« No degree, no worries.... | Gene Expression Front Page | Genetically Driven Undertaking »
October 10, 2003

Ah-nold Comes Out For Amnesty

California governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger has come out in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens. Here is the quote, from the Washington Times:

The governor-elect said he supported a bill sponsored by Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, that would grant temporary working permits to allow illegal immigrants to travel to and from the United States and loosen the requirements to apply for visas.
"I want to make all undocumented immigrants documented and legal in this country," said the Austrian-born actor. "It's all part of the package."

I personally was never that hopeful that Arnold would be a big supporter of immigration reform, which is part of the reason I voted for Tom McClintock in the recall and not Arnold (though I doubt even McClintock would have advocated stopping unskilled immigration (especially illegal but legal as well), as I do). However, I also didn't think Arnold was so radically in favor of open borders.

When are people, especially people who call themselves conservatives, "fiscal conservatives," and Republicans, going to realize that the USA simply cannot afford mass unskilled immigration, much less giving citizenship to those who have ignored our laws? Let's face it, most illegal immigrants are taking far more than they contribute. Many of not most illegal aliens pay no taxes whatsoever, and many illegals (and unskilled legal immigrants) who do nominally pay taxes probably take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit, effectively reducing their tax contibution to zero or less, as they send their 3 or 4 kids to public school at $7,000-$10,000 a pop per year. That's not to mention health care, housing support, law enforcement, rent control, and other services.

And while the average Latino farm worker is certainly no terrorist, what about the nontrivial number of illegal aliens who almost certainly are? What would stop an illegal alien terrorist, who had been working and following the law up to the time he applied for citizenship (other than immigration law, of course) from gaining citizenship? Giving amnesty also sends the message that people will be rewarded for breaking the law, which will almost certainly encourage more illegal immigration.

Republicans are so PAINFULLY stupid...

Posted by bb at 09:35 AM

And most Republicans can't excuse their stupidity on decades-worth of synthetic testosterone buzzing in their brains ;)

I think that as the decades progress, with more and more illegal aliens throwing themselves on our social service system, it will go bankrupt. Especially as middle-class tax paying families flee states like California, NY and the tri-state (sorta) DC area, we will finally just cut these programs all together and let our poor rot in squalor. What North American nation does this remind you of?

Posted by: duende at October 10, 2003 09:54 AM

Immigration is a federal matter. Arnold's blatherings on this are completely irrelevant, as irrelevant as Tom McClintock's.

A State Governor has no more control over immigration policy than over defense, and little if any more influence.

The McCain treachery proceeds with or without Arnold's endorsement.

He should stick to the knitting: car tax repeal, illegal licenses, and the Indian Gaming Compact would be a good start.

Posted by: Phil T at October 10, 2003 10:19 AM


Technically you're right. But the higher-ups will never rouse themselves on the subject unless they hear rumblins' from below.

If the Governator of the biggest state in the union came out against this shit, the Prez would listen. As it is, I predict the situation will fester.

Posted by: diana at October 10, 2003 11:02 AM

Where is Godless by the way? I recollect some long winded articles about how the muscleman from Austria would cause immigration reform? Another one gone wrong eh?

Posted by: Peter Phillips at October 10, 2003 02:19 PM

Think of the fun his opponents would have with television images of long-time US residents being separated from their families and dragged from their homes for deportation...

Arnold isn't that stupid. No governor is going to touch that particular live rail

Posted by: ToOmUchWoRK at October 10, 2003 04:15 PM

Immigration could be made into a state-level matter:

  • The border states could build a wall on the border with Mexico. Arizona and California even have state initiative processes. The cost of the wall would be a small fraction of the cost of the illegals.
  • State and local police could be authorized to arrest illegals for deportation.
  • State and local government agencies could search their databases for signs of illegals. This is not that difficult to do if all government agencies require social security numbers for use to get government services. Anyone who uses a soc. sec. number that is invalid or doesn't match their name or approx age would become immediately suspect.

The federal government refuses to handle the immigration issue. Therefore it is up to the states to step in and start dealing with it.

As for the stupid Republican politicians: Yes, it is called the Stupid Party. But, hey, McClintock was on the ballot and so anyone who wanted to vote for a known figure with a better immigration position had a choice. The problem is the public at large and the Left and the media too. There is stupidity all around.

Posted by: Randall Parker at October 10, 2003 11:22 PM

For those concerned about this issue, may I suggest a contribution to your favorite immigration reform organization.

Posted by: Unstoppable at October 11, 2003 11:15 AM

"Think of the fun his opponents would have with television images of long-time US residents being separated from their families and dragged from their homes for deportation...

Arnold isn't that stupid. No governor is going to touch that particular live rail"

You are creating a false dichotomy here...the choice is not between giving illegals citizenship and going door to door in immigrant neighborhoods and "dragg[ing illegal aliens] from their homes for deportation."

There are many options in between. The U.S. can avoid active deportation but simply not give illegal aliens citizenship as it does now, which is not very effective, but at least is better than amnesty, which will only encourage even more illegal immigration than we already have.

The U.S. could discourage illegal immigration with strictly enforced employer sanctions, which would make it difficult for illegal immigrants to receive employment. We could also reduce illegal immigration by ensuring that illegal immigrants do not receive welfare benefits.

Another solution could be to check the citizenship of anyone who is arrested. If an arrestee were found to be illegally here, they would be deported.

There is also the obvious issue of stopping further illegal immigration, which could be accomplished simply through vastly improved border and visa enforcement. For example, we could build a high security wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Even at $10,000,000 per mile, the wall would only cost $20 billion, or 0.8% of the federal budget for one year. Before and during the construction of the wall, we could have the military on the border to stop illegal immigration.

All of the solutions above could greatly reduce illegal immigration, and none involve dragging any person from his home. Amnesty is a stupid idea that will only make the illegal immigration problem worse. Worse yet, amnesty is not very politically popular, even amongst Hispanics.

Posted by: Matt W. at October 11, 2003 02:37 PM

"Amnesty is a stupid idea that will only make the illegal immigration problem worse."


Posted by: Peter Phillips at October 12, 2003 10:27 AM


Posted by: Dereck at October 13, 2003 12:50 PM