Some Immigration Blurbs
Land actually had the benefit of seeing the speech before commenting. John O'Sullivan, on the other hand, published this column BEFORE the president spoke. You won't be surprised to know that O'Sullivan's analysis is far closer to reality. O'Sullivan points out that whenever Bush gets in trouble on the immigration issue, he starts talking about enforcement:
"Did the president spend a large part of his speech on promising to secure the border by sending the National Guard there? Heigh-ho. This is the umpteenth time that Bush has promised to toughen up border security with a new initiative. He does so whenever there is public disquiet about illegal immigration.
Yet this kind of mini-initiative is fundamentally irrelevant. As this column has repeatedly pointed out, porous borders are the result of uncontrolled immigration as much as its cause. You cannot control the borders, however many patrols you hire or fences you build, if you grant an effective pardon to anyone who gets 100 miles inland."
But even talk of enforcement is just that--talk. Speaking apparently with Vincente Fox in mind, the president said that we are not about to militarize the border. In fact, National Guard troops that head south will do so in lieu of their annual two-week training period. That's right, head to the border for two weeks at a time. How effective can that possibly be? And as Steve Sailer has pointed out, the number of guardsmen Bush is proposing aren't sufficient to do the job anyway.
Fred Reed has some intersting thoughts on the multiculturalist future of the United States. Fred lives in Mexico these days and tells us exactly what types of folks are heading north:
The Latinos coming into America are heavily Indian and uneducated. Mexican ophthalmologists do not swim the river. Mexicans who can make a decent living do not want to live in the United States. Thus the US gets the losers, the second-grade educations, people who on average have neither the intellect nor the urge to study. Yes, there are exceptions. But they are exceptions.
Everyone says, “But the Hispanics work hard.” They do indeed, in the first generation. Many people in fields such as construction have told me that the Latinos are the backbone of their operations, that blacks don’t want to work, have attitudes, show up if they feel like it and quit without warning. The Latinos work, now. Their children do terribly in school, however, drop out, and lose the desire to work. Then they join gangs.
It is interesting that some establishment liberals are beginning to speak with a touch of sanity on the immigration issue. At the NY Times, Nicholas Kristof, Paul Krugman, and even Tom Friedman have spewed the occasional sensible utterance. Over at the Washington Post, Robert Samuelson is writing with great clarity, too. Here is a taste:
President Bush's immigration speech mostly missed the true nature of the problem. We face two interconnected population issues. One is aging; the other is immigration. We aren't dealing sensibly with either, and as a result we face a future of unnecessarily heightened political and economic conflict. On the one side will be older baby boomers demanding all their federal retirement benefits. On the other will be an expanding population of younger and poorer Hispanics -- immigrants, their children and grandchildren -- increasingly resentful of their rising taxes that subsidize often-wealthier and unrelated baby boomers...The central problem is not illegal immigration. It is undesirably high levels of poor and low-skilled immigrants, whether legal or illegal, most of whom are Hispanic. Immigrants are not all the same. An engineer making $75,000 annually contributes more to the American economy and society than a $20,000 laborer. On average, the engineer will assimilate more easily...
As the president says, we need a "comprehensive" immigration policy. He's right on some elements: controlling the border; providing reliable identification cards for legal immigrants; penalizing employers that hire illegal immigrants; providing some legal status for today's illegal immigrants. But he's wrong in wanting to expand the number of low-skilled immigrants based on the fiction of U.S. labor "shortages." In his testimony, economist Chiswick rightly argued that we should do the opposite -- give preferences to skilled immigrants. We should be smart about the future; right now, we're not.
Even with changes made to the original Senate "compromise" bill, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation calculates that the number of legal immigrants who would enter the country or would gain legal status over the next 20 years is 66 million.
Steve Sailer also makes the point here that Mexico is actually above average in terms of income, which means that any "temporary" worker program may bring scores of Asians from China and Bangladesh while Mexicans will continue to sneak across the border.
With all of this, not to mention that foolish war we're waging, is it any wonder that presidential and GOP support is in the tank?