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  • Could Amnesty save the Democrats this fall ?

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on January 21st, 2014 (All posts by )

    The catastrophic launch of Obamacare and its continuing problems has been decried as “Stalingrad for the Democrats.” I tend to agree but there is another issue coming soon that is “a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand.” It is Amnesty for illegal aliens and it is coming to a Republican Party near you.

    Mickey Krause, one of the last blue dog Democrats thinks it will be a sellout.

    The coming weeks will see the formal start of the GOP House leadership’s attempt to sneak an immigration amnesty through the Republican caucus and into law. We don’t know the exact details of the proposals, but we know enough:

    1. Legalization.

    Citizenship isn’t the big dealbreaker issue. That’s because Democrats would ultimately–reluctantly, of course–accept a bill that did not give illegal immigrants a “path to citizenship” if it gave Dems what they really want, namely quick legal status before any new enforcement measures must be in place.

    Does anyone think that will be the end of it ?

    2. It will be described as “enforcement first.”

    Since Democrats and Latino groups would never go for an actual “enforcement first” approach–e.g., enacting universal E-verify, an exit-entry system, building a fence and waiting a few years for legal challenges to peter out**–this claim will necessarily be a fraud, the framing of which will be a key challenge for Boehner & Co.

    Don’t believe it for a minute.

    letting President Obama decide when the enforcement mechanisms are sufficiently “in place.” That means a convoluted debate over “triggers,” the traditional playground for legislative legerdemain.

    We’ve been through this already. Remember the fence ?

    McCain has seen both sides of the fence debate. For years, McCain mocked the idea of building a fence across the southern border of the United States as something logistically untenable. But with more political power adhering to border protectionists within the Republican Party, McCain would actually agree to building a fence in 2006, when, according to Vanity Fai r, he told a group of Milwaukee businessmen that he would “build the g******ed fence if they want it.” (He also said he believed it to be the least effective tool against illegal immigration.)

    And while running for re-election in 2010, McCain, feeling pressure from the pro-border tea party, ran a political ad where he said, “Complete the dang fence!”

    Those words uttered undoubtedly for re-election purposes – paraphrased — came back to haunt him Tuesday.

    At the town hall meeting, McCain didn’t totally dismiss the fence idea, but it appears that his thinking on the subject has evolved. He suggested exploring technological means of securing the border.

    Yup, its the old “Virtual Fence.”

    But why are the politicians abandoning the economic interests of the country’s basic laborers, and the strong anti-amnesty convictions of their own constituents (in the case of most Republicans), and doing it at such an objectively inauspicious time? It’s hard to deny that cash is doing much of the swaying here. “[A]ll the money is on the side of pushing it,” one pro-amnesty Democratic Congressman boasted–money in the form not only of direct campaign contributions, as promised by Mark Zuckerberg ($50 million) and the Chamber of Commerce, but also future consulting contracts and lobbying positions for those who echo the line that Republicans just have to do this to remain viable.

    If anything can lose the House and keep the Senate in Democrat hands, it would be amnesty and the alienation of the Republican base. Can that happen ? Just watch. We’ll see.

    If strong voter opposition makes itself heard again, as it has in the past, the majority of the GOP caucus that Boehner says he needs probably won’t go along with his pro- amnesty “principles.” If that opposition doesn’t materialize, some form of legalization-before-enforcement becomes an inevitability. The coming weeks will tell.

    The business people often frame this as a technological need, as if illegal aliens were budding programmers. I spent 30 years treating illegals in southern California and, after I retired, spent some time reviewing workers comp claims. The Hispanics made up around half the claims and, of those I reviewed, about half were illiterate, not only in English but in Spanish ! They claimed second grade education in Mexico for the most part. We all know Mexican and Central American immigrants who have adopted enough of the culture and have been educated. Some day, that group could be candidates for legalization AFTER the border is secure. That is not what Democrats have in mind.

     

    9 Responses to “Could Amnesty save the Democrats this fall ?”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Amnesty might save the Democrats but it would certainly harm the Republicans.

    2. Michael Kennedy Says:

      That’s my point, Jonathan. They are capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and have done it before.

    3. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      I tend to agree but there is another issue coming soon that is “a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand.”

      To those who have been watching [the Conservative/TEA Party movement] it has been a looming storm cloud for some time. Boehner is going to push this; not in spite of it being the only way to lose any putative 2014 elections, but because it is the only sure way to lose those elections. I suspect that the registration of the Republican party will drop maybe 25%, maybe more, as soon as the surrender is announced. And a lot of those who do not change registration will not vote for Republicans.

      It may just be intuition, but I am getting the feeling that the fairly unorganized TEA Party [herding cats comes to mind] may be about to gel.

      Boehner & the rest of the Institutionals are betting that they can drive away the TEA Party, and still retain enough power to hold a place at the trough alongside the Democrats. Look at the last couple of decades, and how many of their deep laid plans have worked?

      Subotai Bahadur

    4. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      Yeah, the other swirl that’s going on is the inherent push being created by ObamaDon’tCare for a libertarian view. I can see a coalition of Tea Partyiers and libertarians (small-L) coming together with a “Shrink Government” attitudes. That’s at odds with the whole amnesty thing, though, because idiot Libertarians (capital-L) tend to be “open borders” idiots, too.

    5. Roy Says:

      Years ago in another forum I wrote:
      1) Hispanics long ago announced plans to use a powerful not so secret weapon, sex, to reverse the outcome of the Battle of San Juacinto. (I grew up in S Calif, and heard that announcement decades ago, tho I did not understand it at the time.) Indeed, they will join OASDI in colliding with Roe.

      2) Hispanic labor is not actually cheap. The local paper of my present home town in Oklahoma once observed that about half the emergency room visits go to “free” services given Hispanics. The medical community does not serve as a deep pocketed source, but merely as a conduit; others pay the costs with inflated insurance premiums, higher priced medical services, etc. One can make similar observations about public education and can reach the exact same conclusion, except that the costs get passed on via taxation rather than via purchase of services. One could multiply examples. But the debate is not whether consumers actually pay more for the labor, only how they pay and how much more they pay.

      Putting this another way: I don’t disagree with a point another made (in debate with me regarding free enterprise) that some employers of low income workers (in this case, Hispanic) steal by transferring costs (contra, eg, biblical injunctions against grazing one’s herd in a neighbor’s field). Instead, I disagree regarding the response. Instead of the suggested response (the employer should pay more), I think society (civil gov’t) can (and should, because it is, after all, theft): a) cease the subsidy, and b) demand restitution (by serious fines of significantly progressive magnitude leveled against any employer involved in the chain of command hiring illegal aliens).

      Not only would such steps make the costs real and visible rather than hidden. Two further results would occur, both imho good. First, making the costs open rather than concealed does not change the costs. It simply means the employer could increase the sale price of now subsidized goods, that the employer could pass on the costs of higher wages for those jobs which some claim only the Hispanic illegals will take.

      Second, a (if not the) major draw (jobs coupled with social subsidies) for illegal Hispanic immigrants would vanish. The disappearance of this one draw would almost by itself resolve the issue of illegal immigration. At no cost to the consumer.

      The steps I propose will not happen. Instead: 1) employers will continue trying to keep that which puts other people’s money in their pockets (right wing politics) while 2) others will continue claiming gov’t must aid the poor by giving direct aid (left wing politics). Meanwhile, Bible fearing Christians who should know better will not wish a pox on both houses, but will choose one or the other.

      3) Currently illegal immigration enables Mexico to avoid dealing with its corruption, its fundamental conflicts with constructing a society and gov’t having biblical warrant. By this I do not mean that what the U.S. (or any other country) has “arrived”, that I know in detail all the answers and could provide a blueprint. But I do mean that ignoring the Bible does have practical implications. I also mean that it is in U.S. national interest (in terms of preserving the order and peace that Paul tells Timothy we ought pray for) that the U.S. not act as escape valve for Mexican gov’t headaches. Instead, the U.S. should shut that valve and by doing so put pressure on Mexico to take responsibility if it will not improve its condition.

      4) At stake: the rule of law. This is not merely a semantic issue (“illegal alien” vs “honored guest”). Nor is it merely a debate over how U.S. laws will change (in accordance with existing law by the working of a representative democracy vs mob rule). Instead we see contention over what the concept of law will mean in all its practical outworkings. One might observe the same stake surfaces in SCOTUS decisions. But it is the same stake.

    6. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I don’t think that the House GOP leadership will push immigration over the objections of the caucus. The House Republicans largely come from districts that are rural or suburban and are fairly white. They have no incentive to jump on this issue, and I think they will just let it wilt. Further, I think that they are in no mood to hand Obama even a bit of an accomplishment. I think Mr. Kaus, is for his own reasons, being a tad hysterical.

    7. Bill Brandt Says:

      You make valid points Robert but OTOH it is big business that is pushing this and they give them a lot of money. Of course if the constituency isn’t paying attention to the ads a lot of good it will do them.

    8. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “The medical community does not serve as a deep pocketed source, but merely as a conduit; others pay the costs with inflated insurance premiums,”

      This avenue is going away with Obamacare. The cuts in reimbursement are going to create a crisis in general hospitals which treat illegals. The trend to a cash market in medicine will also be a trend to private, specialty hospitals which the Hospital Association is fighting but losing the battle. Los Angeles County Hospital is now largely filled with illegals. As private general hospitals, like the one I practiced in for 25 years, lose money under Obamacare, pressure will build to modify EMTALA, the law that says ERs cannot send people away. Orange County, where I live, does not have a county hospital. The county sold it to the UC system 25 years ago to be a university hospital. Most counties will have to provide facilities for illegals as the private system turns away. Hospitals may, for example, close emergency rooms as unaffordable.

    9. Xennady Says:

      George Bush was willing to blast the Republican Party into shards rather than secure the US border and I see no evidence that the GOP leadership has gotten any smarter since the Bush immigration bill failed.

      The political class is united in desiring open borders, mass immigration, and lower wages for the American people- both the GOP and the left. Of course they use different words to describe this sacred goal.

      Hence I see no reason why the GOP leadership would not seize the opportunity to push amnesty through now. They certainly notice that Obamacare has produced an enormous, rolling disaster that will do enormous damage to their friends across the aisle. And the left will certainly sign on to any open borders/amnesty bill, period.

      So I figure the GOP leadership will conclude that now is the time to seize the day and go for the open borders bill that George Bush was unable to jam through congress, back when.

      I hope Robert Schwartz is right, and I’m wrong about all this.

      But they don’t call the GOP the stupid party for nothing.