Saturday, October 20, 2007

In NY state, there's some pushback against Gov. Spitzer (D)'s plan to offer driver's licenses to the "undocumented":

John F. Lehman, a former Navy secretary who served on the September 11 commission, called the governor's decree "absurd."

"It's a perfect formula for al Qaeda. They won't be able to resist it. They will be able to come to New York," he said. "It's going to become a magnet to lawbreakers because the surrounding states will adhere to the federal standards."

Critics say the credibility of a New York driver's license could be called into question in other states, because applicants would not be required to prove that they have a Social Security number.

The issue began in July 2006, when an appeals court ruled that the state could have wider latitude in issuing driver's licenses. Republican Gov. George E. Pataki decreed that immigrants would need to prove they were in the United States legally before getting licenses. During the gubernatorial campaign, Mr. Spitzer vowed to change that. With the Republican-led Senate adamantly opposed to any change, the governor bypassed the Legislature by issuing an executive order.

The plan is supposed to go into effect in December, but the Senate's Republican majority has pledged to override Mr. Spitzer's order in an emergency session Oct. 22.

The public is opposed to Mr. Spitzer's plan as well, a recent poll shows.

A Zogby survey of 718 likely voters in New York found that 65 percent of the state's voters are against the proposal. The poll, taken Oct. 11-15, showed that nearly half — 47 percent — of Democrats oppose the plan, compared with 92 percent of Republicans.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Washington Times reports on some of the changes and challenges facing the IMF and World Back with the growth of the financial holdings of the PRC, Russia, and South Korea.
This morning and yesterday, the folks over at the Corner had a fierce debate about immigration. Highlights include Mark Krikorian saying that immigration is incompatible with modern society and John Podhoretz declaring that restrictions on immigration are really "tariffs." As Instapundit says, just keep scrolling.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Made in China: the steel of the US/Mexico border fence. (or at least some of the steel...)
Members of Congress are demanding an investigation of the contagious TB border-crosser and Homeland Security's/Center for Disease Control's response to the matter. Some reporters at the Washington Times are already hinting at that dreaded Washington specter: cover up.
CNN has a new poll up about racial attitudes toward immigration. Yglesias, Marshall, and others claim that this poll demonstrates that "blacks" are friendlier to ("illegal") immigration than "whites." However, there are a number of polls that would seem to put that claim in doubt. This Pew poll from 2006 shows some of the complexity--and limits--of attempting to assign "racial" approaches to immigration.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rep. Pence (R-IN) has filed a "discharge petition" for his anti-"Fairness Doctrine" proposal. If this discharge petition is signed by a majority of House members, this measure may be brought to the House floor. Some reports indicate that Pence's office is hoping to get at least "20 or so" Democratic votes and all Republicans; if he can get those numbers, the petition will be successful.
WaPo has the details on a--sometimes contentious--meeting in Prince William County (VA) on local immigration measures. The governing board of PWC votes to move ahead to consider these measures.
The New York Times reports on some of the administration's attempt to increase the number of "guest workers."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

David Crosby and the politicization of religion: An interesting moment in the (much-blogged) discussion between Crosby and Chris Matthews on the Iraq war. Crosby says about one of the aims of his "peace" concert:
Crosby:'s a call to America's churches to be a leader to their flock and to stick up for their flock. If the--if the--people in America are against the war, then the churches of America need to get in line and stand up for what we believe in.
So isn't Crosby saying that the opinion of various religious leaders should be driven only by public opinion? Even as Matthews and Nash seem to find it "odd" to pray for soldiers going into battle, Crosby seems to have no problem with religious officials engaging into political debates--and having their own approaches directed by popular political opinion.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Washington Post reports on the diversity of new immigration laws being passed by various states. The story outlines three approaches to this diversity: alarm, support, or a (federalism-flavored) sense that this variety in state responses to immigration can allow the nation to test which laws might actually be the most effective:

Some observers are alarmed by the trend, calling the widely divergent laws further evidence of America's cultural divide and saying they could pose new hurdles in reaching a national consensus on immigration. Piecemeal policymaking is opening the door to a flurry of legal battles -- the Department of Homeland Security, for instance, is suing Illinois for banning businesses there from confirming an employee's legal status through the federal E-Verify database, which state officials have called flawed and unreliable.

Others argue that the inability to reach a national solution has left states no choice. Governors are grappling with cities and towns that, in the absence of a national or state policy, have taken it upon themselves to pass local immigration laws either protecting or cracking down on illegal immigrants. This has occasionally lead to radically different regulations within individual states.

Still others assert that the rush of state activism has created an unforeseen opportunity. By viewing states as laboratories and studying the successes and failures of their various policies, Americans may find useful information, even a road map, for developing a national strategy.

It also claims that Oklahoma's new immigration laws have begun to drive away the "undocumented":

Hispanic business groups, citing school enrollment losses and church parish figures, say the laws, which start going into effect later this year, have caused as many as 25,000 undocumented workers to flee the state in recent months. The loss is being decried by the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association.

"In major metro areas we are seeing people leave based on the perception that things are going to get bad for them and that this state doesn't want them here," said Mike Means, executive vice president of the association. "Now we're looking at a labor shortage. I've got builders who are being forced to slow down jobs because they don't have the crews. And it's not like these people are going back to Mexico. They're going to Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arkansas, anywhere where the laws aren't against them."