March 31, 2006

Senate Gets the Best Help As you know, members of both parties are getting tough on immigration.

It's a good thing the Senate is excempt from workers laws. Because who would they get to clean their chambers.

Meanwhile, citrus growers in Lakeland are short of pickers, Orlando hotels need housekeepers and there's a nervous Honduran woman, here illegally, who has cornered the Senate's first Cuban-American in the basement to beg for a law that would let her visit her mother back home, then return to Washington and the job she has held at the Senate for years. All of which is why Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., is overbooked this week, dashing from closed-door meetings with skeptical Republican colleagues to interviews on C-SPAN and Spanish TV to a Wednesday morning speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, whose members fret that a crackdown on the nation's estimated 11-million illegal immigrants - including at least 500,000 in Florida - will drain the U.S. economy of badly needed labor.
  • This is a real problem, and I'm glad people are out and ready to discuss solutions. But I just wanna call bullshit on the memecycle - we went from a champagne-hot-tub-temperature bubble over censure and impeachment, over the indefensibility of this war, to immigration. Did the news media suddenly see a new, better story? No. They were told (via press release, talking points, FOX, etc.) to talk about immigration now. Take the heat off censure. Hearings tomorrow!
  • Pete, do you think Congress is going to retain attention after the election cycle? I don't. I mostly stayed out of the immigration debate. I don't have much to add. I just find it hysterical that the Senate uses illegals for their cleaning service. Frist and Feinstein could start by saying no illegal immigrant will work in the Senate chambers. If they were really serious. Personally, I don't think the federal government has any interest in funding enforcement. This is also where the pro-business and wingnut factions of the Republican Party will clash. This hurts them. What happened to the GOP courting the Hispanic vote? That was one of the few things Bush actually understood.
  • The protests by hispanics in my small town in agricultural California have seemed well meaning but not well planned. Hundreds of high school students spent Tuesday morning marching in the rain, but had nothing to actually chant - they yelled and squeeked, but never said what they were protesting about. Ironic, since this is the town where the grape strikes in the 1960s began, and those strikers knew what to say, and what to sing. If I hadn't been in my pajamas when they filled up the street where I live, I'd have lead them in a chorus of We Shall Overcome, or something. And, I think that it won't matter to the undocumeted workers here whether they're chancing a felony or a misdemeanor. It's been the law for several years that job applicants have to provide proof of legal status - usually a social security card - but I hear that there's a growing industry providing recycled social security accounts to those who need them. The prison system is overwhelmed with crank users and gang bangers (I think every town here has its own prison or three,)so where would we house a flood of the undocumented? The alternative would be to deport them to Mexico, which is what happens now, but sending them back for a felony or misdemeanor is not going to change whether they come back. All my life, I've heard stories from illegals about getting kicked out and coming back the next day. And,if we build fences, they'll find ways to climb over or to tunnel under. The chance of dieing in the southwestern deserts, or in overpacked trailers hasn't stopped them. Fences seem like a nit. That may be what the protestors should have been chanting or singing about.
  • Personally, I don't think the federal government has any interest in funding enforcement. I agree - and it's also part of my point that this whole "immigration" flood in the news is meaningless distraction. They're not going to do anything, they're not going to find solutions - they're going to put the issue in front of people, watch everyone squabble, and hide in the shadows some more.
  • The Bible once had a Book of Herzog, but in 1455 Johann Gutenberg forgot to include it because, as friends would later recount, "It blew my fuckin' mind!!!". posted by grover96 at 03:04AM UTC on February 07, 2006 Wrong thread.