Monday, May 15, 2006

Bush's speech on immigration..

I just got through listening to President Bush's long anticipated speech on immigration. For those of you who want to read a transcript it's here.

But why bother? It's just more of the same . Though obviously, they're starting to get it in Washington..just a little bit. At least to the point of seeing that most of their fellow Americans see this situation as a problem.

After admitting (he's just noticed after being in office 5 years?!?!) that our southern border is a sieve, the President's immediate solution is to station 6,000 National Guard troops on a 2,000 mile plus border..but without any enforcement power. In other words, the National Guard will be telling the local Border Patrol officers exactly how many illegal aliens evaded them the night before.

Brilliant. That'll really solve the problem.

Just for reference, the ICE estimate is that between 6,000 and 6,500 illegal aliens successfully cross over in Arizona alone every night.

There was a lot of nonspecific and vague language about hiring more border patrol agents and increased enforcement of the border. I'll believe it when I see it.

The President also made a point of saying that he was not going to militarize the border...might tick off Mexico `our neighbor and our friend' in Bush's words.

He also, miraculously, finally acknowledged that the ridiculous policy of `catch and release', the policy of expecting illegal aliens to show up in court for immigration violations is du-umb..and then once again touts his guest worker program and expects these very same people to passively show up to be deported when their guest worker status runs out!

Whom does he think he's kidding?

The president has finally dropped the offensive line about `jobs Americans won't do' but changed it to `finding willing workers and willing workers for jobs Americans are not doing.' In other words, he's willing to continue to allow employers to undercut American workers and hire people willing to accept far less in pay and benefits without a qualm.

And not one word about penalizing employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens to improve the bottom line...which means that ain't going to happen. Too bad, because meaningful penalties and enforcement on that little issue really would cut down the flow of illegal aliens by making it a liability to hire them. And make it far more difficult for the ones already here to stay here.

Hit employers with a $250,000 fine for each occurence and mandatory jail time for a third offence and the giant sucking sound you hear might just be the flow of illegal aliens heading southwards.

Then there's this:

"Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant — and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree. It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation. That middle ground recognizes that there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently and someone who has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record. I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law … to pay their taxes … to learn English … and to work in a job for a number of years. People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship. But approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law. What I have just described is not amnesty: It is a way for those who have broken the law to pay their debt to society and demonstrate the character that makes a good citizen."

Fine sentiments...but just how is the President planning on implementing this? Who's going to determine how long someone's been here, given the problem with fraudulent documentation that already exists? And what about that all-important word, assimilation? Is he going to sponsor legislation mandating English as the official language of the United States? Is he going to mandate that there will no longer be ballots and government documents in a dozen languages, mostly Spanish? What about the people who don't meet the qualifications he outlined? Are they going to be deported? When? How?

What about employers who've broken the law? Are they going to pay a `debt to society'?

How about prohibiting illegal aliens from sending $20 billion dollars a year out of the country? Or even, maybe, taxing it at least?

Nuthin' but us crickets chirping here.

What about the policy of `anchor babies', children of illegal immigrants who were born here, sometimes moments after crossing the border and thus become `anchors for the rest of the family to have legal status...and to be entitled to all those benefits?

What about family unification policy for those 11-12 million people who, since we can't deport them will now magically will have amnesty? Are they going to be allowed to bring in millions more? What about that impact on schools, housing, traffic, medical care and social security?

El Presidente habla nada. Just more crickets.

As I said..a step in the right direction as far as at least acknowledging there's a problem, but really nothing but platitudes so far, and no concrete proposals to solve the problem. And in terms of President Bush's record on this issue so far, let's just say I have my doubts. My gut feeling is that this is merely a cover for widespread amnesty, and business as usual.

And that's sad, because President Bush forfeited a real opportunity to turn his approval numbers northwards again. I'm not sure if he'll get another one.


Big AL said...

I can think of only 2 reason why bush would put forth such a toothless, pointless plan. Either he thinks I'm, and others in the border states, are idiots. Or he is.
Viva la Pared

Dan Zaremba said...

So as long as they are illegal they are willing to do the jobs noone else wants.
Pretty silly argument.