How partisan politics are hurting immigration reform - Macleans.ca
 

How partisan politics are hurting immigration reform

Once upon a time, George W. Bush was looking for a bipartisan consensus


 
American Immigration laws

(AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Last October, I had a public conversation with President George W. Bush in Montreal during which I had the privilege of asking him questions about his presidency. When I asked him what was his biggest disappointment, he answered without hesitation it was his failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Along with Republican Senator John McCain and the late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy, he had tried to forge a bipartisan consensus to secure the country’s borders and develop a path to citizenship for anywhere between 12 to 20 million undocumented immigrants. Bush was in the latter stages of his presidency and the politics inside the Republican party made it impossible to reach a consensus on reform. The problem hasn’t disappeared. In fact, it has just gotten worse.

Enter Arizona. The problem along the Arizona border with active Mexican drug cartels soon transformed the debate into one about law and order and border security. The law enacted by Gov. Jan Brewer brought in stringent measures, including giving police a near-universal right right to round up illegal aliens. Just recently, a federal judge upheld most parts of the law, but blocked key provisions that could have led to widespread racial profiling. The battlelines have therefore been drawn between hard line Republicans who want to secure the border above all else and blame Obama for worsening the problem, and Democrats who see obvious political advantages in mobilizing the Latino and progressive voters pushing them to enact reforms.

The polarization is now more intense than ever. Facing a primary challenge from the far right, McCain no longer argues for comprehensive reforms and has joined the hardliners in Arizona. A recent political commercial closes with McCain telling an agent he’ll “complete the danged fence” along the Arizona-Mexican border. McCain’s friend, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, has also left the reform camp and is now arguing in favour of amending the 14th amendment to remove birth in the U.S. as a guarantee of U.S. citizenship.

In the meantime, the picture presented on primetime news is not getting any prettier: protests groups are fighting one another in the streets; Latino political leaders and voters are splitting on the issue; opponents are organizing boycotts of Arizona; and other states are threatening to copy Arizona’s law. There is little promise for any bipartisan compromise in the near-future. The looming midterms have only reinforced the politics of confrontation and polarization.

To be fair, there are arguments on both sides that merit careful consideration. But the case for comprehensive reform is a clear one. It is more than a question of borders when over 12 million people are already in the country and most are law-abiding and productive citizens. As a Canadian who was taught that America’s strength and its grandeur had a lot to do with it being a nation of immigrants, the divisons emerging on this crucial issue are surprising—and, in some cases, alarming. This issue will test the American character as few others have in recent years. The issue is political and legal for sure, but it is also humanitarian. This ‘nation of immigrants’ will have to transcend the Democrat-Republican polarization, and reconnect with the lofty principles of its founders. It would help if their politicians could start by overcoming their partisan instincts and behaviour.


 

How partisan politics are hurting immigration reform

  1. Well the immigrants aren't going home, so it would be a good idea to get political vegetables like McCain and Graham off the case before the whole situation gets uglier than it already is.

  2. The unspoken truth about illegal immigration from Mexico is that by and large those millions are honest, hardworking, productive members of the America economy. Having lived many years in the southern US and California, my – albeit anecdotal – observation is that those who are most virulently opposed to any immigration reform are those that often benefit directly and materially, day in and day out from the presence of the alien illegals.

    There is more than a passing acquaintance between the roots of much of the opposition to the NYC mosque and those of the resistance to immigration reform.

    • That said, the immigration issue is fundamentally an economic issue. Openly treating it as one, might go a hell of a long way towards solutions benefiting the entire American economy. Playing politics with the issue may be appeasing to voters, but I don't see it leading to a solution in my lifetime.

    • by and large those millions are honest, hardworking, productive members of the America economy.

      …if you ignore that their very first act upon entering their new country was against the law.

      • Yes, gawd forbid they'd want to survive. The 'law' comes first.

        Plus of course, it's their country anyway.

        • Actually, the country "belongs" to the citizens of the United States, that has the sovereign authority to reject admittance to anyone they please, and to expel those who entered illegally.

          And the citizens' representatives in Washington have enacted laws about who may and who may not immigrate. And they also passed laws declaring it illegal to sneak in. They also have laws stating how they shall punish those who do sneak in. AZ is snubbing the federal government for its abject failure to enforce its own laws, a failure which has led to an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the country, and no shortage of major problems in that border state.

          I do not bother to rebut Emily in the misguided notion that Emily might see the error of her ways. Only to be sure that any interested reader might not fall into her disinformation trap.

          • No, actually it belongs to Mexico.

            Americans are interlopers.

          • You mean, I should have insisted on using pesos instead of greenbacks when I was in Phoenix a decade ago?

            You will have a very hard time convincing the Mexican government to exert its *cough* sovereignty over the territory in question. Here, anyways. In the real world.

          • Apparently you are unaware of events in California and nearby 'states', or in history, and you choose to be merely flip instead.

          • No, actually it belongs to Mexico.

            …is rich, coming from someone accusing another of being flip.

      • Although that's not strictly true in all cases – because some (large?) fraction of the illegals enter the country legally but at some point during their stay become illegal – it's a an easy comment.

        I'm not at all suggesting that being illegally in the US or any other country is right. I'm only suggesting that attacking the problem as one of border defense is not ever going to solve the problem so long as the economics drive the migration. Economic problems don't get solved with fences.

        • Fair enough. Let us update the "first act" line to include "first act upon expiry of the visa" as illegal. Or perhaps the first act upon obtaining the visa itself was illegal, if the visitor knowingly misled the customs official as to the purpose of the, ahem, visit.

          So, I guess I still take a certain amount of issue with the "honest" part.

        • Economic problems don't get solved with fences.

          Nor do they get solved by failing to erect the fence and exert national sovereignty. But you're right. Illegal immigration can only be solved when the laws against illegal immigration are enforced. Which is where AZ is at. And the only way to prevent the next twelve million or so is to exert your national sovereignty effectively before even whispering about amnesty for the law-breakers already in place.

          • I believe you are right but AZ is not our concern. BC, and AB and SAa nd MB etc are.

          • Uh, ok. But Parisella was specifically pontificating on the USA's situation.

  3. So, determining whether someone might be an illegal alien during a "lawful stop, detention or arrest" is now somehow "giving police a near-universal right right to round up illegal aliens"? Seriously, John, do you read actual facts or only one-sided talking points?

    • If the cops stop you for a broken tail light, or possibly speeding….do you have to show your citizenship papers?

      • Nope, but I would have to show my legally-issued provincial driver's license. The possession of a valid AZ license is sufficient proof that the bearer is not an illegal alien.

        Not that I would ever be so callous as to expect facts to get in the way of Emily's argument. But I remain disappointed in John Parisella. "Near-universal right to ROUND UP illegal aliens." Please.

        • No, you can get a driver's license anywhere. Legit or not.

          And to get a legit one, you also don't have to show your citizenship papers.

          The whole point of the Arizona gambit is to nail illegals, even the courts recognize that dodge.

          • I should make a macro:

            I do not bother to rebut Emily in the misguided notion that Emily might see the error of her ways. Only to be sure that any interested reader might not fall into her disinformation trap.

          • The fact that YOU choose to live in la-la land shouldn't deter others from knowing the truth.

          • That is complete malarkey. You cannot get a driver's license without proper identification that you are a legal resident. It is simply impossible for an illegal alien to get one. And even if you tried to create a fake one, this would be obvious in the computer system check when a cop pulls you over.

            For instance, the Massachusetts RMV states that you need:
            "A Social Security Number (SSN) that the RMV can verify with the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) as having been issued to you OR an acceptable Denial Notice from the SSA. If you present a Denial Notice, you must also present proof of acceptable visa status, an I-94 (Record of Arrival and Departure), and a current non-U.S. Passport."

          • Well I did. And most Americans do too.

            'Illegal aliens' present driver's licenses all the time.

          • No they don't. And not you didn't. And no, Americans cannot get driver's license without proving citizenship or legal residence, regardless of what alternate universe you happen to live in.

            All states and provinces have equivalent requirements that you can prove legal residency and they can verify the proof with the relevant federal departments. That is why a driver's license is one of the strongest pieces of identification that you can present to an individual, it's nearly as good as a passport.

          • Gawd, you are REALLY out of it.

            Yeah I did, and yeah you can.

            Honey, the Pentagon and NASA have been hacked…repeatedly

            A driver's license, and a passport….both able to pass all tests….is available on any street corner.

          • Sigh. Onwards with that annoying truth:

            A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
            1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.
            2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE.
            3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL IDENTIFICATION.
            4. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION. http://www.azleg.gov/alispdfs/council/SB1070-HB21

            I do not bother to rebut Emily in the misguided notion, etc., etc.

          • Oh there are lots of laws and regulations.

            It's just that many people don't bother with them.

            And have traceable valid driver's licenses anyway.

            C'mon…yer too old to be this dumb.

          • It is almost funny that Emily fails to notice that the passage was quoted from the most recent Arizona law under discussion.

            Of course, it's even funnier if Emily did not fail to notice, and carried on regardless…

            I do not bother to rebut Emily in the misguided notion, etc., etc.

          • It's almost funny that you are too old to understand this conversation.

          • Under the right circumstances, Emily would argue the sky is not blue. Emily would argue she is a space alien from Mars if it was useful to her. She's also rather adept at inserting insults into her comments.

          • Not so, you CAN get a license and many other forms of government ID's in the US as an illegal immigrant and that's one big issue.

    • Parisella always has at least one gigantic howler in every post. He can't help it. I recall that some of his previous false statements are beyond belief.

      • The Republicans will lose the Latino as they did the black vote . They are right wing bigots . That explains a lot of the acrimony against Obama and the rise of the Tea party .
        As for s_c_f, another uninformed right wing kook from PALIN country . He` s the howler .

        • (1) The Republicans generally don't win the Latino vote as it is.
          (2) I'm sure there are bigots on the Right, but I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that they're not nearly as ubiquitous as those on the Left who scream "bigot" in response to every possible disagreement. In fact, it seems to me that it's actually bigoted to dismiss an entire half of the political spectrum as "bigoted" for no other reason than their disagreement with you.
          (3) If you think s_c_f is uninformed and kooky, you've just dropped whatever little cred you might otherwise have had left. See the point about bigotry above.

          • s_c_f is not well informed when he refers to the Weekly Standard to support his views . Republicans had a shot at the Latino vote because there are real conservatives and on cultural issues. The Republicans are turning into a white , angry man party . Not very attractive . As for the left , we got civil rights and that is good enough for me . Gay marriage will be next .

          • Speaking of being well informed, it was the Republicans in Congress who pushed through Civil Rights legislation over the objections of Democrats…. the Left can't take credit for that, much as they like to try.

          • LBJ,THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT ,WAS RESPONSIBLE ABOVE EVERYONE ELSE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS !

          • I guess you're not for civil discussion, SINCE YOU SEEM TO WANT TO YELL AT ANYONE WHO DARES DISAGREE WITH YOUR LEFT-WING VIEWS!

            Before shouting, however, I suggest you learn about the American system of government, and the need for support form Congress to pass any major legislation. The Republican party supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act in greater numbers, relatively speaking than did the Democrats. They were essential to its passage. In fact, the party of segregation was the Democrats.

            GOT IT?? Didn't think so. So much for civility, tolerance, and understanding.

          • Oooh! Dennis F. , the joker , is back . I know more about US politics in my little finger than you know in your entire miserable life . LBJ initiated it and got the votes because Southern Democrats were racists . They were replaced eventually by Republican racists . I hope you understood my drift , Mr . Know the American Political system joker .That is called Nixon`s southern stratergy . Capeeche Denins F. or whoever you are .
            Don`t deny what all historians have recognized about LBJ `s great legacy . I should also mention Medicare !!

          • Who is referring to the Weekly Standard? What a bizarre thing to say. In fact, most of what you say is bizarre.

          • YOu aren't "rapidly coming" to that tired old fallacy, you reached it decades ago.

  4. conservative has increasinly becomes old white people of anti imingrants racists they are going to pays for it in presidecial election in 2012

    • Yup, conservatives are cranky old white guys.

      • I protest: I am a cranky old white guy and I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat nor an NDP nor a Liberal nor a Conservative nor Green or any other coplour. There are people who decide things on the issues and their personal principles (which don't happened to be shared by politicians or parties.) Ther is a lot of crappy branding and name calling on this page.

        • LOL kay, we'll put you down as an undecided cranky ol white guy.

    • Amazing what passes for intelligent discourse form the left these days. Spewing hatred towards political enemies, then having the gall to suggest that others are intolerant. Wow.

  5. I'm with Parisella right down the line on this one.

    There are three salient features to the issue as I see it:
    (1) The US immigration is a complete mess. The legal immigration process is lengthy, expensive, and fraught with confusion such that your application can be ruined through no fault if there is an error on the part of your lawyer or even of the immigration authorities.

    • Smart analysis !!!!

    • And I am with you right down that line. Everything you say makes perfect sense. But it MUST be in the proper order. You grant amnesty first, like the last time, how in any sane representation of planet earth do you not see millions more jump at the chance to join in before the "danged fence" gets built?

      Where I part with you, is where you are with Parisella right down the line that includes his abomination of a representation of reality that the recent AZ legislation is "giving police a near-universal right right to round up illegal aliens." That is a nonsensical misrepresentation of the truth. And given some of Parisella's prior commentary, I just cannot be certain that it was an inadvertent nonsensical misrepresentation.

      • I completely agree on the order of events. Security has to be primary both in terms of the crime/terrorism consequences if it lags, and because of the vicious circle that would ensue if illegals are granted amnesty before the border is secured. I also think that the security issue could have been done by now if Obama had treated it with anything like the urgency he devoted to Obamacare.

        Regarding Parisella's representation/misrepresentation of the AZ law, I'll grant that he has in the past had a nearly flawless record of including at least one major distortion in each of his pieces (although I think he has gotten considerably more careful, and his pieces are commensurately better, since he went stateside). I'm not sure this is one such though – the law was technically just reiterating what is already federal law, but I think it was being interpreted loosely enough that officers could pretty much stop anyone for any reason. I could well be wrong. It's been a topic of considerable debate between me and some of my Tea Party friends, and they are eminently more reasonable and informed on the topic than any Macleans writer will ever be.

          • … and yes, I realize the law expressly forbids stopping people on the basis of race. But I don't think that accomplishes very much in practical terms when the officer can always make up some other reason if he is so inclined. There's quite a bit of ambiguity in the "reasonable" phrase.

        • but I think it was being interpreted loosely enough

          Not possible. It got judgified (thanks to don't-enforce-my-laws-just-because-I-won't Obama) before it could be put into action.

    • I believe a certain Republican contender for his party's nomination for candidate for US President used the line tall fences and wide gates. It's a shame no one has taken him up on that one, yet.

      • That's an excellent way to put it. Which candidate said that? I don't remember it.

        • Senator Fred Dalton Thompson.

    • Now there's a man I can agree with in respect to the US. . We need (1) in Canada (2) is almost irrelevant. The US wants to stop the pot (BC Bud) going south. It looks like a change is Washington (state of) law may do that. (3) is irrelevant as I don't believe we have any great pool of illegal immigrants – but it won't take long if the present Tamil isn'tt resolled the right way

  6. It certainly is reassuring to have the anti-Conservative banner carried by the able rhetoric of Emily. What a joy it must be to all the good Liberals on this site to know that the future of their Party is in the vibrant and intelligent hands of the Emilys and Hollys on this site.
    Referring to those madeyoulook and s_c_f characters as " cranky old white guys " was just plain brilliant. If only she had included that Crit Reasoning character.
    Oh, those Cons are going to destroy the country.

    • Focus Blue…Emily doesn't like ANY of our political parties.

      'Cranky old white guys' is an old name for the nutbars on the right though.

    • Yep, I also was impressed by that piece of brilliance in which millions of conservatives, including millions of female conservatives, were labelled "cranky old white guys". And apparently several readers agreed and thought that that was a quality addition to the conversation! It's always amusing on this site.

      • Well the women can't help it…trained since youth to obey.

        The rest of you are 'cranky ol white guys'.

        • Lord have mercy. That cranky old white gal is making fun of "cranky old white guys" again!

          • You betcha! Wink!

      • I thought Rona Ambrose originated the phrase, during the childcare debates. Actually, she left out temperament – it was just 'old white guys' and it was directed at Liberals.

        • Nah, I heard it years ago referring to the Reform party. She's just projecting.

          • I thought it was hilarious – she was sitting in a sea of them…

          • LOL well that's a point!

      • Are you serioysly suggesting non-conservatives don't get labelled?

  7. The law enacted by Gov. Jan Brewer brought in stringent measures, including giving police a near-universal right right to round up illegal aliens.

    Hmm, that's the first I've heard of it. Hey, if we're going to have a call for noble non-partisanship, wouldn't it help to characterize the issue in a non-partisan way?

    For all this talk of Republicans hardening on the issue, there might be good reason for it. They're on the side of the American people. Polls show widespread support for Arizona's law and other similar measures.

    Furthermore, the issue here is illegal immigration. Not immigration. The founding fathers could not have possibly condoned a porous border that allowed the movement of countless illegals as well as criminals activities and elements.

    I agree that there is a challenge of dealing with the millions of aliens already in the U.S. Yet granting them amnesty is essentially condoning a fundamentally illegal activity, which is to move to a country without the permission to do so.

    I don't know of any country that would permit such a large movement of illegal immigrants within its own borders. So, securing the border is a necessity, isn't it?

    I think some perspective should be in order before any calls for apparent non-partisanship or lofty ideals. After all, liberals don't have all the answers, or a monopoly on what proper immigration policy ought to be, especially when they don't want to even use the term "illegal."

    • The reality is that the American economy is highly dependent on cheap Mexican labour – both legal and illegal. That's the elephant in the room and why nothing ever gets done about the problem in Washington.

      • If that were true, then why did Arizona pass its law, and why are numerous other states considering the same? Would they not be jeopardizing their economic interests?

        Obama said he'd be beyond partisan politics and the old Washington ways, yet it takes an Arizona governor to essentially do his job for him.

          • Then why not enlighten us for once instead of with this one-line sniping constantly?

          • The article nicely outlines the political hazards for both Republicans and Democrats on this issue. Bush couldn't even get his own party to support him. But, if you don't want to discuss it further, fine. I think it is a very interesting issue.

          • Again, why not enlighten us? Did you even read it or understand it? As the original blog post stated, the GOP became relatively united against Bush's stance on this. Again, your contribution to these boards is very similar to the that which you exhibited as "bc" on the Bourque boards, which is to post one-liners agitating for the left-wing cause. That some of you feel a need to do this says a lot about that cause to me.

          • Bush was wonderful. Obama is bad. Got it. Glad we straightened that out.

          • Where did I say that, troll? Don't you ever stop? Why do you need this?

        • Jan _Do not waste your time on Dennis F. is just an angry man who hates Obama because he `s smart and happens to be…..jan has awakened the Boogyman !

      • I disagree that the US economy is dependent on cheap Mexican labour. It certainly doesn't hurt the economy, but at the same time it would not make much of a dent if it were gone.

  8. It is certainly a commonplace that one of the greatest strengths of the USA is immigration, but only if the other things that are near to or of slightly greater importance to the US`s greatness are in place as well. To some it isn`t all that great, but that is for another time.

    These concommitant factors for America`s success are in a sorry state of disrepair. The crowd, when investing, will tend to continue to trade on news that is past its best by date, hence the continued flow of new immagrants to a land with increasingly limited opportunity.
    The Arizona situation is a rear-guard action by the locals in the face of yet another failure of leadership at the national level. The US doesn`t need immigration reform, it needs USA reform.

  9. The truth is they can't stop the migrants, nor can they get rid of the 12 million or so illegals they already have.

    Nor do most people want to. Who would pick the strawberries, mind the kids, do the gardening…and all for cheap?

    As America winds down, the migrants will dwindle on their own to find work elsewhere. And America will wish them back again.

    • You mean illegal immigrants. Funny how the left doesn't want to use the proper terminology. Why is that?

      You can't stop all illegals, but you cant stop a lot more of them, and create laws that make it much more difficult for them.

      No, you can't ship all illegals back, but you can send a lot of them back. Why wouldn't any country develop a way of dealing with people illegally within their borders. I also don't understand why many seem to applaud this situation. Why would illegal immigration be seen as a good thing?

      • Why would illegal immigration be seen as a good thing?

        Because slavery is even more illegal than illegal immigration, and where are they going to get exploited and cheap labour otherwise? For many, it's an end-run around legal employment with annoyances like minimum wage and worker safety and benefits and taxes. Unless there is a crackdown, the employer clearly benefits by exploiting the vulnerable. And the exploited illegal alien still benefits because, as awful as all that is, it's better than the state of his or her life back home. Besides, the kids go to school for free and get some health care and the monthly bus pass is pretty cheap and Univision is on basic cable. And most of the preceding is paid for by the honest taxpayers living all around the illegal alien. And so the underground economy grows some more. This, proponents call, win-win. Or something.

        • You've explained why it would be considered a good thing for the people who engage in it. Heck, any illegal activity is considered a good thing by those who engage in it. That's why they do it. My comment was more directed towards those who politically, especially form the left, consider the illegal movement of people over the US border to be something to salivate over. And it's usually people who have a bone to pick against the States in one way or another.

          • The only sense I get of the political wind on this: the exploiters vote, and the illegals will one day vote. I think that sentence, sadly, explains much of what we see in this debate.

          • If it were only that simple.

    • So true, I am so surprised to agree with you my friend , but I do with everything you have said above : )

      • Also surprised we agree…but the American Empire is indeed history.

        And not with a bang, but with a whimper….as they say.

  10. Now come the insults from Dennis F. I repeat :He is an ANGRY MAN with a short fuse .

    • OK. So you called the current Republican party a bunch of racists, among other things, but I'm the one who's angry, am I? Where do some of these people come from?

      • Whoever you pretend to be , you are always hot under the collar when you respond . Face it,Republicans are exploiting fear and hatred as they are doing with Ground Zero . Prove differently . And be calm .

        • I don't pretend to be anyone. I don't hide my identity. But I guess I'm not allowed to respond to the hateful tactics that people like you engage in from the left-wing. You can spew this crap, but I can't denounce it for what it is. What a vision you have for society.

          • get a life . take the day off . We'll understand .

          • Two things I love on here:

            a) When people pretend to speak for others.

            b) When they run out of arguments and resort to childish one-liner taunts that tell me to "get a life".

            I love it!

            Why are you so terrified of being challenged on these issue? So much for tolerance and understanding. As per usual, for many folks, it's about their agenda.

  11. Historically speaking, it's the border that "migrated" into Mexico.

    • Historically speaking, Mexico SOLD the land in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Go back to school.

      • Historically speaking the land wasn't sold, it was CEDED after a US invasion of Mexico. Please don't come shopping at my store.

  12. John Parisella wrote:
    "but blocked key provisions that could have led to widespread racial profiling."

    Ummm, John……if the problem being addressed is the huge influx of Mexicans across your border….then it simply makes sense that you will look for people who appear to be Mexican….as opposed to say,….Danish?

    John also noted:
    "when over 12 million people are already in the country and most are law-abiding and productive citizens."

    John, of those 12 Million ILLEGAL immigrants you mention…NONE are law abiding. They are called illegal for a reason. Now, I'm not saying they are all bad people, on the contrary…..but if you are going to write that they are for the most part law-abiding….you're writing something that is factually inaccurate.

    Aside from law abiding….they are also a HUGE drain on Americans who are forced to pay for their medical care, education, welfare etc..etc…

  13. "The battlelines have therefore been drawn between hard line Republicans…and Democrats who see obvious political advantages in mobilizing the Latino and progressive voters pushing them to enact reforms."

    Geez, and you guys on the right blast Wherry for being biased.

  14. It looks like George W Bush won't have to do a single thing to improve his legacy – the further down the rabbit hole the Republican Party goes with this nativist rage stoking, the more he, George Freaking Bush, starts to look like the reasonable one.

    That's quite the accomplishment Republican Party…

  15. forgive me for my generalizations (i've really come to detest how left and right are used on this site as some sort of trump card in every argument) but how's this for an idea.
    On the American left they're calling for further stimulus, on the right a southern border fence. Put those two together and you have one of the largest stimulus projects in american history building the fence. And while your at it, let illegals know that if they put in a few months working on the fence (because frankly what American citizen will be willing to work on a fence in the hot southern sun) they can have accelerated immigration. They could learn construction skills benefiting their future citizenship and payback the merciful society that hasn't kicked them out.

    • Now that is sensible bi-partisan thinking!

  16. Hard working and honest most of the immigrants may be it doesn't alter they are jumping ahead of millions who are playing by the rules. That doesn't seem to matter to todays young people the bulk of whom have no values. Never has 'if it feels good, do it' been more appropriate than with todays younger generations. Every society usually implodes from the inside and our doesn't seem to be any exception. Common sense doesn't change, values do and the two are never going to jive. Won't be long before the Chinese and Muslims literally control the world (through population) and all this petty bickering will be for naught.

  17. John, what you fail to realize is that the majority of Americans, liberal AND conservatives are against illegal immigration. As a liberal, I am happy to join forces with my conservative brothers and sisters and stop any sort of amnesty. Bush didn't fail, the American people spoke up and had it stopped. This is the same today. Liberal and conservative politicians are trying to force another amnesty. Unless comprehensive immigration reform consists of deporting ALL illegals and sending them to the back of the line, as a liberal democrat, I will FIGHT to preserve the sovereignty of this nation.

  18. Who is paying the money back from the immigrants what was cashed by the government on any taxes? Billions of Dollars.
    Why don't you guys throw all out who sneaked in the country the last 30 years take away their Homes Cars, all there Assets and clean all Governmental depts. in one time.
    That is the way you want to live like you did with the slavery in the US you are all are disgusting. Legal steel from others that all you can do!

    • I suggest TO all you illegal lovers that you study the following information compiled from Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security reports:

      • 83 percent of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens.

      • 86 percent of warrants for murder in Albuquerque are for illegal aliens.

      • 75 percent of those on the most wanted list in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Albuquerque are illegal aliens.

      • 24.9 percent of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals .

      • 40.1 percent of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican nationals.

      • 48.2 percent of all inmates in New Mexico detention centers are Mexican nationals.

      • 29 percent (630,000) of convicted illegal alien felons fill our state and federal prisons at a cost of $1.6 billion annually.

      • 53 percent plus of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens.

      • 50 percent plus of all gang members in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.

      • 71 percent plus of all apprehended cars stolen in 2005 in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California were stolen by Illegal aliens or "transport coyotes".

      • 47 percent of cited/stopped drivers in California have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 47 percent, 92 percent are illegal aliens .

      • 63 percent of cited/stopped drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 63 percent, 97 percent are illegal aliens.

      • 66 percent of cited/stopped drivers in New Mexico have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 66 percent, 98 percent are illegal aliens.

      • 380,000 plus "(inappropriate term)" were born in the U.S. to illegal alien parents in just one year, making 380,000 babies automatically U.S. citizens.

      • 97.2 percent of all costs incurred from those illegal births were paid by the American taxpayers. That is almost ALL of them!

      • Link?

      • Liar .No one seems to confirm this crap . You must be Dennis F.

  19. Be careful Robert Burt…

    Using actual facts and statistics is liable to get you labelled a racist or bigot.

    Look what happened when the former Toronto Police chief did it.

    Only for him, it wasn't illegal aliens. It was the fact that over 80% of violent crime in Toronto was perpetrated by the 3% of the population that had roots in the Carribean, namely Jamaica.

  20. the age of immigration is over. times change and all things come to an end. the world is too crowded and all countries are full. we can pick our own fruit if we have to. it is time for people to fix their own countries and staying behind will let them do that. i am amazed at the liberal view that endless limitless giving will always and forever be the ideal. sometimes people have to help themselves fix their own country.

  21. The battlelines have therefore been drawn between hard line Republicans who want to secure the border above all else…and Democrats who see obvious political advantages in mobilizing the Latino and progressive voters pushing them to enact reforms.

    It is interesting how the author draws out the 'battlelines' here. Notwithstanding that he goes on to make a compelling case for understanding the issue through a humanitarian lense, he first claims that the Republicans have taken what can be described as a virtuous approach – focussing on the ensuring the safety of people of the country/region and the Democrats who are materially interested in maximizing their self interest (as calculated in votes). I have no evidence to suggest this in innacurate – though I also note no evidence to support the it. It also ignores both the possibility of the same calculation of votes on the part of the Republicans by riling the zenophobic and racists elements of the region as well as those with legit economic and safety concerns and that the Democratics may be taking a principled stand on the same humanitarian issues that the author signals.