Here’s what I think about the immigration issue: I don’t know what I think.
I agree with the last person I hear speaking about it.
I agree with those who think there should be a guest worker program – of some sort. I know there are jobs I don’t want to do. In fact NO one wants to do them, but they have to get done and they will get done … at minimum wage.
Which happens to be the exact wage many illegal immigrants are willing to work for.
But I also agree with those who point to the four-fold increase in illegal immigration which will certainly continue to accelerate when it becomes common knowledge that America has, effectively, turned its back on its own immigration laws.
I agree with those who say illegal aliens should be permitted to pay a fine, and then prove they are on the road to redemption by behaving themselves while they hold down jobs, pay their taxes, and remain good citizens-to-be.
But I also agree with people who say that rewards illegal behavior by creating a system whereby people who snuck into our national house, are allowed to stay now that they are here.
Back in January, President Bush proposed (according to the whitehouse.gov web page) a:
new temporary worker program to match willing foreign workers with willing U.S. employers when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs. The program would be open to new foreign workers, and to the undocumented men and women currently employed in the U.S. This new program would allow workers who currently hold jobs to come out of hiding and participate legally in America's economy while not encouraging further illegal behavior.
That sounded reasonable to about 72% of Republican respondents to a poll by Mull-sponsor The Tarrance Group.
According to the summary, even 76% of Republican voters in Texas approved of a plan which would:
Provide resources to greatly increase border security,
Impose much tougher penalties on employers who hire illegal workers
Create a system in which illegal immigrants could come forward and register, pay a fine, and receive a temporary worker permit, and
Provide these temporary workers with a multi-year path to citizenship, if they meet certain requirements like living crime free, learning English, and paying taxes.
It sounded reasonable to me, but the day after it was announced, James Carville who was my debate opponent on CNN said on the air, “Sounds like amnesty to me.”
So, I don’t know what to think.
New Topic: Georgia Representative Cynthia McKinney attempted to brush past a magnetometer in the Capitol, was asked to stop by a police officer, and did … long enough to slug him.
AP reporter Laurie Kellman’s reporting:
[McKinney] walked around a metal detector and an officer asked her several times to stop. When she did not, the officer tried to stop her, and she then struck the officer, according to [a Capitol Police] account.”
In a statement, McKinney said:
“I was urgently trying to get to an important meeting on time to fulfill my obligations to my constituents. Unfortunately, the police officer did not recognize me as a member of Congress and a confrontation ensued.”
But that was the sanitized version. The original version, captured by WSB television in Atlanta, includes this language:
It is, however, a shame that while I conduct the country's business, I have to stop and call the police to tell them that I've changed my hairstyle so that I'm not harassed at work.
The Capitol Police force which used to be a Capitol joke, has changed dramatically over the years for the better. It has not been that long since two officers were killed protecting Members of Congress and Capitol visitors from a gunman.
The Dems had rolled out yet another national security plan on that same day. Speaker Dennis Hastert’s press secretary, Ron Bonjean said:
“On a day when the Democrats unveil their national security agenda, it's probably not a good idea to allegedly strike a police officer.”
On a the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the White House page on immigration, the Tarrance Group’s summary of the poll, and WSB-TV’s excellent capture of the McKinney statement before it was taken off her web site. Also a Mullfoto from the Radio-TV Correspondent’s Dinner the other night, and a Catchy Caption of the Day.