"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Monday, June 26, 2006

Editorial: The shotgun solution

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

There is a disturbing thread in this growing trend of feverishly rooting out illegal immigrants in our midst. That thread would be, "We don't care how many non-immigrants we take down in the process (as long as we're not likely to be one of them)."

The latest case involves regulations aimed at thwarting illegal immigrants among those applying for Medicaid, BadgerCare and SeniorCare. Applicants, starting July 1, will have to prove U.S. citizenship to get these services. Never mind that illegal immigrants are already mostly barred from the services and that there's not much evidence that they are trying to scam their way into them.
"Never mind that illegal immigrants are already mostly barred from the services...." Never mind that illegal aliens are already barred from entering the country...

Here is some more:

Before that, there was RealID, which aims to prevent illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses. After the feds finish with the regulations, Wisconsinites will have to show proof of legal residency before they can get driver's licenses.

God forbid!!! Driving is a privilege, not a right. Granted the DMV in most, if not every state is pretty nightmarish and this won't improve things, but give me a break.

Then there's the continuing effort to get voters to show photo IDs; though, again, the instances of voter fraud don't speak to widespread abuses but will affect low-income folks without photo IDs.

It has never struck me as wise to not insist on ID at the polls, and now that photo IDs are prevalent; shouldn't we require their use?

What is preventing "low-income folks" from getting photo IDs? Might this service be improved upon if there is some difficulty other than a ludicrous excuse like "low-income?" What on earth does that have to do with an ID?

These solutions tackle things that are problems mostly just in the minds of the beholders. Moreover, to the extent there are abusers, these solutions are like using a shotgun to battle a gnat.

"Problems mostly just in the minds of the beholders." And 12 million illegal immigrants is just an estimate, why should we believe any of it? What about those estimated 12 million gnats?

Many of those wanting to apply for or renew Medicaid, BadgerCare and SeniorCare will have to show a passport, birth certificate or other documents. The requirements were detailed in an article last week in the Journal Sentinel by Guy Boulton.

The problem: There will be eligible people, born here, who will have difficulty complying. Among these will be low-income folks who have experienced much transiency and family upheaval, those in nursing homes or those who have mental illnesses or disabilities. In other words, the target is illegal immigrants, but, since they seem to be eschewing these services anyway ("look at me, I'm here without documents!"), the folks who get hit are those who are already enrolled and those who are new applicants.

Are these "low-income," deranged and cripled transcience going to be left hanging? Will they just walk away with their heads down and give up? Or will kinks be worked out of the system?

The state says that it will use existing records to verify citizenship for those already enrolled in Medicaid. But even here, they will have to show photo IDs. The state must similarly work to verify citizenship for those in BadgerCare and SeniorCare.

If, as predicted, the new regulations result in eligible people in need being dropped or blocked from the programs, Congress should have the backbone to revisit the legislation that created the requirement in the first place. And it should avoid future legislation that fixes problems that don't really exist, bills that aim at one group but do collateral damage to others.

Predictions and fears. What if everytime the government tried to fix or do something, all sorts of people came out of the woodwork and basically thwarted any effort with their concerns about possible abuses or the creation of different problems? Although, I suppose you could say nothing like this could ever happen.

What if prior to reaching the estimated 12 million mark for illegals in the country our politicians treated it as a problem that "did exist," rather than saying it doesn't "really exist" like the editorial board of this paper?

I get tired of us not doing something about anything when people get in a tizzy because of what might happen. These days the might happens tend to be fiction that people live like fact in their non-fiction lives.

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.**

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