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Bush Plays More Word Games With Immigration

James R. Edwards, Jr.
Human Events
Friday, February 9, 2007  

In his next to last State of the Union Address, President Bush once more called for the irresponsible, self-destructive immigration policy of mass amnesty.

The President unfortunately showed he has learned nothing from the bitter debate that has churned throughout the nation for the past few years. The "decider in chief" has decided upon the wrong immigration stance, once more.

Damaged Credibility

Even worse, he continued to strain credulity -- and stretch thinner his credibility. In the bad old days, President Bill Clinton visited upon himself a credibility crisis by blatant, arrogant abuse of language, even fudging on the meaning of "is."

Now the current President won't shoot straight on how he would deal with illegal aliens. All President Bush said was that "we need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country -- without animosity and without amnesty." He then again called for "comprehensive immigration reform" -- a euphemism he has repeatedly used for mass amnesty of every last illegal alien.

To conservatives who thought they were getting someone who wouldn't play word games with the American people, President Bush has been a disappointment when immigration is the subject. He just will not plainly admit that to legalize and give eventual U.S. citizenship to at least 12 million law-breaking foreigners now among us is pure and simple amnesty.

'Chain Migration'

The Bush amnesty plan would supposedly "take pressure off the border" by "establish[ing] a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis."

But this is only a half-truth. He failed to mention that the "temporary" work program he has in mind would not be temporary at all. Every illegal alien already here will get a "temporary" visa.

Those same illegal aliens are then rewarded with an eventual green card and later citizenship. All would be allowed to sponsor their extended family members in lengthy "chain migration."
There's no reason to think those chain migrants would act any differently from the third of current legal immigrants who sneak into America illegally and live here unlawfully until their green card number comes up.

While "they won't have to try to sneak in," most certainly will. The only way to process all those illegal aliens and their distant relatives in a lawful and orderly way is with visa quotas and reasonable screening procedures. The only alternative is to open the borders to all comers -- hardly a law-and-order proposition.

To have heard President Bush, you'd think we have no temporary work visas. But we have about 10 types already. They work out with different degrees of success, and each has its share of problems and unintended consequences.

For example, H2As are for foreign agricultural workers. Yet, agriculture is the occupational sector employing the most illegal aliens. H1Bs allow in skilled workers who regularly displace skilled Americans in fields such as high-tech.

The President also fibbed about his administration's commitment to enforcing immigration laws faithfully. He said: "To secure our border, we are doubling the size of the Border Patrol and funding new infrastructure and technology."

Yet this administration is trying to weasel out of building a border fence, which Congress plainly called for. President Bush favors a "virtual fence," which really means the illegals sneak across open land, some expensive technology detects them, and Border Patrol agents have to try to catch them inside our country before they disappear.

"We will enforce our immigration laws at the worksite and give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers." Really? When? We already have employer sanctions laws that President Bush has been lax in enforcing.

This administration has steadily turned a blind eye toward the jobs magnet. Only a handful of companies have received sanctions. In the big-headline raids of the past year, the public wasn’t told that most of the illegal aliens arrested were released within a few hours.

This administration even pared back sending employers "no-match" letters when it became embarrassing to have the public learn that -- as HUMAN EVENTS has often pointed out -- hundreds of thousands of aliens are working under fake or stolen Social Security numbers. Tens of thousands even use the obviously bogus Social Security number of 000-00-0000. But Bush does nothing.

Congress made a now-10-year-old electronic employment verification program available to employers nationwide nearly four years ago, but participation remains voluntary.

Mr. President, please quit the word games. Start doing your duty by starting finally to enforce the immigration laws already on the books.

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