Monday, May 15, 2006


The President's Speech

It was OK. Let's see what the Senate does with the requests of the President--the more fence the better to my mind. I see a big problem with the ID cards. He wants to issue them to foreign workers only. How do you do that? Isn't the problem that you don't know who the illegal immigrants are and that their papers, such as they are, aren't checked at the border? If you don't have to have a national ID to get or keep a job, are you going to punish any employer who employs someone who only speaks Spanish (or any other language except English with an American accent) and who doesn't have the foreign worker card? I thought it was going to be a "difficult-to-forge" national ID card. Where did that idea go?

I've been thinking about cracking down on employers for a long time. First a little background, and I choose that word on purpose.

I have been buying guns for about 25 years now. At first the form to fill out had only two questions. Now it has about 25, but for a very long time it has asked if you are a citizen. Once you have filled out the form (and showed ID), the gun dealer takes the form, calls the authorities and in a short time they know if you can buy a gun, including whether you are citizen or not. So either they are lying to the gun dealers and the authorities on the phone have no idea whether you are a citizen or not; or for $10.00 and a few minutes time, they can tell anyone who asks whether you are a citizen or not.

So there is a system in place which can quickly and cheaply confirm identity and tell if you are indeed a citizen. I know that there is another system which will tell the curious employer whether the SSN he or she has been given matches the name he or she has been given.

So there already are databases and ways to figure out whether someone is a citizen with a valid SSN that matches the prospective employee's name on the ID, but no one is enforcing the legal requirement to only employ citizens or work visa holders which laws are already on the books. Do we really need new laws to ignore?

Hugh Hewitt is pretty up about the speech. He thinks Bush threaded the needle to hit the needed middle ground which will please those of us who think the laws should be enforced and the border guarded, but without alienating the growing minority like they did in California a decade or so ago, sending them into the arms of the Democrats.

I'm still in the wait and see crowd. Fence first, IDs next. The rest is not in crisis mode.

OK. Julie Myers, whom Michelle Malkin just hates and thinks is incompetent, has just taken the wind out of Hugh's optimistic sails. Talk of the fence might just be political wanking, we now suspect.

I thought his speech was excellent. He articulately laid out arguments for both security and dealing with those immigrants already here. It seemed like his points very closely matched the Hagel-Martinez compromise bill now in the Senate.
The only hope I have for effective border enforcement is that the Republicans in the Senate will pull the bill towards enforcement first with amendments and then the conference with the House version which is only enforcement will pull it further towards enforcement still.
I do admit he gave the speech well. Thanks for the upbeat comment.
Wait until Wednesday to see if this speach was timed. Rumor has it that they set up this speach on Friday for the following Monday, which is not normal.

Why? Answer Wednesday.
Just make people prove to their employer that you are legal to work, either by proving you are a citizen, which like you say, the infrastructure is there, or, show your alien working papers.

Crack down on the employers, slowing, starting with the big abusers (not mom and pop restaurants, but them too in 12 months) and the problem starts to solve itself.

This speech proved that the right is not going to get their sacred fence, and the defense department gets another entitlement program. Business as usual in the business sector, while everyone focuses on "the hunt" at the border.

Smoke and mirrors, and even the right seems to think so. The base continues to shrink. Stay tuned.
You want to make employers accountable -- really? -- then let the trial lawyers at them. Create a private right of action for the current employees against the employer for hiring illegal labor thereby driving down wages. I bet that will get it stopped. It's at the Supremes now -- under RICO.

I bet the execs at Taco Bell are watching this decision pretty closely.
Mike you are more cynical that I think I am capable of being.

Zed, RICO is only for organized crime (or so says the Supreme Court). No, let the federal prosecutors go after the knowing employers of illegals. It's not like they are overwhelmingly busy.
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