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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

More Republicans Come Out on Opposite Sides of Path to Citizenship

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Raul Labrador, the Idaho Republican Congressman who is one of the few Hispanic GOP members in Congress, disappointed pro-immigration advocates when he came out today opposing a path to citizenship for immigrants under comprehensive immigration reform. Labrador is a surprise because he is said to be on a House version of the Gang of Eight working on an immigration bill and by taking this position now, it's hard to imagine he'll continue to be part of those negotiations. Perhaps he was trying to divert attention away from another issue?


In the mean time, Darryl Issa, the powerful California Republican House Member, says he is for a pathway to citizenship and supports the Senate's framework.


Of course, as I've noted before, there is a third way between creating a permanent inferior class not entitled to citizenship and creating a new special pathway for all of these people. Update our immigration categories so we don't have backlogs from here to the moon and then allow the legalized individuals to pursue green cards through our conventional categories. Applicants would get priority dates that would ensure they don't jump ahead of anyone in the queues in the various green card categories under which they're applying. Hence, no special treatment and the only path to citizenship is the one they would pursue if they were starting from scratch today.

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Comments

  1. S's Avatar
    Looks like Activists want nothing less than citizenship

    http://news.yahoo.com/activists-push-path-citizenship-nothing-less-172128626.html
  2. Jack's Avatar
    "a permanent inferior class not entitled to citizenship"

    You mean like guest workers?
  3. Amused's Avatar
    Soory Jack, straw man argument. Lately that seems to be all you have to offer.
    Guest Worker = program for temporary workers that provides no permanent status
    limited "legalization" = Allowance for de jure permanent residence with restriction on ever becoming a citizen
    How is that the same thing? You can make arguments for and against, but please don't insult our intelligence.
  4. Jack's Avatar
    "Guest Worker = program for temporary workers that provides no permanent status"

    That's my point: CIR advocates are saying to not offer citizenship to legalized aliens is unthinkable, un-American, creates an underclass (or as Greg put it "inferior class"), etc. We can't have tons of people in our country precluded from voting! Uh, guest workers? Last I heard, that's a cornerstone of CIR. Like you said, they get no pathway to citizenship, they can't vote, are an inferior class, etc. Cool with preventing people who follow our rules from ever becoming citizens but outraged if those who ignored the law are not offered a pathway (or even a special pathway) to citizenship. Or even instant citizenship.

    Here's what U. of Chicago law professor Eric Posner points out about guest worker programs:

    But these are not the real obstacles to a guest-worker program. Enshrined in law, such a system could solve the problem of illegal immigration only if it authorized the same low wages and bad working conditions that illegal workers currently accept. The demand for such workers is so high precisely because they lack legal protections, and can be paid little and often treated poorly. The more generous the guest-worker program is, the more likely that it will be evaded. At the same time, however, neither Republicans nor Democrats will support a guest-worker program that permits foreign workers to be paid less than the minimum wage. And guest workers, like illegal immigrants, integrate themselves here and have children who become American citizens. It would be difficult to demand or force them to leave if they do not want to. In the end, they are not really guests.

    Here's a prediction. A path to citizenship will be offered to the current 11 million, and if it is not too onerous, most of them will take it. But others will not, planting the seeds of a new illegal population. Possibly a guest-worker program will be put into place, but even if so, it will be too small and too entangled with bureaucracy for employers and workers to want to use. Over the years, millions more people from Mexico and especially (as Mexico's economy continues to improve) Central and South America will illegally enter the United States. They will be partly drawn by jobs, and partly by waiting family and friends, and the law will not deter them because they expect that sooner or later another path to citizenship will open up. Ten or 20 years from now, everyone will recognize a new illegal immigration "problem," which we will again "solve" by removing the "illegal" label from the foreheads of the migrants and affixing the "legal" label in its place.
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