Saturday, August 27, 2016

All Or Nothing Not The Option

On its website, the Center for Immigration Studies proclaims it is "low immigration, pro-immigrant" and it is neither.

Observing Donald Trump's double somersault with a reverse on immigration, Politico notes

Both supporters and critics who study immigration law say it’s clear Trump hasn’t developed much knowledge about how the immigration system actually works since he first promised to build that border wall 14 months ago.

And they say his latest utterances are proof he’s no closer to having a comprehensive, workable approach to a long-broken immigration system.

However, if its director speaks for the organization, CIS supports high immigration while being opposed to the immigrant. We read further

“They were going to have to move beyond this knee-jerk reaction about deporting all the illegals because it’s just not a practical policy, and it never was,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors more restrictions on immigration. “But they could have done it in a more coherent and organized way. Instead it’s slapdash and confused.”

Although Donald Trump is prone to rhetorical excess and once recommended a deportation force, no one ever really believed all "11 million" (a number which has mysteriously declined from 12-13 million in the last 20 years) illegal immigrants would be returned to the country from whence they came.

Whatever is publicly argued, the policy divide is between those who want to deport individuals here illegally but without a criminal record vs. those who believe that absence of a record should provide immunity.

In a March debate, Univision reporter Jorge Ramos asked Hillary Clinton "and that you won't deport immigrants who don't have a criminal record? and Bernie Sanders "And can you promise not to deport mmigrants who don't have a criminal record?"  The replies, responsively: "I will not" and "I can make that promise."

Krikorian, from an organization proudly anti-illegal immigration, wants the illegal immigrants to stay, though short of citizenship.  With an opportunity to gain citizenship, they would not be easily exploited by employers (well, at least no more than native-born workers). Contemptuous of immigrants, he perverts the adjective "illegal" by converting it to a noun to form the derogatory "illegals." They can remain as long as they are dehumanized.  He is high immigration, anti-immigrant.

By contrast, Ann Coulter (whatever her over-the-top rhetoric), is more anti- illegal immigration than anti-immigrant.    Disappointed the flip-flop, softening, reversal, or intentional sowing of confusion was put forth on the day her "In Trump We Trust" was launched,  she issued a series of tweets on Thursday night criticizing the new policy or non-policy.

Most telling among her tweets, all delivered within 25 minutes, was the last, when she caustically commented:        Well, if it's 'hard,' then nevermind.  Trump: ".... to take a person who's been here for 15 or 20 years.... It's a very, very hard thing."

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not been disbanded. Although conducted too infrequently and "a very, very hard thing," workplace raids lead to the deportation of illegal immigrants and prosecution of their employers.  Especially useful have been the "paperwork raids," which target employers, emphasized by the Obama Administration. There would not be, nor would there ever have been, deportation of all 11-20 million individuals, just as not all street criminals are apprehended by police.

The impediment is not the ability, but the will, to conduct raids.  Nationally prominent Democrats are opposed to the efforts, though the Party's 2016 platform falls (barely) short of endorsing any and all expulsion.  An overwhelming majority of Democratic voters opposes expulsion.

So, too, do many Republicans. The latter demand a wall: it's an act of defiance, a symbol of opposition to Mexicans, would be built by private contractors, and never will have to be paid for because it will never go up.  However, effectively expelling people in the nation wihout authorization requires effort and employment of more border patrol agents, who are government employees and hence anathema to GOP dogma. Lacking sufficient personnel, ICE nevertheless performs an important function, as Coulter realizes.

Even a stopped clock, it is recognized, is right twice a day. As a woman of the right, Ann Coulter isn't right twice a day, and is often bombastic and offensive.  Nonetheless, once a decade or so she makes a valid point other conservatives bypass.

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