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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

President Bush is visiting the US-Mexican border this morning in an attempt to inject some life in to the immigration legislative process. This follows on the heels of the leak of the Powerpoint reported on last week (has a Powerpoint presentation ever drawn so much coverage?). NBC News reported this morning that the White House is feeling surprisingly optimistic. This follows on the heels of reports last week showing the Senate is getting ready to move on its immigration bill. The big questions now are whether the President can reach agreement with congressional Democrats and whether congressional Republicans will sign off on any proposal from either the White House or Congress.

In the mean time, protesters were out this weekend in LA mostly to express unhappiness with the massive fines included in the President's plan. My own opinion - the fines are very high, but the President is on the right track. The best way to address the amnesty complainers is to make it clear that the plan being approved is one that involves serious restitution. When the amount is high enough that the typical American winces, then  we'll probably have accomplished the goal of sufficiently addressing the law and order/no amnesty folks.  What that number is, I'll leave to the pollsters.

I also think that the pro-immigration folks make a mistake when they try to appeal to the American public mainly in terms of trying to assert a right for undocumented immigrants to be in the US. This only creates a backlash and hardens positions. The smarter approach is to remind Americans that legalization is in the best interest of the American public and that deciding to proceed with CIR is the best decision for the country as a whole.

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  1. 's Avatar
    Nicely said, Mr. Siskind. I am a foreigner in this country (temporary resident), but I also think that the President is on the right path. After all, an amnesty would be devastating to the American people. It would not be fair, also, for those who come here legally, such as students that are working so hard in order to accomplish something in their life. Hopefully this time the Congress will find a solution!
  2. R. Lawson's Avatar
    How is expanding an indentured servant program "the right path"?

    The right path would be balanced immigration that includes a test of the labor market. The right path would include protections for immigrants - such as the ability to change employers without going to the end of the line in the perm process. The right path would include enforcement provisions preventing employers from continuing this problem.

    President Bush is taking a problem and making it worse. Although I am against the H-1b (and all employer visas) I support healthy levels of immigration. That said, immigrants have an obligation to become Americans and adapt to our society. That isn't to say they should kiss their culture or customs good-bye, but that they should obey our laws, learn our language, and participate in our form of democracy. In California, the prisons by all accounts are flooded with foreigners. Why do so many people arriving in our country believe that laws don't apply to them? Talk about treading on the welcome mat.

    President Bush has failed us in Iraq, with Katrina, with the war on terrorism, with trade deficits, with the budget deficit, and on a variety of social issues. What makes anyone believe he should lead immigration reforms? He is a failure of a leader. Our best hope for a fair and "comprehensive" solution is to wait two more years.

    Bush doesn't care about immigrants. He cares about corporate donors to the RNC. This reform isn't about you immigrants, and it isn't about American workers. It is all about American corporations.

    For the record, I have first gen immigrants in my family from Japan and South Korea. They all obeyed the laws, went through proper channels, and speak English. My Korean brother is an officer/Doctor in the US Army. Our immigration programs should deliver more people like him, and less future felons. Nothing in the current "comprehensive" reforms makes me believe that our society will improve as a result of passage of the bill.
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