Monday, June 11, 2007

The Four Pillars, Refuted

Tom Donohue is the President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and he wrote The Four Pillars of Immigration Reform.

(By sheer force of will alone shall I avoid any references to the Chamber of Commerce as a Fifth Column.)

These are the arguments of a large part of the Republican Party and they need to be exposed for the intellectual dishonesty that they are.

Donahue says:

"First, we need to bring the estimated 12 million undocumented workers already contributing to our economy out of the shadows and on a path to earned legalization. Other alternative proposals, such as mass deportations and then sealing the border, are indefensible and impractical. Even if we succeeded in either approach, our economy would slow dramatically."

On the contrary, the "comprehensive" approach sought by the Chamber is a carbon copy of immigration policy in the United States since at least the 1960s, when Liberals began their insane experiments in social engineering. Tom, these people aren't in "the shadows" as you so effectively parrot. They're protesting, staging rallies, working and generally not concerned about living in "the shadows." I'll lay out an American Federalist approach to immigration at the conclusion of this piece, but here's a clue as to what mine will look like: in the spectrum of possible solutions, Tom sees only two: 1) amnesty and 2) mass deportations. There are more alternatives (and I'll address the economic scare-mongering later).

More Donohue:

"An earned path to legalization is the best solution. We must enact a multi-step process that requires workers to pay a reasonable civil penalty for entering the United States illegally; demonstrate a substantial length of time in the workforce; pass a criminal background check; and show progress towards English proficiency."

Who, exactly, is going to keep track of this enormous government program? What constitutes a "reasonable" penalty for breaking the law? Or a "substantial" time in the workforce? Who will judge progress towards proficiency?


"Second, we need a carefully monitored essential worker program to prepare for our nation's future labor demand in a way that is smart and fair. Over the next 10 years, the greatest job growth will occur in occupations that require little or no formal education and training. With unemployment at a near-record low and 77 million baby boomers nearing retirement, who will fill essential jobs that are vital to our economy?"

Well, which is it, Tom? Will the greatest job growth require little or no formal education and training, or will people need to fill the jobs of the 77 million of the worst generation that is retiring? Maybe I misunderstood. Are the 77 million retiring "boomers" working jobs that require no formal education or training? Which are the "essential" jobs that are "vital" to the economy?

Donohue, trying to regain some sense of logic:

"Third, can we achieve the first two priorities while securing the border? Yes. In a post 9-11 world, we all agree that America's national security interests must come first. We need a strong and smart border enforcement program that stops terrorists, but allows entry of carefully-screened immigrants and essential workers. Creating a pathway for these essential workers to be able to come in legally would enable law enforcement officials to focus their resources on true criminals and those who mean to do us harm."

This reminds me a little like the experience you have when you're in the dealership looking at a car and the salesman says: "look, I'm not a salesman." When people say things like "we all agree that America's national security interests must come first" and then proceed to ignore what they said and ramble on about "essential workers" you know you're listening to a line (and a not very well-delivered one, at that). But Tom thinks we'll be able to just screen out the potential terrorists at the border. Uh-huh. Right.

Is this guy almost done?

"Finally, we must recognize that immigrants have been--and should continue to be--an essential part of this country's economic and social fabric. We need their continued contributions, drive, and energy if we are to remain competitive in today's global economy. Anyone who commits to playing by our rules, assimilating into our culture, and working for a better life deserves the option to become permanent residents and eventually citizens. "

Ah, yes, just what I've been waiting for: the heart-strings. Hey Tom? Anyone who "commits to playing by our rules" doesn't break in the back door. And anyone who commits to working for a better life deserves the option to eventually become a citizen? How about if working for a better life means subjecting the infidels to Sharia law?

OK, folks here I go.

(deep breath)

First, secure the border. Build two parallel fences with a two-way road in between them and secure the entire border of the US and Mexico. The purpose is to keep out people who would break in the back door of your house (if you like that analogy).

Second, deport all illegal aliens in jail to their country of origin, or, minimally, the south side of the aforementioned fence. There's no reason that hardworking American citizens should pay taxes that go to support illegal alien criminals who are living in our prison system.

Third, enforce existing immigration laws (no fire-walls). When people are stopped by the police for breaking the law, the police should be able to question the residency status of these people. Businesses should be heavily fined for the dual sins of cheating against their competition and participating in the second largest wealth transfer scheme ever perpetrated (capital holders enriching themselves - illegally - at the expense of the lowest wage-earning American citizens).

Fourth, discontinue benefits and services to families of anchor babies; return to strict adherence to the spirit of the 14th Amendment. No illegal who has a baby here is "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" and therefore neither is their child.

Fifth, eliminate all federal welfare programs. This should provide sufficient labor for those jobs we keep hearing that Americans won't do (what they mean is "Americans who aren't already living off of the labor of others"). Welfare, naturally, is the proper domain of the smaller spheres of government in the first place.

Sixth and lastly, create meaningful immigration legislation. This seems to be what liberals, La Raza and the editors of the Wall Street Journal editorial page want to do first, when it should properly be done last. We should have a real debate about how many people we allow into this country and from where. But not until the other steps are completed.

Coming soon to a blog near you: trade policy.


Daniel Webster said...

"Fifth, eliminate all federal welfare programs. This should provide sufficient labor for those jobs we keep hearing that Americans won't do (what they mean is "Americans who aren't already living off of the labor of others"). Welfare, naturally, is the proper domain of the smaller spheres of government in the first place."

Hear, Hear! I like that'n! With one minor exception - welfare is properly the domain of charitable groups, not government. But I'll take that as a big first step in the right direction. ;)

Y'know, when I was a teenager we used to work the fields for farmers during the spring and summer months doing all sorts of chores for 'minimum' wages - building and mending fences, hauling hay, planting trees, working cattle, all kinds of stuff like that. We didn't necessarily want to do those jobs, but we did them because dad dang sure wasn't going to fund our extra curriculars. What are American teenagers doing now?

I won't comment anymore on the four shaky pillars. I think you pretty well covered it, Mike.

Nice job!

Michael Tams said...


Right you are, and of private individuals, as well. It appears in my haste to offer a balanced approach, I didn't take that train of thought to it's ultimate conclusion. Thanks for making that excellent point, my friend. Ideally, charity belongs properly to the smallest sphere of government - the individual.


Daniel Webster said...

Right on!

The smallest sphere of government operates indeed within the individual. And it is there where charity most definately belongs. Otherwise it's a forceful discharge of governmental influence which we deem as 'charity.' And as Hargis says, there's nothing charitable about that.

External government has no business delving into the charitable sphere. And in fact I think a good argument could be made that 'charity,' regardless of what definition we put to it, has declined rather than experiencing any kind of growth as government has involved itself more and more in that business. Among other things.

Michael Tams said...

Amen to that.

BTW, I love quoting Hargis here. Hmm, an idea is brewing. How about a book of wisdom entitled "The Quotable Hargis"?


Daniel Webster said...


Label a tag "The lovable quotable Hargis." Remember this'n:

"It's a poor dog that won't wag his own tail." As I recall he attributed that saying to his grandfather. A pretty wise fella, that grandfather of his'n.

Yeah, quoting Hargis is a favorite of mine too.

victor said...

its a good ... I think a good argument could be made that 'charity,'

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