Everybody loves a good fight. This is especially true for Americans who will fight for the sake of fighting. The distraction over a bill touted as immigration reform1 is a prima facie (thank you very much) example. Everyone seems to agree that immigration laws need to change, but nobody cares to pay heed to the nature and the structure of this change. Consequently, this debate, like most American political debates, has decomposed to a senseless shouting match, much sound and fury representing nothing. In fact, the so called debate scarcely aspires to triviality.
The premise of the whole enterprise is dubious, of course, because, as the name implies, the bill only seeks to “strengthen” existing laws. With respect to immigration, this is a silly proposition because strengthening existing laws will not remedy the problem, lack of enforcement. Existing laws already proscribe hiring illegal aliens. They also provide remedies for deporting those who have entered the US illegally and provisions for preventing illegal entry. We have a problem because these laws are not enforced. Immigrants cross the border freely, employers employ illegals without consequence, and American businesses cater to their economic demands. Hence, making tougher laws will solve nothing because, without enforcement, the tougher laws will also collect dust.
If this were not sufficient incentive to let this piece of rubbish die a well deserved death, then the unfortunate, unconvinced soul may indulge himself/herself by reading the body of the bill by clicking the link below. The reader will discover that, with respect to national security, the bill prescribes no new duties for the Department of Homeland Security. Redundancy is original only in Washington, D.C., it seems, and only in the minds of ideologically obsessed Republicans.
It should come as no surprise then, that the bill is written by a man with no credibility as a politician. James Sensenbrenner2 is a proud prosecutor of an impeached president, Bill Clinton. In as much, he is proud of being an ideologue and of being a servant to ideology, rather than to mankind–not even those who elected him. Given the merits of this “reform” bill–the criminalization of charitable organizations and codifying the forced expulsion of 11 million people without appropriating the tens of billions of dollars and the tens of thousands officers that the task would require–it should come as no surprise that it is the product of such a petty mind. (Why has nobody bothered asking how we go about the task of deporting 11 million people once we declare them to be criminals after having welcomed them with open wallets and open arms?)
Opposition to this bill is understandable. It is even justifiable. Opposition is a rational response, but what of the solution to the problem? Will illegal immigration ever stop? Will there ever be a balance between the human rights of illegal immigrants and the insatiable appetite of businesses for cheap labor? Are we going to move toward an integrated society, or are we going to forge ahead to a more fractured society composed of the “legals” and the “illegals”, each with its set of rules, entirely unequal before the constitution?
This debate would lead to progress of course, but instead we are faced with braying of the masses in response to the braying of one ass. The middle did not used to be this miserable a locale. Or was it?