Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Disruptive Issue

Immigration Disruption - Ezra Klein

Ezra makes an interesting point here about the illegal immigration issue and its role in current policy debate over health care, tax reforms, Social Security reform and just about any other social program one can think of. Instead of being a singular issue for Republican candidates to run on, it becomes an entry point into dismissing liberal plans for social reforms since some illegals might receive some benefits from those reforms. Still, I think it's a poor way to hammer the Democrats since more than likely such tactics will only drive the Latino vote further away from the Republican party and toward the only other dominant party out there: the Democrats. While I do think illegal immigration is an important issue I think most of the problems people believed are caused by illegal immigration are state-level problems just as fixing the immigration system as a whole is a federal problem. The example of Oklahoma enforcing a law that requires all business owners to pay their employees by check versus straight cash has had a huge impact on the number of illegal immigrants in that state. So the enforcement of laws does aid in pushing the illegal immigrant out but does nothing about how to solve the issue of the continuing flow of immigrant into this country. Add that to our lovely ways of greeting foreigners at airports and you have a huge problem in the number of immigrant moving to this country. It becomes far more difficult to pillage the intellectuals of other countries when we are willing to deny them visas and treat them to harsh interrogations and long periods of waiting if there is a problem with their visa. This is a problem in need of some serious solutions but that won't happen with a Republican in the White House and a Republican bloc in both legislative houses doing everything they can to stymie the Democrats' agenda.

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