6.28.2007

This just in-- Senate Bill Fails

46-53 is the final tally. Too much politicking, too little thinking. Perhaps a series of separate, smaller measures -- like independent passage of the direly needed Dream Act -- would eventually add up to meaningful reform and avoid the whirlwind of rhetoric and plotting that has marred this legislative effort for more than a year.

And yet, while the politicians and talking heads have ranted and blundered about, ICE makes its own rules, running roughshod, as the saying goes, over the defenseless; USCIS bureaucracy and restrictiveness continue to fodder our undocumented population; and those panicked among us remain in the dark unassuaged.

But what will happen now? Will another proposal pop up on the floor? Would such a bill be any different? Will the President's supposed pet project find the back burner in his pursuit of a decent legacy? Do we have to wait until after the'08 elections? How can we progress?


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2 Comments:

Blogger Bobby said...

JPG: I agree mostly with your thoughts about language.....they do contribute to killing the bill I guess - that folks don't understand what it does and they can go back to constituents and grandstand on how they saved us from give-aways to the great brown threat.

am I right in thinking that a large majority of americans support "comprehensive reform" and a similary large group oppose "amnesty" or some other version of language?

doesn't that mean we just need to explain to folks what will actually happen

1) more border security (for better or worse)
2) path to citizenship w/ fines and back taxes
3) get tough on employers
4) guest workers (maybe not big enough to be 4)
is there a 5?

12:29 PM, June 28, 2007  
Blogger Jeremy Goren said...

I think we don’t really have a fair gauge on what Americans think because we haven’t really explained to them what lies beneath the labels – and that extends to terms like “guest worker” and “path to citizenship” to some degree. The actual effects the proposed legislation might or would have – based in the vast amounts of statistical and anecdotal data that has been mined – really don’t make it into the debate.

I think your comment strangely – and appropriately -- details the largest stumbling block: One side supports “comprehensive reform” while the other opposes “amnesty”. They’re kind of fighting over two different things. As that Pew poll I cited recently ["No dice" on 06.08.07] states, people are fine with a “path to citizenship” but not an “amnesty”; yet, amnesty is simply a subjective label applied to what is, in the bill, a “path to citizenship”. So we’re back at the same problem. Our commercialized society fights battles over ideas and laws on a marketing level and rarely arrives at a substantive debate.

As for “the great brown threat”, as you know, yesterday it was “the great Italian threat” and “the great Jewish threat”. If people really fear they’re losing out to cheap, under-qualified Mexican labor, again, get papers for the undocumented; make them compete on an even plane; and beat them out if you’re so much more qualified.

For those for whom the threat is less economic and more cultural, is your pure, white, English-speaking culture so weak that it can’t withstand the presence of other cultures? And is that cultural-purist camp really the side of the line on which you want to stand? What happened to American democracy? We’re the biggest, baddest, bravest superpower on Earth. Let’s prove it by confidence not cowardice.

12:58 PM, June 28, 2007  

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