Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Bill Is Dead--May It Rest In Peace

I just read at Instapundit that the "immigration bill" is dead, having failed to gain enough votes to limit debate and move on. I for one am glad. They need to deal with sealing the border. It's hard to approach the "undocumented worker" issue with compassion, when any action taken toward legal status for people who've already come across illegally, without closing the border to further illegal entry, is a clear invitation to folks still on the other side to trek on over without going through the proper channels, because our government has no intention of doing anything to stop them. Don't get me wrong; I'm all for immigration. (Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who wants to control the borders is racist and anti-immigration. Most of us just want people to come here through official channels and out in the open, rather than flouting our laws at the very first opportunity, and then slinking around under the radar.) By all means, the political types should up the quota of people who can come here legally if we need more workers--that's a mutually beneficial arrangement--but the key word there is legally.

As far as the people who are already here, if the politicians still want to legalize the people that came in unsanctioned--while I would argue that a $1,000 fine won't cut it when the people who come here legally pay far more than that for the privilege, in money, time and trouble--I'm guessing that the American people would be a whole lot more amenable to Senatorial amnesty suggestions if they knew the illegal well had run dry. Once the borders are secured, it will be a whole lot easier for Washington to sell the notion of amnesty (let's be honest here), because people won't assume that this is just the first batch with more to come, as the amnesty of the 80s has turned out to be.

What they will never be able to sell me, however, is the notion of the illegals as the victims in this scenario. I almost choked at AP reporter Charles Babington's quote from Ted Kennedy, as Senator Kennedy lamented the failure of the much-protested immigration bill to move forward. Senator Dole gets it here, but Kennedy is somewhere in la-la land:

Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole, R-N.C., said many Americans "don't have confidence" that borders, especially with Mexico, will be significantly tightened. "It's not just promises but proof that the American people want," Dole said.

But the bill's backers said border security and accommodations to illegal immigrants must go hand in hand.

"Year after year, we've had the broken borders," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. "Year after year, we've seen the exploitation of workers."

Good grief. Kennedy makes it sound as if the broken borders were somehow a trap that snared poor unsuspecting Mexicans here into unwilling indentured servitude. I'm sorry, Senator, but those "workers" have been scuttling across our borders in droves to take advantage of jobs and wages they can't get at home, and "free" health care, and education and American citizenship for their children. That raises the question of exactly who is being exploited, don't you think? It wouldn't take a big leap to conclude that the real exploitation that Kennedy is contemplating is the electoral exploitation of all those registered, unionized Democrats he hopes to gain by legalizing these "undocumented immigrants."

Anyway, the bill is seemingly dead, and I hope it stays dead, until it can be considered from the American side of a nice tall fence.

Update: Rich Lowry has a look at the blogosphere and the power of the people that turned this bad bill off.