Saturday, September 8, 2007

In San Francisco, some consider creating a city-wide ID card for "undocumented immigrants." Proponents of this measure are also trying to convince private financial institutions to accept these cards for those who want to open accounts.
Glenn Beck interviewed Rudy Giuliani yesterday. Steve Benen draws attention to part of the interview (H/T Yglesias, e.a.):
GLENN: Right. But isn't illegal immigration a crime in and of itself?


GLENN: Aren't you saying --

GIULIANI: Glenn --

GLENN: You're protecting criminals by saying that being treated as a criminal is unfair.

GIULIANI: Glenn, it's not a crime. I know that's very hard for people to understand, but it's not a federal crime.

GLENN: It's a misdemeanor but if you've been nailed, it is a crime. If you've been nailed, ship back and come back, it is a crime.

GIULIANI: Glenn, being an illegal immigrant, the 400,000 were not prosecuted for crimes by the federal government, nor could they be. I was U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York. So believe me, I know this. In fact, when you throw an immigrant out of the country, it's not a criminal proceeding. It's a civil proceeding.

GLENN: Is it --

GIULIANI: One of the things that congress wanted to do a year ago is to make it a crime, which indicates that it isn't.

GLENN: Should it be?

GIULIANI: Should it be? No, it shouldn't be because the government wouldn't be able to prosecute it. We couldn't prosecute 12 million people.
Giuliani proposes a fence--both physical and technological--and a "tamperproof ID card" as solutions to "illegal immigration" in this interview.
Hot Air analyzes some of the points of immigration law.

UPDATE (9/9/07): An intrepid reader directs my attention to US Code Title 8, Section 1325, which details penalties for illegal entry into the US:
    (a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection;
misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States
at any time or place other than as designated by immigration
officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration
officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United
States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the
willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first
commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or
imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent
commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or
imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to
enter) the United States at a time or place other than as
designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil
penalty of -
(1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or
attempted entry); or
(2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of
an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under
this subsection.

Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not
in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be
A federal judge has ruled that a revised Georgia statute requiring voters to show a photo ID when they vote is Constitutional; the appeals process continues, but some Georgia politicians sound pleased with the result so far.
On the Capitolist, I found a post that has some interesting background on those who were appointed to the special committee to investigate last month's "vote meltdown." This post could be an except from some news story (it sure sounds like it), but I don't know where it might be found:
Mostly overlooked during this week's sometimes jarring mix of news --
including deaths and an off-and-on-again Senate resignation -- was a
tale of political redemption. At issue were the appointments of House Minority Leader Boehner
to the select investigative committee that is reviewing the handling of
the Aug. 2 House vote on a Republican amendment to bar taxpayer-funded
benefits for illegal immigrants; GOP members contended that the
announced roll-call vote of 214-214 ignored late shifts that had been
recorded by the House clerk and they actually had won the vote, an
outcome that continues to rile Republicans. Two Republican members of
the investigative panel --Reps. Kenny Hulshof of Missouri and Steven LaTourette
of Ohio -- might be familiar to House ethics-monitors. Both served on
the Ethics Committee that unanimously issued "admonishments" in October
2004 against then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay for three offenses
related to his alleged abuses of power. Senior Republicans were so
incensed at the time that then-Speaker Hastert removed Hulshof and
LaTourette -- plus Ethics Chairman Joel Hefley of Colorado, who
retired last year -- when the Ethics panel was reorganized in 2005,
though no public explanation was given and the unhappy Hulshof and
LaTourette did not protest publicly. That, in turn, led to complaints
that the Republican watchdogs were punished for doing their job.
This "political redemption" may reveal some hints of a wider strategy for Boehner. By appointing Hulshof and LaTourette, who were punished for charging DeLay with certain political abuses, to positions of power, Boehner might be trying to burnish his anti-corruption credentials or at least differentiate himself from the House GOP leadership circa 2004; Hulshor and LaTourette were punished for their actions under Hastert/DeLay and stripped of their positions, but now Boehner gives them a position of influence. Is he trying to heighten/develop an Old Guard/New Guard dichotomy?
Also, this vote committee could have significant powers. Boehner might hope that men who have been willing to criticize publicly fellow Republicans might be seen as more fair-minded--and this appearance of fair-mindedness might give the recommendations of this committee more weight in the media/public.
In the wake of August's "vote meltdown" over the Agricultural bill and the failure of a motion to recommit that declared that "illegal immigrants" should not receive food stamps, House Democrats plot strategy to protect their members from claims that they are "soft" on "illegal immigration." Roll Call reports on some of the measures being considered by Democratic leadership (e.a.):

Neither Clyburn nor Hoyer would provide details for any potential proposal, including whether the measure would be new law or a nonbinding resolution.

“We’re talking about a lot of options and I don’t want to prejudge what options we’re going to choose,” Hoyer said.

The Maryland lawmaker added that because the Republican amendment at the heart of the August incident would have restated existing law — a point the GOP refutes — Democrats could opt to ask the executive branch to enforce statutes already on the books.

“We may just reiterate the law,” Hoyer said. Democrats also have pre-emptively discussed expanding the new effort to other hot-button legislative areas targeted by the GOP.

One Democratic lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said the plan has been presented to some Members as a blanket measure that would prohibit the use of taxpayer-funded programs, such as food stamps, by immigrants in the country illegally.

“The idea is to reject them out of hand because they’ll be clearly redundant,” the Democrat said. “They’ll come up with some other ridiculous avenue to use, but hopefully this takes that off the table.”

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I've got some traveling to do, and the posting might be pretty light over the next few days.
Even as John Edwards talks about a universal health system that will require visits to the doctors, the Conservatives of the UK discuss not allowing those who live "unhealthy lifestyles" to gain benefits from the National Health Service (via Drudge):

Patients who refuse to change their unhealthy lifestyles should not be treated by the NHS, the Conservatives said today.

In a bid to ease spiralling levels of obesity and other health concerns, a Tory panel said certain treatments should be denied to patients who refuse to co-operate with health professionals and live healthier lifestyles.

This report suggests that the NHS should discriminate amongst forms of living to decide who gets treatment (even though, it seems, all would still pay taxes to subsidize this "national" health care system):
"It is inconsistent with the concept of the responsible citizen to imagine that it is realistic for citizens, having paid their taxes, to expect that the state will underwrite the health implications of any lifestyle decision they choose to make," the report states.
The latest Rasmussen poll shows Fred Thompson doing better than John McCain in a potential presidential match-up in McCain's home state of Arizona, leading her by 17 points while McCain would only lead her by 10. Rasmussen speculates that immigration may be one reason for this difference:

The immigration issue which caused McCain trouble earlier in the summer is still powerful in his home state. Seventy percent (70%) of Arizona voters say it is Very Important to improve border enforcement and reduce illegal immigration. McCain was a visible advocate of the Senate “comprehensive” reform legislation which failed due to strong public opposition.

When it comes to legalizing the status of those already in the country illegally, just 20% consider that a Very Important issue.

Only 13% of Arizona voters believe that the federal government is doing enough to reduce illegal immigration. Eighty-two percent (82%) favor forcing employers to fire workers with false identification documents. Two-thirds (68%) say that people looking to rent an apartment should also be required to show identification and prove they are in the United States legally. These views are similar to those held by voters nationwide and are also similar to results found in our last Arizona poll, conducted in June.

McCain' favorable rating (48%) in Arizona is 10 points lower than Thompson's (58%) and 9 points lower than Giuliani's (57%). Clinton has a 41% favorable rating there.
McCain may be having other polling/electoral problems, too.

UPDATE: Another interesting thing about this poll (and, granted, this poll was taken over a year from the day of the election) is how strongly the Republican candidates--particularly Fred Thompson--are running against Clinton. Bush carried AZ by almost 7 points in 2000 (51-44.7) and by 10 points in 2004 (54.9-44.4). With Thompson running at a 17-point lead over Clinton, he has over double Bush's victory margin in 2000 and 170% of Bush's margin in 2004. Even the weakest candidate against Clinton according to Rasmussen, Romney, still has a 7-point edge over Clinton. At 51%, Thompson's level of support isn't up to Bush's 2004 yet (there are more undecideds), and AZ has very rarely voted for a Democratic presidential candidate over the past fifty years, and this is still a very early poll and so much can change over a year and Clinton might not even be the nominee, but perhaps this high level of support for Thompson (and the other R candidates) compared to previous elections might be offer a slight ray of hope for some gloomy Republican pundits.
The Hill reports on some of the Democratic wrangling over proposed "free trade" deals with Columbia, Peru, Panama, and South Korea.
Mike Allen's "Politico Playbook" has an interesting roundup of some Iraq-related news today.
In Mississippi, it sounds as though there is no shortage of candidates--both Democratic and Republican--who pledge to be "tough" on "illegal immigration."

Monday, September 3, 2007

An interesting Washington Post story on some of the negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the big three Detroit car manufacturers, discussing who wants what and how they hope to achieve their various goals.
As Drudge notes, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says that his proposed cradle-to-grave universal national health plan would require "everybody" to have mandatory visits to the doctor:

"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."

He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem." Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned and spread.

Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.

"Grand bargain" supporter and presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ) says that lack of trust was one of the reasons why this bargain failed: "We said we'd secure the borders. Americans didn't believe us." He says he continues to back "comprehensive immigration reform."
Forbes has more:
"We believe the comprehensive approach to immigration failed because the American people do not have trust and confidence in the government and Washington to do what we say.["]
McCain said "I still believe we need a temporary worker program - we need to address the 12 million people who are here illegally."

"But the point is, we have got to secure the borders," he said.

The president of Mexico sounds angry about the seeming failure of the "grand bargain":

"We strongly protest the unilateral measures taken by the U.S. Congress and government that have only persecuted and exacerbated the mistreatment of Mexican undocumented workers," he said. "The insensitivity toward those who support the U.S. economy and society has only served as an impetus to reinforce the battle ... for their rights."

He also reached out to the millions of Mexicans living in the United States, many illegally, saying: "Where there is a Mexican, there is Mexico."

Hot Air has some video up of Calderon's attacking the "unilateral measures" of the US. Does Calderon believe that domestic policies should be multilateral (granted, though, that immigration does have an international component)?
The Washington Times reports on the activities of the "Coalition for the Future American Worker," which aims to reduce outsourcing, limit the numbers of foreign workers working in the US, and increase immigration enforcement. The group has a petition up and an online video. The coalition seems, in part, to be responding to a video of a seminar for businesses that discussed how to avoid hiring US workers and get visas for foreign workers instead. That video caused some fallout.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Over at the Politico, Roger Simon reflects on how an increasingly compressed primary schedule could shape the dynamics of the race for the nomination.
A story discussing some of the effects of immigration on a town in Iowa.
The leader of of the UK Conservative Party, David Cameron, expresses some skepticism about current British immigration policy.
The president of La Raza discusses some of her plans for the organization to shape the immigration debate.