January 25, 2018

My suspicion about the immigration impasse.

Everyone — meaning everyone in Congress plus Trump — wants to protect the "Dreamers." No one wants to build The Wall. We hear Dreamers and The Wall because those are 2 concrete things that we have a mental picture of and instant feelings about. The real issues are the other things — "chain" migration, E-Verify, merit-based immigration, etc.

Assess the accuracy of Althouse's suspicion.
 
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60 comments:

Michael in ArchDen said...

One clarification...when you say "No one wants to build the wall", you mean no one in government, correct?

That I'd agree with, while pointing out that many of the "deplorables" want a wall!

Lexington Green said...

"No one wants to build The Wall."
Trump wants to build the wall. His 63 million voters expect and demand that the Wall be built.

Michael in ArchDen said...

In re-reading the post, I think you are clear enough on my question. Nevermind!

Nonapod said...

That's weird. I understand why you could think that most of the fauna of the Swamp don't like the wall in their hearts but what makes you think Trump doesn't want to build a wall?

rcocean said...

Trump broke his promise to deport the illegal aliens known as the "Dreamers". He did so, because he supposedly was going to get great things in return, like a wall, E-verify and an end to chain migration.

If he betrays people on this key issue, he's done for.

Of course, McConnell wants to obey the Cheap Labor Billionaires who've paid him off. He's hiding behind the 60 vote rule and letting the Democrats stop a wall and push amnesty.

Kevin said...

Signs point to yes.

The Dems know they have to build the wall to get a deal. So they need something to take back to their base other than "we saved the DREAMers, who you all thought should never have to be saved".

Schumer needs a win so he doesn't look like he gave Trump everything he asked for. He's probing for weakness within the Lindsay Graham wing of the party to see what they might object to and help him block.

PS - Joe Manchin came out today for building the wall. "We need a wall," he said.

How many other Dems have expressed similar feelings to Schumer behind closed doors?

Rob said...

And the path to citizenship. It’s not about letting the Dreamers stay in the country, it’s about how long before they get to vote for Democrats.

rcocean said...

Trump should agree to amnesty for the dreamers in "Principle".

But effective only upon completion of the Wall.

rcocean said...

Peeps need to look VERY CAREFULLY at what Pols say on this issue.

Remember, they made a big to-do about "building a wall" in 2005, when the "AUTHORIZED" a wall. But not one mile got built because they didn't FUND IT.

In fact, since they're going to tie up "building a wall" in the US Courts, and play games we should wait until the wall is ACTUALLY BUILT - to give amnesty to anyone.

Henry said...

I think Trump and a majority of Republicans support the wall.

I don't know how many politicians care about the dreamers, but every politician knows that the media will make sure the optics are terrible.

mockturtle said...

Rep. Martha McSally [Sen. candidate in AZ] was just on Varney and he tried to get her to commit to these Trumpian points and she hedged, just as I suspected she would. She is Flake 'lite'.

mockturtle said...

Rcocean suggests: Trump should agree to amnesty for the dreamers in "Principle".

But effective only upon completion of the Wall.


I like it!

mockturtle said...

Even better, get them to build it!

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that both DACA and the Wall are negotiable, if we can limit chain migration and end the visa lottery. The Dems howl about the Dreamers, but I think that their real interest is in maintaining chain migration. Without chain migration, giving DACA recipients a path to citizenship might get the Dems 6-800k new voters. But combined with chain migration, they might have 10 million new voters - which goes a long way towards building their permanent ruling majority. But, of course, they can’t talk about all the uncles, aunts, cousins, etc, because they either aren’t here already, or came here illegally, and don’t qualify for DACA. Indeed, imaging a family of maybe 8 that brought along someone under 15 when they came here illegally. Under chain migration, the parents who brought them, as well as all the siblings, would be qualified to stay, and maybe get citizenship. Of course, the parents could bring in their parents, who could bring in their kids and grandkids. And then there are the spouses, their parents, siblings, cousins, etc., all for one kid brought in before they were 15 and who kept out of trouble after that.

virgil xenophon said...

Based on his comments on this subj " I'd say rcocean is my long-lost blood brother and I'd propose marriage to mockturtle (if my wife of 42 yrs wouldn't object and mt wouldn't mind marrying a fossil :) )

exhelodrvr1 said...

Change "wall" to "significantly improved border security." I don't think anyone expects an end-to-end physical wall to be constructed. But a combination of physical walls in some areas, increases in the law enforcement personnel on the border, more vigorous enforcing of the laws, and an end to chain migration is expected. And that is completely reasonable.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The "Magic Eight ball" choices we are given is, of course, racist.

Bay Area Guy said...

We need to stop the flow of illegal immigration; we need to focus selectively on who we want as legal immigrants.

The Wall is a means to achieve those ends. It will deter illegal immigration and send a message that we will be selective.

Open borders is Leftwing madness. It expands the welfare state, depresses blue collar wages and frays the fabric of our culture and our heritage. It has the added benefit increasing Democrat voter turnout because they scheme and cheat to REGISTER illegal aliens, bundle their absentee ballots and send them in as votes.

What a surprise that Dems like open borders now.

JAORE said...

Why are we talking about this. Congress and President Ron R agreed decades ago for amnesty with a promise to halt illegal immigration.

Why are we talking about this? Congress agreed over 20 years ago to build a wall. Must have been done by now, right?

I'd propose issuing a temporary visa to the Dreamers, good for one year. Reissuing,also good for one year if, and only of, progress on border security meets well defined goals for funding and implementation.

Once the border is reasonably secure, make the visas permanent.

No chain and no lottery,of course.

MayBee said...

The smartest thing the Democrats have done in the past 10 years is propose legislation they could call the DREAM act, so the young illegal immigrants could be called "Dreamers". I hear even news people refer to them as that, as if it's a term we've always used and as if it makes sense. Great marketing coup.

Ray said...

I voted doubtful, because I believe Trump wants a wall.

The GOP elite are pro immigration, but not the grass roots.

McCains campaign adv of build the wall is the perfect example of saying one thing to get elected, and governing differently.

Amazing how Trump is different, by mostly walking his pre election talk with actions post election.

Democrats are trying to roll the GOP as usual, and this time Trump and the GOP are punching back. And all the left is willing to do is increase the pressure.

rhhardin said...

The trouble with being nice is the moral hazard, which is to say it results entirely in perverse side effects, because it's a system.

Women can't think system.

So if you say deport the dreamers, you'll be savaged by perpetual MSM coverage with soap opera woman audiences.

You might say there are plenty of sad stories not involving dreamers that you don't seem to care about, but that doesn't affect ratings.

rhhardin said...

Call it the wet dreamers and maybe it will collapse in ridiculousness.

robother said...

I suspect, like Ann, the real action on immigration is elsewhere. Both Dreamers and The Wall are concrete things that easier to get people excited about than legal abstractions.

Amnesty for Dreamers, if it is done in the absence of any credible enforcement of borders and especially if it kicks off a whole new chain of related legal immigration, will simply worsen the long term problem of illegal immigration. Restructuring the entire legal immigration system into a merit-based system with minimal nuclear family reunification (spouse and minor children only) with strict E-Veriify requirements for private employers would be great: but only if credible enforcement (symbolized by The Wall) is behind it all.

Finally, the most important action Trump is taking on border enforcement may turn out to be prosecution of "Sanctuary" state and local politicos. See Andrew Jackson on Nullification.

rhhardin said...

Assuming there are wide IQ differences between populations, a merit-based system screws shithole countries. It takes their smartest people from them, making the rest of the country's prospects even worse. They need their smartest people.

Obvious example: foreign-trained doctors.

Unknown said...

Only the ill-informed want a literal wall on the southern border. The Dreamers are a very small minority of people. The big immigration problems come from all the other stuff you mention (chain migration, etc.). This latter category is what Trump and Co most want to fix/eliminate.

-sw

n.n said...

Locally, it is gerrymandered votes, "minority" feudal estates, labor arbitrage, high density population centers favored by businesses, compensation for Planned Parenthood.

Remotely, it is to maintain the illusion of "clean" wars, redistributive change, retributive change, remittances, pressure relief in second and third-world nations, delegated/shared responsibility, and economic access.

Curious George said...

"MayBee said...
The smartest thing the Democrats have done in the past 10 years is propose legislation they could call the DREAM act, so the young illegal immigrants could be called "Dreamers". I hear even news people refer to them as that, as if it's a term we've always used and as if it makes sense. Great marketing coup."

No. The Dems need to call them Dreamers, so the MSM, as their faithful companions, call them Dreamers. It has nothing to do with marketing.

Curious George said...

The only hing I would do for the "Dreamers" is to help them pack their shit and load them on a bus and then hasta la vista baby.

n.n said...

The wall is a symbolic gesture, perhaps a Trojan horse. The real issue is immigration that does should not exceed the rate of assimilation and integration (before Planned Parenthood), and emigration reform (e.g. ending adventures that force refugee crises, conditions that engender mass exodus).

Darrell said...

I agree with Schumer. No wall, but hunter-killer autonomous AI drones at the borders--set to "kill" at all times.

pacwest said...

So what do the Republicans get in trade off for DACA is the question. The wall would be at the bottom of any list I would make. Strong E-Verify would be at the top. Remove the draw of jobs. Harsh and immediate visa overstay penalties. A method to enforce this. A complete and total end to chain migration. One per customer only. An agreed to framework for comprehensive reform. Lottery, defund second language learning, 0% welfare for non citizens, merit system, etc. Then the wall. The southern border is a problem, but by far not the largest, and the wall is a minimalist solution. Symbolic for the most part.

The Dems think they have a bargaining chip with the physical wall and can wrangle Trump into a bad deal with it. I doubt that very much, but I also doubt the Dems are going to give everything up for DACA by itself. And the truth is that immigration (controlled variety) is a net plus for economic growth rates.

What is an optimal immigration number per year? What are the net pluses and minuses of the present stuation? The statistics that are out there are sketchy and open to interpretation. I know that Trump has signed executive orders to try to get better info on the extent of the problem and areas that need to be addressed most.

After all that, then we can worry about the optics.

Hagar said...

When the parties do not want to admit to what they are really fighting about, they often think up some catch-word issues to pretend that is what the struggle is about.
Then there is a lot of smoke and thunder for the unwashed to hide the real political maneuvering that lies underneath.
It is about office, money, and power.

Inga said...

“Trump broke his promise to deport the illegal aliens known as the "Dreamers". He did so, because he supposedly was going to get great things in return, like a wall, E-verify and an end to chain migration.

If he betrays people on this key issue, he's done for.”

They’re already calling Trump, “Amnesty Don” over at Breitbart. I guess they didn’t like his comment in that impromptu scrum yesterday, about the path to citizenship for Dreamers. Trump wants his wall, but has made noises about being OK with it not being a real wall, until the hardliners get a hold of him and have to remind him of what he really wants. Then when he slips up and talks about “amnesty” for Dreamers, the hard right has a conniption fit. It’s all good.

Yancey Ward said...

I think Ms. Althouse is hazy at best here. The public is pretty strongly against any more general amnesties for illegals- the Dreamers are literally the only segment for which there is any public support for amnesty, and even there you can differentiate that support into groups that support amnesty and citizenship route and those who will only support amnesty if citizenship and kin migration is barred.

As for the wall, it is and always has been a symbol. You don't need it- all you really have to do is to strictly enforce the employment laws that are already on the books. If illegals have a hard time getting and keeping jobs in the US, far fewer of them will come.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"Change "wall" to "significantly improved border security." I don't think anyone expects an end-to-end physical wall to be constructed. But a combination of physical walls in some areas, increases in the law enforcement personnel on the border, more vigorous enforcing of the laws, and an end to chain migration is expected. And that is completely reasonable.'

This, plus milking the issue long enough to boot Red State Dem senators in 2018.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Dems don't seem to realize that this really isn't a negotiation. They're in a lose-lose situation.

Darrell said...

If you watch the Mainstream news, you don't have a fucking clue what Americans are thinking about immigration.

Sebastian said...

AA may be right about DC but they'd better be very, very careful in how they structure amnesty for the DACA blackmailers. The Deplorables got burned with Reagan in the 80s. We're not gonna sit by again.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

The problem with DACA is obvious: It's not "deferred action," but no action, ever. And if you leave the tiny tots here (they're mostly not that, but leave that aside), what do you do with their parents? Obviously if the children are in, the parents are, too. Which begins the whole "chain migration" thing. But we live in a time and a country where it's a sin to say "anchor baby." The "dreamers" aren't exactly anchor babies, but if allowed to stay, they will be.

Now that we all know that the "diversity lottery" was established to increase the number of Irish immigrants, can't it just be dropped already? I mean, they aren't even from one of those "shithole countries"; they're white.

I don't know why E-Verify has dropped out of public view again. The objections to it all boil down to its being buggy and inaccurate, but you can't fix bugs without actually, you know, using the thing. And using it properly, by which I mean on nannies, landscapers, casual laborers, &c. Yes, there will be mistakes. But the only possible way to weed out the mistakes is to identify them in practice.

buwaya said...

Then when he slips up and talks about “amnesty” for Dreamers, the hard right has a conniption fit. It’s all good."

Its not 'all good'.

This is shallow, two inches in front of the nose thinking.
Piss people off enough, especially THESE people, and they will DO something.
This should terrify you. It terrifies me.

You are millimeters by the edge of government authority becoming irrelevant.
There are huge parts of California that are already entirely ungoverned for all practical purposes. "No-go" zones.

If and when the government loses its authority (and its more likely "when") you will have Mexico-scale disorder. And it won't be Mexicans that we will worry about.

JaimeRoberto said...

Enforcement is at the whim of the executive branch, and executives of both parties have shown little inclination to enforce immigration law. The nice thing about the wall is that it will remain in place, even when a new president comes in. It won't be perfect, and it won't be everywhere. People can still go around, over or under, but it will be more difficult. No security measure is perfect.

The Godfather said...

You know why I hate the word "Dreamers" -- other than the fact that it's pull-the-heart-strings saccharin propaganda that has no reasonable relationship to the people it's applied to? Because it comes from the "Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act", which was given that absurd name just so it could have the acronym "DREAM Act". Every time I hear the word "Dreamers" I feel manipulated, like a starlet who just had her first interview with Harvey Weinstein.

wildswan said...

Immigration for Dummies in Congress
Some states are already refusing to enforce existing immigration laws. And these are the states where there are the most illegal immigrants. So what is the point of passing new laws? Have the debate in Congress since it was promised - but debate the fact that NY and CA are disobeying the existing law and so they will disobey the new law. There's nothing to debate except whether CA, NY should obey the law now and whether they plan to obey the law later. Then they'll say: "We won't obey the law now and the people we let in won't obey the law later. And that's good and you who want a government of laws are imperialist-nationalist Nazi-communist, Christian-Zionist, know-nothing, deplorable, white KKK sheet-heads." Then there's nothing to discuss and no point in a deal over immigration if the deal involves NY/CA enforcing any immigration laws. Quit the debate. Then build the Wall.

Lucien said...

I don't know. I've got a feeling Trump still wants a physical wall of some sort, if only because millions of people who voted for him (and other millions who didn't) want it.

As a negotiator, I think he understands that nothing embeds an idea like a concrete demonstration of principles. The next "Obama-ish" administration could easily undo rigorous enforcement of existing laws, but the only way to take down a properly built wall is to knock it down. That is symbolism the next Obama will likely be reluctant to embrace.

Lucien said...

I see others have expressed similar thoughts more eloquently. Do something that can't easily be undone by the next guy - force him at a minimum to undo it publicly and pay a price.

BUMBLE BEE said...

RACIST??? Chuck Schumer (et al), You lock your doors at home don't you?
Why?

Molly said...

I think you greatly overstate the areas of agreement: "everyone wants to protect the dreamers" but there is great disagreement about what "dreamers" means. One large group defines it as the 800,000 or so people who officially signed up under the DACA provisions; another large group means anyone who might have qualified to sign up, and perhaps relatives -- perhaps 10 times more. "No one wants to build the wall" but one large group wants to implement very strict and effective border enforcement that would include a wall in parts of the border, and other methods for other parts; another large group opposes any (or almost any) kind of effective border enforcement. E-verify should be seen as a measure to achieve border security, therefore part of a "virtual" wall; and chain migration and merit based immigration are central to the question of who (as opposed to how many) gets to immigrate. But until someone can convince me otherwise, much of the Democratic party supports open borders, unrestricted immigration -- in which case who cares about walls, chain migration, merit based migration, or e verify. This is the fundamental political disagreement: open borders or regulated immigration.

Matthew Sablan said...

Just like every other time Democrats sabotaged a deal, they've been given nearly everything they want. But refuse to budge an inch. Trump offered amnesty for part of the wall. Schumer said no. He agreed to give money then reneged. No more deals with this Democrat congressional leadership. They've proven time and again to be intransigent and dishonest.

Daniel Jackson said...

"Wall"

"Concrete"

Exactly so.

David53 said...

"I don't know. I've got a feeling Trump still wants a physical wall of some sort, if only because millions of people who voted for him (and other millions who didn't) want it.

As a negotiator, I think he understands that nothing embeds an idea like a concrete demonstration of principles. The next "Obama-ish" administration could easily undo rigorous enforcement of existing laws, but the only way to take down a properly built wall is to knock it down. That is symbolism the next Obama will likely be reluctant to embrace."

Yes.

Below is Dr. Jerry Pournelle's last blog entry before he died last September.

"The news is full of the Dreamers. The Constitution says the President must take care to see that the laws are faithfully enforced. Mr. Trump didn’t want to deport the “Dreamers”, particularly those who have integrated into the society, but the law gives him no leeway, and the Presidential Order Obama signed giving them amnesty is unconstitutional. He solved that dilemma by giving it back to Congress who created it. We’ll now see what happens.

I can solve part of the problem. Any volunteer of any age who serves 7 years overseas in Army or Marines gets a Green Card and an application to apply for Citizenship along with his honorable discharge. The Citizenship application and test need not be very difficult and I would expect all who applied to pass it. The swearing should be public and conducted by an officer of rank Colonel or above.

As to girls, we can think of something similar or suitable; they need not join the combat arms. Surgical Assistant comes instantly to mind.

Their parents are a more difficult problem, and it will take ingenuity to find a path that does not offend the legal immigrants who obeyed the law.

More later I’m experiencing a wave of nausea.

Bye for now."

Lucien said...

Jerry Pournelle had a good thought.

Americans are becoming so hostile to illegal immigration that they're starting to oppose legal immigration. The Dems continue down this path at their peril.

I'm in Europe right now, seeing first hand the impact of unrestricted "legal" immigration. The Europeans are starting to get pissed off too. It starts with the cab drivers, then the construction workers, blue collar machinists and repairmen, waiters and others. It very, very slowly starts to expand to people the elites pay attention to. It feels... tense.

Daniel Jackson said...

To follow up on Lucien's comment, the situation in EU with immigration boils down to benefits and a fixed pot of goodies to hand out. With an aging population and increasing numbers of poorly educated "peasantry" competing with newcomers who neither speak the language nor have the skills to contribute significantly to the pot, the time is coming rapidly when there will not be enough to go around.

To some extent this applies to the current situation stateside. There is only so many benefits and entitlements to pass around. Lower university enrollments, fewer numbers entering high paying jobs, an aging population (the endgame for us baby boomers) will stress the system. The people feeling this the hardest are the various minority groups who have come, thanks to their betters, the Democrats, to rely heavily on these goodies to get by.

Enter the illegals who drive unskilled/skilled wages of working people down, do not contribute to the public good, and directly compete for the same entitlements and goodies natural born and naturalized poor receive. This says nothing about entry level jobs.

Now the Democrats want to keep the illegals in the country while promising to minority groups, specifically blacks, that nothing will change, and that the deficit will be made up on taxing corporations and the wealthy.

Seriously, who are the Dreamers.

The best news is that the biggest hole will probably be plugged: subsidies to the UN and the PA. The savings there will go a long way to helping the country's poor and the legal immigrants with something left over for the Wall.

The fact is Walls Work. Just ask the Israelis.

Big Mike said...

Walls can be climbed over or dug under. You can’t make it impossible, but you can make it hard. And, of course, you can back up a wall with sensors and drones and other things to detect and help capture intruders.

Oso Negro said...

Fuck the Dreamers. If my parents robbed a bank, am I entitled to the loot 20 years later?

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yancey Ward said...

It is late to this thread, but Zman had a great essay on Trump's style that one should take into serious consideration: President Coach. I think he right in this case.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Walls can be climbed over or dug under. You can’t make it impossible, but you can make it hard. And, of course, you can back up a wall with sensors and drones and other things to detect and help capture intruders."

Apparently, the sample walls are very hard to get over. They just survived, handily, a test by some of our special operations military personnel. Tall enough that they could only get maybe halfway up climbing free. And very hard to get a hook or such with a rope to catch on the top. And the Israelis are getting pretty good at detecting (and collapsing) tunnels. We will, no doubt, work with them.

And, as you suggest, the point is not to completely prevent people from getting over or under a wall, but, rather, to make it difficult enough that it isn't done often, and esp not with backpacks of drugs or automatic weapons. This isn't the Israeli border, where a couple people getting by the wall means dead Israelis, but just maybe a couple more Dem voters and welfare recipients.

Bruce Hayden said...

I have two conflicting thoughts on Trump's recent immigration proposal. If he is serious, he has offered the left, the Dems, those pushing immigration reform, what they say they want, but they are rejecting it out of hand. Which says to me first that they aren't saying what they really want, but rather, with their emphasis on the Dreamers, on what will sell. And second, that they want an issue, to gin up votes, and not a real solution. I don't think that their real problem is with the wall, but rather, first, that the Dreamers won't get instant citizenship (so that they can vote for Dems), but must keep clean for maybe another decade. And, maybe most importantly, their chain migration would be severely limited. With this, the Dems only get a couple million new voters, maybe a decade from now, and not tens of millions much more quickly. Which they desperately, having gambled and lost with the white working class, their traditional core strength. The poison pill in the whole thing is not, probably, the wall, but rather ending chain migration, on which the Dems have set their electoral hopes.

With all that, one alternative is that Trump so wants a deal, that he is giving the Dems and the pro-illegal immigration forces most of what they want, or claim to want, in order to get them to sign the deal, any deal, just to say that he was able to broker an immigration deal and his successors could not. Another is that he knows that they won't take it, so has maneuvered them into rejecting what they say they want, but don't really, which makes them look like disingenuous tools. The third is that he is an honest broker, and knows that a good deal means that both sides need to squeal. My gut right now discounts the first - he didn't make his billions by not being willing to walk away from bad deals, and, indeed, knows that he, who is willing to walk away, is the one who usually wins a negotiation (Not like, for example, Obama, who tended not to walk away, but to continue to sweeten the pot until he got a deal, any deal). I think that the latter two alternatives may both be true, suggesting, maybe, that he has this structured as a win-win: if he wins, he has accomplished something historical; and if he doesn't, on those terms, he has an issue for the November elections, and has it refined such that it is much harder now supporting the opposition over immigration. We shall see.

Rusty said...

Bruce Hayden said...
"I have two conflicting thoughts on Trump's recent immigration proposal. If he is serious, he has offered the left, the Dems, those pushing immigration reform, what they say they want, but they are rejecting it out of hand. Which says to me first that they aren't saying what they really want, but rather, with their emphasis on the Dreamers, on what will sell. And second, that they want an issue, to gin up votes, and not a real solution"

I think Trump came up with a compromise he knew they would reject. Which is fine because then we will find out what they really want. In the end he will get his wall.