On immigration reform: what he said
Power Line has a post up that quotes David Frum on the kinds of measures that would build his confidence in immigration reform. So many of them are more eloquent renditions of what I’ve been thinking that I’m reduced to saying, “Yeah, what he said!” From David Frum:
I for one am absolutely open to considering an amnesty plan at any date after the FIFTH anniversary of the completion of border control measures, including an effective employment verification system.
I am open to an amnesty plan after the flow of new illegals has been halted and we have seen significant attrition from the existing illegal population.
I am open to amnesty after – and only after! – federal judges start assisting local law enforcement agencies that wish to enforce the law rather than forbidding them to do so.
I am open to amnesty after a US president demonstrates a willingness to respond with some modicum of respect to the immigration concerns of the American public – and is not looking for any transparent gimmick that will get him from here to the bill signing.
Hey, here’s a thought: Why doesn’t President Bush condemn the decision by federal judge Colleen McMahon to require the town of Mamaroneck, NY, to pay $550,000 to illegal aliens and create a center from which they may violate the immigration laws of the United States conveniently, publicly, and with impunity? If ever one legal case destroyed what little “confidence” remained in the seriousness of the US government on immigration, this was that case. And the president has said … what exactly?
If we have learned anything from the hard experiences of the recent past it is that amnesty must be the last step in any intelligent program of immigration enforcement. When it is the first step, it rapidly becomes the only step – or rather, the first step to the next amnesty and the next after that.
We have learned too that the political leadership in Washington wants a radically different outcome to this immigration debate from that desired by the large majority of the American people.
Simply talking about putting dollar amounts in the bill does nothing, in my view. What has been lacking has not been the resources. Congress could have dedicated the resources at any time they chose over the last 20 years. Hey, they appropriated funds for building 700 miles of border fence in the last Congress. How many miles of that has been built? Two? What’s been missing is the will to actually do what they say they will. Quoting a dollar figure doesn’t even address the will, let alone guarantee it.
As the folks from Missouri say, “Show me.” Show me that border security will be tightened to the levels necessary. Show me that the employer/employee verification systems actually work. Show me that real criminals with real crimes on their records who are ordered deported will actually get deported. (Not looking good on that last point, is it?) When you can show me that this is being done, then I will have confidence that amnesty can be afforded to some of those already here without opening the next round of illegals.
Want to build my confidence, Mr. President? Check out David Frum. What he said.