The Corner

Dumb Insolence?

John, Andy:  The thing I wish I had a better handle on is whether the failure to enforce immigration policy is deliberate or systemic.  The usual narrative I hear is that the 1986 prescribed employer sanctions; employer sanctions were applied;  employers howled blue murder;  the feds backed off;  and enforcement has been downplayed since.   Can that really be all there is to it, though?  On such a critical matter–the actual integrity of the nation, national security, the demography our children and grandchildren will inherit–does an administration really buckle after a few phone calls from strawberry farmers?  Or is everything in the management of our immigration system so hopelessly FUBAR that nobody knows how to get it moving?   Why can’t a prospective employee swipe his social secuirty card for verification, the way I can my bank & credit cards at the local drugstore?  If any hole-in-the-wall bank can set up a computer system to do this–as apparently they can–why can’t the mighty federal government?  Because they couldn’t if they tried?  Or because they just darn don’t want to?    Is it incompetence, or dumb insolence?