Friday, August 31, 2007

Republicans debate immigration reform

From an article about the Republican governor of Texas’ trip to Mexico by DUDLEY ALTHAUS of the Houston Chronicle

Leading a large delegation of Texas executives trying to drum up business in Mexico, Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday criticized the U.S. Congress for failing to pass an immigration bill that would legalize millions of workers.

"I don't think this is that difficult an issue if Congress would have the maturity to sit down and really discuss it and cut out all the mean rhetoric," Perry said during a break in the third day of meetings with Mexican officials and business executives.


Perry's statements seemed to put him at odds with many in the Republican Party's base who regarded the immigration overhaul bill that collapsed in the Senate in June as nothing more than an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

By mean rhetoric Perry probably is referring to statements like this by Republican Tom Tancredo.

We are destroying the concept of citizenship itself. America, and indeed Western civilization, are in a crisis.

Or this by Mitt Romney

"McCain-Kennedy isn't the answer," Romney said in a well-received speech to conservatives in Washington this month, describing it as an amnesty plan that would reward people for breaking the law and cost taxpayers millions to provide them benefits.

You may notice that the neither Perry nor Romney is discussing this as a moral issue or an attempt to be fair to anyone. The difference between them is that Perry sees immigration reform as necessary for business while Romney opposes it as giving something away. They both seem kind of mean to me.


aslinn said...

Rick Perry is another political fraud that has betrayed his country and sold his soul to either LA RAZA (THE RACE) and the corrupt Mexican government or to obscene corporate businesses that wish to destroy the United States from within.

Wake up America, our congress is financing LA RAZA and their like w/ millions of our dollars. [Quote] Professor Jose Gutierrez - President of La Raza U. party and recipient of National Council of LaRaza's Chicano Hero Award.

"We have an aging white American...
They are dying....
They are ******* in their pants with fear!!!
I love it!!"

"We're a new Mestizo nation."
"We have got to eliminate the gringo and what I mean by that,
is that if the worst comes to worst, we have to kill him."


Dave Barrett said...

So the business interests that support immigration reform are, in your view, NOT doing it so they can make more money, but doing it to destroy the country?!? So all those Chamber of Commerce types actually hate and want to destroy America? If so, we are in real trouble then, because I think those guys are actually running things.

matt moran said...

I'm not sure why it's mean to support immigration reform because it's "necessary for business". Lots of good decisions are made from a profit motive. One of the principles of capitalism is that an aggregate of self-interested actions benefits the entire society.

Personally I wasn't a big fan of the latest round of immigration reform because it appeared to institutionalize the second-class nature of the immigrant work force. I'd much rather see a bill that dissolves the INS and replaces it with voluntary registration with the state department.

However, my views on this are a little outside the mainstream, especially since the xenophobes seem to have gained influence after 9/11. The immigration reform bill was probably the best we could have hoped for.

Dave Barrett said...

I agree with you that the most recently considered immigration reform bill was flawed because it institutionalized second-class citizen status for immigrant labor but was better than not passing anything.
It is possible to do business without being mean but not if your overriding goal is making as much profit as possible, rather than, say, determining a fair price for your product and services and always selling it for that. Unfortunately amoral people seem to have convinced most Americans that mindlessly pursuing maximum advantage for yourself without considering anything else is the only possible way of conducting business.

matt moran said...

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages." --Adam Smith

Dave Barrett said...

Yeah, that's exactly the attitude I am talking about.
Quaker merchants in Philadelphia in the 18th Century were the first to display set prices in their stores. Up to then every price was determined by haggling as is still done many places in the world. The Quaker merchants decided that they should set a fair price for their products or services and always sell at that price. Charging some buyers more than others simply because those buyers were poor bargainers or in a disadvantageous bargaining position would be taking advantage of them in an immoral way. Because buyers liked set prices these merchants ended up doing very well and making more money than before, which was somewhat embarrassing to them.
Despite what you may have been led to believe, nothing requires people to behave in a totally self-interested manner when they are engaged in business.

matt moran said...

I think you are misinterpreting my position, and I may be misinterpreting yours.

Perhaps we should agree to disagree on whether it is "mean" to support immigration reform for economic reasons.

Dave Barrett said...

Yes, we often seem to talk past each other. I agree to disagree.