Immigration

Bush’s Message: I Won’t Enforce Laws We Have Until I Get the Laws I Want

President Bush tonight gave a hopeful speech on immigration reform. And by that I mean he hopes you believe his speech. Unfortunately for Mr. Bush, and for our nation, the American people no longer trust the leaders of either party to make an earnest effort to enforce the law when it comes to stopping the corruption of illegal immigration.

Perhaps trust is so totally lacking because Mr. Bush has been President now for five years and has done nothing to seriously address the issue of uncontrolled borders until tonight. Indeed, illegal border infiltration and visa fraud have gotten far worse during his presidency.

Yet these problems did not seem to bother Mr. Bush until backlash against them threatened his long-desired “temporary” guest-worker program and a stealth amnesty for the 10 million to 20 million immigration criminals already here. (And bear in mind that legalization, whether we call it “amnesty” or “earned citizenship” or any other name, will allow these 10 million to 20 million to bring their extended families into the United States under family reunification laws, so we are really talking about legalizing around 40 million persons, most of whom are not yet in the country at all.)

Or perhaps mistrust of our leaders over “comprehensive” immigration reform is so total because we’ve been sold that bridge once before. In 1986, we were told that simply enforcing our existing immigration laws was an unrealistic approach and so we had no choice but to allow Congress to pass a comprehensive reform bill—one that included both increased law enforcement and an amnesty of the 3 million immigration criminals already in America. Common sense dictated a “carrot and stick” approach, we were told. Congress gave away the carrots just fine, but somehow it never got around to using the stick.

As a direct result, today our illegal immigration problem has grown from a quaint 3 million to at least 11 million—and by some estimates 20 million. Far from bringing people “out of the shadows” as was promised, “comprehensive” reform spread the shadow of illegal immigration across the entire nation. What was mostly a border state problem is now a truly national problem. Does anyone really believe that applying the same approach today will produce a different result?

The President’s promise of enforcement as part of a “comprehensive” plan is thus simply unbelievable in light of past performance. But worse yet, it is now just plain irresponsible. Every one of the President’s proposals for increased security could be passed quickly, if they were not tied to a guest worker amnesty. Indeed, all of them could have already been passed and signed into law if they weren’t being used as sugar to coat the bitter pill of legalization for millions of illegal aliens. But the President and Senators John McCain and Teddy Kennedy (as well as others) want the amnesty giveaway so badly that they refuse to allow the Senate to vote on the enforcement measures as a separate bill, as the House of Representatives has done.

Essentially, they have offered the American people a take it or leave it deal: give us our guest worker amnesty, or we will let the whole world across our open borders until you do. Give us the laws we want, or we will not enforce the laws we already have.

Every month that increased security measures are held up by this game of political chicken, another 30,000 to 50,000 illegal aliens sneak or lie their way into the country. This number includes the proverbial hardworking and honest laborers, and it also includes fugitives escaping foreign courts, drug smugglers, thieves, rapists, murderers, aspiring welfare defrauders and, very probably, potential terrorists. Yet the Bush-McCain-Kennedy axis has chosen to allow the dangerous unchecked flow to continue, creating the crisis atmosphere they know is necessary to force through a guest worker amnesty they believe they need to buy the votes of former illegal aliens and the industries that profit from their cheap labor.

If a guest-worker program and amnesty are such good ideas, then why can they not be passed as separate bills, as the increased enforcement measures easily could be?

If increased enforcement, by itself, is doomed to failure, then why do open borders advocates fear it so much? Shouldn’t they simply pass an enforcement bill and show everyone how right they were? An amnesty could then easily be added later.

The simple fact is that an enforcement-only approach would work better than any comprehensive bill promising legalization to lawbreakers. And this is why every proponent of amnesty and guest worker shenanigans is working so hard to see that an enforcement-only bill will never pass—even if that means leaving America’s borders wide open as long as it takes to frustrate voters into accepting a comprehensive bill.

The illogic of the comprehensive reform scam can be seen in the numerous self-contradictions the president uttered in support of it in a mere 16-minute speech.

Deporting the 11 million to 20 million illegal aliens already here is simply impossible we are told. But then in tonight’s address the President bragged that we have deported 6 million illegal aliens in just the last five years. Why is 6 million possible and praiseworthy, but 11 million is a ludicrous impossibility?

The President bragged tonight of his commitment to deporting every illegal alien caught crossing our border. And then reasoned that we cannot deport those that have been here illegally for a few years. Why is it good to deport those caught at the border, but wrong to deport those that make it inland and buy a fake ID? How is the criminal transformed by this illegal stay?

How can the President promise to use all manner of technology—motion sensors, drones, cameras, fences, vehicle barriers—to keep dangerous illegal aliens out, and then argue that those same criminal aliens become indispensable and honorable once past the gizmos? Why bother to keep out anyone, if they all become wonderful by the time they reach Dallas?

Why, in short, would he have us believe that enforcing immigration laws at the border is a good thing, but we must not enforce immigration laws just a few miles north of the border?

Because you cannot simultaneously argue for earnestly enforcing the immigration laws in our interior and also argue for a guest worker amnesty of the millions of illegal aliens already hiding there.

And the guest worker amnesty is the only part of the allegedly “comprehensive” bill that the President is actually interested in. If we support the President’s plan, all we can be sure we’ll get is the amnesty part—just like 1986.

The only way we can secure our borders is to pass an enforcement-only bill, and then see to it that it is actually enforced. Our nation’s security cannot be held hostage to the politics of amnesty any longer.


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