Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

More on the President's press conference

In holding with the principled outlook I espoused in my last post, more quotes from G.W. Bush, these a little more questionable:
I also happen to believe immigration reform is necessary to help make it easier to protect our borders. The system right now spawns coyotes and smugglers and people willing to break the law to get people in our country. There is a vast network of kind of shadowy traffickers. And I believe by making a -- by advancing a program that enables people to come into our country in a legal way to work for a period of time, for jobs that Americans won't do, will help make it easier for us to secure our borders.
Does that description sound like it might also apply to situations other than immigration? The vaunted (and completely ineffectual) War on Drugs, perhaps? The minute he said this, someone should have asked him if the smugglers, lawbreakers, and shadowy traffickers involved in the illicit drug trade were as great a threat to national security as migrant workers (or possibly greater), and that if removing the immigrant black market by legalizing these migrant workers made the borders easier to secure against terrorists, was it his view that removing the drug black market by legalizing those drugs make the same borders also easier to secure.
I want to remind people that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River. People are coming to our country to do jobs that Americans won't do, to be able to feed their families.
As I've said before in this space, this whole "let them do the jobs Americans won't do" argument is completely fallacious and breaks down when you make the obvious realization that you can't have open immigration in conjunction with a welfare state. Anyone who thinks Mexicans are coming here for the work alone, and not for the work plus free school plus free health care plus yadda yadda yadda are simply fooling themselves. Libertarians and conservatives will likely support a more open immigration policy (even Bush's "amnesty that's not amnesty" plan) after steps are taken to reduce the incentives and ability for illegals to mooch off welfare (less welfare payments, require proof of citizenship or legal residency for schooling and health care, more privatized schools, etc.) - and not before. I'm sure someone must have told Bush this very thing at some point. I just wish I knew why he's so adamant about this without any popular or legislative support from any quarter.


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