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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Politicians Bravely Vote to Keep Four Million Illegal Immigrants Out 

This is not a two-sides debate. Despite my posturings, it's not even a three-sides debate.

Take the Orange Card. Here's what a blog called Philadelphia says:

la raza action alert

support senator feinstien's orange card program ammendment for immigrants.the current proposals put an unnecessary burden on immigrants and they should be granted amnesty.the compromise which sounds as if they won't even vote on it is hard to implement and a waste of time.call senator feinsteins aid peter cleveland and take him out for a hamburg.

If anyone can decipher the message above, please let me know.

Representative Sensenbrenner said the following to Senator Feinstein (while also speaking about slavery), as quoted at Expose the Left:

But who’s going to pay for all this bureaucracy that Senator Feinstein has talked about? Are we just going to add it to the deficit? Are we going to raise taxes to do it? Or are we going to have the employers who want to hire these folks pay for this with a user fee? There’s so many unanswered questions that I can just see 1986 repeating itself. And a lot of the illegal immigrants in this country will not sign up for whatever program it is—call it amnesty, call it earned legalization—because they’re afraid they’re going to lose their job. The market works. It is always cheaper to hire an illegal immigrant than to hire a citizen or a legal immigrant with a green card.

Feinstein responded:

On, on the question of cost, the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Tax Committee, have just come out with a report this past week that indicates that over the 10 years, the cost of the program, of everything in the Senate bill, which has been changed since then to reduce it, is a, the cost is about $54 billion. And the cost of fees coming in from the programs, $66 billion. Now that’s Joint Tax and CBO. Those are two good authorities that say the program does pay for itself—more than that—financially.

Well, all of this discussion is moot, since the Orange Card went up in flames. Here's how Suzanne Gamboa of the AP described it:

The Senate rejected a California Democrat's plan to allow the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country to remain, work and eventually become Americans, preserving a fragile bipartisan coalition needed to pass the bill....

"This legislation is on the edge of the ledge as it is," said Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) of Pennsylvania, one of the Republicans supporting a delicate compromise that has kept the bill alive — letting two-thirds of illegal immigrants stay but making the other third leave.

So, instead of a bill to allow the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country to remain, work and eventually become Americans, we now have a bill to allow a mere 8 million illegal immigrants in the country to remain, work and eventually become Americans.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Man, I just shake my head and sigh at this point. The more I learn, the more I realize how deep this pile is. We'd better get our act together very quickly.
It may not surprise you to learn that I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio during my commutes (with a bit of Air America thrown in for variety). One of the worries expressed there is not necessarily about the 12 million that are here now - what about the 20 or more million that will follow? (I haven't blogged about the Heritage Foundation study that estimated over 100 million legal immigrants if the original Senate bill passed; this number has since declined due to amendments.)
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