Who Needs Amnesty?

When it comes to employers of illegal immigrants, President Bush has offered a whole lot of tough-talk to the American people. But please, Mr. President, tell us how you really feel …

Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which subsequently was merged into the Homeland Security Department. The number of employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants dropped from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003, and fines collected declined from $3.6 million to $212,000, according to federal statistics.

In 1999, the United States initiated fines against 417 companies. In 2004, it issued fine notices to three. Washington Post

Don't be too worried, though:

The administration says it is learning from past failures . . .

What failures, Mr. President? You have been quite successful in pandering to business lobbies and illegal immigrants, who, by the way, can't even vote. It seems you have taken a page right out of the Clinton playbook:

Major work-site crackdowns have run into trouble in the past. A spring 1998 sweep that targeted the Vidalia onion harvest in Georgia, and Operation Vanguard, a 1999 clampdown on meatpacking plants in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota, provide case studies of how the government fared when confronted by a coalition that included low-wage immigrant workers and the industries that hire them, analysts said.

The Georgia raids netted 4,034 illegal immigrants, prompting other unauthorized workers to stay home. As the $90 million onion crop sat in the field, farmers "started screaming to their local representatives," said Bart Szafnicki, INS assistant district director for investigations in Atlanta from 1991 to 2001.

Georgia's two senators and three of its House members, led by then-Sen. Paul Coverdell (R) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R), complained in a letter to Washington that the INS did not understand the needs of America's farmers. The raids stopped. [Note: the Washington Post has no problem calling out President Bush in this article, but when it comes to Clinton, it's "a letter to Washington."]

Operation Vanguard met a similar fate:

Nebraska's members of Congress at first called for tougher enforcement, recalled Mark Reed, then INS director of operations. But when the result shut down some plants, "all hell broke loose," he said.

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns (R), who was governor at the time, appointed a task force to oppose the operation. Former governor Ben Nelson (D), now a U.S. senator, was hired as a lobbyist by meatpackers and ranchers. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) pressured the Justice Department to stop.

Seeing all those (R)'s and (D)'s next to eachother really warms the heart. It's a shame that the political markeplace has become so divided of late. After all, getting screwed by both republicans and democrats is far more enjoyable without all that partisan bickering.

Posted by Dr Politico at June 19, 2006 8:22 PM
Comment #159303

All those R’s and D’s? Something wrong with your arithmetic education?

I count FOUR Republicans and a single Democrat which is about the right ratio of support Big Business has for both parties.

I see nothing wrong in this behavior. Bush and the GOP are just working for their constituents. They know who got them into power.

Posted by: Aldous at June 19, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #159304

That’s beautiful…working together to to enact probably the most meaningless piece of legislation yet. When this bill comes out of the senate, if it includes any provision for amnesty in any sense, then you know something smells sour.

I read in the LA Times a few months back that immigrants who were being caught at the border were claiming that they were here for “the Bush Amnesty.” Not sure where they were crossing…it may be a rumer spread by a local group of cayotes or something…but its fishy.

I’m thinking Fox and Bush may have worked who knows what out years ago, and much of this is carefully designed for two seperate elections.

Nice Post though. First I’ve really liked from the doc.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #159305


First, you forgot to count Clinton.

Second, it wasn’t arithmetic.

Third, I’d like evidence to support that ratio claim of yours.

Fourth, don’t be so anal.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 19, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #159306


A lesson for you from DP:

arithmetic (n): the branch of pure mathematics dealing with the theory of numerical calculations.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 19, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #159312

Just another example of government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations.

Posted by: jlw at June 19, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #159315

Dr. Political,

Get your definition from a real dictionary. Not the first one that comes up on google.

Pronunciation: &-‘rith-m&-“tik
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English arsmetrik, from Old French arismetique, from Latin arithmetica, from Greek arithmEtikE,

1 a : a branch of mathematics that deals usually with the nonnegative real numbers including sometimes the transfinite cardinals and with the application of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to them b : a treatise on arithmetic

Posted by: Vincent Vega at June 19, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #159317

On the post, I agree. The only way to crack down on illegal immigration is to stop the employers. If there are no jobs to gain up here, then there will be no reason to come up here.

Maybe we could start by raising the minium wage to an actual living wage.

Posted by: Vincent Vega at June 19, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #159320

It’s no coincidence that the numbers go down with the Bush administration. The Bush administration is following the logic that underlies much of modern conservative thought on the economy: Any move that costs companies on their bottom line is considered interfering with the free market. This is how people get away with hiring illegal aliens: To deprive them of those workers would cost growers and those who hire illegals money. This, they believe, would raise the prices of other products and so forth and so on.

Funny thing is, though, the market’s complicated, and what we gain in cheaper prices, we lose in domestic employment for citizens. Similarly, in places where people go the cheap route by paying non-living wages, the supposed economic gains wrought by that practice are taken back from the community in terms of the need of these people to rely on public services to get by.

Ultimately, the only people who benefit from these shufflings of dollars are usually executives trying to squeeze artificial profits out of enterprises without going the simple (and sometimes difficult) route of doing something to earn that money.

When I advocate for stricter regulation of corporate finance and financial institutions, its with one thought in mind: minimize the opportunities for those whose approach to the market is seeking profits by trickery and sleight of hand, rather than real productivity.

Pure competition does not a functional market make, all by itself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 19, 2006 10:07 PM
Comment #159324

Dr. Politico

Good Article,
Much credit to you for this one.
Now the real question is. Which of the 500+ sell-outs are willing to stand up and do more than pay lip service.
On another note…
It is always an occaison worth marking when the Dems and Reps find common cause. I of course refer to the bi-patisan support of stopping the crack downs you illustrate.

Posted by: Ted at June 19, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #159325


“To deprive them of those workers would cost growers and those who hire illegals money. This, they believe, would raise the prices of other products and so forth and so on.”

That’s the excuse coming out of the left. You know, $10 heads of lettuce.

I agree with you mostly, though I’d only point out that when it comes to pork, both parties love to feast.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 19, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #159326

I despise the idea of a free pass for law-breakers. One major problem GW faces that gets little attention is the political environment in Mexico. Fox may be a snake, but compared to some of the Communist/Ultra Socialist wannabe Presidents vying for position down there I got to believe that GW is dealing with Vicente beneath the radar, “better the devil ya know…” Politics stink, and open borders with amnesty thrown in is a dangerous situation. The Senate plan is weak, but would we really be MORE comfortable with another Castro or Chavez peeking at us over the fence outside of San Diego should a more restrictive policy lead to a Fox defeat? The House is already wiggling a bit and it seems a foregone conclusion we’ll see amnesty of a sort. I can only hope that enforcement policies will at the very least expose those great unknowns already here and bring to a halt the mass migrations of the last two decades.

Posted by: JR at June 19, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #159328

Well, I returned last night from my regular trip to the Tucson area. I did not log the total number of pick-ups by BP, but, the total number that I heard on my radio was serveral hundred. Of course they will be sent back to the Fox den and try it again. My heart is with BP they do a very demanding job, but the higher authorities will not support them. Keep up the terrific work BP.

Posted by: tomh at June 19, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #159333

“To deprive them of those workers would cost growers and those who hire illegals money. This, they believe, would raise the prices of other products and so forth and so on.”

Pretty much spot on what I get from people here in N. California. Very recently in the LA Times and the Press Enterprise there were articles about the back-end costs of hiring illegal alien labor. The work is inferior quality, and folks all over the LA basin are finding that after 5 or 10 years their homes need significant repair. This is, of course, much more expensive in the long run as problems persist. The same goes for anything else these idiot politicians allow illegal labor to build. I’ve lived in NYC where you can’t build a treehouse without union labor…costs a bit more but it takes a hell of a lot to bring it down.

Once again, the fox didn’t do a very good job watching the hens. The old adage is true: You get what you pay for.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #159346

The solution to illegal aliens in the workforce is to mandate a maximum wage for illegals (say, $4.50). If a company is found to be giving above that wage, fine them. That maximum should move progressively lower each year. Eventually the illegals will swim back home on their own.

Posted by: Don at June 19, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #159354

I guess if we used all union labor we would get building quality along the lines of cars from Detroit. There is no excuse for the lax enforcement by the INS (or whatever they were merged into) other than politics. I would like to ask the administration why the head of every INS office in the country hasn’t been fired for failing to do their jobs. I’m sure all their manpower is being spend on tracking down terrorists. More likely that they are strict orders to not make raids involving illegals.

Posted by: Carnak at June 20, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #159383
Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service

In 1999, the United States initiated fines against 417 companies. In 2004, it issued fine notices to three.

It seems you have taken a page right out of the Clinton playbook:


Funny DP, so what playbook are you referring too? Did you just throw Clinton’s name out there, out of habit? According to the numbers you have cited, Bush should be held accountable for the dramatic and pathetic drop of work-site enforcement. Since you don’t mention Clinton’s name with any other data or comment, I just have to figure this is normal Neocon rant.

That’s the excuse coming out of the left. You know, $10 heads of lettuce.

Seems to me a few Republicans have mentioned this also, unless of course you are denying for one, John McCann is a Republican. I suppose this is your version of “Fair and Balanced.”

After the Blog posted yesterday, claiming that immigration was supposedly going to be Democrat’s Achilles heel. Today’s letter to the president from his conservative base may seem a little embarrassing. But then, shouldn’t you be used to it by now?

Posted by: Cube at June 20, 2006 2:37 AM
Comment #159390

“I guess if we used all union labor we would get building quality along the lines of cars from Detroit.”

From my favorite person too. I must admit, I was anticipating critics to point out the two biggest examples of unions gone amuck: Airline Industry and United Auto Workers of America.

Carnak, the problem with the comparison is that it doesn’t focus on the labor force itself, but rather the management decisions out of their control. Now if you wanted to argue that the unions get greedy and can cripple a company with demands - health care alone when there are more people with senoirity than not because they’ve lost market share and must fire from the bottom of the pyramid first. It comes down to the same issue as social security: more wind up collecting than paying in. Now I’d agree with you all the way were you to say this.

Truth is GM was run badly for so long, there should be no pity (same with airlines). I never ran out to buy an inferior product made by a company who focuses more on convincing people bigger is better than it does spending the money on quality production. Plenty of advertising dollars + no product = gross mismanagment. Don’t get sucked in to blaming the blue-collar guys. That would be very much like people who got sucked into thinking American cars were somehow more “american” than say Honda or Toyota.

Facts are: rich GM executives who probably often dine with executive branch members made decisions for the good of the stockholders rather than their customers, and a higher percentage of a Toyota is made in America than in a Chevy.

But the labor is skilled, and that is the point. With unskilled immigrant labor you get substandard workmanship. Unions have apprenticeships and a whole set of hoops to jump through to move up. And much like a business, their reputation is important. It is not un-american at all, and in the absense of a monopoly, can be quite competative (mob wars aside).

So it’s not the Unions fault your Suburban Gas Guzzler SUV spontaniously blows up from time to time. The marketing firms knew they could wave an American flag in a commercial and the fools would come running.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 3:04 AM
Comment #159434

Seems to me you just made the best arguement to vote 3rd party this november and everyone for the next 12-20 years. Let the parties know that we the “Base” are not going to stand up to this big business ass kissing anymore. We want beter wages, to get those we have to have people who are legal working the jobs, so we have to pay more for a head of lettice but that isn’t a problem to me. All companies try to bring their costs down and should be done. As someone else said you get what you pay for. Hell I see how they build new homes now. I wouldn’t buy one for half of what they are asking. I want a nice solid house built 25-60 years ago.
1. Beter lumber, the older it is the beter (as long as no pest/dry rot) I have 2X4’s in my rental I had to drill a hole in so I could drive the nail into it).
2. Used more material, actually something behind the drywall besides the 2x4’s
The only thing I would repace is the windows and add insulation to the walls. Oh yeah I did that.
I rent that house and don’t worry about it getting trashed, Their isn’t much you can do to mess it up. You would break your hand before getting though the wall.
As for getting the illegials I am not that worried about rounding them up.
Make companies verify an emplyees ability to work in the US. As an aircraft mechanic I have to PROVE I can work in the US to get hired. make the rules the same for the rest of the companies. First offense $100,000 an illegial, Second offence $1mil an illegial, 3rd offence $100mil an illegial. The amount of the fine unpaid by the company will be levied upon the managor, and corperate execs untill the fine is paid in full. No LLC protections for this offence. This would solve the border problem in the south.

Posted by: timesend at June 20, 2006 6:48 AM
Comment #159440

timesend, Ford Motor taught us with their Pinto, that fines don’t work too well. For some businesses they just get added to the cost benefit equation. For small businesses, the fines will be greater than the savings. For big business, their lobbyists will get the fines reduced in one election cycle of political bribes and blackmail of Congress.

What is needed is jail time. A guy steals some clothes for his kids, and serves jail time. A guy hires illegals and cheats many people out of a living wage to boot, and he gets a fine? I don’t see the justice in this.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2006 7:37 AM
Comment #159442

DR Politico, to answer your question: Who needs Amnesty?, the answer is about 1.75 BILLION people in the world need amnesty and free unfettered access to American quality of life within our borders. That’s who.


Erect border barriers which stem the flow by 90+ percent. The Barriers need to be difficult to overcome, backed by human surveillance and interdiction, and must drive the cost of Coyote services to get illegals across beyond the reach of most illegal wannabe’s.

Having done or begun that first and foremost: Enforce laws and stiffen penalties for hiring illegals.

Then, after these things have been accomplished, then, and only then, can discussion about amnesty for illegals already here become a rational one.

It does not good to deport if they come right back through days or weeks later. It does no good to deport if their employers will hire them back on their return trip. Amnesty makes compounds the problems of America as long as the borders are porous and our existent laws are not being enforced. This situation makes a mockery of our justice system, our government’s ability to address vital national concerns, and the voter’s responsibility to elect officals who can get the important jobs done, and vote out those who demonstrate they can’t or won’t.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2006 7:47 AM
Comment #159483

IF it was not such a bittersweet taste,I would revel in the fact that even Republican supporters do realize just how poor a Presidency BUSHCO provides.
I wish I could at least congratulate BUSHCO on a progressive move towards dealing with immigration,but I understand that the primary consideration for BUSHCO is simply to be able to increase the already bloated profits realized by their big business,congress love triangle.

Posted by: jblym at June 20, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #159511

The sad part is this is the key to the problem. Go after the employers and the problem will vanish.

Posted by: gergle at June 20, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #159540

I won’t argue that American car companies have good management. In fact I will agree with you concerning how bad they are. Like most American companies its all about the current quarter results. Inflate earnings in the quarter I cash in my options and to hell with what happens after that. While I would really like to buy an American car I don’t even consider them. I recal talking to a line foreman from Chrysler telling me about line workers doing crap like tossing a couple loose bolts into areas that get welded shut so there are rattles that can’t be fixed. So what if you are caught the union will protect you. with unions you get UAW quality, US Post office efficiency, and Teamster ethics.

Posted by: Carnak at June 20, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #159565


Please tell me how illegal immigration labor compares to the “UAW quality, US Post office efficiency, and Teamster ethics” which built America?

We need to reel you back in here…you’re in an unnecessary attack mode.

Posted by: kevin23 at June 20, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #159615

I don’t know about where you live but here in OR the post office is actually quite efficient. I send a letter across the state and it gets their the next day. Not bad considering that it has to leave here get to at least 2 processing centers. I am not saying that it couldn’t be better but considering the volume it handles the job it does is very good. Most of the time they are just as fast as UPS or FED-EX. So where you live they may need to improve their effency but look at where all they have to go. They have had to improve their effency to compete against UPS, Fed-ex and even DHL.

Posted by: timesend at June 20, 2006 3:51 PM
Comment #159676

Don’t get me wrong. If it was up to me every illegal would be deported tomorrow morning and we would have a wall built along the border. However work wise if a non union illegal does poor work you fire his ass. If a union EE does poor work you shrug your shoulders with the realization that there is not much you can do about it. Having said that I am not proposing the hiring of illegals. I would support any size increase in penalties on employers who hire them. Unions are like socialism; they sound great in theory but in practise they don’t work so well.
RE: the US post office if they moved any slower they wouldn’t be moving at all. I regularly get other peoples mail and I often do not receive things I am expecting. As for the teamsters and the UAW You would have to be living under a rock to not know about teamster corruption and if you think the UAW does good work then go ahead and buy that quality UAW built car. Your call.
Flame away.

Posted by: Carnak at June 20, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #159695


You honestly believe that UAW greed and laziness is the promary cause of crappy cars coming out of Detroit? You really believe that?

Look, they didn’t help matters any with their demands (and you can indeed fire a company using union workers if you don’t like their work), but they did not run that industry into the ground…management did … or should I say greedy ass shareholders did…and I’m willing to bet that most are Pro-Republican agenda all the way!

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #159709

Also, I was very careful in the beginning to point out that “unions” does not mean teamsters and UAW. Those are extreme examples of monopolistic unions. And I don’t think you can blame anyone for having Mob ties…hell half of NYC had Mob ties at some point.

It’s not enough to say that since there are a few bad unions, they are all bad. Even if you want to go down that road (dangerous, so look out), you need to remember that Unions are functionally democratic…not a whole lot different than the corperation itself. And definately don’t allude that the union workers aren’t skilled enough to make quality products. They are!

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #159728


You will never catch me defending the clowns that run US auto makers. They lack foresight, imagination and plain business sense. The UAW just does a shoddy job of putting those poorly designed cars together. They are probably not as bad as they used to be as reality has set in as jobs are lost.
Auto Execs are probably worse than most but in general I do not have much regard for US corporate execs. They all seem to be driven by short term goals and greed. I just think unions are the opposit side of the same coin. Just as short sighted and greedy.
As for the political affiliation of corporate execs I really don’t think you can say what they are. There may have been a time when most were Republican but I think today the split is more even than one would suspect. There is a large group of them that are “fiscally conservative but socially liberal”. I guess you could say they are both greedy and have no morals.

Posted by: Carnak at June 20, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #159752

I was expecting to be called out on the repub-exec’s connection, so let me quickly clarify. I shouldn’t have been so vague and general as I get mad when others do. It was only on the republican agenda to cut capital gains tax…and anyone who would allow an entire workforce and industry to go in the toilet simply for a short term capital gain from the stock appreciation is probably going to care a lot about that issue.

That being said, people are people, and I guess we actually agree that we should poke some holes in those golden parachutes.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #160239

Of course the reason Bush hasn’t clamped down on illegal immigration is not because he’s a “compassionate conservative” but he sides with big business whenever their profits are at stake.

Just like whenever it come to the environment vs polluters, republicans will always choose the polluters. Now we know the truth, that Bush is willing to leave the borders open and jeopardize national security as long as it helps the corporations. Republicans only really care about national security when it doesn’t hurt industry.

Posted by: john at June 21, 2006 10:06 PM
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