The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Steyn on the Capitulation Bill
Ouch! Steyn also has been discussing Immigration over at The Corner, by the way. Glenn Reynolds nails it on the head:
Are you a fine upstanding member of the Undocumented-American community? That's to say, are you (if you'll forgive the expression) an illegal immigrant?
Great news! Being illegal is now perfectly legal! Just for being one of the circa 12 million people who shouldn't be here, you can now be here indefinitely! If you were living and working in America illegally before Jan. 1, 2007, you're now entitled to one of the new Z-1 "probationary" visas. And your parents and spouses are entitled to one of the new Z-2 visas, and your children to the new Z-3 visas.
Don't worry: It's not an "amnesty." Every politician in America is opposed to amnesty -- if not the concept, then at least the word. That's why the visa starts with the letter that's furthest away from the one "amnesty" begins with. "Z" stands for zellout . . . no, hang on, zurrender or Zapatista, or some other word way up the other end of the alphabet from "amnesty." But the point is, at a stroke there will be no more illegal immigrants. Because being illegal means you're now legal.
Unless, of course, you came to America after Jan. 1, 2007, and thus aren't covered by the zamnesty. But in that case why not apply for the Z-1 anyway? After all, you're here illegally so how would U.S. Immigration know when you arrived? Especially with 12-15-20 million urgent applications tossed in on top of what's already a multi-year backlog. They're not exactly going to be doing a lot of in-depth background checks, especially not for a visa category whose only entry requirement under U.S. law is that you've broken U.S. law when you entered.
By the way, when I said "came to America," if you're visiting Toronto for a weekend break from Yemen or Belarus, don't be deterred by the fact that Canada is not technically in America. Why not just head down to Buffalo and apply for the old Z-1, too? After all, it's not such a stretch to regard every single person on the planet as a Z-1-in-waiting.
This being America, pretty soon -- a court decision here, a court decision there -- the presumption of every school district and hospital and welfare administrator will be that they're obliged to treat everyone who walks in through the door as if they were a Z-1. You zee one, you've zeen 'em all.
As for the notion that dumping a population the size of four mid-size European Union nations into the lap of America's arthritic "legal immigration" (please, no tittering; apparently, there is still such a thing) bureaucracy will lead to tougher enforcement and rigorous scrutiny and lots of other butch-sounding stuff, well, if that were the case, there wouldn't be a problem in the first place. You can declare that "illegal" now mean "legal" very easily; to mandate that "incompetent" now means "competent" is a tougher proposition.
At a more serious level, however, this captures the disconnect between Washington officialdom's view of citizenship, and the view held by actual citizens, something that I think is at the core of the immigration debate. More than hostility to illegal immigrants, I think a lot of the backlash is driven by the sense that Washington insiders don't really value what ordinary law-abiding people do by way of living their lives and, you know, abiding by the law. A voter scorned, and all that . . . .Exactly. Why should I obey the law, pay my taxes, etc. when 12 million people who have been failing to file for 10 years have been given a free pass by the "Open Borders" Democrats and myopic Republicans who think this loophole-laden bill will somehow solve anything? Americans don't like double standards. Our Constitution is supposed to guarantee Equality of Opportunity. Yet we appear to be getting further and further from that shore.
We still have time to stop this bill before it is rammed down our throats. So start dialing and start clicking: we have work to do.