Senator Chuck Hagel's Empty Rhetoric

Senator Chuck Hagel decries how Republicans have “lost their way when it comes to many core GOP principles.” This is true. But before Senator Hagel accuses anyone from straying off the pure path he ought to assess himself.

On a very important issue for Americans -- immigration -- Senator Hagel's position resembles what Mexico City would favor.

The Senate's idea of immigration reform is partially derived from Senator Hagel's ideas. Consider what The Washington Times reported earlier this year:

The little-noticed provisions are part of legislation co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Mel Martinez of Florida, which overcame some early stumbles and now has bipartisan support in the Senate. The bill also has been praised by President Bush, and he is expected to endorse it as a starting point for negotiations in his prime-time address to the nation tonight.

All told, the Hagel-Martinez bill would increase the annual flow of legal immigrants into the U.S. to more than 2 million from roughly 1 million today, scholars and analysts say.

These proposed increases are in addition to the estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal aliens already in the U.S. whom the bill would put on a path to citizenship. These figures also do not take into account the hundreds of thousands of additional immigrants who would be admitted to the U.S. each year under the guest-worker program that is part of the bill.

This doesn't sound like a position many Republicans, or most Americans, would favor.

Mr. Hagel also questioned where "the fiscal responsibility of the [Republican] party" was. The Washington Post reported this about Hagel's immigration bill:

The Senate's embattled immigration bill would raise government spending by as much as $126 billion over the next decade, as the government begins paying out federal benefits to millions of new legal workers and cracks down on the border, a new Congressional Budget Office analysis concludes.

Senator Hagel probably forgot to mention that he included himself in his remark.

Posted by Mike Tate at August 22, 2006 6:57 PM
Comments
Comment #177015

I think pro-business and pro-free trade Republicans, including the President, would find Hagel’s position perfectly acceptable.

Is nativism now a “core Republican principle?”

Posted by: Arr-squared at August 22, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #177017

Arr-squared:

You are 100% correct and this is why it’s foolish for Chuck to throw punches when he seems rather neoconservative himself.

And in response to your question: No nativism is not a core Republican principle, its just, you know, there are people out there who like upholding the law.

Posted by: Mike Tate at August 22, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #177021

Mike,
What is Hagel talking about?

“Where is the fiscal responsibility of the party I joined in ‘68? Where is the international engagement of the party I joined — fair, free trade, individual responsibility, not building a bigger government, but building a smaller government?”

Republicans did not lose their way. The followed their way to its natural conclusion. At times, ideals within the Republican philosophy came into conflict, and one ideal trumped another; for example, the concept of small government came into conflict with Corporatism, the K Street Project, a philosophy that corporations should be granted rights under the 14th amendment, a fundamental conservative devotion to business as a way of satisfying individual greed.

Here we are.

Republicans found their way, make no mistake. In the ossification that comes with devotion to tradition & convention, the hardening of the arteries, the hardening of the heart, Republicans opposed progressivity & progress, liberalism, and change. They established walls.

Here we are.

Conservatives and Republicans should embrace the present, and trumpet their achievements under the Bush administration.

Unless, of course, there are failures instead of achievements, and unless the underlying philosophy is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Posted by: phx8 at August 22, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #177031

You Republicans should just support Hagel, because he’s a sitting Republican Senator and you shouldn’t question him. Just like us Dems were supposed to do with Lieberman.

Posted by: David S at August 22, 2006 8:33 PM
Comment #177032

Mike,

This might be minor, but when I think of “neoconservative,” it pretty much refers to a foreign policy orientation, not an economic one. I tend to think of laissez-faire as, if you will, paleoconservative.

Posted by: Arr-squared at August 22, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #177036

Arr-squared:

You’re correct: neoconservative does refer to a particular foreign policy orientation, however, I see that philosophy tied with Republicans in favor of a guest worker program. Exceptions always exist though.

Posted by: Mike Tate at August 22, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #177042

The simple act of securing our borders would cost more than 126 billion over the next 10 years. Hagel is not contradicting conservative fiscal policy in advocating for a solution to our porous border and continuing Illegal immigration absence of enforcement. Failing to act on border security which the Republicans have accomplished so well since 9/11 is costing our nation far, far more.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 22, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #177043

Mike,

Most of the 126 billion cited is for enforcing the border and immigration laws anyway. I suppose your against greater enforcement because of the cost?

Supporters of the legislation cautioned that the CBO’s total needs to be put into context. For instance, most of the $78 billion in discretionary spending that the Senate bill authorizes through 2016 would fund law enforcement measures that conservatives are pushing for anyway.

What’s more, the bill would have increased benefits in social security and other taxes. Have you even looked at the economic value immigrants working hard jobs for low wages add to our economy? It is certainly more than the remaining 50 billion.

Posted by: chris2x at August 22, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #177044

Geez, Mike, 12.6 billion a year for greater border security and more of the kind of legal immigration that keeps America’s academics, sciences, and industries a leading force in the world?

I’d say your cost-benefit analysis fails to consider the benefits. Did you know immigrants have a better than average per capita contribution to tax revenues?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 22, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #177051

Perhaps the good senator is stating the obvious because its election time. Sorta hinting that given another chance all those repubs up for re-election would get right with the voters interests.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 22, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #177058

Stephen -

“Did you know immigrants have a better than average per capita contribution to tax revenues?”

Are you referring to Mexican illegal immigrants or immigrants in general?

Posted by: Don at August 23, 2006 2:01 AM
Comment #177059

Don said,

Are you referring to Mexican illegal immigrants or immigrants in general?

Just what are you getting at Don? Why are you trying to make a distinction in this case about Mexicans. If you have something to say come out and say it. Have some courage.

Who do I see working hard for their families so Americans can make more money doing something else, buy cheap food, and still give Republicans someone to sneer at? I’ll tell you, our friends south of the border.

Posted by: chris2x at August 23, 2006 3:30 AM
Comment #177064
You Republicans should just support Hagel, because he’s a sitting Republican Senator and you shouldn’t question him. Just like us Dems were supposed to do with Lieberman.

Yeah, no kidding. How can they be so mean to him? Chuck Hagel is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever met in my life.
Have they no shame? ;)

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 23, 2006 7:48 AM
Comment #177069

Gee a Democrat working with a Republican on illegal aliens issue, and you are saying Mexico City would like it. Of course they would, but the biggest backer is the President.
So does it make President any better then Hagel?

Illegals are illegal and need to be shipped back to where they came from.

Posted by: KT at August 23, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #177070

Hagel is calling it like he sees it. Ultimately, the voters will decide. The appeasers will have to answer for their lack of vision This “fascist” thingy with the muslims is not going away anytime soon.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 23, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #177073

I know this Republican thinks that the proposal sounds pretty good.

Why are we trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater on immigration? If you had to pick one defining difference to distinguish the U.S. from all other countries in the world (with the possible exception of Canada), our ability to attract and assimilate/ integrate immigrants into our society is it.

We are country that has given hope to the people of the world that they can come here and be better off for having given all they know up and risk it all on an opportunity for freedom and success. We are better for it and so are the immigrants.

We need common-sense policies like those Hagel has proposed that recognize the enormous benefits that immigration have on our society and our economy while providing for means to ensure that the overall flow of immigrants into the country is controlled and done through legal means.

Posted by: Rob at August 23, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #177074

Let us hope that the House continues to shun this bill. Martinez is way out there also - he is taking a position contrary to the voters that elected him. Overall, he is a real disappointment.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at August 23, 2006 9:24 AM
Comment #177082

Rob, yes the US attracts citizens of other countries and we should let some in that do it legally. The illegal aliens are a burden upon local/state/federal governments. Most get paid under the table(day workers), the use medical facilities without any kind of insurance, and pay no income taxes.
How many of the illegals have been here and caught and continue to come back time after time? The time and money spent catching,processing and sending back the illegals could be spent elsewhere, such as border security, my tax dollars better spent that way, because I know the illegals do not reemburse the US government for any housing/food and transportation back to where they came from.

Posted by: KT at August 23, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #177083

Don-
Immigrants in general.

Personally, I think the Guest-worker program is the worst possible idea. It effectively legalizes the cheating that employment of illegal aliens represents, and institutionalizes the underclass and corrupt business practices it creates.

If a person wishes to work or study here under a visa, fine. If a person wishes to immigrate to this country, great! In fact, we should extend our range of immigration so that more people of lower income can do it. Give people a chance to immigrate legally. The institution of non-citizen labor, whether it’s called illegal immigration or a guest-worker program, though, must be opposed.

The Europeans already tried Guest Worker programs, with the result that they now find themselves dealing with large, unassimilated immigrant populations radicalized by second class treatment. Repeating our own mistakes is foolish. Repeating somebody else’s is sheer stupidity.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 23, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #177085

Stephen,

“I’d say your cost-benefit analysis fails to consider the benefits. Did you know immigrants have a better than average per capita contribution to tax revenues?”

No, I don’t know that. I live in Southern California where virtually all immigrants are illegal and from Mexico/Guatemala/etc. They have taken ALL the low-end jobs and severely depressed wages. They cost us $10 to $12 Billion per year in social services in California alone. And that doesn’t include the money they get from the earned income credit (yes, they get tax refunds even when they haven’t paid any in!)

Emergency and trauma-care centers are closing because they can’t handle the heavy load from the illegals, who don’t go to doctors because they would have to pay for that. I’ve personally sat for more than 2 hours waiting for care in an emergency room (with a broken wrist), while they worked through the huge number of illegals there. I was in a suburban hospital, most of the illegals had driven more than 20 minutes to get to this hospital because the emergency room was still open. Not a doctor, but they looked mostly like they were suffering from the flu & minor cuts & scrapes.

These people fill up our schools and WON’T (not CAN’T) learn English. They stand outside Home Depots & other stores and aggressively solicit work. They harass and scare women who make the mistake of passing by.

I haven’t even mentioned the potential for smuggling terrorists & weapons into the country. I say spend the $126 Billion and then some. This is THE security issue of our day!

Posted by: Martian at August 23, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #177086

Stephen,

One point of interest on your post. How does the guest worker program really differ from the Work Visa program. Aren’t they both “non-citizen” labor?

Posted by: Rob at August 23, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #177098

The report estimating the cost claims this: “Newly legalized immigrants would claim nearly $50 billion in federal benefits such as the earned income and child tax credits, Medicaid, and Social Security.”

I’m not against allocating money for border enforcement.

Posted by: Mike Tate at August 23, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #177100

Do illegal immigrants and their employers pay FICA and other income taxes on the wages? Only if they have false SSN’s, I would think.

Would the GOP allow for enforcement of labor and tax laws if these laborers were now legal? Or would enforecement simply increase net wage caosts and therefore be anti-business? Would the illegals even want to enter the system? Or would they mostly go under-the-table?

As for Mikes premise that immigration is a major policy issue for most issues… I think it’s the result of politiking and fear mongering to distract away from even more substantial issues as the war, unitary presidency, budget deficits, unfair taxation in favor of the wealthy, etc… etc… etc…

Posted by: Dave1 at August 23, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #177102

Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree about closing the border to illegal immigration. While we won’t stop it all, that doesn’t mean no effort should be made.

Cities, etc., that pass laws against prosecuting illegal aliens should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting crime (Illegal immigration).

It’s illegal for many reasons, not the least of which is fairness. Allowing lots of illegals into the country gives an unfair advantage to the criminals at our borders.

If we need more immigrants all we need to do is increase LEGAL immigration. There are plenty from all around the world who would come to work and become Americans.

We need to send packing all who hold allegiance to contries other than the United States. Those who are against the United States shouldn’t be allowed to stay, and those who break the law should be imprisoned, and treason should be against the law.

Treason should be well defined by our elected representative so we as society can define things.

I know several Democrats who would agree with these things, so this shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

Posted by: Steve S at August 23, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #177109
Cities, etc., that pass laws against prosecuting illegal aliens should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting crime (Illegal immigration)…and treason should be against the law. Posted by: Steve S at August 23, 2006 01:03 PM
How do you prosecute a “city”? And, isn’t “treason” already illegal? Finally, for real?:
“Treason should be well defined by our elected representative so we as society can define things.”
Posted by: Dave1 at August 23, 2006 1:37 PM
Comment #177112

Martian-

I second your sentiments. Massive illegal immigration has had a profoundly negative impact on both the job and housing markets in southern CA. The middle class are being squeezed. The illegals work for peanuts and the only ones who benefit more than they lose are those fortunate enough to be in the position to hire illegal workers to build and maintain their sprawling and ever-expanding personal empires. Meanwhile, they create social problems galore in the neighborhoods and schools that natives used to take great pride in.

Solution? Move away and keep quiet, otherwise risk being called “racist”. Problem? The average CA resident is paying over half of their household income for their house so they can avoid the mess. And STILL, the problem grows. What hapens when the only way to avoid the everyday frustrations that Martian touched on in his post is to spend more than you make?

There are SO MANY direct and indirect problems with having an effectively open border with Mexico, and they are very real and legitimate issues like feeling safe walking down the street, being able to ask the person behind the counter of a store an important question about a product, providing quality education and health care, etc, etc, etc. Seeing as how we are spending a half-trillion dollars in Iraq to supposedly make Americans “safer”, I think bashing a plan to impliment some real and tangable security measures like securing the border simply because it has a “big” price-tag is irresponsable and short-sighted. I’m not saying this is the best plan, as I hate amnesty. But bashing this as being wasteful and Iraq as a good deal is just, shall I take a page from the neo-con playbook, “treasonous.”

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 23, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #177113

Mike,

Re benefits for newly legalized immigrants:
I’m not sure if they are legalized why the shouldn’t receive them. I think there is good reason to hold some benefits out for only those that achieve citizenship, TANF springs to mind first. I’m on the fence on Medicaid; however, I think there could be grave public health implications if we didn’t provide it, so there would have to be an alternative if we chose to reserve that benefit for citizens only. However, SSI and the earned income tax credits should be available to anyone who pays in. If they are receiving the earned income tax credit, that means they are paying taxes, why would we want to set a dual standard on taxation for legal immigrants versus citizens?

Dave1,
Re the GOP and labor and tax laws for legal immigrants: The laws most definitely would apply and should be conformed to. Enforcement of the labor laws is almost always reactive (for good or bad, mostly bad, I imagine). Right now, illegal immigrants can not make complaints for fear of being sent back home. Legal immigrants would not have to be silenced by fear, they would be able to make complaints. As to the taxation laws, I would think that the IRS would have the same success rate going after the cheats that they do now with people that pay legal immigrants or even citizens under the table. Again, participation in the legal economy for the workers will have its benefits (SSI, earned income tax credit), so the legal immigrants may be more willing to pariticpate.

Steve S,

I agree with you. I’m surprised by the bi-partisanship on this issue on these boards already. Normally, left leaning writers have come out with as much venom for illegal immigrants as the most conservative of writers. The same is true on the other hand as well.

Since this issue began popping up a while ago, I’ve noticed that the devil (as usually is the case) is in the details. There seem to be several schools of thought on the issue. I thought it might be worthwhile to review them here. I’m trying to do this in an unbiased/ analytical fashion as possible. Like everyone, I have opinions on this issue, so my bias may show through, feel free to call me on it.

One thing that I think most agree with is that the borders should be more secure and illegal immigration is a crime.

The difference in opions seems more in the methods for how to reduce it.

The first major approach offered is a law enforcement approach that relies heavily on catching illegal immigrants with a strong presence at the border(s) (the s in parens, because usually is referring only to the Southern border, but occasionally the Nothern border is mentioned). Variants in this approach include the following:

a) Increasing the number of border enforcement officers,
b) Bringing in the military or national or state guard units,
c) Building a wall which is either a virtual wall of surveillance or an actual brink an mortar wall.

This approach is often combined with elements of the second one listed below.

This second major approach is to disincent people from immigrating illegally. There are at least two major strategies for this:

1) Patrol and punish the busineses who employ illegal immigrants. This approach is based on the idea that you make the cost of doing business with illegal labor so high that there is no reason to continue the practice. It also has a corollary benefit of punishing severely those who are “strong and wrong” while punishing less severely those that are “weak and hungry for a better life.” There are variants to this approach that include the following:

a) Better enforcement of existing laws
b) Rewriting the existing laws to put more teeth in them including jail time for company owners and bankrupting fines.

These approaches seem to be favored by those that beleive that the U.S. is not at or even close to full employment and the having a large immigrant (legal or not) population is driving down wages for American workers.

2) Expand the pool of legal immigrants. This approach is premised on the idea that if there were enough legal immigrants in the labor force, the cost of doing business illegally would be so marginally different than doing it legally that there is no incentive for employers to do so. It also has a corrolary benefit of “allowing more access to the American Dream” and not (or de-) criminalizing businesses who employ low-cost immigrant labor. This approach also has variants. The variants include the following:

a) Expanding the pool of permanent immigrants that can come to the U.S. each year, and in some cases restructuring the method for allocating the spots.

b) Implementing a guest worker program that while not providing a path to permanent citizenship, allows the workers to be legal immigrants to the U.S.

This approach seems to be favored by those that believe that the U.S. is closer to full labor capacity and that having a large immigrant labor pool is necessary to keep costs low for consumers on goods and services.

Posted by: Rob at August 23, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #177116

Dave1,

Fake SSNs used to be the norm in the illegal community. But the IRS isn’t stupid & has adapted to the marketplace. Most illegals now (at least here is SoCal) get federal ID #’s and “pay” taxes that way. Of course, because of our rob the rich to give to the poor tax laws, the lower end of the pay scale gets more back in refunds than they pay in taxes + SocSecurity.

Posted by: Martian at August 23, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #177121

Rob-
Your argument holds water, but the main difference is that Bush’s guest worker program doesn’t have real shortages to address. You can argue we don’t have enough specialists in high tech and academic fields, but do we really have a dearth of people in unskilled labor?

H1B Visa holders and those in the process of immigrating fully to the United States are required to pay US taxes from top to bottom.

SteveS-
Treason is defined rather well by our constitution. Our problem is not a betrayal of loyalty, it’s the failure of immigration policy, run by people who want both the benefits of cheap unskilled labor and protection from freeloading immigrants. We fail to consider that they may be one and the same. At least if these people are allowed a more legal route towards immigration, they have better options for ceasing to be burderns on the state.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 23, 2006 2:52 PM
Comment #177125

Stephen,

I’m actually not sure about whether or not we have any shortage in the unskilled labor categories. The illegal immigrants sure seem to be filling some gap in the labor market otherwise the number of them coming here (or at least staying here) wouldn’t be that high coming here.

Right now the unemployment numbers are below 5% nationwide. When taken to the regional level, there are places where it is closer to 3%. Based on the 10 - 15 million illegal number that is thrown around, wouldn’t their participation in the labor force exceed the amount of unemployed workers?

I understand the argument about the number being skewed by those that have left the workforce, but
with a citizen workforce that is aging, I got to think that at least a large minority of those not participating in the workforce wouldn’t be fit for unskilled labor positions.

Posted by: Rob at August 23, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #177134
This doesn’t sound like a position many Republicans, or most Americans, would favor.

You’re right about “most Americans” not favoring Hagel’s position, but “many Republicans”? I guess it depends on what you mean by many Republicans… I’d say that any Republican who hires employees or who has an appreciable stake in any business that hires employees couldn’t possibly be more happy with Hagel’s postion on immigration. Now that might not be all Republicans, but I’m guessing it is many of them.

Republicans have for at least the last 50 years been the sworn foe of labor; by supporting our porous border system, Hagel helps ensure a steady supply of cheap labor, helps keep wages low for US citizens to the benefit of business and (icing on the cake) makes it hard for anyone to make the case that minimum wage should be raised.

He is also absolutely correct in saying that Republicans have “lost their way when it comes to many core GOP principles”, especially regarding smaller government and balanced budgets.

Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at August 23, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #177135
Senator Hagel probably forgot to mention that he included himself in his remark.

Wait a minute… You mean you’re actually taking Hagel to task for lamenting Republicans’ deficit spending while at the same time pushing for $126B without corresponding budget cuts? Can you say “Hagelian hypocrisy”?

Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at August 23, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #177143

KT,

I’d like to direct you, for a moment, to the situation in Mexico. Our economic policies with Mexico have driven down Mexican wages (especially in the agricultural sector, due to subsidies) and created what is a major shortage of jobs in their economy. The poverty the majority of people in Mexico endure is thousands of times worse than anything Americans are faced with. Our homeless live more comfortably than the working poor in Mexico, and it creates incentive for these people to migrate. This is no different than any migration in history, only instead of being allowed in, we have put major limitations on immigration, so they were left with one of two decisions, starve in Mexico, or risk dying or being sent back and come to America. Even working for the horrifically low wages illegal aliens get, they can afford to put a roof over their childrens heads and feed everyone, which is better than the situation in Mexico.

Just send them back is a grandly simple idea, but the mechanics and effects of this would be horrifically damaging to the Mexican people, and would inspire still more illegal immigration. Beyond that, the logistics of finding and deporting thirty million immigrants is like searching for a few dozen red needles in a stack full of other colored needles. No, that is not a comment on the color of their skin, just trying to give you a visual. Expensive, near impossible, and harmful to both our economies.

If we want to shut down illegal immigration, we do need to beef up border security, but we also need to work to help mexico, our second largest trading partner, in developing a sustainable economy that can handle the workforce it has. Until that happens (and we end subsidies on crops, which is ironically NOT free trade, despite all the free trade agreements we are part a parcel to), there will be humanitarian crises and illegal immigration. Life finds a way.

Posted by: iandanger at August 23, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #177152

Round up the illegals, train them, arm them, send them home. Let them solve the trade problem and the inequities in the economic system of their country. We are heading towards the south american style economic system in this country and artificially driving down wages doesnt help the middle class of this country.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 23, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #177194

…straying ff the PURE path….

Sounds a little too supremecist, in fact, it just may be the single reason why most voters are so disgusted with the GOP.
They actually do think they have some ideology that is superior.
The last 6 years is not superior or supreme.

Posted by: Joe at August 24, 2006 7:54 AM
Comment #177196

iandanger;
So it is our fault that the wages are low in Mexico, therefore it is ok for them to illeagally come into the US. So with your reasoning, blame it on the US for the worlds woes, for all the poor countries that are even worse off the Mexico.
You can blame it on NAFTA, you can thank George the first and Bill for that. Now how many jobs from the US have gone south to Mexico.

If a foreign national wants to come to the US, there is the right way and wrong way to do it. My grandparents came to US from a foreign country, did it the right way, paid their taxes, and when they spent their required time here, they became citizens. They did not wave the flag of the country they came from, did not call themselves Mexican-American, African-Americans, English-Americans. They were AMERICAN.

As far as the homeless in America are better off then the workers in Mexico, I don’t think so. Yes them maybe can dumpster dive easier, but they are not any better off.

Illegal is Illegal period, no gray zone.

Posted by: KT at August 24, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #177198

Dave1,

You are right that a city or corporate entity cannot be put in jail. The people making the decisions can be though. There would be a burden of proof that the ones making the decision to violate federal laws were deliberately breaking or undermining those laws. In my opinion the cooperation of the several local lawmakers in the deliberate undermining of federal law would constitute a conspiracy which is a felony.

The way federal agencies punish companies that violate the law is mainly through fines, but can also be to imprison those individuals in those companies who defiantly break the law.

Lawmakers should not be able to hide behind their office and say that they are just doing their job when they are deliberately passing local laws making it a local crime to enforce state and federal laws.

If it isn’t already a crime, Congress should make it a crime for city legislators to deliberately encourage the systematic violation of federal law.

Treason should be illegal, but people keep telling me that previous laws against treason were temporary during those previous wars. There are laws against spying or revealing classified information. Clearly the present penalties and/or enforcement are not enough.

Posted by: Steve S at August 24, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #177199

Rob,

I agree with your ideas on stopping illegal immigration. I don’t support decriminalizing illegal immigration or those who employ illegal immigrants.

One cost to a business that employs illegal aliens is to put the hirer (also known as: deliberate law breaker) in jail. That would include all in that company involved in the conspiracy to hire illegal immigrants.

If fines are going to discourage companies the fines need to be very high, because if a company figures out that paying the fine is cheaper than following the rules they will break the law.

If you or I drive withoutg a license we will eventually end up in jail. The same should be true for those defiantly hiring illegal immigrants against the law.

There are other cases where individuals in corporations perpetrated frauds upon the public. The individuals need to be held responsible, not just the corporate entity. Otherwise organized crime does pay.


Posted by: Steve S at August 24, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #177224

Steve S,

If it isn’t already a crime, Congress should make it a crime for city legislators to deliberately encourage the systematic violation of federal law.
To clarify my response, I believe you were referring specifically to laws, not individual actions; So you don’t believe in state or local rights? Why is the Federal Law so sacrosanct that it couldn’t/shouldn’t be challenged if it violates local sensibilities?


Posted by: Martian at August 23, 2006 02:14 PM

because of our rob the rich to give to the poor tax laws, the lower end of the pay scale gets more back in refunds than they pay in taxes + SocSecurity.
Do you really believe that? And if it’s accurate, do you really believe that the rich pay more than their fair share of taxes?

Posted by: Dave1 at August 24, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #177225

Rob -

Why allow immigrants, previously illegal aliens, who broke the law getting into this country to be allowed to receive massive benefits?

Posted by: Mike Tate at August 24, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #177232

Mike,

The same reason that we allow citizen criminals to receive benefits. The benefits are independent of criminal status. If you pay in to social security, you are entitled to benefit from it as the system is currently configured. That was in fact a key selling point that allowed FDR to get it passed in the beginning. It was not designed to be a system for the poor; rather it was to provide a guaranteed income for all Americans that had paid into it.

The same is true for the earned income tax credits. They are just what they say tax credits. If the immigrants are paying income taxes, why would they not be subject to the same credits and deductions as all other tax payers?

Ostensibly, immigrants come here to work not to live off the government, I can agree that welfare (TANF) and Medicaid could be reserved only for citizens. I think it is reasonable to expect immigrants to be able to pay their own way when they arrive here. I do think though that some Medical Provisions are necessary to contain potential public health threats, so vaccinations and other preventable measures to stop the spread of diseases need to be made available (perhaps even mandated) for immigrants. Immigrants should be expected to pay the cost of these, if possible; however, the overall importance of these should not prevent us from providing them even if they have to be subsidized.

Posted by: Rob at August 24, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #177242
Round up the illegals talliban, train them, arm them, send them home to fight the russians… Posted by: j2t2 at August 23, 2006 08:26 PM
Worked great in Afghanistan :-) Posted by: Dave1 at August 24, 2006 1:58 PM
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