21 May 2007

Cheer Up, Nativists, the Immigration Bill Probably Isn’t Going to Pass


And the more people look at it, the more a lot of people are concluding it should not.

Ed Morrissey rightly observes:

Proverbially, a compromise succeeds best when it leaves all sides unsatisfied. However, the compromise which everyone hates usually fails, and that appears to be the case with the new immigration reform package — and that spells trouble for any hopes of reaching a compromise at all. While immigration hardliners have found enough devils in the details to populate an entire plane of Dante’s Inferno, immigration advocates apparently dislike the bill at least as much.

The New York Times quotes Robert P. Hoffman, an Oracle vice president and co-chairman of Compete America, a coalition of high-tech companies.

Under the current system,” Mr. Hoffman said, “you need an employer to sponsor you for a green card. Under the point system, you would not need an employer as a sponsor. An individual would get points for special skills, but those skills may not match the demand. You can’t hire a chemical engineer to do the work of a software engineer.”

David Isaacs, director of federal affairs at the Hewlett-Packard Company, said in a letter to the Senate that “a ‘merit-based system’ would take the hiring decision out of our hands and place it squarely in the hands of the federal government.”

Employers of lower-skilled workers voiced another concern.

“The point system would be skewed in favor of more highly skilled and educated workers,” said Laura Foote Reiff, co-chairwoman of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, whose members employ millions of workers in hotels, restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals and the construction industry.

Denyse Sabagh, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said, “This bill does not give employers what they need, and some are pretty upset about it.”

NZ Bear has an easy-to-comment-on version of the bill on-line.


I think the Blogosphere is reaching the right conclusions: there are too many things wrong with this bill (from both sides’ perspectives) for it to be passed. And those of us who do support an amnesty for illegals shouldn’t get our way without winning an open and extensive public debate.

We need to avoid the traditional liberal methodology of imposing our more enlightened opinions on everybody else de haute en bas by some kind of legislative coup.

This Illegal Immigration mess demonstrates beautifully the difficulties Americans have conducting serious, rational debates on emotionally-charged, ideologically-driven issues of national policy.

If conservatives can make a meaningful difference by substituting genuine and substantive debate for emotionalism and blind ideological war on this one, we would be effectuating a reform even more basic.

One Feedback on "Cheer Up, Nativists, the Immigration Bill Probably Isn’t Going to Pass"

Scott D

I think I’ve figured out why a lot of Libs may be liking this bill. Think of the number of government employees it’s going to take to (attempt to) run the bureaucracy necessary to support the complex requirements. If they were thrilled about TSA, they’ll be absolutely orgasmic about the Immigration bureaucracy. ¡Saque un boleto numerado! Ahora sirvimos numero diez millones.


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