Immigration crackdown: a political squeeze play?

Is Bush using Chertoff to squeeze employers to squeeze Republican Senators?

Is it just possible that Bush hasn’t lost hope of pushing comprehensive immigration reform through the Senate, and has unleashed Chertoff to put pressure on the employers of cheap illegal-immigrant labor so that they will in turn put pressure on their tame Republican Senators?

If that’s the play, I doubt it will work.

In ordinary circumstances the rich, smart greedheads that make up the money half of the Republican coalition can outmaneuver the not-so-rich, not-so smart haters that make up the voting half, because the greedheads know the score and the haters are almost infinitely bamboozleable.

But when the haters are mobilized, as they are in this case, defying them is too dangerous. In politics, money is useful, but votes are essential.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: