Yes, I know that title sounds like a game show or something. But, my faithful readers (ha!), you knew I was going to comment on the immigration reform before Congress. So here goes.
The House has passed a bill that deals with border security and enforcement but ignores the illegal immigrants here already. Not surprisingly, Tom Tancredo (the most infamous of the sodomites) is a major supporter. That being the case, I don't think sodomy is the main driving force behind this bill, though it certainly is a driving force. I wandered over to RedState to read their discussion on the issue, and it was (surprisingly enough to my liberal mind) mostly free of nativist sentiments. In fact, one poster even lamented the fact that nativists were going to distort their side of the debate.
(There were the people who thought that everyone who comes here to work should take an exam on English and on American history. News flash: most Americans would fail an exam on American history. And the exam in English is called "looking for a job that pays more than a subsistence wage.")
The House bill is driven by security and law-and-order concerns. Ironically enough, a House bill that is concerned with stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders will do neither. Woodhead's Fourth Law: If you build a better wall, someone will build a better ladder. The motivation to sneak in remains as strong as ever.
My point is that there is a difference between those who sneak into the country with honest intentions and those who sneak into the country with dishonest intentions. Those who sneak in would enter via an honest route were one available to them. Those with dishonest intentions would sneak across anyway. The key is to focus enforcement on those with dishonest intentions, and that means giving the honest ones the ability to enter the country and work.
Which brings me to the Senate Judiciary Committee's (and W's) guest-worker program, which I'll refer to as McCain-Kennedy after its sponsors. McCain-Kennedy offers current illegals the ability to stay here legally after paying a fine, and allows companies to hire guest workers who can then change jobs if they wish. The guest workers also would have an avenue to become permanent immigrants (and, presumably, citizens) should they choose to do so.
This is a better law than the House bill because it makes our immigration laws enforceable. I'm a bit worried about that fine, since I don't know how many illegals could afford to pay it. But companies are allowed to exploit illegals now because of their undocumented status - by making it possible for an undocumented worker to become legal, it gives them some rights under our system. And since previous participants in guest worker programs tended to outstay their visas, the path from guest worker to permanent resident is a good innovation.
To be quite honest with you, I still think that the idea of "illegal" immigration is somewhat un-American. I would like to see a complete liberalization of our immigration laws. Getting a work visa should be a relatively painless process occurring at the border, open to anyone who wants one. But I know that's not happening anytime soon - there are too many people (honest blue-collar workers) afraid for their jobs and too many people (sodomites) who think Latinos are a threat to our society, whatever the hell that means.
There's no proof that immigrants "take" jobs from the native-born population - in fact, the presence of immigrants may even help to create jobs. But it's easy for me to say that - I'm not the one who's afraid of having my job go to someone willing to work for less money. Furthermore, economists are divided on the issue (what a surprise) - some say that immigrants do take jobs, some say they don't. I personally think that the reason companies hire illegal immigrants is that they're easily exploitable, and ensuring that everyone here is documented would help limit that exploitability, thus taking away the competitive advantage immigrant workers "enjoy."
The best illegal-immigration-limiting policy, of course, is to help strengthen the economies of Latin American countries. That means getting rid of our farm subsidies and instituting fair free-trade agreements that benefit workers throughout the Americas. But that's not even being talked about.