The Tar Pit

Monday, February 14, 2005

Cornyn Amnesty finds a friend in Frist

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R - Tenn) offered support, last week, for the Cornyn Amnesty, a so-called "guest worker" program which would legalize millions of illegal aliens.

From Frist's interview in the Washington Times:

Q: Have you thought through what principles you would support in a guest worker program? Do the folks now here illegally have to return home before applying?

A: I have not gotten to that specifics. And probably, I support [Texas Republican] Senator [John] Cornyn's approach of doing a more comprehensive approach, not what the House just did, but rather than try to piecemeal immigration issues. There are so many different amendments and bills from guest worker, from what the House did — though I don't know exactly what they did — to [Idaho Republican] Senator Larry Craig's bill, which focuses on agriculture. Since we have so many things on the agenda right now with what I mentioned, plus energy and transportation, which are sitting out there just waiting for committee work, I think that we do have time to address immigration in a more comprehensive way. It doesn't mean that we won't necessarily address what the House has done. That'll be what my bias is.

More on Cornyn here.

It's worth noting that the other illegal alien "reform" on Frist's table is Craig's AgJOBS bill, which Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney called a "stealth amnesty" in a column last year.

Elsewhere in the Washington Times interview, Frist is lukewarm about Senate passage of Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner's REAL ID Act:

Q: The House today passed the [Rep. F. James] Sensenbrenner [Wisconsin Republican] bill that has those border security initiatives and they added one other provision about expediting deportation for those ordered deportable. Do you support that and when will the Senate take it up?

A: I haven't seen that provision just because I've been doing this so I don't know what was added. The other provisions I generally support, but even those I haven't gone through and dissected. I guess the administration came out and said they support them and I just haven't specifically addressed them. And our leadership has not. In terms of how we address it or when, it just hasn't been decided. It is, sort of, waiting to see how they handled it and then we'll have to see. We get the supplemental that will come, what, next week. Probably will not be dealt with until after the recess and whether or not it is in some way addressed there or not, I just really don't know.

More than three years after September 11th, when jihadists exploited airline security using drivers licenses the REAL ID Act would have prevented them from getting, Frist and the Senate Republican leadership is remarkably nonchalant about passing this legislation to prevent it from happening again.

Even the Bush Administration supports REAL ID. Yet here we see Frist looking for ways to tie it to various Amnesty plans currently in the Senate, just as Craig and Arizona Senator John McCain threatened to do last month.