Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

I’m Worried

Posted by Ryan on May 15, 2006

I’m quite worried that the President is going to mess things up tonight with this televised address to the nation on the issue of immigration. He needs to secure the border with a fence, guard and serious consequences for those coming over illegally.

Instead, I fear, we’ll just get placation– a token few guardsmen, a whimpering plea to Congress for cooled off amnesty or more money, and plenty of other sugar in the Kool-Aid. It’s repurcussions will undoubtedly leave conservatives like myself alienated from a President who I want to like, but who’s seriously dropping the ball.

11 Responses to “I’m Worried”

  1. Ryan said

    I just saw the speech and am disappointed that the President believes in a “comprehensive” approach to immigration. “Comprehensive” to me implies that the borders, worker status and legal stratification of these aliens are being lumped into one bill. If that’s the case, the Senate will be paralyzed on this issue well into the fall. most Americans want action NOW! Borders first, then we’ll sort the rest out!

  2. noonan said

    I think the President’s plan is excellent. It is well-thought out, will stem the flow of illegal immigration while respecting human rights, and will be politically beneficial.

  3. Gauvin said

    Sorry Noonan but openly defying a conservative base and siding with the 30 percent side of a 70-30 issue will not be politically beneficial.

    The Presidnet’s plan will only stem the flow of illegal immigration in the fact that the definition of illegal will be changed. Legalizing any criminal activity decreases crime because the activity, although just as common as before, is no longer classified as a crime. I also do not view the right to illegally enter a country and siphon its resources as a human right.

  4. Gauvin said

    when are we going to that Mets game by the way?

  5. noonan said

    The President’s plan does more than just legalize an illegal activity. It stems the flow of illegal immigration by cutting down on the two primary contributing malfactors, open borders and unaccountable businesses that seek the cheap labor.

    Poll numbers by issue can be deceiving. Even if 70% are against Bush’s plan, that’s probably more a reflection of 45% being against anything that Bush puts forward and the minority within the conservative party that will call anything short of mass deportation and armed borders an amnesty.

    Since the President’s speech, his poll numbers have indeed gone up from the low to high 30s. This is probably because the 30 some percent that agree with the President’s plan feel more strongly about the issue than the 60-70% who don’t agree with Bush. Most importantly, the political benefit of not driving Hispanics en masse from the GOP camp to the Dems will pay political dividends for years to come.

    More people will come around to Bush’s way of thinking on this issue because he has a workable blueprint for success on this one. If people are pissed about losing a million American jobs a year to immigrants, then they will be happy to see that stopping. When an immigrant gets minimum wage same as a citizen, and the citizen is legally entitled to hiring preference, people will not feel like they’re being squeezed by new waves of immigration.

    I do not sumbit illegal immigration is a human right, but the opportunity to provide for one’s family, the source of our rights cannot be merely human made, but God made. If our rights, our intrinsic worht, comes from God, then there are considerations that transcend borders, and most basic is providing for a family. On a practical level, giving needed workers a legitimacy to their presence, even if not quite citizenship, which should and will be earned under Bush’s plan, will prevent the human rights abuses that occur in the workplace so frequently.

    Illegal immigrants who earn money but have not paid taxes will now be incentivized into paying taxes, which means lower taxes on average for everyone else, or a lower debt.

    I don’t know how your ancestors got here or why and under what conditions they came. But mine are potato famine Irish. I’m 6th and 7th generation. I’m sure my ancestors fleeing British tyranny did not care whether there were technically laws against their presence, but they knew they had to come because there was opportunity and hope to do better for their families. They were not American citizens but they became citizens, working the railroads, fighting in the army, working in factories, etc. I don’t see any material difference between them and Hispanics coming in droves.

    As for “siphoning the resources” of America, you’ve got it backwards. They generate resources for our country. The inverted population pyramid existing in America, (and all across Europe where they have similar immigration patterns from their south), creates a gaping hole where workers and families, which provide the backbone to any vibrant economy, which necessitates them being here. They have provided cheap labor, which has lowered prices on American goods. They have endured poor working conditions and human rights abuses which has helped businesses to increase the value of their stocks and has lowered average home prices. They tend to have large families, so they spend nearly every dollar they make. There is no indication of higher rates of criminality. They are a religious people, mostly Catholic, who have bolstered the Church, and greatly increase the voice/strength of orthodoxy in this country. While China and Asia’s booming expanding economies have grown off expanding industrial presence and manufacturing strength, they have helped to stabilize that effect by providing the same here. While it is true they mostly don’t pay taxes, it is under fear of deportation, not want of honor, and they earn generally less than minimum wage.

    The only thing I don’t like about Bush’s plan is the wall, which, besides not even working because it does not span the border or stop people coming in from many other ways then running across, it will be looked back on negatively. Leaders are supposed to build bridges and tear down walls, not the other way around.

    Let me know when is good for you on the Mets game, probably a weekend would work best for me.

  6. Gauvin said


    Good to see you here as well. My opposition is grounded on my repulsion for rewarding lawbreaking and my support for national security. Of course most crimes are worse than this one but nevertheless law is undermined of it can be so flagrantly broken. Moreover, national security demands a secure border.

    As for your arguments, I’ll just take them one at a time.

    No one seriously beleives the President is concerned about securing the border. Hence, the incomplete wall, the low numbers of national guard troops during the temporary period of enforcement. We gave amnesty before in this country based on a promise that the flow of illegal immigration would be stopped. In Presidnet Reagan’s defense, at least he didn’t have his own failure as an example when he granted amnesty. When laws are broken and the appropriate penalty is not levied and never will be, that is amnesty. Those who oppose anything other than unmonitored borders and uncontrolled immigration will not recognize the amnestyt proposals as such.

    The political opposition to legalizing illegal immigrants transcends party, ideology and demographics. The support for an enforcement only or an enforcement first approach is not only 70 percent, but a wide ranging and deep 70. The opponents of the Bush proposal are not in the Democrat party, historically, the party which has supported illegal immigration. Check out the blogosphere. It is our party that is split in 2. I also think you;re foretting the fact that hispanic voters also oppose illegal immigration. The only source which may disagree is Bill Schneider.

    And as for polls, Bush’s numbers have actually decreased since his speech. The libs have always hated him even though they agree with him on this issue. The middle recognizes the need to enforce laws rather than reward lawbreakers. Ditto for the pubbies.

    The mass deportation argument is a strawman. No proponent of securing our borders argues for deporting all 12 million illegals. No one has proposed that. However, the inability to eradicate a particular crime is not an excuse for not enforcing the law. The fact that not every prostitute cvan be rounded up is not a reason for legalizzing prostitution. Ditto for drug use. People can be deported as they are encountered. There does not need to be and there is no proposal for a mass roundup of illegals. I’d settle for one or two percent, at least to create a deterrant.

    You’re right that our rights come from God. The Cathechism of the Catholic Church recognizes the rights of nations to establish procedures and laws regulating entry and rightly so. Maybe a certain Cardinal out west should dust off his copy.

    There needs to be a macro perspective on this issue. The costs of public services to illegals are significant. Whether an immigrant is here legally or not, extending government benefits provides an incentive to come here and mooch. Prop 187 proves that. If there was no mooching, why the opposition from a minority of voters, including a minority of hispanics? Too many of our own citizens have their hands outstretched as it is. Handouts do not help either the “greater good” or the individual they are designed to help.

    You’re ancestors did not break laws to get here. Neither did mine. That said, our families are anecdotal evidence and add no value to this debate.

    I don;t like the wall either but for a different reason. It should span the entire Mexican border, at least until Mexico scraps their socialist system which keeps their economy in the tank. At some point, it is the responsibility of the Mexican people to get their own house in order. It’s not as if they’re powerless. They live in a democracy after all. America should not have to shoulder the burdens of Mexico’s failure. Any wall is Mexico’s fault not ours. Leaders are also not supposed to encourage “reconquista” either.

    I’m with you on their Catholicism however. I find that ewncouraging, especially given our own secular tendency right now. That is why I would welcome those who enter our country legally, after a period of assimilation, which will be the topic of an upcoming post.

    I’ll support a purple-stadium first approach to our baseball situation, but purple-stadium only won’t fly. It must be followed up with a visit to the House that Ruth Built.

  7. noonan said

    First, I share the values and concerns of upholding the law and protecting our nation’s security, but I believe these concerns should lead to support for the President’s plan, not opposition to it.

    I agree that amnesty is not the right answer, but that is not what the President has proposed. The illegal immigrants will have to earn citizenship under his plan. If you concede that at least 98-99% cannot and should not be deported the question then becomes how to treat those that have come here illegally. Citizenship will be awarded upon paying back taxes and being here a requisite number of years, the tradeoff of which will prevent fraud. Those who came illegally have to wait for citizenship in line behind those who attempted to use appropriate channels. Amnesty would be merely declaring them all citizens, whereas Bush’s plan is grounded in principles of personal responsbility and redemption.

    Bear in mind that deportation is a very severe penalty. Whereas a drug dealer may get a few years and be released for good behavior, a man deported from a work site will be sent to another country where he may never be able to muster the resources to come back or bring his family back. It would likely leave in many cases behind an unsupported family. This would increase welfare rolls, not decrease them. More pointedly, it would forever separate many families. These deported men who will never see their wives and children again only had the crime of trying to earn their living in the only way they could, with the circumstance of the law being against them.

    Also, it will not do to compare prostitution and drug use to illegal immigration. You know the difference between malum per se and malum prohibitum. The law can never legitimize a malum per se, such as illegal drug use or illegal prostitution but illegal immigration is a malum prohibitum.

    As for the cost of public services, I do not disagree that they are substantial. A distinction needs to be made, however, between the welfare issue and the immigration issue. Bush’s plan is comprehensive on the immigration issue, and while the effects of immigration spill into other issues, they cannot all be the subject of one bill.

    On the security issue, the registration system gives immigrants and illegals accountability to the government and allows for criminal background checks, which will go a long way to screen whatever criminal elements try to come. Also, last I checked every terrorist that came on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia or somewhere else in the middle East and were radical Muslims, not Mexican Catholics. If we fail to implement this registration system, or at least a registration system with some incentive to register, then we will continue to be in the dark as to who is coming and security would be undermined.

    Speaking of strawmans, it is just as much a strawman to say, “Those who oppose anything other than unmonitored borders and uncontrolled immigration” in rebutting my arguments or the President’s plan. Similarly, neither I nor Bush’s plan condone the “reconquistas” call.

    As for the political fallout of this plan, the President’s numbers are the same, at least according to Rasmussen, 39-60, as the day of his speech. The twelve million some Hispanics who have come here are and will continue to be the next major political swing group for at least a quarter century. While these 12 million are probably by and large not counted in your 30-70 poll, I submit they would be far more attracted to a GOP that implements a plan which will reward hard work and create a principled path to redeem their immigration status than if we terrified their community by implementing random deportations while creating a deterrent. The deterrent may work, but it would work on their darkest fears, and would permanently drive them as a racial bloc, into the Democratic camp.

    Last, respect for the law is promoted and not undermined by disobeying unjust laws. Thoreau said, “It is not good to cultivate a respect so much for the law as for the right; the only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at anytime what I think is right.” Compliance of every law undermines the respect for law when the law is unjust. By contrast, when laws are challenged using the moral law, the law is often reformed into a greater conformity with the moral law, and the extent to which a country achieves that end will determine how great a respect people will have for the law. While it is correct to describe their immigration status as illegal, I do not think they acted unjustly. The question is not merely whether they broke the law, therefore, but whether they were unjust to do so. The Catechism similarly proposes we have an obligation to obey the just laws of the land. The determination of whether they came here justly cannot be made in a vacuum, but must consider the circumstances of the immigrants both before and after they came here, the human rights abuses they endure under existing law, the way families are torn apart, and their purpose in coming.

    These are not “moochers”. When you see an employment line in a parking lot or on a street corner lined up with men and women willing to work any job that somebody might need them for that day, at any wage, without guarantee of safety, without any means of enforcing the workplace rights or personal abuses we can expect not to suffer by virtue of being citizens who can enforce rights, and even without a guarantee of even being paid in many instances, I hope you see people looking to earn their keep and not to mooch. If anybody deserves the “mooch” label, it is those who profit off their darn near slave labor while aiding and inducing the breaking of the exact same laws.

    The President’s plan does not reward lawbreaking but deals with it in a way grounded in principles of personal responsibility and redemption. At the same time, his plan would increase our national security. By contrast, should his plan not be implemented and the Dems regain power, you can count on amnesty, and you can count on them stealing away the Hispanic vote for years to come. Bush’s plan deserves our support.

  8. Gauvin said

    Which misrepresentation should I address first? Though I believe it was unintentional, please remember the fine line between lawyering and misrepresenting.

    I never compared drugs and prostitution to illegal immigrants. I merely used the example of drugs and prostitution to make a point about enforcement. The inability to punish 100 percent of a law’s violators should not deter the creation and enforcement of laws prohibiting an activity. I made no comparison about the substance of the 3 crimes, rendering your distinction about malum in se and malum prohibitum crimes a great reminder of the first year of law school, but irrelevant to this discussion. For the record though, laws against illegal entry into the country are not comparable to malum prohibtum laws like driving on the right side of the road. It is immoral to enter a country to collect welfare benefits or take a job that an American can do.

    I also never said that 98-99 percent of illegals cannot or should not be deported. What I said was that I would be satisfied with 1 or 2 percent of illegals deported as a deterrant. Of course, we should deport more if they are encountered. I concede we cannot round up 100 percent of the lawbreakers (again not comparing the substance of the different crimes here, its an issue of enforcement).

    I was never concerned about Mexican Catholics as threats to national security. I think we all realize that our border is not a secret entryway known only to Mexican Catholics. More then Mexican Catholics can cross the border.

    The rest of your post represents an honest disagreement.

    Amnesty is the forgiveness of a penalty not the denial of a benefit. The fact that a reward (citizenship) is delayed for those who illegally cross the border is irrelevant to the definition of amnesty.You support amnesty. There is no shame in that view per se. I simply believe it is misguided.

    You also stated: “Speaking of strawmans, it is just as much a strawman to say, ‘Those who oppose anything other than unmonitored borders and uncontrolled immigration’. rebutting my arguments or the President’s plan. Similarly, neither I nor Bush’s plan condone the “reconquistas” call.” That was not a strawman but a direct response to your baseless claim that “the minority within the conservative party that will call anything short of mass deportation and armed borders an amnesty.” Again check the dictionary.

    I know as attorneys, misrepresenting an opponents words can be viewed as clever lawyering but remember we are each supposed to be a “different kind of lawyer.” Mischaracterizing not only the arguments but the very words of an opposnent to make a point is dishonest not clever. However, I know that was not your intent.

    I agree that unjust laws should be ignored. However, you can repeat Thoreau quotations until the borders are enforced, it won’t make borders or limits on the number of immigrants unjust.

    Maybe the people of Mexico should try to address the problems in Mexico and improve their own lives.

  9. noonan said

    Gauvin, your last blog was truly disappointing. You moved from issue-based arguments to condescending, dismissive off-issue remarks which can hardly be appreciated. Ascribing comments you disagree with to the edge of lawyering and misrepresenting is the type of criticism that should be leveled at the likes of Michael Moore, not myself. It implies an accusation of intellectual dishonesty. You even state, “the rest of your post represents an honest disagreement.” Similarly, comments like, “I know as attorneys, misrepresenting an opponents words can be viewed as clever lawyering but remember we are each supposed to be a “different kind of lawyer.” Mischaracterizing not only the arguments but the very words of an opposnent to make a point is dishonest not clever. However, I know that was not your intent.” The last sentence pales in comparison to what you are clearly implying.

    So unfortunately, I will need to sign off here with a personal defense rather than a continued discussion of the issues.

    You should read your own prior post. You did contend that, like legalizing drug use or prostitution, legalizing illegal immigration undermines respect for the law. The comparison, even in arguing to a principle, was misplaced, so I called you on it. Similarly, if you say 1-2% could be deported, that leaves 98-99% who remain and must be dealt with in some manner. The comment about Mexican Catholics is a direct response to your statement that you are concerned with national security on the illegal immigration issue. My counterpoint was to contrast these peaceful illegal immigrants with the real security threats of radical Islamists. If you find these points unpersuasive, that is one thing, but to dismiss them as intellectually dishonest is inappropriate. If you feel misinterpreted, explain your position, but do not presume to say that I am doing something other than an honest agreement. As you and I are the only two reading this by this point, I guess it does not matter too much anyways, but it is disappointing nevertheless. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you did not intend to insult me, but I am insulted.

  10. Gauvin said

    The words “I’d settle for” do not equal mean something like “can only accomplish”. I said legalizing drug use or prostitution is not an excuse for not enforcing a law. That goes to enforcement not substance.

    It was you who resorted to misrepresneitng not my positions but what I actually said. There is a huge difference. At the time I thought it was uninitentional but it now appears it wasn’t. Those commets were intellectually dishonest.

    What upsets me about it is that I know you are nothing like Michael Moore. It is expected from people like that. Not from someone who knows better. Count me in as insulted.

  11. noonan said

    There was no intent to twist your words, I merely used a tagline to head each issue I addressed. This is not a lie, an intentional misrepresentation, intellectual dishonesty, or whatever other label.

    I did not take your meaning to be that more than 2% could not in theory be deported. I did, rather, take your willingness to settle for 2% though as begging the question of what to do about 98% of the others, hence the tagline for the point.

    I do not take your point on drugs and prostitution to be substantively identical/comparable to immigration, but more than that my point is they do not relate to the same “enforcement” standard because they are different category of wrongs. You do not have to accept my point if you disagree, but that does not mean I misrepresented you. At the very worst, I misunderstood your meaning or not articulated my point clearly enough.

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