Amnesty Light

I’ll be honest, I’d personally be fine compromise in theory, but I suspect it’s bad politics for the GOP:

“Illegal immigrants, assuming they have lived here for a decent period of time and have not committed a felony, can have amnesty, but they can NEVER be allowed to vote. They can do anything else that is legal, but if they want to vote — or run for office or practice law in our country, as just happened in California — they must return home and go through the normal immigrant application process, however long that may take until they have citizenship.”

I’ve posted on this before. Most of the arguments against this idea were the slippery slope, namely if we give them a limited amnesty now, they’ll just vote in a full one next chance they get. I believe in slippery slopes, and agree it’s no fallacy. Gun control is absolutely a slippery slope. Here’s what I look at:

  • Is the interest pushing for half the cake now in hopes of getting the whole cake later. Well, the Democrats certainly want them to have the vote, because they want a more solid majority, but it’s less clear the Hispanic community honestly cares all that much about the vote, and polling also shows they care about border security too. The political elites and activists are likely to keep pushing for the vote, so I think this plays in favor of the slippery slope.
  • Does the half cake strengthen our opponents hand any, or make their arguments better? I don’t really think this changes the rhetoric at all. In contrast to say, accepting the NICS system under Brady, which I think weakened our hand in arguing that expansion is a bad idea. I’m not sure this plays as well with the slippery slope. If anything, I think this would weaken their hand to the near future.
  • Does the half cake take people out of the issue in terms of fighting further encroachments. Absolutely. I think a lot of people will walk away from the GOP if they push through a half-cake amnesty bill. This would make it much easier for the Democrats to pass the rest of the cake when they get back into power.

So while I think the deal, in theory at least, would be acceptable to me, I think it would only contribute to the further destruction of the GOP at the cost of the Democrats winning several more election cycles. I’m not convinced anyway, that amnesty is the key to winning the latino vote. I think Republicans are pushing for limited amnesty largely because business interests want it, and because they have K street consulting firms whispering in their ear that this will allow them to win the latino vote.

22 thoughts on “Amnesty Light”

  1. I think it would be better to put this on the potus. Tell him to pick amnesty or an unemoyment benefits extension. But not both. See who he sides with

    1. ” Tell him to pick amnesty or an unemoyment benefits extension. But not both. ”

      How would you “make” him pick one or the other? He’d pick both, throw the blame for achieving neither fully on his enemies, and come up a winner with the Democratic base, probably increasing their solidarity and partisan commitment.

      That’s a serious question. If there is something about your proposal I’m not understanding, I’d like to understand it. Republicans only hold cards with those who already support them, and the BHO has little to lose.

      1. You put it on him. If the economy is that good why do we need an unemployment extension. If the economy is that bad, how do you justify adding 4,000,000 people into the labor pool. He’d have to eat his words. The American public is now paying attention, a few years too late, but they see and hear the double speak coming from his mouth. Let him pick, Mexicans or the American worker – but not both. He doesn’t hold the house, it’s a card to be played.

        1. While I understand where you’re going, I think Andy is actually right here. To put it simply, Obama is an ‘I want to get all of my cakes yesterday’ egomaniac, and the media is still almost entirely in the tank for him.

          For your proposal to work, it would require the public to perceive it as it is, not as the driveby media will slant it. If the last five years is anything to go on, that’s not going to happen.

  2. I would think a hispanic American would be as equally outraged at the prospect of more cheap labor being exploited and bringing down wages for them, especially when it is their own that is being exploited. I don’t think this is as much a race issue as even the Democrats can try to foist upon their ilk. It’s more of a cost of living issue during a severely depressed economy.

    To me two things happen:

    1) No amnesty passes, in which case the bill dies and probably won’t re-surface again under this president, just like gun control as a legislative issue.

    2) The bill passes, and the Democrats come back for another whack at it in 2016 to restore full suffrage rights. Boehner would not be re-elected speaker of the house and the GOP would be in a state of perpetual civil war. I think a GOP civil war would be worse than many people think in terms of ramifications on other issues. A third party may emerge. Very messy.

  3. If you have ever spent some time reading Martin Armstrong, the emergence of a third party is practically inevitable. If you look around, the signs are all there. Just look at the splintering of the “tea party/Ron Paul” republican types, and the old republican guard. The republicans are being primairied for failing to hold the line. I think the Old Guard mistakenly thought that they could co-opt the 2010 sentiment back into the party fold and that everything would go back to the way things used to be. I just hope this splintering doesn’t hand Hillary 2016. That would be disastrous.

  4. The thing that makes me dubious is that, while it appears that border security is part of the plan, who exactly will enforce that provision?

    Wouldn’t that be the same branch that’s not enforcing the laws now?

  5. Let them become “citizens”, but no right to vote for 18 years, just as if you were born here, it takes 18 years till you reach the age to vote.
    And National voter ID must be tied into this plan, or no Amnesty.

    1. I’m confused. Green card holders can’t vote NOW, can they? All they have to do is say is:

      IF AMNESTY THEN “ineligible for citizenship”

      That takes care of the voting thing right there, doesn’t it?

    2. You can’t constitutionally deny citizens over 18 the right to vote. You also can’t mandate voter ID nationally without a constitutional amendment.

      1. What about Article I, Section 4?

        The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

        Or Article I, Section 5?

        Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members,. . .

        Especially in light of Article I, Section 9. . .

        The Congress shall have Power. . .

        To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

        Seems to me an explicit grant of authority for Congress to establish rules for federal elections. . . although I suppose one could make an argument that National Voter ID legislation would be constitutional for Congressional elections, but not for Presidential elections. . .

          1. Now, suppose Congress does tailor a very narrow law that specifies that all persons voting in Congressional elections (as {reasonably, IMNSHO} interpreted by SCOTUS, including primaries and run-offs) must comply with a “National Voter ID” act and provide an ID that meets the law’s requirements, but also states that states that wish to utilize the “National Voter ID Act” standards for presidential, state, and/or local elections may do so.

            States that utterly opposed using the federal standards in the presidential, state, and local elections would be forced to seperate their Presidential, state, and local ballots from the Congressional ones. Meaning they have to print TWO sets of ballots (only those persons that present a “National Voter ID Act” ID can be allowed to have a ballot that is good for Congressional runs, after all) and run TWO different verification systems at EACH polling place — one that complies with the federal rule, and one that complies with the state rule. Or they would have to do that for teh Congressional and Presidential races AND schedule their state and local races on alternate days (even MORE expensive, as I can tell you, living in a state where state elections are deliberately “off year”).

            States would, by and large, simply adopt the “National Voter ID Act” standards.

      2. And as for citizens over teh age of 18 — yes, you CAN deny them the right to vote in federal elections. You cannot deny them the right to vote on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude (15th Amend); sex (19th Amend); failure to pay taxes (24th Amend); or age (26th Amend). We deny 18 year old citizens the right to vote all the time, after a felony conviction. . .

        However, the 14th Amendment says that if you DO deny the vote to male citizens 21 or older for any reason other than participation in rebellion or criminal conviction, your “effective population” for electoral and House of Representatives seats is reduced by the percentage of the male, over 21 years old population that has been denied the vote.

        Since immigration violations are crimes, and “amnesty light” program could specify that in order to apply for the amnesty:

        A. They must admit guilt, with the same legal effects as a guilty plea in court.

        B. While the majority of penalties that could have been applied (had they been convicted or taken a plea deal in court) will be commuted by the amnesty, specific penalties will still remain. . . like a ban on voting.

        It’s no different than states that decide to automatically restore voting and/or gun rights upon completion of a sentance (sometimes including any post-incarceration parole) for some or all felony crimes. The person is still a “convicted felon” and certain penalties can apply, but the specific civil rights explicitly restored are restored.

  6. The problem with any form of amnesty is: They won’t do background checks or they will do them so poorly it will be the same thing. That either through legislative or the courts everyone will get amnesty because it’s only fair don’tcha know. They will get to vote and the second the bil is signed they will all become eligile for welfare too. And last, and perhaps most important amnesty will be a huge lure for more illegals so ten, twenty years from now we will have to do the same thing again but for 50 million illegals.

    1. And last, and perhaps most important amnesty will be a huge lure for more illegals so ten, twenty years from now we will have to do the same thing again but for 50 million illegals.

      ^^^THIS.^^^ We’ve been bitten once this way, why the frack are we even entertaining the idea of doing it again?

      In the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!”

  7. I know a lot of “Dreamers”: kids brought here legally or otherwise who are currently “without papers”. Most of the ones I know have legit social security numbers granted to legal immigrants, but now cannot legally work. This is possible because they came here legally – as children with legal immigrant parents who just failed to go home or did not follow through on the process. Some more were truly ‘illegal’ in the sense they came here with parents who never had legit immigration processes behind them.

    In each case, we’re talking adults who know nothing other than USA. To a person they have idolized citizenship since childhood in ways that the rest of take for granted. The percentage wanting to go into military service is higher than the US born people I know. Even with the new “deferment” program and a decent shot their condition will be remedied, I see severe disappointment in at least two that the deferment program last year accidentally prevented them from joining the ranks of our military (two conflicting provisions of law make it impossible for the DoD to take them, even though it was intended they get that option). They want to do it, even if they can be legal otherwise.

    Go ahead and secure the borders and pull up the draw bridge. Lock the doors and make every employer use eVerify for new employees. But for heaven’s sake don’t try to deport a 23 year old man who was brought here (legally) from Laos at the age of two. He cannot even say “hello” in that language. He is as American as any other.

    I have seen these people despondent over their status. It’s not their fault. Children who cannot walk cannot commit a crime. Punishing them now does nothing but scratch a futile itch from those who just don’t know people in these shoes.

    The GOP should push a law to legalize these people, then leave the rest for temporary worker cards and eVerify. Sympathies are with these so-called Dreamers and they are basically the heart of the amnesty movement. Legalize them and take the wind from the 100% Amnesty Now crowd.

    1. I’ll just say that those opposed to the latest push (legal but no vote) will not believe the Dems if they support it, and they are right to be concerned.

      If the Congress moves with “an overwhelming bi-partisan effort” to legalize (but not grant citizenship) to those who are here illegally, then they should have the votes to move a constitutional amendment to make it a one-shot deal (written in exacting language). If the Dems are serious about doing it once – and not taking half the cake now and aiming for more later – then they should be willing to get behind a suitable amendment to lock-in the thing they say they support. Anything else will expose them as the frauds they are.

    2. Patrick — I’d agree with you, and in fact, would accept a BLANKET amnesty that goes into effect only after the border is actually secured, if I could trust the Democrats to keep their word.

      But that’s the rub — I know the Democrats will do exactly what they have done on every other “compromise” in my lifetime (and longer).

      So, how do we get there from here, without a conservative majority in the House, a fillbuster proof majority of conservatives in the Senate, and a veto-proof conservative majority in BOTH houses if we don’t have a conservative in the White House when the legislation comes up?

      Let’s say we write something that says that amnesty will kick in for those who were already here a year before the law passed, and only after the border is confirmed secure. Who decides the border is secure? How do we avoid a pro-illegal Administration certifying it secure immediately (my fear), or keep an anti-immigration Administration from delaying forever (pro-immigrant’s fear)?

  8. Myself being a wise Latino strongly oppose amnesty and support securing the border (with A-10 patrols and sniper teams if needed).

  9. My big problem with the “immigration reform” proposals I have seen over the last few years is simple: They trade ‘citizenship’ or ‘legal status’ today for the promise of border security tomorrow.

    It seems to me that this is precisely what was done in the 1986 under Reagan. Tomorrow has come and gone, and we still have a fundamentally insecure border.

    I recognize that amnesty, in some for or another, will almost certainly be necessary; That being said, I refuse to play the Democrat’s game of “give us what we want today and we’ll talk about giving you what you want tomorrow.” As far as I’m concerned, amnesty must come second to true border security.

    As a semi-related aside, I also believe that border security will also require a fundamental reform of our national drug policy.

    1. As far as I’m concerned, amnesty must come second to true border security.


      As a semi-related aside, I also believe that border security will also require a fundamental reform of our national drug policy.


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