Just like everyone else, I'm all excited about the idea of immigration reform. I certainly don't want a bunch of people wandering back and forth over our borders with no accountability and no restrictions. They could be anyone and they could be up to anything from picking tomatoes to poisoning our water supplies. I've even heard they're going to infect us all with brain worms!
It's a good thing that Congress and President Bush have a comprehensive plan for dealing with the flood of illegal immigrants crossing the borders and the millions who are here already. They're looking out for our best interests and after striking some deals and making a few compromises they're working together to make us all safe and protect the economy and keep the brain worms where they belong. They've got a great big immigration reform bill which is just the ticket.
The only problem is that the bill is absolute crap from start to finish. Instead of a comprehensive, thoroughly developed and sensible plan for dealing with all aspects of the immigration issue, what they're considering passing is a horrible mish-mash of crackpot ideas, half-measures and pandering which will do nothing effective to control immigration or adequately resolve the status of illegal immigrants already in this country and creates a bureaucratic nightmare and a real threat to every citizens civil rights. Every good idea in the bill has been negated by some sort of compromise or half-assed implementation, and there are more flashy yet poorly conceived and unworkable measures than you can shake a tamale at.
Immigration can be controlled by controlling the borders, monitoring the population and the businesses which use immigrants, or by allowing immigrants into the country in a rational an managed way. The problem with the new immigration law currently under consideration is that it combines elements of all three of these policies and doesn't implement any of them completely enough to actually be effective. In the process it also brings along far too many of the negatives associated with all three plans.
The core of the law is basically an internal enforcement system, with biometric IDs and harsh penalties and lots of paperwork for employers. The first problem is that the way internal security works is by tracking not just immigrants, but everyone so that you can tell who the immigrants are and who they aren't, not to mention what they're doing and who they're doing it with. That means high-tech IDs that can be remotely scanned and a national database run by the Department of Homeland Security to keep track of everyone. Not surprisingly, that means this element of the bill isn't terribly popular with those who believe in privacy rights. Even the most radical nativists don't like the idea of stopping immigration by turning the US into a police state and tracking everyone electronically in a giant database controlled by the Department of Homeland Security, and it seems basically unfair to punish citizens with loss of rights and privacy in order to get at the illegals.