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Thursday, April 30, 2015

What the Republicans Mean When They Speak of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

It would appear that the version of "comprehensive immigration reform" the GOP is settling on at this point is simply:
one -- hyper-militarization of the Mexican border (which is an utterly quixotic effort given the existence of desperate people willing to work for terrible wages in terrible conditions and employers eager to break any law -- especially unenforceable ones -- in order to to profit from such willingness, though no doubt this endlessly increasing militarization is enormously profitable to many of the GOP's pet corporations);

two -- 14th Amendment Nullification (which is now regularly framed as "a Constitutional loophole" rather than the bedrock constitutional principle affirmed in countless court decisions since the Civil War, no doubt a party now addicted to the voter fraud of mass disenfranchisement as a "solution" to the non-existing problem of in-person voter fraud will have no trouble with the historical blinders and mental gymnastics demanded of this latest position either -- for Republicans, consistent racism always trumps inconsistency otherwise); and

three -- an endorsement of serfdom (which is what you have to call a permanent indispensable labor force of guest workers without the rights of citizens in the society they live in, without prospects for citizenship whatever their contributions to that society, taxed without representation like the colonists who made a Revolution to resist that very injustice).
Like pretty much all the positions of the current day Republican Party, this position is simply idiotic and evil and not a little bit insane. But it also means that while there may once have been a time when there were people on "both sides of the aisle" who advocated "comprehensive immigration reform" in ways that suggested a pathway to a shared solution to the problem of our utterly unjust, dysfunctional immigration system, recognized as such by most serious people in government, this is less true now than it ever was before, and the shared invocation of the phrase "comprehensive immigration reform" no longer indicates the reality or even the possibility of a working consensus on the issue.

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