PDA

View Full Version : The patteeu immigration compromise


patteeu
05-17-2006, 08:53 AM
Those who hold intractable, extreme views on the issue of illegal immigration from Mexico will not be satisified. On the one hand, we have those who insist on defacto open borders and total amnesty for those illegals already in country. OTOH, we have those who insist on sealing the border and rounding up all illegals who are already here for deportation. To the extent that these people will not compromise, they must be ignored because neither of those "solutions" is acceptable IMO.

The rest seem to be willing to compromise. The big sticking point that remains is between those who want a comprehensive bill covering both border security and a guest worker's program and those who want border security first with action on a guest worker program delayed until they see actual results on the border. This latter group can't be blamed for being skeptical about the willingness of our government to follow through on any measures aimed at stemming the tide of illegals coming across the border. They've heard it before and before that and before that, but yet the border remains as porous as ever. The comprehensive plan people fear that if border security is achieved, support for a guest worker program will evaporate to a sufficient degree to kill it's chances.

My solution: Pass a comprehensive plan (preferably without the inane distinctions between short term illegals and long term illegals and preferably one that requires a degree of assimilation to earn citizenship and doesn't let illegals leapfrog those seeking to enter legally), but make the guest worker part of the plan contingent on the success of the border security part of the plan. In other words, defer the beginning of the guest worker plan until there has been a measurable and signficant decline in the number of illegals crossing the border, but have it kick in automatically if/when those targets are reached.

NewChief
05-17-2006, 08:55 AM
My solution: Pass a comprehensive plan (preferably without the inane distinctions between short term illegals and long term illegals and preferably one that requires a degree of assimilation to earn citizenship and doesn't let illegals leapfrog those seeking to enter legally), but make the guest worker part of the plan contingent on the success of the border security part of the plan. In other words, defer the beginning of the guest worker plan until there has been a measurable and signficant decline in the number of illegals crossing the border, but have it kick in automatically if/when those targets are reached.

I think some Senators tried to work a provision similar to this one into the bill yesterday (close the borders first, then start on the guest worker/amnesty issue). It was voted down.

banyon
05-17-2006, 09:05 AM
My solution: Pass a comprehensive plan (preferably without the inane distinctions between short term illegals and long term illegals and preferably one that requires a degree of assimilation to earn citizenship and doesn't let illegals leapfrog those seeking to enter legally), but make the guest worker part of the plan contingent on the success of the border security part of the plan. In other words, defer the beginning of the guest worker plan until there has been a measurable and signficant decline in the number of illegals crossing the border, but have it kick in automatically if/when those targets are reached

I won't be part of this compromise unless it places effective sanctions on employers. :harumph:

Sully
05-17-2006, 09:09 AM
I won't be part of this compromise unless it places effective sanctions on employers. :harumph:

Absolutely!!!

patteeu
05-17-2006, 09:25 AM
I won't be part of this compromise unless it places effective sanctions on employers. :harumph:

Well, I left the actual mechanics of the border security plan up in the air as something to negotiate. Whether we need a physical fence, a virtual fence, employer sanctions, land mines, or massive troop deployments with orders to shoot on sight isn't as important to me as getting something to work. The nice part about this is that it would have to work before any guest worker plan could be implemented.

Surely you aren't so anti-business that you need employer sanctions for the sake of employer sanctions are you? Isn't the goal of sealing the border more important than the way it is done? :p

patteeu
05-17-2006, 09:28 AM
I think some Senators tried to work a provision similar to this one into the bill yesterday (close the borders first, then start on the guest worker/amnesty issue). It was voted down.

My understanding was that the Senators voted on a border-security-only plan, leaving the guest worker issue to be resolved later. I could be wrong, but it was that belief that prompted me to have this idea in the first place. (I'm sure it's not an original idea, but I hadn't heard it before).

If that IS what they voted on yesterday, then I find the votes against it quite annoying.

patteeu
05-17-2006, 09:31 AM
Absolutely!!!

You two should consider being uniters not dividers. ;)

NewChief
05-17-2006, 09:33 AM
Surely you aren't so anti-business that you need employer sanctions for the sake of employer sanctions are you? Isn't the goal of sealing the border more important than the way it is done? :p

Come come. Surely you recognize the power of supply and demand Mr. Unfettered Capitalism. As long as the demand is out there for cheap labor, the supply will come. Make all of those employers think twice about hiring an illegal, (or make it so that there are other costs incurred and it isn't that cheap) and maybe the illegals won't want to get here so badly.

patteeu
05-17-2006, 09:46 AM
Come come. Surely you recognize the power of supply and demand Mr. Unfettered Capitalism. As long as the demand is out there for cheap labor, the supply will come. Make all of those employers think twice about hiring an illegal, (or make it so that there are other costs incurred and it isn't that cheap) and maybe the illegals won't want to get here so badly.

I'm not opposed to employer sanctions as long as employers have a relatively simple way of identifying illegals so that they can protect themselves from inadvertently breaking the law. In general, I'm against forcing private entities to perform police work, but I do recognize the power of shutting down the magnet of employment opportunities and social services that draws illegals across the border.

My point was that the important thing is that the flow is stopped. It's less important to me how it's stopped (although some solutions wouldn't get my support, e.g. land mines). I'm open to the idea of employer sanctions, but I'm not wedded to it.

P.S. I was just teasing banyon about being anti-business though, just to be clear.

Logical
05-17-2006, 09:49 AM
...

My solution: Pass a comprehensive plan (preferably without the inane distinctions between short term illegals and long term illegals and preferably one that requires a degree of assimilation to earn citizenship and doesn't let illegals leapfrog those seeking to enter legally), but make the guest worker part of the plan contingent on the success of the border security part of the plan. In other words, defer the beginning of the guest worker plan until there has been a measurable and signficant decline in the number of illegals crossing the border, but have it kick in automatically if/when those targets are reached.
Seems like a reasonable basis for compromise. I think proving we have a handle on illegals crossing the border is going to be extremely difficult to measure or prove. Other than that I like it.

WoodDraw
05-17-2006, 09:50 AM
My understanding was that the Senators voted on a border-security-only plan, leaving the guest worker issue to be resolved later. I could be wrong, but it was that belief that prompted me to have this idea in the first place. (I'm sure it's not an original idea, but I hadn't heard it before).

If that IS what they voted on yesterday, then I find the votes against it quite annoying.

The Senate voted on an amendment to the immigration bill that would have prohibited the implementation of the guest worker part until the Secretary of Homeland Security certified the border was secure. So the amendment would have esentially implemented your proposed compromise. Time for plan B. ;)

jspchief
05-17-2006, 09:55 AM
I won't be part of this compromise unless it places effective sanctions on employers. :harumph:Effective employer sanctions will never exist. It's already against the law to hire an illegal alien. This just a situation of the criminal mind always being ahead of the law. There are too many loopholes and when the existing ones get filled, others will be found.

On top of that, there's the impossible task of document verification for those emplyers that are unknowingly hiring them.

If you want to eliminate illegal employees, you have to eliminate illegals.

patteeu
05-17-2006, 09:58 AM
The Senate voted on an amendment to the immigration bill that would have prohibited the implementation of the guest worker part until the Secretary of Homeland Security certified the border was secure. So the amendment would have esentially implemented your proposed compromise. Time for plan B. ;)

Well that's that then. I stand corrected. I can't understand why anyone who is serious about stemming the tide would vote against it. Is there any explanation from the opponents?

Dave Lane
05-17-2006, 10:01 AM
Come come. Surely you recognize the power of supply and demand Mr. Unfettered Capitalism. As long as the demand is out there for cheap labor, the supply will come. Make all of those employers think twice about hiring an illegal, (or make it so that there are other costs incurred and it isn't that cheap) and maybe the illegals won't want to get here so badly.


This one is a sticky area personally. Obviously none of you must be employers. I do rehab / construction on my own real estate projects and while I haven't directly hired a hispanic worker I could see how they could produce false documentation "a green card" in someone elses name, a false ID card, a fake Drivers licence. Easy enough to do how do you check easily? What about sub contractors? I often hire a company that does have hispanic workers. Am I required to check them as well?

What if someone had false ID when I hired them and the Feds later bust them do I get fined? Imprisoned? Shot?

I think there has to be obvious issues ie 90% of the workers are illegal, or there is proof of knowledge of the illegal status. This can be very chilling to hiring legal hispanics unless there is some type of national database where you can check to see a persons status as a citizen.

Dave

banyon
05-17-2006, 10:01 AM
Well that's that then. I stand corrected. I can't understand why anyone who is serious about stemming the tide would vote against it. Is there any explanation from the opponents?

I'm more for the House Bill (sans the assistance provision), because I think the "guestworker" provisions are entirely unworkable. We can't monitor people who overstay their visas now, but all of a sudden we are going to be able to keep track of this massive group of people?

jspchief
05-17-2006, 10:03 AM
Well that's that then. I stand corrected. I can't understand why anyone who is serious about stemming the tide would vote against it. Is there any explanation from the opponents?I'm just throwing out ideas, but could they have voted it down due to the lack of sufficient definition of "secure" border.

Maybe it's a matter of a good idea, but the wording was insufficient.

NewChief
05-17-2006, 10:07 AM
I'm just throwing out ideas, but could they have voted it down due to the lack of sufficient definition of "secure" border.

Maybe it's a matter of a good idea, but the wording was insufficient.

I'm pretty sure you're correct. I think it was feared that the intent behind the plan was to bypass implementing a guest worker/amnesty plan at all. It's a wonder anything ever gets done on the Hill with the SNAFU that our politics has become.

mlyonsd
05-17-2006, 10:08 AM
Effective employer sanctions will never exist. It's already against the law to hire an illegal alien. This just a situation of the criminal mind always being ahead of the law. There are too many loopholes and when the existing ones get filled, others will be found.

On top of that, there's the impossible task of document verification for those emplyers that are unknowingly hiring them.

If you want to eliminate illegal employees, you have to eliminate illegals.

IMO keeping people out of the country that are trying to make better lives for themselves and their children is an impossible task if the opportunities to do so exist here.

To "eliminate illegals" you must first remove the reason they want to come here.

That is a hard thing to do if an employer is willing to waive the risk of penalty by hiring illegals.

I'm not saying huge fines should be put in place right away. Only after we spend the money on a comprehensive identification system do I see making the employer more accountable.

I'd rather spend the money on the ID system then keep 6000 troops on the border that won't do a dang thing.

patteeu
05-17-2006, 10:09 AM
I'm just throwing out ideas, but could they have voted it down due to the lack of sufficient definition of "secure" border.

Maybe it's a matter of a good idea, but the wording was insufficient.

That's why I was wondering what the objections were. I'd like to think there was a good reason, but since most of those who objected were democrats, maybe there wasn't. Hahaha. ;)

Of course, this doesn't explain the opposition of a dozen or so Republicans (including Sam Brownback) and the White House. I hope it's not simply pandering for the hispanic vote, because I don't think that's going to work out well.

WoodDraw
05-17-2006, 10:12 AM
Well that's that then. I stand corrected. I can't understand why anyone who is serious about stemming the tide would vote against it. Is there any explanation from the opponents?

The Democrat's likely would have abandoned the bill had it passed which nobody wanted at this point. There was another amendment that passed that forces Bush to issue a security document saying it is in the best interest of the US's security to start a guest worker program. Obviously it's more of a formality than the other amendment would have been, but it was seen as an alternative to the stronger stance of the defeated amendment.

I wouldn't get too depressed yet though. The House is still solidly behind security first, so there will be plenty of compromise in the future.

WoodDraw
05-17-2006, 10:16 AM
That's why I was wondering what the objections were. I'd like to think there was a good reason, but since most of those who objected were democrats, maybe there wasn't. Hahaha. ;)

Of course, this doesn't explain the opposition of a dozen or so Republicans (including Sam Brownback) and the White House. I hope it's not simply pandering for the hispanic vote, because I don't think that's going to work out well.

Brownback has always been a big support of a guest worker program so his vote doesn't surprise me. Honestly, I'm not sure the amendment had all that much weight behind it anyway. Bush sends a deployment of troops to the border and the Secretary labels it "secure". Great. No one wanted to set off a whole nother round of protests and risk the bill being killed for an amendment that probably wouldn't even accomplish all that much. My guess is that the security aspect of the bill will slowly get stronger through amendments and, later, negotiations with the House.

WoodDraw
05-17-2006, 10:21 AM
The whole immigration debate is entering a dangerous area as I see it. I have this fear that we're going to end up with a year or two of actually doing something and then five years down the line everything will go to hell again.

Actually secure the border and update laws to allow for easier immigration, or just don't do anything. I have no interest in having "guest workers" in the US. That's a different way of saying temporary cheap labor. If people want to immigrate and attempt to work their way up to the American standard of living than great. Our country isn't a giant temporary work agency though.

NewChief
05-17-2006, 10:27 AM
Actually secure the border and update laws to allow for easier immigration, or just don't do anything. I have no interest in having "guest workers" in the US. That's a different way of saying temporary cheap labor. If people want to immigrate and attempt to work their way up to the American standard of living than great. Our country isn't a giant temporary work agency though.

I'll be really interested to see the economic impact of cutting off our neverending supply of super cheap labor. There are lots of variables to figure, and I don't think anyone can really predict what will happen until it happens.

Sully
05-17-2006, 10:36 AM
The most effective way to deal with this is to cut off the source and reason for the immigrations... the jobs. If sanctions are placed on employers who profit off of breaking the law, then they lose the incentive to hire illegals for less that min. wage. If the jobs are no longer available, the illegals have no incentive to come here illegally.

WoodDraw
05-17-2006, 10:52 AM
I'll be really interested to see the economic impact of cutting off our neverending supply of super cheap labor. There are lots of variables to figure, and I don't think anyone can really predict what will happen until it happens.

I'm not against cheap labor, as long as that cheap labor has voting rights and class mobility. What I don't want is a never ending cycle of "guest workers" who come in, work for a few years, and then are kicked out to make room for the next group. Immigrants are a vital part of our economy and culture, and I'm all for letting them in. I don't want them exploited though, which illegal immigration allows, and I understand that allowing open access along the Mexican border isn't the smartest thing.

NewChief
05-17-2006, 11:12 AM
I'm not against cheap labor, as long as that cheap labor has voting rights and class mobility. What I don't want is a never ending cycle of "guest workers" who come in, work for a few years, and then are kicked out to make room for the next group. Immigrants are a vital part of our economy and culture, and I'm all for letting them in. I don't want them exploited though, which illegal immigration allows, and I understand that allowing open access along the Mexican border isn't the smartest thing.

I'm in complete agreement from a humanitarian/ethical standpoint. As I said, though, I'll be interested to see the effects once industry can no longer hire laborers at or below minimum wage. I'm not sure that the effect will be entirely negative.

jspchief
05-17-2006, 11:25 AM
I'm not against cheap labor, as long as that cheap labor has voting rights and class mobility. What I don't want is a never ending cycle of "guest workers" who come in, work for a few years, and then are kicked out to make room for the next group. Immigrants are a vital part of our economy and culture, and I'm all for letting them in. I don't want them exploited though, which illegal immigration allows, and I understand that allowing open access along the Mexican border isn't the smartest thing.I don't have any problem with using Mexico as a revolving door for cheap labor. It's not like we're not doing it already every time we buy a Nike shoe, Dell computer or some other product built in another country.

Look at it from the perspective of Mexico/Mexicans. It's allowing a certain percentage of their citizens to come in every year and make wages that are exponentially higher than what's available to them in Mexico. And it creates an influx of money to that country that will eventually boost their economy.

It's cheap labor for us, and a good job for them. Reserve citizenship for the skilled and professional occupations.

In America, we seem to have this ridiculous notion that everyone is entitled to make middle income wages, but yet we put little value in quality over cost in the large majority of the products we buy. Maybe you think the lettuce picker is entitled to make $30k per year, but are you willing to buy a $6 head of lettuce to make it happen?

Pitt Gorilla
05-17-2006, 11:34 AM
IMO keeping people out of the country that are trying to make better lives for themselves and their children is an impossible task if the opportunities to do so exist here.

To "eliminate illegals" you must first remove the reason they want to come here.

That is a hard thing to do if an employer is willing to waive the risk of penalty by hiring illegals.

I'm not saying huge fines should be put in place right away. Only after we spend the money on a comprehensive identification system do I see making the employer more accountable.

I'd rather spend the money on the ID system then keep 6000 troops on the border that won't do a dang thing.Very good take.

WoodDraw
05-17-2006, 12:45 PM
I don't have any problem with using Mexico as a revolving door for cheap labor. It's not like we're not doing it already every time we buy a Nike shoe, Dell computer or some other product built in another country.

Look at it from the perspective of Mexico/Mexicans. It's allowing a certain percentage of their citizens to come in every year and make wages that are exponentially higher than what's available to them in Mexico. And it creates an influx of money to that country that will eventually boost their economy.

It's cheap labor for us, and a good job for them. Reserve citizenship for the skilled and professional occupations.

In America, we seem to have this ridiculous notion that everyone is entitled to make middle income wages, but yet we put little value in quality over cost in the large majority of the products we buy. Maybe you think the lettuce picker is entitled to make $30k per year, but are you willing to buy a $6 head of lettuce to make it happen?

No where did I say a lettuce picker should make $30k. In fact, my first sentence was "I'm not against cheap labor". That doesn't mean I support importing Mexicans each year to do seasonal jobs, paying them the absolute minimum, and then kicking them out with no benefits. That's pure exploitation that can't be explained away by saying we don't treat them as shitty as Mexico does.

The basis of immigration is that workers come and fill the bottom ring of jobs but eventually begin to pull themselves up and integrate. The first generation might have a shitty job, but their kids will be educated and have the resources they need to do better than their parents. If the sole reason for allowing workers to come in from Mexico is to keep the bottom wage line down then I have no interest in supporting it. That will only create a large, disaffected group that in the long run will be no benefit to our country. Fareed Zakaria wrote a good article on this; I recommend you read it.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12114153/site/newsweek/

WoodDraw
05-17-2006, 12:47 PM
I'm in complete agreement from a humanitarian/ethical standpoint. As I said, though, I'll be interested to see the effects once industry can no longer hire laborers at or below minimum wage. I'm not sure that the effect will be entirely negative.

Yeah, it's a good question. I just don't know enough about economics to have any type of a good answer. I remember reading in the Wallstreet Journal not to long ago that most econimists believe that immigration has had a negative effect on wage levels, but a net positive effect on the economy. I might try to do some reading tonight and see what people are saying.

NewChief
05-17-2006, 12:52 PM
I remember reading in the Wallstreet Journal not to long ago that most econimists believe that immigration has had a negative effect on wage levels, but a net positive effect on the economy. I might try to do some reading tonight and see what people are saying.

Right. That seems to be the way our economy is moving. That's Wal-Mart's excuse for paying low wages, too. "Sure we pay low wages, but look at all the really cheap crap we make available for our customers, including our employees." Would be interesting to see the lower than minimum wage employee factored out of the equation. Of course, I'm sure then we'll just have even more outsourcing.

The construction business is where I really see the immigrants taking a toll, though. At one time, a solid framer with his own tools could demand a really good rate. Nowadays, you won't find a single non-migrant working on a framing crew. The only non-migrants construction jobs tend to be plumbers and electricians (non-coincidentally the two jobs that require licensing).

go bowe
05-17-2006, 01:06 PM
No where did I say a lettuce picker should make $30k. In fact, my first sentence was "I'm not against cheap labor". That doesn't mean I support importing Mexicans each year to do seasonal jobs, paying them the absolute minimum, and then kicking them out with no benefits. That's pure exploitation that can't be explained away by saying we don't treat them as shitty as Mexico does.

The basis of immigration is that workers come and fill the bottom ring of jobs but eventually begin to pull themselves up and integrate. The first generation might have a shitty job, but their kids will be educated and have the resources they need to do better than their parents. If the sole reason for allowing workers to come in from Mexico is to keep the bottom wage line down then I have no interest in supporting it. That will only create a large, disaffected group that in the long run will be no benefit to our country. Fareed Zakaria wrote a good article on this; I recommend you read it.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12114153/site/newsweek/ that's a good article, thanks for the link...

i wish he was in charge of reforming our immigration policy...

jspchief
05-17-2006, 01:21 PM
No where did I say a lettuce picker should make $30k. In fact, my first sentence was "I'm not against cheap labor". That doesn't mean I support importing Mexicans each year to do seasonal jobs, paying them the absolute minimum, and then kicking them out with no benefits. That's pure exploitation that can't be explained away by saying we don't treat them as shitty as Mexico does.

The basis of immigration is that workers come and fill the bottom ring of jobs but eventually begin to pull themselves up and integrate. The first generation might have a shitty job, but their kids will be educated and have the resources they need to do better than their parents. If the sole reason for allowing workers to come in from Mexico is to keep the bottom wage line down then I have no interest in supporting it. That will only create a large, disaffected group that in the long run will be no benefit to our country. Fareed Zakaria wrote a good article on this; I recommend you read it.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12114153/site/newsweek/ I'm not suggesting go to the extent that Germany did. But I also think it's a viable give & take relationship that we can enter into, as long as we have a streamlined legalization process in place too. And the thing that article ignores is the level of job/worker that Germany was trying to attract. That won't work on skilled professionals because they realize their skills give them an added value. That's what I was talking about when I said "reserve citizenship for the skilled and professional occupations". Mexico isn't sending their IT workers here to get jobs in silicone valley. They're sending unskilled, uneducated laborers that to be perfectly honest aren't in a position make demands about the quality of jobs/pay they receive. They aren't coming here with dreams of someday owning a business, they're coming here because they can make more in one day on that lettuce farm than they can make in a week in Mexico. Getting any job in America is a step up.

As warm and cozy as the melting pot mantra is, there may come a day when it's not in the interest of the nation to let everyone come in. If we're going to give everyone of them a chance at citizenship, then we better have standards that promote your idealistic "upward mobility" including encouraging assimilation (ie speak english). And we better have the border security to be able to control the flow as the needs of the nation warrant.

unlurking
05-17-2006, 05:48 PM
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.3333: