Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Illegal Immigration....The Rights Roe?

The entire issue of illegal immigration is a good deal more complex than some on the left and many on the right would have us believe.

At least initially, most on the right are correct to insist on border control first. Without it, illegals will continue to stream across the border in droves making any other measure irrelevant. After all one does not start bailing out ones boat untill the leak is fixed. I personally would prefer a double fence along the entire border. It's true, the cost initially would be high however, it would be the cheapest solution in the long run. Many feel that the fence would conjure up images of the Berlin wall and an oppressive regime giving more fodder to those who look for any reason whatsoever to hate America. I believe this is a chance worth taking as it would stop 95+% of the sneak overs. Just look at Israel for an example as their fence has cut terrorist infiltration to practically nil.

I have to learn more about the "virtual fence" as their are cogent arguments on both sides as to it's efficacy. Time will tell.

Where we begin to run into real disagreements within our own party is the question of what to do with the illegals already here. I believe the Presidents approach is workable. Trying to round up 12,000,000 people and deporting them en mass would be a logistical nightmare. Even if it could be done, it would be a public relations disaster. Can't you just picture the news reports night after night showing immigrations agents ripping children from their beds whisking them off in the night as they beg for their parents. It would be Elian Gonzales x 12,000,000, not a pretty sight. It would diminish us as a nation unlike anything we have ever done.

One other consideration is the economy. We are already at a 4.7% unemployment rate, full employment by most economists calculations. Try and rip 12 million undocumented workers from the employment rolls and you will see inflation in this country so rampant it will make Carters tenure look utopian.

A fair percentage on the right are as steeled on this issue as the left is on Roe. It's an all or nothing proposition with them. The left erroneously declares that ALL abortions must be allowed unfettered or there will be no abortions. This is as big a canard as the right saying that all illegals must be deported and the fence built with tanks and machine gun towers or there will be no control. Extremists on any position are almost always wrong.

We on the right need to initiate proceedures to control illegal immigration but not be perceived as cruel in the process. It's a fact of life that Bush would have not won the election had it not been for the ~200% increase he received in the Hispanic vote. This is a precarious tightrope Republicans must walk and unless they are content with permanent minority status, they must do it prudently.

One of my favorite blogs Polipundit shows just how contentious this issue has become within our own party. The editor in charge has relieved his 3 co-bloggers for consistently disagreeing with his positions. Michelle Malkin appears to be in a perpetual "fit of vapors" and ABP sounds incoherently vicious. Free Republic has become nothing more than a hysterial right caricature of the DU. It seems like normally rational people on the right have suddenly become cerebrally challenged and hormonally turbocharged. It's analogous to the lefts knee jerk reactionism to abortion and it's dangerously counterproductive.

There are bugs that need to be worked out in Bush's proposal, make no mistake. The dramatic increase in "legal" immigration over the next 20 years is just one example. The National guard deployment, "virtual fence", discontinuation of "catch and release", increased penalties for hiring illegals and, National ID card are, however, vast improvements and offer encouragment. If the actual enforcement matches the rhetoric, I'll be a happy man.

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