28 July 2010

It's a start

The safety lecture continues

Immigration edition.

I'm not sure the Constitutional questions of immigration enforcement are being addressed here in full. For instance, large sections of Arizona's law are essentially federal law and so there are questions of who has jurisdiction over immigration under the Constitution, etc. And thus there are almost certainly sections of federal immigration laws which should be sought to be overturned on the same restriction of liberties questions that this law was restrained from if that's the basis of argument.

As far as "resolving" the issue, most people seem to think the government (the federal government) should step in and address immigration with appropriate reforms. I hate to disabuse them of this notion, but it's not going to matter if they do and it's almost certainly not going to be an adequate reform for either nativists who want to restrict further immigration, sometimes legal or otherwise, or open borders people like myself who don't see the difference in whether a job goes to a Haitian or an American or a Mexican or an Indian, provided that person does the job adequately for the employer who contracts with them to do it.

But really, the two parties involved have little reason to consolidate the issues in a meaningful way. Republicans, as a party supposedly backing "markets" and "free trade" (when they do little enough of either), have generally backed or prodded dangerously along xenophobia and nativist sentiments, which do have some prominent popular support. That's a contradiction which seems very strange, but then there's Democrats, who support and court Latino voters through token movements on immigration, but cannot move stridently on the issue because of large union backing which often opposes it (for the usual union wage restriction reasons). If anything gets done as a consequence of this political reality, it will be of little use to people who wish to come here and work and live and learn as citizens and legal residents of the country, or to mollify those who perceive all (illegal) immigrants as usurpers, thieves, hoodlums, and a drain on the public treasuries.

In any case...

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