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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Immigration Non-Solutions

Yesterday, I wrote that Barack Obama's on a roll. It was a mostly factual post, with analysis and, rereading it, I don't see a lot of pro or anti-Obama opinion in it. Basically, I wrote that he owned last weekend, that he was likely to own last night (I was right), and that he's likely to take Wisconsin and Hawaii next week.

Since I started blogging, I've noticed that there are a few topics that are practically guaranteed to attract lunatics and comment spam. Among them are the fact that creationists are crazy, the idea that Muslims are actually people, Ron Paul, and torture. For one reason or another, these are topics that people are obsessive about. Now we can add Barack Obama.

On yesterday's post, I got this fun comment:

Prof. Goldblatt Ph.D. said...

Barack Obama's position on driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. After Sen. Clinton gave a garbled response to her position on this issue in the Philadelphia debate, she was intensely criticized by you, accusing her of intentionally obscuring her position, and by media commentators. (She subsequently admitted she had not given a clear answer.)

Barack Hussein Obama has no ideological compass. All Barack Hussein Obama cares about is the aura of him, because he has no ideological center, which he admitted himself, offering the first self-inflicted warning signal that everyone should pick up for President. - Leland Milton Goldblatt

Shalom and Pray for Israel,

--- Prof. Leland Milton Goldblatt

Oh wow! Professor Goldblatt! Pee-Aitch-Freakin'-Dee, no less! Clearly, I was completely outmatched in the authority department. Shaking in my shoes before what was clearly a towering intellect, I left the following comment:

Oh yay! Dishonest cut & paste comment spam!

How do I know? Because I never "intensely criticized" Clinton's position on licensing.

And "Barack Hussein Obama?" Here's a fun game -- quick, what's Hillary's middle name? Most people don't know it's Fatima, Enemy of Liberty.

No lie.

Prof. Goldblatt apparently has a doctorate in bullshit. You can safely disregard his comment.

The august Prof. Goldblatt has yet to get back to me. Probably because he doesn't actually exist.

For the record, my position on licensing for illegal immigrants is pretty non-existent. I don't think it'd make a difference either way. It's hard to imagine someone saying, "You know? I'd go live in America illegally, but they won't give me a driver's license." It doesn't seem like much of an incentive or disincentive for someone willing to crawl across a desert to get in. I'm pretty sure the only people who really care one way or another are Americans. No one's out there saying, "If it weren't for that one minor inconvenience, I'd so jump the border!"

In fact, if I were at a debate and the subject came up, that'd be my answer -- Americans care about it, but undocumented people could give a crap either way. Which goes a long way toward explaining why I'll never be elected to anything. There are some things no one wants to hear.

The right seems to have come to the conclusion that illegal immigration is their strong point. But their ideas are predictably simplistic. Build a damned fence, that'll stop them. No one but Americans have developed to technology to make a freakin' ladder. And, with nearly half of undocumented immigrants entering the country with a visa, we're going to have to put up really big fences around airports and ports of entry. That'd kind of defeat the purpose of these places.

Another answer is to crack down on people who employ illegals. This from the party that resides in the pocket of the business lobby. I don't see that happening in any real or effective way. We'll bust contractors who hire day laborers, but I doubt we'll do much about people working on Archer Daniels Midland factory farms. Or the guys working on Mitt Romney's yard, for that matter.

The one thing that may make a dent is admitting that trade deals like NAFTA and GATT aren't super-helpful to the average person on either side of the borders. American jobs get shipped abroad, where companies like Wal-Mart drive wages down in an effort to reduce prices. Watching their wages go from crap to jack crap, people come to the crazy conclusion that they've got to move someplace where they can make enough to stay alive.

But, again, the business lobby loves this system. It doesn't help those people abroad, it doesn't help Americans, but it sure helps corporations. Which is why we're arguing about BS that isn't going to make any difference one way or another -- fences and drivers licenses.

Real solutions would reach right into their pocket.


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