Government Speak

This is from the national ID card portion of the Democrat's immigration proposal:

Tough penalties will be put in place for fraud in procurement of a fraud-proof social security card.

Jim Harper has a thorough analysis of the proposal at the link.  My fear is the Republicans and Democrats will one day realize how similar they are on this issue and agree to an authoritarian compromise.

  • Sally

    I rarely praise Victor Hanson, but at the Corner a few days ago he did a good job of putting in true perspective the liberals' charge of "racial profiling" under the Arizona law. The piece also includes the most concise and insightful explanation of Mexico's human export policy that I have seen.
    Deconstructing the Outrage [Victor Davis Hanson]
    I have been trying to collate all the furor over the Arizona law, much of it written by those who do not live in locales that have been transformed by illegal immigration. These writers are more likely to show solidarity from a distance than to visit or live in the areas that have been so radically changed by the phenomenon.

    On the unfortunate matter of "presenting papers": I have done that numerous times this year--boarding airplanes, purchasing things on a credit card, checking into a hotel, showing a doorman an I.D. when locked out, going to the DMV, and, in one case, pulling off a rural road to use my cell phone in a way that alarmed a chance highway patrolman. An I.D. check to allay "reasonable suspicion" or "probable cause" is very American.

    On the matter of racial profiling: No one wishes to harass citizens by race or gender, but, again unfortunately, we already profile constantly. When I had top classics students, I quite bluntly explained to graduating seniors that those who were Mexican American and African American had very good chances of entering Ivy League or other top graduate schools from Fresno, those who were women and Asians so-so chances, and those who were white males with CSUF BAs very little chance, despite straight A's and top GRE scores. The students themselves knew all that better than I--and, except the latter category, had packaged and self-profiled themselves for years in applying for grants, admissions, fellowships, and awards. I can remember being told by a dean in 1989 exactly the gender and racial profile of the person I was to hire before the search had even started, and not even to "waste my time" by interviewing a white male candidate. Again, the modern university works on the principle that faculty, staff, and students are constantly identified by racial and gender status. These were not minor matters, but questions that affected hundreds of lives for many decades to come. (As a postscript I can also remember calling frantically to an Ivy League chair to explain that our top student that he had accepted had just confessed to me that in fact he was an illegal alien, and remember him "being delighted" at the news, as if it were an added bonus.)

    On the matter of equality, fairness, and compassion, it is even more problematic. Literally thousands of highly skilled would-be legal immigrants from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe wait patiently while others cut in front and illegally obtain what others legally wait for--residence in the U.S. Meanwhile, millions of Mexican-American, African-American, and poor white citizens have seen their wages fall because of competition from illegal aliens who will work for far less compensation. It is a bit strange that those of the upper classes are outraged over Arizona without empathy for entry-level U.S. workers or lower-middle-class taxpayers who end up paying the most for illegal immigration. But then, those who express the most moral outrage often are the least sensitive to the moral questions involved (see next).

    On matters of Mexico's outrage: The Mexican government has a deliberate policy of exporting human capital on a win/win/win/win logic: Dissidents leave central Mexico in a safety-valve fashion; Mexico saves on social services; remittances come back as the second largest source of foreign exchange; and a growing expatriate, lobbying community becomes nostalgic and fonder of Mexico the longer it is absent from it. To hide all this, the Mexican government usually plays the racial prejudice card, although most arrivals from Oaxaca will tell you that racism is more perncious in Mexican society than north of the border. This is a government, after all, that cannot provide the security, legal framework, or social services for indigenous peoples in its central interior but has no such problems when it is a question of attracting affluent North Americans to live in second homes along its picturesque coasts.

    There is plenty of cynicism involved--not on the part of the exasperated voters of Arizona, but rather from domestic political, religious, ideological, and ethnic interests that in patronizing fashion seek new dependent constituents; from Mexico that in amoral fashion censures others for the sins it commits; and from a strange nexus between corporate employers and ethnic lobbyists who see their own particular profit and influence enhanced through the ordeal of millions of poor aliens, and the subsidies of the strapped and now to be demonized taxpayer.

    [end of Hanson column]

    The most important point is the first one: liberals across the land are directing the most extreme invective against Arizona for a law that simply enforces immigration law on illegal aliens, a law that is not about race, but about violation of the law. They call the people who passed this necessary, non-racial law white racists and Nazis and threaten to use economic and other warfare to beat them to their knees. .
    At the same time, those same liberals have put in place and enforced throughout the land the systematic discrimination against white men on the basis of their race and their sex.

    So, according to the liberals, race blind immigration laws that are being violated by nonwhite lawbreakers cannot be enforced, because that is racist. But race conscious employment practices that bar qualified whites from jobs and give them to less qualified nonwhites are the essence of virtue and cannot be challenged, because that is racist.

    How can we make sense of the contradiction between these two positions? By understanding that it is not a contradiction, but the expression of a consistent agenda: to raise up nonwhites and bring down whites.

    And this is why conservatives cannot effectively fight back against liberalism unless they identify its racial, anti-white dimension. Only by naming the true nature of liberalism can conservatives put liberals on the defensive and strip them of their claim to moral superiority.

  • James H

    What use is a penalty for fraud when you have a "fraud-proof" card? Is this an admission that there is no such thing as a fraud proof card? Penalties are only a slight deterrent, if any. What would be needed is some way for a victim to clear their name. The problem is if all your conceivably useful biometric info is tied to the card and the database entry associated to it, how could someone's true identity be established? Dental records perhaps?

  • "... a fraud-proof social security card."

    What's this about Social Security? I thought they were pushing for a National ID Card (called "papers" or "documents" in other countries).

    I remember the first SS card I got. It said on the back "this card is not to be used for identification".

    Why are they tying it to SS?

    There's a perfectly good ID system in place now: state-issued driver's licenses. Give them only to citizens - provable citizens. Non-citizens - legal immigrants - get a different license (green would be OK). Illegal immigrants will have to make their own - and risk the consequences.

    James H: good question: "... how could someone’s true identity be established?"

    Just how many times a week to we read of identity theft? There are a number of companies doing boffo business claiming to protect your identity. For the poor slobs whose identity gets stolen, it can run out to a year or so and a few thousand $$ trying to get it straightened out. In the meantime, they're effectively "non-persons".

    "Dental records perhaps?"
    Maybe a snip of DNA.

  • Peter

    Just think of all the money we could save on the census every ten years if we had this ID card. The government would be tracking you so well that they would know exactly how many people are where, and when they are there. The census itself would become moot. Heck the next thing they would require is that you swipe your id card after every transaction so they know who is paying whom how much.