The Tar Pit

Monday, April 10, 2006

Schwarzenegger wants to legalize 12 million illegals

Mark Arnold Schwarzenegger as another Republican turncoat who favors a large amnesty for 12 million illegal aliens.

A stronger border also requires real solutions, not soundbites or symbolic gestures. Building a wall sounds good and a fence may do some good in certain places. But every wall can be scaled with a ladder. Brick walls and chain link fences will not stop the desires and dreams of a father who is desperate to feed his family. And making it a felony to cross the border crosses the line into pure politics. Instead, we need to bring the 12 million undocumented workers out of the shadows and into the light. I support a temporary worker program to allow American businesses to hire foreign workers when no one else will do the job.

Funny how someone who pleads against soundbites and slogans is perfectly happy to subject us to drivel about bringing "12 million undocumented workers out of the shadows."

"Undocumented workers" are illegal aliens who have taken illegal employment. They are serial lawbreakers. Would Schwarzenegger call a squatter on one of his gated properties an "undocumented tenant?" How, pray tell, would the Governor of California bring trespassers on his property "out of the shadows?"

It's not a huge surprise that Arnold is pulling this now; he's always been for amnesty, and has been busy redefining it since he entered the Governor's race in 2003, as I pointed out at the time.

One wonders how dim a bulb Arnold really is. Today he wants to bring 12 million illegals "out of the shadows," as he did three years ago, but two weeks ago he wrote:

First, immigration is about our security. The first order of business for the federal government is to secure our borders. And Washington simply must do a better job of it. We learned on 9/11 that not all those who cross our borders want to share in the American dream. A few want to replace it with a nightmare. If we don't know who is coming over our borders, we won't know what they might do. And in a post-Sept. 11 world, that is a risk we cannot take. Congress must strengthen our borders.

That's why as governor of California, I have supported legislation to end human trafficking and stop the issuance of driver's licenses to those who aren't legal residents. By bringing folks out of the shadows and into the light, we help immigrants, and we help America.

Criminalizing immigrants for coming here is a slogan, not a solution. Instead, I urge Congress to get tough on those illegal immigrants who are a danger to society. If an illegal immigrant commits a serious crime, he must leave the country - one strike and you're out. No excuses, no delays.

Second, immigration is about our economy. The freest nation in the world, and the freest economy in history, depend on a free flow of people. Immigrants are here to work and contribute. I support efforts to ensure that our businesses have the workers they need and that immigrants are treated with the respect they deserve. We should pass a common-sense temporary worker program so that every person in our nation is documented.

We can embrace the immigrant without endorsing illegal immigration. Granting citizenship to people who are here illegally is not just amnesty it's anarchy. We are a country of immigrants, yes. But we are also a nation of laws. People who want to be citizens will want to do it the right way.

Where the heck does Arnold think "out of the shadows" illegals would end up, if not with citizenship? Who's been reading the newspaper for him?

RealClearPolitics' John McIntyre shills for amnesty

John McIntyre of comes out for an illegal alien amnesty today:

-there needs to be some pathway to citizenship provided for the 11 million illegals here right now.

The right is going to cry amnesty at any process that puts illegals on a pathway to citizenship while still being able to live in the U.S. The left is going to balk at a real fence and shutting down the border. But liberals who say they are for enforcement and securing the border are going to have a hard time opposing the only real way to secure the border. And the only way conservatives will stomach what is effectively a 2nd amnesty is if they know a fence will go up and the illegal flow will grind to a halt.

With the President's leadership a compromise along these lines is possible.

Amnesty is the problem, not the solution. A fence won't grind the flow of illegals to a halt, it will divert the flow to other forms of entry, principally by way of overstaying a guest worker program in the hopes of yet another amnesty.

Anti-illegal alien Republicans are not about to accept another amnesty from President Bush or anyone else in the GOP. President Bush, by refusing to diligently enforce our immigration laws and instead calling for legalizing millions of illegals, has led the party to the divide across which we now find ourselves.

Hugh Hewitt comes out of the Amnesty closet

Hugh Hewitt has publicly embraced his inner elitist and called for an amnesty for illegal aliens, in so many words last Friday:

...if you look at the "compromise" that collapsed today, it said begin the process of exploring the initiation of a potential fence sort of stuff. Why not just do what the House said, mark the 700 miles, and say we'll make the amnesty effective the day the 700 miles are finished?

Hewitt's hardly surprising remarks came during a radio interview with WaPo columnist Charles Krauthammer, after years of denying he was in favor of amnesty, and denying that President Bush was in favor of amnesty.

Hugh's been spending a lot of time recently promoting his new book, "Painting the Map Red," in which he warns of a potential GOP civil war over immigration, and that such a rift might cost the Republicans their majorities in Congress in the 2006 mid-term elections.

What Hugh fails to understand is that the rift isn't over immigration, it's over illegal aliens and amnesty, and any plan that legalizes illegals in any way would be an amnesty. Pro-amnesty folks are prone to marvelous equivocations about how their particular plan to reward illegal aliens wouldn't be amnesty, and they succeed remarkably well at kidding themselves, but none of them fool any of the angry Republican voters that Hewitt is warning might stay home this November.

Hewitt's time would be better spent, if he really wants to motivate these voters and paint the map red, in opposing amnesty in all its forms, but it's unclear how he'll do that now.

Hugh might start by backing off his pro-"regularization," pro-amnesty position on illegals. It would also be constructive if he gave up the Beltway/Wall Street Journal epithets such as "restrictionist," "anti-immigrant," and "nativist," which unfairly smear the vast majority of Americans and particularly Republicans who oppose illegals as knuckle dragging bigots. Paul Gigot, William Kristol, Tamar Jacoby, etc. are as much on the fringe of this debate as the moonbats barking about the NWO or the reconquista are.

Getting back to Krauthammer, we know he wants amnesty for illegals. He said so in his response to Hugh:

It seems to me the solution is so obvious. You do the enforcement, you do the shutting of the border, and then you do the amnesty, in that sequence. It's pretty simple. But it looks as if maybe it's political pressure, maybe it's simply a pollyannish idea that if you had employer sanctions, somehow that's going to stop the flow. But we know that's not so. Employer sanctions were at the heart of the last reform in 1986, the Simpson-Mazzoli law. And it legalized 3 million illegals, and here we are, 20 years later, with 11 million new illegals. So obviously it's not going to work.

Actually, the heart of Simpson-Mazzoli (aka: the Reagan Amnesty) was the legalization of most of the illegal aliens then in the country.

Employer sanctions weren't enforced to any significant degree. According to a June, 2005 GAO report:

...the number of notices of intent to fine issued to employers for knowingly hiring unauthorized workers or improperly completing employment verification forms decreased from 417 in fiscal year 1999 to 3 in fiscal year 2004.

Saying that Clinton and Bush's toothless employer sanctions didn't work is like saying that a never-imposed death penalty isn't a deterrent. Krauthammer should know better, but like most elitist illegal alien apologists he hasn't done his homework.

Nevertheless, Krauthammer wants another "very last, very final, never-again, we're-not-kidding-this-time amnesty," even as he admits it's a phony solution.

The "solution," Hewitt and Krauthammer tell us, the thing that makes their amnesty really a good idea--this time--is... the fence!


Of course, no barrier will be foolproof. But it doesn't have to be. It simply has to reduce the river of illegals to a manageable trickle. Once we can do that, everything becomes possible -- most especially, humanizing the situation of our 11 million existing illegals.

The reason a fence with amnesty is no solution is that about 40% of illegals didn't enter the country by illegally crossing our Southern border with Mexico. A 40% failure rate is not a "manageable trickle." A fence would not be a deterrent at all to illegals who get around the border or enter legally and overstay, which millions have done.

All amnesties for illegal aliens are always incentives for more people to become illegal aliens, but never you mind: Hugh Hewitt, Charles Krauthammer, John McCain, Ted Kennedy, William Kristol, Karl Rove and President George Walker Bush would legalize them anyway.

Without question, a fence with amnesty will simply provoke a market adjustment by illegals, their enablers, their employers, and their smugglers.

The opportunities for would-be illegals to overstay a lawful entry would be vastly increased if there's a temporary guest worker program, and the incentive to overstay would be provided by the amnesty currently being supported by Hewitt and others. A guest worker program is desirable, but is only workable if there is zero prospect of amnesty.

It's time to move this debate beyond the false dilemma of "do nothing, deport 'em all, or amnesty." Doing nothing is unacceptable to everyone. Amnesty isn't the answer, it's the problem; 2.7 million illegal aliens were "regularized" under the Reagan Amnesty, and over a million amnesties under Clinton via Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Naturalization Code. These amnesties and the refusal by the last four Administrations to enforce our immigration laws in the American interior have attracted at least 11 million new illegals. A Bush Amnesty or any other amnesty, especially if Trojan horsed through a guest worker program would only result in more illegals in the future. However, if amnesty proponents are right about little else, they are at least correct when observing that "we can't deport them all."

What Hewitt, Bush, etc. fail to realize is that we don't need to deport all 11 million illegals. Illegal aliens got here on their own and they're capable of leaving in the same way. A shrewd reform of our immigration laws would create a market environment that would encourage illegals to willingly self-deport.

Self-deportation is the overlooked solution to America's illegal alien problem. Here's a sketch of how such a market would work:

1. No more amnesties for illegals. Ever.

2. On January 1, 2007 and every year thereafter, one to two million temporary guest worker slots would be made available to applicants who are physically present in their countries of origin.

3. On July 1, 2007 employer compliance with the voluntary PILOT Act (federal verification of an individual's eligibility for employment) would become mandatory, as proposed by House Rules Chair David Dreier (R-CA). Employers who fail to comply would actually be prosecuted, with stiff fines and jail time if they hire illegals.

4. Also on July 1, 2007 Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin conducting targeted sweeps of day laborer sites, removing the illegals they find there and conducting stings against those who would hire them. All illegals apprehended after this date would be biometrically scanned and made permanently ineligible for lawful entry into the United States. Such sites would be vacated in short order.

The dates and numbers of guest workers are negotiable. #1 is essential or everything else fails. However, if implemented in the sequence above, such a plan would prevent a disruption in the labor supply by giving employers a window to determine if they have illegals currently on their rolls and to find replacements either among citizens and lawful immigrants, or by way of the guest worker program.

This plan would dry up much of the employment and hope for amnesty that currently motivates many illegals to come here and stay, while offering them an opportunity to apply for legal entry if they return to their home countries and get in line with their countrymen who haven't broken our laws. Unlike the Bush Amnesty or any of the phony guest worker Trojan horses for amnesty, under the self deportation plan illegals would have no advantage over others who've played by the rules.

"Waitaminnit," you say. President Bush likes to claim:

One thing the temporary worker program should not do is provide amnesty for people who are in our country illegally. I believe granting amnesty would be unfair, because it would allow those who break the law to jump ahead of people like you all, people who play by the rules and have waited in the line for citizenship.

Amnesty would also be unwise, because it would encourage future waves of illegal immigration, it would increase pressure on the border and make it difficult for law enforcement to focus on those who mean us harm. For the sake of justice and border security, I firmly oppose amnesty.

President Bush needs deprogramming; he's read far too many focus group summaries from Darth Rove. It's nice that he's willing to inconvenience illegals sufficiently that they wouldn't have an advantage over lawfully admitted immigrants, but his plan most certainly would give illegals a huge advantage over foreign nationals who have applied for and not yet received permission to enter the United States. Under the Bush Amnesty, those who haven't broken our laws would not be able to compete for the jobs that the illegals have taken illegally: those jobs would be reserved for those illegals.

So, the President's plan is unfair, gives advantages to illegals, would encourage future waves of illegal aliens, and would make it difficult for law enforcement to focus on those who do us harm. For the sake of justice and security, as well as for a continued Republican majority, President Bush, Hugh Hewitt, and every patriotic American ought to firmly oppose the Bush Amnesty and every other amnesty.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

John Campbell's troubled victory

Newly minted Congressman John Campbell won the special election for Califronia's 48th Congressional District seat vacated by new SEC Chairman Chris Cox yesterday, but beneath the results the numbers reveal just how weak a campaign Campbell ran in the two months since the primary:

John Campbell picked up only an additional 30 votes between the primary and special elections, out of over 90,000 cast and with 16,000 GOP swing votes looking for a home.

Hugh Hewitt is valiantly spinning the numbers, but Campbell won with just 44.7% of the vote in a three-way race with Democrat Steve Young and Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, who ran as the nominee of the American Independent Party. Hugh neglected to mention in his analysis that on the air Monday he projected Campbell would take 65% of the vote. Then Hugh moved onto this:

...look at the general election from 2004, where Chris Cox rolled up 189,004 votes, and his opponent John Graham (a friend of mine and a very smart guy whom the Dems would have been wise to run again this time) tallied 93,525 votes.

What to conclude? Despite massive media attention and around-the-clock boosterism from local radio flaks and know-nothings John & Ken, the candidacy of anti-illegal immigration single issue candidate Jim Gilchrist could only muster 23,237 votes --less than one third of the Graham vote in November of 2004.

Notice how Hugh is trying to paint the GOP nominee in a GOP disctrict as an underdog?

Republican Campbell, by the way, got less than half of the votes yesterday that Democrat Graham got in November of 2004.

Then there's this from Hugh...

Gilchrist tallied less than 10% of the 2004 general election total vote of more than 290,000

Yeah: so? John Campbell tallied less than 15% of the 2004 general election total vote of more than 290,000.

And then Hugh reaches, I mean rrrealy rrrrrrreaches for his "key conclusion:"

John Campbell will be a Congressman for as long as he chooses to be (30 years?), and other GOP incumbents will study these results very closely and recognize that while there is a 5-to-10% that must be reassured on the security of the border, there is no national tide running that demands an exclusive and relentless focus on illegal immigration.

Presumably, Hugh based his conclusion on his post-election analysis of the numbers he offered as evidence to support his conclusion, though I'll leave him the option of claiming that his evidence had little to do with his conclusion, which he'd reached weeks before the votes were cast.

Anyway, several times Hugh compares Gilchrist's 2005 special election numbers to the regular results of the 2004 election, but never does the same for Campbell, who drew only 2/3 of the support Hugh predicted on his radio show the day before the special election.

Given that Hewitt's election eve prediction for Campbell was so badly flawed, one would think Hugh's intellectual curiosity wouldn't lapse so badly in analyzing Campbell's performance. Maybe there's a reason?

In the October 4 Special Election Primary, Campbell got 41420 votes, or 45.5% of the 91,711 ballots cast:

Vote CountPercentage
JOHN CAMPBELL (REP) 41420 45.5%
MARILYN C. BREWER (REP) 15595 17.1%
JIM GILCHRIST (AI) 13423 14.8%
STEVE YOUNG (DEM) 7941 8.7%

Another Republican, Marilyn Brewer, took 15,995 votes for 17.1% of the vote. Having lost the primary, Brewer's thousands of GOP votes would be John Campbell's to lose.

How did he do?

In yesterday's election, Campbell managed to garner a grand total of 30 additional votes over his primary results. Those thirty additional votes came out of an additional 1427 ballots cast for a total of 93,138 , and with almost 16,000 GOP primary votes for Brewer there for the taking, John Campbell spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last two months to get enough additional votes to fill the seats of a fourth grade classroom. Campbell's percentage of the total votes cast fell from 45.5% to 44.7%. Nearly nobody broke for Campbell. This is as underwhelming a show of electoral strength in victory as can be imagined.

Vote CountPercentage
JOHN CAMPBELL (REP) 41450 44.7%
STEVE YOUNG (DEM) 25926 28.0%
JIM GILCHRIST (AI) 23237 25.1%

Yet Hugh Hewitt omits this information from his analysis in order to interpret yesterday's results as some sort of key indicator about national sentiments regarding illegal aliens?

Pay no attention to the numbers behind the curtain!

Gilchrist, who ran an abysmal campaign, managed to increase his total from 13,423 votes in the primary to 23,237 yesterday, an increase of almost 10,000 votes, and his percentage from 14.8% to 25.1%. Democrat Steve Young did even better, jumping from 7,941 votes to 25,926, and boosting his percentage of the vote from 8.7% to 28%. Yet instead of comparing apples to apples, Hewitt tips over the OC cart to note that Gilchrist. took less than a third of the vote that Democrat John Graham took in 2004.

Fair enough, but as we've seen, John Campbell's votes yesterday were less than half of Graham's in 2004 and less than 22% the total of Chris Cox' score from November of 2004:

Vote CountPercentage
CHRISTOPHER COX (REP) 189004 65.0%
JOHN GRAHAM (DEM) 93525 32.2%
BRUCE COHEN (LIB) 8343 2.9%

Campbell's 44.7% of the vote yesterday was a 20.3% drop from the percentage Chris Cox got for the GOP in 2004. Steve Young's 28% was a 4.2% drop from what John Graham got for the Dems in 2004. That's a combined drop of 24.5% for the two major parties and it's not hard to see where those percentages went: Gilchrist picked up 25.1% for the nowheresville American Independent Party.

How nowhere is the AIP in Orange County? According to the Los Angeles Times, Orange County had "among its 406,000 registered voters are 203,000 Republicans, 110,000 Democrats, and fewer than 8,000 American Independents.

Gilchrist got 15,000 more votes than his party has members. Gilchrist got three times as many votes as his party has members.

Here's the key psephological question for John Campbell, Hugh Hewitt, and Karl Rove to answer:

If John Campbell wasn't advocating plans to legalize millions of illegal aliens, would he have lost all of those GOP votes to a weak, third party candidate in Jim Gilchrist, or would Campbell's percentages have maintained the 65% level attained by Chris Cox in 2004?

Gilchrist ran an amateurish campaign, yet 44.7% was the best John Campbell, fave son of the GOP establishment, could manage. Hewitt creamed Gilchrist so badly in an on-air interview that Gilchrist broke promises to debate Campbell on Hugh's show. Even with that, Campbell couldn't buy any of Marilyn Brewer's GOP votes between the primary and the special election yesterday, and the simple reason is that Campbell is an advocate of the Bush guest worker amnesty.

Hugh knows very well that single issue third party candidates who take 25% of the vote, most of it from the GOP, are not harbingers of great electoral fortune for the status quo. Ross Perot peaked at 20% in 1992 and the GOP didn't get his votes back until they embraced his balanced budget message in 1994. Like Perot, Gilchrist is not well-suited for public office, but that reality doesn't necessarily diminish the resonance of Gilchrist's main issue, just as it didn't for Perot's.

Notice, btw, that last year Cox got the 65% that Hugh inaccurately predicted Campbell would get yesterday. Most of the difference went to Gilchrist.

I should add here that on Monday Hugh generously gave me about five minutes to talk to John Campbell on the air.

Campbell had dismissed the McCain-Kennedy guest worker bill as "full blown amnesty," but the Bush bill, now that was something he could support. Apparently Campbell didn't pay attention to the President's speech in Tucson last week, where Bush praised McCain, along with Senator John Kyl, as two who have "taken the lead" in toughening interior enforcement and creating a temporary worker program

I was able to get on, and said I didn't understand the distinction he was making about "full-blown" amnesty. Then I asked if we all could agree that the Reagan Amnesty was an amnesty. Hugh and Campbell agreed, and we were off to the races. I guess neither is aware that the Bush Administration is now redefining the Reagan Amnesty. Nevertheless, I pointed out that the Reagan Amnesty didn't provide any "automatic path to citizenship," didn't grant automatic green cards, and had residence requirements, criminal background checks and health screening before illegals could qualify.

I then challenged Campbell, however he defined amnesty, to promise not to vote for any plan that legalized illegal aliens in any way, whether temporarily or permanently.

Campbell declined, saying he needed to keep open some option for dealing with the illegals that were already here. Then Campbell went over to hide behind the Cornyn-Kyl Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005. I pointed out that Cornyn-Kyl had some good ideas, but that it was deeply flawed because it would have illegals register for a new "W" status (you couldn't make this up) and then gave them five (!) years to get out of the country, and that Cornyn-Kyl would give illegals who did leave the country priority over law-abiding applicants for the jobs the illegals had taken illegally.

Anyone who was under the mistaken impression that Texas Senator and Bush protege John Cornyn is tough on illegals ought to know that he excused his Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2003, which granted "absolution for past illegal behavior" to both illegals and their employers, as as a moderate approach that would bring undocumented workers "out of the shadows" and give them jobs without granting blanket amnesty. These pro-illegal alien Republicans have as much shame as a hooker during Mardis Gras.

Legalizing illegals to "W" status and giving them five years to leave, and giving them priority for the jobs they've taken illegally is Cornyn's--and Campbell's--alternative to the Bush Amnesty.

The W Amnesty vs. the Bush Amnesty. Such a range of choices. Decisions, decisions....

Back to Campbell: he agreed with me that the Bush plan was to match "willing workers with willing employers," so I pointed out that in order to legalize illegals by virtue of the jobs they'd taken illegally, the Bush plan would prevent law-abiding potential guest-workers from competing for those jobs the illegals had taken. Campbell didn't have much of a response. No one who makes excuses for legalizing illegals ever does.

It was a rout. With nowhere else to go, Hugh asked "what do you think of a fence?" Overemphasizing the importance of a fence is one of his usual tactics to appear as though he's a serious student of border security. I began by replying that "fences are band-aids, and we've had band-aids." I'd intended to follow up by pointing out that Bill Clinton was a big proponent of border band aids, solving nothing, but we were coming to the end of the hour.

Hugh and Campbell said "well, we really like fences," and it was over. Good fun was had by all. Well, by me.

Kinda funny hearing Campbell say "hello, Sabertooth." I appreciate that he was a good sport but unfortunately, he and Hugh both appear to be committed to propagating the party line on the Bush Amnesty, which is filled with inaccuracies and hides the profound injustice that would transpire if President Bush succeeded in getting Congress to legalize illegal aliens at the expense of blue collar Americans and law-abiding guest worker candidates from abroad.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Bush Amnesty fallacies from the Cato Institue

In "Bush Bungles Immigration Reform Speech," Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute demonstrates Lesson #1 of the pro-illegal alien method of journalism, or "thought," or tossed at the wall desperation, "Don't bury your stupid." Reynolds leads with:

President Bush has reopened a badly needed discussion about comprehensive immigration reform. Even with the few issues he talked about, however, facts are commonly brushed aside in favor of linguistic confusion.

Critics of the president's proposals would surely have been verbally disarmed if the president had emphasized the need to register illegal aliens, for purposes of security and tax collection, rather than labeling that registration process as a "temporary worker" program. Many of those critics seem to have trouble with the English language, confusing the word "temporary" with permanent. Yet in 2003 alone, "roughly 3 million people were admitted as temporary residents," according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). That included 593,000 temporary workers and an even larger number of temporary students. Yet nobody has yet claimed all those temporary guests were granted "amnesty."

Oy. The English language trouble belongs to Alan Reynolds. No one claims that that anyone admitted legally on temporary student visas or as temporary guest workers are amnestied, because amnesty has a specific definition: legalizing illegal aliens.

Is it possible that maybe, just maybe, Reynolds is deploying a spiffy new straw man fallacy? It's understandably a strong suit of amnesty apologists, being deficient in avenues of intellectually honest argumentation for legalizing illegals.

Moving on to Reynolds' arguments based on facts not in evidence :

How are critics of the Bush Amnesty disarmed by Reynolds' tax argument? He never gets around to saying. Aren't we collecting taxes from those now lawfully admitted as guest workers? If we expand our guest worker program to include millions more law-abiding guest workers (meaning: no illegals), would we somehow not collect taxes from them? If we were to simultaneously prosecute employers of illegals, as President Bush is finally getting around to promising (nearly five years into his Presidency), wouldn't a fine as large as $50,000 per offense generate a revenue stream proportionate to the number of intransigent employers who might be still be working with illegals to skirt our tax laws?

Let's have a moment of clarity about Reynolds' security argument: millions of the illegals the President wants to legalize entered the United States on his watch, during wartime. If our security is compromised by them, why didn't the President do a better job of keeping them out, and why does he want them to stay?

No one knows, Reynolds never discusses security after the "critics of the president's proposals would surely have been verbally disarmed" assertion in the third sentence of his piece. His evidence seems to begin and end with the word "surely."

The fundamental security problem with illegal aliens is not they are unregistered, it's that they are here at all. If a particular illegal alien happens not only to be an immigration and employment cheat, but also a national security risk, how is our national security enhanced by legalizing his presence here? A risk is a risk regardless of residence status. So how is our national security enhanced by rewarding cheaters?

It's too bad that Reynolds confused legalizing illegals with actual "immigration reform." The dienwe is unnecessary to the latter. Every suggestion President Bush made this week, from enhanced enforcement to a temporary worker program to increased green cards can be a chieved without legalizing a single illegal alien. In fact, if implemented properly, each of those actions could be used as inducements to get illegals to self deport to their home countries and line up for legal admission.

Buried halfway down in "Bush Bungles," Reynolds writes:

There are only four possible rationing methods -- the queue, the lottery, allocation by political or bureaucratic preference, or the price system (a fifth option, of course, is to immigrate illegally). Current policy mainly relies on a mixture of political preference categories and the queue, although the lottery is used, too."

Hey, a pay-to-play component of our immigration policy is certainly worthy of consideration, but it can be obviously be done without giving any amnesty any illegal aliens.

What gives with these people? Why are they so hell-bent on doing something so immoral and unjust as legalizing illegals as temporary guest workers at the expense of law-abiding guest worker candidates?

President Bush and "thinkers" like Alan Reynolds aren't reopening "a badly needed discussion about comprehensive immigration reform;" the discussion has been ongoing. They've just been poor listeners.


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.


Monday, November 28, 2005

Bush immigration speech blurs the truth

Update 11/29: Welcome, Instapundit readers! See also Bush Admin. now redefines Reagan Amnesty.

President Bush's immigration speech today was not altogether truthful.

While there were some welcome, if belated, highlights in Bush's most recent effort to get some credibility on the subject of illegal aliens, it was once again his inability to grapple honestly with the facts about his new and improved Bush Amnesty that stood out this afternoon.

After outlining some common sense proposals that he should have raised four or five years ago, the President moved to the subject of illegal aliens:

We're confronting the problem of document fraud, as well.

Does this mean the President intends to confront the matricula consular problem, which only became widespread after President Bush took office, and after the attacks o September 11? Instead of cutting off Mexico's illegal alien ID cards off at the start, the Bush Administration came up with guidelines allowing illegals to use the matriculas to open bank accounts. The only reason an illegal needs a bank account is to facilitate his lawbreaking. That's true whether he's working illegally, trafficking in drugs, or just an out and out gangster.

Are we to understand the President has reconsidered his previously lax attitude toward the matriculas and all of the benefits they afford illegals?

When illegal workers try to pass off sophisticated forgeries as employment documents, even the most diligent businesses find it difficult to tell what's real and what's fake. Business owners shouldn't have to act like detectives to verify the legal status of their workers. So my administration has expanded a program called Basic Pilot. This program gives businesses access to an automated system that rapidly screens the employment eligibility of new hire against federal records. Basic Pilot was available in only six states fives years ago; now this program is available nationwide. We'll continue to work to stop document fraud, to make it easier for America's businesses to comply with our immigration laws. (Applause.)

Nice applause line, and to be fair, the expansion of the Basic Pilot Extension Act of 2003 has been one of the few modest accomplishments of the Bush Administration against illegals.

I wonder why President Bush neglected to mention that his big accomplishment in preventing employers from hiring illegals is only voluntary?

For the Workplace Verification program to have any teeth, we need to get Congressman David Dreier's "Bonner Plan" (HR 98) passed.

As we enforce our immigration laws, comprehensive immigration reform also requires us to improve those laws by creating a new temporary worker program. This program would create a legal way to match willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs that Americans will not do. Workers would be able to register for legal status for a fixed period of time, and then be required to go home. This program would help meet the demands of a growing economy, and it would allow honest workers to provide for their families while respecting the law.

Ah--- Bushspeak! "Willing workers/willing employers" blah, blah, blah... "jobs Americans won't do," raa-AWWWK!

The illegals who would qualify for the Bush amnesty are the illegals who've taken illegal employment. How does breaking our immigration and employment laws, while very often also committing document fraud, create the impression that these are "honest workers?"

How are illegals remotely as honest as the potential guest workers who haven't broken our laws?

This plan would also help us relieve pressure on the border. By creating a legal channel for those who enter America to do an honest day's labor, we would reduce the number of workers trying to sneak across the border. This would free up law enforcement officials to focus on criminals, drug dealers, terrorists and others that mean to harm us. Our plan would create a tamper-proof identification card for the temporary legal worker, which, of course, would improve work site enforcement.

Listen, there's a lot of opinions on this proposal -- I understand that. But people in this debate must recognize that we will not be able to effectively enforce our immigration laws until we create a temporary worker program. The program that I proposed would not create an automatic path to citizenship, it wouldn't provide for amnesty -- I oppose amnesty. Rewarding those who have broken the law would encourage others to break the law and keep pressure on our border. (Applause.)

This from a President who's diligently resisted a vigorous enforcement of our immigration laws since he took office? Every good proposal of his today is a proposal that was obviously needed on January 20, 2001.

Bush has proven that we can't adequately enforce our immigration laws when he spends more more of his energies trying to legalize illegals than he does getting them our of the country.

Legalization is most definitely a reward for illegals.

With regard to the President's phony promise that because his plan doesn't provide "an automatic path to citizenship," keep in mind that the Reagan Amnesty didn't either. Then take a look at the President's next sentence:

A temporary worker program, by contrast, would decrease pressure on the border. I support the number of -- increasing the number of annual green cards that can lead to citizenship.

OK, the President wants to legalize millions of illegals, and also increase the number of green cards. If you don't think those illegals are going to get a chance at the more plentiful green cards, then you haven't been been listening.

On January 7, 2004, the last time the President tried a big push to legalize illegals, Bush 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."

"Temporarily" legalized illegals would be able to apply for green cards, and eventually, citizenship. That's exactly how the Reagan Amnesty worked. There was no automatic path to citizenship then, either, but the President continues to make this phony distinction.

But for the sake of justice and for the sake of border security, I'm not going to sign an immigration bill that includes amnesty. (Applause.)

He wants to legalize millions of illegals, many of who came here on his watch, after September 11, 2001. He was proposing amnesty before we were attacked, and he's proposing amnesty now. Of course he'd sign.

Other Tar Pit posts on this subject:

WH 'joke sheet' -- "President opposes amnesty"
Bush Admin. now redefines Reagan Amnesty
Fred Barnes pimps the Bush Amnesty
Bush Amnesty smoking gun: Found. Again.
Deconstructing Alberto: Gonzalez' Amnesty Code
The Gigot Prophecies: Divining the Bush Amnesty down

Around the blogosphere:

Rich Lowry:

...Bush should be taken with a big grain of salt today, given that his intention clearly is to seem just tough enough on the border to make conservatives swallow a guest worker program and some sort of amnesty.

Lowery points to this cynical observation in Time:

"Bush decided to give these guys"--the immigration hard-liners--"their rhetorical pound of flesh," says a Republican official close to the White House. "In return, he wants a comprehensive bill, which is what he has always wanted. He's just going to lead with a lot of noise about border security."

A Certain Slant of Light:

I found the president's speech to be nervy at best. There was no admission of culpability for what has already occurred on the border since his first term began, nor any light shed on what an under-manned U.S. Border Patrol has been facing. After all, American citizens are not ignorant. We know, for example, that budgeted funding for border security has increased dramatically under Bush '43 -- most spending has; but, we also know that additional Border Patrol agents earmarked in that funding were never hired and trained under Bush '43. The president didn't come clean on that.

Small Town Veteran:

Any "temporary worker program" that allows those who entered this country illegally is amnesty. First you'll say they can stick around "for a little while,"  then after they have kids on U.S. soil you'll say we can't send them back because their kids are U.S. citizens.

Unabashedly Unhyphenated

Are those here today illegally going to step to the front of the line for the Temporary Guest Worker slots? If so, isn't that injurious to those who wish to get into the program?

Narcissistic views on News/Politics:

I support a guest worker program, but first you stop the illegal immigration, crackdown on illegals already here and then get the worker program going. Trying to have it both ways with water downed proposals is not going to cut it.


Oblogatory Anecdotes:
Bush Talks Immigration, Now We Need Action!

The Political Teen:
President Bush's Speech on Immigration (VIDEO)

President Bush is at it again

Some Common Sense:
President Bush on Immigration

Blogs 4 Bush:
President Bush's Remarks on Border Security and Immigration Reform

Confederate Yankee:
Sound and Fury, Pleasing No Juan

Immigration News Daily:
Bush Says Alien Worker Program Would Stop Illegal Immigration

The Discerning Texan:
At last, the President emphasizes enforcement at the Mexican border

Bush plans crackdown on word "illegal immigration"
Bush promotes "temporary" worker scheme, tries to pull wool even further over citizens' eyes

Latino Issues:
President Bush's Comments on Immigration

Bush's Latest Double-Talk on Immigration

Capital Region People:
George Bush

WH 'joke sheet' -- "President opposes amnesty"

The White House issued a "Fact Sheet" today in conjunction with the President's speech this afternoon in Tucson, Arizona, outlining his new and improved approach to dealing with the problem of illegal aliens. According to the White House website, "to secure the border, the President is pursuing a three-part plan."

The the first two and a half steps of the plan are common sense proposals that have been needed since the day the President took office almost five years ago, and doubly so since we were attacked on September 11, 2001, more than four years ago. The President is late coming to the party, but better late than never.

However, buried at the bottom of the fact sheet is the same old guest worker amnesty for illegal aliens that the President has been pursuing since he was first sworn in.

As Part Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, The President Has Proposed The Creation Of A New Temporary Worker Program. To match foreign workers with American employers for jobs that no American is willing to take, temporary workers will be able to register for legal status for a fixed time period and then be required to return home. This plan meets the needs of a growing economy, allows honest workers to provide for their families while respecting the law, and relieves pressure on the border. By reducing the flow of illegal immigrants, law enforcement can focus on those who mean this country harm. To improve worksite enforcement, the plan creates tamper-proof I.D. cards for every legal temporary worker.

In fact, the President was pushing a plan to legalize millions of illegals as guest workers just a few days before the World Trade Center was destroyed. Check out these September, 2001 Zogby polls; most Americans from all races didn't like amnesty then, either.

Then the Bush White House dumps a load with this amazing paragraph full of falsehoods and permutations and penumbras of audacious doublespeak:

A Temporary Worker Program Would Not Provide Amnesty. The program does not create an automatic path to citizenship or provide amnesty. The President opposes amnesty because rewarding those who break the law would encourage more illegal entrants and increase pressure on the border. A Temporary Worker Program, by contrast, would promote legal immigration and decrease pressure on the border. The President supports increasing the annual number of green cards, but for the sake of justice and security, the President will not sign an immigration bill that includes amnesty.

Let's sift through the fertilizer, sentence by sentence, to see just how brown that pony really is:

A Temporary Worker Program Would Not Provide Amnesty.

It's Amnesty if it legalizes illegals, recent Bush Administration efforts to redefine the Reagan Amnesty notwithstanding. Make no mistake, this Bush "temporary worker program" is every bit as much and amnesty as the Bush Amnesty was. It's the same old plan to legalize illegals.

The program does not create an automatic path to citizenship or provide amnesty.

Neither did the Reagan Amnesty. Bush's "no automatic path to citizenship" hairsplitting is well documented--for starters: here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The President opposes amnesty because rewarding those who break the law would encourage more illegal entrants and increase pressure on the border.

Any program, including the President's, which legalizes illegals for any reason is a reward for those illegals and encourages more to become illegals. The President wants to eat his cake three ways: "I oppose amnesty because I oppose rewarding illegals because rewarding illegals encourages more to become illegals."

The obvious problem with the President's formulation is that legalizing illegals is amnesty, does reward illegals, and encourages more to become illegals.

A Temporary Worker Program, by contrast, would promote legal immigration and decrease pressure on the border.

As conceived, the President's temporary worker program that rewards illegals with legalization would increases pressure on the borders. The message to anyone not accepted into the program would be to cross the border anyway because neither the Republicans nor the Democrats really mean their "I oppose amnesty" rhetoric. The President wants to pretend to oppose amnesty while simultaneously proposing it.

Michelle has more.

Bush Admin. now redefines Reagan Amnesty

For years President Bush and members of his Administration have been trying to redefine the word "amnesty" as it's been understood to apply to illegal aliens. The problem they've had is that there are enormous similarities between the Bush Amnesty and the Reagan Amnesty. The basic difference is that the Bush would legalize many millions more illegals than Reagan, though not as large a percentage of the total illegal alien population at the time of the amnesty. In order to foster misunderstanding of the President's amnesty plans for illegals, the facts about the Reagain Amnesty needed to be kept in the shadows.

Or, the Bush Administration could cross their fingers behind their backs and try to redefine the Reagan Amnesty away as well.

Well, they have. In a summary of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 (last updated in July of 2005), a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services webpage states:

The legalization program was not an "amnesty" but a "targeted program that balanced the offer of legalization with stringent requirements." (Baker at 26-27) Legalization applicants had to: prove to INS adjudicators that they had resided in the U.S. since January 1, 1982; pay a $185 fee for principal applicants, $50 for each child, with a $420 family cap; accept ineligibility for most public benefits for five years after application; and complete an 18-month period of temporary residency. After that, and only after successfully completing an English language and civics requirement within a year-long one-time window, and the payment of an $80 fee per applicant (with a $240 family cap), they were eligible to apply for permanent residency. In exchange, the applicant would be authorized to work, travel, and after becoming a permanent resident, petition for the immigration of certain family members.

Words, apparently, mean nothing. President Bush is to "amnesty" as President Clinton was to "sex."

Even Paul Gigot of the pro-illegal alien Wall Street Journal has a definition of amnesty for illegals that includes President Reagan's and that proposed by President Bush.

Can the Bush Administration be trusted to offer credible definitions of amnesty for illegals if they won't even acknowledge the Reagan Amnesty?