Monday, May 03, 2010

E-Verifying A Crappy Op-ed

I had no idea who Bruce Morrison was, and I still don't know who Paul Donnelly is. They both served, in some nebulous capacity, for a US Commission on Immigration Reform in 1994. Of course, they have co-signed an op-ed on immigration for the Washington Post. Next week, Mike Brown will write a post on efforts to clean up the coast of Louisiana.

Let's play.

The substantive debate over immigration is simpler than many might think: If we cannot say no effectively, the meaning of the yes that America has always said to legal immigrants will continue to erode.

If it's so simple, why do we need to begin this op-ed with such a baffling sentence? Is it mean to wonder whether the person who actually wrote this piece for these guys considers English his first language? Right, I know. I shouldn't assume it's a 'he'. Women can butcher the English language just as well as men.

The principal attraction for illegal immigrants is jobs. So preventing unauthorized employment is the linchpin of a pro-American immigration system.

I'm glad I'm about to read a pro-American argument. This does not reek of talking points at all. That said, "linchpin"? Who spells it that way? Someone who doesn't use 'y's, that's who.

But immigration politics are twisted.

So is the fact that we refer to the art of political science in the singular. Alas, it is so.

People who claim to want answers will reject real solution so they can continue to make noise about "the problem."

I kid you not. This appears in the Washington Post. Verbatim. Dudes, proof your op-eds before signing them and handing them to major dailies.

E-Verify, a system for deterring employment of illegal workers, is a voluntary federal program that is rapidly becoming mandatory -- so far in Arizona and Mississippi and for federal contractors -- in which a new hire's work authorization is supposed to be verified electronically.

Holy hell. I'm going to rewrite this, and then respond:

E-Verify is an electronic verification system used to confirm the legal status of immigrant workers. This voluntary federal program is now compulsory for workers in Arizona and Mississippi, as well as for federal contractors.

You know what? Now that this makes sense, I have no problem with it. Moving on...

It began as a unanimous 1994 recommendation of the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. One of us served on that commission, and the other was its communications director.

Wait, communications director? One of the purported authors of this piece was a communications director?

The substance and the politics of immigration grind along at a glacial pace, so we weren't surprised to see the DHS-commissioned Westat report on E-Verify note that it fails to identify illegal workers more than half the time.

This piece hyperlinks to the report. How useful for print readers. Also, the report is more than 300 pages long. If I wrote a post claiming that 60% of illegal immigrants commit acts of arson, I could hyperlink to this report, and pretty much everyone would take my word for it.

That said, any system that catches nearly half of illegal immigrants seems worthwhile to me.

But the reaction from the anti-immigration side of the debate was largely phony politics.

I hate phony politics. I'm glad the author included this. Now I know that, in addition to being pro-America, the authors shun phony politics.

Westat documented that the problem is not legal workers who are denied jobs, a problem that is rare and easily fixed, but illegal workers who are not. The hiring of illegal workers is very common, and E-Verify has to be fixed to prevent it.

So, let's do it.

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies called the Westat report proof that "E-Verify's glass is half-full."

Nonsense. The report shows that E-Verify is a glass so thoroughly cracked that it lets illegal workers through faster than it stops them.

Nothing like following up nonsense with nonsense. Didn't the author(s... I suppose there is a possibility that these two fellows actually got together at Bruce's house and banged this out together) just say that it stopped some illegal immigration? Does E-Verify run a shuttle service about which we should be aware?

What a powerful incentive for impostor fraud this is: Large, organized criminal rings steal the identities of legal workers,

Then why the hell did your committee come up with the idea?

E-Verify does for identity theft what Prohibition did for Al Capone.

I can't imagine whoever wrote this crap knows what a category error is, but E-Verify::Prohibition as Identity Thieves (not theft)::Capone

Fortunately, there is an alternative. It's called NEVA, the New Employee Verification Act. NEVA has two tiers: a mandatory, wholly electronic system that deprives employers of any discretion -- a simple red light/green light that a new hire has cleared or not.

Why not just do the colored-light thingy with E-Verify? Again, why didn't the committee come up with NEVA in the first place? Why are these dudes considered subject matter experts on this issue when they, apparently, lack any measure of foresight?

Solid conservatives such as Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) and some of E-Verify's long-standing critics, including Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), support NEVA because it is a private-sector approach in which free enterprise will compete to protect privacy and security.

This seems to be cut and pasted directly from a word document containing talking points. With what with "free enterprise" be competing? Is there a concurrent communist programme devoted to contending with this issue? Is this system intended to compete with E-Verify? Frankly, it sounds exactly like E-Verify.

Verifying documents without authenticating identity cannot work. Protecting identity from theft has to be the first step before any kind of ID system can work.

These two points are:

a) In the same paragraph
b) Entirely unrelated
c) Stated elsewhere in the piece

In fact, empowering individuals to protect themselves from identity theft makes a national ID card unnecessary.

What? Why? How so? What does this have to do with anything? No explanation. Maybe a computer wrote this op-ed.

Yet restrictionists like Krikorian do not recognize documented proof of E-Verify's catastrophic failure rate in its primary mission as a reason to support the better system already drafted into legislation.

What is a restrictionist? Someone who opposes illegal immigration? Why would a restrictionist support E-Verify if it doesn't work? Why do political communications people add "-ist" to the end of words whenever they are trying to vilify someone? I am meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow. Does that make me a lunchist? Is that a bad thing? I hate this op-ed.

E-Verify's apologists are doubling their bets when they should be throwing in their cards.

This piece has doubled-down on the use of idiotic cliches in lieu of argumentation.

The American public will not support a sensible legalization plan nor keep the front door open while the back door is off the hinges.

The American public cannot make heads or tails of this sentence.

That's why the anti-immigration lobbies are hypocritically insisting on an E-Verify system that does not work.

This is the concluding paragraph, so I want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly. The argument is that those who oppose amnesty (hence anti-immigration) are supporting E-Verify BECAUSE it does not work?

This is a hysterical claim. Literally, this piece is claiming that those who support E-Verify do so ONLY because it is doomed to fail, thereby creating a political climate hostile to amnesty. If you are going to make that charge, go ahead, crazy-cakes.

Just proofread next time.


Blogger Ryan said...

One correction to your commentary:
You called the authors "political communications people". I think the proper term is "political communicationists".

7:47 AM  

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