Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The attempted purge hits a new low...


It seems that the lines get crossed more easily each day. The picture on the right is taken from the server of Tom Tancredo's Team America PAC.

(NOTE 6/21/06): This graphic was on the site according to the Deseret News article I linked to below.

The Team America political action committee removed from its Web site a picture of Cannon with a target over his face.
Message to Tancredo: Trying to hide your graphic doesn't change the fact it got put up in the first place.)

This is just unacceptable. I'm sorry, but in this day and age, this is beyond the line, particularly when some have already fired off incendiary rhetoric (like "Quislings" or "agents of Mexico").

This, of course, gets ignored. So does this gem from Cannon's primary challenger (and Tancredo endorsee):

"Chris can't have it both ways," Jacob told KSL-TV. "He can be on the president's side, or he can be on the side that's against illegal immigration."

In an early morning debate on KCPW 1010 AM, Jacob said to Cannon, "You've been on the side with the president. You've rubber-stamped his ideas, he's coming out to support you, so if you win, you'll stay on that side."
Where to begin? First, John Jacob has just accused President George W. Bush of supporting illegal immigration.

Shall we look at what the President actually said in his speech on immigration? Here:
First, the United States must secure its borders. This is a basic responsibility of a sovereign nation. It is also an urgent requirement of our national security. Our objective is straightforward: The border should be open to trade and lawful immigration, and shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers, and terrorists.
Does this sound like support of illegal immigration to you? It does not seem like that to me. If anything, he is opposed to illegal immigration... the problem is that his solutions are not the solutions of hard-liners.

In other words,
John Jacob has misrepresented the position of the President of the United States on this issue in order to win the primary for the Republican nomination for the seat representing that district in the House of Representatives. That's called lying - and by doing so, he has shown the ultimate disrespect for those he seeks to represent.

Yet, this goes on from opponents of the President's plan - one largely reflected in the Senate bill. They have claimed it is an amnesty that rewards lawbreakers. But a look at the facts shows otherwise. There is a fine levied and a requirement to pay back taxes (at least $3,250 according to MSNBC), not to mention the fact that if they do misbehave (get convicted of one felony or three misdemeanors), they are gone. In essence, the Senate bill involves an admission of being here illegally (a guilty plea) - and in return for coming forward willingly, they are given a lesser sentence (fines/restitution and probation).

That's not amnesty, that is a plea-bargain. But the opponents of the Senate bill seem to think they cannot win the debate if that is how it is perceived. So they claim it is an amnesty. One look at the dictionary, shows that the term does not apply to the Senate bill. These opponents are misrepresenting the Senate bill in order to defeat it. Merely because the punishment is not severe enough in their minds.

It brings to mind the time when Bill Clinton and the Democrats found themselves facing off with Republicans over Medicare reform. In an effort to keep Medicare from going bankrupt, Republicans wanted to hold the rate of increase to twice the rate of inflation as opposed to three times the rate of inflation. But the Democrats couldn't say, "The Republicans aren't increasing spending enough" - it just wouldn't sell. So they claimed the Republicans were
cutting Medicare spending. It was a lie - and it worked well enough. Bill Clinton got re-elected.

Are conservatives willing to sink to Clintonian tactics for short-term political gain? If so, then it speaks very poorly for their worthiness to run this country.

30 comments:

Gaussia said...

Did that picture actually appear on the Team America PAC web site, or did you just find it by rummaging through the files stored on their server?

Harold C. Hutchison said...

The note above shows it actually ran on the site. Someone had used the HTML code "img src" to keep the picture up after Team America PAC decided to pull the picture.

The fact they even posted it speaks volumes.

Ken Prescott said...

Gaussia, the memory hole doesn't work any more.

Gaussia said...

No, it doesn't.

Robert said...

That's completely despicable. Those guys should be ashamed. They should beat Cannon politically for his lousy ideas rather than attack him personally. Is there any rational adult who doesn't know what it means to put a target like that on someone's face? My hope has been that Cannon would lose, because I firmly believe his position on immigration is very bad for America...but his opponent has a lot of 'splaining to do.

On another note, I find it telling that when pressed on the President's position on illegal immigration, you cite his words rather than his deeds. The two don't match. He talks the enforcement game, and his people carry out sham raids and arrests, only to release the people the next day. But where are the deeds? And don't give me the nonsense about the National Guard's temporary non-enforcement only assignment. That isn't serious either. The truth is that there are no actions to back up the words of the President because he does not seriously support border enforcement. If he did, he would never had nominated a complete incompetent like Julie Hyers for ICE.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

Robert, I invite you to read some of the other posts I have made on this issue. Or go to BigLizards, and read about the system.

I also think that there has been a great deal of misrepresentation involving the President's proposal, as well as the Senate bills. I also think that at this point, the law has reached a point that it cannot be enforced - not without trampling on things most of us would rather not see trampled.

Robert said...

How much trampling would it take for immigration officials to stop ordering local law enforcement to release illegals when they catch them? It happened in Ohio this week. Sheriff caught 20, and was told to let them go. The thing that infuriates me is that you guys keep whacking straw men (we can't deport them all) instead of dealing with the problems we can solve. How about as a short-term compromise, we start deporting all the ones we catch with our current searches? Then later we can get serious about looking for them.

A senior border patrol agent (20 years) told me a few months back that they're required to give employers 3 days notice before checking employee records! Please stop telling me the administration is serious about enforcement.

And the problem I have is not that I don't understand the Senate bill--it's that I do! And I have read most of your posts on this issue (found you by way of HedgeHog) and the Lizard guys. And the system does stink for people who want to follow it. Unlike some, I even favor increasing the number of legal immigrants. But first and foremost, as a security issue in the war on terror, we must get serious about guarding the border...and shutting down the network that provides ids for illegals. That's especially crucial in light of the fact Michelle Malkin keeps citing (and too many keep ignoring) that 9/11 hijackers used the underground id network for illegals to get the ids they used to get on the planes. It's not about nativism to want to stop that.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

Robert,

I'd rather that ICE go after MS-13 gang members, violent criminals, and potential terrorists, not waste time chasing after gardeners, nannies, maids, and construction workers.

I'm sorry, but at this point, the real threats need to be dealt with, not folks who are only guilty of low-grade paperwork violations.

Next, increasing legal quotas might just help dry up the market for fake IDs and for the coyotes. Let's do that now, and lower the pressure on the border rather than waste money on a useless wall.

Finally, I do not consider Michelle Malkin a reliable source. Check out this post at the Pink Flamingo (which I have just added to my blogroll).

Michelle Malkin and Tom Tancredo seem to have some very slimy associates (I have blogged a little bit about this stuff inthe past as well) - and to be blunt, based on what I've discovered through a few Google searches, I cannot rule nativism having a role out.

Robert said...

I think there are plenty of idiots to go around on both sides of the issue. And I don't for a moment disagree that there are nativists involved (some heavily) among those opposed to "immigration reform." But I'm not one of them. In fact, I support increasing the number of legal immigrants and streamlining the bizarre and Kafka-esque process those willing to obey the law are now forced to endure.

Much of my antipathy toward the pro-illegal crowd comes from personal experience with my brother-in-law, a Mexican national. He was forced to go through all kinds of barriers to get here legally. In fact, he almost missed his own wedding (yet still ignored the advice of some to break the law to be there) due to an incredible level of red tape.

But he did keep the law. And I regard it as an insult to him, and the millions more like him who have the character to go through the process to just let those who didn't off the hook with a plan that is amnesty by any meaningful definition of the word. (Your calling it a plea bargin is clever, but inaccurate.) Any law that allows you to escape the consequences of the punishment for breaking the law is offering you amnesty...even if it substitutes some other slap on the wrist in place of the punishment.

The other reason I want to see serious enforcement comes from living in Arizona and seeing firsthand the results of a failure to control the border. The long term implications of what's being winked at by the government today are staggering.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

Robert, there is punishment in the Senate's bill. It is just not the punishment you want.

That does not make it amnesty.

Robert said...

Can I please be "punished" by having to only pay taxes 3 out 5 years?

Can I please be "punished" by ignoring current penalties for criminal offenses (not that I have any particular crimes in mind) and putting in new ones more to my liking?

Can I please be "punished" by being allowed to keep right on eating fatty foods without gaining weight.

Whether I like it or not is not the issue. Whether it is "punishment" or not is not the issue. It is amnesty, because it allows people to escape the proscribed penalty for their illegal actions while also allowing them the same benefits accorded to those who kept the same laws they broke.

Some punishment that is. "Please sir, can I have some more?"

Harold C. Hutchison said...

Robert,

What do you want? You're very good at complaining about what was out there. What do you want? What punishment is sufficient to satisfy your lust for vengeance?

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

I have many problems with the Senate's version of immigration reform, but most glaring is the government's promise to "really get tough on enforcement" this time. In short, they want me to trust that they are going to be able to administer a program that will keep track of the millions of new legal immigrants.

I have a tough time putting it succinctly, but let me give it a shot. Employers hire illegal workers because they are cheap. No taxes, no workers comp, no benefits, etc. They can get away with this because the worker doesn't complain and there's another able body right behind him to take his place if he does. Now, let's assume that you legalize all these laborers. Suddenly, they aren't so cheap anymore. Instead of six bucks an hour, it now costs you $10. Pretty soon, the employer looks for those willing to work under the table for less. For the first year or so after the new law is passed, the feds will try to enforce the new employment laws and attempt to crack down on all the document forgery. I recall that the INS was fairly active in the few years following the 1986 Amnesty Bill. But eventually, due to lack of enforcement, we'll be right back to where we started. Except now, we'll have an extra 12 Million in the country.

Can those that support the President's/Senate's plan give me a good reason why we can't try enforcement first? I want to see that the feds are serious about enforcing our current law before we open up the system to a whole new wave of potential abuses.

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

Harold, may I reply to your question about what we want as punishment for those that have broken our immigration laws?

Here's the wishful thinking answer: A fine that will cover back taxes owed, plus a little extra to help cover the expense of used social services (hospitals, education) and immigration enforcement. Then, deportation to the country of origin to get in the BACK of the line to re-enter the country.

Realistically, that will never happen. I would be content with a simple return to the country of origin.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

How are you going to force 11 million-plus people to leave?

I'm sorry - deportation (even self-deportation) is the least likely thing to happen.

Robert said...

Wow. I didn't realize I had a "lust for vengeance" (which is sort of ironic coming from a guy who's complaining about intemperate language), and I'm not sure why supporting the bill passed in the House is "complaining," but let's give this a shot.

I want three things. 1) Close the border. I don't think it takes a wall, but if we aren't willing to do it otherwise, then build the thing. End the "catch and release" nonsense that goes on now. 2) Quit winking at employers who are knowingly breaking the law by hiring illegals. Impose serious fines for repeat offenders. Remove the excuse from employers by requiring use of the current instant verification program already available as an option.

3) Require anyone wanting to become an American citizen to leave the country and apply. I know you're going to tell me they won't go, but if they can't work (see step 2) most of the incentive for being here is gone. No more driver's licenses...no more in-state tuition...no more benefits. If they're here illegally they should not be receiving handouts.

If they have jobs now, they should be eligible to be readmitted with green cards, then pay the fines and back taxes, and then go through the citizenship process. I'm so vengeful, I'll even support paying for their transportation both ways.

There's a vital principle here that is going to flood us with even more illegals if we don't follow it. "If I have to tell you one more time" doesn't work as a parenting tactic, and it won't work for immigration reform either. We've had amnesty before, and doing it again under a different name only means we'll get more of the same.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

Robert, responses in order:

First, I do think this has gone beyond justice to vengeance in large part. In any case, the present system has arguably already reached a point where I could not blame people for scorning and/or defying it. Re-read my posts on this issue.

Now for your points:

1. A wall does no good. None. They are already digging tunnels under the border. A wall is useless - unless your goal is to enrich contractors.

2. To get the penalties, you need convictions. And the convictions have been very low (in terms of likelihood) in the past.

3. Self-deportation (muchless deporting them all) is a non-starter. Hedgehog has explained it. I have explained it.

To put this into perspective Robert, we have a prison population of just over 2.2 million. That is only 20% of the low-end of the illegal immigrant population, and we have not even discussed the employers you are so worked up about. We don't have the prison space to make it stick.

I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, but that is the situation as I see it.

Robert said...

I think at the basis of our disagreemen is a differing view of why these illegals are here. Based on what I know, it is primarily an economic motivation. Those for whom freedom, escape from persecution, or political concerns are primary tend to come through the system. But in the perverse nature of unintended consequences of government action, we have made it (way too) difficult to come here legally to work. Again, I support increasing legal immigration quotas, and streamlining the process to remove the incredible hassles it now entails.

Billions of dollars propping up Mexico's corrupt economy and government tend to support my argument as to motivation. Now if you stopped getting a paycheck at your job, you'd move, and I'd do the same thing. That's why going after employers is so important to solving the problem. What are these people going to do if they can no longer work? You can say they won't leave as many times as you like, but your argument defies logic and human nature. If the economic carrot is only available to those who leave and return, that's exactly what they'll do. They want and need the money. That's why they come. We have to change the incentives, and when we do, we'll change the behavior.

Ken Prescott said...

Robert, to make things bad enough for illegal aliens to self-deport as you wish, you would have to make things so bad that your own quality of life would decline sharply as well. At that point, it's a question of whether the illegal alien self-deports, or if you decide to self-deport.

My money's on you bugging out first, because most Americans do not have that high a threshold of pain.

And when many "employers" are typical middle-class suburbanites who's just trying to get the brush cleared from their property before fire season, juries will be very reluctant to convict, and the administration and Congress that put this into effect will be unemployed at the earliest opportunity.

Robert said...

Ken, I don't think you understand human behavior and motivation very well. As Michael LeBouf put it in "The Greatest Management Principle in the World", what gets rewarded gets done. If we transfer the rewards to legal immigrants, those who want the rewards (most of them) will be willing to become legal. It won't take an economy-wrecking, lifestyle-ending change. They know what's going on. Just the (sadly false) rumor of an ICE crackdown following the massive street protests not long ago resulted in major job absences. The sight of a few hundred formerly illegals getting off the plane back in Miami, Dallas, Phoenix or wherever clutching their now legal papers and never again fearing the system will have a powerful impact on the rest.

It's not a perfect solution. There rarely is a perfect solution to a problem that's been allowed to fester for two decades. But it's a heck of a lot better than the alternative of simply changing the name of what you're dealing with and then pretending like the problem is solved.

big_wannabe said...

wah. politix is war by other means. stop yer whinging and whining. ::(

Ken Prescott said...

Ken, I don't think you understand human behavior and motivation very well. As Michael LeBouf put it in "The Greatest Management Principle in the World", what gets rewarded gets done.

Robert, I spent eight years of my life as a Marine, four of them as a noncommissioned officer. I probably know more about human behavior and motivation than you could ever pick up from reading one "management guru" book.

The part you miss is that you have to actually be able to reward or punish, and that requires knowledge of the deeds in question. That requires a level of government intrusiveness into everyone's day-to-day matters that would be utterly intolerable to anyone outside the People's Republic of China or Cuba (and I sincerely doubt their popularity in those locales, as well--the governments are simply a lot more willing to bust heads).

Maintaining that state of affairs against the will of the American public (as it would inevitably be) would require some minor changes to our system of government. Among other things, those election and "free speech" thingies would have to go.

If that's your idea of how things ought to be, please decamp for Havana or Beijing posthaste.

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

Harold & Ken,

Respectfully, I find it odd that you so easily dismiss the idea of self-deportation (given proper incentives), and yet swallow completely the idea that these same illegal aliens will willingly show up to a government office, stand in line for who knows how long, and then pay thousands of dollars in fines and back-taxes.

Unless you make illegal entry much more difficult and start cracking down on employers and illegal employees on the interior, your new guestworker program is going to fail. Given the government's track record of immigration enforcement over the past 20 years, I would like to see them do that first before we decide to open the spigot to millions more of the world's poorest.

David Rogers said...

Most illegals are employed by regaular businesses, either as employees or contractors. Those people can be tracked down, and those businesses fined. It's not any harder than cracking down on tax evasion. In fact, much of the same system can be used, since fake social security numbers are a big part of the ongoing scam. And many of these emplyers are huge -- giant road builders, chicken and hog farmers, etc. One four million dollar fine and an executive in handcuffs on the front page will do a whole lot towards inducing voluntary compliance from other companies. Once the illegals can't get jobs in America, their incentive to self-deport rises dramatically.

But this won't happen overnight. We didn't get 20 million illegals overnight, and it'll take years to get rid of all (or most) of them.

Meanwhile, "targeting" those who wish to facilitate illegal activity is entirely acceptable. And if you think parties and factions don't routinely use that language to describe what they do, I've got prime beach front property in Arizona to sell you.

Ken Prescott said...

One four million dollar fine and an executive in handcuffs on the front page will do a whole lot towards inducing voluntary compliance from other companies.

Actually, you have to get that executive convicted before the four megabuck fine comes into play. And minimally competent legal counsel will get anyone off the hook.

In one case I'm aware of, the ID documents were printed on fax paper.

The jury took a whole fifteen minutes to acquit.

In reality, at best, you will get a bunch of soccer moms getting set up in sting operations and unable to afford competent legal counsel. When Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public see their neighbors getting arrested, kiss their support good-bye.

Once the illegals can't get jobs in America, their incentive to self-deport rises dramatically.

You can get a job in America without going through the legal system to do so, and a lot of American citizens do so. It's called the underground economy, and it extends into barter transactions that are effectively impossible to trace. The only way to cut this off to the point where illegal aliens would consider self-deportation would make things utterly intolerable for a lot of American citizens as well, and they might decide to do things that you will dislike more than illegal immigration.

Bottom line: in order to make illegal aliens self-deport, you must make the overall situation in America far worse than the situation in Mexico.

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

Mr. Prescott,

Can you expand on this comment further or point me to a previous post of yours that does?
"Bottom line: in order to make illegal aliens self-deport, you must make the overall situation in America far worse than the situation in Mexico."

What do you envision happening if we try interior enforcement of immigration laws?

Thanks.

Ken Prescott said...

Can you expand on this comment further or point me to a previous post of yours that does?
"Bottom line: in order to make illegal aliens self-deport, you must make the overall situation in America far worse than the situation in Mexico."


It should be rather obvious why that is so, but I'll expound on the logic a bit.

People, for the most part, do not voluntarily place themselves in a worse situation than their present one--and self-deportation is a voluntary decision, not a mandatory one. The reason they came across the border in the first place is that the situation in Mexico is downright awful.

Ergo, in order to get people to self-deport, you would have to make the situation here worse than the situation there--and to make it worse by a convincing enough margin and for a long enough time that it overcomes the natural human tendency to resist change.

The problem is that making the situation worse here is not something that can be cheerfully inflicted on "them" alone. You and your fellow citizens' situations will worsen sharply.

The problem: illegal immigrants probably have a higher threshold of societal pain than most American civilians do.

What do you envision happening if we try interior enforcement of immigration laws?

I expect that the same thing that happened after Reagan's amnesty--a bunch of cases getting filed, followed by acquittals, followed by US Attorneys not bothering with those cases in the future (as they are graded for their conviction rate, cases that are likely to result in acquttals will be rejected in favor of cases likely to result in convictions).

The present law has about the same level of unrealistic assumptions and wishful thinking at its core as the Volstead Act did. It is the product of the same liberal social engineering that gave us the Great Society and the same pork-barrel politics that gave us the Grand Teton Dam--neither of which did this country one bit of good.

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

Mr. Prescott,

Excellent response. I follow your logic (and agree) that the illegal immigrants will not self-deport unless the situation here is worse than the situation back home. However, you seem to imply that the situation for all residents (citizens and non-citizens) would have to degrade below the level of Mexico for self-deportation to work. I don't understand how making life uncomfortable illegal aliens equates to the same amount of discomfort for citizens or legal residents.

Secondly, if interior enforcement will not work under the House plan, why would it work under the "comprehensive" Senate plan? Why would an illegal "voluntarily place themselves in a worse situation than their present one" by standing in line and paying a fine of several thousand dollars, when they can comfortably live in the shadows and continue working as they are now?

Thanks for taking time to respond to my queries.

Ken Prescott said...

However, you seem to imply that the situation for all residents (citizens and non-citizens) would have to degrade below the level of Mexico for self-deportation to work. I don't understand how making life uncomfortable illegal aliens equates to the same amount of discomfort for citizens or legal residents.

Contrary to what you apparently believe, illegal aliens do not drag a neon sign around behind them that says "I AM ILLEGAL, DEPORT ME, POR FAVOR!"

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

You said,
"Contrary to what you apparently believe, illegal aliens do not drag a neon sign around behind them that says "I AM ILLEGAL, DEPORT ME, POR FAVOR!" "

Really? I'm not sure where you live, but here in Arizona, not only do they have the neon sign, but they wear a stobe light on their head and have a GPS locater embedded into the base of their skull. Give me a break. Nice non-answer and avoidance of the questions. But, it's your blog. I know why some liberals want to throw open our border, but I was hoping to have a good dialogue with a Republican who felt differently than I did on the illegal immigration issue.

I'm happy to prove my citizenship any time I'm asked. It doesn't bother me if my employer checks the SSN I provide them against the Fed's records. Choose not to answer, but the questions from my previous post still stand.

How does making life uncomfortable illegal aliens equates to the same amount of discomfort for citizens or legal residents?
If interior enforcement will not work under the House plan, why would it work under the "comprehensive" Senate plan?