First a Wall -- Then Amnesty

Friday, April 07, 2006
Charles Krauthammer offers his opinion on the immigration dilemma.


terrye said...

For one thing, the two are not mutually exclusive, for another since when is a fine for a misdemeaner amnesty? In other words, what penalty do people think we are waving? Even Mexicans get due process.

Luther McLeod said...

Very sensible proposal. Especially since its one I've been calling for. Stop the flow, without that we will have changed nothing. I can't see punishing anyone already here. After all, we were their enablers. As well, Mexico must be made to face its own problems and enter the 21st century. That will never happen as long as we are its safety valve.

Knucklehead said...

I am particularly glad to finally hear some pundit say,

Those who think employer sanctions will control immigration are dreaming. Employer sanctions were the heart of Simpson-Mazzoli. They are not only useless, they are pernicious. They turn employers into enforcers of border control. That is the job of government, not landscapers.

There seems to be some widely accepted myth that it is the nation's Wal-Marts and Ford Motors who are employing these millions of illegals. That is just flat out not the case. A massive raid against some 60-odd Walmarts in 20 or so states reaped a whopping 250 illegal-aliens working on the nighttime cleaning crews. Raid the entire Fortune 500 list of companies' warehouses and cleaning crews and security guards and we'll probably net no more than 2 or 3% of this millions of illegals. It wouldn't even scratch the surface.

And even then, border control was never Walmart's or GM's job. That was the government's job. Placing the burden of border control onto the backs of businesses was always a stupid idea and it will always be a stupid idea. It is the wrong way to go about solving the problem.

While I certainly agree with Krauthammer there's a whole lotta devil in the details. Perhaps it is time for congress to use it's theoretical power to remove some portion of legislation from judicial jurisdiction. "We're building a fence along the border and it will not be subject to judicial review."

Re: amnesty... Amnesties are a method for streamlining the way we deal with the processing of a typically large number of people who engaged in some criminal activity. It may or may not include an outright pardon but they typically include some form or penalty.

So, for example, we may decide to have an amnesty for the people who committed a crime by refusing to be drafted between whatever years and to recieve the amnesty they must pay some penalty such as a fine, or community service, or whatever. We may then completely ignore whether or not the penalty is paid - maybe nobody actually gives a tinker's damn (what is a tinker's damn?) whether or not the draft dodgers who get the amnesty actually perform the 500 hours of community service so we don't put any way to track it in place.

So, say an amnesty was put in place that we expect would apply to half of the 11 million illegal aliens. To be eligible there is some list of restrictions such as:

- no criminal record
- provide proof they've been here 5 years
- provide proof of employment
- meet some evidentiary requirement they haven't collected federal welfare
- Mexican government certifies they are who they say they are

Whatever the list is, that's for smarter people than me to decide.

Once elegibility is established then the amnesty says that for that group of people, all of whom committed the crime of crossing our border illegally, we will replace the standard process of prosecuting through the courts and deporting upon, for example, payment of $x in fine, $y in fees, and agreement to some list of terms and conditions for the future.

That is, of course, an amnesty. For some reason the term "amnesty" is a dirty word. That is, of course, just plain silly. An amnesty is an amnesty. Nothing more and nothing less. Only the details make it "good" or "bad".

David Thomson said...

“We say, of course, that this will be the very last, very final, never-again, we're-not-kidding-this-time amnesty.”

I am much more optimistic because of the technology available today. An employer was often placed in an awkward Catch-22 because of phony ID cards. They were literally forbidden by the law of asking for further proof of identity! Moreover, the employers faced discrimination law suits. No, the increasingly improving technology makes all the difference in the world. The same MSM that criticized Wal-Mart for its illegal workers---would go crazy if the company “discriminated” against its Hispanic employees.