• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Ingraham’s Immigration Policy Prescriptions

american-flag(I will be honest, there is nothing new in this post.  I am just exercising the Blogger’s Right to Respond to a ridiculous set of ideas in writing because it is more satisfying than sitting here keeping the frustration to myself.)

Laura Ingraham came on The O’Reilly Factor to provide her immigration policy plan, and it contains fairly typical recommendations for what are radically simplistic views of the situation.

She starts with the following:

“First thing you do is starting deporting people, not by the hundreds, not by the dozens, by the thousands,” she said. “And that means entire families, not just a father or a mother. But we keep families unified by deporting all people who are here illegally.”

She pitches this as keeping families together but utterly misses some rather fundamental issues about the real human conditions that exist in our country.  It is not the case that one can just carve out the undocumented families.  The father of family A may be be here without a visa, but his wife may have documents or may be a citizen.  Their children are very likely citizens.  Family B may be made up parents without documents, but middle school aged children who are citizens who know nothing of their parent’s country.  In family C, the entire family may have crossed illegally, but the now teenage children do not remember anything of the land of their birth, since they crossed as toddlers.  In family D, grandma may have been in the country for decades without a visa. Ingraham’s approach, like so much simplistic anti-immigrant rhetoric, is based on the notion that there is a foreign other than can be excised from the body politic.  However, these people are not Them, but are very much part of Us.  And, in general, what of the human costs of such a policy?

The complex logistics for such mass deportations seems not to enter into her thinking.   Nor does she seem to understand the police state-like apparatus it would take to accomplish this goal (or, perhaps she does, but doesn’t care).

A side note, one of the things that vexes me is that American conservatives are supposedly all about the “American way” of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, working hard to find a better life, personal initiative, etc.  I am not sure what exemplifies that more than being willing to walk across the Sonoran desert for the chance to clean McDonald’s restrooms or work as a day laborer as a means of improving one’s life, or one’s family’s.

Another portion of the policy:

“Number three, I think there has to be an end to this thing called birthright citizenship, some people call it anchor babies,”

Now, Ingraham engaged in some hand-waving and stated that the Constitution does not require this, but there is the pesky and simple fact the XIVth Amendment states the following:  “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”  This is pretty plain language supported by almost a century and a half of application and interpretation that define the basic notion that anyone born in the US is a citizen, plain and simple.

What advocates of changing this provision do not understand (well, one of many things) is that the assimilation problems that they fear would be made worse if we did away with birthright citizenship.  They should look to Europe for examples, if they are curious.

Bill O’Reilly found  the policy recommendations problematic, but not just because they were draconian:

“You do that kind of a draconian action, mass deportations would be draconian,” he argued. “I think that there is a better way to do it without destroying the Republican Party, which absolutely I believe would happen.”

If one watches the video, Ingraham calls this buying into the Democrat’s argument.  However, a) I think O’Reilly is correct:  such moves would damage the Republican Party greatly, but more importantly b) a major problem with this line of thinking is that it is not focused on finding the proper policy solution to a very real problem, it is simply focused on partisan calculations (and that, in a nutshell, in a major reason we cannot come up with a policy solution).

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Mu says:

    This is nothing but one last hurrah of a dying idea. They know the white male lead Republican Party as we know it is going the way of the dodo, maybe 2024, maybe 2030, but the demographic writing is on the wall. These last stalwarts are desperately trying to wring one or two more elections out of it, at whatever cost. Immigration reform via deportation, voter suppression, gerrymandering, nothing is off limits if it guarantees one more cycle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    Suggesting that Ingraham has a policy is absurd. Like all the other right wing talkers she is throwing red meat to knuckle dragging base for dollars.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 1

  3. CB says:

    “First thing you do is starting deporting people, not by the hundreds, not by the dozens, by the thousands,” she said.

    Right off the bat, I ask how this squares with a desire for limited, non-intrusive government? How do you call for mass deportation without advocating for what would essentially be a police state? This never struck me as a practical or serious demand as far as immigration reform goes

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  4. Tyrell says:

    As I have said before these prople are hard working, don’t ask for handouts, have strong family values, are faithful Christians, and behave themselves. What we have been seeing in the last few weeks has been a lot of children evidently sent in by their parents, and busloads somehow getting in. I heard a person on the news recently describe their long journey to get into this country – the legal way (or the “documented” way if you prefer). If speeding up the process can be done, okay. Maybe they need to ask more of the people who have come in legally what they think should be done.
    I’ll settle for that in return for outlawing those bothersome phone menus that prompt a language choice.
    In the last several polls, a large portion of the American people (“documented”) oppose blanket amnesty.
    This one was on the radio: a bank robber told the police “I am not a bank robber. I am an undocumented account holder . “

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  5. Ron Beasley says:

    Oregon strawberries used to be the best in the world. Most of the fields have been plowed under since because of the immigration crackdown they can’t find enough people to harvest them. The asparagus farmers in eastern Washington lost 60% of their crop last year for the same reason. If you want to pay a lot more money for your food then by all means demand exportation. But they are taking jobs from “real” Americans – the reality is the “real” Americans are no longer physically able to do agricultural work. I don’t know about where you live but here in the Portland area a vast majority of those you see putting on a new roof are Hispanic and speaking Spanish or in some cases even Mayan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  6. Tillman says:

    If one watches the video, Ingraham calls this buying into the Democrat’s argument.

    Agreeing on basic facts nowadays is buying into someone’s argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  7. James Pearce says:

    @Tyrell:

    I’ll settle for that in return for outlawing those bothersome phone menus that prompt a language choice.

    Just saying…..the reason Spanish is so prevalent in this country is because it’s a primary language for many natural-born Americans. There’s a regional component to this, of course, maker it truer in Texas than it is in Maine, but the fact remains that Spanish is a “common tongue” in this country.

    Indeed, it’s among the many things that makes this country such an attractive destination for many Spanish-speaking immigrants.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  8. @Tyrell:

    If speeding up the process can be done, okay.

    It can be done, and should be done, but it isn’t even being tried at the moment.

    I’ll settle for that in return for outlawing those bothersome phone menus that prompt a language choice.

    One the one hand, I would gladly make the trade for reasonable immigration reform, given the rather low stakes of bilingual phone menus. On the other, there is no reason to object to those menus (at least not one that is defensible). First, the big imposition is having to listen to about 5 seconds of audio and having to press a button (so what?). Second, if a business feels it is in their interest to cater to a specific segment of their customer base, what, exactly, is the legitimate objection?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  9. beth says:

    @Tyrell: Did you ever think that the company you are calling may have a large customer base in South America or other Spanish speaking countries. Their call center may handle both North and South America and the phone tree merely routes you to the correct language. Why do Americans think they are the only ones who use things like this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  10. beth says:

    And how would Ms. Ingraham round up all these people for deportation? Just send out the police to cull anyone who looks Hispanic?

    Andrew Sullivan had a good link on his site to some reporting about what’s going on in these countries that are sending their kids here. The conclusion was that these kids are not coming here just for a chance at a better life; they’re coming here as refugess from some horrible circumstances, most of them fleeing widespread rape and murder merely because of their ages. A little compassion would do us all good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  11. ernieyeball says:

    Fourth of July Citizenship Quiz.

    I’ll settle for that in return for outlawing those bothersome phone menus that prompt a language choice.

    …if a business feels it is in their interest to cater to a specific segment of their customer base, what, exactly, is the legitimate objection?

    Which of these thoughts favors controlling speech and which one favors freedom of speech?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  12. mantis says:

    @Tyrell:

    I’ll settle for that in return for outlawing those bothersome phone menus that prompt a language choice.

    You want to make it against the law for businesses to offer their customers multiple language options? You are ridiculous.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  13. beth says:

    @ernieyeball: And who believes in the free market and who doesn’t?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  14. C. Clavin says:

    Ingraham was a raging homophobe until she discovered her brother is gay.
    Maybe she just needs to meet someone trying to immigrate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  15. rudderpedals says:

    Steven, another problem with eliminating birthright citizenship is the massive procedural burden it will inflict on everyone who’d previously depended upon a birth certificate for proof of citizenship. Whereas now you supply an official copy of your birth certificate to prove your own US citizenship, under Ingraham’s flaky regime you now also have to develop evidence supporting citizenship for your ancestors.

    As far as solutions go this one would cost 250 million Americans grief and expenses far in excess of whatever good is supposed to follow from avoiding a handful of anchor baby families.

    EDIT: s/Coulter/Ingraham

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  16. Shorter Laura Ingraham: Rich white people who don’t want to go through the risks of pregnancy at 44 should instead be able to adopt kids from Latin America and other countries, BUT HOW DARE THOSE KIDS TRY TO GET INTO OUR COUNTRY OTHERWISE?!!?!?!?!?

    What a reprehensible excuse for a human being.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  17. Andre Kenji says:

    @rudderpedals:

    Steven, another problem with eliminating birthright citizenship is the massive procedural burden it will inflict on everyone who’d previously depended upon a birth certificate for proof of citizenship.

    Exactly. I don´t usually see illegal immigrants here in Brazil, precisely because there is a large number of bureaucratic procedures for hiring and for ANY government service. If you don´t have documentation you can´t find *any* kind of legal work(and hiring workers without documentation can be nightmare for employers, that can be sued).

    Eliminating illegal immigration would require increasing red tape to Mexican/Brazilian or at least European levels.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. Another Mike says:

    I am a conservative and like Ingraham, but I do not agree with her on this. Here is my position on immigration as written to my congressman.

    The Republican Immigration policy should be no immigration policy. Lock down the borders and arrest immigrants who overstay their visas, and the rest takes care of itself in time.
    The illegal immigrants who are here just remain in place and subject to deportation should they become criminals. In time this immigrant generation just dies away.
    The children and grandchildren of illegal immigrants who are born here are citizens already. There is no reason to disrupt and break up families by deportation provided these illegal immigrants behave themselves.
    We do not reward criminal behavior by giving illegal immigrants green cards and paths to citizenship. Maybe a generation of two from now after the border is long sealed, a future Congress may choose to give some legal status to illegal residents of long standing.
    We do not want to hurt our own citizen labor force, especially low-skilled laborers, by creating unneeded competition for already scarce jobs.
    The illegal immigrants who are a burden on social welfare services will just continue to be a burden. Whether legal or illegal they will continue to be a burden on taxpayers. There is no change there.
    In the longer run this policy will help Republicans. Our legal and citizen immigrants will thank Republicans for standing against illegal immigration.
    Note that this policy is meant to be humane and moral and fair to everyone. It is fair to our own citizens, aspiring immigrants, and to illegal immigrants themselves.
    This is an excellent policy. The proof will be the immense opposition it will illicit from Democrats and the Left.
    __

    Language is not a big issue with me. Most of my ancestors came from Germany in the 1840s. When my dad grew up German was the language used in the home. A congregation near me kept their church council minutes in German until 1942. Their grandfathers fought for the Union in the Civil War, their fathers fought against the Kaiser in WWI, and now they were fighting against the Third Reich in WWII. These people were bilingual. They were Americans through and through. If Latinos follow the same path, I do not see than language is a problem. I recognize though that there is a difference between having to cross an ocean and having to drive across a border to reach the old home country.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 18

  19. ernieyeball says:

    @beth: And who believes in the free market and who doesn’t?

    Damned if I know. Help me out would ya?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. DrDaveT says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Maybe she just needs to meet someone trying to immigrate.

    It would have to be a family member; non-family apparently aren’t real people to that flavor of Republican. Blood is thicker than water, but Republicans are thicker than either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @beth: Because no one who lives below the Tropic of Cancer and/or east of the Danube river is civilized in any meaningful definition of the term and so has no reason to even OWN a telephone?

    Just suggesting…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Another Mike: I think your policy suggestion is OK, but I’m not clear on how the “lock down the border” part works. Can you elaborate on how we go about doing that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. Mercer says:

    “complex logistics for such mass deportations seems not to enter into her thinking.”

    Ike managed the logistics of mass deportations when he deported over a million sixty years ago. We could follow the same procedures he used. The problem is not logistics. The problem is many people do not want to enforce immigration laws because they like an endless supply of cheap labor or are sentimental about immigration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  24. superdestroyer says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Ron,

    There are more than 100 million third world residents who want to immigrant to the U.S. How many of them do you think the U.S. should keep out? Is your hatred of conservatives so great that you are willing to turn the U.S. into a third world country in order to punish conservatives?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    the reality is the
    “real” Americans are no longer physically able

    to do agricultural work. I don’t know about where you live but here in the Portland area a vast majority of those you see putting on a new roof are Hispanic and speaking Spanish or in some cases even Mayan.

    Wow. Just Wow. I am not even a real American anymore.

    Ron you are an intelligent human being. Did somebody hit your stupid button? Just because neither you or the 8 people who thumbed up your post wouldn’t even think of getting out of bed if it meant breaking a sweat does NOT mean Americans can not do this type of work. It just means the lot of you are some of the laziest people on this planet.

    I spent the better part of 35 years in construction and at 55 am no longer able to tolerate the pain it inflicts on the body. But I can assure you, that on the last job I worked 2 years ago? They were all real Americans. No quote marks needed. If you ever climbed out of the bubble you lived in, you’d know that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell:

    I’ll settle for that in return for outlawing those bothersome phone menus that prompt a language choice.

    You and Franco. My wife can’t even write her native language because of Franco’s “one language” policy. And guess what? It never did unite Spain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I am also surprised at the restraint Ingraham showed. I would have expected her to say, “Kill them all. Let God sort them out.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. bill says:

    well, o’reilly is usually pretty fair and balanced after all!
    that this is the first blog that even touches on the massive mess along the southern border is in line with the msm’s coverage of it.
    we have a huge influx of people from all over the world- those with an ocean between usually take the legal route to entering/staying. those with nothing in their way just flood in and expect to be moved to the front of the line. it sucks that mexico can’t seem to get their act together (despite being next door to the most successful nation on earth) but enabling them isn’t the proper way.
    and the “anchor baby” thing is just a carrot on a stick for them- it hasn’t worked for us.
    but the real reason they’re coming is that our lazy citizens won’t work the jobs that they will- and our gov’t. encourages them not too. go ahead and make farms pay minimum wage, it’s all good as we’ll pay for it one way or the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  29. Another Mike says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I think your policy suggestion is OK, but I’m not clear on how the “lock down the border” part works. Can you elaborate on how we go about doing that?

    This country can do what it sets it mind to do no matter how huge or difficult the job. Unless the border is closed off to illegal immigration, the illegal immigration problem has no solution. In time we will take on the characteristics of a Latin American or South American country. It could even be worse than that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  30. Davebo says:

    Ingraham was a raging homophobe raking in the big bucks pretending to be a homophobe until she discovered her brother is gay and decided there are some lows even she won’t stoop too for money.

    Don’t kid yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. Davebo says:

    we have a huge influx of people from all over the world- those with an ocean between usually take the legal route to entering/staying.

    Visit an immigration courtroom in say San Francisco or New York and get back with us.

    You do realize there is a huge ocean between West Africa and the US right? Asia and the US?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  32. grumpy realist says:

    Um, if we’re not supposed to use birth as a measurement for citizenship, what ARE we supposed to use?!

    This reminds me of those doofuses who wanted to claim that you don’t get to be a “Real, True Amurrican, arrrgh!” unless you could prove that BOTH of your parents were “Real, True Amurricans.” (Who, in turn, I guess, would have had to prove that THEIR parents were RTAs, etc.)

    Which, of course, means that unless you can prove your genealogy back to Adam, you had no chance of being a RTA.

    If Laura wants to see the stinky mess that this sort of thing turns into, she should investigate Israel and the horrible problems some would-be immigrants have had to prove that they are, in fact, Jews of the proper flavor and heritage. (I find it ironic that Israel has, in its passion to retain its Jewishness, essentially recreated the purity laws so beloved by the Germans in the 1930s.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. anjin-san says:

    @ Another Mike

    This country can do what it sets it mind to do no matter how huge or difficult the job.

    Sure, we could turn this country into a police state surrounded by barbed wire, guard towers, and armed men.

    But do we really want to?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  34. anjin-san says:

    I’ll settle for that in return for outlawing those bothersome phone menus that prompt a language choice.

    Ah, more small government?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “Is your hatred of conservatives so great that you are willing to turn the U.S. into a third world country in order to punish conservatives?”

    Actually, the Republicans, led by their billionaire masters, are already doing that. Assuming, that is, when you refer to a “third world country” you mean one in which the vast majority of the population labors at near-poverty wages while a tiny fraction of the super-rich, who have seized or bought control of the government, acquire all the nation’s wealth.

    Oh, but wait — you mean a place where not everybody looks like you. Never mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  36. Another Mike says:

    @anjin-san:

    Sure, we could turn this country into a police state surrounded by barbed wire, guard towers, and armed men.

    Well, if that’s your idea about how it would have to be done, then I don’t think you have anything to contribute to the solution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  37. superdestroyer says:

    @wr:

    If you look at the disparities in wealth, the super blue cities and counties of the U.S. are good examples of the peon-patron society that the Democrats are trying to create in the U.S. Look at NYC, Los Angeles, the District of Columbia, and Silicon Valley where there few, if any, blue collar whites but massive numbers of recent third world immigrants who toil as the servants and worker bees for the rich.

    The Democrats do not even bother to try to reconcile their hope for open borders and the free movement of people between the U.S. and the third world with their desire for a much larger government and more centralized political power.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. All of this reminds me of why I was enjoying superdestroyer’s self-deportation from the comment threads to my posts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  39. @wr: Methinks you have nailed it, yes.

    Oh, but wait — you mean a place where not everybody looks like you. Never mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. anjin-san says:

    @ Another Mike

    Well, if that’s your idea about how it would have to be done, then I don’t think you have anything to contribute to the solution

    Ok, you tell me how we are going to “lock down” our thousands upon thousands of milds of borders and coastlines without moving towards becoming a police state.

    Then tell me how we are going to pay for it.

    Then tell me how how the cost/benefit equation argues in favor of actually doing it.

    “Lock down the borders” is a talking point, not a viable policy. “This country can do what it sets it mind to do no matter how huge or difficult the job”?? In the age of the tea party, we are barely doing basic governance

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  41. Another Mike says:

    @anjin-san:

    In the age of the tea party, we are barely doing basic governance

    Don’t get ahead of yourself. The tea party is a small faction of the republicans. The president is a democrat. The senate is controlled by democrats. The house is controlled by republicans who like big government almost as much as democrats do. The tea party is just static.

    I believe there are people smart enough to figure out how to stop illegal immigration without turning us into a police state.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  42. anjin-san says:

    @ Another Mike

    I believe there are people smart enough to figure out how to stop illegal immigration without turning us into a police state.

    Ah, so you trust the government to be competent and you think it’s fine to give them more power.

    Did you say you are a conservative?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  43. Another Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Methinks you have nailed it, yes.

    I doubt it. It is more like everyone holds the same values as you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  44. rob says:

    @anjin-san:

    Europe has the exact same problem, expect it’s closer to Cuba than Mexico. the few spots were Europe touches Africa (don’t know the name off hand but it’s a Spanish colony) it looks and feels like a prison yard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  45. Tillman says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’d alter what he said with, “aren’t capable of doing the physical labor for the crappy wages they pay.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  46. Another Mike says:

    @anjin-san:

    Ah, so you trust the government to be competent and you think it’s fine to give them more power.

    Did you say you are a conservative?

    Government perhaps does not have a good record on competence, but there is always the opportunity to do better. I do not propose giving government more power than it already has under Article I of the constitution. This is all very conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  47. anjin-san says:

    @ Another Mike

    So you are no offering vague ramblings about the Constitution to go along with your approach to government, which seems to be “I have no idea how to do this in the real word, or how we would pay for it, but there must be somebody, somewhere who is smart enough to figure it out.”

    You don’t really care if you are taken seriously, do you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  48. anjin-san says:

    I believe there are people smart enough to figure out how to stop illegal immigration without turning us into a police state.

    Name some.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. @Another Mike: After years of reading superdestroyer on this and similar topics, I am quite confident of the assessment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  50. @Another Mike:

    The senate is controlled by democrats.

    I think it is vital to understand that a party cannot be said to control the Senate unless they have 60 votes. This is especially true on a policy topic such as this one where a mere 41 Senators can scuttle any attempt at making policy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  51. bill says:

    @Davebo: yeah, they get processed at customs or smuggled in. then they go through the green card process and such-what’s your point? are you saying there’s more illegals flying in than just walking across the mexican border?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  52. Andre Kenji says:

    If I wanted(Or If I had lost my mind), I could get a travel visa, travel to somewhere in the United States and stay and work there with a overstayed visa. It´s easy. I´m of mixed race(White with Asian) that could be easily confounded with an American, and I have fluent English. Falsifying Social Security numbers is not so difficult, but I could perform small jobs like teaching Portuguese Classes or doing housework even without a fake SS number. Sure, specially without a Drivers License I would have a horrible existence in the US, but I could easily emigrate illegally to the US.

    I would not have to cross any f* border. And hotels and boutiques in Miami would not like if people like me would be seen as potential illegal immigrants by the Immigration Services.

    On the other hand, I doubt that anyone could do the same thing here in Brazil. You simply cannot work legally in the country even for small jobs without documentation, and any interaction with the government requires identification. Curbing illegal immigration requires expanding red tape and bureaucracy to everyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  53. @Andre Kenji: You raise a key point that seems lost on a lot of people: roughly half of the illegal immigrants in the US are visa overstayers, not people who crossed the border illegally (i.e., the crossing was legal, but the staying wasn’t). It is yet another reason that border fences are not the answer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  54. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Another Mike: So, the answer is “no, I can’t flesh it out but am confident that it can be done because we’re ‘Murka, dammit.”

    Good to know. Thanks for your help.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  55. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Another Mike:

    Well, if that’s your idea about how it would have to be done, then I don’t think you have anything to contribute to the solution.

    And yet, it’s STILL more concrete than the word salad that you provided in your answer to me. Hmmmm…………………………….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  56. Another Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I think it is vital to understand that a party cannot be said to control the Senate unless they have 60 votes.

    My misunderstanding then. I thought the leader of the senate controls what bills are considered, and whether to allow amendments to bills. I also thought that the party that “controls” the senate can even disallow filibusters, rules be damned. I guess it is a matter of how narrowly one construes the idea of control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  57. @Another Mike: With the exception of certain budget-related bills and certain nominations it takes either an agreement between both parties or 60 votes to get major legislation to the floor. Even once a bill has made it to the floor for debate it takes 60 votes to move from the debate stage to the final vote. So while the final vote on a bill is a 51 vote hurdle, there are at least two places that the minority party can block the bill from ever getting close to such a vote.

    While the majority party in the House controls the calendar (i.e., what bills make it the floor) and exercises a great deal of power over the amendment and debate process, this is not the case in the Senate.

    A determined minority of 41 Senators can effectively stop most legislation in the Senate (and hence true control of the chamber requires 60 votes–something that almost never happens).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  58. Being majority leader in the Senate is a lousy job because because it sounds like you have a lot of power when, in fact, you don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  59. Another Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    A determined minority of 41 Senators can effectively stop most legislation in the Senate (and hence true control of the chamber requires 60 votes–something that almost never happens).

    I am not really up on rules and procedures, so you can help me out here. Are you talking about the ability to filibuster a bill? The senate removed the filibuster rule for some appointees. The Democrats did this unilaterally, if I’m not mistaken. Since they had the power to do this, they also have the power to remove the filibuster on other nominations and even on legislation. The Democrats chose not to do this, because it was not in their best interest. Whoever controls the senate has the power to rule by simple majority, if they choose to exercise it. Of course, the constitution requires more than a simple majority for some things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. @Another Mike: As I noted, some nominees are not subject to blockage by the minority.

    We are actually talking less about a filibuster, pe se, than we are about the need to evoke cloture (the end of debate) to both get a bill off the calendar and to end debate of a bill on the floor (cloture is what makes a filibuster possible). These rules have not changed as they pertain to basic legislation, and are highly unlikely to change even though it is theoretically possible that the majority could seek to change those rules. The change to the cloture rule over nominees, while quite significant, has nothing to do with the passage of legislation.

    I assure you: it is impossible to legislate in the Senate without the consent of some of the minority and, again, a unified minority of 41 can block any regular legislation.

    This is not a Republican or Democratic thing. It is a Senate thing.

    Of course, the constitution requires more than a simple majority for some things.

    Apart for proposal of Constitutional amendments and removal for impeachment, the Constitution does not dictate this issue. The rules of the chamber are up to the chamber itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  61. Another Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Apart for proposal of Constitutional amendments and removal for impeachment, the Constitution does not dictate this issue.

    And what about treaties?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  62. Another Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I assure you: it is impossible to legislate in the Senate without the consent of some of the minority and, again, a unified minority of 41 can block any regular legislation.

    My statement was: ” Whoever controls the senate has the power to rule by simple majority, if they choose to exercise it.”

    Is this a true statement? Is it true in theory?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  63. anjin-san says:

    @ Another Mike

    You are very quick to demand that other explain their positions to your satisfaction, but you still have not given us anything about how we can actually lock down the borders in the real word, how we would pay for it, how we would avoid serious negative consequences as a result, and if it is worth doing at all.

    Perhaps you should spend a bit more time developing your own arguments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  64. @Another Mike: Yes, I forgot to list treaties. What that list has in common is that they are all unusual/extraordinary actions that aren’t directly relevant to the issue of legislating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  65. @Another Mike: It is “in theory” possible that the entire Senate will spontaneously start legislating by unanimous consent. However, one has to account for the probability of such outcomes.

    I assure you, the bottom line with the Senate is this: it takes 60 votes to truly control it. You can try and parse this any way you like, it doesn’t change the basic facts in question.

    It is in theory possible that the Senate rules could be changed to make legislation be subject only to 51% of the chamber, but in reality it is not going to happen for any number of reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  66. Another Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It is in theory possible that the Senate rules could be changed to make legislation be subject only to 51% of the chamber, but in reality it is not going to happen for any number of reasons.

    Yes, it is certainly reasonable to believe that. If such a thing were to happen, somehow I feel that I will be less surprised than you. It is now know that one party can on its own change the rules of the senate. Actually more than can, one party has changed the rules. That is one hurdle down.

    Thanks for the forbearance on this issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  67. @Another Mike: This is going to sound far more snarky and or off-putting than intended, but here it goes: the only reason you will be less surprised than me (and I will be really, really surprised–as well as pleased regardless of which party does the change) because I have a better understanding of how unlikely and profound the change would be.

    Yes, there was a change for some nominations, which shows it is possible (but we knew it was possible before). There is a true chasm, however, between changing those rules for some nominations (and, btw. the rules were already different for nominations in the sense the Executive Calendar is privileged–which means there is no ability to filibuster nominees to keep them on the calendar–i.e., they have a clearer route to the floor than does legislation).

    The nomination change is, in some ways a corrective (it has only been recently that nominations were so regularly and thoroughly blocked). To change the cloture rule in the Senate would be a massive sea change in the institution. So yes, I will be mightily surprised if it happens.

    (And BTW: rules have been changed before–and the filibuster rule has been changed before–that, in and of itself, is not that surprising).

    Thanks for the forbearance on this issue.

    I hope I have not been too argumentative. (And maybe even helpful)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  68. Davebo says:

    @bill:

    My point it that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. The upside is the EOIR allows people to observe the process in most cases so you could learn a bit about it if you chose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0