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Unless conservatives push hard enough on the White House and the few Senate Republicans, the Senate will pass this bill next week and that is no good for President Bush's popularity now or his legacy later

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The Black Hole Immigration Bill

Unless conservatives push hard enough on the White House and the few Senate Republicans, the Senate will pass this bill next week and that is no good for President Bush’s popularity now or his legacy later

Sometimes the reaction is more significant than the statement that caused it.  When Jimmy Carter said that George W. Bush may be the worst president ever, there was that miserable millisecond between, “oh,” and “oh, come on. Nobody but Hillary could possibly be worse than Carter.” Is it so bad that the mind interrupts itself?

But then Newt Gingrich said almost the same thing.  The former House Speaker and possible presidential candidate said that the Bush administration was becoming a Republican version of the Carter White House when nothing went right. 

It promptly got worse when the President gave that awful May 29 speech in which he attacked conservatives who oppose the McKennedy immigration “compromise,” saying that we were nit-picking the bill and trying to scare our fellow Americans with “empty political rhetoric.”  

Ok, time out everybody. No, you too, Mr. President.  Those of us who have taken so many political bullets for you since 1999 deserve, at least, your attention and a fair hearing. That we will not have had if this awful bill is flushed down the Senate next week with your support. 

There are so many problems between conservatives and President Bush: the war that is not being fought decisively, and may thus be lost inevitably; the out-of-control federal spending and now, with all these other problems rampant, he is trying to push an immigration bill that will apparently bankrupt Social Security and Medicaid while granting immediate legal status to who knows how many illegal aliens. Most importantly it will not — repeat not — secure the borders from the next ten million or the ten million after that.

The President insists on a “comprehensive” immigration reform bill.  This is where we part company, because “comprehensive” means — in politicians’ language — rolling up a snowball of ideas, most of which are great in theory but can be assumed to work as well as any other incredibly complex set of government regulations.  Which is to say, poorly. The Senate bill is a lawyers’ dream, with finely-honed remedies that read like a sophomore’s term paper in Government 201. If the Senate sponsors of this morass were honest with us, they’d admit that they are as ignorant as we of whether any of this will work.  For us, the borders need to be secured, and then the security proved over sufficient time, before anything else should even be considered.  This is not an academic exercise for Americans whose futures are at risk.

The Senate “compromise” bill compromises our nation’s security.  Its “security” provisions are tokenism, increasing the number of border patrol agents by several thousands, deploying four more unmanned aerial vehicles to help with surveillance, and building a few hundred miles of fence.  Added to that are elegant requirements for “plans” and “strategies” that will be written at huge cost, sent to Congress, and then ignored. 

To say that the Senate “compromise” will secure the borders is simply false.  It is false because the Senate bill only requires that money be spent on certain measures for success to be declared, triggering all the legalizations of illegal immigrants. This is the equivalent of granting a medical degree to a student who has bought half his books and hasn’t passed a single exam.  Mr. President, people do not trust their government to close the borders.  It hasn’t been done in the twenty-plus years since the last amnesty bill.  Why should we believe it will happen now?  Secure the borders now, do it credibly, and we will be pleased to work with you on a guest worker program.  But not before.

As I wrote only a week ago, there should be no consideration of “guest worker” programs, legalization of illegal immigrants, or anything else in the Senate bill unless and until the borders are secured.  The Senate bill forfeits border security to false promises of later improvements.  It is, in short, a fraud.

The White House and some Senate Republicans are lost in space, being pulled into the black hole that is the “compromise” immigration bill.  In physics, a black hole is so dense that an object going at the speed of light cannot escape its gravitational pull. It’s not entirely known what happens to an object swallowed by a black hole.  Its mass becomes part of what swallowed it , unrecognizable and forever merged with the collapsed star that formed the black hole.  A political black hole, this bill will swallow America’s economy at least and our future at most.

Unless conservatives push hard enough on the White House and the few Senate Republicans, the Senate will pass this bill next week.  It’s possible that House Republicans can stop it, but if they fail it will pass.  And the president is eager to sign it into law. 

A new Rasmussen poll has confirmed what we knew but the political elites refused to see: that about 66% of Americans believe that it’s more important to control the borders than it is to make illegals able to work legally here.  In Senate terms — where you need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster — the American people are saying that they want the Senate to stop filibustering the , throw this bill out and get serious about enforcing our borders.

Mr. President, when Ronald Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty bill on November 6, 1986, he said, “Future generations of Americans will be thankful for our efforts to humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people: American citizenship.”  Reagan, relying on the bureaucracy he distrusted, believed the enforcement of our laws could justify the amnesty.

What makes you think they will do better this time than they have in the two decades since Simpson-Mazzoli?

Written By

Mr. Babbin is the former editor of Human Events and HumanEvents.com (Jan 2007-Mar 2010) and served as a deputy undersecretary of defense in President George H.W. Bush's administration. He is the author of "In the Words of our Enemies"(Regnery,2007) and (with Edward Timperlake) of "Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States" (Regnery, 2006) and "Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think" (Regnery, 2004).

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