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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill


Et Tu, Dubya?

At last, an issue to unify the Right---our Republican President's looming sellout on immigration.

Rich Lowry:

The U.S. has now constructed .286 percent of the 700 miles of fencing on the southern border provided for in 2006’s Secure Fence Act. That is sufficient for a bipartisan group of senators to want to effectively declare this brief national experiment with immigration enforcement effectively over.

Enough with the harsh exclusionary measures! Two miles of fencing out of 700 passed by Congress on a border stretching 1,952 miles is a milestone that should mark our departure to the next phase of immigration policy — a sweeping amnesty of illegals and an increase in legal immigration. Thus, another confirmation of the iron rule of the nation’s immigration politics: No matter how discontented the public is with our broken immigration system, the political elite’s answer is always higher levels of immigration.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, (R., Calif.), noted at the second Republican presidential debate that the Department of Homeland Security has $1 billion for the fence, but “they want to drag their feet and hook this up with amnesty.” Give him points for clairvoyance. The sweetener luring some conservative Republicans into the Senate deal is that it would have enforcement benchmarks that would have to be met in theory before other provisions kick in.

The benchmarks include 370 miles of fencing on the border (half what was in the Secure Fence Act) and the hiring of thousands more border agents. If these things happen, however, it still might be that more illegals come here, pulled by the allure of amnesty. The only meaningful benchmarks would be reductions in the number of border crossings and the size of the illegal population already here.

The deal also provides for an electronic system to verify the legal status of employees at the workplace. This is important. But as a writer on the PowerLine points out, government is good at handing out benefits like amnesty, but bad at creating and competently running complex systems. Maybe when the FBI finally has up-to-date computers we can believe promises of a new workplace-enforcement system to accompany an amnesty.

And it is an amnesty, no matter what supporters call it. Sen. John McCain, a backer of the deal, unleashed this howler at the GOP presidential debate: “I have never supported amnesty and never would.” But the 12 million illegals here before January would get probationary legal status immediately when the bill passes. Effectively, that’s amnesty. (It’s unclear why illegals arriving here after January would be excluded so coldheartedly. What does McCain want to do, deport them all?)

Indeed, the real mystery for me is why McCain, who so famously resisted Ho Chi Minh's amnesty offer as dishonorable while a guest at the Hanoi Hilton, is so enamored of it now. Perhaps Charles Keating has switched to peso-filled suitcases?

Brian Darling:

“Sellout.” It may be harsh, but it’s the most accurate and succinct way to sum up how conservatives feel right now about President Bush and Senate Republicans, who have cut a deal that would grant amnesty to the estimated 12 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. — not to mention the parents, spouses, and children of these illegals.

Title VI of a draft copy of the bill breaks down amnesty visas into three categories:

Z-1 — Illegal aliens present and working in the United States up to Jan. 1, 2007.
Z-2 — Parents and spouses of illegal aliens qualifying under the Z-1 category.
Z-3 — Children of illegal aliens qualifying under the Z-1 category.

These “Z Visa” holders can stay in the “Z” status indefinitely, which means they never have to pursue “a pathway to citizenship.” They also would be able to get Social Security numbers and benefit from some welfare programs. Shockingly, there is no cap on the numbers of amnesty recipients in the draft language. The only thing the Z Visa holder can’t do is vote — until, that is, a liberal judge declares this limitation unconstitutional or until a liberal president can railroad through a “technical corrections” bill.

Notwithstanding all you are going to hear to the contrary from President Bush, Sen. John McCain, and their new ideological partner, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Title VI of this bill is amnesty, plain and simple. According to an op-ed by former attorney general Ed Meese that appeared last year in the New York Times discussing the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, “the difference is that President Reagan called this what it was: amnesty. Indeed, look up the term ‘amnesty’ in Black’s Law Dictionary, and you’ll find it says, ‘the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provided amnesty for undocumented aliens already in the country.’” It was amnesty then, and it’s amnesty now.

But wait---how can it possibly be amnesty if they have to pay a $5000 fine (and never mind the back social security and taxes they owe on their undeclared income, Uncle Sam)? Given that these newly-minted legal aliens will now be guaranteed minimum wage, they'll accrue that money in well under a year (presuming they start paying taxes too). Of course, they won't have to pay cash---you can bet Uncle Sam will take credit. We're all citizens now, right, ese?

A good indication of this folly is that if there are between 12 and 30 million illegals in this country right now, the U.S. Treasury should take in between $60 billion and $150 billion in fines. Here come our tax rebate checks, right?

One way we'll know what a farce this is is by counting the fee revenue. If it's less than $60 billion, this policy's a sham. Anyone want to bet the numbers will exceed $60 billion? Didn't think so.

James R. Edwards:

The usual pro-amnesty suspects joined the Bush officials, such as Fla. Sen. Mel Martinez, the unlikely head of the Republican National Committee (a trial lawyer as well as advocate of open borders). But several usually law-and-order senators joined in, including Arizona’s good senator, Jon Kyl.

The Republican contingent reworked their plan with Democrat amnesty leaders such as Sen. Ted Kennedy. Of course, the Left didn’t go along with the good parts of the GOP plan and only made the bad parts worse, or will change things back later.

While the GOP started with many desirable enforcement measures, they got gutted. The deal suffers the fatal flaw of legalizing virtually all current illegal aliens.

On the plus side, from what we know about the deal, it would eventually eliminate some chain-migration visas. These result in immigration by extended relatives without regard to one’s skills, ability, or education.

But rather than reducing overall immigration levels, the Senate plan would reallocate these visas to other categories, while increasing others. That defeats the purpose, because America’s immigration problem is twofold. While quality of the immigrant pool should be raised, the quantity of overall immigration should be significantly cut.

Virtually every opinion poll for the past four decades shows overwhelming public support for cutting immigration. Usually, around half the respondents favor reduction.

Those ignorant of present immigration levels may say they favor keeping them the same (but that changes when pollsters inform respondents that immigration today is at one million legal immigrants annually, which is four times the traditional average).

But in no poll does a plurality or majority ever support keeping current levels, much less increasing immigration. The latter option usually polls around ten percent or less.

Yes, but they don't care what Americans think. The Democrats know how many new votes for welfare benefits 12-30 million illegal alien voters represent. It means Democrat political dominance into the next generation. Republicans being idiots, they're for it chiefly so nobody can hurt their feelings by calling them bigots.
Dems get unmatcherd political power, Republicans get to feel good about themselves---everybody wins. Except Americans. But who cares about them, hombre?

George J. Borjas:

Although the details of the immigration deal are sketchy, it seems to contain a number of key provisions:

Amnesty for 12 million illegal immigrants.

A guest-worker program that will admit 400,000 workers each year.

Vague promises of border enforcement sometime in the future.

A proposed change in the legal immigration system, away from the family preferences that now dominate the system and towards a point system that rewards skills.

Any “reform” that gives amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants without taking care of the underlying illegal -immigration problem is a lemon. After all, what guarantees that the current batch of 12 million illegal immigrants will not be replaced by another 12 million in just a few years? What guarantees that guest workers will not stay illegally in the United States after their visa expires? What guarantees that border enforcement will be taken seriously by the Bush administration in the next two years or by the Democratic administration after that?

Is there any indication the Bush administration would do any differently than Hillary Clinton in immigration enforcement? None that I can see.

Jim Boulet Jr:

What might the latest Kennedy-McCain amnesty bill cost the United States? Some hints may be found in a 2005 U.S. Department of Labor report, “Findings from the National Agricultural Workers Survey 2001-2002.”

At the time this survey was taken, 53 percent of America’s farm workers “lacked authorization to work in the United States.” In plain English, they were illegal aliens.

These “crop workers” also readily admitted they lacked English skills. The majority (81 percent) reported that Spanish was their native language. Forty-four percent reported that they could not speak English “at all,” while 53 percent said that they could not read English “at all.”

Illegal aliens were well aware that they were not eligible for unemployment-insurance (UI) benefits: “Work authorized respondents were much more likely than those not authorized to report that they would receive UI benefits should they lose their job (76 percent vs. 4 percent, respectively).”

Because of their linguistic difficulties, once these illegal-alien farm workers receive amnesty, unemployment insurance rates will soar skyward, thanks to the Department of Labor’s 2003 Executive Order 13166 regulations.

You might suspect that once the federal government gets involved, a clerk making his best guess as to the language the person is speaking and asking a coworker to interpret would be unacceptable. You would be correct.

But this is just the beginning of a tidal wave of backlash. Sure, conservatives will be the whipping boys for it, but there is an almost universal revulsion outside of the political class to cheapening American citizenship by allowing simply anyone willing to break the law and cross a river to be a citizen. The American people will not stand for becoming Northern Mexico, and these repeated displays of violence and arrogance on the part of those breaking our laws to live and work in our country will not be washed away by the political cowardice of our elected leaders.



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