For even before Chertoff had spoken (but not before blogger Michelle Malkin had predicted it), four-fifths of the illegals arrested had been . . . released.Obviously the migrants won't return for trial. The hypocrisy is staggering. Only a few weeks ago, Chertoff spoke of how hollow catch-and-release is:
Two hundred and seventy-five of them were deported. The rest were sent away in return for a promise to return for a court hearing. Many, probably most, will disappear. And since the government's computers were "down," their brush with immigration enforcement may not even be officially recorded. They are home dry -
well, dry anyway.
"If we catch them and release them ... we suggest to people that if they can get across the border they are home free and safe from being returned. We want to send a very different message," Chertoff told reporters.This followed news that 39,000 illegal Chinese immigrants are to be repatriated. We can effectively extradite tens of thousands of migrants halfway around the world to a communist society we putatively object to, but the most we can muster when it comes to the big amnesty PR push (if ever Bush was to get tough this would be the time) is a paltry 275. Booting the Chinese is more expensive in per capita freight, but the opportunity costs involved reveal the real deadweight. The median income for Mexican males in the US: $20,814. For Chinese males: $40,423 (both from 2000). Mexicans using public assistance: 6.8%. Chinese: 3.5%. Mexico's estimated IQ: 87. China's: 100. Inanity.
Meanwhile, President Bush constructed an impervious argument against deportation rendering its stultified supporters useless:
"Massive deportation of the people here is not going to work," Bush said as a Congress divided over immigration returned from a two-week recess. "It's just not going to work."Well I'm convinced.
Of course it would work. It's working for 39,000 Chinese. It worked for 275 in a couple of days. If history is any indicator, the number forcefully removed would be dwarfed by the number leaving of their own volition:
The INS claimed as many as 1,300,000, though the number officially apprehended did not come anywhere near this total. The INS estimate rested on the claim that most aliens, fearing apprehension by the government, had voluntarily repatriated themselves before and during the operation. The San Antonio district, which included all of Texas outside of El Paso and the Trans-Pecos,qv had officially apprehended slightly more than 80,000 aliens, and local INS officials claimed that an additional 500,000 to 700,000 had fled to Mexico before the campaign began.The numbers are difficult to substantiate, but the general trend is clear. For every one forced out another seven or eight will leave voluntarily. If we use that ratio with a daily deportation of 275 during working days (Mon-Fri only), 600,000 or so illegal immigrants would go home each year. Punitive fines, a wall, and militarization of the border would augment this estimate.
Perhaps you think it will work, but that it will Gestapo-like, leaving a sordid taste in your mouth. But there's no need for home raids or the interrogation of good Samaritans. Simply removing illegals who are caught breaking another law (using phony social security numbers, being cited for traffic violations, failing to report income, etc) would do the trick.
Bush's ability to make a cogent argument parallels his ability to act clandestinely, as an aide for one of the Senators present at a meeting in which Bush endorsed their amnesty proposal reveals:
An aide to one participant said that Bush told the senators that he could go no further publicly than his veiled support for the Senate bill because to do so would anger House Republicans.Bush doesn't care about his constituency. He's willing to sell the Republican Party down the river on an incredibly idiotic strategy that is sure to fail. Republicans are not going to win over Hispanics. As Republican pols shift left, the Democrats will move in tandem with them. Increasing revenue is not good if the marginal output of each unit is negative. The Republican Party should instead aim for white working class natives who are being hammered by unskilled immigration and who are uncomfortable with the Democratic Party's continual movement to the left on other social issues. They'd probably pick up a bit of the black vote in the process.
Maybe there's some reason to be optimistic. IFCO is still embarrassed and several managers face fines potentially stretching into the millions of dollars. The public has seen how expeditiously 275 migrants can be deported. The longer it takes for the Senate to send a bill back to the House the more likely it is that House members will remain tenacious as November binds them closely to the public.