Friday, June 29, 2007

Immigration reform=dead

I realize that to argue we’re at a “crossroads” with regard to immigration is terribly cliché, but it’s true.

Talk radio is gleeful, as are those who hate going to Wal-Mart because there are just too many Mexicans there. Also happy are those, like Harvard economist George Borjas--who normally offered well-reasoned arguments against the reform bill--who say that this is a blow against the “establishment” (despite the fact that the grassroots campaigns by religious groups, activists, etc. in support of reform were also strong) and the “academic elite” (I do not know whether I count as such or not). In sum, the people spoke and saved us from the evils of reform.

Senator Jim DeMint tells us that “The American people won today.” If you believe the status quo represents winning, then he’s right. But if you want real change, that’s where the crossroads comes in, because now we get to see whether the arguments of reform opponents will work in practice. I have not heard any alternative solution except for “enforcement,” so that seems to be the only game in town. Supporters of reform failed, and now we’ll see whether enforcement-only has a significant effect, or whether we will settle back, watch some high profile workplace raids, and transform nothing.

Little remarked upon is the fact that we still await a decision on the Hazleton case, which will help determine the degree to which local governments can create and enforce their own immigration laws. If the courts give a green light, then watch the free-for-all as local governments enact a patchwork of different laws, which may simply give Congress an even greater incentive to do nothing.

BTW, was I the only one who realized the bill was truly dead after reading a few days ago that the White House Deputy Chief of Staff said, ““Our intelligence suggests that there will be the votes there”?


Anonymous,  3:02 PM  

Interestingly, way down at the bottom of your page today I saw the following advert:

"Minuteman Border Fence
Chris Simcox to President Bush Build a Fence or US Citizens Will."

Maybe that's what it means when "the people" win: they put up their own wall. And, no, I did not follow the link. On principle.

Greg Weeks 7:48 AM  

But now we'll never know what "the people" are going to make their fence out of...

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP