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Perry’s Immigration Problem: Even Bigger than it Looks

September 9th, 2011 at 9:19 am David Frum | 60 Comments |

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Byron York has some astute things to say this morning about the immigration issue and its potentially negative impact on Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy:

Start with the border fence. Perry opposes it. “Building a wall on the entire border is a preposterous idea,” he said recently in New Hampshire. “The only thing a wall would possibly accomplish is to help the ladder business.” Perry says he supports some forms of “strategic fencing in certain urban areas,” but that’s all.

Then there are measures to stop employers from hiring illegals. Perry opposes E-verify, which is a program requiring employers to check the legal status of new hires. It has been very effective in stopping the hiring of illegals, but Perry does not support requiring private businesses to use it, and he doesn’t want state agencies in Texas to use it, either. “E-verify would not make a hill of beans’ difference in what’s happening today,” Perry said in a 2010 debate.

Then there is taxpayer-subsidized, in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Perry signed the Texas Dream Act in 2001 making it the law in Texas. “We must say to every Texas child learning in a Texas classroom, ‘We don’t care where you came from, but where you are going,’” Perry said at the time. “The message is simple: Educacion es el futuro, y si se puede.” Perry still supports the measure.

Finally there is the question of guest workers. “I support a guest worker program that takes undocumented workers off the black market and legitimizes their economic contributions without providing them citizenship status,” Perry said in 2006. “A guest worker program that provides foreign workers with an ID removes the incentive for millions of people to illegally enter our country.” To critics, that’s just amnesty with a different label.

Some will interpret Perry’s relaxed views on immigration as a rare indication of a more humane side to the otherwise hardline Texas conservative. Maybe.

But here’s another way to understand Perry’s stance:

Texas has pursued a distinctive economic strategy: drive down all costs of doing business, especially including wages.

Texas workers receive some of the lowest wages in the nation; by some metrics, the very lowest. The encouragement of heavy unskilled immigration from Mexico and central America is an integral – even indispensable – element of the Texas low-wage job-creation strategy.

Perry’s views on immigration are not a “liberal” deviation from his views on the minimum wage, on Social Security, on healthcare coverage, etc. His high-immigration views are of a piece with his general preference for a low-cost, low-wage economy.

By contrast, Mitt Romney has begun to articulate a call for a high-wage economy. To get average wages rising again after a dozen years first of stagnation, then of outright decline, will not be easy. The most important step is to control healthcare costs. The rising cost of healthcare benefits devours workers’ cash pay.

But a rethink of immigration policies is also necessary. In the September 7 debate, Romney articulated something almost never said in a Republican primary: much, much, much more important than a fence or “boots on the ground” is tighter enforcement of labor laws inside the country. I’d go further: if the labor laws were effectively enforced, a border fence would be a costly redundance.

Why have labor laws gone so badly enforced? In very large part: because Rick Perry’s donors don’t want them enforced. The National Restaurant Association does not want them enforced. The construction industry does not want them enforced. Meatpackers do not want them enforced. The hotel and landscaping industries do not want them enforced. When you hear Republican candidates complain of “burdensome regulation,” keep in mind that the regulations that many small businesses find most “burdensome” are those intended to reserve American jobs for American legal residents.

On that issue, Gov. Perry has been, is now, and continues to be an advocate of laxer rules to promote more immigration in order to hold Texas and ultimately American wages low.

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60 Comments so far ↓

  • Smargalicious

    This is one area that’s scary about Perry. Texas has a whooooooole lot of illegals and anchor babies. He’s murky on the issue because he needs the votes, just like Bush did. Bush’s immigration stance was very disappointing.

    Here’s Smarg’s stance: grab an anchor baby by the ankles and fling it back over the border.

    • PatrickQuint

      Anchor babies stay.

      Amend the constitution, and anchor babies get grandfathered in.

      Revoking citizenship is not up for discussion as far as I’m concerned. I don’t even think it should be done for legal immigrants, regardless of what crimes they may or may not have committed.

    • Rob_654

      Sorry but you have no way to win the illegal issue…

      We live in a Capitalistic \ Free Market country – where the Supreme Court just said that companies are basically individuals and as such can contribute unlimited amount of “speech” – I mean money to politicians…

      Those new founded “individuals” are willing to spend a lot of their speech capital to keep wages low – and one way to do that is to guarantee that nothing is done about illegals.

      Of course the Supreme Court justices who decided that are the Conservatives – appointed by Republicans.

      So by voting the Republicans into office – that nominated those Conservative Court Members – who said Corporations are individuals who can contribute all the money they want to ensure that they are “heard”…

      You have essentially grabbed yourself by your own ankles and throw yourself across the border on this issue.

      Have fun in the bed you made :-)

      • Smargalicious

        I can turn it around on YOU.

        America is infested with tens of millions of fatherless welfare citizens, illegals and their anchor babies. Subsidized by Democratic socialist laws. White taxpayers have been paying for them for over 45 years.

        But now we’re broke.

        Have fun in the bed you’ve made.

  • Graychin

    Romney’s call for a high-wage economy is another way in which he is out of sync with the powers that drive today’s Republican Party.

    There is one and only one incentive to illegal immigration – American jobs. Most of the jobs available to illegals are, of course, low-wage jobs – sometimes below minimum wage.

    Similarly, there can be only one motivation for a Texas governor to oppose E-verify – he is run by business interests that favor the cheap labor that results from illegal immigration. So we hear a lot of rhetoric from the right bashing illegal immigrants, but soft-pedaling enforcement against those who hire them.

    It’s just one more hypocrisy rampant in today’s Republican Party.

    • PatrickQuint

      The hypocrisy seems more blatant on the Democratic side on this one.

      One cannot be both a fan of organized labor and illegal immigration while maintaining any king of integrity.

      • Russnet

        Patrickquint, your comment perfectly illustrates the complexity of the immigration debate. Immigration is not subject to binary analysis. And Smarg, I have to chuckle at your proposal for anchor babies, though I disagree with your solution. Let’s move on and finally give birth to the new American carbon-graphite baby. Strengthen the border and enforcement, and implement a stringent legalization program for those with jobs and clean noses. The notion that mass deportation is a sensible policy prescription is ludicrous.

        My proposal for a legalization program would mandate that, even if an illegal were to ‘qualify’ for ‘amnesty’, i.e. be able to remain physically present in the US after ‘entering illegally’ (let’s be real – running across the border), AND be granted work authorization, the ‘benefit’ should not include the traditional trappings of permanent residence, i.e., those that qualified should not be able to sponsor relatives to immigrate, as traditional green card holders can.

        Further, anyone qualifying for a legalization program should never, ever gain U.S. citizenship, unless they return to their home country and get in line with the rest of the immigrants who choose to immigrate lawfully.

      • Rob_654

        Better to be pro-union – pro-illegal worker like some Democrats.

        Than to be anti-union – pro-illegal worker many Republicans.

        Because the second way truly screws Americans…

        At least the first way helps some Americans…

  • medinnus

    So… Perry’s views are essentially status quo pro-Business, including lack of enforcement on hiring penalties. Unless someone plays the “sellout to business” tune really loud, complaining that he passively supports the status quo is really a non-issue.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    um…David, technically isn’t Perry the true Capitalist in this equation, you know, the one favoring the movement of goods AND LABOR? Maybe he believes the government has no business trying to determine wages leaving that to the invisible hand of the marketplace.
    I am not saying I agree with it, just that it does have its own internal logic.
    As to myself I have no problem with most of Perry’s positions (a wall is a waste of money, guest workers are lawful) and considering he lives in a minority majority state if he really, really pissed of hispanics he couldn’t be elected dog catcher so politically it works both ways for him, keep businesses and the hispanics happy.
    The only area I fundamentally disagree with Perry in immigration is E-Verify, which should be mandatory and nationwide, with every Social Security card being a bio-metric one with mandatory jail time for any employer who hires an illegal alien.
    Capitalism can not work without respect for the law, hiring illegals is illegal. If Americans want to increase guest workers let them due it via the law.

    I admit I find Frum’s dislike of Perry amusing considering he worked for another Texas Republican governor, it is some kind of Romulus and Remus rivalry going on, to most people Bush and Perry are peas in a pod, to Bush backers Perry is the devil.

    • Watusie

      History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as Rick Perry.

    • PatrickQuint

      Free market logic stops applying when you have asymmetry in the labor and business laws of jurisdictions. That’s been the trouble with free trade, and a big cause of the trade deficit.

  • PracticalGirl

    “Texas has pursued a distinctive economic strategy: drive down all costs of doing business, especially including wages.”

    Bingo, but I’m not sure that it’s wage costs that Perry is most interested in driving down. It’s the business costs he wants to eliminate that are the real story, and he’s been very effective at his strategy: Pack the state with undocumented workers, blame the Fed and give the businesses a fabulous excuse not to offer insurance as part of compensation:

    “Twenty-six percent of Texas residents lack health insurance, compared with a national average that hovers around 17 percent. That works out to about 6.3 million uninsured Texans, a population nearly equal in size to the entire state of Massachusetts.”

    But this isn’t due to unemployment. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 71% of the uninsured in Texas are part of a family that includes a full-time worker. In other words, 63% of uninsured, working-age Texans do have a job —just not an offer of insurance to go with it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/why-texas-has-the-highest-percentage-of-uninsured-people-in-the-us/2011/08/02/gIQA1wIdHJ_blog.html

    This is the real “vision” of Perry’s Great Society, his “leave it to the states” philosophy. Businesses are protected. People get screwed. A state where high-paying tech and energy jobs drive up the average wage to a respectable 15 bucks and change an hour, but where the vast majority of workers make far less and have to go onto the open market to try to buy insurance with rates that have risen at least 3X faster than the national average since Texas enacted tort reform.

    • Cforchange

      “leave it to the states” and the US $ will look like the Euro. “leave it to the states” and America will become the Ununited States. Hmm, th UNUSA.

  • TexasDog

    On this issue I believe that Perry’s life experience, not political expediency, is over-riding the standard right-wing position on Mexican immigration. Rick Perry, like a lot of Texans who have interacted with immigrants, understands that these are good people who want a better life for themselves and their children. Once you get to know them as people it is very hard to simply write them off as “illegals”.

    I feel the same way about Canadians.

    • Smargalicious

      Dog, that’s called insidious compromise.

      Look at the damage that illegals have done to San Antonio. Gated neighborhoods. Massive sprawl to get away from the barrios. Homes with burglar bars. Massive numbers of non-licensed, un-insured illegals on the highways.

      Dog, many Texans have sold out. Shame on you.

    • Chris Balsz

      I don’t see Canadians marching in our streets under their flag, demanding our tax dollars, beating up American schoolkids who don’t “respect” Canada.

      • LauraNo

        You don’t see Mexican immigrants doing that either. You sound like Michelle Malkin only about Mexicans instead of Muslims. Well, except the flag thing, I don’t know about that but so what if they do.

  • sinz54

    How many Americans would choose to stay at a hotel that employed only Americans as housekeepers–and had to charge more per room as a result?

    That might sell in the oh-so-liberal areas like San Francisco and Cambridge MA. But nowhere else.

    Americans always want the most products and services they can get for each dollar. Except for that minority who put ideology ahead of economic self-interest.

    Get rid of the illegal aliens and you increase the Consumer Price Index. It’s that simple.

    • Watusie

      Good of you to acknowledge the greater sense of true patriotism and public-spiritedness found in blue states.

    • Frumplestiltskin

      Get rid of the illegal aliens and you increase the Consumer Price Index. It’s that simple.

      Not it is not that simple. Good lord, did you even read the article Frum posted? If you want more legal guest workers, agitate for that, don’t encourage illegality. And shame on you for wanting to exploit illegal aliens just to save $1 or $2 a hotel room. You can have a legal hotel worker getting $8 an hour or an illegal getting $6 and Sinz is all fired up in defense of being a cheap ratbastard. Oh my God, Sinz cries, inflation will go up 1/10 of 1% the horror.

      Sinz also forgets the illegality that is bred by illegals, how many illegal hotel maids who are cheated or raped report the crime to the authorities?

      Yet Sinz is in favor of the rapists if it will save him $1 on his hotel room.

      Remember this was a guy who said we should nuke all of Pakistan just to get rid of Osama Bin Laden.

      • lilmanny

        Not to sound redundant…but I don’t disagree with the morality of what you are saying, but I do disagree with the reality. If hotel rooms cost more, and not just $1 to $2 more, consumers on Orbitz don’t take the time to become familiar with your “no illegals” policy. They just pick the cheaper room. If your tomatoes cost more to produce, you go out of business. If your homes cost more to build, because you use only legal labor, you go out of business. Business would be lucky if consumers put as much thought into it as you proposed. They don’t care. They want cheap. And if a business decides on its own to honor the law and increase costs, it allows every competitor that does not a “free ride” at their own expense. The problem is exaggerated because most of the businesses that illegals work in produce commodities, like grapes, hotel rooms, tomatoes, housing, etc. There is little differentiation, so the consumer looks right to the cost and makes the choice there.

        Maybe Perry doesn’t mind Latinos. Maybe he loves or hates them. I think that’s beside the point. Mr Frum is right: the driving force behind his stance is that they depress wages and allow business to operate at a lower cost. If you’ve ever made a consumer choice based on taking the cheapest option, by definition you are part of the problem. (Unless it was beer. That’s just called being 17.)

        • Frumplestiltskin

          you are missing the point, if we have mandatory e-verify there would be no illegals. OK, one hotel hires legal workers and pays more, another hires illegals and pays less and charges less, the hotel that hires legal workers reports the hotel that hires illegal workers, the owner of the hotel that hires illegal workers goes to jail and pays a huge fine…end result, after a few such examples are set no one hires illegal workers and then competition is based on legal behavior.

    • PracticalGirl

      I don’t disagree with your base conclusions. But if it were as simple as that- or at least as transparent- to the average American, we’d be having an entirely different national debate. Unfortunately, it’s the politicians who muddy the waters because fear and hatred, not reason and choice, motivates voters. And we all have to face it: The issue itself- unsolved and hanging- is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to each side every campaign season.

    • Graychin

      “How many Americans would choose to stay at a hotel that employed only Americans as housekeepers–and had to charge more per room as a result?”

      Sinz54, has it occurred to you that if all employers were required to E-verify, backed by strong enforcement, it would eliminate the price advantage that hiring illegals (at below-market wages) gives to unscrupulous business owners?

      American workers don’t need an “Americans only” hiring policy to compete with immigrants – just a level playing field.

      The Chamber of Commerce will fight my idea to the death.

  • Cforchange

    Illegals enabled the housing boom now bust. Homebuilding is a difficult consumer not B2B transaction. Had it not been for the illegals, what businessman in their right mind would have tolerated this industry had it not been for incredible profit margins derived from cheap and illegal labor.
    Every “leader” in every border state from the past decade or so, has their finger print on the housing mess. Everyone who did not participate in this fraud clearly understands this and would not likely vote for a border state “leader”. Remember – location, location,location. Remember McCain.
    The silent middle may not be well connected but they aren’t stupid. Immigration is one of many reasons why the Texan will not be a good national candidate.

    • Banty

      +1 good point. Although one issue around here in the housing boom, is that the labor costs didn’t drop quite so much, leading developers to build for anything on spec the largest houses they can get away with. Which, in turn, ratcheted up housing size expectations on the part of individuals, and leaving limited choices in new housing even for those with more modest expectations.

  • laingirl

    Not only are many Texans without health insurance, but many employed workers are not always covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance, which is not required in Texas. Even if a company provides Worker’s Comp, not all people working for the company are covered; seasonal and workers, contract workers, etc. may be excluded. Of course, an injured worker could sue the company, but few illegals could or would do that. It is well known that illegal workers are frequently not paid for the full number of hours worked, much less receive time and a half for overtime. Perry is bad for Texas and would be even worse for the country.

  • shiznitoincognito

    What about combining something like e-verify and the DREAM act (a more inclusive DREAM act). That is, make it so that as of xx/xx/xx e-verify will be mandatory with more severe penalties, yada yada, but in the meantime, all undocumented immigrants in the country who haven’t committed a felony have the chance to receive some sort “amnesty” and documentation. Also, set a level of legal immigration that is reasonable and economically sound while also non-xenophobic in logic.

    Let’s recognize that we are NOT about to deport 11 million people and their children, it just isn’t going to happen. Since these individuals are here to stay, let’s make it so that all but the bad apples are able to, then ensure that the infrastructure is set up so that it is much harder and unappealing to hire the undocumented.

    If we could form an immigration policy that took into account immigration as an important (maybe the most important) part our history, and was fundamentally humane and economically sound in nature, we’d be sitting pretty.

    Most importantly in all of this, we need to get past the more xenophobic aspects of opposition. The Mark Krikorians of the country are largely full of it when they talk about our culture changing too rapidly from excessive immigration, a common theme in American fear-mongering dating back to colonial times.

    • PracticalGirl

      Mark Krikorian et al are a bunch of race-baiting fear mongers who aren’t at all interested in solving this issue, only in personally profiting from it. They’re masters at what they do and know that without unsolved wedge issues they’d be irrelevant. So they fan the flames with full intent to do nothing but interject as much fear and confusion into as many people as possible.

      On the other hand, since I am dead set against Rick Perry becoming a national candidate they can be useful idiots, as well. Think I’ll drop some emails today and fan my own flames…

    • PatrickQuint

      http://www.france24.com/en/20100908-usa-obama-illegal-immigration-most-deportations-enforcement-2009-arizona-reform-immigration-bush
      “According to Pew’s researchers, the number of illegal immigrants living in the US was down from around 12 million in 2007 to around 11.1 million in 2009. More than half of these immigrants are Mexican. The study credits tougher immigration enforcement and the global economic recession as the two main factors contributing to the trend.”

      If that rate can be maintained then illegal immigration will be a non-issue within a decade. No new plan needed. Double that rate and it can be effectively dealt with during the Obama Presidency, just through enforcement (assuming a second term).

    • LauraNo

      Our family pediatrician when I was young was from India. Dr. Gecko. A family down the street in our new subdivision also was, they painted their home a garish blue. My very first boyfriend was Chinese (2nd grade). My boyfriend at 14 was Filipino, the 4 teenagers in his family had the whole house except the basement which was for the parents. My sister’s best friend Lydia was from Iran. Her family left Iran when the father saw the religious nuts were going to take over. My junior high was 50 – 60% black and other minority and my high school was 30+%. My sister married and had 3 children with a man whose parents had come (illegally) from Mexico. The resentful whiners never HAD the imaginary white country they ‘remember’. I am 53 so none of this is in any way new.

  • Banty

    “Texas has pursued a distinctive economic strategy: drive down all costs of doing business, especially including wages. ”

    Well, yes. Business has always liked illegals, for this and other reasons. Illegals don’t complain about wages and work conditions; illegals do a job year round, and don’t do pesky things like leave in September to go back to school.

    Illegals are also quite handy for divide-and-conquer “look at those people over there” red herrings in the current rhetorical demagoguery.

    The business stance most beneficial to themselves is a benign inaction regarding any immigration policy. Don’t stick their heads out and actually voice their interests so as not to irritate the parts of the voting public they otherwise have on their side at the moment. Just let the ethnic interest groups do the work, and take the heat.

    Oh – except for how they like H1B visas.

    • Russnet

      The H-1B visa is perhaps the most misunderstood benefit in all of American government. My guess is that H-1B visa workers as a class, especially south Indian programmers, have contributed more in terms of productivity and growth to the U.S. economy that any other class of non-equity workers.

      • Banty

        Repeat after me.

        Whenever we hear “We can’t find workers with the skills we need.”

        To understand the situation, we need to mentally add:

        “… at the compensation rates we are willing to offer.”

        Sure, very useful work is done by H1B’s. I know some and like them. The thing is, I also know unemployed programmers, and programmers who have since moved to other modes of work.

        • Russnet

          What evidence do you have that H-1B visa holders bring down wages? H-1B petitions are approved by DHS subject to preliminary approval of a labor condition application by DOL to ensure minimum prevailing wages are offered for the job. It’s a requirement under law.

        • Banty

          But who defines “prevailing wages”? It’s not the wage that would have obtained, if there were no H1B visas.

          And “minimum” means “minimum”. Gosh forbid an experienced programmer ask for more.

  • Sinan

    Make the SS card a tamper proof fully verified identification that is mandatory for all citizens and green card holders. Create a database online for anyone to verify these cards easily in the same way we do credit cards. Give the nation about 1 year to get the new cards. Once this is in place, all duplicate numbers will be erased and the illegals will be smoked out without any police action whatsoever.

    • ram6968

      sounds like your getting close to the ol “national identity card” which, reminds some people of the tattoo’d numbers the nazi’s put on the forearms of jews

      • Banty

        Seems to be an OK concept with regards to what gets presented at the voting tables, according to some folks …

  • Brittanicus

    Rick Perry has a losing certainty on his approach to illegal immigration. His stance on the proverbial nightmare for sane Americans has a very poor performance in gaining any headway towards the goal of President. Building the wall between the United States and the South, he addressed it as unnecessary, which is a negative check mark in the eyes of the TEA PARTY. We needed the fence after 9/11 for our National Security even though the two parallel barriers have not been constructed; it has had some minor successes. Perry signed into law the Texas Dream Act in 2001, so that is a big negative, adding to further chain migration of family members in future years. Perry is for big business as he has colluded with major industries to keep wages low for every American.

    Any prudent individual is not as gullible as in previous years and are no longer falling victim to the race card, or slurs to make citizens and legal residents to cringe away from, speaking up. Illegal immigration is a threat to our jobs, economy and the “Rule of Law” They can stick “Political Correctness” where the suns don’t shine.” It killed 3000 Americans at the world trade center, because the authorities hands were tied, not allowed to ask Atta’s immigration status” when he was driving to the airport. Anybody who doesn’t agree with the Liberal Extremist ideology is a bigot or xenophobe. Me, I’m just an average American, who likes keeping my money in my pocket for my family. I’m already being scolded for my tax dollars to pay for foreign wars, the impoverished of other corrupt governments and they think I’m going to empty my wallet for people who illegally settled in the US?

    I joined the TEA PARTY to fight the corruption, rot, greed and downright incompetence of stealing our money. To me, it’s the only, last chance to rid ourselves of growing government, cutting spending and a new era of revising the tax system, so nobody rich or poor, corporation and everybody has no more shelters from taxes. I have to pay—nobody should be exempt! I’m fed up with giving handouts to everybody—including the parasites from other countries.

    My vote is going to whoever is the front runner of the Tea Party, as well as my family, as both Democrats and Democrats have their own decisive agenda’s. This 30 year Democrat is now a Tea Party member and independent of both parties. Each administration has refused to build the real double fence or enforce the 1986 Immigration Control and reform act. The TEA PARTY will improve on both of these “Rules of Law” and stick like glue to the contents of the U.S. Constitution. As In Article IV, Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

    The flood of illegal workers almost certainly constitutes an invasion. The TEA PARTY will table any form of Amnesty or Immigration Reform and will apply the statutes in the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli with strict enforcement according to the bill. Any Sanctuary City or State ordinances designed to cater to illegal aliens, will lose federal funding and expect ICE sweeps in the future. E-Verify and “Secure Communities” will no longer be a voluntary measure, but applied as a mandate to every state. The TEA PARTY will amend the 14th Amendment, so 300.000 children of illegal aliens annually can no longer get a foothold in America, to ransack the people’s welfare programs and public assistance.

    All new laws will be designed to stop economic illegal aliens from the financial avalanche that is happening now, which includes CHAIN MIGRATION. Each and every Immigration Reform package harvests millions more people through CHAIN MIGRATION, which includes the State Dream Acts. All visas will be decided on the skills and qualifications of the person who wishes to immigrate and unwelcome illegal newcomers will be punished harshly for entry. The 2006 Secure Fence Act will be fully enforced, with additional measures that should include 5000 National Guardsman. Only the TEA PARTY will enforce our laws, as signified in the living US Constitution. The $113 Billion dollars illegally collected by the IRS to benefit illegal aliens must be ended for good and not be further spiraling out of control because each government refuses to enforce the laws. Blue states like the Sanctuary state of California, must be watched by unbiased referees, to contain illegal aliens from voting. California’s, Nevada’s lax voting laws, need to be revised so everybody must show to forms of official ID, with violators of the law heavy fines and a term in prison.

    As a postscript, Yesterday President Obama offered a speech on jobs in construction specifically repairing Bridges and highways. We must insure illegal aliens are not employed by criminal contractors, who have encourages this type of violation of our laws. Be a “whistle-blower” if you find individuals, who seem suspicious in your occupation and inform ICE or local police Department. Read all the incendiary newspaper and media articles at “American Patrol” that sends the Liberal propaganda activists slinking in dark corners. Lastly, learn of the rot that has propagated in Washington and individual States at “Judicial Watch.”

    • LauraNo

      You are really Smarg, aren’t you?

    • ram6968

      britt, you are way out there……if you build a wall, they will get a ladder….hundreds of miles of the border are indian land and the indians already told the govt where they can shove the wall….you can’;t grandfather an amendment to the constitution because it must be applied equally…which means….anyone who EVER came to this country “without papers” and their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and great great grandchildren would have to leave……posse comitatus prevents the U.S. military from enforcing civilian law ( like immigration ). the border is 2600 miles long so lots of luck sealing the border

      • Smargalicious

        ram, it means we must station soldiers to shoot the people on the ladders trying to illegally invade our country.

    • Smargalicious

      Excellent summary, Brit.

  • overshoot

    Perry is on the right track, though. We could pretty much get rid of unemployment and all of the other excuses for a welfare state if we got rid of intrusive Federal labor regulation. We should begin with the most offensive Socialist pollution of our Constitution: the 13th Amendment.

  • Perry’s Immigration Problem: Even Bigger than it Looks | FrumForum | The Party Crasher – In The News

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  • midcon

    Perry’s position is not unlike those of most Americans. It’s the Wal-Mart Principle. The crux of the principle is that I don’t want a Wal-Mart in my home town because it destroys main street mom and pop businesses. So, what I do is protest, obstruct, and demand that they not locate in my area. However, I continue to shop at Wal-Mart because they have the lowest prices. Ultimately, I am responsible for the demise of small businesses that cannot compete with Wal-Mart, but I pretend it’s Wal-Mart’s fault because it makes me feel better.

    It is easier for me to complain about illegal immigration, when I am actually condoning and supporting it, than it is to take a stand, knowing I am going to pay more for goods and services.

    This intellectual hypocricy is pervasive in our society, but no where more than Texas, which deliberately refuses the single most effective tool to reduce illegal immigration – E-Verify (which is 99% effective). Those who support Perry without having him explain why Texas, which like the entire SW must deal directly with large scale illegal immigration is unconscionable.

    • Banty

      Yes, there is that.

      But there’s a part that those small local businesses have paid in their own demise. I maintain that they have been out-houred as well as out-priced.

      If I’m doing a weekend project, and Sunday afternoon find I need more paint, or I got the wrong size bolt, I’d really much prefer to run down to the local hardware store to get these. I really wouldn’t normally want to drive all the way down to the nearest interstate intersection that has all the big-box stores, name brand hotels and eating places to get it.

      But I do. Why? Not to save a few bucks, or even pennies. It’s because the main street stores are CLOSED.

      Main street by and large didn’t respond. Some hardware stores extended their hours, others started catering to contractors other than the general public. Others grumbled and did not change, and their owners sold out and retired early. The adapters are open on main street. If main street is looking empty, it’s because of the grumblers.

      Don’t free market folks believe in the dynamic process of enterprises succeeding or failing, rising or falling, based on their level of ingenuity and adaptability?

      Yes, cheeep stuff made with cheeep labor shipped here with cheeep petroleum is part of the story. But it’s not all the story. Moribundity and rigidity of parts of American business is another.

  • Rob_654

    The Free Market should not recognize “borders” when it comes to the movement of labor. If a company can find a worker who will do the job cheaper than someone else at an acceptable level then they should be free to hire the worker no matter where they are from – if you don’t believe in that than you don’t truly believe in the Free Market and you want to impose some type of evil government control!

    We all know that no true Conservative would ever want the Government to put its heavy boot down on the throats of good and decent businesses who only wants to try and survive in this harsh world by driving down costs wherever they can.

    Second – we live in a Capitalistic \ Free Market country – where the Supreme Court just said that companies are basically individuals and as such can contribute unlimited amount of “speech” – I mean money to politicians…

    Those new founded “individuals” are willing to spend a lot of their speech capital to keep wages low – and one way to do that is to guarantee that nothing is done about illegals.

    Of course the Supreme Court justices who decided that are the Conservatives…

    So by voting the Republicans into office – that nominated those Conservative Court Members – who said Corporations are individuals who can contribute all the money they want to ensure that they are “heard”…

    So for all who vote Conservative, have fun in the bed you made :-)

    Oh – and Rick Perry is more than happy to let a low wage, illegal immigrant, tuck you in at night if need be, and because of the Conservative big money Supreme Court decision – there really isn’t a dang thing you can do about it either, because if you think that politicians didn’t care about you before – they care even less now…

  • Professor8

    Perry also tried to push the NAFTA super-higway over the Texas legislature’s objections.

    Eliminate the Socialist Insecurity abomination, and the Socialist Insecurity Numbers with it.

    There is no shortage of US citizens able and willing to do every kind of work… at local market compensation levels in line with local market costs of living.

  • jquintana

    Most left wingers seem to be in favor of open borders, or at the very least don’t seem to be in favor of enforcing our existing immigration laws. I suspect many of you think (without saying out loud) most Hispanic-Americans will continue to vote Democratic if you pursue this de facto open borders policy, and will eventually help turn the Republicans into some kind of permanent minority status party. So, your stance on this issue is mainly for political reasons.

    However, maybe a few of you actually believe that an open borders policy is fair and compassionate. But, if you fall into this category, you never think your argument through to its logical conclusion. Left wing liberals never consider the consequences of their policy (or lack thereof) when it’s done in the name of ‘fairness’ and ‘compassion.’ But they spend all the rest of their time attacking those who actually DO think these things through and consider all the ramifications when our existing immigration laws are virtually ignored.

    For example, no left wing liberal considers what this ‘jump in line’ policy does to the morale of those who enter this country legally, play by all the rules, and wait years just to get a much-coveted green card. What do you say to those people? How about, “tough shit, hombre – you should have jumped the fence. Those guys who jumped the fence? THEY get amnesty, but YOU keep waiting in line. That’s what you get for playing by the rules, sucker.”

    No left wing liberal considers what happens to the young, unemployed inner-city CITIZEN worker who used to be hired for the jobs now performed by illegal immigrants (such as housekeeping, landscaping, nannies, etc). Why do you think the unemployment rate among young African Americans is at an all-time high (roughly 50%)?

    And when left wing liberals use ‘economic imperative’ as an excuse to reward those who cheat, jump in line, disrespect our borders and disrespect out national sovereignty, they fail to consider the fact that there are roughly 130 countries on this planet that have a GDP per capita LOWER than Mexico. Just to name a few: China, India, North Korea, Vietnam, Romania, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Bulgaria, Serbia, every single country on the continent of Africa, including South Africa, most Latin American countries…for the complete list, all you need to do is google ‘GDP per capita by country.’ I would be willing to bet that many millions, if not billions, of people from those aforementioned countries would just love to cross our borders undocumented, have children, and secure all the social services the United States has to offer for their families, all on the backs of the taxpayers of this nation.

    But no, you open borders people never take any of that into consideration. To do so would be just too painful, because it would force you to realize that you been wrong about this issue for all these years.

  • bdtex

    Another elephant in the room. Perry is a George Bush Republican on immigration and GWB got reamed by his own party for it. The good news for Perry is that Romney can’t hit him too hard on that. Romney needs the Hispanic and Chamber Of Commerce support in FLA,TX,NM,NV and CO as much as Perry does.

  • What to Read on Perry vs. Romney – Trading 8s

    [...] Perry’s Immigration Problem: Even Bigger Than It Looks — Byron York / David Frum Start with the border fence. Perry opposes it. “Building a wall on the entire border is a preposterous idea,” he said recently in New Hampshire. “The only thing a wall would possibly accomplish is to help the ladder business.” [...]

  • The Dustin Inman Society Blog » RICK PERRY WATCH

    [...] But a rethink of immigration policies is also necessary. In the September 7 debate, Romney articulated something almost never said in a Republican primary: much, much, much more important than a fence or “boots on the ground” is tighter enforcement of labor laws inside the country. I’d go further: if the labor laws were effectively enforced, a border fence would be a costly redundance. Why have labor laws gone so badly enforced? In very large part: because Rick Perry’s donors don’t want them enforced. The National Restaurant Association does not want them enforced. The construction industry does not want them enforced. Meatpackers do not want them enforced. The hotel and landscaping industries do not want them enforced. When you hear Republican candidates complain of “burdensome regulation,” keep in mind that the regulations that many small businesses find most “burdensome” are those intended to reserve American jobs for American legal residents. On that issue, Gov. Perry has been, is now, and continues to be an advocate of laxer rules to promote more immigration in order to hold Texas and ultimately American wages low.” HERE– [...]