House lawmakers reach tentative deal to revamp immigration … Prospects for passage of a major immigration bill improved on Thursday when a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives declared they had reached a tentative deal, resolving disputes that had threatened to torpedo negotiations. The breakthrough came at the end of a two-hour private meeting of seven Republican and Democratic negotiators. The eighth negotiator in this so-called House Gang of Eight was unavailable after undergoing surgery on Wednesday. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: Welcome this rationalization of a difficult problem. Congress shall decide.
Free-Market Analysis: In the US legislative system, elected officials decide who comes and goes throughout the country. It didn't used to be this way, though. The passport and visa system is only a post-War one. It seems strange but travel was a lot freer a century ago.
If you wanted to go somewhere, you went. Borders were mostly undefended. Official papers were restricted, usually to government officials and others working in a quasi-official capacity. The idea of immigration as an "issue" preoccupying a democratic state was not one that had a great deal of currency in the past. But today it is a big deal.
In fact, immigration is a kind of phony problem that would be resolved if government would simply remove itself from the situation. Let people arrive in a country if they can find work. If they cannot find work, they shall soon go home … absent government programs to help them survive in a foreign country.
Like so many other issues, if immigration was seen as the extension of the private contract, there would be a lot less quarreling over it. Plenty of ancient societies seem to have had immigrants without an immigrant "problem." But that would not suit those who seek to use immigration in the service of amalgamating Mexico, the US and Canada.
We've run numerous articles recently drawing attention to the formation of a North American Union – an apparently deeply held political plan and one that is being implemented surreptitiously. Already there is full-scale paramilitary cooperation between the three nations and no doubt numerous secret agreements drawing them closer together. Just the other day we pointed out commentary in The Economist magazine that raised the idea of a common market.
The idea was that Mexican reforms properly implemented by the new government would lead to conditions that could create such a market, like the European common market. Of course, we've all seen what that has turned into.
In fact, it's probably a kind of directed history. Piece by piece, credibility is assembled and treaties are signed. The result seems inevitable when, in fact, it was wholly managed. This political effort is part of the larger management process, in our view. Here's more:
The final sticking point, according to congressional sources, was over whether illegal immigrants now in the United States who gain legal status under the bill could participate in the new healthcare law known as "Obamacare," which Republicans want to repeal. None of the negotiators would comment on how the matter was resolved. Nor would they provide other details of the deal.
… "There are going to be a lot of differences in a lot of areas" between the House and Senate bills, said Republican Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, one of the House negotiators.
The tentative deal, he added, is "the first step of a difficult process. But it's a very important step." Diaz-Balart would not say whether the deal includes an agreement to leave some difficult issues unresolved for now. Besides healthcare questions, the bipartisan group had been squabbling over the future flow of foreigners streaming into the United States for temporary workers.
"We have essentially come to an agreement on all the major points," Democratic Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky told reporters after closed-door meeting broke up. He added that some "loose ends" still had to be worked out. The bipartisan group has been attempting to introduce an immigration bill for years. But disputes over border security, work visa numbers and healthcare provisions had grown to the point that there were fears some lawmakers might be on the verge of dropping out of the long negotiations.
It all sounds very reasonable but, in our humble view, there is nothing very reasonable about it. We are not big fans of the European Union, noting that the currency union has degenerated into 50 percent unemployment among youth and a generalized malaise that might be characterized as a depression.
The US is not in much better shape but we don't see how an immigration bill is going to solve the big problems that the US faces – which mostly have to do with monetary, fiscal and regulatory issues. Central banking policy is irresponsible and debasing, taxes are surely too high by most modern measures and regulation continues to pour out of Washington in a virtual deluge.
Rationalizing immigration will do nothing to resolve these issues. It is a faux solution to problems that are rarely stated within the context of the political conversation let alone resolved.
The Reuters article treats the sudden congressional compromise like a breakthrough. We are inclined to look at it more like a threat than victory.