Yesterday Rep. Anthony Weiner gave us a surprising bit of moral clarity for a leftist, and it seems writer-turned-California congressional candidate Mickey Kaus is out to drive home the point that sanity is not completely dead in the Democratic Party. In a new OC Register editorial, Kaus argues that when it comes to immigration, the rest of his party is out of their minds:
Americans used to working for at least the minimum hourly wage would find themselves competing with good, hard-working people for whom our minimum wage seems like a good daily wage. Or maybe a good monthly wage. Earnings for low-skilled work would plunge, and the disparity between those workers’ lives and the successful rich at the top would be almost intolerable in a modern democracy.
These reasons why we don’t want completely “open borders” are the same reasons why we need a more secure border than the one we’ve got. Waves of unskilled illegal immigrants have a negative effect on wages of working Americans at the bottom of the economic ladder. Economists argue about the size of that effect, but whatever the size, it’s pushing down instead of up.
Any immigration reform plan that includes a “path to citizenship,” Kaus says, is doomed to fail, for the simple fact that rewarding today’s lawbreakers cannot help but encourage tomorrow’s—a lesson we should have learned after we tried it in ’86.
Why won’t the Dems learn?
Why do I get the feeling that too many Democratic politicians — and businessmen eager for cheap labor — wouldn’t really mind if border enforcement failed again? After all, then there would be a new group of illegal immigrants to legalize — more potential Democrats. A new way to rev up the Latino “base” vote. And more ways to call anyone who wants to break the cycle of amnesties “anti-immigrant.” Or worse.
This isn’t just good for a Democrat; I wish we could find Republicans to talk this frankly! Racial warfare is too precious a weapon to the Left (if you can’t run on your ideas, you’ve gotta stick to what little you do have), and the prospect of 12-20 million potential impoverished supporters, sure to be dependent on all manner of government programs, is too tantalizing for Democrats to ignore. Remember, both Democrats and their supporters are keen on getting illegals on the ballot, and they’re not exactly above election fraud.
So, what should be done?
Tell undocumented immigrants living here that they will have to wait. Amnesty isn’t happening anytime soon. Get control of our borders first through steps including:
• A requirement that employers verify the legal status of new hires
• Stiff sanctions if they don’t
• A system for tracking legal visitors who overstay their visas
• An actual, physical border fence
• Greater avenues for legal immigration, including immigration from Mexico
Maybe then, Kaus says, we can talk about what to do with those already here. But until then, the American people are desperate for somebody to listen to them for a change, to finally regain some semblance of control over their country. And because they have no reason to be inspired by either party, clear-minded Democrats who can prove their independence have just as much of a shot at winning them over as Republicans. Are you listening, Rep. Boxer?