In the past couple of weeks Hugh Hewitt has been very generous in giving me opportunities on his radio show to correct his misunderstandings regarding President Bush's "guest worker" proposal. I first called on this subject on December 13th, specifically about Hillary Clinton's declaration that she is "you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants."
While discussing with Hugh the risks to the GOP that might arise from Senator Clinton's obvious attempt to triangulate to the right of the President, I took the opportunity to contrast the Bush plan to the superior guest worker program contained within HR 3534, Congressman Tom Tancredo's BE REAL Act. It became clear, though, that Hugh was under the mistaken impression that the President's plan had nothing to do with illegal aliens. I explained that while that is true of the Tancredo guest worker plan, the Bush plan would very generously reward millions of illegal aliens with legalization as guest workers by virtue of the jobs they currently hold illegally.
Hugh remained uncertain, but it appears that President Bush had listened keenly to the exchange because in his December 20th press conference he took a little time to help me set Hugh straight:
"Now let me talk about the immigration issue. First, we want our border patrol agents chasing crooks and thieves and drug runners and terrorists, not good-hearted people who are coming here to work. And therefore, it makes sense to allow the good-hearted people who are coming here to do jobs that Americans won't do a legal way to do so. And providing that legal avenue, it takes the pressure off the border."
President Holds Press Conference
December 20th, 2004 | Dwight DC Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Thanks Mr. President!
When Hugh replayed President Bush's comments later that afternoon, I did what any detached observer of the human condition, conservative talk radio, and the blogosphere would do: I called in to gloat.
Hugh surprised me. When I told him that there was no difference between legalization and regularization, he said that President Bush's guest worker program wasn't a legalization of illegal aliens, because they could "never become a citizen, never." When I assured him that illegal aliens most certainly could become citizens under the Bush plan, Hugh replied again "no it's bracero, they will never become citizens."
President Bush's Citizenship Path for Illegal Aliens
December 21, 2004 | The Tar Pit
Though the President had clearly said he wants to allow illegal aliens "who are coming here to do jobs that Americans won't do a legal
way to do so," Christmas was coming and he couldn't be expected to jump into the fray again for Hugh's sake. Fortunately, Michelle Malkin
and Puddle Pirate
over at Brain Shavings
stepped up and soon noted that Hugh was incorrect, that illegal aliens would indeed be eligible for eventual citizenship under the Bush plan, exactly as I had explained.
Since that's established, let's clarify Hugh's other misunderstanding that there might be some distinction between legalizing and regularizing illegal aliens, and that "legalizing" illegals necessarily entailed some path to citizenship.
Illegal aliens are classified as such because they are on American soil and they are in illegal status. Common sense would suggest that any
change of an illegal alien's status while on American soil must require some form of legalization. Even President Bush spoke of making a "legal way" for illegal aliens to work in America. Of course, common sense and government policy don't always go together like chocolate and peanut butter, so Mr. Hewitt can hardly be faulted for ignoring common sense when coming to his conclusions.
SI 00501.440 Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) (Public Law 99-603) amended and repealed sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The IRCA provides for the legalization of illegal aliens who meet certain requirements and updates the registry date which allows INS to process certain illegal aliens differently.
Aliens granted LTR [lawful temporary residence] status may apply for lawfully admitted permanent resident (LAPR) status within the 1-year period beginning with the nineteenth month that begins after the date LTR status is granted.
The process of adjusting the status of certain aliens to that of lawful temporary residents.
One has to feel for Hugh, to be let down by his own government like that.
"Regularization" and "normalization" of illegal aliens are euphemisms for changing "status," which is a euphemism for legalizing illegal aliens.
1. The President's "guest worker" plan would include illegal aliens.
2. The President's "guest worker" plan puts illegal aliens on a path to citizenship.
3. Any change of an illegal alien's status that doesn't involve deportation is legalization.
The score so far, early in the first quarter:
Pac Ten 21
Big Ten 0
We'll be back after a commercial break.
As we rejoin the action, let's replay Hugh Hewitt's position when I asked him if he would be able to support the President's "guest worker" program if it allowed legalized illegal aliens access to citizenship:"I won't like the program."
The AP is reporting that Man identified as bin Laden says al-Zarqawi is his deputy in Iraq.
al Jazeera has not yet released the tape, in which bin Laden also apparently calls for boycotts of the Iraqi elections next month. A couple of weeks ago, though, disgraced former UN weapons inspector and sex offender Scott Ritter editorial in Al Jazeera described al-Zarqawi as a wanted Jordanian turned alleged "terror" mastermind, claiming also that the "al-Zarqawi myth" was the result of planted computer disks.
Despite the setbacks this Summer of his S 1645, the AGJobs amnesty for a sector of illegal aliens involved in farm work, Ted Kennedy appears open to working with John McCain on a big effort to find another way to legalize illegals:
"Since the election, Senator McCain has spoken with the president and many members of Congress, including Senator Kennedy, trying to forge a consensus on immigration reform in an effort to move forward on this issue during the new Congress," spokeswoman Crystal Benton said.
Kennedy, a longtime proponent of immigration reform said, "Congress needs to fix our broken immigration system as soon as possible, not only for economic and humanitarian reasons, but for urgent national security reasons as well. I'm hopeful we can reach bipartisan agreement early in the new Congress on reforms that are obviously needed."
< -snip- >
"Both Senator McCain and Senator Kennedy think the system is broken and we need to fix it," said a congressional staffer familiar with discussions between the two senators. "I think at this point we're trying to see if we can bridge the gaps between our two offices and other (congressional offices) on this.
"We're still very early in the process," the staffer added.
Migrant reform bill in works
December 25, 2004| Arizona Republic
Since the anonymous staffer is from either McCain's or Kennedy's office, and since McCain's spokeswoman Crystal Benton already spoke on the record for his office, it looks likely that the anonymous staffer was Kennedy's.
This isn't the first time that Kennedy has surfaced as a possible ally in President Bush's endeavor to legalize millions of illegal aliens under the guise of a "guest worker program:"
The initiative, which draws heavily on legislation already introduced in Congress by three Arizona Republicans, Sen. John McCain and Rep. Jeff Flake and Rep. Jim Kolbe, has two central components. It would provide a mechanism by which some U.S. businesses would be able to import an unlimited number of low-wage foreign workers, and it would allow most of the roughly 10 million illegal aliens already in the United States a means by which they (and their extended families) would be able to remain legally -- and permanently -- in the United States.
"It's one of those legacy issues that can help define a presidency," said a Bush campaign adviser familiar with the Bush-McCain meeting.
"It's early in this," the adviser said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, warning of untold pitfalls ahead. "There are people opposed to it on the left and the right."
Still, the adviser indicated McCain would be the "lead carrier" of Bush's proposal next year in Congress.
One congressional avenue being explored by various parties is partnering with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., long an advocate of immigration reform.
Immigration law reform to be an 'important item' in Bush's second term
Nov. 19, 2004 | St. Paul Pioneer Press
President Bush has indicated he may rely on McCain, along with Sen. Edward Kennedy, to lead a bipartisan effort to pass his immigration-reform plan.
McCain, in an interview Thursday, said he was confident Bush would push the immigration issue to the front burner and expected to hear more about it during the president's State of the Union address.
Immigration issue No. 1, McCain says
November 22, 2004 | Arizona Republic
Senator Kennedy, however, isn't the only member of his extended clan to find some appeal in John McCain's illegal alien amnesty:
- Deportation is not an option. We need to find a way to legitimize these individuals and get them on a path toward legal residency status in the United States.
- Let me be clear: I do not support an amnesty program. The last time we tried that in the late 80s it didn't work, and there's little reason to think it would work now.
- I am encouraged by the approach laid out by Senator McCain to provide a clear path for legitimizing undocumented immigrants who currently live their lives in the shadows. McCain's bill S 1461 - The Border Security and Immigration Act of 2003
- A new H-4A visa for immigrants seeking temporary employment with important protections to ensure that immigrant workers are not exploited and that Californians are not displaced by unscrupulous employers;
- A new H-4B visa for undocumented immigrants who entered the country before August 2003, have held a job since that time, and do not have a criminal record.
- The opportunity for holders of these new visas to gain legal permanent residency status.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Solving the Immigration Impasse
- " Senator McCain's plan contains the key principles that should guide any proposal to solve the immigration impasse:
JoinArnold.com campaign website (Google Cache)
Original campaign link (now broken)
McCain's bill would:
* Permit jobs in all sectors of the U.S. economy to be taken by guestworkers.
* Allow illegal aliens claiming residency in the United States prior to August 1, 2003 -- nearly the entire resident population of nine to eleven million illegal aliens -- to become legal guestworkers.
* Allow illegal aliens who become legal guestworkers to renew their guestworker status for three additional years and then become eligible to apply for legal permanent resident status.
* Allow new guestworkers entering the United States to apply for legal permanent resident status after three years.
* Usher in a new source of mass legal immigration without any corresponding reduction or reform of any other existing legal immigration categories.
* Not provide any barriers to continued illegal immigration.
S. 1461 and H.R. 2899, Border Security and Immigration Improvement ActNovember 20, 2003 | FAIR.us
McCain's S 1461
has a companion bill in the House, HR 2899, sponsored by Arizona Congressmen Jim Kolbe and Jeff Flake.
To complete an interesting little circle of Republicans, Flake, along with Idaho Senator Larry Craig and Utah Congressman Chris Cannon, were present and prominently mentioned by President Bush when he launched his effort to legalize millions of illegal aliens under yet another amnesty disguised as a guest worker program.
Cannon and far Left California Democrat Congressman Howard Berman were the proud co-sponsors of
HR 3142, the House companion bill to Ted Kennedy's AgJOBS Amnesty, and Craig was Kennedy's Senate AgJOBS co-sponsor.
With allies like these, it does not appear that President Bush and Ted Kennedy are of altogether unlike minds on the matter of legalizing illegal aliens.