Monday, May 15, 2006

Give the huddled masses yearning to breathe free some hi-tech I.D. cards.

In this country, we have criminalized the use of drugs and declared war on drugs. Why? One reason is that drugs cause human misery by ruining lives. Of course, if that were our real concern, we would take the money spent on criminalization and spend it on rehabilitation and prevention.

Another reason for our war on drugs is that the money spent on drugs leaves the country and nothing productive is imported in return. Accordingly, we spend huge sums on interdiction. Furthermore, we justify punitive laws by saying it will reduce demand.

In Responsibility for the immigration problem, I argued that we need to address the immigration problem by reducing demand. The way to do that is to provide serious disincentives for hiring illegal immigrants. I argued that we need to impose real jail time for the predators who take advantage of undocumented workers. “While we are at it, let’s make any CEO whose company hires undocumented workers forfeit any deferred compensation,” I said.

Tonight, King George W addressed the nation on the subject of illegal immigration. It was the longest speech he gave in the last five years, without mentioning September 11th.

Here is the entirety of what he said on the subject of employer sanctions.
[W]e need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.
This is astounding!

The President talked about several different border-interception programs that will cost billions of dollars. National Guardsmen will be asked to spend more time away from the families and jobs, as if serving in Iraq were not sacrifice enough. But what new programs do we have to prosecute the parasites who take advantage of people yearning to breath free? Hint: the parasites are also known as Bush’s base.

The technology does not really exist for the hi-tech ID’s, but let us imagine that it did. Can anybody think about it for more than 20 seconds and not conclude that it is the immigrants who will be scooped up for not having ID cards. Or are we expecting employers to have digital fingerprint and retinal scan machines?

The President’s first approach to the problem of immigration was to beef up border guards, using National Guardsmen. But as reported on Feb. 9 2005, in the S.F. Chronicle: Bush budget scraps 9,790 border patrol agents 
President uses law's escape clause to drop funding for new homeland security force:
The law signed by President Bush less than two months ago to add thousands of border patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border has crashed into the reality of Bush's austere federal budget proposal, officials said Tuesday. Officially approved by Bush on Dec. 17 after extensive bickering in Congress, the National Intelligence Reform Act included the requirement to add 10,000 border patrol agents in the five years beginning with 2006. Roughly 80 percent of the agents were to patrol the southern U.S. border from Texas to California, along which thousands of people cross into the United States illegally every year. But Bush's proposed 2006 budget, revealed Monday, funds only 210 new border agents.
Maybe I should have led with Bush’s hypocrisy, but is it really news?

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

(picture credit: HuffPo)

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