American Elephants

The Elephants’ Rules for Reforming Immigration by The Elephant's Child

The Senate “Gang of Eight’s” Immigration bill is one of those massive conglomerates of a bill that attempts to do everything all at once and get the issue over and done with. The title of the bill alone is enough to sink the law of its own weight. It is the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization act of 2013,” and it clocks in at 867 pages. This is not the way to make law.

Immigration is complicated. The present immigration rules are not only ignored by a goodly portion of the immigrants, but the president has ordered the Border Patrol to release any illegal immigrant under the age of 31, even if they are guilty of a crime. Executive order. Congress refused to pass the “Dream Act” which gives the children of illegals the opportunity to live here and become citizens and vote for Obama, but Obama wanted the Dream Act anyway, so he issued an Executive Order. He doesn’t like that separation of powers stuff.

So how many immigrants do you let in and from where? What about their wives, husbands, parents, aunts and uncles,and grandparents? This is called chain migration and it can be unending. About half of the illegal immigrants here came over the border, and about half have come here legally, but have overstayed the time they were allowed.

What do you do about the resorts in Tucson, for example, who welcome wealthy pregnant Latino women to come to their resort and have their baby in a Tucson hospital and give the baby American citizenship as a birth gift? Do we want to limit immigration to “your tired and poor, huddled masses yearning to be free,” or do we want highly educated people who are bringing special skills and the desire to build a great company? Or the wealthy person who already has a great company that he wants to bring to America? Democrats want reliable Democrat voters.

Congress voted in 2006 to build 370 miles of triple-layered fence and 500 miles of automobile barriers. It is now 2013, and we have 36.3 miles of border fence. As I said in an earlier piece, we keep doing the same thing over and over.

Senator Schumer (D-NY) persuaded Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to be the public face of the immigration bill  because he is the son of immigrants, close to the immigrant community, a Republican, and very popular. He has been everywhere, selling hard.

Politicians and the media are obsessed with two issues: gun control and illegal immigration. Guess what? According to a new Gallup Poll these two issues are at the bottom of a list of 12 priorities for Congress and the president to address.

Illegal border crossings peaked in 2000 and are down my more than 70% since then, net migration from Mexico is currently zero. Anecdotal evidence suggests that illegals are streaming over the border because of so much talk of “amnesty” in the news, and they want some of Obama’s amnesty. The people, and you won’t be surprised, want lawmakers to focus on job creation (86%), economic growth (86%) and making government work more efficiently (81%).

Lawmakers may face some real objections when the people discover that in spite of 12 million Americans who want a job, and countless  employed people who have just been dropped to part-time because of ObamaCare — our lawmakers want to invite all sorts of new immigrants. The technology companies want a lot more H-1B immigrants with technology skills. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) points out that we have way  more trained STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates than there are jobs.  We are scheduled for a massive shortage of physicians when ObamaCare takes full effect next year.

Heritage warns that the new benefits that go to new immigrants, made legal,  are hugely expensive. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and workmen’s compensation. Means-tested welfare benefits add up to $900 billion a year. Public education at a cost of $12,300 per student, and additional civic services like police, fire and so on. The Hoover Institution says additional H-1B workers would add billions to GDP and Federal Tax Revenue, but they’re in Silicon Valley.

So far, 300 amendments have been offered for the Senate immigration bill, but none of the amendments removes the $3,000 incentive it gives to some employers to hire a legalized immigrant over a U.S. Citizen.

Senator Rubio has a spot on his website where he asks citizens to read the bill and suggest things that are wrong and ways to fix them. Just go to, and scroll down to Senator Rubio’s page.

I would like to see the bill broken up into parts to be passed separately. Part One is securing the border. If we cannot secure the border, all the rest of the rules are useless. Part One should be passed, and the border secured, fenced, controlled, and border patrol agents and ICE agents allowed to do the work that they took an oath to do.  At present ICE agents are suing Homeland Security because they are not allowed to do the job they swore to do.

Part Two is reforming out assimilation process. It is broken. New immigrants are not learning what it means to be an American. The melting-pot is broken. Fix it.

When those two things are fixed, finished, complete — and if there is the will to do so, it need not take years — then we can decide who gets to come and what the rules are. I welcome immigrants. They bring new skills, new ideas and even new food to our country.  I just don’t want to keep doing this over and over and failing to complete the project because of partisan politics.

Simple. It might even pass.

3 Comments so far
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“Simple. It might even pass.”

But the problem is, the Democrats don’t want simple. Simple means easy to read, easy to understand. Simple would destroy the agenda of the Democrats, because then it would be simple to figure out what they are up to. So they hide behind “comprehensive”, which is another way of saying “complicated”. “But this issue is complicated”, they say, and requires a “comprehensive” approach. (Remember how they presented the PPACA?) But complicated issues CAN have simple solutions, if worked through a piece at a time. Unfortunately, simple makes it more difficult to hide things in a bill (amendments, anyone?), that people might object to, so “comprehensive” is what is needed.

I am reminded of someone who used to work at the job I’m doing now. He was the kind of person who would make things overly complicated, so that when a problem came up, they would have to come to him. It was his way of making himself seem indispensable. But as it turned out, it was a sham. After he left (and it was found out that he was waiting to be called to ask to come back!) and they hired me, it took a little time, but I was able take his “complicated” job and make it easier to understand (for instance, reducing a checklist that ran 16 pages-single spaced!-down to 3).

Make no mistake, Republicans can fall victim this as well. But overall, it’s the Democrats who need everything to be “comprehensive”, so they can present themselves as “problem-solvers”. It also allows them to employ one of their favorite straw-man tactics, that of saying that if you object to any portion of the law you’re against immigration reform (conversely, they also point to it and go “people like all of these ideas, it’s the will of the people to pass this”, without mentioning any of the things in it that “people” don’t (or won’t) like).

My overall conclusion? The Democrats don’t care if this passes in its current form or not. Oh, they wouldn’t mind, as it would give them something else to tout as an Obama “success”. But I think they’d much rather use this as an issue to bludgeon Republicans with (“Republicans are against immigration!”) Than have anything workable that passes.


Comment by Lon Mead

Dang, Lon, You’re getting even more cynical than I am. Democrats want lots of low-information Mexicans who will be reliable Democrat voters. Other than that, they’re not particularly interested. They don’t want a bunch of immigrant experts — they fill those positions themselves and they certainly don’t want competition.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Cynical? Maybe.

But I do agree with your perspective on that one point, though: the Democrats are looking for another reliable bloc of votes, and they apparently have no problem with creating a new dependent underclass to get them.


Comment by Lon Mead

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