Immigration is the topic of
today's link to Mark Kleiman
Kleiman is unenthusiastic about immigration reform efforts in congress except that he wants to make sure that Republicans get the blame they deserve. Far from being a sign that he is an advocate not a wonk, this shows he is such an uber-wonk that he really cares about the details of an unlikely but possible bill (which details will determine the fate of millions of people).
I think we should have a national ID card. Most US (and UK) citizens are opposed on civil liberties grounds. Given how few objected to the indefinite detention without trial of José Padilla (and waterboarding and warrantless wiretaps (how relatively quaint) etc etc etc) I have no patience with my fellow citizens on this point.
The reason I support national ID is principally that I think that voter registration should be automatic and mandatory.
Also, while I am not convinced that voter fraud is a significant problem, I do think that the Republican voter fraud fraud is and that it is politically costly to fight voter ID laws. I think mandatory universal ID is one way to stop their important dangerous campaign to re-institute a poll tax by another name.
Also I think that most US citizens who want to keep their identity private are runaway dads and that it is very important to nail them.
Also I live in Italy, so I find mandatory ID non threatening. This is partly Italy specific. I lost my Italian green card equivalent and haven't bothered to pick up the replacement because nobody ever bothers me. I am pretty sure I was an un documented alien for a year, but nobody was rude enough to make it clear to me whether I was or was not.
Back to the linked post, I generally agree with Kleiman but do add my thoughs on on one point
"It seems to me that the anti-immigration forces have a legitimate point that a normalization program without effective controls on continued inflows is asking for a repeat of Simpson-Mazzoli."
I add that I do indeed ask for a repeat of Simpson-Mazzoli except ten times bigger (and yes that does mean an amnesty for roughly 20 million illegal immigrants who haven't immigrated illegally yet). I am, in fact, absolutely opposed to exclusive citizenship as a birth right as I am opposed on principle to all birth rights.
Does make it ironic that, above, I find common ground with Tom Tancredo no ?