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Amnesty

Interesting panel today.

Latin American Immigration Panel Free and Open to the Public
Griffin 3, 5:30 p.m.
Panelists include Prof. Maria Elena Cepeda, Marcela Villada-Peacock (MCC), Luis Rivera (Facilities), Juan Baena ‘07 (Alumni Relations), and Silvia Mantilla ‘09.

Tough to tell from the title, but is this a panel about the experience of various folks immigrating from Latin America or about what US immigration policy toward Latin America should be? Perhaps a reader will provide an update. If it is about policy, then I am sure that the range of views presented will be just as broad as what we saw with the panel on Jena Six last year.

The best way to help poor people in the US find a well-paying job is to prevent millions of foreign poor people from coming/staying in the country and competing with them. Demand curves slope downward, even for laborers. For me, the best aspect of the forthcoming Obama victory is that it makes passage of comprehensive immigration reform (read: amnesty) less likely.

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#1 Comment By Tom Rasmussen On October 20, 2008 @ 10:10 am

For the sake of argument, let’s grant that McCain would sign a McCain-Kennedy equivalent if it came to him. But what is the alternative? Obama’s illegal immigration policies are left of McCain’s. He’ll have a Democratic supermajority to pass an amnesty bill, and no doubt he’ll sign it. And it will be far worse than McCain-Kennedy.

The House and Senate are gone. You could donate to the candidates in close races (as I have done), but we are facing a possible filibuster-proof majority. David, our last, best hope is the Presidency. I am stunned that you want to give that to Obama.

P.S. Personally, I think McCain has seen the light and would not support a bill like McCain-Kennedy in the future.

#2 Comment By Whitney Wilson ’90 On October 20, 2008 @ 10:36 am

David and Tom,

If you think that “amnesty” is a bad idea, what do you propose we do to the millions of people who are here illegally? Do you think the existing situation (e.g. periodic raids, somewhat random deportations) is the best option, both practically and morally? Do you think more a aggressive deportation is preferable?

#3 Comment By David Kane On October 20, 2008 @ 10:56 am

1) McCain has said, more or less, that he would pass amnesty. Since there is nothing else for the Democrats and him to work on together, I expect he would succeed. Obama, on the other hand, has more important priorities, like passing health care reform. Obama will also not want to force Democrats into an very awkward vote on an unpopular issue that, in all likelihood, Republicans will be united against, if only for political reasons.

All the above could be wishful thinking on my part, but there you have it.

2) To answer Whitney, I am a fan of “attrition through enforcement.” Details here.

#4 Comment By Rory On October 20, 2008 @ 11:01 am

what a weird and uncomfortable (to me) first couple of responses to a panel that sounds like it is most likely about personal experiences of immigration.

I’ll avoid the politics and just say that this type of program sounds like an interesting way to see the diversity of backgrounds at Williams and to interact with staff/employees as equals and as people students/faculty can learn from and about. Sounds great! (oh, and hi Marcela!)

#5 Comment By Alexander Woo On October 20, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

A desire to harm others for the purpose of helping ourselves is precisely what makes us a band of robbers rather than a legitimate state. (cf. St. Augustine, City of God)

#6 Comment By frank uible On October 20, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

Then in any zero sum game we are all robbers.