Moving in the right direction on immigration...

Rep Smith and Rep King you’re doing the Lord’s work!

Politico has a great article that I think shows that Washington Republicans may be about to get something right. And they’re going to address a serious problem and actually do something that will make the problem less of a problem. In addition, it will establish that criminal behavior is criminal behavior and should be treated as such.

To digress just a tad, I am a great believer in a couple of things. The first is winning by incrementalism. In other words, when attacking a big issue you’re not likely to get a clear win in one felled swoop. You usually can, however, pick off a bunch of low hanging fruit that, if done right will build a solid foundation for moving toward other wins on the issue and you will also build credibility as you move ahead one win at a time. The second thing is directly related to the subject of this post, illegal immigration. I was – and am – opposed to SB1070 here in Arizona. I’ll support it because it’s passed the Legislature, been signed by the Governor and is currently being adjudicated through the Courts now, and I hope Arizona wins. I do believe there was a simpler and much less controversial way to achieve the same result – making life difficult for illegal aliens to they’ll go elsewhere. Don’t go after them directly, go after the people who employ them illegally, go after those who provide them housing, go after those who provide them government benefits. Take away jobs, housing and the “safety net” and you don’t much have to worry about THEM. They’ll go elsewhere. Do it nationally, they might even go home. Or to Canada. Either works for me.

OK, that said, Representative Smith made my day with this…

After weeks of speculation that he would pursue a scorched-earth immigration agenda, Smith detailed his to-do list for the first time in an interview with POLITICO — and it’s an early but important signal that the new House Republican majority plans to attack the issue of immigration through the prism of jobs, rather than red meat for the base.

Smith’s first two hearings will focus on expanding E-Verify, a voluntary electronic system for checking the immigration status of workers that President Barack Obama supports and scrutinizing the administration’s record on worksite enforcement.

“They are what I call 70 percent issues — 70 percent or more of the American people support those efforts,” Smith said. “I think they are popular across the board, and I think they will be appreciated by all American workers regardless of their ethnicity or background or anything else.”

And exactly right you are Rep. Smith. This will be enforcement that works and you’ll also have the opportunity to make sure that the Administration actually enforces new laws in this area, although to be fair, Obama’s Administration is doing more on workplace enforcement than his predecessor, and doing a pretty good job at it.

This also means that the “touchy” stuff like “birthright citizenship” won’t be talked about seriously. And that is fine with me because guess what. On January 5 a delegation from the Arizona Legislature will be in Washington talking about that very subject and they plan to enact legislation here in Arizona this year that will address it. Then the Department of Justice can take us to court again. Bottom line, birthright citizenship will get talked about a whole lot and when these subjects are discussed, the conservative opinion nearly always prevails with the American people. Remember SB1070? All the hyperventilating about it by community activists. Well, about 60% of the American people support it and wish their state would enact something similar. And there are, I think, seven states considering SB1070 type of legislation.

Mr. Smith in Washington has his strategy down pat and his tactics are solid. Remember, we’ve got a 9.8% unemployment rate, unless you count the folks who’ve stopped looking and then it’s about 17%. When asked about birthright citizenship, Smith said this…

“That is later on in this Congress; that is not our initial focus,” Smith said. “We don’t have any specific plans now in the early months to move on these issues. The focus is on creating jobs and protecting jobs.”
Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, which favors tighter restrictions on legal and illegal immigration, said Smith’s focus on E-Verify and worksite enforcement will do as much as anything else to bring order to the system.

“We think there are a lot of issues in the Internet world that people get really excited about, and in many ways, it is a side show,” Beck said, referring specifically to cutting off benefits for illegal immigrants. “It is not as important as one thing, which is taking away the jobs. So if Lamar Smith is going to focus on keeping illegal aliens out of the jobs, that is more important than all the illegal immigration stuff put together.”

From a political standpoint, framing immigration as a jobs issue makes sense, Camarota said.

“Democrats have to essentially argue it is a good idea to leave those 7 million illegal immigrants in those jobs,” Camarota said. “It puts Democrats on the defensive.”

Got that? Good for the country. A positive step getting the unemployed back to work. Bad for Democrats. Sounds like heaven to me.

Give ’em hell Mr. Smith.