"The president insists on defining amnesty in a way that is contrary to the way everybody else defines that word," he said. "Every time he does, he loses credibility."
Calling himself a strong supporter of Bush throughout his administration, Rohrabacher said that this time he was personally offended by Bush's suggestions that the bill was good for America. He repeatedly referred to it as the "Bush-Kennedy" bill, linking Bush to Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, and he blamed the bill on an "unholy coalition between the big-business element of the Republican Party and the liberal left."
Amnesty? "Bush-Kennedy"? Huh? Maybe Dana Rohrabacher is taking the right position on this bill, but he's doing it for the completely wrong reason. So why is Dana wrong, even when he's right? Follow me after the flip for more...
(Cross-posted at Calitics and Ditch Crazy Dana)
So why again does Dana Rohrabacher oppose this bill? Oh yes, that's right...
The bill has no teeth in its enforcement provisions and would only embolden people to sneak across borders to get government benefits, Rohrabacher said.
"Wake up America," he said. "Our country is being stolen from us. Our country is being invaded. The Senate legislation will only accelerate this invasion."
Dana then went on to denounce the "Z-visa" provision in this bill, which would charge the undocumented immigrants already here $1,000 for some legal status. He called that "amnesty that would give millions of lawbreakers access to government programs like Social Security", and he just had to condemn the "illegal immigrants cutting the line in front of legal immigrants". And of course, he attacked a proposed guest worker program and a points system as this would give these workers a chance to come here legally.
And you know what? Crazy Dana's actually doing the right thing in opposing this legislation. He's just doing it for the wrong reason.
Dana doesn't want to give these "lawbreakers" access to programs like Social Security, even once they become legal. But doesn't this undermine the whole goal of comprehensive immigration reform? This would take away an incentive for people to come out of the shadows, and get back in line to come here legally. And wait, don't they already pay into Social Security? Why can't they receive the Social Security that they've already paid into, especially once they receive legal status?
And amnesty? How does this bill provide "amnesty"? Where is the "amnesty" in this bill? These immigrant workers would have to pay fines. They would have to be split from their families in many instances. They would have to leave after eight years to their nation of origin, and go through a long and complicated process to try to return. Now I understand that these people should have to go to back into line and pay some fine in order to earn legal status. However, do they really need to be kicked out after eight years? And how the heck is that even enforceable? And do they need to be split from their families, and from their communities? Is this really "amnesty"?
Now Dana's right about the guest worker program being a raw deal. Remember what I said yesterday?
This bill would also create a new underclass of immigrant workers. Under the new guest worker program, immigrant workers can only stay here temporarily, and then just return home. Meanwhile under this new "merit based" system of immigration, people would be admitted into this nation based on how "economically valuable" they would be. This really only serves the American corporations that want continued cheap labor. Under the new law, they can get their "disposable labor force" that can be discarded and replaced every few years.
Now maybe a guest worker program would work. However, the NILC has it right when they say "that temporary workers who establish ties here must have a realistic path to permanent residence and true job portability that allows them to change employers freely if they are mistreated". This proposed guest worker program in the bill does not have this, but only provides for a temporary labor force that American corporations can dispose of and replace at their will. Barbara Boxer was right when she said this would hurt American workers. But you know what? It would hurt these immigrant workers, too.
But anyways, back to Crazy Dana. He's doing the right thing, but it's really for the wrong reason. He's opposing this sham that's supposedly "comprehensive immigration reform", but he's opposing it because he wants a more cumbersome, punitive, and downright impractical like that disastrous HR 4437 that the US House passed in 2005. We don't need that. We need comprehensive immigration reform. We just need comprehensive immigration reform that actually works for these immigrants, and works for American workers. It's just too bad that Dana Rohrabacher isn't interested in real reform that's actually practical.