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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Double Booleans DO Yield Four Possible Responses 

The preferred Bush proposal to deal with illegal immigration consists of two portions, which I will refer to as "border enforcement" and "guest workers." Bush has consistently argued that it is essential that the final plan include both border enforcement and a temporary guest worker program. However, others hold different views. Baby seal clubbers (John and Ken, Lonewacko, yours truly) argue that we should have border enforcement, but should not have a guest worker program. Communists (Nativo Lopez et al) argue that we should not have border enforcement, but should have a guest worker program.

Logic dictates that there be a fourth option: people who are opposed to both the border enforcement program and the guest worker program. In other words, a pox on both parts of the Bush proposal.

Uncle Tim fits into that fourth category, not necessarily because of his opposition to Bush (his blog repeatedly refers to the Bush Reich), but, if I may put words in his mouth, because the whole danged process is demeaning to the immigrants themselves.

Let's look at what Uncle Tim has said on the subject.

On October 24, Uncle Tim quoted from an October 22 CNN story. Although the link no longer works, here's what Uncle Tim quoted:

Caught between business supporters who need foreign workers and conservatives clamoring for a clampdown on illegal immigration, President Bush tried on Saturday to give his temporary guest-worker plan a nudge by promising strong enforcement.

'A critical part of any temporary worker program is ensuring that our immigration laws are enforced at work sites,' Bush said in his weekly radio address. 'America is a country of laws -- we must not allow dishonest employers to flout those laws.'

Uncle Tim then made this comment (emphasis his):

If this passes, then it will be official:

Slavery will once again become legal in the United States.

After I quoted Tim in my December 7 post "Twenty First Century Slave Zoid Man (Guest Workers and the Thirteenth Amendment)," Tim proceeded to quote me in HIS post "From Ontario Empoblog":

Needless to say, the Bush 'guest worker' program has become very controversial - at least in the border states, although there is talk all over about it. (See this Denver Post article for an example.) For the moment I'm going to ignore the question of whether this is, or is not, amnesty, and look at the workings of the guest worker program itself. There are a lot of allegations that the Bush guest worker program amounts to slavery. Is it truly slavery? If not technically slavery, is it something very close to slavery? If so, it's very ironic, since the Republican Party was founded on the eradication of slavery - is the 21st century Republican Party trying to reinstate it?

His reply?


Lest you think that he only opposed the guest worker portion of Bush's bill, he subsequently made it clear that he doesn't like the other part either. Again, Uncle Tim starts by quoting from CNN:

The House is set to grapple with legislation making it harder for illegal immigrants to cross the border and get jobs, the first round in a larger battle over the status of non-citizens in this country.

The House bill, which could come up for debate as early as Thursday, puts off for another day the creation of a guest worker program, supported by President Bush, to fill the jobs that now attract millions of undocumented workers.

'This is a first step on the road toward dealing with overall border security and immigration reform,' said Rep. David Dreier, R-California.

The article was subsequently modified, as I'll note in a moment. However, Uncle Tim makes it clear that he doesn't just object to the guest worker portion of the bill (read between David Dreier's comments and you'll see that HE believes that bill isn't complete until the guest worker portion is added, perhaps in House-Senate conference). Anyway, here's what Uncle Tim says:

First they haul the foreigners away, then they haul anybody they want.

Bye-bye Constitution!

Ironically, Uncle Tim finds himself agreeing with business interests regarding objections to the border enforcement provisions of the bill. Here's what was written on December 14:

Arizona and national business interests are fighting hard against an enforcement-oriented federal immigration bill that looks to punish illegal immigrants and employers but does not include a guest worker program....

Business groups are siding with moderate Republicans such as McCain and centrist Democrats like Napolitano on the immigration issue.

"An 'enforcement only' bill that is a tougher version of the current failed system is no solution," said Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry vice president Farrell Quinlan.

The state chamber is a leading business backer of a guest worker program to license and document immigrants wishing to work in the U.S.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Associated General Contractors and other national business groups are also opposing the enforcement bill.

Quinlan is hopeful a compromise will be worked out that will include a guest worker plan.

"Let's wait to see where an inevitable conference committee report comes out on comprehensive immigration reform. I am optimistic that a compromise bill can be developed this congressional session," said Quinlan.

I mentioned that the CNN article has been updated with the results of the House vote:

House Republicans tried to close ranks Thursday on an immigration bill that some complained was not tough enough and others said was inadequate because it failed to include a guest worker program.

These disputes slowed action on a measure intended to shut down illegal traffic along the border while requiring employers to verify the legal status of their workers.

The House voted 220-206 to approve a parliamentary measure needed to move ahead on the bill, but only after GOP leaders appealed in a private meeting for party unity.

"There's kind of a left-right coalition against it," said Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona. Some lawmakers cited the absence of a guest worker program while others feared the proposal could lead to something equivalent to amnesty....

Almost all Democrats, and several border-state Republicans such as Flake and fellow Arizonan Jim Kolbe, pushed for a more comprehensive package that dealt with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S.

The GOP bill "does nothing to solve the real problems of illegal immigration," Kolbe said. "In fact it's worse than nothing."

The White House said in a statement that it strongly supported the House bill, while adding that the administration "remains committed to comprehensive immigration reform, including a temporary worker program that avoids amnesty."...

Most significantly, the bill requires all employers in the country, more than 7 million, to check on the legal status of workers.

Randel Johnson of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday that the House bill was unacceptable to businesses because of "huge concerns" that the requirement to submit Social Security numbers and other vital statistics to a central database would not work. Companies that do not verify the legal status of workers would be subject to penalties.

"We would be more comfortable if it was just applicable to new hires for several years," he said....

Bishop Thomas Wenski of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops questioned whether criminalizing illegal presence could implicate the good Samaritan who gives an illegal immigrant a glass of water.

So, while the House members can't claim that they voted for Christmas, they can certainly claim that they voted against illegal immigration. And they can hope that people ignore the issue in the spring.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

I guess this is where I part ways with most liberals. My vote is to deport all illegal immigrants, close the border, and start paying hard-working Americans decent money to make the products we consume.
I'm truthfully surprised that unions aren't against illegal immigration. But my belief is that this is an example of how union members' interests differ from those of union leaders.

Union members want to protect their jobs (and thus their revenue) and would therefore oppose introducing more people into the workforce.

Union leaders want to increase their membership (and thus THEIR revenue) and would therefore support introducing more people into the workforce.

But this isn't unique to unions - look at political parties of every type. The leaders' interests diverge from those of the members.
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