, they were re-occupying lands granted to the Scots four centuries earlier, but let’s not quibble). Can all US citizens, libertarian or not, now accept the unquestionable rights of occupation and ownership to the Scots-descendants in Ulster? Which is a polite way of asking them not to be so nebby about business that is not theirs.

  • The Dubliner

    “You can lobby all you want.” – Dread Cthulhu

    As I said: “I refer you to the Jewish lobby.” As Bishop Desmond Tutu said: “The Israeli government is placed on a pedestal in the US, and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic. People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful.” It is so disproportionately powerful, in fact, that governments and others will deny it even exists simply because the Jewish Lobby is sophisticated enough to know that it should not be seen to exist, and those who claim it does exist will have their nipples twisted.

    Just because the Irish lobby isn’t presently well-organised enough to advance Irish interests in the same manner that the Jewish lobby presently advances Jewish interests doesn’t mean that isn’t the standard we should aspire to. 45 million of the US population are Irish-American, making them the second largest ethnic group in the US. Jewish people, on the other hand, are less than 2%. Yet, they have lobby highly sophisticated groups such as AIPAC and we have… what exactly? A bunch of half-assed defeatist wankers by the looks of things.

    It’s way past time that the Irish government was the potential power of the Irish diaspora and began to organise them into affiliated groups for the greater good of Ireland, both politically and commercially.

  • The Dubliner

    Two typos:

    Yet, they have highly sophisticated lobby groups such as AIPAC and we have… what exactly?

    It’s way past time that the Irish government saw the potential power of the Irish diaspora and began to organise them into affiliated groups for the greater good of Ireland, both politically and commercially

  • Dread Cthulhu

    The Dubliner: “Just because the Irish lobby isn’t presently well-organised enough to advance Irish interests in the same manner that the Jewish lobby presently advances Jewish interests doesn’t mean that isn’t the standard we should aspire to. 45 million of the US population are Irish-American, making them the second largest ethnic group in the US. Jewish people, on the other hand, are less than 2%. Yet, they have lobby highly sophisticated groups such as AIPAC and we have… what exactly? A bunch of half-assed defeatist wankers by the looks of things. ”

    You analysis is flawed, insofar as the Israel lobby enjoys circumstance that Ireland does not.

    1) Israel is a steadfast ally of the United States and the only democracy in its region. Ireland fails on both sides of this issue. It does not have either the tenure as an ally, nor does it represent a democracy in the region.

    2) Israel enjoys the support of a much larger group of voters, the Evangelicals, particular the Evangelical Right, who support it for reasons of their own. Ireland does not have similar friends in the voting public.

    3) Israel can be presented as under siege and surrounded by hostile neighbors who have, on several occasions since 1948, attempted to invade Israel. Ireland, not so much.

    The time and opportunity for an “Irish lobby” has past. The Irish are not a single entity, nor is Ireland at any particular risk from its neighbors.

    This is not to say things can’t be better, just that you don’t have nearly as fertile a field to work with.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Malcom: “The issue of ownership of Columbia University (which you avoid answering)”

    I didn’t avoid answwerng it, Malcom. I implied it was a stupid question, bordering on the ignorant.

    Malcom: “The citizens of the modern United States are choosing to decide which of all the immigrants into that territory are “legal”, and, in that decision, national origin, language and skin complexion play a significant part. As far as I am aware, not many of the ancestors of those “legal” 300m were invited by the few hundred thousands who previously inhabited those lands”

    Not material to the equation, Malcom. The more you dwell upon irrelevancies, the less seriously I am inclined to take you.

    Malcom: “Can all US citizens, libertarian or not, now accept the unquestionable rights of occupation and ownership to the Scots-descendants in Ulster?”

    Interesting question… now, by that same logic, does that mean the SF crowd will sit down and shut up about Israel’s presence in the West Bank? It would seem to me you’re trying to hinge your argument on length of tenure, while I am taking the pragamatic approach of accepting the facts as they lie and working from there. You arguments, coming from a rather narrow and clumsy “Ivory tower” origin border on the useless.

    Do I think that the Ulster Scots are in danger of being displaced? No.

    Do I think they need to have their nose rubbed in the shite of their ancester’s efforts at ethnic and cultural cleansing, much in the same fashion that Europeans like to try to do to the U.S. (ironic, insofar as it was, at most, the continuation of European colonial policies)? Perhaps, but only occasionally.

    Malcom: “Which is a polite way of asking them not to be so nebby about business that is not theirs. ”

    I would point out that Europeans, including the Irish, have no such restraint when commenting on American cultural norms they find disagreeable…

    Which is a polite way of saying just as soon as y’all can meet the same standard, I might consider it.

  • susan

    Niall O’Dowd, the Tipperary-born Irish publisher and founder of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, answers Trina Vargo in today’s Irish TImes:

    http://www.ireland.com/search/?rm=listresults&filter=datedesc&keywords=Niall+O'Dowd&submit=Search

    For those without an Times subscription, the piece can be read in its entired at this blog for friends and families of the Irish undocumented in the USA:

    http://33rdcounty.blogspot.com/2007/11/illegal-irish-are-long-way-from-galas.html

    O’Dowd writes about the gulf in experience between Vargo’s world (according to his article her company receives some 20 million in Irish taxpayer money) and the less rarified lives of the Irish undocumented. Very few individuals would have an all-access entry pass inside to both those worlds, Niall O’Dowd would be one of the few.

    As this is the fifty-first post on a thread now on Page Two, and I am not sure anyone out there will see this, apart from Dread, Malcom, myself, and possibly Pete, I’ll go ahead and cut and paste a bit of the piece:

    “Of course, undocumented Irish are not like the polished Mitchell scholars that the US-Ireland Alliance sends to Ireland every year. They tend to be nannies, waitresses, bartenders, construction workers, many of whom left Ireland before the Celtic Tiger.

    They are decent people caught in an indecent situation. They are an inconvenient truth for people like Vargo who is secure with $20 million of Irish taxpayer funding and who prefers to mouth Celtic Tiger platitudes to friends in high places rather than worry about unwashed undocumented.

    Yet those of us who have come from Ireland know differently, know the ebb and flow of Irish history, and know that as inevitably as night follows day a boom will be followed by a bust and the trail to America will open up again as it has for successive generations since the Famine.

    There is an overwhelming need to try to settle the issue of undocumented Irish in the US for once and for all now before another generation begins to come.

    There are already signs. At the recent US-Ireland Forum, Orla Kelleher, head of the Aisling Center in New York, reported a sharp increase in new immigrants coming for assistance to the centre in the past few months. That coincides with a weakening in the Irish economy.

    The Irish Government and the Irish-American community are doing the best job possible in very difficult circumstances to deal with the issue.

    Both the Government and ILIR agreed to work with each other and a number of other ethnic groups, including Hispanic and Asian, to have a comprehensive reform Bill passed. When that failed it was agreed that an effort to pass a bilateral deal would be made.

    In that respect, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern has made repeated trips to try to secure such a deal. Recently the Dáil voted unanimously to try and secure passage of such a Bill.

    As a former Senate staffer Vargo knows only too well that all US legislation, especially immigration law, is loaded with “special deals” that take account of bare-faced politics.

    It is not such a dreadful sin, as Vargo would have us believe, for Irish-America to take cognisance of that fact. Chile, Singapore, Nicaragua and Australia are just some of the countries who have cut deals for themselves in recent years. I applaud those countries for their foresight.

    Far from preventing others immigrate, a bilateral deal may well show how, in this current toxic atmosphere, the issue of undocumented can be dealt with in a creative way by different countries.

    Vargo concludes her comments by stating “it is wrong for the Irish to suggest that ‘no Mexican need apply’.”

    No Irish have ever stated such a thing to my knowledge, and to infer it is downright insulting. Perhaps she might consider sticking to Mitchell scholarships, golf tournaments and Hollywood galas.”

  • susan @ 12:38 PM:

    Thanks for the heads-up, the link and the gloss.

    I’m “off base” at the moment, and out of touch on a consistent basis. I still reckon that the best that can be hoped for is everything going quiet (unlikely over an election year, I know).

    For most Irish emigrants (the “undocumented”), the situation is barely tolerable, but kicking against the pricks isn’t going to help much. However, both O’Dowd’s punchline and the Vargo original comment have validity: if the Irish “undocumented” could be separated from the Latino issue, they would be seen very differently. Sad, “racist” (not the right term, I know), but true.

    In a way, this reminds me of the story (originally an anti-IBM gibe) of the escaped lions. Having made a successful bid for freedom, they agreed to meet up a month later and compare notes.

    When they again met, one was sleek and well-fed, the other haggard and skeletal.

    “What went wrong?” says Sleek.

    “I took one child — one insignificant child — outside a school full of them. They came hunting me with nets and guns. I’ve been hiding up, and haven’t had a decent meal since. But you’ve been doing well: how so?”

    “Easy,” says Sleek. “I found an accountancy firm. I have a middle manager every day, and nobody notices them missing.”

    By the same ironic token, the “legal” Irish professionals could be lost without much fuss. The disappearance of the “undocumented” child-carers (them, especially) and similar “menials” could overnight bring down the bourgeois suburban lifestyle.

  • susan

    When you’re right, you’re right, Malcolm :o) (Although with a bit of charisma and a few connections, Irish professionals can sometimes persuade an employer to sponsor them individually. Easier said than done, though.)

    I remember reading an account of one of the first public marches for immigration reform, in 2006. THe march had been heavily hyped on the Hispanic radio stations, and the turnout shocked everyone — something in the vicinity of 100,000 marchers. Evidently many, many small businesses had to close for the day as there was no one to work there — restaurants, landscapers, etc.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan (quoting the Times): ““Of course, undocumented Irish are not like the polished Mitchell scholars that the US-Ireland Alliance sends to Ireland every year. They tend to be nannies, waitresses, bartenders, construction workers, many of whom left Ireland before the Celtic Tiger.

    They are decent people caught in an indecent situation.”

    Of their own creation… funny how that gets lost by the wayside, what amidst all the hand-wringing and wheezing.

    susan (still quoting): “There are already signs. At the recent US-Ireland Forum, Orla Kelleher, head of the Aisling Center in New York, reported a sharp increase in new immigrants coming for assistance to the centre in the past few months. That coincides with a weakening in the Irish economy. ”

    Ironically and, perhaps, iconically, there is a whole cottage industry in Boston that exists to help illegal Irish immigrants.

    susan: “In that respect, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern has made repeated trips to try to secure such a deal. Recently the Dáil voted unanimously to try and secure passage of such a Bill. ”

    Again, there is nothing in it for the pols in the States. The Irish don’t vote in a bloc, Ireland is not some grand ally of the United States and there is little stomach and political will up on the Hill for legalizing illegal immigrants — the left with crucify them as racists and the right will crucify them as coddling illegal immigrants. There is little cover in the middle ground.

    Malcom: “However, both O’Dowd’s punchline and the Vargo original comment have validity: if the Irish “undocumented” could be separated from the Latino issue, they would be seen very differently. Sad, “racist” (not the right term, I know), but true.”

    Depends on how it was presented… the Irish illegals have a few advantages beyond pale skin, including education, fluency in English, etc. If it was presented with due care, it might see a glimmer of daylight while causing only moderate howling from the galleries… just not right now. Under “normal” conditions, this limited amnesty would only be a poltically “bad” deal, as opposed to PR disaster of well nigh biblical proportion — ilegal immigration is too “front burner” at the moment.

    susan: “I remember reading an account of one of the first public marches for immigration reform, in 2006. THe march had been heavily hyped on the Hispanic radio stations, and the turnout shocked everyone—something in the vicinity of 100,000 marchers. Evidently many, many small businesses had to close for the day as there was no one to work there—restaurants, landscapers, etc. ”

    And the many Mexican and Latin American flags turned much of Middle America right off, ultimately making the march’s “sucess” into a failure. There has been some effort to moderate the image in more recent events, but you only get one chance to make a first impression.

  • susan

    Dread, if those wishing to join the mainstream of life in the United States were waving flags of other nations in the public square, I will agree with you — again — that was a mistake and a miscalculation. In their position, the undocumented need to sell the general public on what they can do for America, and not what America can do for them.

    There was another piece a few days ago arguing for that contribution from the perspective of the Irish community in America in the SUnday Independent. For some reason the browser on my MAC literally collapses every time I try to access that newspaper — no joke — but I do have a link to it at the 33rd county blog. I don’t want to abuse this site’s largesse by cutting and pasting it, but the link to the article is here:

    http://33rdcounty.blogspot.com/2007/11/perils-in-ignoring-irish-in-shadows.html

    I don’t imagine you will find much to agree with in the piece, Dread, given your stance. But I am cheered that you are potentially willing to revisit the question of earned citizenship, with fines, for undocumented meeting specific criteria of employment, back taxes, etc. — what you would call “amnesty” — once the matter of your borders is more secured.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: ” those wishing to join the mainstream of life in the United States were waving flags of other nations in the public square, I will agree with you—again—that was a mistake and a miscalculation. In their position, the undocumented need to sell the general public on what they can do for America, and not what America can do for them. ”

    But that is not what they did. As I said, there were no shortage of Mexican flags There was also some fair supply of MECHA rhetoric and a few dollops of anti-American ranting for flavor. Excuse me if I take them at their word, rather than the rosy picture their advocates would have me believe…

    Susan: “But I am cheered that you are potentially willing to revisit the question of earned citizenship, with fines, for undocumented meeting specific criteria of employment, back taxes, etc.—what you would call “amnesty”—once the matter of your borders is more secured. ”

    To be fair, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for me to come around — the majority party in Congress still seems more interested in courting illegals than securing the border.

    And, yes, I would be willing to revisit it… and there should be no inverted commas around the word amnesty, as the United States would be forgiving a large number of civil and criminal charges, even if we ignored their illegally crossing the border / overstaying visas. Are things such as tax evasion, fraud and identity theft *not* crimes in your mind? Why should illegal aliens be permitted to do what citizens may not, susan?

  • susan

    Why should illegal aliens be permitted to pay back taxes owed to the states and fines, Dread? Are you saying it is better for the US is better off without that revenue?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “Why should illegal aliens be permitted to pay back taxes owed to the states and fines, Dread? Are you saying it is better for the US is better off without that revenue? ”

    In other words, you have no answer to my question, but don’t want to admit the validity of the point.

    It would be an amnesty, susan. The only way it wouldn’t would be if fraud and identity theft are not crimes. If you honestly believe that, try not paying your taxes or “borrowing” someone else’s identity to get a job or a credit card and see what happens, once you’re caught.

    Better yet, loan your SSN to an illegal and see how much “fun” you have straightening out the subsequent financial chaos the wet-back does to your credit rating, the joy of explaining “your” two jobs to the IRS, etc.

    As for revenue, it would be a fraction of the economic damage they’ve inflicted on the healthcare industry, government services, etc. Not even a drop in the bucket. The injured parties — state and local governments, along with local entities, like hospitals — won’t see a nickel of this money. It’s a worthless gesture to try and sell the deal — no more, no less.

  • The Dubliner

    Dread Cthulhu, you’re consistently missing the point due to your defeatist attitude, finding reasons why ethnic groups can’t lobby successfully. The only reason that Israel exists is because the Jewish lobby successfully promoted a Zionist agenda. The only reason that the US continues to support it is because of the power of that Jewish lobby. It has nothing to do with other pretexts. It is down to sheer fear of the power of the Jewish lobby to wreck the political careers of US politicians who oppose it. In fact, the US has no problem supporting dictatorships and knows full well that its best national interests are served by aligning itself with the Arab world, but its politicians will put their own selfish interests before the national interest. You’re very naive if you think that friendly chats between Bertie and Bush or whomever will achieve anything other than meaningless promises. US politics works on brute force. The potential power of 45 million Irish-Americans can be, and should be, organised by the Irish government for the greater good of Ireland both politically and commercially. And not just in America, but in all countries where the Irish Diaspora exists.

  • susan

    If state and local governments won’t see the money from fines and back taxes — and I have no idea if that is true, but for the sake of a discourse I am taking your word for it — where and to whom will that revenue go?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “If state and local governments won’t see the money from fines and back taxes—and I have no idea if that is true, but for the sake of a discourse I am taking your word for it— where and to whom will that revenue go? ”

    The unit of government that handles immigration, i.e. the Federal Government. From there, it will fall down the rabbit hole. I dare say the whole of the fine revenue wouldn’t cover the 10 billion dollars that illegal immigrants cost the state of California each year, let alone the national cost.

    The Dubliner: “you’re consistently missing the point due to your defeatist attitude, finding reasons why ethnic groups can’t lobby successfully.”

    No, I’m trying to be realistic, whilst you’re playing “let’s suspend our disbelief with a block and tackle.” Israel is a fairly unique case, having enjoyed a wealth of residual sympathy from the post-WW2 era, a history of collaberation on intelligence issues and military development. What does Ireland bring to the table? Y’all don’t even export the better whiskies to the States and you want special favors?

    The Dubliner: “The only reason that Israel exists is because the Jewish lobby successfully promoted a Zionist agenda. The only reason that the US continues to support it is because of the power of that Jewish lobby. It has nothing to do with other pretexts.”

    Dub, you’re plain wrong. I cannot put it any plainer than that. First, Israel exists because the Arab nations couldn’t fight their way out of a paper sack in three successive wars, including one they started with a suprise attack. Second, given the mis-steps of the Jewish lobby, including espionage, I think you overestimate their power at this point in time. Third, if it was simply a numbers game, I would think that the pols would do far better pandering to the Muslims, what with the petro-dollars and the larger number of voters extant, given they live in ethnic enclaves, making them a more potent political force, esp. for the House.

    The Dubliner: “It is down to sheer fear of the power of the Jewish lobby to wreck the political careers of US politicians who oppose it.”

    What, with 2% of the population? Even if you buy into the anti-Semitic tripe about the Jews controlling the media, that’d be a hard sell.

    The Dubliner: “The potential power of 45 million Irish-Americans can be, and should be, organised by the Irish government for the greater good of Ireland both politically and commercially.”

    It is far too late in the game to start now, Dub. That ship has sailed decades (if not longer)ago.

    1) Most Irish Americans, while having an affection for Ireland, aren’t going to be swayed politically by Ireland and certainly aren’t going to drop everything and lobby for Irish illegal immigrants.

    2) Most Irish Americans don’t vote in a bloc and aren’t likely to start.

    3) Ireland does not have the clout or the tenure to suddenly claim ally status and make demands upon the United States. It is under no external threats.

    4) Ireland’s economic success does not make it a particularly sympathetic case, nor has its positions vis-a-vis the United States in the past.

    5) Attempting to organize an Irish-American lobby would resurrect a whole host of ugly stereotypes that most Irish Americans would just as soon prefer to leave buried, or are you too young to remember Kennedy having to explain that as an Irish – American Catholic, he wouldn’t take orders from the Pope?

  • susan

    “The unit of government that handles immigration, i.e. the Federal Government. From there, it will fall down the rabbit hole. I dare say the whole of the fine revenue wouldn’t cover the 10 billion dollars that illegal immigrants cost the state of California each year, let alone the national cost.”

    If I were a legislative aide to an American senator or congressperson attempting to craft and sell comprehensive immigration reform, I would look into the possibilities of channeling fines and back taxes rec’d from those seeking legalisation directly back to the communities and/or healthcare systems most directly and unfairly impacted by illegal immigration.

    Of course it is a shameless attempt to garner more popular and bipartisan support — I simply do not know how else a bill would become a law — but it might do some good, if it could be worked out.

    And on the whisky, I know Portaferry’s Feckin launched in several US cities a little while back. And there’s plenty of other options on your shores — don’t tell me I don’t know whisky, one of my first jobs was repping Macallan in London. Tell me what whisky it is you want to see in the shops, Dread.

    And no, there is no limit to my helpfulness in pursuit of an objective. You might as well attempt to interrupt or insult the tides. ;o)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “If I were a legislative aide to an American senator or congressperson attempting to craft and sell comprehensive immigration reform, I would look into the possibilities of channeling fines and back taxes rec’d from those seeking legalisation directly back to the communities and/or healthcare systems most directly and unfairly impacted by illegal immigration. ”

    And it would amount to pennies on the dollar, susan. Not even enough to re-open the emergency rooms that have been closed, let alone refund the school expense, the personal cost to individuals, the cost of prisons for those criminals who jumped the border to continue their criminal careers here, etc.

    susan: “Of course it is a shameless attempt to garner more popular and bipartisan support—I simply do not know how else a bill would become a law—but it might do some good, if it could be worked out. ”

    Shameless pandering and vote-buying for an idea that cannot stand on its merits, in other words. Might work if no one bothers to actually do the math.

    Like I said, it would amount to pennies on the dollar lost. It also won’t undo the personal damages, financial and personal, that illegal immigrants have inflicted on American citizens.

    Susan: “And on the whisky, I know Portaferry’s Feckin launched in several US cities a little while back. And there’s plenty of other options on your shores—don’t tell me I don’t know whisky, one of my first jobs was repping Macallan in London. Tell me what whisky it is you want to see in the shops, Dread. ”

    It’s not the number of labels I care about, its the contents. Having had the same label purchased both here and there, I can tell you the contents just weren’t the same. Given I know that bottling ends the maturing process and that the bottles are sealed for transport, it is not the transport process damaging the product.

    I have a set of options — it pays to know where to look and who to know, but it costs as well.

    As for the rest, I’ll work up a list… although if the exchange rate continues the way its going, it might be more of a “wish list” than originally intended… :/

  • Dread Cthulhu on Nov 20, 2007 @ 07:13 PM:

    … the personal damages, financial and personal, that illegal immigrants have inflicted on American citizens …

    Catch yourself on, man. Grinding the faces of the poor is the ugliest form of capitalism. Wrapping yourself in false hurt, dignity and ideology while doing so is doubly despicable.

    Those inflictions of which you so glibly write are poor payment for all pain, grief and suffering endured in the filthy servile jobs these upstanding American citizens couldn’t or wouldn’t bring themselves to do. Who is your stoop-labour? Who cleans the bedpans in your private-enterprise hospital? Who digs your sewers? Who prepares your corpse for burial?

    Every evaluation shows that the social and economic benefits from immigrants, prepared to work in menial jobs for basic wages as a deposit on their children and their children’s children hopes to rise the ladder, far outweigh any costs. For one thing, by denying them basic healthcare etc you make sure they have a painful, tedious, careworn and short life. You don’t have to believe me: go check your life-expectancy rates.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    MR: “Catch yourself on, man. Grinding the faces of the poor is the ugliest form of capitalism. Wrapping yourself in false hurt, dignity and ideology while doing so is doubly despicable.”

    Hardly, Malcom.

    But then, the sort of fellow who casually accuses those who disagree with him as being or favoring Nazism aren’t usually known for their clear sight or rational thought.

    MR: “Those inflictions of which you so glibly write are poor payment for all pain, grief and suffering endured in the filthy servile jobs these upstanding American citizens couldn’t or wouldn’t bring themselves to do.”

    Your argument neatly ignores that the presence of illegal aliens suppresses the cost of labor. This, in turn, makes alternative — paying what an honest market would bear or automation — less attractive. At best, you’re arguing one half of a “chicken vs egg” proposition.

    MR: “Every evaluation shows that the social and economic benefits from immigrants, prepared to work in menial jobs for basic wages as a deposit on their children and their children’s children hopes to rise the ladder, far outweigh any costs.”

    Not so, Malcom, not every one. And we are not talking “immigrants,” we are discussing illegal immigrants. They do not provide benefit beyond their costs — as noted elsewhere, they cost California 10 billion dollars, net cost, a year, in public goods.

    This doesn’t even get into the personal loss inflicted upon citizens and legal immigrants — that is simply the cost to the state. This also doesn’t include the personal damage they inflict.

    MR: “For one thing, by denying them basic healthcare etc you make sure they have a painful, tedious, careworn and short life. ”

    They are not denied healthcare, Malcom, and I have the bad debt logs to prove it. Hell, I have one with a comatose illegal for the past five or six years, with the state Medicaid picking up all of one of those years. A “catch-22” in the regulations prevents them from shipping them to a nursing home, which is all the care they need, and keeps them in an ICU or CCU suite.

    The emergency rooms close because the illegals run the border to pop out an anchor-baby and run out on the bill. They pay little to no taxes and freely consume public goods, creating a net expense to the state. As a result, the emergency rooms get closed, because that causes less harm to the community than closing the hospitals, which operate at a loss. As a result, everyone suffers, because now, the ER is further away. I would caution you not to vacation too near the Mexican border.

    MR: “You don’t have to believe me: go check your life-expectancy rates. ”

    And how, he asks, him knowingly, does that life-expectancy rate compare to what they would have in their home country, Malcom? If the treatent in the states is so bad, why do the numbers work better for them here than there?

  • Dread Cthulhu @ 08:13 PM:

    You pirated your pseudonym from HP Lovecraft, I mine from … well, it doesn’t matter. However, one of the polite punctilios of debate is to learn to spell your opponent’s name. If nothing else, failing to do so casts doubt on the accuracy of everything else you say.

    As for research on immigration, the Cato Institute are pretty sound. Free marketeers, too.

    Interesting paradoxes on life expectancy: why do Latin-US citizens have a longer life expectancy than the population as a whole, while having less access to health services?

    Citation:
    “Census data also show that Latina women have a life expectancy of 83.7 years and Latino men, 77.2 years—compared with 75.1 and 68.4 for African Americans and 80.1 and 74.7 for non-Hispanic whites. Yet health surveys show they have less access to health care services (63 percent of working Latinos have no health insurance) and to state-of-the-art treatment.”
    Source: http://www.paho.org/English/DD/PIN/pr040609.htm

    (And, no, that does not conflict with my earlier point about death rates for immigrants).

    Those who “run the border” (now, who could that be?) may even be better off outside the Californian public health service: look at what it does to its native-born African-Americans — Black males die ten years earlier than the “average”, and even four years younger than Mexicans who don’t “run the border”.

    The evidence for immigrants (documented or not) suppressing wage rates is disputed. Since they are more productive than the population as a whole, where is the excess product going? Cui bono?

    Since such workers enter the least-skilled end of the labour market, whose wages are being depressed? Is it all those unemployable junk-bonds-salesmen and stock-brokers, the realtors, the public relations officers who are not sufficiently skilled to work in a manual job or tend a bar? No: what depresses wage-rates is trapping workers in a collapsing economy, without the means to reskill. That suggests a weakness in education and training (and, yes, that’s a chronic weakness of the UK economy, as I have oft rehearsed).

    In passing, the GNP (2006) of California was $1.7 trillion. Repeat: trillion. The “cost’ of $10B you quote is derived from FAIR figures (an anti-immigration pressure group) and seems to have been swallowed hook,line and sinker. That total is made up by education ($7.7B, a very dubious estimate, since the status of the parents is merely assumed, and could equally be construed as an essential investment in the next generation), health ($1.4B: shock, horror! Unregulated manual workers get sick and injured!) and prisons ($1.4B: why lock ’em up, for heaven’s sake?). Serious stuff indeed.

    An alternative version comes from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which quotes the State of California reckoning that “the net cost to the state of providing government services to illegal immigrants approached $3 billion during a single fiscal year”.

    Now, quite frankly, you have long become boring, repetitive, assertive and trite. Can we renew our acquaintance at another time, on a more rewarding topic? Over and out.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    MR: “Interesting paradoxes on life expectancy: why do Latin-US citizens have a longer life expectancy than the population as a whole, while having less access to health services? ”

    First of all, you assume, incorrectly, that all Latin-US citizens are part of some great under-class. My boss, the Puerto Rican audit manager, now a big-wig with one of the major healthcare concerns, would be suprised…

    Second, you build upon for first error, assuming they have disproportionately less access to health care. Now, me being someone who knows the Federal laws regarding the operation of healthcare providers, knows that your thesis is bunk — any healthcare provider that accepts *any* Federal money, be it for research, Medicare or what have you, cannot discriminate against patients on the ability to pay. Third, were I to hazard a guess, I would have to say that diet played a major role, but that’s little more than a guess.nnLastly, your introduction of data regarding US citizens of Lating descent into a discussion of illegal immigration seems a bit misplaced — apples and oranges.

    MR: “Those who “run the border” (now, who could that be?) may even be better off outside the Californian public health service: look at what it does to its native-born African-Americans—Black males die ten years earlier than the “average”, and even four years younger than Mexicans who don’t “run the border”. ”

    African Americans, Malcom. (to refer to them as “blacks” is racist, Malcom)

    I can think of a few issues that feed into this — illegitimacy rates, poverty rates, poorer life choices, poorer diets, etc. Ironically, when one breaks out the data and compares the outcomes of African Americans to those outcomes of recent African immigrants and Africans of Caribbean extraction in the US, one finds similar results. But again, citizen data, not illegal immigrant data.

    MR: “The evidence for immigrants (documented or not) suppressing wage rates is disputed.”

    Who should I believe, you or mine own eyes? The meat-packing industry in the mid-west is rife with illegals (hundreds arrested at a time in some raids) and, in the aftermath of the raids, the plants are hiring local whites and blacks at a higher rate to replace the arrested illegal aliens.

    MR: “No: what depresses wage-rates is trapping workers in a collapsing economy, without the means to reskill. That suggests a weakness in education and training (and, yes, that’s a chronic weakness of the UK economy, as I have oft rehearsed). ”

    So how is allowing / normalizing the status of millions of ill-educated illegal aliens supposed to correct this situation, Malcom? It sounds as if you wish the United States to undertake actions Ireland, Mexico or a host of other nations would never countenance.

    MR: “In passing, the GNP (2006) of California was $1.7 trillion. Repeat: trillion. The “cost’ of $10B you quote is derived from FAIR figures (an anti-immigration pressure group) and seems to have been swallowed hook,line and sinker. That total is made up by education ($7.7B, a very dubious estimate, since the status of the parents is merely assumed, and could equally be construed as an essential investment in the next generation), health ($1.4B: shock, horror! Unregulated manual workers get sick and injured!) and prisons ($1.4B: why lock ‘em up, for heaven’s sake?). Serious stuff indeed.”

    Throw in the lack of tax revenue (California is an income tax state), the disproportionate participation in gang activity by illegal aliens, the social problems that arise from a disproportionately male population without roots in the community adn you have quite the problem. Over a quarter of the prison population in the United States is are foreign born nationals (hint: the “law-abiding” illegals are either handled on a “catch and release” basis or deported), so the prison price-tag would seem low, but that’s just a guess.

    MR: “An alternative version comes from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which quotes the State of California reckoning that “the net cost to the state of providing government services to illegal immigrants approached $3 billion during a single fiscal year”. ”

    Fine, let’s take your number (which comes from a self-described pro-immigrant think-tank, btw), for the sake of argument — on what rational basis should the law-abiding, tax paying and legal residents of the state of California should shell out three billion dollars to pay for illegal immigrants?

  • kensei

    “Your argument neatly ignores that the presence of illegal aliens suppresses the cost of labor. This, in turn, makes alternative—paying what an honest market would bear or automation—less attractive. At best, you’re arguing one half of a “chicken vs egg” proposition.”

    From the link I posted earlier:

    “But if pushed, I would tend to adopt the simplifying assumption implied by a fully functioning, competitive labour market, that on average migrants create exactly as many jobs as they fill. If 1.1 million migrants are employed, there are probably 1.1 million extra jobs.”

    This remains just as true for illegal immigrants.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    kensei: “But if pushed, I would tend to adopt the simplifying assumption implied by a fully functioning, competitive labour market, that on average migrants create exactly as many jobs as they fill. If 1.1 million migrants are employed, there are probably 1.1 million extra jobs.” ”

    Ah, but it is an *assumption*, kensei, not a fact.

    Must I remind you of what happens when you assume?

    Likewise, if having illegal immigrants is so swell, why does Mexico work so hard to keep Central Americans from crossing their southern border?

  • susan

    The lead editorial in the New York TImes today makes a coherent, balanced argument for comprehensive immigration reform incorporating both stricter measures to stem the flow of incoming illegal immigrants and a sane path to legalisation for qualifying undocumented immigrants.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/23/opinion/23fri1.html?hp

    A few relevant paragraphs:

    “Fixing immigration is not a yes-or-no question. It’s yes and no. Or if you prefer, no and yes — no to more illegal immigration, to uncontrolled borders and to a flourishing underground economy where employer greed feeds off worker desperation. Yes to extending the blanket of law over the anonymous, undocumented population — through fines and other penalties for breaking the nation’s laws and an orderly path to legal status and citizenship to those who qualify.

    These are the ingredients of a realistic approach to a complicated problem. It’s called comprehensive reform, and it rests on the idea that having an undocumented underclass does the country more harm than good. This is not “open-borders amnesty,” a false label stuck on by those who want enforcement and nothing else. It’s tough on the border and on those who sneaked across it. It’s tough but fair to employers who need immigrant workers. It recognizes that American citizens should not have to compete for jobs with a desperate population frightened into accepting rock-bottom wages and working conditions. It makes a serious effort to fix legal immigration by creating an orderly future flow of legal workers.

    Americans accept this approach. The National Immigration Forum has compiled nearly two dozen polls from 2007 alone that show Americans consistently favoring a combination of tough enforcement and earned legalization over just enforcement. Elections confirm this. Straight-talking moderates like Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico thrive in the immigration crucible along the southern border. Those who obsess about immigration as single-issue hard-liners, like the Arizonans J. D. Hayworth and Randy Graf, have disappeared, booted by voters. Voters in Virginia this month rejected similar candidates and handed control of the State Senate to Democrats.

    It may not be “amnesty” that gets Americans worked up as much as inaction. They seem to sense the weakness and futility in the enforcement-only strategy, the idea of tightening the screws on an informal apartheid system until it is so frightening and hopeless that millions of poor people pack up and leave.

    That is the attrition argument, the only answer the anti-amnesty crowd has to comprehensive reform. It is, of course, a passive amnesty that rewards only the most furtive and wily illegal immigrants and the bottom-feeding employers who hire them. It will drive some people out of the country, but will push millions of others — families with members of mixed immigration status, lots of citizen children and practically a nation’s worth of decent, hard workers — further into hiding.

    We are already seeing what a full-bore enforcement-only strategy will bring. Bias crimes against Hispanic people are up, hate groups are on the march. Legal immigration remains a mess. Applications for citizenship are up, and the federal citizenship agency, which steeply raised its fees to increase efficiency, is drowning in paperwork and delays. American citizens are being caught up in house-to-house raids by immigration agents.”

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “Yes to extending the blanket of law over the anonymous, undocumented population — through fines and other penalties for breaking the nation’s laws and an orderly path to legal status and citizenship to those who qualify. ”

    What sort of twisted logic rewards a criminal for his crime? And what message does this send to those individuals who actually respect the laws of the United States and are in the process of legally immigrating? We have cities — major cities, such as San Francisco and New York City — aiding and abetting the anonymity of these criminals. We can’t honestly say the laws are enforced, since, on a local level, the laws are being undercut.

    The Times is hardly “middle of the road,” just a point of fact. It has also long ceased to be the paper of record, although one could point out that their history of politically expedient coverage goes back to their non-coverage of Stalin’s engineered famine in the Ukraine. Throw in the this is an editorial that is long on rhetoric and short on fact.

    That I disagree with the opinions of these folks is not something I find troubling. That you consider capitulation “middle of the road,” however, is. This is a de facto reward to folks who broke the law when they crossed the border, broke the law when they gained employment and continue to break the law. They are aided and abetted by municipalities who, in turn, go unpunished for their complicity in these crimes. This is a slap in the face to ever legal immigrant and naturalized citizen in this country, with the possible exception of those illegal immigrants who received the same deal in 1983.

    This “policy” is simply a re-hash of that deal. The Democrats have shown no appetite for securing the border. They will talk a good game, then sit back. This “not-an-amnesty, honest” would go forward, attract greater illegal immigration, as folks try to get into the nation ahead of the dead-line, hoping to lie their way through the process. In the end, the problem will be worse, not better.

  • susan

    “The Times is hardly “middle of the road,” just a point of fact. It has also long ceased to be the paper of record, although one could point out that their history of politically expedient coverage goes back to their non-coverage of Stalin’s engineered famine in the Ukraine. Throw in the this is an editorial that is long on rhetoric and short on fact.”–Dread Cthulhu

    Dread, if anyone else out there is still reading this days old thread, I hope they make note that rather than analyse the substantive points raised in yesterday’s New York Times opinion piece, you are referring to the New York TImes as some vague sort of Stalinist apologists. Duly noted.

    Here is another editorial arguing against the economic infeasibility and futility of an enforcement-only approach to US immigration, brought to you by those left-wing Trotskeyites (cough) at The Wall Street Journal:

    REVIEW & OUTLOOK

    Tom Tancredo’s Wall
    The Colorado Congressman tries to make America the world’s biggest gated community.

    Thursday, December 29, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

    “We have a supply and a demand problem. The supply problem is coming across the border. We are in this bill doing something very specific about that with the inclusion of the amendment, with the passage of the amendment, to build some barrier along at least 700 miles of our southern border. I hope we continue with that, by the way, along the entire border, to the extent it is feasible, and the northern border we could start next.”

    –Rep. Tom Tancredo (R., Colo.)
    So there you have it. Tom Tancredo has done everyone a favor by stating plainly the immigration rejectionists’ endgame–turn the United States into the world’s largest gated community. The House took a step in that direction this month by passing another immigration “reform” bill heavy with border control and business harassment and light on anything that will work in the real world.

    For the past two decades, border enforcement has been the main focus of immigration policy; by any measure, the results are pitiful. According to the Migration Policy Institute, “The number of unauthorized migrants in the United States has risen to almost 11 million from about four million over the past 20 years, despite a 519% increase in funding and a 221% increase in staffing for border patrol programs.”

    Given that record, it’s hard to see the House Republican bill as much more than preening about illegal immigration. The legislation is aimed at placating a small but vocal constituency that wants the borders somehow sealed, come what may to the economy, American traditions of liberty or the Republican Party’s relationship with the increasingly important Latino vote.

    Besides mandating the construction of walls and fences along the 2,000-mile Mexican border, the bill radically expands the definition of terms like “alien smuggler,” “harboring,” “shielding” and “transporting.” Hence all manner of people would become criminally liable and subject to fines, property forfeiture and imprisonment–the landscaper who gives a co-worker a ride to a job; the legal resident who takes in an undocumented relative; a Catholic Charities shelter providing beds and meals to anyone who walks through the door.”

    The Wall Street Journal piece can be read in its entirety at

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007740

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Susan (quoting): “So there you have it. Tom Tancredo has done everyone a favor by stating plainly the immigration rejectionists’ endgame–turn the United States into the world’s largest gated community. The House took a step in that direction this month by passing another immigration “reform” bill heavy with border control and business harassment and light on anything that will work in the real world. ”

    Bollocks — without borders, there is no nation. Likewise, the Mexican “solution” to their own poverty is to export it across the border, including supplying “migrants” with maps and instructions on how best to make it across the border. Until and unless that is addressed, either internally by Mexico or externally, by the United States addressing its weak border, the problem will continue.

    Similarly, there is no point in “normalizing” the status of the illegal immigrants within the United States’ borders unless a firm grip on the border has been gained, else whinging bleeding hearts will want the next batch legalized in the next ten to fifteen years, just as now is to 1983. The amnesty crowd made a bargain — normalization of illegal immigration in exchange for controlling the borders. They then “opted out” of controlling the border once they got what they wanted — amnesty. This time, we do it in the other order, since the amnesty crowd has demonstrated themselves unworthy of trust or anything resembling confidence in their motives.

    Fool me once, shame on you. The amnesty crowd has already had its free bite at the apple… if you want another one, you’re going to have to work for it.

    Again, you also ingnored my questions, hiding behind pavise of “cut and paste.”

    What lesson does this “not-an-amnesty” process teach those individuals who are going through the process of legal immigration?

    Why should the US forgive the crimes committed — the fraud, the tax evasion, etc.?

    You’re not going to persuade me with slash-dab cut and paste arguments, particularly if they don’t answer the questions I ask.

    These illegal immigrants have shown no respect for American law. Why should the social compact be expanded to make space for them, when they have shown nothing but disdain for it?

    The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result. This is the same deal as was passed in 1983, only with four times as many wet-backs. You seen to think I should expect a different result this time, as compared to 1983? What makes you think so?

  • susan

    Dread, your argument presumes that if the US does not “forgive” the crimes committed, offenders will simply slink off back home. When I pointed out that virtually all the earned-legalisation programs ask offenders to pay fines and back taxes, you shrugged it off as only amounting to “pennies on the dollar.”

    I am under no illusions anything I say here would possibly change your personal opinion, Dread. I don’t take that personally, I can understand where your frustrations are coming from.

    I am simply providing access to informed opinions from other sources within the United States that do not concur with your opinions.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “Dread, your argument presumes that if the US does not “forgive” the crimes committed, offenders will simply slink off back home.”

    No, my argument is that if we do away with those structural contradictions that have the effect of giving aid and comfort to illegal immigrants, they will leave.

    But, regardless, that does not answer my question *WHY* should the United States simply forgive the crimes these people have committed? Why should the bar for illegal immigrants be lower than that for citizens?

    susan: “I am under no illusions anything I say here would possibly change your personal opinion, Dread. I don’t take that personally, I can understand where your frustrations are coming from. ”

    No, susan… unless you’ve had the joy of sorting out your credit rating because someone else was “borrowing” it, making it impossible for you to get a mortgage, you have not the slightest idea where my frustrations are coming from.

    Your position is wholly emotional, ignoring the history of the issue. You want us to embark on a second iteration of the 1983 amnesty, despite its obvious failure. You want me to believe, for no adequately explained reason, that liberals will hold up their end of the grand bargain this time, despite all history to the contrary. They refuse to accept their role in creating the problem by their unwillingness to aid Federal agencies and their creation of sanctuary cities,.

    susan: “I am simply providing access to informed opinions from other sources within the United States that do not concur with your opinions. ”

    Bollocks. I have all the access I could ask for, susan. Besides, calling a NYT editorial an “informed opinion” is a bit like calling Jayson Blair’s articles and the non-reporting of the Ukrainian famines in said broadsheet “honest news.”

    You are hiding behind a pavise of “cut-and-pastes” in an effort to avoid answering questions to which you have no useful or persuasive answers. You want us to forgive crimes for which an honest citizen or legal resident would be heavily fined and jailed — there is an amnesty right there, btw — in exchange for normalizing their presence and making available to them a whole raft of social programs. What exactly, as a law-abiding citizen who doesn’t commit fraud or tax evasion, do I get out of this “grand compromise?”

  • Stiofán de Buit

    What exactly, as a law-abiding citizen who doesn’t commit fraud or tax evasion, do I get out of this “grand compromise?”

    Several million hard-working, tax-paying, legal workers.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    SdB: “Several million hard-working, tax-paying, legal workers. ”

    Who benefits more from that transformation, the legalized worker or the American tax-payer? I would argue is isn’t the tax-payer, in so far as the damage, in the form of credit ratings, IRS hassles and the like are still extant — normalizing their status does nothing to correct the damage inflicted and the pathetically low fines will not go to the injured parties. Likewise, since their presence in the United States is an economic calculation that ignores legal considerations, unless the increase in pay received by legalizing their status exceeds the taxes that will be removed, what is their incentive to normalize their status?

    Likewise, the US half of the problem is that businesses are addicted to illegal labor they can pay sub-par wages — how is legalizing the illegal immigrants going to fix that problem? In the same vein, it does nothing to “cure” Mexican poverty — they will simply maintain their monopolistic and oligarchic politics and export their poverty to the United States.

    Lastly, the loss, in terms of the deformation of the social compact, the toleration of illegal behavior and the encouragement of the next wave of illegal immigrants, far outweighs the benefit.

  • susan

    Dread, I thought I’d made clear the links, or “access”, to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal opinion pages are not for your benefit.

    Cheers.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “Dread, I thought I’d made clear the links, or “access”, to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal opinion pages are not for your benefit. ”

    Given the breaking down of the NYT walled garden, I know that access there is not an issue.

    The WSJ is hit or miss, although I understand that Murdoch is looking to break down the walled garden there as well.

    That said, as I have pointed out, none of what you suggest on illegal immigration will cure the problem or change the dynamic — so why bother with it? Legalizing the illegals will do nothing to wean those businesses who want illegal labor off of it, nor will it correct / change Mexico’s policy of exporting it poverty to the United States to deal with. All you are doing is insulting those who go through the legal process and rewarding those who chose to break the law.

    Now, should there be a guest worker program? Yes. But that should not be made available to those in the nation illegally. Nor should it be enacted before the government lives up to its obligations and enforces the laws regarding the border. Lastly, those municipalities and other entities who have been actively undermining enforcement of the law should be brought back into line. University systems offering in-state tuition should have access to Federal monies cut, those states offering sanctuary should have law enforcement monies cut, with those amounts cut re-purposed to that state’s INS / ICE offices, etc.

  • susan

    Which legal immigrants am I insulting, Dread, the ones you refer to repeatedly in this thread as “anchor babies” or the ones you repeatedly refer to as “wetbacks”?

    Shall we pause here so you can claim that I am being “politically correct” and that “wetbacks” is used exclusively to refer to illegal aliens entering the United States from Mexico? Go ahead, try. Slugger’s readership is sophisticated enough (translation — watched enough American cop shows and movies) to know the term “wetbacks” is often employed as a derogatory, racist term aimed at any and all Hispanics regardless of how many generations they’ve been in the US.

    So, continuing on with our magic carpet tour of mainstream American editorial opinion, today we touch down in Washington, D.C. The lead editorial from yesterday’s Washington Post:

    Decency on Immigration
    Apart from John McCain, it’s hard to find that quality in the Republican presidential contest.
    Saturday, November 24, 2007; Page A16

    THE SPEAKER was discussing the human face of illegal immigration. “People are continuing dying in the Sonoran desert, and it’s just a very sad thing to see,” he said. “One 3-year-old baby died, a 16-year-old girl with a rosary in her hand. There’s a side of this that grieves me terribly. These are God’s children. They’re not from another planet, and the whole thing . . . frankly, this whole issue saddens me a great deal.”

    These statements were moving, but they would not have been especially remarkable except for the fact that the person speaking is a presidential candidate — a Republican presidential candidate, in fact — at a time when the campaign has taken a particularly toxic tone when it comes to the issue of immigration. In a meeting with Post editors and reporters the other day, Arizona Sen. John McCain described the toll that he believes his championing of comprehensive immigration reform took on his campaign. “It was the issue of immigration that hurt my campaign,” he said. “I have not encountered a domestic issue that has provoked the emotional response that this issue does with a lot of Americans.”

    Indeed, even as Mr. McCain was speaking, his GOP rivals were busy turning an ugly immigration debate even uglier. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who said in 2005 he thought that the McCain-Kennedy comprehensive immigration approach was “sensible,” and former New York mayor
    Rudolph W. Giuliani, who as mayor protected illegal immigrants from being reported to immigration authorities when they sought police protection or hospital care, competed to see who could sound toughest.

    “As governor, I opposed driver’s licenses for illegals, vetoed tuition breaks for illegals and combated sanctuary city policies by authorizing the state police to enforce federal immigration law,” Mr. Romney said in a statement. “As president, I will secure the border and reject sanctuary policies by cities, states or the federal government.”

    The Giuliani campaign shot back, in a statement by communications director Katie Levinson: “On Governor Romney’s watch, the number of illegal immigrants in Massachusetts skyrocketed, aid to Massachusetts sanctuary cities went through the roof and Governor Romney even went so far as to hire illegals to work on his lawn.” Mr. Romney and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson have also taken shots at former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for allowing the children of illegal immigrants in Arkansas to qualify for in-state tuition and academic scholarships if they graduated from high school there. As Mr. Huckabee told Fox News, “the basic concept, and I know this is still an anathema to some people, I don’t believe you punish the children for the crime and sins of the parents.”

    Illegal immigration provokes strong emotions, understandably so. But it would behoove all the candidates to engage in a little less chest-thumping and speak with more of the decency and compassion that Mr. McCain exhibited.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/23/AR2007112301493.html