Being a partisan log-roller in this debate, the WSJ piece is much more discreet and less informative than the LA Times version. No mention is made of the massive fees the lobbyists are siphoning out of their corporate allies ($50,000 - $250,000, according to the LA Times, which emphasizes the unusually lavish funding involved). Tom Tancredo was allowed a forceful quotation in the LA Times piece - not in The WSJ. Indeed there is no clear statement of why Congressional opponents object, except the misrepresentation that
some Republican Party conservatives ...have made a top priority of clamping down on illegal immigration in the name of national security.
with no reference to their concerns about wage depression and the deleterious social impact of mass unskilled immigration. (Voters are said, sniffily in half a sentence, to be
unsettled ...by the increased competition for jobs and higher demands for taxpayer-funded public services that result from illegal immigration)
Business representatives are given ample space to assert, quite wrongly, that the economy needs more workers (as opposed to the true reason: their wish to benefit from the regressive redistribution of wealth immigration causes):
the U.S. will face a total shortage of 3.5 million workers by 2010, said Bruce Josten, an official with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been lobbying for change in immigration policy for years. Complain to Josten.
But the WSJ is going to have to keep working those guns. In an encouraging OpinionJournal essay the day before,[ Run for the Border. Democrats try to outflank the GOP on immigration August 15 2005], veteran political correspondent John Fund quietly but candidly considers the political cost of the White House intentions:
President Bush is vulnerable on immigration.... "All my constituent town meetings want to talk about is immigration and why Washington is still spending so much money," Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas told me. Indeed, 17 of the 37 GOP House and Senate members who responded to a National Journal survey last month identified immigration as the issue "most on the minds" of their constituents. One Republican identified immigration as the issue on which "the mismatch between the federal government's inaction and the realities at home is the greatest."
Fund masks his piece by warning (probably correctly) that Democrats who purport to be willing to restrict immigration are likely to renege, quoting Dick Morris on Hilary Clinton:
She thinks she can outbid the Republicans for Hispanic votes in 2008 while bringing Reagan Democrats home with vague rhetoric about getting tough and employer sanctions she has no intention of implementing."
and reporting that the much more plausible Governor Bill Richardson
vetoed a "No Fear" bill, which would have prohibited state and local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal authorities to detect or apprehend people based solely on immigration status. But then he quietly issued an executive order that had much the same effect. Earlier this year, he also signed legislation giving some illegal aliens the right to in-state tuition rates at public universities.
But the substance of Fund's article is some remarkably blunt advice to President Bush:
President Bush's guest-worker program is politically stalled because of fears it will turn into another ill-fated amnesty program like the 1986 reform...Mr. Bush can win support for a guest-worker program only after he proves his bona fides in areas of legitimate concern on immigration...Mr. Bush has to recognize that post-9/11 border security is now inextricably tied up in the public's mind with homeland security. Mr. Bush also needs to crack down on scofflaw officials who are thumbing their noses at federal immigration policy, including ...Mayor Michael Bloomberg....Mr. Bush ...must also pull off the delicate balancing act of convincing Americans that the federal government hasn't lost complete control of the border.
Careful John! The neocons take no prisoners on this issue! Pickings are slim for paleocon journalists - essentially zero in the MSM.
(PS: The correspondence thread on John Fund's article is even more heartening.)