In the recent national argument over immigration reform, President Bush, in concert with the Democrats, attempted to put through a "comprehensive reform" bill, in an attempt to solve all our problems at once. After a national outcry, this bill was defeated. The media score this as a failure for Mr. Bush - he got beat, because he did not get a new immigration law even though he wanted it badly. If Mr. Bush really wants a new immigration law, there's a simple way for him to get one.
We certainly do need a new immigration law, but first, let's review what we don't need. We do not need a billion-dollar boondoggle on the border. Some politicians would like to spend a billion bucks building a fence so that their friends can get rich off government money. But we know exactly what will happen because we've fenced parts of the border before. Every time we tighten the border, the coyotes who guide people across the border raise their prices. That doesn't cut the number of illegals, it just makes the coyotes more money. Why should US taxpayers spend a billion bucks so that coyotes can raise their prices again?
Here's what will work if Mr. Bush is serious about a new immigration law. Many government laws are so silly that the best way to change a law, is to enforce it in full and to the letter. Under the present law, it is a crime to hire an illegal. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley regulations passed a few years ago after the Enron scandal, the CEOs of big public companies are legally required to personally sign off on their annual financial statements. Among the things they have to sign up to is that their company has followed all applicable laws. So the CEO is personally liable for hiring illegals - he has, every year, signed a document swearing that the company is following the law, and hiring illegals is against the law.
How do we get a new law? Arrest the CEO of Tyson's Foods and put him on trial for all the illegals his company has hired. Tyson's CEO is an old pal of the Clintons. When he goes to jail, other CEOs will realize that if being pals with the Clinton's won't help, maybe they'd better stop hiring illegals.
If Tyson's CEO isn't enough, we can jail the Hormel Foods CEO. How many CEOs will have to go to jail before people stop hiring illegals? Without jobs, they'll go home. That's cheaper than rewarding campaign contributors by letting them build a billion-dollar boondoggle on the border.
The last time someone tried to enforce the immigration laws we now have, there were protests, and the head of Immigration was fired. Big-time CEOs like hiring illegals because they're cheap. If Mr. Bush jailed Tyson's CEO, the Senators and Congresscritters who get money from CEOs would yell and scream. And Mr. Bush would say, "If you don't like the law, give me a new law I can sign. But in the meantime, I'm going to enforce the law I have."
Sometimes the simplest way to change a law is to enforce it. Wouldn't it be an interesting experiment for the government to enforce the laws we have? How can they expect us to obey the laws when big-time CEOs don't?