Technology with attitude

Gee, We Might Want To Use That Filibuster Thing

3

Senate GOPers are set to filibuster the House’s immigration plan because Dems won’t allow amendments to the bill.

From Wash Times:

Senate Republicans will filibuster their own immigration bill today in the face of steadfast refusal by Democrats to allow amendments to the bill that many conservatives view as granting amnesty to illegal aliens.

As an alternative, Majority Leader Bill Frist reached an agreement last night with fellow Republicans on a new comprehensive immigration plan that includes increasing border security and a guest-worker plan, but still does not resolve concerns about amnesty.

The new plan would allow illegal aliens who have been in the United States for more than five years to remain in the country working while applying for U.S. citizenship. Those who have been here between two and five years would have to apply for citizenship at a point of entry, but could remain working. Anyone here for less than two years would have to leave the country, but they could still apply for citizenship from their home country.

The article is interesting as it spends nearly all of its time pointing out that Harry Reid introduced strong anti-immigration legislation back in 1993. However, he’s already disavowed that legislation as wrong headed.

Take a look. Interesting stuff going on. I’m not sure what to make of all of it. Me, I still think we need to fix the border problem before we can think about ANY real reform we have to stem that flow of illegals into this country.

Frequent commentor Bob Aman points to a Financial Times article yesterday that makes the point much better than I:

That Congress, in general, and Republicans, in particular, should be divided is unsurprising. Business and the wealthy favour immigration, while nationalists and the less well off oppose it. It is also unsurprising that neither set of proposals is likely to work: where interests in favour of inaction are strong, the appearance of action will almost always be preferred to the reality. It will prove practically and politically impossible to repatriate hundreds of thousands of guest workers and their families. Equally, any amnesty for existing illegal workers guarantees the entry of new ones. But no fence is going to stop aspirant immigrants either, unless it is built and operated along lines made notorious by the late and unlamented East Germany.

I don’t agree with that very last part, but I do agree we need to start getting a lot tougher with border security. Some will probably see much tougher security as Draconian, but sometimes if you want to stop a big problem, you need to put big resources behind it. Only then can we start talking in earnest about any type of amensty, etc.

And one last thought from FT on what sitting our hands might do to us as a country:

In making the case for either controlling immigration or compensating the native-born for its impact, the wider context must be remembered. The opening of world trade is eliminating opportunities for production of labour-intensive tradeable goods and services in high-income countries. Employment of the native-born unskilled must increasingly be in non-tradeable activities. If unskilled immigrants drive down wages for such jobs, too, a hapless underclass will inevitably emerge.

What do you think we should do?