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There aren't enough words to describe how insane this is, but what does everybody think?
"as men and women, and thus as brothers and sisters." I fretted about the appropriate Christian response to the immigration debate earlier this year; the USCCB weighed in here (but n.b. this), and now the Pope chips in his above-linked message for the 2011 World Day of Migrants and Refugees:
All, therefore, belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.
. . . .
Venerable John Paul II, on the occasion of this same Day celebrated in 2001, emphasized that "[the universal common good] includes the whole family of peoples, beyond every nationalistic egoism. The right to emigrate must be considered in this context. The Church recognizes this right in every human person, in its dual aspect of the possibility to leave one’s country and the possibility to enter another country to look for better conditions of life." At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host Country, respecting its laws and its national identity. "The challenge is to combine the welcome due to every human being, especially when in need, with a reckoning of what is necessary for both the local inhabitants and the new arrivals to live a dignified and peaceful life."
(Citations omitted; alteration in original.)
This clip of Sen. Harry Reid from 1993 has been circulating around the blogosphere, of him railing against birthright citizenship. The apparent intent of the clip, judging by the tagline, is his alleged hypocrisy on the issue. Now, my assumptions could be wrong here, but I'm assuming this is being used by opponents of birthright citizenship to bolster their case, but if that's true, I fail to see how this advances their argument an inch. At the very least, Reid has changed his mind, or seen the light, if you want my two cents. At worst, all this shows is that he's a hypocrite, which is plausible, considering his recent behavior, but says nothing about the merits of changing the 14th Amendment. Just sayin' is all.
USCCB has posted a copy of remarks offered by Bp. Gerald Kicanas (Diocese of Tucson) to a House subcommittee considering immigration reform. I found these helpful and interesting, and maybe you will too.
Maybe she's being tongue and cheek, but from the comments, I'm getting the vibe that there is a real beef here. I'm a Law and Order fan, and I'm sad to see it go after twenty years (as is Fred Thompson, by the way). Yeah, as a Christian (and a believer in good television), the religious nut motif can get bothersome, but even taking that into account, the left-wing bias charge is overblown, and I think IMO the show, along with great stories, characters, and dramatic tension, has done a reasonably good job of being balanced.
Just my two cents.
I would prefer to stay out of the fray on this issue, but I should mention a couple of things.
This op/ed does a convincing job of debunking many of the criticisms—particularly the alleged legal flaws—of the law. JWF, however, goes too far in asking that some pop star who said that the Constitution "exists to protect human beings, to protect the rights of people living in a nation, with or without documents" should "please cite for me anything in the Constitution that says undocumented aliens have any rights." Well, several Constitutional rights are directed to "persons" generally not "citizens" peculiarly, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly confirmed that these protections—chiefly the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments' due process requirements—embrace illegal aliens. See, e.g., Shaughnessy v. Mezei, 345 U.S. 206, 212 (1953) ("aliens who have once passed through our gates, even illegally, may be expelled only after proceedings conforming to traditional standards of fairness encompassed in due process of law"); Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982) (accord id., at 243 (Burger, C.J., dissenting)); Mathews v. Diaz, 426 U.S. 67, 77 (1976); Japanese Immigrant Case, 189 U.S. 86, 101 (1903). It is no answer to say that an illegal alien has, perforce, broken the law. To steal from Anatole France, the law, in its majestic equality, protects the guilty as well as the innocent.
On the broader question, I will be entirely candid about what nags at me. It is this:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. … Then the king will say to those on his right, '… I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; a stranger and you welcomed me; naked and you clothed me; ill and you cared for me; in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed…. For I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me. … Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'
Mt 31:32-45. I am not nearly so sure how to apply that teaching to this debate as Roger Cardinal Mahoney and Archbishop Dolan presumably are. Nevertheless, it seems to me that whatever answer we reach on the question of illegal immigration, we must go through this teaching to get there. I would welcome input from readers on the point.
Jon Chait, on the craven double-dealing of Harry Reid. Whatever one thinks of the climate change bill, it's quite disgraceful to see the sort of game being played here.
And consider this:
As for bad faith, Graham is a Republican Senator from South Carolina. His highest risk of losing his seat, by far, comes from the prospect of a conservative primary challenger. Indeed, I'd say that prospect is far from remote, and Graham is displaying an unusual willingness to risk his political future. He has little incentive to negotiate on these issues except that he believes it's the right thing to do. So when Democrats put climate change on the backburner to take up immigration, and so so for obviously political reasons, Graham has every right to be angry. He's risking his political life to address a vital issue, and Harry Reid is looking to save his seat.
Lindsey Graham has paid quite the political price in order to reach across the aisle, and work on a climate bill. If mere days before my hard work was to be unveiled, Harry Reid decided to set it aside for the purposes of political ass-covering, I'd be pissed too.
I disagree strongly with many of the rabidly anti-immigration proposals of Mark Krikorian, a National Review Online contributor and executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, but I'm sure he's generally a decent person. That's why I hope that he will quickly reconsider something he wrote this morning at NRO.
In a post this morning on Pardon Prospects, Krikorian expressed support for pardons or commutations for Nacho Ramos and Jose Compean, the two Border Patrol agents who shot a man in the back, while he was fleeing from them, then lied, continuously and repeatedly, to their superiors and other investigators in order to cover up their crime. Krikorian, in his initial post, made the point if President Bush didn't pardon the two men (or at least commute their sentences), he would "present Obama with a golden opportunity to build up more political capital, and short-circuit populist opposition, by springing these men from prison on his first day in office."
But then Krikorian lands himself in hot water. Certainly people differ as to just how atrocious the actions of Ramos and Compean were. Me, I think shooting someone in the back and lying about it to the police is a really bad thing, no matter whether the guy they shot was a drug dealer or not (he was). We put a lot of power in the hands of our police, and when they abuse it, truly abuse it, they should be harshly punished. But nobody, certainly no conservative, should be recommending that people be pardoned or released from jail just because of the politics of it. Sadly, that's exactly what Krikorian appears to advocate.
Responding to Miller's note, Krikorian assured us that he didn't consider Ramos and Compean heroes, because they broke rules "and probably laws" (a jury of 12 Texans convicted them, Mark, and the 5th Circuit just denied their appeal... they definitely broke laws, it's official). He says he wasn't talking about the factual merits of a pardon or commutation, just suggesting that President Bush should act to prevent President Obama from having an opportunity for a political windfall. He said:
The truth or falsity isn't the issue — rather the enormous political utility of commuting Ramos and Compean's sentences. Obama'd be stupid not to seize the opportunity, if it presents itself.
Truth and falsity are ALWAYS the issue, most especially in cases involving crimes and punishment. Nobody should be railroaded in a prosecution for political purposes, and nobody should be freed to score political points. It's reprehensible for a responsible commentator to call for a President to ignore truth and falsity in making a decision to undo a jury's verdict of criminal guilt or the sentence established by law for the crimes committed.
If Krikorian believes a commutation to be justified, he certainly should make the case for it. But that case should be centered on the facts and the law and any relevant policy issues. It must begin with the facts found by the jury regarding the agents' criminal conduct. And it must be true. It should NEVER be about the politics of it all. Politics of that sort, divorced from truth and falsity, has no role to play in decisions involving crime and punishment.
Despite my disagreements with him over immigration issues, I'm certain Mark Krikorian is generally a reasonable, thinking person. I hope he promptly retracts his statement that truth and falsity are not and should not be the issue with a pardon or commutation.
The scene repeats itself daily on city streets: a driver gets stuck bumper to bumper, blocking an intersection and preventing another car from turning left.
But authorities say that was enough to cause Edwin Ramos to unload an AK-47 assault weapon on a man and his two sons, killing them.
The deaths immediately drew public outrage, which intensified when authorities revealed that Ramos, 21, is an illegal immigrant who managed to avoid deportation despite previous brushes* with the law.
The case has put San Francisco's liberal politics to the test, setting off a debate over its sanctuary law that shields undocumented immigrants from deportation.
We've visited this ground before, and it isn't getting any prettier.
The victims' family learned that Ramos had been arrested at least three times before the shooting and evaded deportation, largely because of San Francisco's sanctuary status.
The policy, adopted in 1989 by the city's elected Board of Supervisors, bars local officials from cooperating with federal authorities in their efforts to deport illegal immigrants.
Officials in the juvenile offenders agency interpreted the law to also shield underage felons from deportation by refusing to report undocumented ones. Mayor Gavin Newsom said he rescinded the policy regarding juvenile offenders after learning about it in May**.
The Bolognas' relatives say Ramos apparently benefited from the policy when he reportedly was convicted twice of felonies in 2003 and 2004 but never was turned over for deportation.***
...Ramos was arrested in late March with another man after police discovered a gun used in a double homicide in the car Ramos was driving.
The district attorney's office decided not to file charges against Ramos, and he was released April 2 even though he was in the process of being deported after his application for legal residence was denied****, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Ah, San Francisco. What a wonderfully enlightened city! I simply cannot understand why the poor and middle class would flee such a liberal paradise.
More on the victims of the triple homicide here.
[*--multiple prior felony convictions are not exactly just "brushes with the law."]
[**--Funny how that was not mentioned in the late June story referred to in the previous post. One would think it was extremely relevant...if true.]
[***--Note that Ramos, now 21, was a juvenile at the time of his two previous felony convictions. See previous post regarding San Francisco's youthful offender/illegal immigrant policy.]
[****--They denied his application for residence after a measly two felony convictions? Didn't they know that was just the system oppressing him?]
I've already noted how our most obvious example of a "liberal" city, San Francisco, has managed to reduce poverty and racism by the simple expedient of pricing its poor and middle class and African American populations out of the local housing and jobs markets. So in the interests of fairness and balance I feel somewhat obligated to point out this shining example of that fair city doing its very very best to help protect and uplift one of the most oppressed and vulnerable population groups they have...illegal alien crack dealers.
San Francisco juvenile probation officials - citing the city's immigrant sanctuary status - are protecting Honduran youths caught dealing crack cocaine from possible federal deportation and have given some offenders a city-paid flight home with carte blanche to return.
....San Francisco police doubt that many of the young Hondurans they arrest on drug charges are even juveniles.
Police can report suspected adult illegal immigrants to federal authorities if they commit a crime, said Capt. Tim Hettrich, until recently the head of the narcotics unit.
So immigrant drug dealers "pass themselves off as juveniles, with a three-day growth of beard and everything else. It's frustrating," he said.
"Some of them have been arrested four or five times," Hettrich said. "That is one of the big problems with being a city of sanctuary."
Um, DUH? Nice of the city to cut expenses for the dealers by sending them home for a fresh load.
"I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." --Barack Obama in The Audacity of Hope
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is asking federal officials to rethink their policy on workplace immigration crackdowns that involve established businesses and to focus on employers that mistreat workers instead.
The mayor said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that work-site raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement could have "severe and long-lasting effects" on the local economy, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
It's the same-old same-old political dance. Citizens scream for immigration enforcement, hoping to cut down on tax expenditures on illegals and open up employment some for themselves. Feds and ICE comply, raiding workplaces with high levels of "undocumented workers." Employers who have their political donations paid up get on the phone to their favorite politicians, screaming about how their honest and scrupulous and upstanding businesses are being hurt badly for having a very very few people of questionable status slip by the documentation process with phony papers...and politicians scream bloody murder to agency heads. In the more usual process, that means Congresscritters leaning on ICE to leave their big donor businesses alone, or risk funding cuts and endless committee hearings on "agency abuses."
But it's an election year and illegal immigration is a hot-button issue with the Great Middle, so Congresscritters are a little reluctant to do too much leaning right now. Result? Villaraigosa goes on point, much as Michael Bloomberg did during the immigration-bill debates two years ago. Because our largest metros truly DO depend on exploiting the hell out of illegal immigants to maintain their economies, and businesses that do so DO make sizable ongoing donations to local politicians.
And yes, that truly DOES come at a goodly cost to their (our) own (legal) underclasses. It depresses wages and employment opportunities for the (legal) poor of their own area. So how upstanding and honest and responsible are some fo these businesses being raided?
More than 130 undocumented workers were arrested at a San Fernando Valley manufacturing company in February and over 60 workers were arrested for immigration violations at South Bay-area warehouses last week.
...Villaraigosa accused federal officials of targeting "established, responsible employers" in industries that rely on "workforces that include undocumented immigrants."
"In these industries, including most areas of manufacturing, even the most scrupulous and responsible employers have no choice but to rely on workers whose documentation, while facially valid, may raise questions about their lawful presence," he wrote in the March 27 letter.
So "scrupulous and responsible" that 130 "undocumented workers" slipped past the screens at that one plant, a quarter or more of that "established, responsible employers" entire workforce.
As usual, follow the money, and don't believe what the politicians say.
UPDATE: The other listed set of "raids by ICE" weren't raids at all, and weren't by ICE but were arrests resulting from Customs inspecting the port warehouses at the Port of Los Angeles for security violations. No, Mayor Villaraigosa, illegal aliens are not permitted to work in bonded warehouses at ports of entry. Especially the busiest port in the United States. It's, you know, a national security thing. I'm sure that the Port of Los Angeles being a billion dollar a year money-maker controlled by the Board of Harbor Commissioners, who get to hand out a couple of hundred million in contracts a year and whom are appointed by the Mayor, has nothing to with Villaraigosa's ire.
*Blinks* It's tempting to say that this should be enough to boycott Absolut, but to be fair, the taste of their pisspoor excuse for Vodka already clears that hurdle.
UPDATE: (Tully)--I like my version better.
You've got to love the irony. Welcome to globalism!
"When there is a possibility of adding thousands to the local social assistance system as a result of refugee claimants crossing the border into Windsor, we will become overwhelmed and our current resources will not suffice," Francis wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Over the past three weeks, 45 families and 31 individuals -- approximately 200 people -- entered Canada at the Detroit River crossings and applied in Windsor for shelter and social assistance after filing refugee claims with the Canada Border Services Agency. Municipal agencies dealing with the sudden influx of mainly Mexican refugee applicants are renting out hotel rooms and bracing for predicted thousands more to come.
It gets better.
Wilson said Canadian immigration authorities have started contacting the Mexican and Haitian communities in Florida, as well as local media there, to get the word out that nothing has changed in Canadian refugee policy.
"The fact someone wants to come here for better economic opportunity or a better quality of life ... that's no basis for a successful refugee claim," said Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) spokesman Charles Hawkins.
..."This is a problem the U.S. has allowed to create. It's really unfair for Canada to have to face this," said MP Joe Comartin (NDP -- Windsor-Tecumseh), his Party's public safety and national security critic.
Has anyone told Washington? Maybe Comartin should be thinking proactively....
Mickey Kaus at Slate lays the groundwork to claim "heads I win, tails you lose" in the upcoming crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Critics of the "law enforcement, deport them all" philosophy on illegal immigration have long maintained that we clearly have a strong economic need for those immigrants (we'll call this the pro-business side). Supporters of that philosophy argue that there are plenty of Americans willing to do those jobs, if only the wages weren't depressed by all the illegal immigrants (we'll call this the pro-worker side).
To date, the Bush Administration has sided largely with the pro-business side of the debate. Much of the base of the Republican party is on the pro-worker side. Increasing pressure from the base has led the President to announce a new, widespread crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Ought to be a good test, right? We'll see which side is right pretty quick. But not according to Mickey Kaus. Nope, according to him, the pro-worker side is proved right either way:
Is the recently announced Bush crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants
1) a desperate, Lindsey Graham-like make-up call to placate conservatives by enforcing existing laws (a possible precondition to winning some of them over to legalization of illegals) or
2) a Leninesque attempt to heighten the contradictions and create pressure for legalization by demonstrating to business and the media that actually enforcing the existing immigration laws is intolerable?
... If it's option 2, of course, then Homeland Security might intentionally choose to enforce the law in as clumsy, heartless, and lawsuit-inspiring a fashion as possible, in order to create the maximum number of negative headlines.
Got that? If we don't notice any economic problems, then the pro-worker side will claim to be vindicated because they were right all along. But if there are terrible economic consequences, then the pro-worker side will claim to be vindicated because the Bush Administration purposefully tried to screw things up, because all of the Administration officials charged with implementing the new crackdown say that it will, in fact, be a disaster.
Then Kaus creates a new twist that I've not heard before in this debate. Suddenly, he wants to modify the pro-worker argument to say that it's the new illegal hires which are the problem, not the people who have been here for "decades."
For example, wouldn't it be better to focus enforcement on new hires whose Social Security numbers don't match, rather than disruptively forcing the firing of existing workers who may have been here for decades?
Is this an opening in the anti-amnesty front? Can we provide "amnesty" for those who have been here for "decades" without "undermining the rule of law"? What's the cut-off? 20 years? 10? 5? 1?
Kaus is hedging his bets and shifting the position of the anti-immigration crowd now that the Bush Administration is about to do what they have been shrilly demanding that he do for the past several years. The anti-illegal-immigrant faction advocated the policy, they should have the cajones to take responsibility for it, however it comes out.
Hat tip: Instapundit.
Yesterday, Simon posted on Michael Reynold's creative immigration proposal, to set a price tag for immigrating to this country, and open the borders to anybody who could meet that price tag. As I had been intending to respond to Michael's creative idea already, I'm posting separately, rather than just joining the comments.
As most here know, I'm not a hard-core anti-immigration guy. We are indeed a nation of immigrants, and there have always been debates over how much immigration is too much, too fast. Each new generation of immigrants is seen as shiftless, lazy, wanting to take advantage of us, unlike the last generation of immigrants, who were of course universally industrious, perfectly healthy, and capable of speaking perfect English.
I'm also on record opining that immigration is not, primarily, a law enforcement problem but an economic problem. While securing the border better than it is now is certainly a necessary component of addressing the immigration problem, it's far from the only necessary component. As long as there are literally millions of Mexicans who find conditions so intolerable in their own country that they see great economic advantage in moving to the United States, we're not going to be able to shut down the border. We're also not going to be able to afford to send INS (sorry, ICE) agents to deport any significant fraction of the 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the country.
For that reason, I admire Michael's efforts to think outside the box. We need to think a bit more outside the box to solve this problem. The anti-immigration crowd believes what the gun control crowd believes... if we just legislate against it enough, surely it will go away.
Alas, however, I think Michael solution is not the one. On the surface, it's very appealing. $20,000 ought to be a sign that one is relatively wealthy (accumulating $20,000 cash in a country like Mexico takes some doing). But it's not.
First, what's to stop the people from borrowing the money from the same organized networks that currently smuggle people into the country illegally? Put the $20k in the bank or in a bond, get into the U.S., and then withdraw it and pay it back (plus a hefty interest, of course). You could lessen this problem by requiring that the $20,000 remain in the bank or bond for a certain period of time, but then you've tied up the working capital of the immigrant, making it harder for them to prosper and increasing the likelihood of their needing government services.
There is already a fairly extensive network of criminal organizations which charge, heavily, to transport illegal immigrants into the U.S. Fees may range from $700 to $1200 for a simple delivery from Tijuana to Los Angeles, to more than $30,000 to make it from Asia to our shores.
The people wanting to come here don't have that much cash up front, so they come as indentured servants. They either spend much of their working career paying off the loan shark interest rates the smugglers charged or the smugglers take it out in trade... often as prostitutes or drug mules. The same people running this trade now would quickly set up a different business: Give the prospective immigrant $20,000 to put up for the American requirement. The immigrant agrees to shut down the account and repay the $20,000 as soon as he gets here. The interest payment is that the immigrant must swallow 10 balloons of heroin before getting on the flight over here.
Leaving the criminals aside, there are so many illegal immigrants here already, they could easily take $20,000 and pass it through several nuclear families within their extended family, using it as the seed money to get new folks in the door over and over again.
Michael's proposal would do nothing to stop the flood of poor immigrants, of course. We would need much tighter border security plus other economic reforms to accomplish that. There are, quite obviously, a lot of jobs available for poor immigrants to take at the moment. They won't stop coming just because we've let in a million smart, more well-to-do immigrants. The family that can put up $20,000 of their own money to come here won't be picking lettuce or cleaning hotel rooms or weed-eating our lawns.
So, Michael's proposal would do nothing to stop immigration by poor people. While it might give us more smart people, it would also depress the wages for smart people, simply by increasing the supply. Perhaps the supply would increase sufficiently so that the wages would decrease to level where we're competitive with India again for call support centers and programming farms. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.
No decrease of poor immigrants, a decrease in wages for the highly educated. I'm afraid that would be the end result if we were to implement your program, Michael.
My own proposal, which I believe I've made elsewhere, is similar, but on the other end of the financial spectrum: Allow relatively unrestricted immigration from residents of our southern neighbor countries, for a modest processing fee of maybe $1,000 and at least a cursory background check in their home country. As you say, we get the benefit of knowing who these folks are, having them fingerprinted, etc. on the way in. The price is competitive with what they're paying the mules already, it's attainable, it's much preferable in their mind then risking their life in a border crossing. Once here, they get their own social security number, cutting down on identity theft and requiring them to pay taxes. Wages and working conditions for the poor immigrants will go up, because the minimum wage law and OSHA will apply, and since they are legal, the immigrants need not fear being deported if they complain of violations of those laws. This will also decrease the relative advantage employers have to hire immigrants as a result of current sub-minimum wage and unsafe working conditions they can currently get away with imposing on illegal immigrants.
There's more to my proposal, but that will be for another post.
Michael Reynolds suggests:
You know what would solve a lot of problems? Say ten, fifteen, maybe twenty million new, highly productive taxpayers. ... So, a simple proposal: Let's open the doors.
... Open a bank account in a US bank, deposit $20,000, and if you pass a security screening, you're in. You get a green card. The 20k is proof of potential. No long delay. No run-around. No paperwork beyond the security questionnaire. Open the account, file the security forms, wait 90 days for vetting, and hop a plane to JFK.
Don't quite have the cash but you have lots of potential? Fine, show us your college degree, and you're in. Hell, if you have an advanced degree in one of half a dozen fields, say engineering, physics, computer science, medicine, we'll loan you cash for the plane ticket.
Welcome to America: Now get to work.
My first instinct is that it seems somewhat unfair - a fast track for the rich at the expense of the poor ought to raise howls from the left and a few on the right - but on second thought, certainly American immigration policy ought to be structured in relation and response to American needs first, second and last, with external considerations slotted in between if there's room; the need Michael identifies (and the proposed solution) seem far from entirely meritless. Thoughts?
Added: Pat weighs in here.
The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush's plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.
The bill's supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate and clear the way for final passage of the legislation, which critics assailed as offering amnesty to illegal immigrants. The vote was 46 to 53 in favor of limiting the debate.
Senators in both parties said the issue is so volatile that Congress is highly unlikely to revisit it this fall or next year, when the presidential election will increasingly dominate American politics.
Love the backhanded "vampire" and "heart of the agenda" references. :-)
The massive public opposition conveyed to Congress via emails, phone calls, and letters is likely to provide even more impetus to the Democrat's attempts to gag conservative talk radio.
Meanwhile in Venezeula, there has been a massive protest over Chavez's own version of the "Fairness" Doctrine. Gateway Pundit has links and details.
UPDATE: Cap'n Ed pretty much wraps up my personal view in this capsule take:
In the end, the compromise could not even gain a majority in support of what conceptually may have been a passable compromise, but in reality was a poorly constructed, poorly processed mass of contradictions and gaps. Many of us who may have supported a comprehensive approach to immigration found ourselves amazed and repulsed by both the product and the process of this attempt to solve the immigration problem.
...Secure the borders. Fix the visa program. Do those tasks by using the proper legislative processes in both chambers, allowing for real debate, honest and open amendment opportunities, and quit using clay pigeons and other parliamentary tricks to hide the bill and railroad it through Congress.
In other words, act responsibly, instead of trying to pull a fast one on the American public.
I linked earlier in comments to the White House's puff piece on the positive economic benefits of immigration, which I noted blatantly conflates legal immigration with illegal immigration to dodge the question of the impact of illegal immigration, especially on our own poor.
This new "fact sheet" from the White House also evidences some artful dodging. But it's a hell of a lot better than the vacuous nothings that bill proponents have floated in place of actual explanations over the last few months.
Of course, the comparison chart is for what went IN the sausage grinder. What counts is what comes OUT of the grinder.
Michelle Malkin is live-blogging the immigration vote on the Senate floor.
Meanwhile, Stanley Kurtz has some thoughts.
The bill is wildly unpopular, yet it’s close to passing. The contrast with the high-school textbook version of democracy is not only glaring and maddening, it’s downright embarrassing. Usually, even when we’re at each others’ throats, there’s still an underlying pride in the democratic process. This immigration battle strips us of even that pride.
...Passing a measure over such overwhelming opposition is like slapping the public in the face.
UPDATE: Cloture vote goes 64-35, and it comes to the floor with new life. Now for the parade of incomprehensible amendment votes. One does wonder if they picked up votes from those who wanted to open the coffin and make sure the stake was firmly placed--and reveal those who wanted to pull it out.
Why hasn't anybody proposed a private, nationwide certifying agency to verify companies' immigrant hiring practices? Companies already use "made in America" as a marketing tool, why not a new slogan, "made in America, by Americans" to promote better hiring practices?
It would cost some money, but it wouldn't be that difficult. A private organization, probably non-profit, would monitor the hiring practices, both on paper and in reality, of companies who want to market their products as 100% All-American. To qualify for the designation, companies would have to take greater steps to verify the citizenship or legal immigration status of each of their employees, beyond the minimum required by law. Perhaps instead of just one certifying agency, you might have a number of them, one in each major industry.
Just as at the supermarket today, you have a choice between Chinese catfish and locally produced catfish, you could choose between chicken processed by a company who doesn't take too much care in their hiring practices, and chicken processed by a company who goes the extra mile, no doubt paying more, to attract real Americans.
The anti-mass-unskilled-immigration folks assure us that the American public will be happy to pay the higher prices for lettuce and chicken and construction that will likely come by substantially reducing the number of unskilled immigrants. The good companies tell us that the bad companies have an unfair advantage from using illegal labor. Let's put that to the test. Little or no government action is required, just a few companies in each major industry willing to step up to the plate and contribute some cash to something which may give them a competitive edge.