Freedom Folks

Monday, May 29, 2006

Ruben Navarrette Still Doesn't Get It

New from our old buddy (yes, I'm being facetious) Ruben Navarrette. Jake has previously taken him to task here and here. I read this piece at IndyStar.

By approving comprehensive immigration reform, the Senate is looking into the future. Meanwhile, the enforcement-only posse in the House is obsessing over the past -- specifically 1986.

That's when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), one of the most significant pieces of immigration legislation in U.S. history and one of the most roundly criticized.

The bill, which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, was significant because it set out to achieve three major objectives: grant legal status to at least 1 million illegal immigrants (the actual number swelled to nearly 3 million); impose sanctions on the employers of illegal immigrants; and secure the border through increased enforcement.

In the current debate, anti-amnesty Republicans have been bad-mouthing the law. They say they don't want to repeat old mistakes.
An error or fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge, or carelessness.

Objectives #2 and #3 -- "impose sanctions on the employers of illegal immigrants" and "secure the border through increased enforcement" -- have failed so miserably it's pathetic. One might argue that Objective #1 -- "grant legal status to at least 1 million illegal immigrants" -- was a roaring success, if the at least part was your personal favorite.

What part of mistake doesn't Navarette understand?

He goes on to detail a conversation with former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson, as in the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, which went on to become the 1986 Amnesty. Navarrette's taking quotes out of context, plus my respect for Simpson, despite the fact that I disagree with him on a number of points, warrant a separate post.

I think Simpson concedes too much to his critics. It's not fair to say that IRCA failed. It's true that the law didn't stop illegal immigration. But no law is going to do that. America had illegal immigration 20 years ago, and it has it now, and it'll have it 20 years from now. It will be with us as long as employers hire illegal immigrants because they work cheaper and harder than natives.
Three times the "legalizations," no crackdown on illegal hiring, and a border that makes a worn sponge seem non-porous by comparison -- and it's "not fair to say that IRCA failed?" Navarette says we'll always have illegal immigration as long as employers hire illegal immigrants. Does anyone remember Objective #2? Does "impose sanctions on the employers of illegal immigrants" sound familiar?

I just have one question for Mr. Navarrette:

Do you only insult Americans ("illegal cheaper and harder than natives") to earn a buck, or do you do it for free, too?

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