2006 May 16 Tuesday
Reactions To Bush Lies On Immigration
The National Review Online (NRO) has a collection of reactions to El Presidente Jorge W. Bush's speech on immigration which tried to sell relabelled and repackaged amnesty. If you think I'm going over the top rhetorically by referring to Bush as El Presidente Jorge consider that the NRO entitled their collection "Meet El Presidente". The truth is becoming clear even to the neocon Bush apologists at NRO. First off, NRO presents Harvard labor economist George Borjas says Bush has no credibility on immigration enforcement.
President Bush has a huge disadvantage when talking about immigration reform: He is not credible. He spent more than half his time discussing border enforcement, a subject that has not interested him before. Perhaps at the next press conference someone will ask why he did not take the meager steps outlined last night soon after 9/11.
He added a new rationale for a guest-worker program. Not only does Bush buy into the idea that guest-workers do jobs that “Americans are not doing,” he also believes that guest-workers are needed because the increased border enforcement and the new-and-improved employer sanctions cannot stem the tide of illegal immigration. How’s that for declaring defeat before the battle begins? Notably, President Bush skipped the part about how “temporary” guest-workers typically become permanent immigrants.
Borjas has repeatedly shown in his labor market research that the claim that immigrants do "jobs Americans won't do" is false. Immigrants just provide employers with cheaper sources of labor to do the same work. One problem this poses for the rest of us is that we still end up paying to support the displaced American workers plus we pay the health care, education, prison space, and other costs of the low skilled immigrants. But happy talking Jorge doesn't want us to notice this.
James R. Edwards of the Hudson Institute correctly states that comprehensive immigration reform is code for amnesty and open borders.
The president confirmed why his job-approval rating on immigration, 29 percent, is lower than his overall approval rating, 31 percent.
Mr. Bush’s primetime televised speech Monday night amounted to more empty words. The speech betrayed that comprehensive immigration reform is really code for amnesty and virtually open borders. Like the Senate, he’s learned nothing from our amnesty experience.
Bush and the US Senate want to pass a bill that will double the rate of immigration. Yet Bush has the audacity to pretend he wants to control the southern border. He really wants to erase that border.
Republican Congessman from Arizona J.D. Hayworth sees through Bush's rhetoric.
The president last night was unconvincing. The enforcement proposals sounded good, but I don’t think his heart was in it.
The president said the U.S. wouldn’t militarize the border when it’s already been militarized—by the drug smugglers, coyotes, and Mexican troops. He said temporary workers must return to their home country when their work visas expire, but doesn’t tell us what will happen when they don’t.
Manhattan Institute sharpie Heather Mac Donald says the White House has contempt for the American people.
Dangling strings of shiny trinkets, President Bush tried last night to make contact with the restive natives. Six thousand National Guard troops on the border! Infrared cameras! Biometric work cards! Those baubles will dazzle ‘em, the Bush speechwriters must have concluded, and they’ll never notice that we’ve changed nothing in the border-breaking status quo.
Creating a biometric card is meaningless if you don’t penalize employers who ignore it. No fortifications at the border can withstand the avalanche of people seeking to violate our laws so long as they know that once they get across the border, they’re home free in a 3,000-square-mile sanctuary zone. But Bush said nothing about worksite enforcement. If this administration wanted to end illegal immigration, it would exchange those 6,000 National Guard troops for 6000 immigration agents with the mandate to enforce the laws that Congress passed 20 years ago.
Nowhere was the White House’s contempt for the American people more manifest than in Bush’s double-talk on amnesty, however.
My contempt for Bush flows from his contempt for me.
John O'Sullivan sees Bush's speech as aimed at those who are too ignorant about the immigration debate to see through his lies and deceptions. But some conservatives want to be deceived.
To judge from reactions to the speech, however, there are some conservatives willing to be fooled fifteen thousand times. Still, there is an interesting division within the reactions. Those who follow the immigration debate closely were almost uniformly derisive about the speech. They know the details behind the rhetoric: for instance, that the president’s assurance that illegals will have to go to the back of the line behind legal immigrants actually means that they will be given the right of U.S. residency right away. Those who tuned in to the debate only recently, presumably most Americans, take the misleading rhetoric seriously. That is why the initial reception to the speech is likely to be more approving than the final verdict of most Americans when they learn that it promises the arrival of at least 103 million more people in the next 20 years and additional costs to the U.S. taxpayer of $30 billion annually. At least—in both cases.
Steve Sailer and Mickey Kaus have great collections of reactions from bloggers and other commentators. I highly recommend clicking through on both of them.
My reaction after a day to think about it: I hope enough people are not fooled by Bush's Panglossian happy talk. He wants to turn the United States of America into the United States of Latin America.
Update: The editors of the National Review find much to fault in Bush's immigration speech.
If the purpose of the speech was to shore up the president’s standing with conservatives, it failed. This administration’s lack of credibility on immigration enforcement can’t be reversed by adding a few National Guard references to its tired rhetoric of unmanned aerial vehicles and more detention beds.
Likewise, the arrests several weeks ago of nearly 1,200 illegal aliens working for IFCO Systems were widely touted as heralding a new wave of legal action against crooked employers—but then most of the illegals were released within hours of the raids.
Finally, President Bush reassured an anxious Mexican president Vicente Fox over the weekend that any deployment would be only temporary, and that the regular Army would not be involved—in other words, “Don’t worry, Señor Presidente, it’s just symbolism.”
As for the Senate’s compromise bill, the Heritage Foundation has released research that should torpedo it. Robert Rector, one of the nation’s leading authorities on poverty and welfare, has estimated that the bill would admit a staggering 103 million people over the next two decades and represent “the largest expansion of the welfare state in 35 years.” Supporters of the bill call their approach “comprehensive,” and they’re right: They aren’t content merely to deal with the current illegal population or to address a supposed shortage of unskilled labor, but want to effect a massive demographic reshuffling of America while they’re at it.
In his Oval Office address, the president squandered what was probably his last chance to reconnect with conservatives on immigration. They will undoubtedly note that the president has waited six years to start talking about enforcement, and will accordingly ask why he can’t postpone his amnesty long enough to give enforcement at try? A speech that had reiterated his support for amnesty in theory, but conceded that enforcement had to come first, would likely have won significant public approval and helped shape events in Congress. The speech he actually gave, on the other hand, is likely further to demoralize conservatives and harden opposition among House Republicans to the Senate amnesty proposal. President Bush’s speech, contrary to its goal, probably ensures that no immigration bill will reach his desk this year. Given the options, that’s probably a good thing.
I think Bush and the Senators have overreached. They have demonstrated that they have incredibly bad judgement and the enormous scale of the damage they'll inflict if they can get away with it. These are not prudent people. They are reckless and dangerous and have no place running the United States of America.
National Review editor Rich Lowry heaps even more right wing abuse on Bush comparing him to Clinton.
President Bush has a bold new approach to immigration enforcement: He wants to police the Mexican border with symbolism.
That's the point of his proposal to send the National Guard to our border with Mexico. This represents Bush's final, desperate descent into Clintonian sleight of hand. He wants to distract enough of his supporters with the razzle-dazzle of "National Guard to the Border!" headlines that they won't notice he is pushing through Congress a proposal that essentially legalizes all the population influx from Latin America that has occurred in the past 10 years and any that might occur in the future.
It is with this position that Bush has wrecked his political standing, kicking out from under himself the support of his conservative base. Bush's National Guard feint is a sign that the White House thinks conservatives are not just disaffected, but credulous.
Bush is playing you for a sucker. Are you going to fall for it?
If you haven't already read it read my post Thinking About Bush's Less Than Half-Baked Worker Permit Proposal.
The obvious toss of unreason in this address, is the false dilemma offered, as between 'mass deportation' and 'granting an automatic path to citizenship', and Bush's semi-automatic path to legal residency for illegal aliens. When a dilemma is asserted, the burden of proof is on the one who asserts it.
If mass deportation is ruled out, even though it is admitted that we deport over one million each year, in the same speech, does that mean that deporting up to two million per year would be the 'mass deportation' spoken of?
Another big inconsistency here is the claim that by suppressing debate which is supposedly 'inciting people to anger', we can 'build a unified country', as if national unity, not diversity, were desirable; while at the same time calling America a 'nation of immigrants', which has 'strengthened our country in so many ways'.
How can diversity be strengthening when it involves Mexican criminals, yet, somehow prevent us from 'building a unified country', when it involves different ideas being expressed on the subject of immigration, some of which may cause a response of anger or fear?
Did Washington cripple the chance to build a unified country, when he encouraged, to be debated, issues which might cause fear or anger, relative to British policy?
Actually it is Bush and the wild immigrationists, who use smears and unreason in the place where a rational argument is to be expected. The NYT of 5-16-06, editorializes an imaginative new smear-term:
'Latinophobes' (from Border Illusions, p. A24)
Shall we expect psychiatry handbooks now to include this new category of diagnosis: Latinophobia?
Why can't the critics of immigration restriction use a rational argument, rather than false dilemmas, smears, and attempted diagnoses of multitudes? is it becuase none are available?
On the Senate bill: "but want to effect a massive demographic reshuffling of America while they’re at it."
Exactly, this is the crux of it, and it's been the hidden-in-plain-sight truth all along: The most dangerous threat in the Senate bill isn't the amnesty or guest worker provisions, it's the legal immigrant quota increase offered up by Hagel and Martinez. Over 100 million (I've read 150 million) Third-World immigrants allowed into the US over the next 15 years, at a time when Whites are already a minority under 5 and an absolute minority in many high-immigration states. The depressing thing is, as others have been pointing out-- even if Hagel and Martinez don't succeed here, they have an army of allies in the legislative and executive branches cooperating with them. Congress can gradually push the quotas up by hiding the increases in other bills, while Bush can push the numbers up through executive orders.
Indeed, the sad fact is that even if nothing passes the House and Senate on this issue, Whites are *still* hurtling toward minority status in about 15 years, tops, due to the effects of past legal immigration expansions and the chain migration effect-- resulting from the 1990 immigration bill, in particular, that allows in close to 1.4 million people *legally* every year through chain migration and other sorts of bills. Thus, even if we could deport every illegal by next week, Whites are still doomed to minority status in the US, unless Congress were to approve some sharp reduction in the legal immigrant quotas very fast. I just don't see this happening.
That's why I've just come to accept the fact that some form of shock therapy is the only solution, that the only vote that counts anymore is a vote with our feet. As I wrote in my previous postings, mass emigration of skilled Whites (1 million+ each year) may be the only way to bring the crisis to a boil and shock our elites into action--
It would deprive our corrupt rulers, who control both parties, of the tax revenue and skilled labor they need to keep the charade going here in the US. Frankly, considering the way they stab us in the front and back and sides anyway, with things like affirmative action, productivity-penalizing taxes and divorce laws, and of course these waves of immigration that clog our cities, crows and pollute our towns, increase crime and turn us into demographic minorities, I just don't feel a whole lot of loyalty to the country anymore. The US of today is no longer a Republic, it's an imperial state that abuses its citizens and regards them as expendable commodities. Again, I have no desire to contribute to this.
With mass emigration of White professionals and middle/working class workers, we'll have an economic shock and a collapse, and thus it'll finally be obviously apparent (rather than sneaking under the radar screen) that mass 3rd-world immigration has a price. My old buddies in Central Caifornia were taking immersion courses in German, Italian Spanish and Scandinavian languages years ago while preparing to take off for the subset of European countries in Central and Mediterranean/Scandinavian Europe that have been standing up to the idiocy of mass immigration, and they've been rewarded in the intervening years. Of dozens who've left, practically everyone has found a job, has married and started families, and is generally much happier in their new home, free from the squalor, crowding, gangs, crime and generalized anti-White hatred of California. (Many of them are Mormons, Catholics or evangelical Protestants with large families, and to my pleasant surprise, they've also said there's a sort of religious revival under way in those European countries, small but growing.)
France and Britain are as doomed as the US, Canada and Australia, but there's thankfully still a large fraction of Europe that's standing tall and tough against the Third World invasion. My wife and I and our kids are slated to move to Austria in a few years, taking our own professional skills with us. (I've worked in a number of IT capacities including network design, which they're hungry for in many European countries. Since these nations have resisted temptation and halted the 3rd-world onslaught, I'm glad to contribute my skills to them.)
I hate that it's come to this, it makes me sick in the pit of my stomach. But money, vested interests and our sycophantic, powerful elites have sold us out and smashed our once-great Republic from inside. We're like Rome in the early 400's, a hollowed-out shadow of a once-great self, and I for one have no desire to continue contributing my hard-earned labor and tax dollars to it.
I used to proudly wave Old Glory in front of my house every day over the past several years. However, now, I've come to realize that the country for which that flag once stood-- the great Republic created by our Founding Fathers-- is no longer in existence, replaced instead by a disgusting imperialistic state.
My wife and I have told many of our neighbors, fellow members of our congregation, friends in the PTA, bowling alleys, community-service organizations and a variety of social clubs about the mass emigration of skilled Whites that's already under way, and about our own emigration plans. To our initial surprise, practically everyone-- the vast majority once proud wavers of Old Glory, like ourselves-- has also been considering this, and some are even making such emigration plans themselves. There in fact appears to be a wellspring of extreme discontent with the way the country's founding White population is being pushed to minority status like this, and a desire to punish this country (whatever the "United States" has become now, it's certainly not the old USA) and others, like France, Britain, Australia and Canada, for their policies that admit millions of Third-World immigrants while pushing their White population to the margins-- and in turn reward other countries that have stood up to the Third World onslaught.
My own friends and neighbors are now telling their own friends and neighbors, and so we may well have a mass movement now brewing. Considering that the US is probably headed for economic collapse in a few years in any case, with our massive deficits and idiotic foreign wars (again, fought in large part to hoard oil resources for our massively increasing population and demands on resources), and our "house-of-cards" economic status with more debt than savings, moving to those select European countries is probably a smart idea from a pure self-interest, economic sense as well. While many of those countries have had some economic problems of their own, they tend to be based on *real savings*, *real manufacturing* and the production of actual goods and investment in human capital and technical and other accomplishment, without the mammoth US deficits and stupid foreign wars. So, their economies actually have a solid foundation.
By 2009, we'll be joining the legions of White leaving this soon-to-be-Third World nation. The elites will then have what they supposedly want-- a nation of malleable, Third World serfs, but without the skilled White professionals and diligent working-class people for them to parasite from. Thus this whole idiotic political, economic and demographic house of cards will collapse on the fools who thought they could stab us like this and not pay a price for it, and we'll have our sweet revenge while gazing from afar. The next few decades will be somewhat tough no matter where you are, but you'll be with a strong, like-minded White community that's proud of its Western heritage in the countries described above. Those will be our new homes, and the new bulwarks of Western civilization.
I can't respond to all the excesses, and, since my comments were treated as nonexistent, I shall return the disfavor.
There is something shocking in the way the White House, while clearly trying to reach out to the dwindling band of believers, can only try to browbeat them into saving Bush from the Democratic onslaught which promises to impeach him.
Much of substance would have to be delivered now; and specifically on those issues where 'opinion elites' are are in stunningly feudalistic divergence from majority opinion. These are immigration, affirmative action and international agreements.
Republicans are facing an electoral storm of defections of a large proportion of their base and the Reagan democrats. Mexico-firsters in the administration have condescended to sugar-coat the amnesty with enforcement rhetoric and militia movements; but the symbolic concessions to majority opinion only cause the diehard believers to realize that, for years they haven't been offered even this much.
I'm seriously thinking about emigration, have brought it up on this site a few times but nobody seemed very interested in the subject. So I'm glad you've raised the issue.
But let's talk some specifics. You have firsthand experience with Europe that I don't, so I'm hardly dogmatic about this, but I find it hard to take your suggestions about Scandinavia and Belgium seriously. Surely you have read about the African Muslim invasion that is every bit as threatening as our Latino invasion, and the position of indigenous whites is even worse there, because the governments are drunk on multi-culturalism and in many cases have made it virtually a crime to even speak against wide-open immigration from the Third World. Fjordman has stopped posting regularly, but as far as I know his blog is still up and you can read the appalling stories of the violence, Muslim aggression, and government suppression of dissent there.
Austria, Germany, and Italy are interesting places and attractive in some ways, but if you don't like noise and crowding, they hardly seem like much of an alternative to the United States. Europe in general seems to me every bit as congested as here, often more so. And while it's possible to learn a new language, fitting into a different social structure with different traditions and values is something else. Maybe if you have a job in a large company to drop into, it would be easier, but many of us can't count on that.
For those of us who work in writing and publishing, or who just have a strong attachment to the English language, must we write off the whole Anglosphere? Yes, the U.K. is clusterf****d (sad to say), Canada a mostly fictitious country and hopelessly sunk in multi-culti worship. But is Australia really not worth considering? Or New Zealand? What about Singapore?
Of course there are all kinds of practical problems -- mainly, whether any place wants us if we're not rich or brilliant technological managers.
But I'd welcome the chance to find a group that's trying to come to grips with issues like these, or to discuss them with you in more detail if you're interested. If you'd rather keep it off Randall's comment section, which after all isn't for personal correspondence, my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, and good luck with your plans.
Sorry, I hadn't yet read your comments at Reflecting Light when I wrote the above.
I just had a thought: What if bird flu mutates into human form with the same virulence it currently has now (55% death rate) and it gets out and causes a global pandemic? What do you think that would do to the immigration issue. Do you think that many more countries will compete for skilled people in the aftermath of such a plague? Maybe governments would treat skilled knowledgable people in the same manner as companies?
I just had another thought: What if the decline in teen pregancy is not due to abstainance education or better sex education? What if it is due to declining fertility due to environmental causes? What if this decline was world-wide? What if the cause is not environmental, but someone actually made a "sterilization" vector and let it out to run around the world? Waddaya think that would do to immigration?
I understand your anger and frustration. Many people, especially those with kids, feel the same way as you. Living in the People's Republik of Kalifornia probably does not help matters.
However, you may want to reconsider your views on Europe. Europe is very socialistic (worse than Kalifornia). Taxes are higher there than here. Much worse, regulation of business is such as to preclude much of the entreprenuership that we take for granted here in the U.S., especially in Germany and Austria. Trust me on this one. I have a good friend who lives in Japan. He is Austrian. He lives in and has build a successful business in Japan specifically because it was easier to do so there than in Austria. Having lived in Japan, I can tell you, Japan is a real pain in the **S place to start a company, in terms of bureaucracy and paper work. My friend told me that it is heaven compared to Austria. I have never been to Austria, so I do not know the situation personally. However, hearing these things from my friend does not encourage me to go to Austria.
Maybe you are looking more for "stability" rather than opportunity per se. In which case, if you have a needed skill set and can find the right opportunity, Austria may actually be a good choice for you. It definitely isn't for me.
Housing costs are very high in much of Europe, comparable to Japan. However, given the recent bubble in the U.S., we may be up there with Europe in housing prices. People are less fat in Europe than here. When they dine out, they eat a reasonable amount of food, then stop. Restaurant serving sizes tend to be smaller. The beer is infinitely better than that of the U.S (although our microbrewery stuff is good).
European schools are good, though. If your kids have been attending U.S. public schools, they will have some catching up to do in any of the European schools. Your kids should be aware of this.
May I suggest Switzerland? Switzerland is the one country on the continent that actually has reasonable tax rates. Its economy is much less socialistic than much of the rest of Europe. It is also a very beautiful place. Housing prices are high, though. Having grown up in the Northwest, I find that the Swiss and Germans look just like the people where I grew up, many of whom are German immigrants (go figure). Also, Switzerland does not have the large numbers of muslim immigrants that you see in places like Germany and France because they don't let them in (Remember: Switzerland is NOT part of the EU and it still has its own currency, the Swiss Franc).
Most people in continental Europe live in flats or apartments. The single-family detached home is less common (and more expensive) there than it is in the U.S. People use trains and buses more than they do in the U.S.
Another thing to consider (and I suspect this relates to the socialism) if you have kids is that Europe, in general, is much more "child-less" than the U.S. You see alot less kids when you are out and about than you are used to seeing in the U.S. Something to be aware of.
Instead of leaving the country, you may consider moving to Spokane, Boise ID, or North Idaho. These are both good places, not crowded, with reasonable costs of living. They are also very family friendly. Both of these places have winters similar to Austria (summers are hotter though).
I predicted some years ago that the US would do this, although not to this scale. The UN predicts populations out to 2050, and had the US prediction at 379 million up from 295 in around 2005. I said no.. the US will go to 550 million is my estimate by 2050. Now it might even go beyond that.
The nation has been doubling its population every 50 years. From 75 million in 1900 to 150 million in 1950, to about 300 million in 2000.
US power and economic growth is partially based on having a massive and growing population. The logical thing to do with the declining birth rates, was to expand legal immigration. As there are many millions trying to get into the USA. The same as it was the natural way to deal with the shortage of skilled labour facing the US, because of a focus on liberal arts at the universities.
This will bring immigration from 1 million a year legally, to 5 million. Although expect a compromise somewhere, like to 3-4 million a year. So when you take into account the children of immigrants it does work out to over 100 million by 2025.
Maybe we should welcome the Reconquista.
Sure, Mexico's dysfunctional, but at least the new government will take border policy seriously.
May I suggest another plausible explanation for Jorge Bush's efforts to promote open borders.
China has 1.3 billion people. The U.S. has (currently) 300 million people. It is widely accepted that China will develop into a modern, advanced economy similar to Japan in the next 50 years. Assuming that they can make it (I see no reason why they cannot, I am not a member of the Club of Rome's doom and gloom club), they will have an economy 3-4 times bigger than ours, assuming comparible standard of living. This will make China the techno-economic center of the universe again (hence the name "middle kingdom").
Jorge Bush, in his childlike simplicity, views the issue in terms of population resources. China has 4 times our population, hence they are destined to be 4 times more powerful than us. He believes by ramping up our population growth, through immigration and what not, he can put the U.S. on the road to population and, therefor, economic parity with China. Since fewer and fewer Chinese (and Indians) are immigrating to the U.S. (because of increased opportunity back home), this translates into unlimited Latino immigration into the U.S. Also, because of Jorge's family background, he grew up around Mexicans, especially the upper classes, and thus feels confortable with the large class disparities that is inherent to Latino society.
The fact that comparing Latinos to Chinese, in terms of personal characteristics and congnitive abilities, is like comparing apples to oranges does not register with Jorge because he subscribes to the vague PC belief that we are equal and the same. The notion that this characterisics vary among race and ethnic groups and, therefor, are an important component of the immigration debate is something that only nasty, xenophobic racists such as ourselves can consider. Hence, this is a non-issue for Jorge Bush.
To sum up, el president Jorge believes that unlimited Latino immigration is the key to maintaining peer parity with China into the future.
As Jerry Pournelle likes to point out: Daily we sow the wind.
China with 1.3 billion is at or beyond its limits of many resources, and is extremely vulnerable. The USA at 300 million is marginally vulnerable, but at 500 million we will be similarly stretched.
Any program which would expand the US population anywhere close to 500 million should be regarded as extremely risky, and undesirable on its face. Expanding the population with unskilled labor which reduces our productivity and intellectual capital is treasonous.