Roy Beck’s analysis of the new Congress is very cheering indeed. He reports, ”I’m not sure there has been a Congress since 1924 – and certainly not in the last 50 years – that had a membership more interested in reductions in overall illegal and legal immigration than will be the one that was elected yesterday.” Sweet!
Nevertheless, the Usual Suspects continue to spin up a storm. Tamar Jacoby is an old treason warhorse who never saw an American border she didn’t want to erase. Despite setbacks for her side, she is sounding quite chipper. Turn those enforcement lemons into anarchy lemonade!
Immigration reform is still doable, CNN, November 4, 2010Why should there be ”compromise” at all, by which Jacoby means amnesty for millions of lawbreaking job thieves? Rewarding people for spitting on American sovereignty is not the proper message to send.
Many Americans watching election returns Tuesday night thought they heard a door clanging shut. Certainly on immigration reform, among other causes, the conventional wisdom is grim: There’s no hope of passage in the wake of big Republican gains in Congress.
Maybe – but maybe not. We won’t know until the new Congress convenes in January, if then. And the chances of movement, on immigration and many other issues, will depend less on where the parties stand now or what candidates said on the campaign trail than on whether members of Congress can relearn the lost art – not seen for several sessions now – of compromising to make deals on bipartisan legislation. [. . .]
Nothing will happen unless Democrats are willing to swallow hard and accept provisions, particularly enforcement provisions, that they would have rejected out of hand just a few weeks ago. And the House Judiciary Committee, now controlled by immigration hardliners Lamar Smith of Texas, and Steve King of Iowa, will be a particularly difficult battleground.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. Lawmakers can’t avoid the issue entirely. If nothing else, they will be under pressure to strengthen enforcement, both on the border and in the workplace.
And with the right spirit of compromise, that impulse could lead to something broader. Members of both parties will be focusing on the economy. Jobs will be a universal theme. And as the economy starts to grow, it will get harder to ignore the role that immigrants play in creating jobs – not just with innovation and business start-ups, but also by providing a low-end labor force that supports U.S. workers on the middle rungs of the job ladder.
The correct response to massive, systemic wrongdoing isÂ punishment, not enrichment for miscreants. Negative reinforcement should be the strategy.
Speaking of job creation, Kiplinger opined recently, ”It’s likely to take five or more years for the ranks of the long-term unemployed to return to a more normal level,” which sounds optimistic to me. Transforming millions of illegal aliens into legal workers is the most damaging thing the government could do to the many citizens who are suffering in this terrible economy.