Quick Observation on Immigration Reform

You know, it seems to me that the hunt for the Great White Whale comprehensive immigration reform is actually impeding immigration reform. There’s a limited group of measures that have broadbased public support and I’ll bet a shiny new dime could actually get bipartisan support in Congress including reforming the law that requires Central American kids who present themselves at the border be treated differently than Canadian or Mexican kids that do the same, some version of the DREAM Act, and stricter enforcement.

However, that won’t satisfy the activists on either side. I don’t believe that legislation is being held hostage by rank-and-file Democrats or Republicans. I think it’s being held hostage by the most extreme on each side.

One last observation: if we want to be more like Canada or Australia we’re going to need immigration laws more like Canada’s and Australia’s. The linchpin of our policy, family reunification, is a much lower priority for the Canucks and Aussies. I don’t think we want our policy to be like Mexico’s where irony of ironies, immigration law is much more restrictive and severe than it is here.

32 comments… add one
  • ...

    Stricter enforcement?

    Shit, the current President won’t even try to enforce the laws as they stand now. The last President was only marginally better. Congress doesn’t care.

    There is no consensus among the governing class for any enforcement of border control. This week the Dem big shots have been expressing that they will ONLY be interested in passing amnesty. (In John Lewis’s phrasing, the doors to America are always open to everyone.*)

    The big money is on the sides of open borders. That includes the Chamber of Commerce which is spending a shit-load (and then some) of money supporting Republican candidates that back open borders. That includes all the billionaires in the country, who want wages suppressed to help their margins. That support includes most of the lesser class of rich people, too. That includes all Democrats who see this as their chance to achieve a permanent majority with which to start exterminating the opposition as all good leftists do when they get the chance. It includes government workers (but I repeat myself, as they’re almost entirely Democrats) who see a permanent underclass as job security.

    Where’s the broad support among the leadership of the country for anything other than open borders and the destruction of the American middle-class, especially the white middle-class?

    We’ve been getting the same shit shoved down our throats on this front since 1965. Why should we assume that any of these bastards running the country in the last fifty years want anything other than open borders? We’ve had every possible mix of party combinations for control of Congress and the Presidency in that time, and the only time immigration flows really slowed down was when the economy crashed.

    They’re doing the same thing over and over again, and CLAIM they expect the exact opposite result the next time. Are they really that incredibly stupid, or are they lying when they say they expect a different result? That latter seems far more likely.

    * Wonder how his black constituents feel about importing tens of millions of laborers from the Third World to suppress employment and wage opportunities in this country, given that blacks have the highest unemployment rates in the country, and are generally poorer than average? Think they’re happy about this? Almost certainly not. Think they’ll vote for him anyways? Of course.

  • ...

    PS Never trust anyone worth eight figures or more. And not many people worth seven figures. They’re all bastards looking to impoverish the majority of people for their own gain. The country would do well to execute every damned last one of them, and all their immediate relatives.

  • ...

    Really, your two posts today go hand in glove with each other. The fact that the two will be addressed as completely separate issues by the people running the country is instructive.

  • ...

    The government at work:

    The federal government is so overwhelmed by the current tide of migrants crossing the border it can’t provide basic medical screening to all of the children before transporting them – often by air – to longer-term holding facilities across the country, ABC News has learned.

    The director of refugee health in the federal Health and Human Services Department “has identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes at the Nogales, Arizona, facility,” according to an internal Department of Defense memo reviewed by ABC News. The “breakdown” a systemic failure of the handoff of these children between CBP and HHS.

    Thank God the border is secure. Note this bit, too:

    Inside the government, officials are sounding alarms, fearing that they and their teams who come in contact with the sick children face potential exposure to infectious diseases from chicken pox to influenza, including rare cases of H1N1, more commonly called swine flu.

    They’re worried about their own health but don’t have problems exposing the wider public. In case you’re not sure whose side they’re on. No doubt Reynolds and steve will be here soon to tell us how this is the best thing for America and another example of Obama’s extreme competence. I expect Drew to drop by after that to tell us that we need these immigrants because Americans just don’t want to work for the wages the rich want to pay. You can be sure whose side they’re on, too.

  • PD Shaw

    Domestic health crisis as a result of porous borders. Isn’t this what Doctors without Borders are meant for?

  • ...

    Isn’t this what Doctors without Borders are meant for?

    Sure, why not? If we’re going to turn this into a Third World country we may as well get the side benefits. Isn’t that why the UN is helping out with clean water in Detroit?

  • steve

    The sick kids thing is bogus . Just an attempt to drum up fear. I think you are wrong about support for the DREAM Act. Wont go through. You could get the first through if you do it soon, and maybe the second. Nothing that sounds like amnesty gets past this House.


  • Modulo Myself

    I hate this extremists are holding us hostage nonsense. If you have a majority, you should be able to function like one. If there’s broad public support for x, then it should not be hard to use this support in Congress to make x happen, if it’s just extremists who are stopping the issue from happening through nefarious means that have bedazzled the majority who for some reason has developed no skills at all.

    It’s really strange, because we get this so often in America–like what’s a Senate Majority leader/CEO/whatever going to do? Negotiate? Charm somebody? Cite facts that would be convincing? Have skills that would be useful to a non-autistic/insane person? Fuck no. That’s just outlandish thinking. Nobody thinks Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell or some asshole who runs a company is good at things in reality. You have to look at the long picture, and if you don’t get it, maybe you aren’t right for looking at the long picture.

    At least the fanatics on the right have some meaningful idea of America, viciously racist as the idea may be. I can’t imagine the type of person who cherishes the idea of a careful course in the absurd humanity of people crossing an imaginary line between two states composed almost entirely of people he or she will never ever set eyes upon. It’d be like running into someone who has strong opinions about why Creation, according to the Book of Genesis, occurred on a Wednesday rather than a Thursday.

  • ...

    Yes, how awful that some of us believe America ought to be run for the betterment of Americans, instead of turned into another Mexico or Brazil. Just awful.

  • ...

    And modulo, how many immigrants live in your neighborhood? The people two houses up are from Haiti, as are their relatives that live two houses up the other way. Directly across the street are more Haitians. Some of the people that live directly behind me are Haitian. We’ve also got a fair number of Dominicans in the area.

    It’s true I probably won’t see any of these people, but that’s because I live on the northwest (more or less) side of town, and these days the Central Americans live mostly on the east end of town, though there’s a fair number of Mexicans living in Ocoee now that I think of it.

    But every time I leave the house, even if I just stand in the front yard, I’m guaranteed to hear at least three languages. And I’m guaranteed to see immigrants of all kinds of status too, especially if I drive by a hardware store early in the morning.

  • ...

    Seriously, modulo, how many poor third world children do we need to let into the country to satisfy your need to feel superior? Just the ones here now? Twice as many? Ten times? All of the poor children in the Third World?

    Maybe we should just fly them in by the planeload. I suggest we skip Central America, though, and get ’em from the world’s truly awful places. Think Honduras is bad? Try the Central African Republic instead. Maybe we should fly all their children over hear. And remember that in this context child means anyone under age 18, but over there that will likely catch a lot of hardened fighters. I suggest we put them in your neighborhood, though. Mines full of Haitians and my in-laws is full of Mexicans.

  • Modulo Myself

    I live in pre-war Gothic building three blocks from Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn. Generally speaking I’m one of the few white people here. There’s a huge Caribbean population, as well as an Asian one, plus African-American and Hispanics. There’s also gentrification going on, and I live on the edge of that zone. I used to live in this area a decade ago, when I first moved to the city. At that time it was shocking to see an under-thirty white non-Orthodox person anywhere. Now I’m disturbingly older and the hipsters are everywhere, in cafes, bars with outdoor gardens, Tibetan restaurants.

  • ...

    And also remember that the American economy of the near future depends on a highly skilled workforce. So you’ve got ten years to see that these immigrants learn a whole bunch of things, and do so in English, when they never learned anything like that before. But given our highly touted educational system I’m sure that won’t be a problem.

  • Modulo Myself

    In the mining towns, in the 19th century, when a union went on strike, the scabs who replaced and fought them were almost always new immigrants. But in time, the scabs unionized and they went on strike and then more scabs came in, also immigrants. Eventually, this cycle worked to the advantage of the unions. Most of the gains of white people (all immigrants) came because they managed to use immigration to increase their power, and because Americans were made out of Eastern Europeans and Polish and Irish.

    Heartwarming myth? Probably. (African-Americans were too much to bring in, though certain unions did go for racial equality, for a bit.) But if the basic premise of white people fearing decline is that there’s no way in hell that solidarity will be shown to the people who would help them fight decline, why should anybody want to stick up for white people, who authored their problems?

  • Andy

    “I hate this extremists are holding us hostage nonsense. If you have a majority, you should be able to function like one.”

    Clearly, then, the Senate should bend to the will of the “People’s House” which is, after all, our representative legislative body…

  • Ben Wolf

    Ice, we already have Médecins Sans Frontières affiliates operating in the United States offering health care in areas that have always been desperately poor, namely the Appalachians.

  • Guarneri

    I have 8 figures, ice. Can you tell me how I am attempting to impoverish people for my own good? Please be specific.

    And what should be the mode of my execution?

  • michael reynolds


    In other words in states where Republican governors have rejected Medicaid expansion.

  • ...

    But if the basic premise of white people fearing decline is that there’s no way in hell that solidarity will be shown to the people who would help them fight decline, why should anybody want to stick up for white people, who authored their problems?

    Why should I expect a bunch of gang-banging Salvadorans to give a shit about anything I would care about? Why should I expect people that were poor with bad prospects in Honduras to come here and suddenly become the next Sergei Brin? Why should I expect a Mexican, who came here to undercut the wages of natives, tio suddenly want to help the natives make more money?


    And your analogy to 19 Century miners is bullshit too. The economy was growing at a healthy clip back then, with lots of unexploited resources, and the economy of the future was largely the economy of the present at that time: relatively unskilled labor would be in demand for decades to come.

    Also, the people didn’t all just integrate. It took time. It also took the native majority deciding to clamp down and end mass immigration for several decades, letting the immigrants know they needed to assimilate. Check out the Great Compression. That didn’t happen by accident.

    Now? I’m expected to learn Spanish to deal with the workers that will not learn English. That’s some assimilation going on there. As are the parts of town where all the business signs are in Spanish (parts of Oak Ridge, areas around south Semoran) because literally no one that lives there knows HOW to speak English.

    That’s great assimilation going on there.

    Finally, I’ll note that blacks are getting hammered the hardest by this flood from Latin America. Good to know that the Left’s hatred of whites, and the Right’s love of crushing the middle- and working-class, are coming together to fuck blacks in the ass, again. What’s their unemployment rate compared to whites again? But please, stay on the racism card while you impoverish blacks further to establish your moral superiority?

  • ...

    Drew, let me see your portfolio and I’m sure I’ll find plenty of evidence.

    But are you or any of your businesses supporting any Chambers of Commerce? As that it one of their primary concerns. And I know that you loudly support Open Borders candidates at every opportunity. I’m sure you send money there way whenever you can, too.

    Not to mention that you frequently complain about Americans not being willing to work for shitty wages, and therefore we must bring in people from the Third World who will work for shitty wages.

    As for your method of execution, I prefer a variation on drawing and quartering. But instead of chopping the head off after the (non-fatal) hanging, the person is eviscerated before the quartering.

    In any event, it’s people like you running the country, not people like me. You guys buy the pols, both individually and (especially) through lobbying groups. This land is your land, not my land, and it is clear what kind of land you guys want.

  • ...

    Please, modulo, steve, Reynolds and Drew, tell me how many Third World children are enough. Because I know all four of you back Open Borders every time you go to the ballot box, and no doubt with money to the extent possible.

    (And before Reynolds tells me he is opposed to mass immigration from the Third World: When have you ever NOT supported Open Borders candidates, and cheered them on, like Obama, for the great job they’re doing?)

  • ...

    The short point is this: In the last many years I have sen the government bend over backwards to help rich people pump up their portfolios. I have seen them bend over backwards to import people from the Third World. (See Clinton importing Haitians for a fun example.)

    And everything done for those groups has been to the detriment of the middle- and working-class citizens that are already here.

  • Guarneri

    Pretty weak, ice.

    “Let me see your portfolio and I’m sure I’ll find plenty of evidence.”

    Various fixed income securities. Some public equities. neither of which I control; its practically a blind trust. Real estate. Middle market manufacturing companies (that employ nary one illegal)

    “But are you or any of your businesses supporting any Chambers of Commerce?”


    “And I know that you loudly support Open Borders candidates at every opportunity. I’m sure you send money there way whenever you can, too.”

    Nope. And I think what’s happening down there is one of the most irresponsible – dare I say evil – things I’ve seen in awhile.

    “Not to mention that you frequently complain about Americans not being willing to work for shitty wages, and therefore we must bring in people from the Third World who will work for shitty wages.”

    Not complain, observe. Its an empirical fact. And you really ought to get real and acknowledge consumers who buy on price – despite all their assurances they won’t – for driving the competitive dynamic. You consume, right ice?

    “As for your method of execution, I prefer a variation on drawing and quartering. But instead of chopping the head off after the (non-fatal) hanging, the person is eviscerated before the quartering.”

    The are people and medications that can help you with this problem you have, ice. You are becoming hysterical – again – these days.

    “In any event, it’s people like you running the country, not people like me.”

    I again ask you, could you be specific and not ridiculously obtuse about how “people like me” are running the country – you know how much I love Obama – and impoverishing you for my personal gain. Its an honest question. An honest answer is due, not wild eyed invective.

  • ...

    Drew, my problem is that my world collapsed, the world for millions of others collapsed, the world for a lot of other people is deteriorating, and the people running the country are happy about that outcome. Obama was joking within seconds of telling people about an airliner being shot down today. That’s the kind of leadership we’ve got.

    As for being hysterical, again. Well, Drew, not all of us are worth 20,000,000 dollars or more. I couldn’t eat for several days a few weeks back because I was so sick to my stomach. Why? My wife in a thoughtless moment had flushed some wipes down a commode, and I couldn’t fix it. We did not have the money to call a plumber, and I couldn’t fix the damn clog. I won’t go into what all I tried, save to say that the only thing I hadn’t tried yet was acid.

    We got lucky that time, after two and a half weeks the clog worked itself out. Let me tell you, it isn’t much fun when you have to worry that every time you take a dump in your one functioning toilet that you might flood the house with shit water because the clog is working itself into new junctions all the time.

    My car desperately needs to be checked out. I need a minimum of about $800 dollars work done to it. That money is no where on the horizon.

    The refrigerator is making some horrible noises. It’s likely to die before the year is out. There’s no money for a replacement.

    Now I could scrip and save. I could probably save 20 dollars a month in entertainment for the daughter. I could probably save about 80 dollars if we stopped going to parks and I let her play with the ghetto urchins in my neighborhood. But it is going to be tough explaining to her that she can’t call people nigga like the other kids do because she’s a Nordic-looking type.

    And I could cut out the cable TV and internet service, and probably save another $100 a month. (I need to keep the land line for the alarm service.) I could, if I decided to become a complete shut in with my four year-old, save $200 a month in expenses. And after months of going insane we would have enough to cover a crisis – just one.

    We will probably have to do that sooner or later.

    Tell me why I’m supposed to be so fucking happy about this, when on top of everything else I’ve had a mysterious ailment that’s left me in miserable pain for long stretches the last ten months. And the docs can’t figure out the problem because it could be anything, and they need expensive tests, which I can’t afford, even with insurance, to figure out what, if anything besides stress, is wrong with me.

    Now tell me what kind of help I’m supposed to get for these problems, and tell me where I can get it for free. Otherwise, here’s hoping you and your whole goddamned family die in a hideous fiery car accident the next time you get in a car.

    As for how you are screwing the rest of us – tell me what companies you own. I don’t believe anyone rich for a second anymore. Every time I deal with one of you bastards I get the shaft. Better dealing with gang-bangers, as occasionally they can be shamed.

    And don’t tell me all the money that’s been pumped into the economy hasn’t done you some good. That’s just not a meaningful statement.

    Further, are you now telling me that you didn’t support Romney in 2012? Because he and his running mate are down with the open borders proposals. McCain famously is, and you supported him too. I’m not talking voting for them because they were slightly less noxious than the other guys, I’m talking about openly talking about them being good for the country.

    I could have sworn you were a Romney guy. Must have been mistaken.

  • ...

    Seriously, has anyone ever met a rich person who admits they’re rich?* Shit, if Larry Ellison were commenting here he’d probably claim he’s not rich. “Now those Gates, Buffet and Slim guys, THEY’RE rich! But I only own the world’s second largest yacht and third largest private island. I’m practically STARVIN’ here, man!”

    * excepting music acts and athletes, most of whom think they’re worth a lot more than they really are.

  • ...

    One for steve:

    If the concerns about sick “migrant” “children” are being overblown, why were government agents worried about their own health, and communicating that in non-public memos? The report didn’t cite some concerned citizen calling in to the Art Bell program.

    Another one for Drew:

    Big jump in number of millennials living with parents reported

    This is a successful economy according to the people running the country. We know they think it is successful because they aren’t making meaningful proposals to fix this, but instead have fixed the current policies in place.

    Now, who’s running the country if not the rich who buy and sell the pols? It certainly isn’t the brothers and sisters in the ‘hood, or their poor white neighbors. Somebody LIKES the direction the country is headed, with poor employment and declining wages and the importation of millions to insure that continues. And they are funding the people taking us there. Who the Hell is that, Drew? It’s pretty clear who’s whom, but who’s who, Drew?

  • ...

    The are people and medications that can help you with this problem you have, ice.

    This just highlights the communication gap. No, Drew, there are not people to help me with “this problem”, as you put it. First of all, I’m justified in my anger. Worlds have been moved to help the rich get richer. A molehill was moved a couple of times in the last year of the Bush Presidency to help the jobless, and one President and several Congresses grudgingly kept funding said molehill, until they didn’t.

    Secondly, not everything is an imagined problem for a therapist to “treat”. Some things are real problems. Check out the number of full time jobs in the economy now versus December of 2007. That’s not a problem for an encounter group.

    And finally, there aren’t people to help people like me with “this problem” because all of the folks who might in your opinion “help” by medicating me into oblivion want money that I don’t have. And if you had been paying attention, you’d know I didn’t have the money, because I’m not worth 20,000,000 dollars, and I’ve been out of work for six years. How hard are those last two facts to grasp?

  • TastyBits


    The pipes under my slab are broken, and our plumbing is dicey. Before my cleanout sunk too low, I would rent a power auger (snake) from Home Depot to clean out the mud and gunk. It stunk, but it was substantially cheaper than a plumber.

    The largest size (1″ or 3/4″) is the best, but it weighs a ton. I used the next size down. They give you a set of gloves, but you should buy a cheap pair of Playtex gloves to wear under the ones they give you.

    If you do not have a cleanout, you can go in through the roof vent, but you need to get a smaller size. You would need to do some research to find the right size.

    We got an estimate, and it ain’t pretty. I just had to replace the truck engine, and the AC compressor fan went out last week. It seems like every time I start to get ahead something comes up.

    I suspect you were a reliable Republican, and to you, I was crazy or eccentric. (If I were useful, I was eccentric.) You trusted the police. You thought the stock market was a good way to invest your money. You thought your Republican politicians were looking out for your well being.

    Today, you are more apt to listen.

  • jan

    “You know, it seems to me that the hunt for the Great White Whale comprehensive immigration reform is actually impeding immigration reform.”

    For the most part immigration reform has become so politicized that it’s now a radioactive issue that’s almost impossible to rectify without total attitude adjustments on both sides of the aisle. IMO, republicans have shown a tad bit more statesmanship in at least discussing long term goals of border security and honest verification that this has been done. The dems, though, through such mouthpieces like Harry Reid, seem bent on assuring us that the border is secure, even as tens of thousands stream across it, flooding into and using our strained immigration/medical resources. However,the fact that Reid, Obama and others in power, speaking in their authoritarian tones, won’t even visit the border — doing their high level assessments from afar — is proving to be a tone deaf, disastrous way to handle this escalating crisis.

    Consequently, while immigration problems have now topped the list of people’s concerns (over the economy and distrust of government), constructively reforming it has literally been thrown under the bus. Whatever happens in the immediate future will most likely be derived some dramatic unilateral executive action, which will only politicize and broader any gap of cooperation on this matter even further.

    The similarites between Nero fiddling as Rome burns, with Obama’s incessant fundraising antics (two to one to his predecessor)/WH parties, while this country churns with discontent and instability in the world increases, is mind-boggling.

  • Jimbino

    Right. I live in a world of singles and we don’t get any benefit from “family reunification.” Are we supposed to get married and breed in order to have immigration and green-card rights in various countries?

    I think not. Until we get those rights, we’ll just have to encourage the immigration of single kids and others that break the family bullshit-code.

  • mike shupp

    Remember the Know Nothings? Hating immigrants has been a basic part of American nationalism since at least the 1840’s. Not a particularly admirable part, or even especially successful, but grifters have been making a good living out of stirring up the yokels for going on two centuries now.

    And I wonder a bit… I think in the 1860’s ones political activity in the 1840’s could be shrugged off or forgotten — time had passed, other issues had come to a fore, etc. But we’ve got the internet now and Google’s Wayback Machine and the NSA probing our emails and tweets and selfies for sedition and salaciousness. It’s getting harder to shrug off what we’ve done in the past, in other words. Is that going to make us guard our tongues and typing fingers more carefully to avoid political taint? Or will we double down on what we’ve said and done, and become even more strident as we keep shouting the slogans of our ignorant youth?

  • Guarneri


    I repeat. You actually have no idea how sympathetic I am to the environment you find yourself in. But how is it my fault? Everything I write about here is at odds with what, in my judgment, creates that environment.

    You need to quit shooting your six shooter off in all directions and focus. Your posture is not productive. Sorry.

    Steve and Michael seem to think all is well. In my opinion Dave has adopted an intellectual safe harbor of “too soon to tell” and “everyone does it” and “its been a long time coming.” Non-committal. I don’t live in the luxury of a non-committal world. I get paid to take a stance.

    Everything Obama stands for and is executing is coming apart at the seams. I predicted it long ago. I’m right. People need to grow a pair and finally call it out.

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