Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Immigration and the SOTU

Now that the Alito confirmation is done, Congress will begin debating immigration reform before long. In last night’s State of the Union, this was the snippet about immigration:

“Keeping America competitive requires an immigration system that upholds our laws, reflects our values and serves the interests of our economy. Our nation needs orderly and secure borders. To meet this goal, we must have stronger immigration enforcement and border protection. And we must have a rational, humane guest-worker program that rejects amnesty, allows temporary jobs for people who seek them legally and reduces smuggling and crime at the border. “

It’s mostly platitudes, but the guest worker aspect will get sticky with quite a few Republicans, who want reform limited to enforcement.

See here for a slightly more expanded view of Bush’s proposal, which I think would cost somewhere in the area of 100 gazillion dollars. When I was on WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks” last month, I was the only person who was pessimistic about comprehensive immigration reform being passed this year. I hope I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen anything so far to convince me otherwise.

2 comments:

Sean9c1 1:27 PM  

I am also pessimistic that immigration reform will pass, although it is desperately needed. One of the reasons is that too many employers "profit" from the immigrants/illegal aliens inexpensive labor. The housing community alone in Charlotte is made up of a high percentage of illegal aliens. There is too much money to be made and I mean there are only a few people that are getting rich by taking advantage of this work force. We need to start slowly by eforcing the laws that are already in place, that hold the employer resposible for who he hires as an employee. When I say "hold responsible" I mean the employer needs to pay benefits to the employee, report wages earned and payed out to the IRS, put every employee on the books, and be responsible in making sure the employee has a work Visa. No more "under the table" work. The second problem is the enforcement of these laws and one of the reasons we have this problem. The Judiciary system does not get enough money to enforce the laws that are currently out there. Most "white collar" crime is simply ignored. We don't need a new comprehensive immigration system, we just need the funds to enforce what we already have in place.

Greg Weeks 2:44 PM  

I tend to agree, but I think that we need to start addressing the reasons why immigrants (but particularly illegal immigrants) come in the first place, which really requires comprehensive reform.

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