MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who experienced a "thrill going up [his] leg
" during an Obama bloviation in 2008, did a jaw-dropping post-election riff yesterday about Obama's much-heralded ambitions for a post-election amnesty-diktat
. What astonished me was the revelation that Matthews actually knows some significant basic facts about illegal immigration and why it's unpopular.
Here's Matthews's set-up:
The people, if you look at the polling, their problem is illegal immigration.The law hasn’t been enforced for decades. We had Simpson-Mazzoli back in the eighties—it was never really enforced. [The "Simpson-Mazzoli" bill became the disastrous 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act—the "IRCA" amnesty. — PN]People come into the country illegally. I don’t know if there’s a country in the world where people just come in illegally and then say, "Make me legal.”But that’s what they want. They expect it. There’s rights to immigrants now. There’s an interesting concept in the world.Here’s what [Obama] says: “I’m going to fix the problem.” He doesn’t mean he’s going to stop illegal immigration. He’s not going to do anything to stop illegal hiring, which is the magnet for illegal immigration, really. He’s basically going to say, “I’m going to deal with them by giving them green cards.” Now that’s not going to solve the problem. You might even say it’s going to encourage the problem.
That's from about 30 seconds in to 60 seconds in, out of 150 seconds, total. I won't transcribe the rest, but it's worth watching in its entirety. Matthews goes on to talk about the politics of the current situation and possible compromise, and he gives a brief, flawed characterization of this
decade's disastrous immigration bill (i.e. S.744
), but his characterization has some roots in reality.
That Matthews understands the "jobs magnet" as a driver of illegal immigration puts him far ahead of the legions, including many libertarians and some Republicans, who evidently think that immigration, both legal and illegal, is a force of nature, impervious to policy decisions.
In conclusion: Man bites dog!