Amnesty For Illegals Still Under Bush`s Blanket
The Christmas spirit has apparently inspired the
Administration and the WSJ Edit Page to give away
The Journal struck
first, with a Christmas Eve editorial attacking the
“restrictionist right,” (us) whom they call a
“loud minority.” (Polls show that a
majority of the American people
think of immigration as a “critical threat;” we`re
a minority only on
Wall Street.) The Wall
Street Journal says that “An immigration reform
would help millions of families, tens of thousands of
American businesses, as well as U.S. national security.
and Security |Tom Ridge rebuts the restrictionist right,
Note that the “millions
of families” it would help are illegal foreigners,
the Americans it would help are businessmen numbered in
the tens of thousands. Nothing is said about the
millions of ordinary Americans it would harm,(taxpayers,
crime victims, etc.) although the only way mass
immigration helps businesses is by lowering the
cost of labor;
which is the same as lowering the price of labor,
Meanwhile, back at the
Beltway, Bush aides were telling the Washington Post
that Bush means to make immigration “reform,”
meaning amnesty, part of his re-election
“But presidential advisers
said they believe that
Hispanic voters, one of the targets for Bush`s
reelection campaign, will give him credit for pushing
for the changes even if nothing is enacted before the
Reform on Bush Agenda,
By Mike Allen,
Washington Post, December 24, 2003]
It`s likely that these ideas
are being floated on Christmas Eve in the hope they`ll
be buried in the Christmas rush. But look for them to
reemerge in the New Year. We`ll be waiting.]
A couple of weeks ago, Homeland
Security Secretary Tom Ridge
muttered some cryptic, unrehearsed and rather
ambiguous noises that sounded like an endorsement of
amnesty for illegals. His spokesmen immediately
denied that amnesty was what he meant.
A few days later, the Washington
reported, "The White House yesterday said a new
immigration review is underway that could lead to
amnesty for millions of illegal aliens living and
working in the United States."
Last week the same paper quoted
President Bush himself, still chortling over the
nabbing of Saddam Hussein, that "This administration
is firmly against blanket amnesty."
So what exactly is going on? It`s
not clear that even those in the administration who are
making it go know what it is, but my own bet, hunch,
educated guess, or wild surmise is that for
all the denials of amnesty, amnesty of some kind is
going on and is what we will eventually get.
It is indisputable that before the
9/11 attacks, amnesty was being peddled by the
president, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Attorney
General John Ashcroft. The plan was to allow some 3
million illegal Mexican aliens in the country to apply
for permanent residency. This was not called amnesty
either, and certainly not "blanket amnesty," but
rather by the
brazenly mendacious name of a
"temporary workers plan."
Since it offered permanent legal
status to illegal aliens, there was nothing
"temporary" about it whatsoever. It was amnesty
So when Mr. Bush pronounces with a
straight face that he is "firmly against blanket
amnesty," he is probably telling something like the
truth. Mr. Bush and the rest of the administration know
that "blanket amnesty" would be as suicidal
politically as it would be for the nation. Therefore,
what you do is resurrect the amnesty plan under another
name—smuggle it in under the blanket, as it were. The
whole art of democratic politics consists largely of
selling unpopular ideas
under another name.
What the president did suggest last
week was a vague statement that "we need to have an
immigration policy that helps match any willing employer
with any willing employee." In other words, the main
problem for Mr. Bush seems to be an economic one, rather
than political or cultural.
Moreover, as with the old
"temporary workers plan," if illegal aliens have or
American employers, then they would be eligible for
legal residency. It`s not "blanket amnesty"
because it does require some conditions for becoming
legal, but it is still very clearly amnesty because it
makes legal what is illegal.
It`s also a bad idea that merely
recapitulates all that is wrong with amnesty period,
blanket or under the blanket.
Amnesty under any terms insults and
creates disincentives for law-abiding conduct.
Moreover, as happened during the
discussion of the
temporary workers plan, the limited amnesty the
administration and some congressional allies are pushing
won`t stay limited. In 2001 the Democrats denounced Mr.
Bush`s plan as discriminatory against
non-Mexican illegals and proposed their own amnesty
for all illegal aliens—some 12 million people.
That remains the position of all
the Democratic presidential candidates. It`s also the
logical step once the acceptability of any amnesty for
any group has been granted, and there`s no reason to
think it wouldn`t be adopted sooner or later.
If Mr. Bush, Mr. Ridge and other
administration leaders really favor serious immigration
reform, they need to forget about amnesty of any kind.
They need to consider that massive illegal immigration
is not only a threat to the integrity of the nation
itself and its citizenry but also a physical threat to
the nation`s security, and they need to treat illegal
immigration not as a
sensitive political problem to be massaged with
euphemisms or an economic problem for
American businessmen or a
diplomatic bargaining chip with Mexico but as a
national security and
Having created the massive
Department of Homeland Security under Mr. Ridge and
enacted stringent legislation in the Patriot Act and
similar laws to protect our security, the administration
should start thinking about the most effective way to
stop or drastically reduce illegal immigration now and
in the future and how to
return the millions of illegals who are already
That—not amnesty and not fake
"reform"—is what we need.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.
for Sam Francis` website.
here to order his monograph,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American
Political Future and
Glynn Custred`s review.]