The U.S. Senate may have temporarily moved on to other matters after passing a truly hideous immigration bill, but the mess it has made will not go away any time soon. It’s a mess the House of Representatives can’t just ignore, because the need for added border security is so great. (Example: See Judd Slivka’s action-packed article in the June Digital Spectator. To subscribe, click here.)
If the House fails to act, it will anger almost as many voters as it would if it passes the Senate’s misguided version. (For reasons why the Senate bill is so misguided, see here, here, and here.) Millions of voters feel passionately that the exploding population of illegal immigrants, and the lack of control of our borders, is an issue of surpassing importance — and tens of thousands of them will surely stay home on Election Day if nothing is done.
But because the Senate bill flaws are so great, the angry voters will stay angry if an amnesty bill such as that one passes — even if, as is now the rage on some conservative sites, President Bush commits to certification of border enforcement success before any of the “guest worker” and “path-to-citizenship” provisions can take effect. The truth is that no matter what the timing of the unwise and unworkable provisions, those provisions will remain unwise and unworkable.p>All of which is a long build-up to the conclusion that, as Brendan Crocker suggested on these pages last week, there is no better, politically viable solution available right now, and perhaps not ever, than the “no amnesty” bill by leading conservative U.S. Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana. (Pence’s original speech on the subject, given at the conservative Heritage Foundation, is superb.) The more that serious conservatives study the plan, the better they like it. American Conservative Union President David Keene, who has been hawkish for stronger border control, is saying nice things about the Pence Bill, and fellow hawk Newt Gingrich now writes this at Human Events Online : br> /p>
One positive addition to the border-security and immigration debate is Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-Ind.) bill, the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act. This bill is as close to the right solution as I have seen. It sets up a four-step process starting with what is needed and universally agreed upon — border security. Second, it does not provide amnesty for people in the United States illegally. It requires them to go home. Next, it sets up a work-visa program using electronic bio-metric security based on conservative market principles.br> What bears stressing is that the Pence plan incorporates almost the entirety of the existing, House-passed bill that everybody agrees is tremendously strong on border enforcement. (It leaves out only two controversial, and unnecessary, provisions: the one that would tie up our court system by treating illegals as felons and the one that some critics said would keep good Samaritans from caring for needy aliens.)
After an American employer can, in good faith, show that no American worker will fill a job offer, a work-visa holder may be hired. The key feature is that, in order for people who are here illegally to get a work visa, they must go home, because work visas will only be issued outside of the United States. Fourth, once the program is set up, companies that continue to ignore the law will be sanctioned severely. I hope the House will take a serious look at Rep. Pence’s thoughtful and pragmatic approach to solving this issue.
Repeat: The Pence bill would crack down on illegal border crossings.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?