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The political case for immigration reform

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I'd say it's pretty unlikely that comprehensive immigration reform happens this year. But then, who cares what I think? Harry Reid is in charge of the Senate, and he says he's got 56 votes, and it's gonna happen. “We need a handful of Republicans,” he told an immigration rally in Las Vegas.

The cynical take, of course, is that Reid is running for reelection in a state that's about 20 percent Hispanic. But that suggests an important change in the political reality: The cynical thing for Democrats to do in an election year might be to pursue immigration reform. And that would make immigration reform a much likelier addition to the agenda.

As Ron Brownstein frequently points out, Obama won fewer than 40 percent of working-class whites in 2008. Congressional Democrats may well do even worse this year. But it's hard to believe they can do that much worse, or that they can do much to change their standing among this group. It's also not clear that immigration is a big motivator for these voters: The GOP tried to use it in 2006 against the Democrats, and the effort pretty much fell flat on its face.

Actually, it did worse than that: It drove Latino voters toward the Democrats. Obama won 67 percent of Hispanics in 2008 -- a much better showing than Democrat made in 2004. The fear in 2010, however, is that Hispanics won't show up to vote. If Democrats actually pursue immigration reform, their participation becomes likelier. And if Republicans -- or tea partyers, or conservative talk radio -- overreact to the prospect of immigration reform, their participation becomes virtually assured.

That last bit also suggests another reason Democrats might want to see immigration on the agenda: It's got the possibility to tear the Republican coalition apart. Beltway Republicans are very, very concerned about losing Latino voters, and so they try to be careful on the issue. Remember that the last effort at immigration reform came while Bush was in the White House.

But grass-roots conservatives tend to be very, very opposed to immigration reform. Remember that it was conservatives -- led by talk radio -- who killed the immigration reform effort. So what do Republican politicians do when their base goes into anti-immigration overdrive but their consultants beg them to tread carefully? It looks like Harry Reid, for one, would like to find out.

Photo credit: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post.

By Ezra Klein  |  April 12, 2010; 10:09 AM ET
Categories:  Immigration  
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Comments

I just worry about potential spillover of the talk radio fear campaign into the white female demographic.

Posted by: jduptonma | April 12, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, Ezra...your naivete surprises all. Illegal aliens aren't here to work, sweetie. They are here to take back the North American continent that they feel is rightfully theirs as indigenous people. They want to ship your white azz back to Europe - after they have stolen all that you own. YOU, Ezra. You may not feel the rage of this movement, but that's because you never get out of your 2-mile square in the city.

Illegal aliens call this a "civil war."

Get out - take a trip to Los Angeles, to Nevada, the fan belt states - listen to their rhetoric. They don't want to assimilate or to adopt American culture or to even become Americans. Like Jose Angel Gutierrez, former head of the La Raza Unida Party (failure then-as now) says: "The U.S.- a country that has been ours for 40,000 years-is our homeland and we are a new Mestizo nation. We are migrants free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here. We have an aging, white America. They are NOT making babies. They are dying. It's a matter of time...the explosion is in our population. The last gasp of white America."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajkAP_M4ZAM

Let's stop pretending this group is Juan and Maria who just want jobs. They want to strap Americans with the cost of caring for their every need...to breed us out of extinction and the democratic process...by sheer numbers.

I don't know if you have ever witnessed the breeding patterns of the group - but this is highly possible.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | April 12, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Rarely do commenters put so much effort into proving the point of my posts.

Posted by: Ezra Klein | April 12, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I love Sen Reid for his courage. i travel through his state often. He has an interesting state to represent.

Posted by: edieann1 | April 12, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

My goodness, is easttxisfreaky a parody commenter or...what?

I don't think I've ever seen such a bizarre compendium of racism, conspiracy theory, and paranoia written out on the Internet. In any language.

For the sake of the nation's collective mental health, I hope he or she *does* simply represent a failed attempt at satire.

Posted by: litbrit | April 12, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Alright, easttxisfreaky has convinced me, immigration reform in 2010!

Posted by: Chris_O | April 12, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Call it what it is, Ezra - comprehensive amnesty.

It is not only Republicans who oppose amnesty for about 14 million illegal aliens but also Independents and some Democrats.

Posted by: spamsux1 | April 12, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Grass roots conservatives aren't opposed to immigration reform, they are opposed to blanket amnesty that just makes the people who are hear illegally into full citizens with a wave of a magic wand. They're all for immigration reform that keeps illegal immigrants out of the country. And many of them (though not all) are all for increased and simplified legal immigration.

I may be wrong, but I don't think the careful and studious avoidance of "illegal immigrant" and illegal alien" helps make the case for immigration reform. Words mean things, and avoidance of traditional used terms that are both accurate and descriptive suggests an effort to spin or propagandize a circumstance, rather that come to an actual, positive solution.

Regarding "the last gasp a white America" or contemporary Americans being bred out of existence by Mexicans or Muslims are whomever . . . well, it's certainly possible. However, I'm pretty sure "white America" understands the processes involved in conceiving and bearing children at least as well as anyone else. Thus, they are entirely capable out breeding as vigorously as (or even more so than) other ethnic groups. If they choose not to, well, then that's their collective choice, isn't it?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | April 12, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Run a search on this blog, or look in the immigration category: I don't think you'll find an avoidance of the term "illegal immigrant."

Posted by: Ezra Klein | April 12, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

It makes me sick that I belong to a political party that has to talk itself into acting on its own agenda when it has the White, 59 Senators, and a large House majority. Here's an idea: do immigration reform, cap-and-trade, financial reform, labor reform, etc. because that's what you campaigned on in '06 and '08 and this year may be the last chance in the near future to get any of that done.

Posted by: redwards95 | April 12, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Immigration reform could be a win-win for both Democrats and Republicans. Obama will be able to fulfill his promise and the Republicans get a chance to mend fences with the fastest growing voting block.
If the Republicans let the JD Hayworths, the Tom Tancredos and the Sean Hannitys prevail on immigration reform, the Republican Party should start working on a plan B for how to get elected without the Latino vote.
The Latino activists are getting more organized and they will for instance start issuing Report Cards for Congress so that the voters know who is who on immigration reform. Those who choose to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution will be voted into oblivion.
However, if immigration reform is passed in 2010, the immigrants will start focusing on other issues at heart and the Republicans will have a shot at getting a fair share of the Latino vote.

Posted by: mehuwss | April 12, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"Words mean things, and avoidance of traditional used terms that are both accurate and descriptive--"

Though it's funny how an attachment to "traditional used things" here often accompanies a deep ignorance of how immigration works in the US. It also manages to twist the term "comprehensive immigration reform" -- an accurate and descriptive term built on the idea that the system needs rebuilding from the bottom up, after decades of being patched and tinkered with -- into something else. Funny, that.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | April 12, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The ground mass of China and the US are the same size, but China comfortably fits over one billion people into its territory. There are 70 million English speaking natives in Rwanda,Sudan,Zambia and Zimbabwe who would welcome an invitation to live in American cities. They have no language problems to overcome like Mexican illegal immigrants and would easily assimilate into our lifestyle. Lets give millions of starving Africans a taste of the American pie.

Posted by: melpol | April 12, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

If you want to understand what America will look like with amnesty and unattenuated mass illegal immigration just look southward. That is the future Ezra and others are condemning us to.

Everything you need to know about immigration and what to do about it humorously told.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBw1nUlf38I

(Roy Beck and NumbersUSA are the "gumball" heroes)

Posted by: wandagb | April 12, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Ezra,

"Run a search on this blog, or look in the immigration category: I don't think you'll find an avoidance of the term 'illegal immigrant.'"

Sorry, I was entirely unclear. I wasn't talking about you. I'm more talking about our politicians (and the majority of the pro-amnesty talking heads on television). It was a general observation. Nothing specifically directed you, at all. Now I feel bad.

@pseudonymousinnc: "Though it's funny how an attachment to 'traditional used things' here often accompanies a deep ignorance of how immigration works in the US."

How so?

"It also manages to twist the term 'comprehensive immigration reform' -- an accurate and descriptive term built on the idea that the system needs rebuilding from the bottom up, after decades of being patched and tinkered with -- into something else."

So, you're argument is that two wrongs make a right? Or it's okay when one side does it, but not the other? Or am I missing something?


Posted by: Kevin_Willis | April 12, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Clearly no commenters have witnessed the influx, nor have have they lived with the consequences of the invasion.

You refuse to see what is reality. You refuse to accept the consequences of decades of failure to secure our borders.

You don't believe that Mexicans are being told to make their way into the U.S. as fast as possible so that they can benefit from the entitlement programs.

I have lived it, seen it, experienced it, felt it...and know whereof I speak.

Just remember that you have heard that we have experienced an invasion. The numbers are bigger than anyone can imagine - I told you 20-30 million. How can one count those who are hiding?

http://www.borderinvasionpics.com/Invasion.html

Have a nice day in your denial.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | April 12, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

redwards95 wrote:It makes me sick that I belong to a political party that has to talk itself into acting on its own agenda when it has the White, 59 Senators, and a large House majority.
---
I agree. The Democrats are good at blaming the Republicans for their lack of action on immigration reform. Obama has to show some leadership and actively seek support from key senators, for instance, the Republican Senators who are retiring and the appointed Senator LeMieux of Florida.


Posted by: mehuwss | April 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein is, and always has been, a complete lightweight on this issue. Three years ago I pointed out that he was promoting a pro-illegal imm. coalition that through its member groups was linked to at least two foreign governments:

http://24ahead.com/n/6721

As for this post, "Beltway Republicans" are concerned about the money they receive from companies that profit from illegal activity in one way or another: employing illegal aliens, providing banking services to illegal aliens, and so on. Their concern about "losing Latino voters" is either a mask for them being corrupt, or is an example of their incompetence.

Regarding Bush's plan, few others - specifically the Democrats - told you that the 2004 version was like a giant H1B scheme, with Bush wanting to open the U.S. labor market to the world. A Bush official who promoted the scheme specifically mentioned teachers and nurses, two Dem constituencies. Despite the fact that Bush wanted to drive their wages down to global levels, the Dems (and now Ezra Klein) said nothing.

Watch the Bush official promote the scheme here:

http://24ahead.com/n/6496

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | April 12, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no commenters have witnessed the influx, nor have have they lived with the consequences of the invasion.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky

===============================================

so you are the only person who "lived" with the consequences ???

we ALL live in this country, douchbag

and if we ALL live here, and you wre the ONLY person experiencing the "consequences", how is this a problem ???

300 MILLION peopke don't see the problem

ONE PERSON, namely YOU, has a problem

and the rest of us DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM

now, doofus, explain to me how a "problem" that affects ONE STUPID PERSON, and doesn't affect 300 million other people is a NATIONAL PROBLEM

are you a nation unto yourself ???

tell me again how "Nobody knows the troubles you've seen"

cuz this is starting to sound like a one-man minstrel show

Posted by: nada85484 | April 12, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I just worry about potential spillover of the talk radio fear campaign into the white female demographic.
---
Yes, that's it, isn't it? You're afraid that white women will suddenly notice that all the nasty anti-white rhetoric coming out of the "progressive" political forces includes us, too, and not just our men? Not to mention our children.

Too late, we've already noticed. I admit we were pretty slow to catch on, but we finally have.

Former reliably liberal Democrat voter here.

Posted by: MaryJessel | April 12, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Originally, U.S. immigration policy was focused on bringing intelligent, productive, and skilled individuals into the United States. Indeed, those policies were not detrimental to our country; They helped produce the America that we have today.

Immigration, legal and illegal, in the last several decades increased largely due to chain-migration(This is the product of "immigration reform" that was pushed by the Democrats in the 1960s that allows relatives of those who have immigrated into the U.S. to immigrate as well), which has included many poor and uneducated people from Mexico who were fleeing oppression from the corrupt Mexican government as well as from the gang wars recently/currently happening across our southern border.

Those who ignore these arguments based on a claim of bigotry or racism are perhaps deaf to the reality that we have large groups of Latinos/Mexicans living in our country that do not wish to assimilate into our culture, learn English, and participate responsibly in being American citizens. The fact that much of our advertising, literature, and government documents are now printed in both English and Spanish is perhaps an interesting reflection upon that fact. As market rhetoric might flow, if Spanish-speaking customers are prevalent enough to be noticed, why not print in Spanish?

If serious reforms do not take place, we will continue to see much legal and illegal immigration into our country that will greatly change the makeup of the citizenry of our nation.

Worst case scenario? A sustained and increased influx of poor and under-educated Mexicans(they are one of the largest immigration groups by far in recent history) as well as other peoples who not only reject the ideals of becoming English-speaking American citizens and assimilating into our society but may need to rely on government subsidization in order to gain any sort of foothold in our economy that they may survive.

Posted by: OfConservativeMind | April 12, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Amnesty also splits the Democrats -- ask Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders why they don't want to touch amnesty and just want easy votes until November.

And don't forget that per recent polling, immigration matters rank low on the list of Hispanic concerns.

The only ones who want amnesty are the illegal aliens (who don't vote) and their enablers.

Posted by: swingvoter3 | April 12, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Immigration reform doesn't necessarily mean that the government grants a blanket amnesty for all illegal aliens currently in the country. What it *does* mean is that no matter what the content of any hypothetical bill, the Becks, Rushes, and Hannity's of the world will *say* that it's an amnesty. If the reletively modest healthcare bill was a decent into Nazi Socialism, it just doesn't matter what's in the bill.

If it's proposed by Democrats, it will be called the most evil and damaging thing to ever happen to the counrty. Now, I'm not sure if that helps Dems in the short term of the 2010 midterms, but it would definitely solidify Latinos as a Democratic voting bloc for a good long time.

Posted by: MosBen | April 12, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

This would be terrible politics for the Democrats and Republicans.

A recent Rasmussen poll shows that nearly 70% of American voters want border enforcement and NOT legalization/amnesty.

A DHS inspector general recently testified that the agency is at least several years away from being able to properly administer an amnesty.

And 25 million Americans are unemployed and underemployed. You think they would look kindly on giving legal status and benefits to millions of illegal foreign workers?!

Posted by: swingvoter3 | April 12, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Related, as captured on Cspan:

SEIU Executive VP: White Union Members Are ‘So F****** Rabidly Racist’
http://www.breitbart.tv/seiu-executive-vp-white-union-members-are-so-f-rabidly-racist/

Reid/Pelosi might have a wee little problem with immigration 'reform' when people on their own side is saying things like this.

Posted by: JuliaXA | April 12, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"Indeed, those policies were not detrimental to our country; They helped produce the America that we have today."

Shorter OfConservativeMind: "my immigrant ancestors were being called dirty, immoral filth 150 years ago, and now I get to do the same thing to Mexicans -- that's assimilation for you!"

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | April 12, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I live in NW Missouri and many of the people I know are opposed to any form of immigration (we are all descendants of immigrants). The problem is that the Tea Bag element of the GOP has so distorted reality that my unsophisticated people of rural Missouri cannot sort out the truth. ......


http://thefiresidepost.com/2010/04/12/personal-experience-with-tea-bag-mentality/

Posted by: glclark4750 | April 12, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

pseudonymousinnc is a frequent liberal/progressive commenter here and there, and has repeatedly used ethnic slurs against me. So, take her opinion with a huge grain of salt especially considering all the differences between past immig. and the present variety:

http://24ahead.com/s/immigration-tradition-fallacy

nada85484 is, of course, living in a fantasy world if she thinks that only one person in the U.S. is concerned about the current situation.

MosBen isn't revealing that "reform" will be seen as an amnesty by millions upon millions of potential illegal aliens around the world, no matter what euphemism hacks want to call it. Tens of millions - maybe hundreds of millions - will quickly learn about it and a good percentage of them will try to come here one way or another.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | April 12, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada will be seeing the door in the midterm elections. Unless of course the huge influx of illegal immigrants who live in Nevada vote for him? You might take a look at Nevada's budget deficit, that is hundreds of millions of dollars. It's near bankruptcy, such as California. Nevada during the construction boom was overrun, with foreign nationals. Illegal immigrants have bled dry the welfare system in Nevada, California and every other state. No AMNESTY. It will be like a signal across the world, before millions more try to reach America before its signed into law.

Posted by: infinity555 | April 12, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Excellent overview, that would leave the Hispanics in South Florida as the lone group in support of the repuggies....

Posted by: Geopolitics101 | April 12, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

This is almost humorous. We forget what illegal means. We are not seeking what's the right thing to do, but how can we create another democratic voting block? Scary stuff. African Americans vote as a democratic block, are they happy today? I don't know. Unions vote as democratic block, they are never happy. Teachers vote as a democratic vote, they are never happy either. What is so terrible about this country the rotten white man has created over the last three hundred years? If it is so horrible, one would think the last place people would want to come is here....I don't see a whole lot of illegals in Canada. Why is that? They are not flowing over into countries south of Mexico. Why is that? People need to use some common sense. You can't have unchecked people coming in without financial consequences for all. Why do you think most countries would never permit this?

Posted by: chipgiii | April 12, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Say good bye Harry !! You and ALL the politicans pandering to these 20 million welfare ready criminials parasites will be gone in Nov. You got away with that sneaky Healthcare but NOT THIS !!!

Posted by: catinhat83510496 | April 12, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@chipgiii: "Unions vote as democratic block, they are never happy. Teachers vote as a democratic vote, they are never happy either."

Even if true, correlation does not equal causation. The sorts of people who are unhappy might just be the sorts of people who vote for Democrats in large blocks, rather than the election of Democrats actually causing their unhappiness.

"Why do you think most countries would never permit this?"

Rush Limbaugh did something I thought was fairly clever once. He introduced his Limbaugh Plan for immigration reform, and it was extraordinarily restrictive, gave immigrants no rights, and was patently anti-immigrant and even xenophobic. Then, at the end, he explained the plan he just presented was actually Mexican immigration law today.

There are plenty of countries who permit unchecked immigration, and it has an impact on them. I don't know that it's always a bad thing. But it's pretty clear the nation of Mexico sees a lot of benefits in having an openly anti-immigrant immigration policy.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | April 12, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Until the economy improves and the US jobless rates are down, any politician would be reckless to try to reform our immigration policies, especially any changes which could be viewed as granting amnesty to those who are undocumented.

I live in San Diego county, so the southern border is a part of our daily reality. I can see the pros and cons of many approaches to immigration reform. Our kids went to public schools with high numbers(30%) of non-English speaking students, and our local community hospital shuts down its maternity ward periodically because of the high percentage of non-paying patients. I would like to see reform, but it must take into account the difference between those here legally and those who are not.

Posted by: Beagle1 | April 12, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse


Why do democrats want immigration reform?

amnesty = 14 million new voters

Posted by: tbastian | April 12, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

The last nail driven into the coffin of the American Dream. Deem on demoncrats !

Posted by: billbrann | April 12, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

easttxisafreakybigot

Posted by: bokonon13 | April 12, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Let me be clear here, I am a liberal, actually an ultra-liberal. I am also a Democrat and I am NOT in favor of "Immigration Reform" as it misses the key word "Illegal" and further amounts to nothing more than a gift to all those who have broken our laws to enter and stay in our country ILLEGALLY. There has been much banter about "immigration" when the term misleads, the banter is about illegal immigration and calling it merely "immigration" is to intentionally attempt to paint those criminals as "poor immigrants being discriminated against" when the truth is far, far different. There is only two groups that want "Immigration Reform". The first group are here illegally, have already broken one law and break our tax laws, steal social security numbers, use our resources and send whatever money they make out of the country. The second group are the manufacturers, construction, sweat shops and greedy farmers (most already receiving subsidies in the millions) who take advantage of non-english speaking Hispanics who can't go to the law to be protected from having their wages stolen, being kept nearly as slaves and keeping labor costs down while the employers profit. It's said there are 12 million illegal aliens here and that's probably half of what's here....I'd like to see real "immigration reform" you know, the kind that falls on the side of ENFORCING existing rule of law.

Posted by: Watcher1 | April 12, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I've lived on or near the Mexican border for more than a decade. The illegal invasion is costing us Americans a fortune.

there is no legitimate reason for allowing millions of unwelcomed guests in our country.

Actions have consequences and the action of coming here illegally should have the consequence of being arrested and deported.

There are two issues with this that really are irritating.

First, the cynical government trying to find some wiggle room on this topic. come now. We PAY for something from the government. How about doing your job and enforcing the border, making the environment unwelcome for illegals and punishing illegals who commit crimes then deporting their butts?

next, I was appalled at the position of the Mexican government. While the place sinks rapidly into a corrupt, failed narco state their head of state had the gall to lecture Americans about how we should treat people from Mexico that are here illegally.

My goodness what gall. Further, when will someone in DC gather the necessary nerve to ask the Mexican government exactly why so many of its citizens find it necessary to flee their homes. What is Mexico doing for Mexicans?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | April 12, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I have been told that labor costs are about 7% of of the cost of bringing a head of lettuce to the market. If true, illegal aliens are saving me about 10 cents on a head of lettuce.

There have been one million rapes and molestaions of American women and children by illegal aiens(Search 'TheDark Side Of Illegal Immigration' by D. Schurman-Kauflin,PHD)

I'm a registered Independent, and saving 10 cents on lettuce is not worth it to me for even just one crime like this, carried out by someone who has no right to be here.
In addition Homeland Security has just notified law enforcement officers in west Texas to be careful of retaliatory killings by a Mexican gang, to change their routes to and from work and to wear their body armour while on duty. This border is not secured and no CIR should be even considered until our Americans living near the borders know that the fence is completed and the border is secured.

Posted by: Estoban | April 12, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Look up your State's budget cuts .. then take a look around at your schools. Then tally'up all the expenses for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), text books, videos.. teacher's & assistant's salaries. American citizens are losing their jobs, salary reductions and/or hours cut. Now add up all the costs associated for Special Education - JUST in the education sector. Uncle Sam is BROKE.. American citizens need to stand up FOR OUR CHILDREN & stop ALL entitlement programs for people in this country illegally. It will NOT get better, just wait until 2011.

Posted by: WakeUpAmericans | April 12, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

But grass-roots conservatives tend to be very, very opposed to immigration reform. Remember that it was conservatives -- led by talk radio -- who killed the immigration reform effort. So what do Republican politicians do when their base goes into anti-immigration overdrive but their consultants beg them to tread carefully?

Were these the same consultants that gave John McCain advice? I'm just wondering because he bent over backwards to support shamnesty and how exactly did Hispanic voters repay him in 2008?

Like all poor ignorant people of all races, Hispanic voters are going to vote for the party that promises them the most free stuff. Republicans would be well advised to listen to their base because if 12 million illegals get citizenship the very best Republicans can hope for is 4 out of 10 of their votes. That is the best GWB ever did and he nearly destroyed his Presidency pushing shamnesty not once but twice. For the math challenged, that means 6 out of 10 voted for the Democrats and that is not winning math.

Posted by: jackbenimble | April 12, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I never understand this idea of "cynicism." Isn't the pandering of a politician to a group of voters supposed to be what democracy is about? In election years, when the people actually get to voice their opinion, they have more leverage--and thus things like increases in the minimum wage tend to occur in election years. To give some voters what they want is not cynical, it is the way it is supposed to happen. Yet we never call placating corporate interests or lobbyists cynical. Admittedly, we do sometimes call it corrupt--which I, for one, would say it is. Even if Reid would be introducing an immigration bill he knows cannot pass, the ploy could very plausibly serve the ultimate interests of those who want immigration reform by flushing out the enemies of such reform--and making them more vulnerable in the election. Even that strategy seems far from "cynical" to me.

Posted by: jpm5 | April 12, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

There was only one hard question about immigration during the presidential primaries of 2008 -- the one about drivers licenses for illegals. It cost Hillary Clinton the nomination. The Dems made sure that there was never a second immigration question.

That was among DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS. Not Republicans.

This business that it's only yahoos and racists is the pure Washington Post party line. Factually untrue! The Post just can't deal with facts.

It would be suicide for the Dems, who've already been bruised for not concentrating on the jobs issue to claim that they are going to create more jobs -- then give them to illegal immigrants.

Back in Harry Truman's time, the Democrats would never have asserted that employers have an entitlement to unlimited supplied of cheap labor at poverty level wages and no medical insurance.

Signed,

A Truman Democrat -- A man without a party.

Posted by: kevin9 | April 12, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

The quarter-wits commenting on this blog entry illustrate (a) the sorry state of public education in this country (b) the need for hardworking immigrants to improve the racial/intellectual/spiritual stock of America. What we need are people willing to work, rather than those who sit around and blame others for their problems. Cling to your guns, much?

Heaven help us if people could FIGURE OUT how to be a constructive member in today's society, work to improve themselves, rather than moan about the Good Old Days and blame 'illegal immigrants', people who work for nothing, pay taxes, and are denied benefits (in other words, we exploit them) for your problems.

That would be too easy, I guess. So much more fun to complain and blame others, etc etc. Demographically, of course, this will all be moot, as 'whites' become a minority in about 2040 -- and honestly, considering how whites have treated minorities in America for the past 400 years, what are y'all worried about?

Posted by: Melancholy_Korean | April 13, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I think that the reform must happen sooner or later, and probably for undocumented immigrants who fear for their families every day, it would be better if the reform happen a.s.a.p. The reform is needed badly because our laws are not working. I work at university and I have many friends who are immigrants, so I know how hard and how expensive it is for them to maintain the legal status in the US. I know people, where wive is a permanent resident and her husband does not have papers. They both came legally but once the wive got H1B visa (the work visa) the husband was stuck with H4 and he was told that he won't be able to work for 6 years on this visa! That's crazy! I can't imagine to see this young and energetic guy sitting at home and live on his wive money! So, The visa system must be reformed for sure, so those people will not be put in the position to either continue to keep their standard of living but work without authorization or to become poor and dependent on some financial help. I personally would also chose the first option if I would be in their situation. There must be a way that people like that would be able to adjust their status. Those who crossed the border illegally were looking for a better live. I do not support the illegal crossing, but if we don't strengthen our security there, start using E-verify and biometric IDs, there is no way that those people will stop coming. That's why the reform is needed now. If we won't do anything, the problem will just escalate and we will soon have twice as many undocumented immigrants as we have now. So the problem will be even more difficult to fix. The thing is, those people are already here, many of them for many years and sometimes even decades, many pay taxes and are hard working people, many have wives or husbands who are US born citizens or permanent residents. They are already a part of our society. The billions of dollars that we spend on deportations and being waisted. Those people will be back as soon as the economy will improve. I think that we would be better off if we give them papers, so they can fully contribute to our economy. I like the Schumer-Graham bill, it is fair. Also, we need to remember that we are children of immigrants too, and our ancestors often did not have to go through such a hell to get their citizenship. This country was built on the backs of immigrants both legal and illegal. Immigrants are not the problem, it's the people who hire them, who take adventage of them. We must stop that and the immigrants won't come if they will know that there is no way that they will get a job here. That's why we need the reform now with the path to citizenship for those who are already here. This is the moral issue and there is no other just way to deal with undocumented workers in this country but to legalize them, and then make sure that the same problem will not happen in the future by fixing the immigration law and strengthening our borders.

Posted by: wachnick | April 13, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Well, we all know now that even with a majority of Americans opposed to amnesty that will not stop the Dems (remember Healthcare Reform?). Because, of course, they know what's best for us. Actually, they know amnesty will ultimately provide the Dems with one-party rule, maybe for generations. If you're going to sell out Americans, at least it should benefit the Party, right?

As to losing the Latino vote in the last election, other than voting for Bush because he spoke spanish, when did the Latinos vote as a bloc for Republicans?

If we can but just once learn from history, we would know that every amnesty encouraged greater illegal immigration. Geez, why do we put up with these idiots in congress? Aren't they supposed to work for us?

Posted by: the_mohlengrafts | April 13, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice if Mr. Klein had a good memory. Then he would have noted that Senators Reid and Obama at the behest of certain unions helped block the efforts of President Bush to pass comprehensive immigration reform. If he went back into the 1990s, he could read that Harry Reid's position on immigration reform. He is hardly a white knight on this manner. Simply put, he is for immigration reform because he does not want to be former Senator Reid which may well happen this November.

In addition, if he wanted to know what would be a sound way to go forward on immigration reform he and everyone else who either reads or writes on this blog, I urge him and everyone else to read the reports of the Jordan commission from 15 years ago or the Hesburgh commission from 30 years ago. Both of these reports provide outlines for how this nation should handle immigration reform. Unfortunately, the elites that rule this country deposited them in the circular file. What a surprise.

Posted by: jeffreed | April 13, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

No one seems to realize that immigration reform will help American workers. Without the undocumented workers to exploit, wages for all unskilled workers will have to go up and conditions for all improve.

Posted by: cperrym | April 13, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

http://www.cbocalbos.wordpress.com

While the immigration reform might not happen this year, the hope is it will happen soon so as to give some legal path to the 12 million people here illegally.

Posted by: briandlerner | April 13, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Seems like the anti-immigration stance is the last form of protectionism in this age of globalization. Rather than protecting capital (for immigration, in the short term, benefits capital), it protects a deeply embedded notion of cultural identity. If so many things, like energy, tastes, technology, raw materials, products and money, and now pollution, can pass unfettered across borders, why not workers? Raise the bar for all workers, documented or not, and everyone is better off.

And if you look at any of our private and state universities and see who's in graduate science and engineering programs, they're aren't a whole lot of Anglo names on the roster. Look in Si Valley where a lot of technology is being produced, chances are many of its inventors and developers went to Telegu or Mandarin Saturday morning language school growing up here. These places are where the future- future economies, future ways of life- is being created. And the US, including and especially those rich WASP types on Wall Street, all benefit when these people stay here and continue their high value added work.

If you're white and worried about your genes, well, the food from brown people is usu. much much better from the standard white fare. That's a consolation, no?

Posted by: Lonepine | April 13, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

And if you look at any of our private and state universities and see who's in graduate science and engineering programs, they're aren't a whole lot of Anglo names on the roster. Look in Si Valley where a lot of technology is being produced, chances are many of its inventors and developers went to Telegu or Mandarin Saturday morning language school growing up here.
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I do look at Silicon Valley. Many parts of it are a Third World, drug-gang controlled, rapidly deteriorating dump. As is most of the entity formerly known as the state of California.

Anyone who thinks that bankrupt, bond-defaulting, poverty-stricken, drug-gang controlled, worst-public-school-system-in-the-nation California is a good example of the wonders of open borders, please seek psychiatric help.

Posted by: MaryJessel | April 13, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I do look at Silicon Valley. Many parts of it are a Third World, drug-gang controlled, rapidly deteriorating dump. As is most of the entity formerly known as the state of California.

Anyone who thinks that bankrupt, bond-defaulting, poverty-stricken, drug-gang controlled, worst-public-school-system-in-the-nation California is a good example of the wonders of open borders, please seek psychiatric help.
____
Most people would agree that the golden state has turned sour not b/c of immigration but b/c Prop 13, passed by "legal" Californians in the 1970s. That simple. So simple that a wide coalition of biz and labor groups are gunning for a constitutional convention to fix the state. Pretty silly to blame recent immigrants on really bad public policy.

And, if by "parts of it are Third World," you mean there are a lot of non-white people whose presence gives you the heebie-jeebies, then you're welcome to go live in a nice white European country (from which so many "legally" emigrated from).

Posted by: Lonepine | April 13, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Explain the need for Mexicans to come to our country for a better life when the richest man in the world is Carlos Slim of Mexico. Possibly, it is time for the US to stop enabling the rich of Mexico with our wide open southern border policy. The US needs to secure their borders like every other developed country and US corporations need to find another way to make a profit other than relying on Cheap illegals. If we shut that southern border down, Mexicans would start trying to make a better life in their own country where there are obviously enough resources - they just need the incentive to take back their country!!

Posted by: kendog100 | April 13, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Reid and the rest are walking the plank this fall anyway, so what do they care about American citizens, whom they will ignore as they did with healthcare. These people listen more to illegal aliens than they do to American citizens, whose anger will eventually turn violent.

Posted by: hared | April 13, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

When we stole the land from the Native Americans, we felt guilty and at least gave them some land to live on.

When we stole the land from the Mexicans, we told them they were illegal and built walls.

Dude Angus, author (www.dudeangus.com)

Posted by: Dude_Angus | April 13, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

We have a dysfunctional immigration system. If not fixed, the problems will just get worse. Comprehensive Reform has to deal with the complexities of the issue: people arriving without visas and no order to the settling in process; the blended families of citizens and people of mixed status; the need for younger workers; the current abuse by employers of vulnerable workers and the attendant drop in wages for all; employers who wink at the law in hiring; sleazy labor contractors.

What is sad to see is how the rhetoric of the fringe has infected the mainstream, leading to panic and stereotyping of an entire group of people. They play on fear, claim threatened loss of cultural identity. Many of the complaints are about problems that would be fixed if an orderly process were instituted. We're spending a lot of money on jails, police and court hearings. It would be better spent on education, English classes and orientation programs.

As for criminality, study after study has provided data that shows beyond a doubt that immigrants have the lowest criminal numbers. The so-called "research" of Schurman-Kauflin is bogus, "sleight of math," as one analyst put it.

A final request is to look at how US policy has messed up the economies of Mexico and Central America through NAFTA and CAFTA and extractive industries, such as timber and mining. That policy has also supported the kleptocrats and military thugs who dominate too many countries, where living and working conditions have become intolerable.

For those worried about a cultural shift, it's happening regardless. Why not embrace all the good things that immigrants bring with them--food, music, dance, for example and get to know your new neighbors.

Posted by: GladGran | April 14, 2010 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid is “playing” with people’s hopes and dreams for a better future.

“We are going to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” Reid told thousands at a rally in Las Vegas recently. “We need to do this year. We can’t let excuses like a Supreme Court nomination get in the way.”
But on Tuesday, Reid said. “We won't get to immigration reform this work period. We won't get to the Supreme Court justice this weekend. We have lots of things to do and I've spent most of the caucus today [discussing with my members] the things we have to do and how we're going to do them.”
Disgraceful!

Posted by: Lukesu | April 14, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Most people would agree that the golden state has turned sour not b/c of immigration but b/c Prop 13, passed by "legal" Californians in the 1970s. That simple. So simple that a wide coalition of biz and labor groups are gunning for a constitutional convention to fix the state. Pretty silly to blame recent immigrants on really bad public policy.
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LOL, "most people" do not agree that Prop. 13 caused our financial problems. How long have you lived in California? I'm a native and I'm old enough to remember when California wasn't bankrupt and had the highest standard of living in the US. We also enforced our immigration laws in those days -- shocking, I know.

--

And, if by "parts of it are Third World," you mean there are a lot of non-white people whose presence gives you the heebie-jeebies, then you're welcome to go live in a nice white European country (from which so many "legally" emigrated from).
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LOL, didn't take you long to reach for that pathetic and over-used "race card" did you? By "Third World" I mean trash-filled highways, graffitti and gang tags on every single public surface, illegal gerry-built shanties that don't meet building codes (kind of dangerous in an earthquake-prone state); the worst public school system in the nation, crumbling infrastructure with freeway overpasses likely to fall on drivers as they pass by; drug gangs in every single locality, and many, many other ills that simply did not exist when I was born here in 1960.

And why should I leave? This is my home. I was born here, my parents are buried here, my children were born here. My parents helped build California into the world's 8th largest economy and helped pay for all those "free" public schools and hospitals that you think the illegals are entitled to use for "free." I have paid taxes to this state myself for more than 30 years, which are some of the highest state income taxes in the nation.

I have a greater right to be here than a Mexican who squeezed under the border five days ago to work under the table for five dollars an hour.

Posted by: MaryJessel | April 14, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

They play on fear, claim threatened loss of cultural identity.
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Excuse me lady, but what group of people in the history of the world, have willingly given up their cultural identity, language and whole way of life just because another group of people felt entitled to take it? I happen to like my culture and language and way of life very much, thank you, and think that it is very much worth fighting for.

And why would we in the US want to be part of Latin America? Every single Latin American country is a dump with a violent, backward history, and it doesn't matter whether they've had a right-wing government or a left-wing one. They had more land and more natural resources than we did, and yet they couldn't build a First World society in any of them. That speaks to their culture quite loudly in my viewpoint.

Posted by: MaryJessel | April 14, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

When we stole the land from the Mexicans, we told them they were illegal and built walls.
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LOL, where did you learn your history? Quite a few of the "Mexicans" living in the Southwest and California suppored US statehood because they thought it was a better deal than the chaotic and corrupt Mexican government headed by Santa Ana. These supporters included the last "Mexican" governor general of California. All "Mexicans" who lived in California and the Southwest before 1846 were given US citizenship, which turned out to be far more valuable than Mexican citizenship.

Posted by: MaryJessel | April 14, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

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