The Tar Pit

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Taking Hannity to Amnesty School

Ian over at the invaluable Political Teen has a clip from last night's Hannity and Colmes. Ian writes.

Sean Hannity and Texas Representative Gene Green (D) duke it out on the topic of illegal immigrants in the US. Hannity schools Green on the definition of "amnesty" because the latter says it isn't allowing illegals to stay here after they pay a fine.

Well, sort of. Listening to Hannity and Green was like listening to the guy who flunked second grade tutor the guy who flunked first.

Welcome to the real school. Congressman Green was taking the position that Ted Kennedy's amnesty plan for illegals wasn't an amnesty because it required a fine. Hannity called him out on that, but tried to draw this distinction (transcribed from the video):

"Let me first point out here that the President's plan does not allow permanent residency in any way. It's not an amnesty bill."

Hannity is wrong. The Bush Amnesty, if passed, would allow permanent residency for millions of illegals. In his amnesty speech of January 7, 2004, the President said: " Some temporary workers will make the decision to pursue American citizenship. Those who make this choice will be allowed to apply in the normal way."

Yesterday the President said, "I support the number of -- increasing the number of annual green cards that can lead to citizenship."

Since we're in school, here's a pop quiz for Hannity: 2 + 2 = ?

Getting a green card after getting temporary legal residence is often the "normal way." So normal, the Reagan Amnesty worked that way too:

Section 201 -- Legalization Of Status

a. Provides for the adjustment of status of illegal aliens to LTR if they:

  • Have entered the U.S. before January 1, 1982;

  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. unlawfully since that date;

  • Applied for adjustment of status during the 12-month period beginning on May 5, 1987; and

  • Meet admissibility criteria.

b. Provides for the subsequent adjustment of an alien in LTR status to that of an alien LAPR if they:

  • Apply for adjustment of status during the 1-year period beginning on the nineteenth month after LTR status was granted;

  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. since LTR status was granted;

  • Are admissible as an immigrant; and

  • Demonstrate basic citizenship skills.

c. Provides for applications to be filed with:

  • The Attorney General (local INS offices); or

  • Designated organizations (volunteer organizations).

d. Provides that during the 5-year period beginning on the date LTR status is granted, LTR's are ineligible for any Federal program of financial assistance.

e. Provides that the definition of Federal financial assistance does not include SSI. (LTR's are not precluded from filing for SSI.)

Sean Hannity knows half of what he's talking about. The Bush Amnesty is an amnesty by any definition, including Hannity's.

But wait! There's more from Hannity:

Ted Kennedy says in his column that he had out that today--we offer a plan for people to come forward and earn legal status. Uh, Congressman Green, that's amnesty....

If you didn't respect our laws, and you didn't respect American sovereignty, and you came into this country illegally, and Ted Kennedy has a bill that allows you to stay forever, that is by any definition, amnesty.... can stay. So you are reward, in other words, illegal activity. If you came here illegally, you get to stay under the Kennedy plan. We're rewarding illegal activity.

Jeepers Sean, did you listen to the President's speech yesterday? Bush said:

The Senate is continuing to work on border legislation, as well. This legislation improves border security and toughens interior enforcement and creates a temporary worker program. Senators McCain and Kyl have taken the lead. It's two good men taking the lead, by the way. I'm confident something is going to get done that people of Arizona will like, with these two Senators in the lead. (Applause.)

The President was praising John McCain for "taking the lead," but McCain is a co-sponsor of Ted Kennedy's amnesty bill that Hannity was criticizing because it's an amnesty.

Yet, according to Hannity, the President says he opposes amnesty so it must be so.

Homework assignment for Hannity:

Do your homework, Sean, or pay someone smarter to do it for you.