It’s not Amnesty. It’s Amnesty 2.0. Or Neo-Amnesty. Or Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Or a brilliant plan to add 12 million illegal aliens to the voting rolls so that the Republican Party will never be able to win a national election and Texas becomes the new California.
But the GOP establishment, the same one that gave us McCain and Romney is convinced that Amnesty (don’t call it amnesty, it’s immigration reform and border control) is key to winning a demographic that Republicans never win. And here’s your guide to the bright and shiny new arguments straight from the focus groups to your living room.
1. We need comprehensive immigration reform
This is the same old, “Let’s package amnesty together with a guest worker program and some border security measures that will never happen, but talk about them in reverse order.”
We don’t need comprehensive immigration reform. We need to decide whether we’ll have an open border in the South complete with the legalization of anyone who makes it through and spends a little time in the country, or whether we’ll have a fair balance of immigrants from around the world. If the former looks good to you, that’s your comprehensive immigration reform. Also known as a merger with Mexico.
2. We already have defacto amnesty
No we don’t. We have a lack of law enforcement, which is not the same thing as putting everyone who crosses the border on the voting rolls and on the social benefits train. Many of them are there anyway, which is the worst possible argument for legalizing that state of affairs and expanding it from 20-30 percent to 100 percent.
3. Skill based immigration.
That’s fine, in theory, so long as the skills are those that are actually lacking in the United States and whose possessors on average go on to work in the United States. We already have skill-based immigration to some degree. At the low end it’s used to bring shoemakers to the United States. At the high end it’s used to bring cheap labor to Silicon Valley. Neither is much of a prize.
If skill based immigration is accompanied by a lifting of the Third World national quotas, that would be even better.
4. It’s not amnesty, if there’s a fine.
This is a bad joke. It’s been a bad joke for years now. Amnesty with a fine, community service and a requirement to eat Oreos is still amnesty. This is Clintonesque word-wrangling.
5. It’s not amnesty if it’s work visas
Work visas for illegal aliens are less noxious than full legal status, but it’s a pathway there that will make that status harder to deny. And when Democrats come back three years later with a platform to move illegal aliens with work visas to an expressway to citizenship, what are Republicans going to say? “No.” Ah, but you want the Latino vote, don’t you. You said “Yes,” to Amnesty, now you have to say it to Full Amnesty.
6. We don’t want to be dealing with 11 million people 10 years from now
Sounds good, and border and work enforcement that is so bulletproof that new illegal aliens will not be able to find jobs would discourage some of the traffic, but not much of it. There’s a market for illegal aliens because employers want off the books employees and social services agencies want clients. Enforcement can make a difference, but it’s never going to turn off the tap all the way. If unemployment drops far enough, then the illegal aliens will keep on coming and there will be millions of them ten years from now anyway.
The argument that you’ll waive the law now, but you won’t waive it ten years from now is hollow. If you do it now, you’ll do it then.