Lindsey Graham, that odious little Deputy Dawg talkin’ piece of catfish bait, said anybody who opposes this immigration bill is just a racist bigot, and we’re not havin’ none uh thayat. Well, maybe so. But this racist bigot is going to say his piece.
First off, I don’t care either way for or against Mexicans, or Ecuadoreans, or Hondurans. I do care that we are admitting a lawbreaking underclass into this country, while making it damn near impossible for the educated and potentially upwardly mobile middle and upper classes of Mexico, Central and South America to immigrate. I don’t fear a Latino flood; in fact I would welcome a flood of middle and upper class Chileans, Argentinians, Brazilians, Mexicans, Panamanians or Nicaraguans. Doesn’t bother me in the least. But to do this, we need to keep out the riff raff (i.e. enforcement first) and greatly increase the level of legal immigration. I am cool with that, because those with an education or at least a decent work history will understand what they are getting into, and will be likely to assimilate into U.S. culture, to buy into the ideals of liberty and merit and plurality. Letting in the vast underclass is like letting 12+ million illiterate, innumerate Archie Bunkers into the country. We don’t need that! We do need productive, talented people to come here in vast numbers though – but to do that you have to make it worth their while to do so legally, and you have to make an effort to enfranchise them when they get here. Sticking them in a temporary worker ghetto isn’t going to get it. Nor is the patronizing official attitude our government is apparently going to take toward anybody who eats salsa or chorizo. Nor is making the term “hispanic” synonymous with underclass, America-hating or at least America-disliking, non-English speaking day laborers. We can only handle so many tired, hungry, and poor people at one time. Twelve million (ultimately 35-40 million, if the last amnesty is any guide) such people is too many at once. It’s an order of magnitude larger than the last amnesty. It’s not good.
Second, Jim Geraghty, where the hell are you now with your talk about how we need to vote for Republicans. Why? They’ve betrayed the shit out of us. Again.
Third, if it sounds like Bush and his little amnesty boosting buddies are out of touch with you, don’t feel alone, you are both in the mainstream on this, and perceptive. As y’all know I practice law in D.C. and I know a lot of people who know a lot of people. My understanding is that only those with a positive view of the President’s plan, however it may be composed in the end, are being permitted to talk about it *within* the Administration, never mind in public. Yep, it’s an echo chamber run amok. Furthermore, I understand that in many instances, those who disapprove, have reservations, or whose job position *requires* them to express apprehension(e.g. in enforcement or providing future benefits to the new underclass) – these people are being systematically denied a seat at the table to discuss and craft this bill. In other words, if it sounds like Bush is utterly out of touch it is because he is out of touch, intentionally. I suspect the disapproving voices within the Administration are being silenced for expediency’s sake, and also to give plausible deniability to everybody involved who wants to have a future in politics. (“Why, we had no idea of this would overburden the Department of Labor’s job training programs, or the Department of Education’s adult literacy programs… heck, they never spoke up about it.”)
There is a lot of talk about how we need to something about the illegals because they wreak havoc on the Southwest’s desert environment, there has been much testimony about that… but not a lot of stuff about how we’re going to deal with the social burdens imposed by our new instant underclass. And their extended families who will immigrate here by chain migration.
Now every political leader wants to sell his own program, so it’s natural that the boosters would get a seat at the table. But it is disastrous to ignore the doomsayers and to set about designing a society-changing law without the input from anybody who just might possibly raise a problem. I’ll point to the Johnson Administration as an example. It ran young bureaucrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan out of D.C. (until he was elected Senator) because he said the Great Society program would destroy the Black family. Evidently, the current Administration is taking no chances on a potential Moynihan coming out of any federal agencies and saying something about the unintended (or perhaps intended) adverse consequences of this legislation. Not even in internal executive branch deliberations.
So yes, if you think the Administration is failing to listen to you, you are correct. But don’t feel bad about it. From what I hear, the Administration isn’t even listening to itself on this, at least if my sources have a good handle on the situation.