With the rough contours of a deal set for floor debate soon, the U.S. Senate should get ready for kudos and kvetches on steroids.
The praise is for hunkering down and crafting a bipartisan deal with some hope of passage.
The complaints from pro-immigration supporters center on the proposed jettisoning of family reunification as a foundation stone of our immigration laws, and the lack of due process protections in the bill. Predictable griping will also be heard from immigration restrictionists who prefer the status quo of raids, deportations of aliens and criminal prosecution of employers.
Meantime, expect to hear the nightly drumbeat of Lou Dobbs’ fact-defying rants, such as his latest charge that 7,000 leprosy cases in the U.S. each year are caused by illegal immigrants, ably refuted by 60 Minutes and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Beelzebub, as usual, resides in the minutiae of the Senate bill. Here are some questions worth considering:
- Is it realistic that employers who use the new guest worker provisions will invest in the costly training of provisional employees required to develop job proficiency if the investment is interrupted every two years by the worker’s required departure for a year?
- Will Congress provide sufficient funds to make employment eligibility verification more meaningful than the broken I-9 process and inadequate basic pilot program?
- Are American’s ready to adopt a point system that merely gives some undefined weight to family relationships rather than the nation’s historical preference for family unity under the immigration laws?
- Are 400,000 guest workers per year sufficient to meet the demands of our national demographic of aging boomers and shortages of essential workers?
This blogger’s prediction: The answer to all of these questions will be a resounding “no.” Next week’s debate should show that the temperature on the Senate floor will be hotter than the globally-warmed streets of Washington. Stay tuned to CSPAN. But beware, Bismarck’s warning about averting one’s eyes from the making of sausages and of laws still holds true.