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Bush’s Coming Amnesty Plan
By William F. Jasper

Source: The New American, January 12, 2004

The Bush administration’s plan to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens would prove to be an even bigger disaster than previous amnesties.


Get ready for a battle royale to save our borders. The Bush administration and pro-immigration invasion Democrats and Republicans in Congress are planning a big move this year to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens now residing in the United States. President Bush and his counterpart in Mexico, President Vicente Fox, were forced to put this scheme on hold in 2001, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Now the plan is back, along with a multitude of connected initiatives to deluge the U.S. with waves of legal immigrants, “refugees,” “temporary workers” and your standard variety of illegal alien border jumpers.

Republicans and conservatives maintained a continuous cannonade against President Clinton for his blatant disregard of our borders and his efforts to swell the Democrat Party’s voting ranks by giving citizenship to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. Continuing these policies, they warned, would lead to national suicide. Many of those voices, however, have been strangely mute as President Bush has continued, and in some cases expanded, Clinton’s suicidal immigration policies. Some have actually switched from jeering to cheering, apparently convinced that any policy, no matter how bankrupt, destructive or unconstitutional, suddenly becomes beneficial when backed by Republican Party leadership.

The Bush administration sent some important signals on this front in December. First, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge sent up a flare at a December 9 town hall-style meeting at Miami Dade College. A Copley News Service report of the event on December 11 made the following observation:

In the strongest sign to date that the Bush administration is considering a major immigration initiative next year, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has called for “some kind of legal status” for the estimated 8 million to 12 million immigrants living illegally in the United States.

Ridge, who oversees the nation’s borders, also said that such an unprecedented legalization program should be coupled with a decision about “what our immigration policy is,” followed by a firm commitment to enforce it.

What does the Bush legalization process mean? “I’m not saying make them citizens, because they violated the law to get here,” Ridge said at the Miami event. “You determine how you can legalize their presence. Then, as a country, you make a decision that from this day forward … this is the process of entry, and if you violate that process of entry we have the resources to cope with it.”

Amnesty Disaster Replay

Legalize their presence but never allow them to become citizens? Does this mean that they would become permanent legal aliens? Mr. Ridge knows that is an absurd notion; once the millions of illegals are legalized, the political pressure will build inexorably to grant them full citizenship.

And what of Secretary Ridge’s talk about getting tough “from this day forward” — meaning after the legalization? “We’ve heard that one before,” says Karl Nelson, a retired investigator for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). “Look, that’s what the immigration ‘reformers’ promised with the 1986 IRCA [Immigration Reform and Control Act] amnesty,” Nelson told THE NEW AMERICAN. “But what really happened? Most of INS resources were shifted over to processing nearly three million aliens for amnesty. Did we get the promised enforcement increases? No. Did that amnesty satisfy the amnesty advocates? No. They immediately pushed for widening the amnesty and granting innumerable exceptions. And the [Reagan-Bush] administration caved in. Did we get control of our borders as promised? No. As everyone should know by now, our borders continued to be overrun — and still are being overrun. Show me one reason why we should trust in the new promises when the record shows that all similar promises in the past have been broken.”

The new Bush amnesty would be far worse than previous amnesties, says Nelson, who served 25 years in the Border Patrol and INS. “The paperwork alone will be a killer,” he notes. “The IRCA amnesty program ate up much of the INS budget and tied up an extraordinary percentage of INS personnel. How will they process several times that number of applicants? The reality is that tightening budgets together with personnel overload and political pressure to speed the process will result in rubberstamping not only millions of current illegal residents, but millions more who will come to take advantage of the opportunity. Besides all of the usual economic and social problems this will cause an incredible security problem. Homeland security? This is absolutely ludicrous.”

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), a leading congressional champion of immigration control, was likewise appalled. “I can think of few things that could be more dangerous for homeland security than granting amnesty to 8 to 12 million illegal aliens,” said Rep. Tancredo, in response to Secretary Ridge’s remarks. “Perhaps the administration ought to dedicate more energy to enforcing our existing immigration laws and less on finding ways to allow millions to skirt them.”

White House Spin Cycle

At a December 11 press briefing, White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked if Secretary Ridge’s statements were signaling a new amnesty policy. Mr. McClellan said “no,” but acknowledged “there are some that had interpreted this as some broad amnesty discussion, and that’s not at all that he was suggesting.” However, McClellan then failed to offer anything that would dispel the alleged misinterpretation. In a muddled and evasive explanation, he stated that Ridge has been “looking at the issue of the large number of illegal immigrants we do have in the country, and looking at those that could be threats and those that are here for other reasons. And so he’s just talking about the realities that we are facing now.”

A few days later, at a December 15 press conference, President Bush told reporters that he “is firmly against blanket amnesty.” This is more of the Clintonian rhetorical slithering we’ve come to expect on this issue. Note the president didn’t say “no amnesty,” just no “blanket amnesty.” Bush’s upcoming selective amnesty (or amnesties) is apparently intended to look conservative compared to one that unreservedly proclaims amnesty for all illegal aliens regardless of nationality or circumstances.

At the same press conference, President Bush made another important statement. He declared: “I have constantly said that we need to have an immigration policy that helps match any willing employer with any willing employee.” The president has indeed repeatedly expressed this policy position and done everything possible to implement it. What is extraordinary is that this radical position has gone largely unexamined and uncontested by conservative and liberal-left politicos and commentators alike. There are literally hundreds of millions of “willing employees” throughout the world who would gladly come here to work for a fraction of what American employees are paid. If President Bush’s immigration policy is being framed, as he himself has repeatedly said, to “match any willing employer with any willing employee,” then we are in for a continuous immigration deluge — and a huge rise in layoffs of American citizens, as their jobs are taken by willing foreign employees.

Amnesty by Any Other Name

Back in September 2001, THE NEW AMERICAN observed regarding the Bush-Fox amnesty threat: “The Bush administration has been torturing the English language in an effort to craft a new amnesty for millions of illegal aliens without saying the dread word: ‘amnesty.’ Some newly devised euphemisms include ‘regularization,’ ‘legalization,’ ‘permanent status,’ and ‘earned adjustment.’ President Bush has repeatedly dodged the amnesty issue, refusing to use the term. Still, when recently pressed on the issue, he insisted that his soon-to-be-revealed immigration policy vis-à-vis Mexico will not include a ‘blanket amnesty.’”

We noted that “whatever Clintonesque term is finally adopted as the cover for the Bush policy, a large amnesty is certain to be the central component of his immigration package.” And it is coming, regardless of the intentionally conflicting signals being sent by the White House. As the Copley News Service reported on December 11, 2003, “the administration is considering a major election-year immigration initiative.” The report continued:
In September, Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, said he had received White House assurances that if a bill he drafted to legalize between 500,000 and 800,000 farm workers reached the president’s desk, Bush would sign it....

And this week, Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said in an interview that Karl Rove, Bush’s chief political strategist, promised a presidential push to deliver on immigration reforms sought by Mexican President Vicente Fox and advocates for undocumented workers.

The Rove-Bush strategy aims at keeping the Republican core distracted with other matters until the administration has put together a sufficiently impressive coalition of business leaders and radical Hispanic militants as to appear unstoppable. The Bush White House then intends to ram its amnesty plan through Congress before opponents can rally to stop it.



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