Monday, September 04, 2006

A Start on an Immigration Plan

Cold and rainy today in Chicago on Labor Day for the final leg of the march to support undocumented immigrants. Site here. As best I can tell, turnout was low. WGN cited a couple hundred marchers.

And as yet, an increase in numbers of immigrants in metro areas has not translated into voter registration, presumably because of the significant non-citizen or illegal component. CBS2Chicago:
In Chicago and surrounding Cook County, registrations in the first seven months this year jumped about a third over 2005, but were far below the same period in 2004.
Here are some thoughts on an immigration plan, which probably won't happen before November, there is too much to work through. The first step is border security, which this plan prioritizes as well.

Robert Novak, Sun Times, RCP:
Pence, a rising star in the conservative movement, has faced a torrent of right-wing abuse for advocating a guest worker program that is condemned as amnesty for illegal aliens. Rep. Tom Tancredo, leader of the congressional hard-liners on immigration, has viciously branded Pence as an apostate. But Pence told me last week that Hoosier voters, when he explains it to them, will accept his three-part formula on immigration: protect the border, no amnesty for illegals and access for foreign workers needed by the U.S. economy.
Lawrence Kudlow, FoxNews, RCP looks at the economy and American society and defends the Pence-Hutchinson plan as a useful starting point:
So, again, I ask, if immigration is so bad, then why are things so good? Yes, there should be tough border security. Yes, there should be foolproof ID cards, with biometrics, for Social Security and employment purposes. Former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, the co-author of the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli immigration reform bill, has said the failure of that bill was a function of the lack of an ID card system.
I don't like the idea of national ID cards, but we need to know who is in our country and be able to protect citizens from terrorists and criminals, identity theft and voter fraud. And we need to let the market work in creating and filling jobs---but no documents, no job.

Here's the link to the plan.

UPDATE: Guess a couple thousand drove to Speaker Hastert's office, rather than walk, so the numbers were up a bit from the few hundred who marched. Note we are talking low 4 figures, not 6:

In Illinois, meanwhile, around 3,000 activists gathered at the offices in Batavia of House speaker Dennis Hastert, a Republican, and laid crosses to commemorate illegal immigrants who have died crossing the border from Mexico.

The current round of protests kicked off with a march in Chicago on Friday. So far, its numbers have fallen well short of those seen in the first round on May 1, when protesters filled the streets of cities from California to New England.

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