Listening to the Senate immigration reform debate reminds me of liar’s poker. Each Senate speaker hides his real beliefs and instead spews a calculated and ridiculous dribble of nonsense whose purpose it to mislead the listener. Why would grown men and women engage in such a public display of insincerity unless it was liar’s poker?
The easiest explanation is “this is what my constituents want”. But this is a Senate debate and illegal immigrants (and let’s be clear, we are talking about Mexicans), can be found in all 50 States. Do all Americans so much against sensible reform?
Mexicans pick much of our fruits and vegetables, cut and manicure many of our lawns, frame new construction, work in factories, and bus most restaurants. And, in most States, when you see them, they are working, not standing around. So I doubt most constituents are hot to deport Mexicans.
Another crowd pleaser is “I’m absolutely against those who try to cut into line”. This charge is a thinly disguised slam against potential Democrat voters should they gain citizenship. This statement ignores the economic advantages of working papers and citizenship. Ironically Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are second generation Hispanics. Why would expect second generation Mexicans to be far behind?
So the latest, breath taking news is a new compromise involving a “boarder surge”. This wasteful measure is intended to “secure the boarder” by adding more fencing and 20,000 new agents. What are these people smoking? This move will cost in excess of $2 billion just to employ these 20,000.
It is laughable to hear some Republicans supporting reform because they fear a repeat of the demographic effect we witnessed in President Obama’s reelection. Others seem oblivious and rant about denying a quick path to citizenship. The unspoken message is more like, “in my State, I don’t need the Hispanic vote, I am concerned about winning the Hispanic vote”.
One of the truths in life is that when you are going down the wrong path, it’s hard to get to the right end point.
At the end of the day, the illegal immigrant problem is about “working papers” for Mexicans. If the US required official working papers and prosecuted any business who employed anyone without working papers, the number of undocumented workers would vanish. Now the reality is that the US needs a large number of guest workers. Mexicans and Canadians could fill many of these openings. So why not open the North American region to a “free movement of labor” zone?
What about citizenship?
As with all difficult problems, divide it into two parts. For the Mexican already here, get working papers by registering with s national bureau. No papers no work or pathway to citizenship. For those still in Mexico, register first. No papers, no work and no social benefits. Take the money we were willing to spend upon the boarder surge and put it into enforcement of “no papers, no work”.
The last point on whether this is a Democrat leaning program since it could lead to millions of new Mexican US citizens. Maybe, maybe not. Anyone who thinks Mitt Romney lost the last election due to his immigration policy is mistaken. Romney and all other Republicans need to rethink all their programs towards all groups. With a fairer approach aimed at a better quality of life for everyone, Republicans will do just fine.