Thursday, June 20, 2013

'Almost Overkill'

That's how Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) described his alternative to Sen. John Cornyn's (R-TX) border security bill, in an attempt to reassure border hawks. The phrase embodies an irony not lost on Mexican-Americans and their Mexican family members, the latter of whom are dying in record numbers in their attempts to cross the border illegally at increasingly dangerous locations.

As of this morning, Corker and Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) announced they were closing in on a deal with the "Gang of Eight" senators (four Democrats, four Republicans) on a bill more moderate than Cornyn's. But nothing is ever simple, and the nut-jobs in the GOP (*cough* Cruz *cough*) want to exact their pound of flesh.

Border wall under construction

The problem is that, as many Texas farmers (including those who are conservative politically) are willing to admit, the arrangement between Texans and Mexicans is advantageous to both. Texans (and other Americans) get their crops picked cheaper; Mexicans make more money than they probably could at home, filling jobs Americans are in general not willing to do themselves. The solution to undocumented migrant workers is somehow to document them and systematize their seasonal appearance in the US, not to build higher border fences and otherwise make their crossing more dangerous.

But I would not bet on a successful outcome from this negotiation. After all, it has considerable Democratic support, and we all know that a Democrat in government is (in the opinion of many GOPers) an illegal non‑alien...

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