Carol Platt Liebau: Why the Immigration Bill Failed

The bill was flawed on its merits. For much of the past three weeks, Americans have had a tutorial on the substance of the immigration bill, and many came to dislike what they saw. From providing permanent temporary visas within the space of a business day to all comers before January 1 – including those from “countries of interest” well-known for their terrorist ties – to the “triggers” that could be largely certified without any meaningful improvement in border security, the bill’s opponents identified the significant dangers and disadvantages hidden in the bill.

Other controversial provisions included the elimination of the EB-1 visa, designed to facilitate the entry to the U.S. of those with exceptional gifts, skills or talents, and (especially for those on the left) the creation of a guest worker program unacceptable to labor unions. In fact, the more its provisions came to light, the more that even long-time self-described “liberals” on immigration like Bill Kristol came to oppose the legislation.

The rollout of the bill was misguided. Like Athena springing full-grown from the head of Zeus, the immigration bill arrived directly on the Senate floor as the product of negotiations between a select group of senators. It bypassed the normal Senate committee system, which allows for both a deliberative and orderly process for the consideration of legislation, and the full airing of amendments. What’s more, it’s been reported that Senator Ted Kennedy admitted that special interest group La Raza was offered a veto over the bill’s provisions – before many other senators even had seen them. The closed-door drafting and special interest input only raised suspicions that the bill was being shoved down America’s throat – concerns that were heightened when the bill’s supporters presented the legislation insisting that it be “debated,” voted upon and passed within the space of a week.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues

6 comments on “Carol Platt Liebau: Why the Immigration Bill Failed

  1. D Hamilton says:

    Let’s start with two basic actions:

    1. An Social Security Number check system that employers must use to verify a number’s legitimacy on all new hires immediately and all employees within 24-months.
    a.Without verification confirmation the wages paid an employee woulf not be an allowable business expense
    b.Failure would result in an immediate $5,000 fine – 4 failures would result in prosecution with incarceration as a possible (very likely) punishment

    2. Closing the Mexican/US Border as much as several billion dollars can do so.

    Other actions to follow:

    1. Establish self-deportation assistance to illegal aliens wishing to return to their countries.
    2. Do not penalize self-deportees in the visa application process after their self-deportation
    3. Permit an adequate agricultural guest-worker program.

    I guess I’m too much of a reductionist at heart!


  2. Reactionary says:

    It is beyond ironic, it is tragic, that we spend billions of dollars protecting the borders of Iraq, South Korea and Western Europe but are unable to muster the manpower needed to defend our southern border. There is no lack of will, private citizens will do the job voluntarily. Rather, the government has become dissatisfied with its electorate, and so is setting about importing a new one.

  3. libraryjim says:

    Hey, how come you two abandoned me over at the “Latino Evangelists/Immigration” thread???

  4. D Hamilton says:

    Cause …. we didn’t know a front had been started there?

  5. Deja Vu says:

    … Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, repeatedly insinuated that those who opposed the bill did so from unworthy and bigoted motives. Worst of all, none of the bill’s supporters paid its opponents the courtesy of addressing their concerns substantively and respectfully.

    Thank you for providing this. My teenager was recently harassed in a high school history class current events discussion as a “racist”, “KKK” and “A–hole” for trying to provide some ideas on the side of securing the border and not providing amnesty. I guess these leaders manage to insinuate that the opponents have “unworthy and bigoted motives” but the folks in the trenches make direct accusations.

  6. libraryjim says:

    The other reaction, in addition to this, from CHRISTIANS is that if you oppose the bill, you cannot be living up to Christ’s command to “love your enemy”. Rather than discussing the merits/failures of the bill, they attack the person. 🙁