Republicans Would Be More Credible On Immigration If They Had A Plan Of Their Own

The fact that Republicans lack anything approaching a coherent immigration plan makes it hard to take their criticism of the President seriously.

border-immigrants-crossing

While the media focuses on the President’s newly announced executive action on immigration, and Republicans focus on how they might respond to it, Ezra Klein notes, correctly, that the Republican Party does not have a coherent immigration policy of its own:

There’s one way President Obama’s executive action on immigration has been a boon to Republicans. Instead of coming up with their own immigration policy, the’ve been able to just unite against Obama’s. But fury isn’t a policy. And, as is clear, fury isn’t going to stop Obama’s policy.

But there is a simple way out of this immigration mess for Republicans: pass a bill that President Obama can sign.

Not a bill, mind you, that Obama necessarily wants to sign. It doesn’t even have to be a bill Obama does sign. It can be a bill Obama will loathe. Republicans can propose the most militarized border this side of the DMZ. They can erase the Senate bill’s path to citizenship. They can electrify the fence. They can wall unauthorized immigrants off from social services. Hell, they can even pass a bill authorizing funds to deport all 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the US.

But one way or another, Republicans need to decide what to do with the 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the country now. They need to take away Obama’s single strongest argument — that this is a crisis, and that congressional Republicans don’t have an answer and won’t let anyone else come up with one.

(…)

The good news for Republicans is that they don’t have to suffer the total defeat Democrats endured in 2011. They could support a bill many in their party really like. They could pass the Senate immigration bill without a path to citizenship. Maybe Obama wouldn’t sign it. But if he didn’t, it would be much harder for him to argue that he has no choice save for sweeping executive action. Republicans would have turned his argument against him.

And what are their alternatives? Impotent rage? A government shutdown? A slow-moving lawsuit? A disastrous impeachment effort? A solemn vow that whatever damage Obama does to the constitutional order, Republicans will double it when they retake the White House? All of these are likelier to wound the GOP than Obama. None of these are likely to benefit the party in 2016. And none of them solve the underlying problem.

Nor does continued confusion around immigration help Republicans. Just ask Mitt Romney, who tried to split the difference between restrictionists and reformers by endorsing “self-deportation”. That worked well enough that Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, came out after the election to make clear that “it’s not our party’s position.” But that’s only because his party doesn’t have a position.

Klein is obviously coming at this from a partisan position of his own, but he also happens to be correct about it. During the second term of George W. Bush’s Administration when an initial bipartisan stab was taken on immigration reform, there were Senators such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham who were very closely involved in the process, but the backlash that they received from even starting the process of trying to reach across the aisle to put a bill together has largely scared off Republicans individual Republicans, such as Marco Rubio in the Senate and Raul Labrador, Mario Diaz-Balart, and others in the House have advocated ideas about dealing with the problems plaguing the immigration system, either in the form of a comprehensive bill like the one that the Senate passed in June 2013 or in the form of the more piecemeal approach that some House Republicans were considering, and then abandoned in the face of failed negotiations, in the months that followed the passage of that bill, the party as a whole has been remarkable silent on the issue.

To the extent that one hears Republicans talk about immigration reform these days, it is limited to largely meaningless terms like “border security” which become even more meaningless when you realize just how phony an issue the “insecure” southern border actually turns out to be when you examine it closely. According to studies, illegal entries to the United States are at 40 year lows, and overall immigration from Mexico has hit 60 year lows. Last year, we learned that net immigration from Mexico to the U.S. may be below zero. As for enforcement, President Obama is on a pace to have more deportations under his watch than President Bush did in his eight years. Given those numbers, and even taking into account the Central American migrant crisis that erupted over the summer, which largely consisted of people turning themselves over to border agents rather than trying to sneak across, the idea that making the border more secure is the most important item on the immigration reform checklist is silly, and the insistence of so many conservatives that it is an issue of such importance that it must be resolved before anything else can be addressed can only be taken as evidence that they don’t want to deal with the real problems with our immigration systems notwithstanding their protestations to the contrary.

To pick just one example, opponents of comprehensive immigration reform on the right will consistently say that they favor legal immigration, and even increasing legal immigration, but oppose illegal immigration. Taking them at their word, one would expect to see some kind of coherent plan to reform an obviously broken legal immigration system that forces people to wait far too long to process applications, keeps families apart for no rational reason, and unduly restricts the entry of highly-qualified immigrants of all types for no rational reason whatsoever. Some of these problems could be addressed by something as simple as increasing the budget of the relevant agencies processing the applications. Additionally, they could make changes to the H1-B and other guest worker programs that would make it easier for people who want to come here and contribute to America, and fill demand for jobs in the high tech industry that apparently isn’t being met by current supply. They could make changes to deal with the deplorable state of the migrant farm workers program. And, most of all, they could make it easier overall for people to come to the United States legally. The fact that Republicans haven’t even attempted to introduce a single piece of legislation covering on any of those issues, I would submit, tends to put the lie to the “I like legal immigration, I don’t like illegal immigration” excuse.

Of course, no immigration reform plan would be worthy of the name if it failed to deal with the one issue that most conservatives refuse to address with any seriousness, the question of what to do with the roughly 11 million undocumented workers in the United States. To listen to most people on the right, the only acceptable option for this group is to either round them all up and deport them, a “solution” which ignores the reality of just how difficult, time consuming, and expensive that would be not to mention the extent that it would break up families for no rational reason at all, or to basically force them to “self-deport” in the famous words of Mitt Romney, who was awarded with the lowest percentage of the Latino vote of any GOP Presidential candidate in decades for his hard line positions on immigration. The reality, of course, is that most, if not all, of the people who are undocumented are not appropriate candidates for deportation and that attempting to do so would be impractical and inhumane. In the end, the only practical solution to the problem of these 11 million will have to be something akin to the June 2013 Senate bill, which allowed these people to apply for legalization upon the payment of fees and back taxes, a background check to ensure that they did not have a criminal record, and payment of an appropriate penalty for the fact that they had broken the law. Additionally, to the extent that they would be allowed to apply for citizenship at some point in the future, they would have to wait for some appropriate delay period, say seven years at least and then have to wait in line behind everyone who had come here legally.

There could be other ways to deal with these issues that might better appeal to conservatives, of course, but we won’t know what they are unless they start talking about immigration reform seriously. Right now, they aren’t doing that at all and, because of that, it’s hard to take them seriously on this issue.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Campaign 2016, Congress, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Two words: Rubio-Schumer. It passed the senate by a 68-32 vote and Boehner’s House refused to take it up. The GOP had a chance to do something and because they did not want to pass anything that could be construed as a political benefit to this Administration Boehner had the bill DOA’d.

    Also, and I know this is a minor point, when it comes to facts regarding net immigration and deportations, base Republicans do not care about any of that.

  2. Chris says:

    Doug writes on this issue as if know what he’s talking about, but in reality a lot of what includes merely obfuscates. It’s a shame, really. It’s frustrating talking about the GOP as if it’s one coherent organism when neither Doug nor Ezra can articulate that immigration is an issue that tears at the heart of the GOP; on one side, the corportacracy of Boehner & (RIP) Cantor; on the other side, the populist urges of Sessions and the majority of its white voters.

    The corporate part of the GOP would gladly pass comprehensive immigration reform. Schumer/Rubio passed w/ 70 votes. But damn them, those old white GOP voters don’t want to be dispossessed. They called their congresscritters and shut down that agreement. They’ve shut it down seemingly 6x in the last 8 years, including W’s effort in 2007. If only they had a plan (Here was Eisenhower’s: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0706/p09s01-coop.html) they could look to! I mean, it’s not like 1925-1964 wasn’t the salad days of Americana. All of those white ethnics became “white people”. Oh, what happened in 1965? Good old Ted Kennedy lied, and we got our current immigration law. (Pretty good synopsis here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/803937/posts)

    So, since Doug hates all those racist whites who continue to want the country they built to remain with their progeny and not to a menagerie of central americans, let’s talk a plan they might could support.

    1.) Enforcement of our nation’s laws first.. Was promised in ’86, never delivered. Is promised w/ every deal, never delivered.

    2.) Build a dang fence. We can hire the Israelis to do it. http://bit.ly/1uScfiT

    3.) Businesses who hire illegals get fined.

    4.) Let the current 20-25M illegals attempt to assimilate, and yes, self-deport if they can’t work.

    We do this for 5 years, show our seriousness, THEN, perhaps, we talk “amnesty”. For an economist, you’d think Doug would understand incentivizing people – Obama talking about executive action *might* just give the message to wayward DREAMers of El Salvadorean, Guatamelan & Honduran descent that the green light is on to leave their hellholes and make it to the great Wal-Mart to el Norte. Just pull that (D) lever when you get here, and, by the way, enjoy your free emergency health care, education and welfare benefits! Just remember to have 4 kids while you’re here!

    Now, Doug has lots of links to studies up there. They look mighty impressive! Let’s take them on at a time.

    1.) illegal entries to the United States are at 40 year lows (still > 500k/year, from what we can guess since we don’t have a real clue)
    2.) overall immigration from Mexico has hit 60 year lows. (we took in about 15M-20M Mexicans since 1990. They’ve had some kids. We’ve reached equilibrium. Now our illegals come from further south, aided and abetted by our friends in the Mexican govt)
    3.) Last year, we learned that net immigration from Mexico to the U.S. may be below zero. (see above. this is just a distraction.)
    As for enforcement, President Obama is on a pace to have more deportations under his watch than President Bush did in his eight years. (Admin was counting people turned away at the border as “deportations”. I love Doug’s faith in gov’t numbers!)

    This then this bullshit:

    “the insistence of so many conservatives that it is an issue of such importance that it must be resolved before anything else can be addressed can only be taken as evidence that they don’t want to deal with the real problems with our immigration systems notwithstanding their protestations to the contrary.”

    As if who gets to be a citizen of this country ISN’T a real problem! It is the national question! Remember, if we just enforced our laws, this wouldn’t be an issue with these conservatives. Alas, we can’t even get that. Those jerks. I mean, who cares about what kind of country you leave your grandkids, especially with who resides in it?

    To be honest, it’s hard to take Macatonis’ boilerplate clap-trap seriously on the issue. Start reading your enemies, Doug. Bookmark VDare.com. Read Steve Sailer. Stop quoting Ezra “Juiceboxer” Klein and read Mickey Kaus. Learn something.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    It’s the same with most everything isn’t it?
    Republicans complain about everything but offer nothing as an alternative to anything.
    Health Care.
    Foreign Policy.
    Immigration.
    Their Budget requires fairy dust to make the numbers work.
    Granting personhood to a single cell.
    Their slots in their agenda are either vacant or vacuous

  4. Modulo Myself says:

    @Chris:

    I doubt that Doug hates the racist whites. He just knows that as a whole they are going nowhere except to the ballot box for the GOP.

    For all the talk about populism, the only solidarity shown is a hatred of other people and fears of what it means to be on equal level in the eyes of the rich with someone with different color skin. There’s no organization, no sense of anything other than resentment. This is why no party like the UKIP will ever emerge in America–because racism notwithstanding, there’s a sense of collective action that still lingers in the English psyche. Try finding any of that in the South or in the union-baiting of someone like Scott Walker.

  5. Scott F. says:

    Doug, so we’re clear. The Republicans not having a coherent policy – on not only immigration, but any number of issues facing the nation – is a feature, not a bug, of GOP politics.

    See, having a policy, rather than just rhetoric, requires details that can scrutinized for unintended consequences (see replacing Medicare with vouchers), theories that can be tested (see Trickle Down Economics) or accounting where the numbers add up (see any Ryan budget). Rhetoric can be eternally right, evidence be damned. Policy can be implemented and people will see the results (see Brownback’s tenure in Kansas).

  6. LaMont says:

    Republicans Would Be More Credible On Immigration If They Had A Plan Of Their Own

    After all the BS settles, I can assure you, this will be the issue left confronting the Republican party. And if the Democrats are smart, they will eventially spin this off – and rightfully so, as a microcosm of Republican politics over the last 6 years. It will be harder to hide behind government disfunction when the GOP controls the 2 branches of government responsible for most of the governing.

  7. Gustopher says:

    Thy would also be more credible if every discussion of immigration did not bring out the racist tinged nativists in the Republican Party.

    If half the people saying “secure our borders first” are also talking about blacks on the Democrat Plantation, and referring to Latinos crossing the border as an invasion of cockroaches, and generally stopping one step short of the actual words of racial slurs, it kind of makes the rest of them look like a bunch of racists too.

    Here’s what the Republicans should do, if they were smart: codify the executive order into law (these are the people who will get to stay under any compromise, just accept it and move on, but don’t give them a path to citizenship just permanent residence), and add to that language to build the fence (keep their base happy), and add funding to go after employers (actually do something about the illegal immigrants). Add in a few pet projects (expanded school vouchers, perhaps targeted to bilingual students to keep it seeming relevant). And then shut up about it.

    It’s bipartisan! It shows they can work with the President! They can slip in some stuff that will make Obummer sad as he reluctantly signs it! The President does a victory lap, the Republicans can do a smaller victory lap (pet projects and fence! appeal to Latinos!), and then don’t speak of it for two years and hope the racist wing can calm down quick enough to not scare folks around the next election.

  8. LaMont says:

    @Gustopher:

    As I stated before in other comment sections – I do not believe, nor has the republican party ever demonstrated an ability to be this disciplined. The GOP will implode by their own foolishness.

  9. J-Dub says:

    Republicans Would Be More Credible On **fill in the blank** If They Had A Plan Of Their Own

  10. al-Ameda says:

    @Chris:

    So, since Doug hates all those racist whites who continue to want the country they built to remain with their progeny and not to a menagerie of central americans, let’s talk a plan they might could support

    Do you really think that this country was built on the backs of racist whites?

  11. C. Clavin says:

    @Gustopher:

    It’s bipartisan! It shows they can work with the President!

    But as we have seen….at their core…they have zero interest in this for two reasons.
    Bi-partisanship looks good for the President. They cannot have that.
    It also makes it appear like there are two sides to any given discussion…which there may be, but Republicans do not want their base to know that.

  12. Jack says:

    Republican Plan: Enforce Existing Law

    Immigration Law – Sec. 275. 8 U.S.C. 1325

    (a) Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

    The Rubio-Schumer bill was a non-starter because it did nothing to increase enforcement or secure the border. Adding more BP agents and then telling them to not enforce the law is not enforcement…its just another Democrat union jobs plan like the rest (get paid by the government to do nothing). We would simply be back in the same place 2-4 decades from now.

  13. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Chris:

    While upwardly mobile Mexican-Americans marry blonde Anglos, downwardly mobile white men wed Mexicans. Now, there is no doubt plenty to be said for getting hitched to a Mexican lady. They probably tend to make better mothers, homemakers, and cooks than the leggy blonde careerists who, however, are so much more in demand in Southern California. But sadly, there is a big social cost to Anglo-Hispanic marriages—which raises severe doubts about America’s ability to assimilate Latino immigrants. As pro-immigration/pro-assimilation researcher Gregory Rodriguez admits, “Surprisingly, in most homes headed by an Anglo/Latino couple, Spanish becomes the household language.”

    Thus, those L.A. blue-collar whites who don’t flee to Utah will tend to assimilate genetically and culturally into Latino culture.”

    THAT Steve Sailer?

  14. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    No one is disputing the law. It is the logistics and practicality of enforcing said law that is in question. The GOP refuses to address the main issue and the exectuive action helps.

  15. stonetools says:

    @Gustopher:

    Thy would also be more credible if every discussion of immigration did not bring out the racist tinged nativists in the Republican Party

    Well, that’s the Republican Party base after all.The Republican Party really can’t stop them from showing up-they’re the folks who voted them in. And the Republican base’s plan is clear and simple-America for white people. Doug is trying to pretend that the Republican base doesn’t have a plan. They do-its just not one he likes.
    Senator Tom Cotton ( who describes himself as a libertarian-leaning conservative)is probably the one who will lead the Senate Republicans on immigration issue. He said this at a Town Hall:

    Cotton was asked by a voter why the children crossing the border were allowed to stay for months (presumably while awaiting a court date). Cotton launched into a long answer about amnesty and the need to build a border fence, and added (emphasis mine):

    “The problem is with Mark Pryor and Barack Obama refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and refusing to secure our border. I’ll change that when I’m in the United States Senate. And I would add, it’s not just an immigration problem. We now know that it’s a security problem. Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico who have clearly shown they’re willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism.

    “They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas. This is an urgent problem and it’s time we got serious about it, and I’ll be serious about it in the United States Senate.”

    And now he is in the US Senate. Making immigration policy.

  16. DrDaveT says:

    @Chris:

    all those racist whites who continue to want the country they built to remain with their progeny and not to a menagerie of central americans

    Most of those racist whites are themselves the descendants of not-at-all-welcomed German, Irish, Italian, Polish, Scottish, Norwegian, Swedish, French, Swiss, Ashkenazy, Hungarian, Slav, etc. immigrants. Those descendants now far outnumber the descendants of the original English and Dutch settlers who actually “built this country”. Should they all self-deport?

    I like to think that my ancestors from Plymouth colony and Jamestown and Yorktown and Providence Plantation and Southport would care more about the country that resulted, rather than the origins of its people. If you think Central Americans are inherently less capable of assimilating and building the future of America than the steerage-loads of European refugees were, you’re apparently just another racist posing as a patriot.

  17. JohnMcC says:

    It was inevitable that conservative commenters would prove Mr Mataconis correct. Complete with links to free-republic-dot-com. Thank you, guys! Your predictable b#llsh*t is one of your most delightful characteristics.

  18. Inhumans99 says:

    If the GOP is smart they will pivot from squawking about immigration onto Chuck Hagel’s resignation. His announcement today is a gift to the GOP, and an opportunity to pummel President Obama on matters of national security. They love trashing him on how he is handling the Middle East, so they should take the opportunity to shut up about immigration, which is clearly tarnishing their brand, and go back to doing what they do best…proclaiming that President Obama is a terrorist loving socialist who wants the rich to give away all of their hard earned stock market riches to those lazy food stamp recipients who claim to want to buy milk and eggs for their kids, but really want to spend all their handout monies on lotto tickets and that wacky tabacco.

    A real opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, we shall see if the GOP is smart enough to turn Hagel into the gift that keeps on giving

  19. bk says:

    @Chris: read Mickey Kaus. Learn something.

    BAHAHAHAHAHA

  20. C. Clavin says:

    @Chris:

    read Mickey Kaus

    Why not Laura Ingraham…or Ann Coulture? I mean…if we’re going full-on wingnut….

  21. stonetools says:

    @DrDaveT:

    you’re apparently just another racist posing as a patriot

    Actually, I thought he showed refreshing candor. I always prefer my racists to be straight up, rather than have them hide behind the “limited government” , “low taxes”, “states rights”, “secure borders” rhetoric.

  22. Anonne says:

    Their plan is to build the Great Wall of Texas, then the Great Wall of New Mexico, Arizona and California. As if that works…. they are impervious to evidence and reality. Unless the Plan B is to start shooting people as they try to cross, but then, they probably favor that too.

  23. anjin-san says:

    @Jack:

    Republican Plan: Enforce Existing Law

    Might have some credibility if the GOP detailed the tax increase we will need to pay for this and how the necessary expansion of the size, scope, and power of government will work.

  24. Jack says:

    @LaMont: We put a man on the moon. The “logistics and practicality” of enforcing the law is not a hurdle.

    It’s just like Biden said with respect to existing gun laws ““And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” Yet this man wan’ts us to pass a law mandating a background check on all firearms transfers.

    So, we can’t enforce existing laws so we should pass more laws…which then would not be enforced?

    Submitting false information on an ATF Form 4473 — required for the necessary background check to obtain a firearm — is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison, depending on prior convictions and a judge’s discretion, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    For liberals, a “problem” is “solved” when the government passes laws and expands its power. The actual function of those laws, and their demonstrable effect on the “problem” at hand, are irrelevant. In fact, a good liberal considers it extremely rude to broach the subject. What matters is the political contest surrounding passage of the law. Everything that comes afterward is an intermission between acts of political theater. Some laws are important and some aren’t. And their priority changes at a given moment. Enforcing the unimportant ones is ridiculed, but enforcing the important ones becomes a matter of life and death.

    It seems that some laws are important and some aren’t. And their priority changes at a given moment. Enforcing the unimportant ones is ridiculed, but enforcing the important ones becomes a matter of life and death.

    If there wasn’t a penalty for lying on background checks, then Obama would be trotting out adorable kiddies and calling the NRA murderers for not passing a law to criminalize lying on background checks. But now that the law is here, the idea of actually enforcing it is just silly.

  25. Jack says:

    @anjin-san: It wouldn’t matter if the GOP found every red cent. Just like the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 law that Reagan signed. There were numerous enforcement measures and monies “allotted” for border security, that never materialized because the Dems didn’t want that part of the law enforced.

  26. Dan says:

    @al-Ameda:
    Why pass any bill? It is not like obama follows laws or even his oath of office anyway.
    Whether it be laws he signed (obamacare) or those that were law before he took office, he completely disregards most Americans.

  27. Davebo says:

    @Jack:

    Republican Plan: Enforce Existing Law

    That will run you $216 Billion. Will that be cash or charge? We don’t take checks.

    The 700 mile border fence will run $49 Billion.

    Of course both of these expenses are far less than what we blew on your Iraqi Liberation wet dream so assuming you’ve already climaxed over that one we are definitely going to need the cash upfront since we didn’t get paid for your last soaked fantasy.

  28. C. Clavin says:

    I see Jack has moved on from being wrong about Ebola and Benghazi and is now going to show us how to be absolutely wrong about immigration.

  29. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    It’s just like Biden said with respect to existing gun laws ““And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” Yet this man wan’ts us to pass a law mandating a background check on all firearms transfers.

    Because the NRA yanks the chains of their pet Congressmen and there’s no funding to support those prosecutions. Your side makes the problems, your side makes sure no one can solve the problem, and then say, “See? Nothing can be done!”

    Tell you what, Jack, let’s start with prosecuting everyone who’s broken the law against weed. They are criminals after all. Let’s round them up, throw them in jail, because you revere the law,right? You want to enforce every single law, right?

    Naaaah, you just want to enforce laws that hurt brown people, you don’t want laws enforced when they hurt gun-totin, pot-smokin’ folk.

    And you don’t want every tax law enforced, either, because that hits Wall Street hard, very hard.

    But those laws aren’t important, what matters is getting rid of Mexicans. Latino raus. Right? SWAT teams kicking in doors all over America, concentration camps where we keep them while we spend billions on legal proceedings, then physically drag them away in shackles to be loaded onto buses and dropped in countries they may not even know.

    That’s the United States you want. You want a fascist, police state that conveniently only picks on people that aren’t you. Because you love America.

  30. Steve Hynd says:

    Doug, this was the post from you I was waiting for. Thank you, and I rescind previous criticism.

  31. michael reynolds says:

    Two GOP factions:

    1) I Hate/fear brown people.

    2) I get rich exploiting brown people.

    Goodness, how can this circle be squared? Well, by talking a lot about a wall. Why a wall? Won’t that just satisfy Group #1?

    No, because Group #1 are morons who think it would work and Group #2 know better. Plus, they’ll be the ones getting the contracts, from which they will profit handily by employing undocumented workers.

    See? Everybody’s happy.

  32. Paul Hooson says:

    At one time the Republican Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln, our greatest ever president, who very much opposed slavery. During reconstruction, a number of Blacks were elected to offices in the South. – Since that time, the Republican Party has strangely turned into the anti-immigrant and racial discrimination party. What went wrong?

  33. michael reynolds says:

    @Paul Hooson:
    Nixon.

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @Dan:

    Why pass any bill? It is not like obama follows laws or even his oath of office anyway.
    Whether it be laws he signed (obamacare) or those that were law before he took office, he completely disregards most Americans.

    Yeah sure … okey doke.
    You left out “King Obama” and “Usurper.”

  35. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: While your diatribe was a good read, it was fiction…just like everything else you write. My wife is of Mexican descent so your little “Jack is a racist against brown people” is blatantly false…like everything else you write.

    We wouldn’t have to raid homes or ship people home if they couldn’t simply walk in whenever they wanted. Secure the GD borders. Then we can talk about reform.

  36. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    2) I get rich exploiting brown people.

    I think you should ask Nancy Pelosi exactly who is working her grape fields. She is not part of the GOP last I checked.

  37. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    Rule of Law…..
    Do you think the Tea Party folks were concerned with falsification of 501 (c) applications?

  38. Stan says:

    @Jack: Securing the borders sounds good, but how do we do it? Do we build a wall? How much would it cost to make it effective? With or without a wall, how much would it cost to hire enough INS agents to secure the border? Do we use biometric data to provide proof of citizenship? Do methods exist that would make this possible? How much would it cost? How do you overcome the objections of civil libertarians to the use of biometric identification?

    I’m not nitpicking here. I haven’t seen any realistic proposals telling us how we prevent illegal immigration and how much it would cost. Until I do, calls for securing the border strike me as empty political posturing.

  39. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    Exactly what do you mean when you say “secure the border”? What is your example of securing the border? For the life of me, could just one conservative that is not completely full of it, articulate what securing the border actually mean?

  40. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    We put a man on the moon. The “logistics and practicality” of enforcing the law is not a hurdle.

    You do understand that we are dealing with a republican party that thought sequestration was a viable cost cutting measure do you? Let’s wake up from that pipe dream and bring it back to the political environment circa 2014. There is no way in hell today’s republican would ever agree to spend the billions needed to do something so inspiring. Certainly not under President Obama’s watch.

  41. Gustopher says:

    @Jack: Curiously, Ed The Racist, in a thread yesterday, said that his wife was From the Philippines. Odd coincidence if you are both being truthful. I wonder if Chris The Racist on this thread also has a light brown wife.

    Is the brown wife the I-Am-Not-A-Racist version of the Canadian Girlfriend?

  42. wr says:

    @Jack: Grape fields?

  43. anjin-san says:

    @Jack:

    There were numerous enforcement measures and monies “allotted” for border security, that never materialized because the Dems didn’t want that part of the law enforced.

    Funny how conservatives are always talking about the various was Democrats dominated Reagan and generally punk-slapped him. If he was that weak, why do you admire him so much?

  44. anjin-san says:

    @Jack:

    The “logistics and practicality” of enforcing the law is not a hurdle

    Really? Are elves and fairies going to build your wall? Where does the funding come from – do we raise taxes, or just borrow it? I love conservative fiscal responsibility. No “tax & spend’ here, it’s just “spend, spend, and go broke.”

    And yes, we did put a man on the moon. Why? Because the political will to do it existed. Do you think the political will to “take control” of our thousands of land & sea borders exists? Are you willing to spend 5% of the federal budget to do it? That’s (roughly) what it cost to put men on the moon.

  45. C. Clavin says:

    @Gustopher:
    We can know nothing of Jacks relationship….but we’ve all read Jacks comments.
    Remember that no less than Thomas Jefferson kept slaves…but there was Sally Hemmings.
    Then there was Strom Thurmond and his secret family.
    How about Larry Craig?
    Keep in mind that we’re talking about people who, by and large, see women as appliances.
    Check and see how many Commitee Chairs in the new Republican Senate are women.

  46. anjin-san says:

    @Jack:

    I think you should ask Nancy Pelosi exactly who is working her grape fields

    Do you drink wine? I’ve lived next door to Napa & Sonoma my entire life. If you drink wine, you are supporting a product that is produced in part with the labor of illegals.

    So Jack, how long have you been boycotting US wines? Or are you not a man who backs up his words with deeds?

  47. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Do you mean the same Nancy Pelosi that supports a $10.10 minimum wage?

  48. CB says:

    @Jack:

    For liberals, a “problem” is “solved” when the government passes laws and expands its power. The actual function of those laws, and their demonstrable effect on the “problem” at hand, are irrelevant.

    My immediate reaction to that was “Dude, **** you.” But I think there’s an obvious truth in there, in that we all have our sacred cows that we feel the need to justify at all costs. I’d just go further and include your guys too, especially when it comes to things like fences and mass deportations.

  49. Andre Kenji says:

    Securing the border is cheap talk. It´s very easy to overstay visitors visas in the US. Lax labor laws also means that undocumented workers can find work, even if they are very crappy jobs.

  50. stonetools says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Securing the border is cheap talk. It´s very easy to overstay visitors visas in the US. Lax labor laws also means that undocumented workers can find work, even if they are very crappy jobs

    Republicans are VERY enthustiastic about “securing the border” but VERY unenthustiastic about enforcing the laws against hiring the undocumented. Gee, I wonder why that is?

  51. @Jack:

    So, we can’t enforce existing laws so we should pass more laws

    Because the current laws aren’t working.

    Logic dictates that when a system is failing to function properly that something has to change.

  52. @Andre Kenji:

    It´s very easy to overstay visitors visas in the US

    Indeed. Roughly half of the undocumented in the US are visa over-stayers. A wall does not fix that and, therefore, fixation on a wall underscores that most opponents of immigration reform really do not understand what they are talking about.

    (Plus, one of the grandest of ironies is that increased border security, i.e., any policy that makes it difficult to easily cross the border, means more immigrants stay in the US).