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    David Frum gets it right on amnesty

    David Frum gets it right on amnesty

    I’ve been a pretty harsh critic of David Frum, but when he gets something right, I’m willing to acknowledge it.

    And he’s right about the pro-amnesty wave taking over the Republican Party, which mistakenly thinks rewarding lawlessness is a good thing.

    Frum writes, Immigration Amnesty: The Path to Poverty:

    The United States is already evolving into a society much harsher and less hospitable for the less-skilled. Yet American elites seem determined to enlarge and perpetuate a problem they already don’t know how to solve: how to create economic opportunities for the least economically competitive half of the population.

    Yesterday, the Center for American Progress released a study of the projected economic effects of the president’s immigration proposals. It asserted that immediate full amnesty – residency plus citizenship – would raise immigrant incomes and thereby government revenues.

    Over 10 years, that additional tax revenue would sum to $184 billion—$116 billion to the federal government and $68 billion to state and local governments.

    CAP gets its impressive number with a crummy trick: omitting the increased costs of legalization. Previously illegal immigrants will become eligible for Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other federal and state programs. Because the illegals are predominantly very low-income, their demand on such programs will be heavy – and not only long-term, but likely multigenerational.

    Why on earth would we deliberately expand the ranks of the least skilled by tens of millions more people imported from abroad, whose grandchildren and great-grandchildren will still require government aid into the 22nd century? That’s the question to keep in mind as the American elite tumbles its way to unthinking consensus in favor of a second large immigration amnesty in 30 years.

    Needless to say, the commenters to the article at The Daily Beast are unhappy.

    Frum is not alone.  Is it any wonder that unions are fighting below the radar to torpedo immigration “reform”?

    Immigration amnesty simply will add to the employment gloom:

    If the FOMC members are right, then the economy is never going to return to its previous full-employment potential.

    There are other, more political, reasons not to succumb to the amnesty narrative being fed us, as Ann Coulter points out:

    Perplexingly, some Republicans seem determined to turn the whole nation into California, in the foolish hope of winning one last election.

    Frum and Coulter agree on the foolishness of amnesty, although for different reasons.

    Maybe there is hope yet.


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    Henry Hawkins | March 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    US to illegals: “Well, you’ve all disregarded our immigration laws, so we’re gonna set up easier immigration laws for you to ignore.”

    I’m fairly sure the majority of illegals will not be interested in pursuing 5-10-15 year plans to citizenship, especially when there is great pay-off and little consequence to ignoring the laws whatever they happen to be.

    stevewhitemd | March 22, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    I am a descendant of immigrants. My ancestors are English, French, Scot, Welsh, German, French, and a little Native American way, way back. Some of my ancestors arrived 300 years ago, some more recently.

    Most of us are in, pardon the pun, the same boat.

    Now then: if I were a poor Mexican rural schmo trying to feed me, my wife and children on the equivalent of seven dollars a day, and someone told me that I could make nine dollars an hour chopping up chickens or mowing lawns if I went north, I would —

    — head north.

    All of us would. Of course we would.

    Ragspierre up above correctly points out that the ‘poor’ in Mexico are not poor in the way poor Americans are. We made our people poor by blighting our culture and morals. Mexico made their poor the old fashioned way, by having all the rich folk gobble up the money and resources (Carlos Slim, for example). The average Mexican knows how to work and survive.

    It’s no surprise then that when poor Mexicans come north the large majority of them go to work quietly, make money, send some of it home, live on the rest and try to stay out of trouble. That’s what I would do.

    So you’ll pardon me if I can’t get too worked up over the many, many ‘illegal aliens’ who are just trying to have a life.

    My own solutions to this mess, not that I’m any immigration expert at all, would involve —

    — managing the border (stop the two-legged coyotes)
    — end eVerify, it doesn’t work anyway
    — expand the work permitting program substantially
    — if they work, they get taxed
    — if they get taxed, they get basic benefits and legal protection
    — incarcerate and deport the violent illegals who commit felonies

    In my system work permits and green cards are easy to get while citizenship is hard and takes a long time. Job markets will sort themselves out. A Mexico that improves politically and economically provides hope to Mexicans and takes pressure off of us (so find ways to put the onus back on the Mexican government; that’s why we have these people called ‘diplomats’). Having all immigrants in our country working at a legal reported job, paying taxes, promotes transparency and prevents abuse.

    People will come to the United States because we are one of the very, very best places in the world. Don’t fight that, honor it. Work with the people, teach them how to be Americans, and watch as the next century becomes our best one yet.

      Ragspierre in reply to stevewhitemd. | March 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      I disagree with you, steve.

      IF you start from the predicate that they come here illegally, and move on to grant them green cards, etc., you essentially have open borders.

      I DO support the idea of making our LEGAL immigration process a LOT more accessible, and for the reasons you recite.

      Mexico, btw, is experiencing FAR better economic growth and a lower unemployment rate than is the U.S. under Pres. Freakout.

      IF we imposed a means by which employers were penalized for hiring illegals, refused benefits, AND simply policed our visa system effectively, a great many of our problems would be resolved.

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