Sadly, the President missed yet another great opportunity to correct his course on immigration reform tonight. The President should have clarified his plan and joined the forces in Congress holding the line against amnesty. Instead, Americans will have to wait and wonder where the President stands on securing our borders, while he pushes for guest workers.
The President must enforce our immigration laws before we consider any guest worker proposal. Until we bring law and order to our border anarchy, importing more workers into the equation is out of the question.
In 1986, Congress passed a blanket amnesty on the promise that border security would come later. We all remember the ’86 bait-and-switch, and we won’t be fooled again. There is no way to determine if we need guest workers, and there is no way to gain control of this broken system until we seal our borders and control our country’s interior.
A Gallup poll released this week showed that a mere 25 percent of Americans approve of President Bush’s handling of immigration—his worst approval rating of all major issue areas that were surveyed.
The House’s get-tough immigration bill is in the Senate’s hands, where it is in jeopardy of being dropped or – worse yet – turned into a blanket amnesty. From his bully pulpit, President Bush could have broken the Washington stalemate and secured the most significant immigration reform in a decade. But tonight we got more of the same—more stalling, more roadblocks, more lax enforcement with no action in sight.
Border security is not an issue from which President Bush should run away. An overwhelming majority of Americans demand that their government secure the border now, and if we restore law and order, Republicans will be the political winners. As the President does in so many other areas, he must not retreat but lead.