On almost any given issue in America today, one party takes one position and the other positions itself on the opposite side of the coin, in a diametrical fashion. Most of us all recognize the deep division in this country on the Iraq War, and how most of it follows a pretty strict party line. But the new bill being worked up and promoted on immigration is dividing the nation, yet this one is not falling along party lines. This bill has it proponents and opponents to be sure, but one cannot arrive at any conclusion that it is completely party driven.
In my conversations with a wide variety of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, I have found these divisions to fall mostly along principled values. I do not have polls to support this at this juncture because there hasn't been enough to draw an accurate picture of the party sub-divisions. The criticisms and the accusations are plentiful, and the nature of those will all depend on who is doing the talking and who is doing the listening.
Here's what I have been able to surmise from all of my informal data collections (most of which rests in my head). These are the factions in this issue and the reasonings for their positions:
1. There are the Democrats that oppose this bill for a variety of reasons. But in the interest of simplification, I will say that there are those that want open borders to increase the welfare state, out of some irrational feeling of guilt that we (as prosperous Americans) owe it to the poor people of Mexico and other impoverished nations. Some Republicans are prone to this as well, but theirs is driven more from theological reasonings.
2. There are Democrats that support this bill because creating a path to citizenship will garner more votes for them. More than likely, new immigrants are going to support the party that promotes give-aways at the expense of those that struggle to keep their heads above water, without depending on the government. The Democratic leadership is quite aware of this and knows well that this could seal a string of future victories, if this theory were to be realized.
3. There are Democrats that support this bill because they are bigwigs in the unions and membership in unions is decreasing. More legal immigration means that more laborers can come out of their closets and (potentially) be recruited to organize, which means more dues for the leadership's lavish lifestyles they have become accustomed to supporting.
4. There are Democrats that oppose this bill for fear that allowing immigrants a path to citizenship will create more competition for jobs. They believe that flooding the labor market will drive the price of labor down and cut down on the number of opportunities for all Americans. This will hurt most unskilled workers and maybe some skilled. Supply goes up, demand goes down, wages go down. This is Microeconomics 101 and doesn't take an Alan Greenspan IQ to figure out.
5. There are Republicans that support this bill because flooding the market with more workers will create that very same hirer's market, driving down the cost of unskilled labor in businesses that do not depend on illegal immigrants. Many businesses, both big and small, will benefit greatly from this.
6. There are Republicans (and some Democrats) that oppose this bill because their businesses depend directly on paying low substandard wages to illegals, in order to keep them in business. By creating a path to citizenship, they will be required to pay minimum wage, which means a pay raise for the bulk of their labor force. And that means less profit for them. Those that are already working on low margins, would forced out of business (and the job supply would go down, instantly increasing more demand).
7. There are Republicans that oppose this bill because they believe in the sovereignty of our nation's borders. They see that the government does not enforce the immigration laws already on the books and are very skeptical that they will be enforced if this bill becomes law. These are the people that also tend to believe that open borders present a clear and present danger, for security reasons.
8. There are Republicans and Democrats, alike, that oppose this bill because they are racist and do not like Mexicans. This includes both whites and blacks.
No matter where you see yourself in this issue, there are some things that will become more evident as time goes on.
1. This issue is not going to go away if nothing is done. In fact, it may not go away if anything (to include this bill) is done. The key to this will be enforcement. If the floodgates remain open, this will not solve one damned thing.
2. We cannot continue allow the influx of illegals or it will cause the system to totally crash. Healthcare is already decimated. Think of how much more it will sink, if another 10 million or so are placed on Medicaid in the next five years.
3. If we do nothing, we also run a higher risk of the real undesirables sneaking into this country, which are the ones that wish to harm this nation via terrorism. Somewhere, in the heart of the Middle East, there are classes in Mexican culture and the Mexican dialect of the Spanish language being conducted with one thing in mind: Get into America posing as a Mexican immigrant, and activate a cell. Call me paranoid all day long if you want, you cannot prove this wrong.
These are some things to think about, in all of this. One thing for sure is, no one will get exactly what they want in this. Not me, not you, not Dems, not GOP. Not anyone.